September 27, 2013

Being an Introvert

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately as to what my issue is. The thing with the whole staying at home and being unhappy. How can I fix all of this, make myself happy and OK with my the cards dealt to me, taking care of what I need to take care of, but also taking care of me.   

A friend of mine wrote a great post about being an introvert AND a stay at home mom, and it clicked. YES. To everything she said! THIS IS WHAT MY ISSUE IS. 

I used to be an extrovert. I want to be out all the time. I loved having of a ton of friends and always having plans. But somewhere along the lines -- well before having kids -- that changed. Being home was much better and being around people was just tedious. The extrovert in me became an introvert. Maybe not QUICKLY, but it happened, slowly over time. And here I am. 

I thought that if I got out and met some new people, other moms who were at home, it would make this whole transition easier. Everybody tells me to get out of the house. Join mommy groups. Meet new people. Make friends! But you know what? I don't want to make new friends. Seriously. I wish I had more of my CLOSE friends here with me, but man, I'm 33. Making new friends at this age is tedious, and I am not one to let people into my life very easily anymore (hello, introvert side effect!) I have a couple stay at home moms who are there if I need adult interaction and I think, honestly, that I am good with that. I don't need more people. 

What I NEED, and what Lauren reminded me of, is time to myself. Alone. No husband. No kid. Just me, alone, doing nothing or doing something but SOLO. What I miss about working isn't necessarily the people or the job (although I do miss having a job, for a different reason), it was the office. The office with the door. The door that I could shut and be left alone to FOCUS on a task at hand without fear of interruption. I can't get that focus here. Maybe an hour or two during nap time, but even then it's a mad dash to do what I can while the little one sleeps OR I'm trying to relax but staring at the pile of clothes that should be put away or the floors that need to be mopped. It's not true alone time. 

M has been home a lot lately. He doesn't really have much a job right now, not one that takes up a lot of time at least, so he's always at the house. I love my husband dearly, but I don't do well being around ANYONE 24/7. I thought the adult interaction was something I needed, but the truth of the matter is that I don't even want to talk to HIM when he is home. (I mean, obviously I do. Just not all the time!) As I have gotten older, my alone time has become more valuable. I need it to function and more than just an hour here or there. I need the occasional chunk of time to myself, to refuel and re-energize. Without it, I am a mess. A crabby, cranky, irritable mess who hates the world & everyone around me. I am not a good person when my alone-time bank is empty & these days, my alone-time bank is in the red. 

I know staying at home is tough, and I know so many people would kill to have the opportunity to do this. But every once in a while, I just need a break, as do MOST SAHM's I am sure. M has offered multiple times in the evening to watch Lucas while I leave. The problem is that I never really have anywhere to go, or anything to do. We are on such a tight budget, too, that I can't justify going somewhere & spending money just for the sake of getting out of the house. Our house is so small, that there isn't really an escape here, either. The bedroom is pretty much it, and even then I can hear all the cries and the noise, or he knows where I am so there is constant banging on the door. It's not relaxing. 

So maybe I just need to suck it up and leave the house. Take my drawing books & pens with me and LEAVE. Hit the coffee shop for an hour or so and just draw, knowing that people will leave me alone and just let me do my thing. M is more than capable of handling our routine -- I know this! So it's not a matter of not trusting him to take care of things; it's more a matter of me not wanting to take the time for myself because there is always something else that needs to be done instead. 

Right now, it's 6:38 am. We had a rough night/early morning. I have, essentially, been up since 3:30, more or less. At 5:00 I finally just got out of bed and made some coffee. While I know I will sorely regret this later today, it's been nice, just sitting here the past hour and a half collecting my thoughts. M is gone for at least a couple of hours and hopefully Lucas sleeps for another hour or so. It's so QUIET here right now. The dogs are snuggled up with me and I'm just here. Alone. It's nice. This definitely needs to happen more often, whether here at the house, or out somewhere. 

Now to make it happen. No more excuses. 

September 25, 2013


I will admit, there was a part of me that thought staying home would be easy. Well, not necessarily easy, but not this. I know that I'm still in the adjustment period -- it's only been about a month and a half since I left my job -- but I keep waiting for it to get better.

I feel lost. Like my only purpose is to be pregnant, entertain a toddler & keep the house clean. I know this isn't true, and today is just an exceptionally bad day. But when it comes down to it, I feel useless.

Being pushed out of my job the way that I was has taken it's toll & I will admit that there remains some level of bitterness for the way things went down. I want to work. I enjoy working. I SHOULD still have a job, and it's been difficult adjusting to a different sort of productivity during the day. What can I say -- laundry & diapers don't really do it for me ;) While at the same time, the things that I WANT to do for myself while being home, there seems to be little time for in between staying afloat and taking care of an eighteen month old. I wonder, daily, if I will ever figure this out and be totally happy with the turn my life has taken.

How do I balance everything? I feel like at this moment in my life -- staring down my third trimester, preparing for a second child while trying to spend time with my current child -- taking care of MYSELF is equally important. Doing things for ME needs to happen. Let's face it. My life is about to become a million times more complicated, and if I can't find time for ME now, then I'm going to have even more troubles in the coming months. I am enjoying being home with the kid and spending this time with him before #2 comes along, but it's definitely not without it's own set of challenges, and some days I just don't know how to tackle those. I get frustrated, and then I get mad at myself for being frustrated. Then I get sad because I'm lonely & I miss human interaction aside from my husband and a toddler. I've been a career gal for so long that all of my friends are also in that category. At the same time, finding stay at home moms who I even anything remotely close to similarities is tough. I'm picky when it it comes to people in my life, and I don't let people in easily. This is a downfall to living this lifestyle.

I feel like I am sounding so ungrateful. As always, that is not the case. I know many would kill for this opportunity, to stay home with their kiddos. But being Susie Q. Homemaker was never a dream of mine and I just can't seem to get past the fact that this is the way things are going to be for a while. I know that sounds selfish, and I promise that I am trying my best to make the best of this situation. Like I said before, today is just an exceptionally bad day. I can blame the hormones, right? Either way, I need to find a way to make this work. I know there will still be bad days (and I promise, they aren't ALL bad days) and there will be plenty of good days in there as well. I just need ... something. And I don't quite know what that something is.

We have signed up for swim lessons, which I am pretty excited about. Twice a week, we will get out of the house in the afternoon, and hopefully meet some other parents. I need to work on getting out of my comfort zone if I want any additional conversation. I will get there ... hopefully. I'm also looking into some drop off day care facilities, somewhere that I can put Lucas for a couple of hours on a rare occasion when I just need to collect my sanity. I am having a hard time justifying doing that, but I think my sanity needs it, at least once every so often.

So that's that. It will get better because it HAS to get better. But this adjustment is tougher than I ever thought it would be.

September 13, 2013

What Preparation?

A couple of weeks ago, we surpassed the 20 week mark in this pregnancy. Can we talk about how crazy that is for just a moment?

Yeah. Crazy.

Officially, I'm 23 weeks & some change. I am not quite sure where the time has gone, AT ALL. But here we are, plugging along like everything is normal & not about to change in a big, huge, insane way. No planning. No reading. No stressing. It just .... is.

My best friend of forever is also pregnant with her second child and is due the first of November, so being back in Seattle for a couple of weeks and spending so much time with her was great. It was nice to have someone so close to me that I could relate to with this one particular thing & bounce emotions and feelings off of without sounding like I hadn't already gone through this process once. We related on some things, talked about differences between one and two, discussed the epic levels of tiredness that comes with working full time while being pregnant WHILE chasing a crazy toddler around day in and day out.

It was good.

One of the feelings that I have had recently is GUILT in the fact that we HAVEN'T done anything to prepare for this kiddo. I am not necessarily concerned that we will not be ready when baby decides to come -- we have all the essentials from the first one, so on that front we have things taken care of. There really isn't anything that we NEED for this kid. Just things we want & even THAT list is extremely short -- but the mental preperation just really isn't there, either. Again, no books. No planning. No stressing.

K said it best when she said "you feel like you're already neglecting number two and they aren't even here yet."

Yes. This exactly. Obviously, I am aware that I am pregnant, and I know that clock is ticking awfully quick as we inch closer to my due date. I think a large part of why I feel this guilt is because this pregnancy has been epic proportions of different than it was with Lucas. No sickness. No depression. No unberable physical pain. It has been smooth sailing since day one. I haven't HAD to think about it (aside from the usual no booze, take your prenatal, etc) because this kid hasn't given me the physical reminders that Lucas did. It's just been ... EASY. Now that we are further into the second trimester and the movement has increased, I do get those daily reminders (and I look forward to them!) but it's not quite the same. Maybe it's hard to explain but ... I don't know. It's all just so different.

Baby #2 comes up every day but both M & I are just ... ready. I am sure that statement will come back to bite us in the ass come January, as we (ok, I) figure out how to juggle a newborn and a toddler at the same time (from what I hear ... NOT EASY!) but for now, I am enjoying the easy breezy way of life this one has given me this time around. Post baby is a whole different story, but until then? It's kind of a nice change of pace not worrying about what needs to get done.

Maybe my appreciation for the ease of it all outweights the feeling of neglect for not doing any major planning for his arrival? We will go with that.

September 12, 2013

Boring Days & Plans for Fun

So, I had all these grand plans of writing more often now that I was home, but I am finding that our days -- at least for now -- are a little mundane. 

We get up. We eat some breakfast. We go to the park or visit friends that are also home. Snack time. Nap time. Then trying to fill the afternoon with activities indoors because it's still too freaking hot to go outside late in the day (seriously. 90 degrees still. WHERE IS FALL?) There really isn't much to talk about just yet. 

During nap time, I try my best to get some things done around the house. My goal this first week was to get my house as clean as possible, and we seem to be moving on a one room a day plan. My toddler, he keeps me busy and as much as I wish accomplishing more during the day was possible, it's just not with him in tow. i love this kid, but man -- he is always on the move. And blogging? Forget about it. At least on a regular basis until I get more on a schedule. 

I am sure there are more things to do around town that wouldn't involve the blazing heat. In fact, I KNOW there are. But I'm a recluse. If it was up to me, we would never leave the house. Ever! With us moving next year, I don't really want to make new friends. I'm happy with the couple that I have that are at home during the day (hi ladies!) and I have found that if we go to the park early enough, nobody else is there. The process that is involved with making new friends at this age is long and tedious & I am just not interested (hi, can we say lone wolf?) 

But, that is not what is best for Lucas. He needs to be around other kids, at least a couple times a week so that he knows he's not the only one. Eighteen months, I'm finding, is a difficult age. There are things we need to work on, like sharing and how to play with other children, that we can't do by ourselves. 

So, I'm trying to find a way to get out of my shell. To not be such an introverted recluse. To find a balance of making myself comfortable (hello couch & yoga pants!) while also making sure that Lucas benefits from my time at home with him. 

Monday I am signing him up for swim lessons. This is something that I have wanted to do with him for a very long time, but there is only one place here in town (a town of 100,000 people) that offered weekends classes. ONE weekend class, to be exact, and it always filled up before I got a chance to sign him up when I was working. But now that I am home, I can take advantage, hopefully, of the week day classes. This will be twice a week & will tucker him out plenty during the day, while also providing him with some outside of the home activities! We are also looking into Story Time at the local library, as well as POSSIBLY some little gym type classes (which are apparently ridiculously expensive. We will see if we can swing it on one budget). Of course there is the playground as well as the occasional play date. 

I know that once this baby arrives around New Year, our time will be a little more limited as we adjust to the new arrival as well as preparing for our impending move. (I REALLY wish I could tell you where we are going! If I have told you ... Shhhh! In time, people. In time!) So it's important to me to take full advantage of this time with Lucas while I have it, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me in the process. 

September 5, 2013

Staying at Home: Day One

I have been home approximately 12 hours from a two week trip to Seattle. I have so many things to write about & talk about & discuss & photos to share ... my head is spinning with things to write about. 

But today also marks kind of a big day for me, personally. 

It's kind of, technically (or so I'm counting it) my first day with the Stay At Home Mom title. 


I had one day post-work before we flew to Seattle, but it was so jam packed with getting ready for our trip & running errands that it didn't really set in. Our two week trip was a vacation -- one that would have been taken had I had a job or not. So today, now that we are home, is just sort of unreal. Twelve hours in and I already feel lazy, like I should be cleaning & cooking & maintaining a home instaed of doing exactly what I have been doing -- sitting on the couch watching Project Runway episodes sitting in my DVR while Lucas plays contently by himself. 

Granted, I am exhausted. It was well after midnight by the time I got myself to bed, and the battle of being over-tired beat me making sleep very shitty. If I could drink coffee all day right now, today would be that day. But instead I'm sitting here in yoga pants & a tshirt with my hair thrown up while Lucas naps instead of being productive. 

Days won't always be like this -- I know this. But there is this desire/need/drive to be productive. I feel like I am cheating by not being at work. It's only been a couple of weeks since I left my job but I don't really FEEL like I left. Maybe it was the terms I left on, or maybe it's the simple fact that a large part of me wants to work. But either way, it's odd. 

I did flat out tell the husband that this week was a gimme week, full of lazy days with the kiddo and hanging out on the couch. Next week? I'll kick it into stay at home drive chalk full of meal planning, play ground adventures (ok but seriously, where is a good play ground around here?!) and days at the gym. But this week? LAZY. Even though that little voice inside my head tells me to get my butt moving. 

This is a challenge for me, and will continue to be a challenge while I find my place in this new lifestyle. I need to find a balance of "earning my keep" (not that my husband cares AT ALL what I do during the day!) while also taking care of myself. Two things that are equally important. 

So. Moms. Any tips for someone new to the stay at home lifestyle?