What am I doing here?

Sick Day number 7. This is getting completely ridiculous. It is only thanks to my helpful husband that I have not been long since buried in dishes and laundry since I take every toddler nap time to lie on the couch. It's not to sleep, though that would be lovely. No, sleep is impossible when one has Watermelon Head. It's just to escape the dizzy feeling I get when vertical. So I find that the one task I can cross off my list every day is to write in this journal {Side note: I hate the word blog. It sounds ugly and heavy like slog and bog and blah. It is a horrible word, and I despise the person who came up with it. Weblog is better. A log is a great word for a journal. Why shorten it to blog? No, thank you.}.

But then I started to think about this journal, this public-yet-not-quite log (since I haven't yet shared it with most people I know), and wondered how I got here and what I'm doing exactly. Last year I took a look around at the stay-at-home options. Mommy and Me classes, playdates (another word I detest), blogs, and mommy groups, and I felt... what's the right word?... confusion? disdain? Many mixed feelings to be sure. I didn't want to have a life in which I became only The Mom who used any free time I had trying to figure out what to do with myself and chose to do mostly things related to being The Mom. I didn't want to be the person who only had friends who were other moms and couldn't talk about anything but our children. I did NOT want to be the person who used my intellect to write about my child day in and day out when I wasn't actively caring for him.

Then, through a convoluted series of unfortunate events and difficult decisions, I became a stay-at-home mom. I still told myself I would do it my way, a different way. Yet a few months into my stint, I have become the mom who does playdates, goes to classes, and lo and behold, begins writing a blog journal. Sigh. How did I get here? And what is the goal?

Well, it started with insomnia, as you may have read in this post. Before that it started with trying to figure out what sort of life I'm trying to have, and what sort of blend of identities I can create for myself (not just mom, but woman, wife, friend, sister, daughter, teacher, neighbor). It then became a task to find other, non-mom-related activities to do. This was immensely difficult since I can only do things in the early morning or evening because this is when my husband can care for our son. So I put my organizational brain to work and signed up for some teaching gigs - some paying, some volunteer - and thought that would help make me feel like an adult, not just a mom.

Though my task list is endless and now I have great teaching opportunities that can fill up my free hours and give me a creative outlet, I still have so much on my mind as I work through my Happiness Project (that may need a name), the Toddler project (he has a name), and the overall Jessica's Life project (which definitely needs a new name).

So here is the question: am I writing this journal because I have nothing more pressing to do with my time? Or am I writing it because it's what I wished I could do but was too busy before? Or some acceptable combination? If it's just the former, I need to get offline and get back to figuring out and achieving some goals. If this is just part of the life balance I wished I had last year and was desperate for when I signed the paperwork to take the year off, then I can move forward.

I'll be back once I've figured it out.


  1. Could you be writing it because it gives life to your thoughts, helps process and clarify them, and you are talking to an audience that includes yourself - most definitely someone who is interested in you. Also, I have sensed a desire to let other people know this is a normal path on the journey through life. The cycles of satisfaction and then moments of chaos that force us to examine, adjust, create, and/or discard. Good job of reaching across ages and interests to connect us all.

  2. > If it's just the former, I need to get offline and get back to figuring out and achieving some goals.

    You may also just need time. The "months" that you've been a stay-at-home Mom have been characterized by a lot of changes (in your son, if nothing else) and effort, and it follows two extremely stressful years. Sometimes, it was "good" stress, but it was stress nonetheless.

    Imagine having a broken leg. At some point, it's important to do physical therapy, cross-training (in the original sense of the word) and so forth, to further the healing of the bone and tissues in an +active+ way. But, before that, there is also a period of time where you pretty much *should* just sit on the couch and passively let the healing happen. (I don't pretend that this is an accurate statement of modern orthopedics, about which I know little, but I like the metaphor.)

    Anyway, you may still be at the "lie on the couch" phase in terms of getting on with your life. (Again, _metaphorically_ -- I know that it would take an actual broken leg, or two, for you to literally lie about on the couch all day, given the rigors of chasing after SP.)

    If so -- that is, if this is part of a process that is underway, not a rut or bad habit -- then you are making yourself far more productive than one would reasonably expect.

  3. Hmm.... blogspot appears not to use the standard Wiki format characters. Anyone know of a style-guide for comments? The FAQ on blogger.com is a broken link.