I’m getting to it | Living with Gleigh

I was looking forward to my kids going back to school so I could sit down and concentrate on some of my career goals. Contrary to popular belief, being a stay-at-home mom is not a career – it was a choice – but the hours are bad, the pay is low, and it has no career growth potential, so I really need a backup plan. It’s actually the kind of job you work yourself out of, although it never really ends.

I was looking forward to my kids going back to school so I could sit down and concentrate on some of my career goals. Contrary to popular belief, being a stay-at-home mom is not a career – it was a choice – but the hours are bad, the pay is low, and it has no career growth potential, so I really need a backup plan. It’s actually the kind of job you work yourself out of, although it never really ends.

With the holidays being over I was sure life would immediately settle back into its routine and I’d find time to work on some writing. I was wrong. When the kids got back to school I was immediately on the run with a planning meeting for my church’s newsletter. I had a few errands to run and by the time I got home it was time to plan dinner. It was okay, I expected the kids’ first day back at school to run that way.

Then suddenly my family was home and it seemed there were a lot more people living in my house than there used to be. Everyone was talking to me at the same time. Now mind you, I often spend hours alone when people are in the house, but as soon as one needs to talk to me, they all need to talk to me. I started writing stuff down, not creative writing, but making lists of requests so I didn’t forget what I needed to take care of. I finally put my pajamas on to indicate my day was over.

The next day back at school, I had a routine doctor’s appointment. I got there early and they took me in early. In my smugness at being early, I figured I had extra time. I decided to run the couple errands I hadn’t gotten to the day before and go through the car wash because my car was filthy. Then in my ignorance, I figured I had leisurely time to go home, blog, and clean out the inside of the car on that sunny day and get some writing done before my family came home.

When I sit down to blog, I always check my email first. We decided to refinance this year to get a better interest rate and there was an email from the loan processor requesting several documents. I sat for the next couple hours tracking down the documents; some were hard copy I scanned into my computer, others were already online. I submitted everything through email and I had a moment to marvel at how technology makes our lives so much easier. Then I rushed out, just as the rain started, to clean the inside of my car.

By then my husband was home, the kids were home and all three of them, once again at the same time, began to demand my attention. I thought my head would implode as I made them form a line and tackled their requests one at a time. This day I went to bed at nine just to make it all stop. I knew Friday would be MY day to finally sit down and get to my writing.

If you want to make God laugh, make plans. Friday morning I hit a dog on my way home from dropping my daughter at the bus stop. It was dark, the dog just appeared in my headlights so close to my car I didn’t even have time to brake. There were people behind me and I couldn’t stop. I don’t know what happened to the dog; it wasn’t there when I went back, but it broke my headlight and bent my bumper.

I called my husband in tears because I was upset about the dog and my headlight. He came home to console me and assess the damage. Two hundred dollars and much labor from my husband later, I had a new headlight. And there went my day.

This week I’m going to sneak up on my days. I’ll keep my list of demands nearby, but will make no particular plan to undertake them. And I will most certainly not plan to do any writing. Maybe I’ll actually get something done.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to writing about the humor amidst the chaos of a family. You can read more of her writing and her daily blog on her websitelivingwithgleigh.com.

 

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