I was chatting with another mom at the park the other day and the topic of school came up. I said I couldn’t wait until the fall when VPK starts and my son goes to school five days a week. (VPK is Florida’s free preschool program) And she said, “That’s funny, I’m terrified of it! I won’t know what to do with myself.”
Since I did a whole blog post about how I’m trying to be less judgy of people, I tried to keep the look of horror off my face and managed to mumble “ohhhhh….” while trying not to sound weird. All I could think was “I don’t relate to this woman at all…there’s ALWAYS something to do….”
I could make a list of about ten other things I could be taking care of right now, but I’m sitting in the middle of a baseball field watching my son bury his cars in the dirt.
Not that I don’t think these moments playing with my son in the park are important. I value these moments so much that I closed my business, completely changed my life and decided to stay home just so I wouldn’t miss any of this. But we’ve been at the park for two hours and I can only play cars in the dirt for so long before I feel my brain slowly turning to mush and get an urge to go do something a little more productive.
Unfortunately there’s no point in trying to get him to go home because it’s not like I can accomplish anything there anyway. My son is constantly on the go, getting into something, talking non-stop and asking for food every ten minutes. Some days I just feel like a glorified waitress.
I just cannot wait until I get back a small portion of my own time five days a week. I am literally living for the moment. Some days it’s all I can think of, just to keep me going. Knowing this feeling of being stuck is going to end, is the light at the end of this SAHM-induced tunnel.
A little time to yourself. How could you not want that?
It’s not the first time I’ve heard that comment either. Each time I’m equally shocked.
I wonder if maybe somebody cleans their house. I feel like the housework portion of the SAHM gig is never finished. I remember back when I could actually clean my house without a small tornado messing it up right behind me. This creates an endless cleaning loop.
Or I figure they must have family nearby, like a grandma that loves to watch the kids. I don’t have any family in town so if I want a break I have to hire someone. In other words, I rarely get a break, and when I do, it’s pricey.
Then I start to wonder if they have no personal interests of their own. Maybe they didn’t have a life before kids. I did. I had a big life filled with events and costumes and traveling all over as a Cosplay Guest for ComicCon type conventions. I used to stay up until 3AM making costumes, now I can’t remember the last time I stayed up past 10:30. I have tons of materials I thought I’d be able to get back to by now. But here were are, four years later, and the boxes are still full of unassembled costume parts.
It takes a big effort just to make time to write this blog. In fact, the only way I’m editing this post right now is because I paid a babysitter for a few hours today and I escaped to Panera with my laptop. I really needed a break and writing makes me feel better. It helps me decompress after a day of tantrums and constant negotiating. I’m looking forward to having a little bit of time each day, while my son is in school, where I can sit and think and write without a lot of advance planning.
So then I start to think maybe her kid is really sweet all the time and mine tends to act like a
big butthead typical difficult three-year-old. The kid is a challenge! It takes every scrap of patience I can muster, along the occasional desperate Google search for parenting advice, just to get through the day. Every day has its ups and downs and then there will be a streak of bad days that make me question all my choices in life.
These are all the things floating through my head whenever I hear a mom say something like “I don’t know what I’ll do with myself.”
Because I know exactly what I’ll be doing with myself when I get that five days of guaranteed time- getting back to being ME and enjoying a little taste of what I used to take for granted:
What about you? Do you look forward to your kids being in school or are you still trying to figure out what to do with yourself?