Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

The thoughts of a SAHM wannabe

Lately Emily has been asking several questions, but the most frequent one is this:

"Mommy, why can’t you stay home and take care of me at home?"

It makes my heart ache to hear her ask that question every couple of days or, lately, every day. I want nothing more than to be a stay at home mommy (SAHM). I loathe the idea of sending her to preschool or daycare even though I know she needs to be around kids more often b/c as loving, kind, caring, sweet, creative and ahead of her age intellectually as she is, socially she is a little behind. The only interaction she has been getting is through Sunday school and her little class at church on Wednesday nights. I can’t do play dates/groups with the kids in her class b/c I work days and Matt isn’t a believer and since he takes care of Emily during the day he wouldn’t even think about doing a play group with the kids that Emily goes to Sunday school with and get to know the parents better. It might expose the real him to too many people. I know that’s a mean thing to say but Matt is two very different people, the person he wants you to see and the person he is. Sometimes the person he is can be pretty good, but he is full of spite and anger and bitterness and he only seems to like superficial friendships that allow him to show his surface self only or friendships where he doesn’t have to change anything and can get away with whatever he wants. Or at least that's what I've seen over the past 2½ years. ARGH! Enough about him. This post was supposed to be about staying home with Emily. Ok, back on track.

Emily is now in a gymnastics/dance program for 5 hours a day, three days out of the week and she loves it. But, when she isn’t there, she desperately wants to be home with me. Or at least that is what she has been saying lately. I have no reason to think that her request isn’t genuine. First of all, she’s four. Secondly, she is so pleading when she asks me about staying home. I ask her why she wants to stay home with mommy and she says it’s b/c she loves me the most and she wants to just be there with me "So we can paint and color and go to the park and play and SO many things and I just want to be with you mommy. Why can’t you stay home with me and not have to work?"

I always tell her that if it were up to me, I would stay home with her and we would do all sorts of fun stuff b/c there’s nowhere else I’d rather be but that if she wants to have clothes to wear, food to eat, a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in, a car to get around in and toys to play with, then mommy needs to work to get money for all of those things.

So, if I didn't have to work, here’s my dream day of being a stay at home mom (spring version, if Emily went until 2:30, M-W-F, instead of until noon):
6:30 – wake up, get dressed, brush teeth (I’m not a breakfast person)
6:40 – wake Emily up, get her dressed, feed her breakfast, brush her teeth, put her lunch in a bag
7:00 – take Emily to her preschool that starts at 7:30 (the drive would take about 25-30 minutes in morning traffic), the one with the indoor swimming pool that teaches her swimming lessons, basic education like beginning reading and math, gymnastics, dance, creative play and dramatic arts and arts and crafts
8:00 – back home, work on garden for 30 minutes weeding and watering
8:30 – go inside and do devotions and have prayer time
9:00-9:30 – (depending on length of devotion/prayer that day) start laundry and work on writing for an hour or two and check email
10:30 – continue laundry, run dishwasher and pick up clutter around house, consider what to do with Emily that afternoon – baking, cooking, play or activity (if she’s been really good, maybe a movie she wants to see as a reward)
11:00 – make pasta salad with rotini, sharp cheddar, mushrooms, ham, carrots and zesty Italian dressing, eat with lemonade tea as drink, read book while eating – I am a multi-tasker!
11:45 – start putting up clothes from laundry, vacuum, dust
12:15 – after checking email sit outside on loveseat rocker and read a little more, enjoying the light breeze and sunshine
12:45 – go grocery shopping – get items to make homemade bread
1:30 – put groceries away, work on making jewelry
2:10 – leave to pick Emily up
2:30 – pick Emily up
2:50 – let Emily help make bread
3:00 – Emily naps, I put bread in oven, put ingredients for homemade vanilla ice cream in ice cream maker and crank it on, listen to music and write a little bit, check email
4:30 – Emily wakes up, we play outside for a little while in the back yard
5:00 – I start making dinner, Emily paints or colors or continues to play outside
6:00-6:30 (depending on what I’m making but for this day it’s 6:00) – dinner is served along with the fresh bread. Dinner is barbequed, boneless, skinless chicken breasts and my mashed potatoes. Dessert is a piece of rhubarb pie and homemade vanilla ice cream.
7:00 – Emily is in bath, I’m listening to news or American Idol (!), working on making jewelry and check email
7:30 – Emily is out of bath and getting ready for bed
8:00 – Emily and I read bedtime stories and have her night time devotional and say prayers
8:30 – Emily is in bed, lights out, I’m making and putting together her lunch for the next day – PBH (peanut butter and honey) sandwich in the shape of a star, made from the bread I made earlier, Clementine oranges, granola bar that I made myself the past weekend, two cheese sticks and an all natural juice drink. Everything is packed in a bag that I have drawn a picture on and put in the fridge. Put her clothes together for next day.
8:45 – cleaning up the kitchen, living room and dining room
9:15 – I’m taking a lovely actual bath (instead of a rushed shower) with a glass of wine, some nice music and a good book
10:45 – getting ready for bed, checking email for night
11:00 – in bed, read a little, have prayer time
11:45 – lights out

Ok, so my dream SAHM day doesn’t really include housework, BUT reality is always there so this would be the reality dream day. LOL!

Of course the schedule would vary by activity, if I were having lunch with friends or shopping, getting a pedicure/manicure, going to the range to shoot for a little while or doing some club meeting like gardeners club, mommy’s idea exchange group or something like that. Of course it would be vastly different if it were a Tuesday/Thursday which is when Em would only have an hour and a half dance class.

I wish someday, not too far off in the future that I could have that schedule – and not have to worry about money. I would say maybe if I win the jackpot lottery, but I'd have to actually play the lottery first. ;)
==================
Random Lyrics going through my mind today:

Another day has almost come and gone
Can’t imagine what else could wrong
Sometimes I’d like to hide away somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost but not the war (‘cause)

Tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

It’s almost like the hard times circle ‘round
A couple drops and they all start coming down
Yeah, I might feel defeated,
I might hang my head
I might be barely breathing - but I’m not dead

Tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

I’m not gonna let it get me down
I’m not gonna cry
And I’m not gonna lose any sleep tonight

Tomorrow’s another day
I am not afraid
So bring on the rain

Yeah, tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

~ Jo Dee Messina

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down on your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

~ Coldplay
==================
A very sweet friend of mine, John – a devoted husband and father, has a blog called Romantic Ramblings. He had a pretty funny post a couple days ago bout Christmas and the Xbox 360 on his blog. It’s actually a two parter.

I don’t get the whole gaming deal b/c, first off, I’m the mother of a four year old girl and secondly b/c I’m not a gamer and have no interest in "gaming". In the post he mentioned that the husband who got the Xbox 360 cried tears of joy. Me, I would cry tears of joy over a gift of a full day of treatments of my choice at a nice day spa, but definitely would not shed tears over an Xbox or any other gaming system.

He also is currently posting about rednecks.

Go by and check him out and let him know I sent ya!

7 comments:

greatwhitebear said...

a) you might be a redneck if you cry over an X-box

b) be careful what you wish for. Being a stay at home mom might be great for you, but maybe not for Emily, especially if she is already a bit behind socially.

Things are so different today then the were when I was a kid. Many of the mothers in our neighborhood were stay at home moms, but they didn't spend all day with there kids. In fact, they hardly spent anytime with the kids. For great parts of the day, we roamed unsupervised. A typical day in the neighborhood was eat breakfast, go out and knock on a few doors, round up some playmates. When we were Emily's age, we'd swing, or play tag or play with the Tonka trucks in the sandbox. Later, it would be softball, or ride our bikes to the beach. Or just ride bikes. It was nothing to see 10 yr old kids on bikes 10 miles from home, just out exploring. Didn't matter how far from home you were, there were always people in any neighborhood who would watch out for kids.

But nowdays, very few people even know their neighbors. We move around too much, jump from town to town and city to city. We drive 20 miles on Sunday to go to chuch, rather than the community church down the street. In a very real sense, there are no neighborhoods anymore. It's why blogs are so popular. You can at least have your own little "net community" that way.

Pre schools, schools and daycares now do the job we just naturally did ourselves when I was a kid. These are the places we learn our social skills, not playing jump rope in the neighbors yard. It isn't safe to let your kids roam anymore. It is one of the very few ways in which I think the "good old days" were actually better. Not so much beter, however, I would ever want to go back.

Anthony said...

Happy New Year Nic, great blog too.

Mike J. said...

Bear, I must dissent about day-care.

Kids don't learn social skills from playing with other kids: they learn social skills from modeling the adults in their lives. There's no such thing for the normal child as "being behind" in social development, unless you mean learning how to protect oneself and how not to be bullied around the playground, sad as the need to learn that is. There is such thing as being rude and unmannered, but that's about it.

Kids are wild, beautiful, untamed creatures that learn from the civilized people in their lives, mostly, their parents. The apple rarely falls too far from the tree.

But I do agree with your assessment of how things used to be: rounding up a group of kids, playing whatever came to mind, riding bikes all over. In big cities, it isn't as safe as it used to be, but it's not as bad as people think, either. There's still room for kids to play, and do it safely, in many parts of the country.

I hope you get your dream, Nic. SAHM is the ultimate calling, in my book, and if there is any way to swing it, Emily would be far the better off for it.

IMHO.

greatwhitebear said...

Nic,

Don't know how I missed the Christmas pics! Emily is a beautiful child with her mothers eyes and cheekbones. I love the pic of her at the microphone. So happy and precocious.

I think you should change your profile pic. It doesn't do you justice. You, young lady, are drop dead gorgeous.

I know this has beena tough year for you, Here is hoping your New Year makes this one worth it all!

cmhl said...

girl, I can so identify to the wishing to stay home thing. I stepped down from full time to part-time, and thought that would be the most wonderful thing. for ME, it is better, but just a different set of guilt-inducing problems, including having to watch money...

I know. It's hard, isn't it.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Have a great New Year, Nic; glad to have you on my list of blogfriends.

Michael Manning said...

Your Goals are all sound. Emily is vey, very lucky you are her mother. You are young and remember, you can get anywhere from anywhere! Look at Hellen Keller's life. You Rock,my friend. Stay the course-"One day at a time".