Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Lovely Day

That's the only way to describe my day yesterday. My daughter woke up with an upset tummy (which was NOT lovely), so after I took my stepson to school, we came back home, she curled up on the couch, and I tried to get her to eat some toast. No go. She fell asleep and I contemplated curling up beside her for a good nap. But I resisted. A day off from work was not to be squandered, especially when I have so precious few days off.

Instead, I made myself a proper breakfast - two boiled eggs, turkey sausage, and toast with jelly. YUM. This gave me enough energy to get me downstairs and start the laundry. When I checked on my daughter, she was sound asleep, so I took the opportunity to write a few letters to my new pen pals via The Fedora Lounge. We're trying to get back to the lost art of letter writing and let me tell you, it was great fun to use my wooden lap desk that hubby gave me for Christmas one year, and put pen to paper.

I did the dishes, folded clothes, and watched a bit of the movie The Out of Towners with Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin. That movie is always good for a laugh. Then, of course, I got busy with fixing myself a nice, healthy lunch, read a bit in one of my research books, and even got in a bit of a nap. I then decided I needed to get my laptop out and get to work. My daughter woke up feeling much better and downed a few slices of toast, and then joined me out on the front porch.

Can I just tell you how utterly wonderful it was to have all my household chores done by 1 p.m. and have the rest of the day stretched out before me in wonderful bliss? Well, it was heavenly. I even made a nice supper for all of us, took the dog for a walk, and finished the chapter I was working on in my novel.

And what really impacted me was how smoothly everything went. The kids were well-behaved (for the most part) and the mood in the house was just, well, calm. I suspect that this was due to me being home when my stepson got out of school, having my chores done instead of being beat from the dayjob and having to do them anyway, and having my stress level cut in half. In short, I had time to spare yesterday.

I've done the stay-at-home mom gig and it was a bit of disaster. This was largely because I need to be around people and if I don't have that social interaction, I get pretty darn depressed. So when my daughter was young and my stepsons were in school, it was just the baby and I at home. That wasn't so bad. But after I went to grad school and was looking for a job, I stayed home with the kids and got severely depressed. I needed the social interaction that I had gotten at school, I guess.

I've blogged about this before, but it's worth repeating because I am constantly praying and trying to figure out how to get my life to work on this schedule: work three days a week and home the other two, or some variation thereof. Problem is, part-time jobs usually don't pay as well as full-time, and the job I have now is great - a great company, great benefits, and great co-workers. You don't just heave that out the window.

Today, though, only solidified my need to find this balance in my life. When it will happen, I don't know, but I pray it happens someday soon.

6 comments:

  1. I wondered where you were yesterday.

    As you know, I struggle with same thing. And writing usually is the loser in my list of priorities.

    I'm like you, being home all the time drags me down, I do need some interaction. And now that all three of my kids are in school, I've actually created friendships that aren't all kid-related but I can't do a whole lot with them because I have to work part time.

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  2. I had that schedule - I worked ten hour days Tues through Thurs and had the other days home with my family. It was great to have the extra time with them and I was fortunate enough that my job did pay more than when I started there working full time.

    It was nice to have both the interaction and the at home time. The thing is, though, you still feel really divided. I eventually quit because I wanted to be wholly focused on raising the kids while they're little. I miss the social interaction a lot, but I don't miss having the constant pull of the career.

    I hope you can find the right trade off! I'm trying now to build my social network with church and writing and my kids' school and try to get that daily social need met. It's an uphill climb some days, though!

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  3. If it's a great company, they'll consider reducing your hours. Sadly, that also usually means a reduction in pay. But if you can use that time to earn money writing ...

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  4. Rene - Strangely enough, most of my friends are at my job or they are my former co-workers. That makes me wonder if I'd have any friends at all if I didn't have a job! ;-)

    Robin - Thanks for sharing your experiences. I wonder if I would feel the same way, feeling torn between two worlds. I guess it would depend on the job, I suppose. With the job I have, I really think I could do it - but problem is, I highly doubt they'll let me do part-time.

    Diane - Yeah, reducing my hours in this particular position is probably not do-able. But you never know what might come up.

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  5. Hey, did you meet me through your job? :o)

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  6. I know what you mean. Though I love the freedom that I have, in that I don't have a strict work schedule (though I do work), I really miss the social aspects of being in an office. The library helps a bit, but it's not quite the same. I keep hoping to find a p/t job like the one you describe - three days on, two days (+ weekends) off.

    Hope you manage it some time soon :)

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