Mimbo. This is where I’m at right now. I’m in between. I have a 15 year old and a 10 year old. Life is no longer a day to day mission to make it to bedtime. I no longer have to manage naps and bottles and snack time and preschool or kindergarten. I am not managing play dates and Moms Night Outs, sadly. (thanks Covid) My whole reason for being on a daily basis is not being “MOM”.
There’s a crack in reality right now for what I want to do, be, find, explore and have…. but I haven’t really thought about that stuff in a very long time. Throw summer on top of that with kids here and there. Loose schedules, a teenager able to be home alone… I’m a little lost. My husband is currently gone for the week with our 10 year old and it’s just me and the teen home. .. which means for most of the day i’m on my own.
This is a sweet deal, don’t get me wrong, but all things considered, it’s kinda lonely. I have not honed some kind of side hussle. I don’t have hobbies, unless you count Happy Hour and eating, and I am not an adventurer. What the hell do people do with their free time once they get it back?!
The last time I had this kind of free time, I was a broke twenty something, single with no kids. I had all day to contemplate how to spend my $20 that had to last the week. I had far less aches and pains, a smaller house to clean, and only one bed to make. I also had friends with far less responsibilities than they do now, and could meet at a moment’s notice to pool our money for one round of drinks somewhere.
These days it’s a lot different. Seriously, what do folks do with the time you get back once you have teenagers? I have all of the parental anxiety I’m supposed to. I have enough time to contemplate and ruminate on my parenting regrets. I have used up all of my, “If only”s and “Shoulda”s … what’s next?
I suppose this is when people start to renovate their homes, or redecorate rooms but thanks to Covid, I have no mental capacity for a project like that, and since we’ve been home for 16 months, all of the redecorating has been done.
Am I supposed to start working on “me” ?! That feels gross. Self-indulgent. We’ve cut cable, so the only shows i’m watching have to actually be searched and chosen rather than settling on whatever nonsense I scroll past on the cable guide. .. and honestly, i’ve reached a quick maximum on binge watching shows on a daily basis… Covid Life.
I am currently working summer school, but have 3 day weekends and the work days are just half days, so that leaves a lot of time to worry and berate myself for not being more ambitious and imaginative and motivated.
Like seriously, did I mention i’m mid-forties and having hormonal imbalances and borderline depressed?
I read, (audiobooks) I pick up around the house, I make meals and do dishes…. beyond that i’m kind of left wondering “what now?” for a lot of my day.
(Disclaimer: I completely understand that we have it good. I am not having to work multiple jobs, we can pay our bills now, we have a privileged life. I am aware, and not apologetic about this. I’m simply a bit lost and looking for solutions)
I have not prioritized what I want or how I feel for a long time, and if my kids are around I certainly don’t put myself first. How do you deal with that switch from Mom Mode to Self Mode?
I just imagine everyone else is in a spotless house creating foundations for homeless babies that need diapers and formula while simultaneously teaching their kids how to cook and do laundry.