Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where's the AT-HOME in Stay-At-Home-Mom?

I'm going through a bit of a transition right now... becoming the SAHM I've never been, aside from time right around the births of the children. The current state of the economy has many of my clients deciding to make-do with older maps or more generic versions they can get on line. This made the last six months very good for scaling back as the contract income dwindled.

I started to worry a bit during the last couple of projects about what I'd do with myself when I didn't have to answer to clients or meet deadlines. Figured once the house was clean, I'd have big chunks of time each day for running, riding or studying. (My version of bon-bons & soaps.) Also figured it would be a great time to start figuring out what would be next. (Enrolling in school - either for personal growth or future dream career?)


Turns out keeping myself busy shouldn't have been on the list at all. I don't think I've had a full day at home since the beginning of the school year.

First there's the move, and some changes in the family dynamics causing good deal of upheaval. (Some of this should be dying down soon, once the boxes are unpacked, the rain stops long enough to seal crack in basement floor, and the teen is enrolled in the HS down the street.)

Second, third & fourth, there's the three children in two different schools. (Next year, it will be three - ES/MS/HS.) Charter schools, which require volunteer time. One hour at one school, three hours at the other may sound like only four hours, but it's really a full day commitment, by the time you figure in travel time between, along with being in the right place at the right time for regular school pickup. Then there's the volunteer opportunities which pop-up unexpectedly. Once you volunteer last minute for a couple of different things, then you're known as being "flexible" about hours. Being "flexible" puts you on email lists.

Maybe all this running about is a good thing for making the transition. When things finally calm down enough that there are stay-at-home days, it'll feel more like a blissful mini-vacation, and less like a time to panic about losing a sense of purpose. Contemplating the future in a relaxed state of mind ought to make coming up with ideas more a creative process of figuring "want to do" without as much worry about what I "need to do." (MizFit's posts so far this week have me thinking about making those future plans with the What would you do if you couldn't fail? question in mind.)

That's the future. For today, I'm getting the fans and wet/dry vac ready for the next 24 hours of heavy rain. Tomorrow's cross training workout will be bailing out the basement and pulling carpet... should that count as cardio, or weights?


Slamdunk said...

Sorry to hear about your professional challenges and I hope you don't get the rain dumping there.

mappchik said...

Thanks. We'd been discussing my dropping of contract work for about a year now. Mapping projects lately were less for the money than for my sanity & enjoyment.

Looking upon the slowdown as a bit of divine providence, since it nudged me into the direction I probably should have taken sooner. Aside from move chaos, there's a lot less frenzy in our lives. (Plus, I've now seen how small my income was after taxes & the extra household expenses. OMG!)

No rain dumping here yet, but it's a possibility. So far, just an all day heavy mist with long periods of drizzle.