Childfreelife’s Weblog











{December 15, 2009}   Free Time

I was enjoying a post by Brit Girl about how childfree people spend their time. A year ago, I was very very busy. I was in school part time, worked full time, participated in religious activities, and played weekly theater games. Contrasted to now, I am unemployed, quit the theater games, and I finished school? I seem to have a lot of free time, and yet I feel no compulsion to have children to fill it.

I have been painting pictures and selling them with my free time. I have been going to cultural events, I have been taking temporary contract jobs in the legal field, and I have been looking for work. I think it is true that looking for work is a full time job in itself. I have interviews, I write cover letters and customize my resume, and I contract painting sales. In addition, I continue to be involved in religious activities, I volunteer my time mentoring a child, and am a good friend.

Child free people are unlikely to wale away the hours doing nothing.  Most child free people I know do keep very busy. Some of my favorite artists never had children: Georgia O’Keefe and Mary Cassett for example.

If you are a child free person who doesn’t have a lot to do: consider the following:

Volunteer your time. Do you have a skill that you could share with a non-profit agency? I am a good listener and I am good with teenagers. It was a perfect fit for me to mentor a child through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Some of my friends in the legal profession have gotten very involved in Pro Bono/Free legal service clinics. Giving back is a great way to spend your time.

However, when childed people ask me what I do with my free time, sometimes I think of free time as only time that is not committed to something in particular. I sometimes struggle to answer, because I barely think of myself as having free time, I have many full slots in my schedule. But I realize when I think about it, what free time might mean to a childed person is: time without children. I have lots of that time–most of the time, unless I am hanging out with someone elses kid(s).

Perhaps I am off base here, but thinking back, every-time a parent has asked me about my free time,  to them free time was time with a babysitter or daycare. And that time is rarely free, it is often bought and paid for. This isn’t always true. I do know some parents who spend free time with their children. Free time to some parents is time playing in the back yard, watching cartoons, and cuddling or napping. But those types of parents aren’t usually the ones that grill me about my free time.

This was a rather rambly post, but I realized I hadn’t stopped in here for awhile and I wanted to write something.

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Lise says:

However, when childed people ask me what I do with my free time, sometimes I think of free time as only time that is not committed to something in particular. I sometimes struggle to answer, because I barely think of myself as having free time, I have many full slots in my schedule.

Good observation. I’m never bored. Even my free time is committed to hobbies. I can’t imagine children ever fitting into that lifestyle.

I’ve also been searching for a (full-time) job for about six months (wow, it hurts to realize it’s been that long!) I’ve had some contract work, too, but on the whole I feel my life is much, MUCH busier now than when I was working full-time! Perhaps it’s because when I was working full-time, I consciously cut a lot of things I wanted to do out of my life. Dunno.



Sara Star says:

Yeah, I have been unemployed the majority of the last year, but luckily, I just now landed a full-time job that starts in January. Thankfully, the last boss who laid me off, recommended me for this one and it was handed to me on a platter. Sweet!

I love keeping busy. But I have also enjoyed this winter week of just taking it easy and staring off into nothing once and a while. The mind needs a rest now and then.



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