gratitude journal 10-4-12

  1. I’m grateful I find my job both challenging and interesting.
  2. I’m grateful one of John’s co-workers may sell us his old car — if this goes through, we’ll have a commuter car that’s a manual transmission and costs us less than $3,500 to buy. All the key points for my car-buying wish list!
  3. I’m grateful that part of my job duties involve picking up supplies at Costco, which means once a week I get to see my husband while we’re both on the clock.
  4. I’m grateful my employee review yesterday went really well, and that Mr. Boss feels I am performing above and beyond expectations.
  5.  I’m grateful I’m not a sahm anymore.

That last one sounds awful.When I say that, the assumption is that I hated the “mom” part of “stay-at-home-mom.” But I didn’t. I’m a mom whether I work or stay at home, and my son is school-aged now and growing faster everyday. The days when my 24/7 presence was needed to cuddle nightmares away or soothe a fevered brow or make sure meals were eaten or pick out outfits or read books are long past.

My son reads his own books and chooses his own clothing. His nightmares are ancient history. He loves his dad and I, but he’s his own person with his own hobbies and interests. He no longer needs us around all the time — he wants solitude and silence, or friends his own age who speak his particular slang and share his interests. He’s not a baby or toddler anymore, to need 24/7 care.

As a stay-at-home mom, time was all jagged and frustrating. Spurts of activity followed by long dead spots. I mean, yes, there were chores and cooking from scratch and playing games with the kid and shopping for groceries and other necessities. There was making doctors appointments and paying bills and writing business letters and doing homework. But even though it sound like a lot, it isn’t. Not really.

Take chores. If you do the chores every day, they take only 30-45 minutes. It’s when you let them lie fallow that they turn into 72-hour cleanathons. Same thing for everything on that list — most of those tasks took about 4 to 5 hours total, and then you’re left with these long blank stretches of time while your spouse is away at work and your children are in school (or napping or at a playdate). I was stuck in a horrific little podunk town without a lot of volunteer opportunities, and all my friends and family lived a half hour or more away. They would occasionally visit, but not often enough to really impact the boredom, and gas prices were far too high for me to be gallivanting up to them, either.

I used to waste the long stretches of time on FB, changing my profile picture and updating my status every 10 minutes. I’d play stupid typing games and even (briefly) got into a few of those FB games. Farmville and something with a map and fake travel. It’s annoying, because I would try to read or write or something productive, but even when it’s dead (activity-wise), you’re still getting interrupted nonstop. The spouse calls or texts needing this or that. The kid cries. The dog barks. The cat poops in the house. The stove needs watching. There’s always something that needed a level of attention, but not actual active engagement. After I got sick of FB, I wasted enormous amounts of time on reddit.

So that’s why I’m glad I’m not a stay-at-home mom now. I’m glad that the majority of my online time is now writing this blog. I’m glad that I am able to engage in activities that stimulate the mind and inspire me. I’m glad we live in town and that I’m busy enough now to really use my time wisely.

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