Thursday, May 17, 2012

Simple Life isn't necessarily Simple to do

Well, maybe if you didn't have kids.  Or maybe if you had more money.  But the more I try and live like this, and just, honestly, the older I get, I think that things are challenging no matter what.  People have different things that challenge them and different isn't easier or harder - just different.

Anyway, so I'm trying to get the house cleaned and a bunch of other things done that need to be done before I start my full time job next Monday.  (EEK!)  And it has been harder than I thought it would be for a bunch of reasons.

1 - I am suddenly lazy.  No, really.  Now, it is a big effort for me to not just go back to sleep after I get the kids off to school.  I don't have to look for a job.  I don't have to watch any kids. The only thing I "have" to do is clean the house and get those projects done, and the world won't come to an end if I don't do it.  And so every day for the last couple of weeks, I've been way more unproductive than usual. 

2 - I don't know if I just hit my limit or what, but oh my, I am just beyond sick of doing laundry and the dishes! Laundry and dishes have never been my favorite jobs anyway - they are daily jobs and so I never really get that whole "Look at what I did!" feeling from the dishes and laundry, because there is always, always more to do. 

3 - That money thing. Again.  It is harder than usual for me to prioritize lately because of the change in income over the last couple months.  I just kept thinking that things were just on the verge of really changing - I was going to get that high-paying full-time job.  Or that long-term freelance gig was going to start. Or we were going to win Powerball or something. :) And none of that happened.  And I had that mini-break down and then almost instantly, got a full-time job offer.  But it doesn't pay that well.  And it starts right at the very beginning of summer.  So I've been stressing about money and then stressing about the fact that I'll be bringing in money, but is it going to be worth the time, given the amount I'll bring in? And sometimes, when I stress, especially about money, then I'm just sort of paralyzed.

4 - The busyness of the end of school has been expecially hard this year.  I'd be just getting into a project, and then I'd have to stop because I was going to have to take someone somewhere for some performance of some sort and then the whole rest of the evening would be taken up with that.  I mean, don't get me wrong - I'm happy to watch my kids do things, and they are very talented, and I've been a really proud mother lately, but it has been hard to get other things done in between.  Not to mention, just the scheduling alone for 3 kids during that last couple weeks has been crazy!

So I haven't felt all relaxed and happy as I've been doing my homemaking these days.  I haven't been stress-free as I've tried to eliminate the clutter in my home.  I don't have pretty pictures of my bread or my living room or my garden because I either haven't done or haven't had time to concentrate on doing any of it. 

I'm hopeful that the structure of the job gets me back in my rhythm.  I know that I love structure - and probably most of my problem in time/stress/organization management right now is that I don't have structure.  I guess I do better when I'm Simply Structured?? LOL

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All right, I'm starting to panic a little now . . .

As soon as I get this job, then suddenly, it seems like all the blog posts/Facebook posts, etc. out there are suddenly talking about how wonderful it is to be a stay at home mom.

Not that I've truly been a stay at home mom much over the years.  I mean, I've been home with my children since 2003, officially.  But just me and the kids, and doing grocery shopping and playgroups and all that? Not that often.  In fact, the only time I can think of that it was just the three of us was when I took 3 months off teaching preschool when Super was born (he was born in the fall of 2004.) 

But I've been HOME for the past 9 years.  I've done preschool & daycare or training, but I was here.  I've been able to homeschool.  I've fixed breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.  I've been here to throw a load of wash in or to start the dishwasher during the day.  I've been here when my kids got off the school bus. I've been here if the nurse called and they needed to be picked up. I've been able to wear slippers all day if I wanted to.  Or yoga pants.  When the kids were napping or when we were homeschooling, and the older kids were occupied, I could have time to myself.  I could read, I could sew, I could crochet, I could do all sorts of things here at home.

Of course, it wasn't all roses and sunshine.  It was hard to juggle working from home and uh, anything else.  I often couldn't do any sort of errands during the day, and so it got pushed to evenings or weekends.  I often couldn't do things at the kids' school because I couldn't bring the other children with me.  It was expensive to feed 6, 7, 8, 9 children lunch 5 days a week, not to mention, there was the constant sweeping, straightening, washing that is required when you have a lot of young-ish children in the house.  And sometimes, even when I was just dealing with the house and my own three kids, in the evenings, on the weekends, it wasn't fun.  It was drudgery.  It was boring.  And sometimes, when I didn't know what to do in a situation, sometimes it was hard. I also didn't make that much money.  I told myself that it didn't matter.  I would have been home anyway, and I was making more money than I would have if it was just me and my children.  But it wasn't much.  And although most of the time I enjoyed it, it wasn't what I got my degree in.  It wasn't what I went back to school to get my masters in. 

And my Simple Life.  I'm nervous.  Am I still going to be able to maintain that sort of lifestyle when I'm not here during the day? When I have to squeeze in all the simple life between 5 pm and 8 am? What about all my plans for Simply Living In The City? Will I be able to bring my vision into a reality if I'm working full time?

And what about my kids? Will they be o.k. when I'm a phone call away instead of being able to just answering them when they ask me a question across the table? What will I miss by not being around them during the day this summer? How trashed will my house be at the end of the day now, and how will I instead be grateful that they had a good day and got along instead of being angry at having to pick up the house after a long day of work?

I wonder a little if I'm making the right decision, but yet, I also feel like I had to do it.  We really need the money right now.  And even if we didn't, this job could lead to a job doing writing. Doing training.  Doing things that I have my education in.  Doing things that I enjoy.  And making money so that I can turn some of my dreams for Simply Living In The City into a reality. 

I wish that we had enough money that I could stay home.  I'd still do the cleaning (but I swear I'd hire someone to keep up with the dishes and the laundry! LOL) but I'd work on Simply Living In The City a few hours a day.  That would be perfect.  But maybe it wouldn't.  I think that once you are a mom, very few situations are perfect.  It is really hard, no matter what your life is like, to be able to find that balance between being an involved parent and doing things that fulfill you personally. 

Ok.  I'm just going to have to take some deep breaths and hope for the best.  And let people help me when they offer.  And to let a few things go.  And also be willing to be open to other possibilities. And to realize that what is happening now, probably won't go on forever.  And to try and make the most of my time at home. To make sure that the things that are important to me - my family and living a simple life - are still important, no matter if I'm home all day or not. And to do my best to find that balance.

Friday, May 4, 2012

How things have changed in just two months -

Two months ago today, I closed Montgomery Academy. It felt like it was time. I was no longer homeschooling. I no longer had a child of my own that was preschool age. And running Montgomery Academy was making it difficult to be involved with my own children's lives and it was preventing me from developing my freelance business and Simply Living In The City.

So with sadness and excitement, I closed down Montgomery Academy.

Within days, I was contacted by a recruiter that wanted me to come work full-time as a technical writer for a large corporation in town. For a lot of money. I won't go into the details, but in the end, it didn't happen. But my big freelance project was set to start soon and I had lots to do for Simply Living In The City. Then the freelance project got held up. It was (and still is) green lighted, but no start date given. But hopefully would be soon.

So I went into April a little nervous, but feeling positive that things would work out. I went to lots of networking and entrepreneur events in April. I slept in a little in April. I did some things with my kids in April because I knew that things were probably going to be getting at least a little busier soon. But April came and went without a start date on the big project. And now I had gone two months without any income. We have always counted on me to contribute at least some to our income. And because I'm like this, by the end of April, I was in quite a panic about our drop in income.

And then, almost like magic, things happened. And as of May 21st, I'll be working full-time. Now it isn't all perfect but it is probably best case scenario. I can be home by 4. They will also allow me to work part-time when the freelance gig starts up. And while the job isn't in writing or training, it may lead to a job in that area in the near future. It does start at the beginning of summer vacation and that will complicate things for sure, but thankfully, Mr.Simple has more flexibility with his schedule now that he is self-employed. And I'm still going to work on Simply Living in The City on nights and Saturdays. I still have big plans for it. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Daybook: May 1st, 2012

I am thankful for… that this is the first thing on the Daybook because it is forcing myself to think about what I'm thankful for when I'm not feeling all that thankful today.  I'm thankful that I got to go on a walk with my family yesterday. 

At work… I'm trying to get some full or part-time work, so I'm meeting with (another) recruiter today.  But besides that, I'm doing a lot of work around the house, plus planting outside, and work on Simply Living In The City.

From the kitchen… I'm putting some chicken in the crockpot for dinner tonight. 

I am wearing… black pants, short sleeve blue shirt, black sweater and clogs.  Pretty impressive for 8:25, huh?

I am creating… my garden. Still.  I'm putting out a bunch of herbs today, plus I am putting mulch down in the beds. 

I am going… to the gym.  I'm on day 6 of an 84 day challenge.  I workout 6 days a week, and I try and eat mostly green vegetables and protein.  I'm doing pretty well so far, but I do miss my Diet Pepsi! 

I am reading… some magazines this week.  The most recent issues of Mother Earth News and Urban Farm. 

I am hoping… that someday, my children will stop bickering so much. 

I am hearing… the dishwasher.  I thought I turned it on to run last night, but I went to go get a dish out this morning and discovered that apparently, I didn't turn it on.

Around the house… Going to be a busy day around here.  I'm going to list the last of the preschool and homeschool stuff to sell online, clean the house, and try and clear out some of the clutter from the studio. 

One of my favorite things… is reading.  But I do have to make time for it these days, or it doesn't happen.  But I am past the stage, mostly, where I have to read a snippet here and a snippet there.  It was way harder to fit in any quality reading time when the kids were small, and I don't love the "snippet" form of reading.  I like to read for at least a half hour at a time, and if I schedule it, I can usually get at least that much in.