When you become a parent, the “free time” gets sucked out of your life in a way that you couldn’t anticipate or comprehend when you were child-free.
There are plenty of magic moments in these early years, of course, but a lot of your time is sucked up by the dull side of caretaking - the cleaning up after, the packing of bags, the never-ending preparation and feeding of food. Not to mention answering the 500 questions your 4-year-old asks each day.
I find myself thinking about what I would do with my free time if I just had some of it back. Here’s some of what I’ve come up with:
- Make YouTube videos
- Stream on Twitch
- Make TikTok videos
- Make the most amazing design for my website
- Build a full comments system for my website
- Write longer, proper, essays and articles
- Play the piano again
- Make amazing demos on CodePen
- Get really good at hand-lettering on the iPad
- Practice so much yoga I can do a handstand
- Learn Svelte and SvelteKit
- Build my perfect time-tracking app
- Learn how ActivityPub actually works
Now, most of these things I hadn’t done before I had kids. And if I were to say, suddenly find myself with 8 hours extra “free time” a week I would probably just use it on housework or staring at my phone. But that’s the thing about time you don’t have, you do productive, clever and creative things with it.