So, I'm not exactly Martha Stewart....or Mega Mom...or any other super human mother figure who can keep her home spotless, always have fresh baked bread and her children bathed...and leap tall buildings in a single bound. BUT, I do try to be a little better than what society expects of stay-at-home moms. I don't like to fall into a category that is constantly being asked "what do you do all day." While there are many, many SAH moms who DO fall into that description, there are many of us who don't. I for instance work full-time on the computer as a Medical Transcriptionist (yes, I have a REAL job)...and nothing is more frustrating than when people just assume that my job is some made up title, or worse, a job that really doesn't require me 40 hours a week and therefore allows me to be free all the time. I DO have a real job, and it DOES in fact require my attention 40 hours a week. On top of that, I have 2 children who require my attention about 30 of those same 40 hours - which makes for interesting sport (oh yeah, and there's that growing 3rd member whose arrival is creeping up on us). I have been doing my job for almost 3-1/2 years, so I've mastered the art of having children and working, but that should make it obvious that during working hours I don't have extra time to do the things that most SAH moms do...like go to the park for playgroups, or head to the local library for story time....or even do the grocery shopping while the kids are awake and happy and have full tummies (and when the crowds are the smallest). I go grocery shopping in the early evening...along with the rest of America, I play outside with my kids in the late afternoon, I clean the house and do laundry in the late afternoon. Oh yeah, and I'm also going to homeschool our children (the oldest starts Kindergarten in August).
This is not meant to be a "pity me please" post...I wanted to post this synopsis of my days so that everyone here can understand why this idea of "Life After Diapers" is so dear to me. My life after work every day is focused on my children and husband....but then what about me - my "Life After Diapers?" When do I find time to focus on myself and my sanity. Well, that's where I've started to get creative and think outside the Costco sized diaper box.
My sanity savers usually involve my children...even if it's just the fact that they can dance to the music I'm listening to in the kitchen while I make dinner. I've been blessed to really have an interest (and budding talent) in cooking and baking, and honestly, it's a stress release. Along with baking, sewing has been a much needed break too...and another thing I can do with the kids close by. Sometimes they will sit at the other end of the table and color, or share stickers, or just tell me nonsensical knock-knock jokes while I sew and pretend to laugh hysterically.
My point to this is that while it's not easy, I make it work...and I don't complain. I feel extremely blessed to be married to a man who works hard so I can stay at home with our kids. Yes, I work from home, but that's partially for my sanity and partially just for extra fun money and savings. It never hurts to have a second income, no matter how small it might be. Emergencies happen, things come up, and having that extra little bit of money can really be a source of relief when something unexpected comes up...like a large car repair, or larger than usual medical bills, or a broken appliance.
So, that is why I started this blog, to document my attempts at having a life after working and children (and laundry and soap and cheese sandwiches). I guess part of me wants to prove to the world (or the 3 people that read this blog) that I can be more than enough, and that I can manage our lives a little better than everyone expects. I've never been happy with being average...and reminding myself of all my above and beyond accomplishments make me feel that at times I am more than just an employee, more than just a woman who carried and gave birth to a few kids...more than just another statistic.
That being said, I am not the best at keeping our home as neat as it could be...and I've created a goal for myself to try and get things in order before Nicole comes into this world, and our lives, and our home. I want to get things organized, put stuff in places where we can find it again...and just generally get myself on a more organized schedule so that I don't lose my sanity when Greg and I are finally outnumbered by munchkins.
Here's my plan....I stop working this week, which means I need to find SOMETHING to keep me focused - and since I can't afford to start a new sewing project every day, or cook fabulous desserts every day, I needed something more home-focused. I have decided that every morning I wake up I am going to make one SMALL goal for the day...whether it's cleaning up a specific spot in the house, or actually cleaning (you know, with cleaner) a spot in the house...I am going to set a small goal that shouldn't take more than 15 minutes and that will be my focus for the day. For instance, my goal today is to get all the stuff that has accumulated at the foot of our bed put away where it belongs. There isn't a ton of stuff...and it will probably take 10 minutes, but if I do a little chore like this every day, it will add up. And when done on a small scale, it doesn't seem as overwhelming to me and I won't try and skirt around it or push it to another day.
So...while the cookies and cream cheesecake bar ingredients get to room temperature on the counter, I am going to sit down and clean up the foot of the bed. Then I am going to get up, make those cheesecake bars and eventually eat one to congratulate myself for a job well done. And I will post a link to the recipe I'm using later....I already posted it on Facebook, so if you really want it, check it out on my page there.
Alright...here I go....