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Attitude Adjustment

Slow

I’ve always been a working mom. I never thought it would be any other way. I need adult interaction every day (not always possible with a traveling Hubby). I need time away from the kids. I need to feel my brain challenged. I need to feel like I’m contributing.

Until last July . . . when I quit my contract job and started “working” at home. Yes, I do work for our little business. And yes, I do a little work for the big business and have quite a to do list at the moment (entirely my fault!). But this summer, I haven’t really done much work at all. Since the day the kids got out of school last May, I’ve been playing with them, toting them around, planning vacations, setting up play dates, etc. I got to sit on the deck and watch them play airsoft and tag and whatever else it was they did with their friends all day. All kinds of stuff I never got to do over a summer before. This was my first summer as a non-working parent. I must say that I LOVED it.

Dude and Princess are both at awesome ages where they’re so fun to do stuff with, and they can totally be relied on to entertain themselves if I need to get some work done.

I will continue to work at home for our two businesses, and while it does not satisfy my need to feel like I’m contributing, for adult interaction, and for keeping my mind busy and learning, I’ve got enough volunteer gigs to last me until the kids graduate to fulfill all those needs.

If you ask my family, I think they’d all agree that I’m much less stressed than I was a year ago. If you ask me, I KNOW I’m much less stressed than I was a year ago.

But what have I noticed most about my new setup? I’ve slowed down . . . physically and mentally. I ran some errands today – had to return some things, pick some things up. I was walking into Sports Authority, and as I was walking across the parking lot, it hit me. I was walking slowly.

I wasn’t speed-walking.

I wasn’t mapping out the store in my mind so I could get what I needed and get out as quickly as possible.

I was enjoying a leisurely walk across the parking lot on a beautiful day.

I realized how good the cool breeze felt.

I recognized how comfortable my tennies were :-)

I noticed how happy it made me to see them putting up the Sniagrab tent!

I realized I was actually thinking these things!

It was a nice feeling, to slow down and take in what was around me.

And even with all of the travelling we did this summer, it’s been really nice to be able to slow down and take in what’s going on with my kiddos, rather than just trying to figure out how we’re going to fit it all into each day.

Now that they’re going back to school this week, I’ll get back on my work horse and actually start contributing to the businesses and making a little moolah . . . wish me luck on getting back to work!

I Got An Attitude Adjustment

It seems I’ve gotten an attitude adjustment in the past 48 hours.

I was wondering why I was such a crab the past couple weeks . . . I mean, I didn’t have to get up and go to work or anything. I just had to get the kids to school, then the day was mine to do with what I wanted. Go to the gym, which I was annoyed at not making enough time for. Clean the house, which I was annoyed at not having (OK making) enough time for.

I have a couple contract jobs that were hanging over my head . . . I didn’t do them in December – still had a job and the holidays and all that jazz. I did not make time for them, which was a huge weight on my shoulders.

I was pissed. Seriously, I’m not that bummed about being layed off . . . it is totally the kick in the behind I needed to do something else that I’ve been talking about for months. But it still sucks . . . even though there were a ton of writers laid off, why me? Why not someone else? I couldn’t figure out why I was so mad about it . . . I was OK with being layed off . . . but I was still mad about it. Looking back, I was madder about it than I thought at the time.

I was having a hard time adjusting to being a SAHM. I’ve always been a working mom and wife. I’ve always WANTED to be a working mom and wife. I was pissed that I wasn’t that working mom and wife anymore.

Monday, we had a great time snowboarding with the family and friends. If I were working, I wouldn’t have had that opportunity when the kids had the day off of school, at least not without taking a PTO day.

I woke up Tuesday happy as a clam. Even though I got no sleep Monday night, I woke up refreshed and happy. Seriously, I haven’t woken up with a smile on my face for a long time. Not that I was unhappy, but maybe just dreading another of the same day. My tail used to wag on my way to work – it had stopped wagging. There was more barking and less wagging. Not a good thing. (See, the layoff was a blessing in disguise!).

In the past couple days, I finished those contract jobs. Woo hoo! No longer hanging over my head. And it feels GOOOOOD!!! Huge smile on my face from that one.

My house is clean. My laundry is done. And I don’t have to do it in the evening or on the weekend when I’d rather be playing with the kids and hubby. I saved $8 on my $40 grocery bill yesterday. That made me happy, so I took the kids out for dinner last night.

I reduced our membership at the golf club, so it’s $20/month now instead of $350. Huge weight off my non-income making shoulders.

I signed our family up for a membership at the new YMCA by our house . . . a whoppin’ $80/month. That felt awesome! I’m so happy we can do that. We’re still saving $250/month on the club memberships.

At the Y is where I realized I’d adjusted, after 3 weeks, to my new status as SAHM. I was chatting with the lady at the front desk and she was telling me all about the classes etc. that are included with membership. She asked me when I would most likely come, and I asked “When is it the least busy?” She said “Well, in about 10 minutes it gets really busy after all the other SAHMs drop their kids off at school and come in.”

“All the other SAHMs.”

Someone else had called me a SAHM. I AM a SAHM. I’ve walked around with a smile on my face for the past 2 days. It feels good.

A Perfectly Timed Anonymous Letter

My dear little Princess has been a bit of a – ummmm – challenge lately. Bad manners, rude, interrupting, whiney, hitting her brother, bad choices all around, etc. I try not to play the Santa card, but every now and then, I have to. For the first time this year, I pulled her aside and said “Princess, you are NOT making good choices! And Santa is WATCHING you! What do you think HE’LL think about how you’re behaving? Do you think he likes this behavior?”

She responded with quivering lip “No. I’ll try harder to make good choices because I don’t want coal!!!”

The very next day a letter arrived in the mail – it was addressed to me, in a child’s handwriting. I opened it and inside was a letter to Dude. It read:

“Dear Dude. You are on my good list. SC”

I gave it to him while he was sitting at the counter next to Princess. He of course beamed and beamed even more when she asked him what it said.

Then Princess looked at me with her humonstrous blinking blue eyes and said in the tiniest little voice ever “Did I get one?”

Nope – no you did not get one. I’m sorry.

I must say, her behavior since then has been nothing but STELLAR!

Yes, I recognized the return address . . . no I did not request the letter . . . it was totally unexpected . . . yet very much appreciated 😉