Self Serving

This is a rambling, introspective, and self-serving post today.

I was speaking with my oldest and dearest friend today. We had the rare luxury of a full conversation without having to deal with kids in the background. Oddly, there were some periodic silences. As if we were out of the habit of doing such. Without screaming interruptions, how do grown ups speak to each other? I forget.

So I had a morning of deep thoughts. My husband is back in town for a whopping four days or so before the next business trip, and I got to dust of my brain and let the wheels turn after I dropped off my son and drove in silence in my big cave on wheels. i.e. the minivan.

See, i’m a person who is great being alone. I don’t mind it… until I do. I’ve never been one for big crowds of people, loud busy parties, tons of socializing. I don’t do well in that scenario. I like solitude and quiet from time to time. I like one on one conversations. I’ve been in and out (but mostly in) moms clubs throughout my tenure as a SAHM. This was out of necessity for my sanity, and the socialization of my kids. Also, an added bonus of these things when you move around as much as we have, is finding the cool family-friendly spots to go with the kids relatively quickly. After trying on a few clubs in the last three or four states, i’ve finally hit a place where I do better without them.  You see, the same thing always happens (with me anyway)

1. You meet a bunch of new people who’s names you never remember… but the kids you seem to retain. Perhaps it’s because you hear the names called , chanted, sung, pleaded, and repeated over and over and over and over again. All you get from the kids is “mom. mom. mom MOM!”

2. Everyone seems to be in survival mode. Most of the conversations – after the initial introduction and family rundown – are regarding last night’s sleeping arrangements, or illness, or juggling ‘me time’ while the husband works and mom is home with the kids 24/7.

3. Everyone’s history seems to have begun at the moment of kid #1’s birth. No one speaks about their ‘previous life’ when they worked outside the home. Talk of school or extended family or careers ranks down there with educational plans and car seat brands. It’s just a no-go for some reason.

Added to this is the obligation of committing to park days and play dates, and for me it just causes laundry and dishes to be procrastinated even more. Since moving to our new ‘hood three months ago, i’ve enjoyed having my own schedule and not feeling obligation to attend anything in real clothes aside from playdates with my friends… and they have come to expect the stretch pants and sweatshirts. I feel I might cause alarm if i showed up in anything better.

But it’s all starting to sit a bit cockeyed with me as of late. With every Pinterest recipe that I try, I feel a little less like myself and a little more numb to a sense of self. This is dangerous. For some women, they thrive in this reality. They live for the perfect chicken soup recipe, or a day home baking all day out of joy. Not I. I’m feeling a little panicky about the not-so-distant future of when both of my kids are in school.

Don’t get me wrong, I love dropping my son off and picking him up. I like hearing about the playground drama, and the lunch room chatter. But the in-between is where I have trouble. What to do with my idle hands.

I keep feeling like once my daughter is in school I can begin my life. My choices. My own routine. But I just can’t wait that long. I suppose I can start house projects, but with the weather the way it is now, it makes it hard. I actually wouldn’t mind a small, miniscule, nano garden to start with, but i’m not keen on weeding in the rain. We are trying to get back to budgeting and saving some money, so that makes a lot of the home projects a no-go.

I’m just drifting a bit at the moment.  I feel exceptionally lucky to have this as an issue I feel I have to bitch about. Believe me. But it’s my reality at this moment. I want to contribute. I want to make everything work well for our family. I want my husband and kids to feel security and loved and taken care of.

But what about me? What is going to make me feel this way for myself?

I have a sneaking suspicion it’s too late to get that modeling career off the ground. Perhaps I should start with getting my butt off the couch and office chair.

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