Friday, December 18, 2009


Stay At Home Mom. That's me now. I did not renew my teaching contract for the spring because, at the time we needed to do that, I was only getting about 90 minutes of sleep each day and my eyelashes fell out of my face. Not to mention I wasn't safely able to operate a vehicle. I thought, "teaching might not be the best activity for me in this state of health."

So that leaves me at home with Miles from now until at least September 2010. This makes me extremely uncomfortable. I'm a workaholic, you see. I have my freelance writing, but it's super hard to write and simultaneously take care of an infant. I've had to turn away work from many of my favorite clients. Some days I can get a sporadic hour of work done while he stares at his mobile, but that's only enough concentration for fluffy writing or perhaps some editing. As for writing actual sentences? Not happening so much. I want to know how writers manage to work from home while their kids are there. Seriously! How do they do it? Send me an email!

Anyway, the biggest blow to my identity is having to rely on Corey financially. Like, we are combining our bank accounts and he is the breadwinner. I still can't really believe it. Can Corey and I afford this situation? Sort of. I didn't really take maternity leave when I had Miles, and I had saved up a pretty nice cushion for that time period. Plus I'm due for a string of overdue freelancing checks that will give us a nice little cushion. We'll manage. It's not like we're going out boozing or hitting the movies at night time!

There's a part of me that is excited about this change because I'll get to spend a bunch of quality time with my baby who gets more delightful every day. It's not like I'll be spending my days marching up and down the stairs like I was this summer. Now we eat sweet potatoes and read books and blow raspberries at each other. So that's cool.

But the other half of me, the one with an MFA and several master's certificates, longs for a different kind of stimulation, maybe a nice conversation about pedagogy every now and again. It's a complicated place to be in. How can I rejoice in this gift of time spent raising my baby and still fulfill the competitive, intellectual slices of my identity?

Because I'll be staying at home, elbow-deep in laundry and diapers and Miles, I have decided it's extra important to have goals and to stick to them. Right now, I resolve to do the following for the first quarter of 2010:
1. Leave the house every single day at least once
2. Work out at least twice a week
3. Attend 4 "cultural" events (movies, lecture, ballet, etc.)
4. Read 2 books

Just looking at that list makes me feel overwhelmed, like maybe I added too many things. And that reaction right there, the armpit sweat and heart palpitations, tells me that somehow, the intellectual part of myself will be ok for the time being because the mom part of me is still in basic survival mode. There will be many decades of opportunities to work myself ragged. I have a rare, rare opportunity here to mother my own child. I'd better get started.


Emily said...

that is an interesting dilemma. perhaps you can take kids in for writing tutoring to keep up the stimulation (and good stories)?

Rachel said...

I had to look up, see? You've already taught someone something while being a SAHM.

Em said...

Throw some thinking parties with smartypants friends who will come talk with you and Miles.

Valtastic said...

You need to add brush your teeth twice a day every day to your list... I can see you forgetting that.

Once he starts taking naps that are 3-4 hours you'll be able to start back up on your freelancing.

Have you thought about a writers group? It would help you to keep writing and have one night a week where you feel like a grown adult leaving the house addressed and used and abused for your talents. It's also not a heavy commitment that I think will provide you the balance. Also it will give one night a week for gaurenteed man date between the boys.

Type A mothers don't do as well at home because they rate there hapiness on their childs performance (and you can't always control how much/little he sleeps) so having an outlet that provides you adult stimulation.

You can do it!

Valtastic said...

that was all dressed not addressed... whoops

Katy said...

oh val. not wearing pants is the best part! why do i have to get dressed??

Kelly said...

I am so the same way. When I'm home for long stretches I really miss the working situation. When I work, I long to be at home with the girls and fell I am missing so much. I guess try to enjoy the situation you are in since you know the other one will be back.