Monday, November 16, 2009

How to manage?

I know I've written a post before about learning how to be mom. Every word of that post is as true today as ever, but I'm going to expand upon it a little. This is what's been on my mind lately:

There are emotional phases you experience as you try and adjust to having a child in your life. Most of the time, especially as a mother, you want to devote everything you have to this precious life you are so responsible for. You give them all your attention, all your energy, and all your emotion. This has gotten me into a lot of trouble. The catch is, when you have a baby you become a mother, but you don't stop being a wife, a daughter or sister, a friend, a member of your community, or a woman (although I do wish I could have a break from everything that goes with being a hormonal female sometimes). Yes, I have to take care of Ethan, along with appointments, chores and errands, the housework, visit teaching, and meals most of the time. But when Ethan goes to bed I'm still Derek's wife. And when Derek's gone or occupied, I'm still me.

Lately, Derek's been a lot busier than usual, and I don't like it. We've been really lucky, in the past, that Derek had been able to spend so much time at home. Now, with the end of the semester approaching, its crunch time. School is more demanding, work is more demanding, and homework is as annoying as ever. Then there's always the film club. I'm not adjusting well to having less attention, which may explain some of my moodiness. I understand that he has demands on his time, I support him and I want to help him in any way I can, but I also want him here. I want his attention for Ethan but I want it for me too. This tug-of-war leads to bi-polar emotions if I let my guard down, which is more often than I like to admit.

I'm told that I need to get out of the house. Unfortunately, its getting colder and me leaving means Ethan's coming with me. My friends are mostly married students, or married and working, or single and a student and working, so visiting is extremely limited. So, Where can we go without spending money? There's only so many times you can stroll around Walmart.

OK, so I need a hobby. Great idea. I would love to learn to play the cello (I've been trying off and on now for a while), write, learn how to paint, practice drawing and sketching, learn a new language, the list goes on. When can I try my hand at any of this? When all of my responsibilities are done for the day I just want to sit and do nothing. That's where movies come in. Why movies? Because there's no effort involved. Derek and I are trying a new schedule that will allow him and me to get more things done during the day (especially the morning), but for me that includes working out, taking a shower, and personal study time. I somehow need to fit a cardio workout in during the day too. While Derek wants to help around the house, and with Ethan, as much as possible he's mainly claimed by other objectives. This means that my free time is when Ethan goes to bed around 8pm, if I've gotten everything else done.

So why make things complicated and try to fit it all in? I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but for my sanity! Also, because it took me a really long time, and a lot of effort, to discover myself. I don't want to lose my identity. When I do have time away from everything else, I still have to deal with me. When my children have grown and left the house, I still have to deal with me. I don't know what would happen if, at those times, I'm faced with nothing, with a blank. I also have a huge desire to learn as much as possible. I know its important to balance the different parts of me, but I'm having trouble figuring out how. How do you fit it all in? On my scale of importance I come last, but I still need to be on the list. You never find out how many selfish tendencies you have until you become a parent, but where is the line between selfishness and necessity?

I don't want to give the impression that I'm unhappy. I love my life. I love my husband, my son, my family and my friends. I just needed to let some of this out. I'm always open to suggestions from those more wise and experienced than me. That would be everyone, so bring it on!


  1. yeah i am still trying to figure that one out, the problem is just when you have very thing figured out it changes. it is a lot easier when they can self entertain though.

  2. I don't have a kid (yet) but for me the trick has always been to not try to fit it all in. I just have to pick one thing to do that's for me. And even if it's something that I already need to do, I try and make it enjoyable, special, or meaningful.

  3. Hey Jessi! So this is sooo like reading a page from my book right now. Jer is starting his own company and where I use to have a ton of time with him I now have very little.
    So my easy thing has been books recently. I go to the library/bookstore. If I need to relax I hop in the tub with it.
    As for everyday stuff I am still figuring it out too. It helps me to try on focus on one thing/project just for me or something I enjoy.
    Good luck!