Sunday, September 13, 2009

When "staying at home" really means trying to get out of the house!

I am sitting here writing out a daily/weekly/monthly schedule to get my “stay-at-home crew” – that would be me and my girls – in a routine that involves insane things like, oh I don’t know, GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE!! Sophia is almost 10 months. Her nap routine is very predictable, yet she’s flexible about missing her morning nap. When she nurses, she gets it done in less than five minutes. She eats everything Ruth and I eat. Easy. Ruth is 2 ½, and she is getting into those lovely two year old behaviors like screaming, throwing fits, being defiant, only using the potty when she feels like it, and just general contrariness. It’s normal … and probably exasperated by the fact that I could happily stay at home and clean and organize to my heart’s content. Except that doesn’t even happen because I am too busy trying to keep her in line. Oh yeah, and the poor 10 month old does get cared for every now and then. It’s just so busy! The meals and snacks, the diapers, the playtime, the teaching everyone to pick up their toys, the patience to let Ruth, or rather sometimes, encourage her to do things for herself … it all takes ten times as long as you would think.
So it leaves me flabbergasted ... we go to church (her absolute favorite place to be) and she is an angel. Grocery? She sings the whole trip. Park? She could play there for hours. I'm the one that gets bored! Simple equation ... leave the house = happy two year old.
I just got off the phone with a girlfriend to plan an every-other-week playgroup. Yes, getting out of the house and hanging out with your girlfriends takes planning. Me not being the cell phone toting, in-constant-contact-with-my-friends kinda gal, it just takes planning. Matt and I are homebodies. We love being at home together, taking walks in our city together, doing stuff TOGETHER. Him working two jobs and being gone all the time has me feeling very disoriented lately. And probably just the kick in the butt I need to get out of the house more. Because his two jobs gig is going to last through mid-December, at least, it’s time to get my own life for awhile. I mean, I felt so utterly lost in my rut that I actually googled “Activities for Stay at Home Moms.” Sheesh.
I’m thinking beyond playdates and on into having girlfriends over for dinner. Every now and then, I’ll be talking with a friend and we realize that both of us are going to be lonely for dinner time. A couple of nights I’ve had a girlfriend and her kids over for dinner and let me tell you … I LOVE cooking when my girls are happily playing with their little friends. It’s amazing how happy it feels!
It’s a bit comical when we have friends over because we have a little café-style table with four little bistro chairs, and we usually circle up with high chairs and boosters and folding chairs … it’s a very cozy setting. And we have this nice, large dining room! Oh well. If I waited to entertain until my house was perfectly set up for entertaining … we never would.
Back to the routine. I’m organizing my time for everything I’d like to accomplish. Devotion - after some tinkering with my schedule, I couldn’t get it to work unless I got up at 6:30am. Ugh. But I can’t wait to see how this discipline carries over into making me a better person; I sure could use that! Exercise – my girls love stroller rides, I have no excuse except I don’t make time for it enough. Laundry. Cleaning. the AHA! children’s museum, Toddler storytime at the library, playgroup, MOPS, playtime with the girls - where I’m actually engaged for a whole fifteen minutes instead of just making sure nobody kills each other and everybody is SHARING. Don’t worry, my poor girls have never had an over-involved and indulging mom; they know how to entertain themselves. It’s just amazing if I give Ruth some crafty things and get her started how she can sit at the table forever cutting away or gluing away … and getting carried away (glue on the floor, full body art with the markers, you know)
I want to start my own business, and I’ve had so much trouble making the time for it! So, now that I have this handy dandy schedule, not only will I not work too much, but I’ll make an appropriate amount of time set aside so I can find some success. And Facebook. Yes, I’ve got Facebook on the schedule. Because I’ve so poorly planned my life these past couple months, I get lonely for real people that don’t go around crying and peeing in their pants all the time. There they are, instantly, on Facebook. I want to be too busy to get one Facebook so often! It’s addicting.
It’s amazing when you take stock of your life, you realize all the void and empty activities that can easily take up such gobs of time.
Here’s to a happy fall and more blogging. It’s in the schedule!


  1. wow, Jen, good luck with that schedule thing. Hope it works for you. I would love to see how it works for you. I am having the same sort of problem right now.

  2. Hate to tell you, but I occasionally pee my pants. Otherwise I am good grown up company! I go stir crazy at home, too, and my "baby" is almost 13. Sometimes I forget it's an option: get up, get dressed, go out.

    Love your blog! Keep it up!

  3. This is a long way to a point, but here goes: I went to see the movie "Julie and Julia" with a friend and her mom. The movie was a happy, updated version of so many movies put together. Very enjoyable, anyway, in the movie Julie is rejoicing that she has her first comment on her blog about cooking her way through Julia's cookbook and I smiled along with everyone else at the movie when she rejoiced.
    When I had time that night I checked my facebook, friends are all good and accounted for; and then I checked my blog. I had a comment from "Sheila". Sheila?, who's Sheila?
    And then I about danced around the living room. "Sheila" was my FIRST comment from someone I didn't know! Just like Julie in the movie, I felt happy. From a comment. From someone I didn't know. ...Silly, I know, but it made me happy. I think it's the validity. No matter age or family position or whatever, we are all the same. We all go stir crazy in some way, looking for connections with our friends and family, whether it is facebook or texting or blogging or phoning or meeting at the park or cooking with friends. Our "validity" comes in little pieces in different ways and shapes at all times in our lives. I'm old enough to be your mama and I still feel the same as you every day! As women, we are friends, moms, sis and s-i-lews, other women who feel the same as we do. We are there for each other. It's ingrained in us from before we can remember. Its just part of who we are. So don't feel bad or crazy or not organized enough or whatever. Your validiity is happy children raised in a happy, blessed home, with normal parents who are working their hardest to raise children who appreciate and are thankful for all the blessings in their lives. Validty may not be the right word, but I think you understand. Its a wonderful life, blog comments or not!

  4. And thanks, Jen for the compliments on my blog and my quilting. I know I really enjoy writing,and also enjoy reading yours! Keep it up!