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.