After those six months with my mom here, the craziest summer ever, hosting the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays...it's time. I recently joked with my friend, Alyce, that I think I'm suffering from "post traumatic caregiver disorder". What I mean by that is after spending so much time caring for my mom, I think I'm kind of in shock that I now have time to do things for...me.
Obviously, one "me" thing I do is this...blogging. I enjoy it. I started it just for "me". Even still, is it really all for "me"? Nope, part of it in hopes that my kids will have a way to look back and have these extra memories of time with Grandma, their soccer games, the piano recital, homecoming, vacations, etc... Not just the photos, but with the stories to go along with them.
I have been thinking a lot about how hard it is for me to justify doing things for just me. I think a lot of moms struggle with this. I know I am lucky to not "have to" work outside the home. Don't get me wrong, I certainly could/should, but for now things are ok. That said, working outside the house can be very rewarding and give you a true sense of independence and accomplishment and I do miss that part of it.
This past weekend was a pretty good example of how "it's all about the kids". Let's see, Friday night Kristin flew out the door shortly after arriving home from school...off to a sleepover at her girlfriends, my husband got home late, and we had pizza for dinner. Saturday morning my husband had to do some work at the office (not typical) and did not get home until 4 pm. Meanwhile, Kristin and her friend came back here Saturday morning and somehow talked me into the dreaded "double sleepover" meaning her friend was now spending Saturday night with us!!?? In the afternoon, Jacob headed with a friend to the Red Wings game and then a sleepover. Megan had a woodwind quartet practice for a future competition, then needed to be picked up to go to her soccer game (which my husband did). All the while, I was taking Kristin and her friend out to dinner and to the mall so they could work on spending their Christmas gift cards and gift money. So, there I was on a Saturday night sitting outside of various stores (trying to let the 11 1/2 year olds feel independent and "cool"). She feels "cheated" because her big sister gets to go the mall more than her (which is not really true). So, I escorted them to Aeropostale, dELiAs, Aerie, XXI Forever, Claires, Bath and Body Works, Love Culture and Pink! I also let them pick what they wanted for dinner at the food court. They had a blast. They bought a few odds and ends and we were home by 9 pm for the sleepover at which time Megan peeled back in the door, took a quick shower after her soccer game. THEN, she went back to her friends for a sleepover... THEN, my husband picked her up at 9 am Sunday to head back for yet another 10am soccer game (thank you husband). I stayed back and made ham and cheese omelets for the girls (by special request). Finally, around 1pm the sleepover was over and Megan was back home. Jacob was back home around 3pm. So, with Sunday eve approaching, my middle schoolers suddenly "remembered" some homework they had (grrrrr...). We told my little birdies they were all staying back in the nest Sunday evening and showering, practicing their instruments, doing their homework and doing some chores.
Interestingly, right now Jacob and Kristin are not even in any extracurriculars (by conscious choice). Our only extra activity is Megan's soccer right now. That is rare and we are liking that part. What it does, however, is free up their time to "hang out" with friends (i.e. "the mall" and Red Wings game).
Oh sure, in between shuffling kids in and out the door, we did some laundry, washed some dishes, dusted, vacuumed, washed some windows, etc... However, as I was sitting outside each store at the mall (which I have never done before), I couldn't help but think there has to be more!!?? It sure would have been nice if me and my husband could have snuck in a date night instead of one of us being at a soccer game and the other at the mall. Or, what if I was actually shopping for things for...me at the mall!? Don't get me wrong, I would and have done just about anything for my kids. Here lies part of the dilemma I find myself in. It has been hinted to me by a few that I am "too available" to my kids. Early on, I/we made a choice to walk away from my job and be a "stay at home mom". Although I did go back to work on a part time basis a few of those years, I was still very much working around their school schedule and available to them.Back to now, I am slowly remembering what it's like to have more time for me. Maybe going back to work is in my future. For now, I'm trying to find the balance of what makes "me" happy while still taking care of my kids, mom, husband and doggy. It is so "cliche" that I hesitate to even share it. Da Duh Dun......The suburban stay at home mom who has lost her identity -- she used to work outside the home, take better care of herself, and now she's forgotten how....(film at 11).
So, if anyone is still reading and not sick of "me" using the "me" word....Have you ever lost your "groove"? Any tips on how to get it back??