Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Still Trying to Figure Out What to Do With Myself

Luke will be eight months old in a day.

For the first three months of his life, I tried to cope with my new occupation. I tried to get enough sleep. I tried to keep my sanity. I tried to not do anything that might cause Luke permanent damage.

Three to six months- I slept better and developed some hobbies. I joined mom's groups. I cleaned out my closets and got rid of stuff. Still, I was mostly busy with Luke.

Six months to the present- Luke takes great naps (I hope that I don't jinx the nap situation by saying that!). I now have three hours of free time each day. I am feeling lost and overwhelmed by the idea of having free time and not knowing what to do with it. Truly, I want a job. I want to make money again, but there is not much available given the constraints that I have.

I have never been good with free time. The last time my life was this slow-paced was my senior spring semester at Biola. I had 6 units and a very part time job. I would wait anxiously for Nathan to come home each day to rescue me from my loneliness (not his job). I actually got pretty depressed.

Finally, I began working at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for about 16 hours a week. I loved it. I could be creative. I could help people and get to know my customers. I could listen to my co-workers and be a part of their lives.

I am looking for something to do now (when I am not doing the important "mommy-ing") that is both creative and purposeful. Also, it needs to be something that I WANT to do. Something a little different from the mommy/housekeeper position that takes up most of my day. I have tried many things so far- crocheting (I need to work much longer on that before I am any good), cooking (good, but I there are only two of us to eat it), reading (this helps a bit, right now I am reading the oh-so-insightful "Pilgrims Regress"), and a bit of writing.

Anyways, I'll trudge onward. It feels weird to be trying to figure out my interests again.


Cari said...

Have another baby! :P

La Mailleraye said...

Does Luke want to teach Moriah how to be a good napper? That could be a good short term project! Her naps have actually been worse the last few months and I'm reading books and praying for wisdom on how to help her.

Here's an idea: start working now on a picture/video DVD of Luke's first year--could be a good gift for all the grand-relatives!

Bethany said...

I know how you feel, Katie. I've struggled with the same feelings even though, theoretically, I have plenty to fill any free time. (That whole dissertation thing, you know.) But still being at home full time means discovering new interests and hobbies and that takes some doing.

If it's any help, remember that babies go through stages quickly and those three hours of naptime per day are limited. So, develop some useful interests but don't get into anything that you can't get out of when your free time diminishes again.

Jen said...

What happened to studying for your CPA or whatever it's called?

Cari and Bethany make a good point about not getting too attached to your free time.

Have you already read A Mother's Rule of Life? She talks about structuring your time and tasks in a way that considers the whole of your vocation as a Christian mother.

Ma Torg said...

I know how you feel. I recently read Dorothy Sayer's essay on feminism and it helped me realize that a lot of my frustration with being at home is I don't really have a tangible 'job' to do. One that is intellectually stimulating..and, frankly, doesn't involve children. That's a lot of why I'm training to be a doula (besides the fact that I like it)!


1.You could make homemaking more challenging and really go the homemade route in the kitchen. I've found that to be lots of fun. Canning is a nice challenge, become an expert of homemade bread, yogurt, etc. I've had a lot of fun with this. Take it another step and make your own cleaning solutions. (this is all money saving and is like making your own $)

2. Charity work--Use your free time to prepare things for people in need. Cook a meal for a struggling family. Knit a blanket for a homeless person. etc.

3. Garden. Gardening is addicting and theraputic. Trust me on this. And you have a GREAT space for it too!

Katie Jones said...

Thanks for the ideas! Sometimes it is good to hear something other than my own thoughts to get inspired.

Cari said...

A Mother's Rule of Life

Excellent book! As with all books about parenting, I had to take what was useful for me and make it work for our family situation, but I am so glad that I read it.