I’m in my second week of stay home alone with Bean during the day since Chris has gone back to work. People ask me how it’s going and I smile and tell them I’m loving this time I get to spend with Bean. And that’s true. I do love the time I get with Bean. But the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God is that I really want to go back to work.
Every couple of years I get this thought in my head that, “Gee…I’d love to be a stay at home mom.” I picture myself volunteering and joining mothers and babies groups, having play dates, and spending lazy afternoons doing laundry while watching Ellen and Oprah. But the truth of the matter is that I am just not cut out to stay home for two very important reasons.
First, I really don’t like being by myself. I mean, I need time to myself just like everyone else, but I can’t go for long without talking to someone. And – no offense – but you imaginary friends in Internet Land don’t count. I like talking to real people. I like collaborating to solve problems. I like office supplies. I like letterhead on good paper. I like quick lunches with co-workers. I like sitting in meetings. I like catching up on someone’s weekend in tiny office kitchens. I like my phone ringing. I like cute shoes and doing my hair every day. I like my office door opening. And that doesn’t mean that I like those things MORE than I like spending time with Bean, but it means that I miss them in my life.
And secondly, I am completely not self-motivated. I know that about myself now. Every SAHM I’ve talked to has said the same thing. You have to get up and get moving every day. Get up, get dressed, and get out of the house. But the problem is, I have no motivation to do that. Unless I have plans or unless someone is coming over or I have to be somewhere, I just can’t get myself moving. And that is TOTALLY unlike me. I’m a go-getter. A mover and a shaker. I hate being idle and I hate not being productive. But for some reason, when I’m staying at home, I just can’t find the initiative to be productive and get going. And that drives me crazy. I work so much better when other people are depending on me to do things. And Bean? He’s not so picky about if he gets dressed for the day or if we get to the park before 11:00am. He pretty much just goes with the flow. If he were a little more demanding, I might be more motivated. But he’s pretty good with just hanging out doing whatever we’re doing. Darn little laid back, sweet, undemanding, unselfish Bean Man.
Now that things seem to be falling in place with my book (I’ll have some exciting news to report later this week!), that has given me some sense of purpose at the house and I’m really thankful for that. But it’s hard to write and concentrate with Beaner digging through my Tupperware cabinets and climbing up the bookshelves (true story). I’m sure it’s just something I have to adjust to – working and watching Bean – but right now it is just frustrating and so instead I sit on the couch with him in our jammies watching Sid the Science Kid (“I’mmmm lookin’ for my friends, I’m lookin’ for YOU!”). I keep trying to remind myself that I am in the process of finding a job and that one day soon, I’ll look back on the days where we just sit around together and I’ll miss them. But right now, in the moment, I’m having a little trouble.
To make myself feel a little more regimented and scheduled, I have been sticking to a little routine while I’m home during the day. It’s pretty good in theory and on the days where I actually stick to it, I’m pretty happy and feel good about myself. But on the days where I think, “Who really cares?” I tend to wallow a bit more.
7:30 – Bean wakes up. I change him and set him up with his first bottle.
8:00- 9:30 – I blog while Bean plays and/or pulls on my clothes until I pick him up. In that case, I blog holding him while typing with one hand. Takes much longer.
9:30 – Bean and I eat breakfast. Our favorite right now is blueberries and cheese toast. Yummy!
10:00 – I get Bean dressed and then bring him into my room to play and watch TV while I get dressed, make my bed, and straighten up my bedroom.
10:30- 12:00 – Bean usually goes down for his morning nap. That’s when I clean the kitchen up from breakfast, do a load of laundry, and then answer emails or work on the blog in some way.
12:00 – Bean usually wakes up around lunch time. I give him a bottle and then he plays while I get lunch ready.
12:30 – Bean and I have lunch together.
1:00 – If we have errands to run or if we want to go play somewhere, this is when we go as long as Bean took a good long nap that morning. If Bean didn’t take a big nap or if we don’t have anywhere to go, we play at the house until Bean gets tired again.
2:30 – Bean usually goes down for his afternoon nap and I work on my book, either editing or writing.
3:30 – Bean wakes up and has a little snack with me.
4:00 – Bean plays and I watch Oprah while getting the house straightened up.
5:15 – Chris gets home.
I mean, it’s not a BAD schedule. But it’s hard for me to find the motivation to stick to it because who really cares?
I’m hoping that this is just part of adjusting. Surely I’m not supposed to be good at this and fully adjusted by two weeks in, right? RIGHT? RIGHT?!?!?
I need a job.
(UPDATE: I just re-read this post and I hope that it doesn’t offend anyone. I certainly am not passing judgment on SAHM’s and I would hate to think people read that into this post. To clarify, I just don’t think it’s right for me. Oh, man. Did I just put my foot in my mouth with this one?)