What to do, What to do

There’s a blogging block going on over here. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been writing, in my secret writing folder that has no chance of accidentally being published. Don’t you just want to get your eyes on it? It’d bore you to death, I assure you.

My days have been weird. This new stage of life has hit, and hit hard–the stage where all three of my kids are in school and it’s just me and the infant toddler hooligan puppy. It’s like my life has both fast forward and rewound at the same exact time, and I’m sorry to say, I don’t do change well.

I get all introspective and weird, and then it takes me a million years to get normal everyday tasks done when no one is around except for a dog to trip on. My ankles and wrists are all marked up from his teething shenanigans, and my room is enormously dusty and Luke’s laundry needs to be taken to the mat.

I get stuff done, but it’s like I have no idea what to prioritize except for feeding my sourdough starter, and even that has been shifty. I feel like a good mom for baking bread regularly these days, and then I look at Julia’s eczema and feel responsible for not knowing how to fix it and assuming it’s somehow my fault and I’m the only mom who doesn’t know what to do here.

Oh gosh, to even write this nonsense feels like nonsense. Just know that after having at least one child around for 12 years almost non-stop, life without kids underfoot is unsettling. It’s like walking into the store without a purse and having no idea what to do with your hands. Am I right?

Please just tell me it won’t take another 12 years for me to figure this all out. I’m hoping for another  month maybe? The thing is, my life is both a mix of routine and chaos. We have a morning routine down pat, and for the most part our evenings are routine, but then in the middle every week is different. Some weeks are full of volunteering, some planning, some cooking, some coffee-ing, and every day looks a little different. And while I do like variety, it also challenges me in the behind the scenes spaces.

How productive do I need to be when no one is around? Does everything housewify need to be finished before the kids start getting home? Should my house look cleaner since supposedly I have nothing else to do and no source of income? If I pursue a “hobby,” i.e. something I enjoy but doesn’t make any money, does everything else in my house need to be done before I squeeze in time for that?

Should my time be full of service to others outside my family? Is it okay for me to do something that only benefits me or my sense of inspiration and motivation? And what if I do and then dinner doesn’t get made, is that okay too? If I’ve carved out time in a day to perhaps write or something, is it okay to say no to something else that comes up even though it’s not like it’s my job or anything? (if you have a “job” you can just say, “Sorry, I have to work that day,” but when you are a SAHM the pressure is on to be available for anything, since you may not have a paycheck to validate how you spent your time).

There are so many questions, and no formula. And a lot of these questions have both yes and no and even maybe as answers, and I’m working them through, tossing it all around. I don’t think a rigid schedule for myself is the answer, but perhaps floating about with whatever whim hits me isn’t the best way to go either.

Knowing that I’m loving my family and pursuing kindness in the midst of it, ever so imperfectly, is good and I want that, but I so want a script to tell me exactly what this life of mine should look like now. And I want the affirmation of my feelings to go along with my choices, and the self-checking and doubting to be eliminated somehow. I mean, self-evaluation has definite positive attributes, but it can become so consuming that you forget how to enjoy anything, and sometimes I’m at that place–the forgetting how to enjoy something without a false sense of guilt.

These are my days, all strange and weird. When the kids come home all of a sudden I feel like I have a purpose again, and so I’m longing to feel that way about my kid-less moments as well. And while there’s definite relief sometimes of dropping the kids off and having some hours to myself, and I do enjoy it, the confusion can come quickly and throw me for a giant loop.


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