Where I Stand

15628151567_4a5affe490_oIt’s been hard to find the right words to describe this season of our lives and all the changes that we’ve experienced.  It is tempting to sum it up into one word- busy- and leave it at that.  But really it feels much more complex.  There is a certain amount of guilt- I am away from home and the boys much more than I’d like to be.  Just the other day my son cried as I left for work, “You are too busy for me, mama.”  My heart shattered.  There is a certain amount of loneliness- I dearly miss our sitter, whose presence was a bright spot in my week.  There is a certain amount of excitement- weddings and birthday parties to attend- along with the inevitable letdown that comes afterward.  There is a large amount of mourning: the loss of free time, time to cook, knit, sew, create.

It’s funny, when my boys were babies I spent most of my days trying to pass the time.  There were hours spent pushing the stroller aimlessly around town, attending story hour at the library and wiling away the afternoon at the park.  There were long afternoons when the boys were napping and I was stuck at home in a quiet house.  Life felt busy, but the busyness was all due to motherhood, and really, our time was our own to spend how we wanted.  I loved it, but at the same time struggled against the monotony.  Now when you add in school and working outside of the home, there is this feeling that our days are not our own anymore.  Free time is precious and dwindling.  I can only imagine how it will feel once the boys are involved in sports and after-school activities.  There is this part of me that wants desperately to go back to those slow days of new motherhood.  I wish someone had told me how fast it goes.  And I wish that I would have listened.

I feel a bit lost right now, if I’m to be honest.  I speed through the week- working Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday- rushing between school drop-off and work, then back home to throw together a lame excuse for dinner.  I drop into bed exhausted, with no will to craft or read.  Without my creative pursuits I am adrift, an anchor-less boat bobbing in a rough sea.  This space may be quiet for a bit as I figure out my way, but I hope to see you here on the other side.  I’m not sure what blogging will look like moving forward.  Maybe once a week, maybe once a month.  I hope when the dust settles, you’ll be here.  I do so cherish this space, and the conversations that we have.  Life is beautiful, and hard, and then beautiful all over again.

xo

Your thoughts on “Where I Stand

  1. My heart goes out to you, Christine. As a mama who “sped up” by working out of the home for three years . . . and then chose to slow back down by freelancing again . . . I feel deeply where you are coming from. Coordinating multiple outside schedules can be so draining, even if we love our work and feel a great sense of accomplishment in what we do. It is such a balancing act. I felt that my work outside of home was a great gift to my girls and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything different. I watched them become more independent as they watched me following a passion. But, honestly, spending so much time away from them (particularly in the summer) never sat quite right with me (and I was only working 24 hours a week!). Freelancing, as you konw, has its own challenges. But I don’t think I’ll ever take my home office for granted again! I’m sure that your love for your family and your deeply held values will guide you through this time. Thinking of you!

    1. I really think that’s the lesson in all of this: gaining appreciation for different situations. I used to complain of the isolation when I worked from home. Now I have an expanded social scene and I am enjoying that. But if I ever go back to freelancing, I will enjoy the peace and quiet with a much greater appreciation!

      I also think it is a great thing for the boys to see their mom dressed in work clothes, and heading out the door. Although it is really hard, it is teaching them important lessons. Of that I’m sure.

  2. I’ll be 60 next month and have two young adult ‘children’ (both in college). Believe me, time goes by super speedy quick! You will find a ‘rhythm’ (and a balance) that is right for YOU and your family. Dare I say, take time for yourself when possible and enjoy each and every day! Best wishes!!

  3. I understand, to some extent, the sort of busyness you describe. I’ll keep checking back. I’m always happy to see your new posts – however often they are here…a nice serendipity.

  4. Wishing you all the best as you navigate this new stage…and hoping your blog lives on. Decisions can always be modified or changed altogether if they don’t work for you or your family. Everyone is replaceable…except for the boys’ mama. They are still so little…would it make more sense for you to put off an outside job until they are both in grade school, enjoying after-school sports?

    1. This is definitely a question my husband and I struggled with for months when I was applying for the job. Unfortunately we live in a city with very poor public schooling options. On the other hand, the private schools are very expensive. That’s why I started looking for work at a private school.

      If I work at the school for a year, we get tuition remission, and this is such an incredible school, that it is a sacrifice we’re willing to make for the sake of our boys’ educational future. Next year, when all three of us are at the same school and on the same schedule, it will be wonderful. This year is just going to be a tough one…there’s no way around it!

      1. Well that makes good sense…you can tough out this year as a team with your husband and next year will be wonderful as you set off together each morning. Our boys went to a Waldorf school and it was well worth sacrificing vacations. We happily camped together and then had some wonderful trips together during their high school and college years. Savor the weekends!

  5. Your post resonates with me, Christine. From the nostalgia of new motherhood to the craziness of life with two growing boys — I feel your pain. I, too, miss the days of story times and long walks with napping boys in strollers. The innocence and simplicity of that period is so wonderful. I miss it and try hard not to think about it too much because it makes me so sad.

    My boys are 6 and 8 now and I’m also embarking on a new journey. I’m in my first year of homeschooling. It was a very difficult decision to make but so far I’m loving it.

    Take faith in your final words. Breathe deeply and life will settle down and feel beautiful again.

    1. I’d love to know more about your experience with homeschooling two boys. It is definitely something we have considered, and may very well do in the future. I do worry about having the energy level to keep them engaged each and every day- they are just so active and busy!

  6. I enjoy reading your blog and will keep you and yours in my thoughts as you you navigate this time of change. Best wishes always!!!

  7. Will I still be here when the dust settles?… ha yeah right you can’t get rid of me that easily!!! There is so much I wish to say… far too much for a comments box. I will email you soon my dear friend and in the mean time, breathe deeply and know I am thinking of you xo

  8. Hang in there, Christine, you will figure this out (as will your boys).

    Yes, those first years go by so, so quickly…in the blink of an eye really…and although many people told me that, I think it is just one of those things that you have to experience to truly understand. All of us mamas with older kids are feeling your pain — my boys are 11, 9 and 2 (a surprise “early menopause baby”) and I miss those unstructured days at home with my little ones. You are right that it will get busier – and crazier – once sports and afterschool activities start, but you will find new things to love about that period, even while you are grieving things you are losing. I find parenting to be an incredibly bittersweet process, and those people who say that we have children because we are selfish clearly don’t understand what strength it takes to help a baby grow up and out into the world.

    I will continue to check in with your blog, as I love your photos and your way with words. And I will keep you in my thoughts as you navigate this new stage of your life.

    Take care of yourself,
    Heather

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Heather. You are so right. This journey of motherhood is so bittersweet. I find myself constantly thankful of the phase we’re in, while at the same time mourning the phase we’ve moved out of. In my younger years I always looked ahead with such excitement and rarely paused to reflect on the past- high school to college to living in Chicago during my early twenties….each phase brought so much excitement. Only since I’ve become a mother have I started pausing to reflect on the past, and missing what was. Perhaps it has as much to do with the process of aging as it does mothering.

      xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *