Hello my name is Darren and I am a nap time procrastinator. There I’ve said it. I feel better already for letting it out there.
When I started my adoption leave I had grand plans to ‘get lots done’ during the girls nap time each day. I would write some more of the novel I have intermittently been working on for the last 18 months. I would read lots of books, focusing on the key works of literature that I have never got round to reading. I would start an online interior design course and do a little bit of work on this a few times a week. I would do little odd jobs around the house to ‘stay on top of things’.
The reality is I have done none of these things. I am ashamed to say that since having children, apart from the odd parenting book which I have flicked through, I have not read a single book. I am just too tired to read in the evenings. I did try, but after a week when I had only got to page four I gave up. I have not started an interior design course. I have written some of my novel – a grand total of about 800 words, which is the equivalent to a paltry 5 words a day for every weekday I have been on adoption leave. The mountains of paperwork, the broken cupboard handles, the grubby-looking paintwork and the piles of pictures that need hanging are all a reminder that I have not ‘stayed on top of things’.
In fairness to me, I completely underestimated how much work it would be just to do the basics – tidying up the mess that the girls make, clearing away breakfast and lunch, keeping on top of the washing, doing the online weekly shop, planning and cooking dinners etc. However, underestimation is only part of the picture. Undoubtedly the biggest reason for my failure to do anything I had planned to do is that I spend most of nap time doing things that I really have no need to be doing. From browsing local planning and licensing applications to identifying which tent would be best for us to go camping (I’ve never been) to googling ‘what ever happened to Heidi from the Sugababes?’ – there appears to be nothing thats too ridiculous for me to waste my time on during nap-time.
Today for example, I have spent nap time doing a pencil sketch of what I would like my alcove cabinets to look like once we have the house refurbished! Of course we have yet to organise the finance, find an architect or even get planning permission for our project; but today, instead of emptying the washing machine, filling in the girls passport applications, organising the eldests haircut or sweeping up the post-lunch crumb littered floor; I plumped for imagining how backlit bookshelves might look and whether I could get a hidden pullout keyboard rest built into one of the cabinets.
To make matters worse, now that I have finished doing that I have decided to blog about it. I just can’t help myself!
Yesterday I spent a good hour narrowing down areas of France or Spain that I might consider buying a second home in. Now bear in mind that we are going to need to rein in our spending to pay the 2 x nursery fees we will be faced with once I return to work, let alone have money to buy a second home and you can see what a ridiculous waste of an hour of my life that was. I even picked out some properties that I liked that were within my imaginary budget!
Every day after wasting my time with something or another I find myself glancing at my watch, realising with horror that the girls will be waking up in about 10 minutes and rush about trying to tidy up or make a necessary phone call before they do.
I suppose even writing this blog is a form of procrastination, although I like to think of it as something important and worthwhile. A kind of therapy. Maybe now I have ‘spoken’ about my problem I might be able to do something about it. I wonder what would come up if I type ‘procrastination into Google…