If you’re keeping score, here’s the summary:
- We moved to a small town where life moves a little slower
- I have vowed not to multi-task my way through life anymore
- My youngest child just started kindergarten
- I’m trying to be a good mom, just not at the expense of my sanity
- I haven’t posted in more than a week
Probably seems a little disjointed, but stick with me for a minute.
About two weeks ago, when the trauma of sending my youngest to school was finally subsiding a bit, I was reminded that I prefer company. Being home alone taking care of the house is not my cup of tea. I like to go places and do things and see people. Now that my youngest is gone to school, my house is too quiet.
And so in the course of two weeks, I have committed my time to two local organizations. Which probably seems like exactly the thing I swore I wouldn’t do. But it was the only way to fight off the cabin fever that had taken hold. And it also helped offset the futility that sometimes comes with being a stay-at-home mom.
If you’ve ever stayed home for even one day with a child, you know whereof I speak.
It’s like going to your workplace on Tuesday to find that every single task you accomplished on Monday has been undone, and must be completely redone.
The laundry baskets that were empty are no longer. The dishwasher is waiting to be unloaded… again. There are three more meals (at least) to be cooked. And the floor that was once cleared and vacuumed is once again invisible to the naked eye. It’s a bit like the movie “Groundhog Day” in which a man relives the same day over and over again. (Please be assured I’m not complaining about the workload… not when so many people I know are balancing the stay-at-home work with the outside-the-home job. It’s only the repetitive, and seemingly futile, nature of the work.)
Many other jobs offer opportunities throughout the day to stand back and point to some tangible accomplishment: a completed presentation, a successful project or a finalized task. Stay-at-home parenting? Not so much. Because the life span of an empty laundry basket is about that of a snowman in July. You’d better enjoy it while it lasts.
The other thing is that it’s a rare child who says “Mom, thank you for balancing the checkbook and putting away my underwear today.” Which means that, unless you can operate on complete self-fulfillment alone, without need of any “attaboys,” you may have to supplement your at-home work.
Which brings us back full-circle to the volunteer work… a place where, because you are giving your time with no expectation of pay, people are usually tickled to death to have your help, and they don’t mind saying so. Not to mention that I always seem to meet fantastic people. For my part, I have found two organizations that I can be passionate about, and I am already feeling much more settled in my new redefined parenting role. Even better than my newfound purpose is the fact that my family will tell you I’m a little less like t.v.-mom “Roseanne” and a little more like Patricia Heaton from “The Middle.” And we’re going to consider that a step in the right direction. (I can honestly say I really wasn’t ever like “Roseanne,” but it makes a strong analogy.)
So please accept this as my apology for not posting for a while. I’m not so arrogant as to think that people are hanging on my every word, but I think of this blog as a sort of reality-show. It’s a chance for you to take a peek into someone else’s life to see that either a) someone is botching things waaay worse than you are or b) that you aren’t alone in your journey through adulthood.
I won’t go so far as to say I’ll be your Snooki, and I’m certainly not a “Real Housewife” by their definition, but when someone develops a pilot for “Frazzled Housewives,” you can bet I’ll apply to be a consultant on the show.