Thursday, March 13, 2008

Limbo...

I was listening to one of the local radio stations on the way home from work tonight. REM was on talking about their new album (or CD) and the lead guy who writes the lyrics was saying how the process went faster this time around because he had the songs all done before the recording sessions. I guess in the past he would come in with them 1/2 done and then work on them as they went along which dragged the process of recording out for months. While I was listening to them it occurred to me that I miss deadlines and a general purpose in my life.

I know my job right now, my purpose, is to raise Owen. To care for him on a daily basis. But this role has a lot of ambiguity to it. Besides the toddler class we don't have anywhere we have to be. I don't have to teach him the ABC's or counting by a particular time. I keep up to date on the general milestones he should be achieving but they aren't deadlines or goals or projects that need to get done. And even though I do work part-time (very part-time) my job is not so important that if I'm late, or don't show up even, anyone notices.

As a student and then a teacher I always had deadlines, projects, classes to go to, meetings to attend. Dates on a calendar. My life was lived by a calendar and a clock. And now, I don't wear a watch unless I go for a walk/run/ride and need to time it. I was a slave to my watch and now it bugs me to have one on.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to lose track of time and the days. But for someone like me, who craves structure, it can also cause some panic.

I've tried make a daily schedule and we do have a routine of sorts but it's not really important to anyone. Owen doesn't notice if we play with playdoh for 20 minutes or an hour. We do what he wants for as long as he wants or not. And he is flexible. He will go wherever I take him and he's good about it too. It's just that we don't have to go anywhere. Ginger (the story time lady) may notice we aren't there but she still does story time if we aren't. Target doesn't go out of business if we don't shop there this week.

It's like I've fallen off the map sometimes. It's been almost 2 years since I stopped teaching. Life is infinitely different. In so many good ways. But sometimes I feel the loss of my old life. The one with order and routine and predictability.

My mom did a great job raising me despite what she calls my left-brain-ness. So well in fact, that I didn't really know how I was until I was older. Where many parents would have gone mad, she was patient. And she never criticized me (nor does she now) about the things I am particular about. She has always known that change and the unknown bother me and she's always done her best to ease me into them. Even now. And I appreciate that. Which is part of my job as Owen's mama. Even when I see in him the things that bother me about myself. Like having things just so. Hopefully being a little loose in our structure is helpful for him. Makes him less left-brained. Because then it will be worth it.

8 comments:

Gabrielle said...

I struggle with this too! I am a list maker...helps me feel structured at home. I also get goals...like this year we will research this as a family or discuss this. Then as they are completed I have the sense of accomplishment.

How blessed you are to be able to stay home with your little guy. :)

:: gingerkitty :: said...

routine is an interesting thing. Just remember to be present in each moment and you will see the miracles all around you.

FlipFlop Mom said...

I've been a mommy whose been fortunate to be able to stay home with my kiddos...
At first it seems REALLY hard because I thought I needed to give more .. being career wise... BUT.. I was listening to what sociey wanted.... It bothered me to hear "Oh.. you're a SAHM.. well that's nice"... Like it was a major put down..

Now my kiddos are older.. I'm so glad I did stay home.. but I do regret sometimes that I was more focused on the messes that were going to be made.. instead of the messes I can clean up later...

My daughter is an absolute neat freak...and I'm partialy to blame for that.. I'm sure...

BUT.. I've learned if we focus on the little things more.. everything can be ok!! Ü

Linda said...

Just a little word to show I stopped by! Love reading your blog, I totally relate to your sleep issues :) You little guy IS cute! TFS

Lynn said...

I love to live by the calendar also. I will say that once Owen gets a little older you will be back to the full structure of the calendar and trying to fit things in.

Aimeslee said...

Oh, wow. Reading your post reminded me of the weird problem I had for literally the first 3 to 4 years after "retiring" from my CPA firm to SAHM Missy. Not to mean that this happens to you, but it causes similar feelings. I kept thinking I was playing hooky from work, especially when I when out in public doing weekday work hours. Seriously, it lasted that long. LOL But anyway, that was 19 years ago in April, and I finally figured out it was 50% ingrained habit and 50% left-brained anal-ness. Combine them and for me, it meant mega-guilt, even unconsciously, which would sneak up on me and trip me up. I know it sounds really weird, but true (for me).

So, I figured out I was having an inner struggle and that part of me kept thinking I was SUPPOSED to be out working. It was only when I finally convinced myself that what I was supposed to be doing was what I was doing, did it lessen eventually until I no longer am bothered by it.

Sorry to ramble on, but if reading any of that helps you it was worth it to me.

Hugs!

Dana said...

I know how you feel, I am a sahm!!! It can be nerve wrecking at times, but the pros, far outweigh the cons. You are an excellent mother, and what you we do takes a lot of selflessness!!!!

Dana

Noelia said...

I can relate to your post so much being at home with both my kids. I went back to work in between the two of them but I have now been at home for almost 4 years. I had somewhat of an identity crisis at some point so I can understand where you're coming from. Most of the time, I feel fortunate to be able to stay home and some days I just feel like it's a sacrifice I'm doing for the family and that some day, in the near future, I'll be able to have my own goals and routine set up. It's something I look forward too and it's around the corner for you too :)