Monday, August 18, 2008

"So, what do you have planned for today?"

My husband asked me this question at 5:15am - I was awake, since I had received a call from the East Coast at 3:13am and had some trouble falling back asleep.

So I sat there, dazed and sleep-deprived, and tried to answer him.

Now that I am not working in an office, my time really is my own - I can run errands as needed, take Lucy out for adventures, read and nap and cook complicated dinners that require hours of preparation. But I rarely have an agenda for the day. And so, when he asked me what I was going to do with myself all day long, and I hesitated before answering, my dear, darling husband smiled and said "Not much, huh?"

No, not much.

By 7:20 I was driving to the school to drop off Max. Then came back to fill Lucy's wading pool and get her into a swimsuit. And then out of a swimsuit, toweled off and dressed again 5 minutes later. I folded 4 loads of laundry, answered my email - both work and personal, and now I am attempting to get some writing accomplished.

I still have dishes to put away, more laundry to tackle, and at some point I might even clean a bit (but don't count on it). And then, there is Facebook, which is practically a part time job in and of itself. If you are not familiar with this website, it takes a lot of getting used to - you are having information thrown at you from every direction, there are pop-ups and links and buttons and selections and dfferent pages on which to display different applications. I feel like once I master Facebook, I'll be able to write code for NASA or something. Jennifer wrote a great blog about Facebook here - - which sums the entire experience up nicely.

But back to my husband's original question - because when he askedwhat I was doing today I am pretty sure he wasn't referring to updating my flair or weeding someone's lil' green patch.

I think my biggest issue with this question is that I am always doing SOMETHING. Very rarely am I lying on my back watching the ceiling fan. But what I do all day is pretty mundane, for the most part. So it's not that I don't have anything planned.....I have a lot of things on my to do list. They just seem so insignificant when taken individually. But as a whole, they are critical to our lives running along smoothly, to my husband being able to go to work every day.

And for the most part, it is very fulfilling. I have to be proactive, getting us out of the house from time to time, staying on track with freelance assignments, making sure that all of the household chores are taken care of. When you are a stay at home mom, the least you can do is make sure you always have milk and toilet paper in the house, and something for dinner. But there is also the question of money - I can't go running off to the store every day to buy "tings we need". The only way to run this house and stay within budget is to keep out of all retail establishments, because seriously, I could blow an inheritance at Minit Stop if left to my own devices.

We made the decision several times over the past 8 years that my being home and raising the kids and running the household was important for our family, our relationship, and my sanity. It was a career in and of itself. It was always left up to me whether I wanted the job or not. But soon, my youngest is going to start nursery school, and then we will have to re-assess whether it is possible for me to continue on in this capacity. I would feel lazy, to be honest, being home without a child to care for. Dropping her off at nursery school, and then coming home BY MYSELF? I haven't been at home by myself for more then an hour or two since before my son was born. It seems decadent. And boring. I might enjoy it for the first week, but after that I could see myself falling into a very unhealthy routine of climbing back into bed and sleeping until it was time to pick her up. I do not have the self-motivation to keep myself on task at home alone all day. The siren call of Facebook would be too strong to resist.

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