Life at Home: Skies are a Little Gray but at least She's Blogging

26 August 2013

School is starting, and I'm waking up to the fact that I'm still at home.

We are mostly settled into our new apartment. Pretty much all (??) of the little annoying administrative pieces of moving are taken care of. Vehicles are purchased and paid for and registered. We have our Texas drivers' licenses. I have an OB. Our health insurance situation, now that Jacob is self-employed, is finally sorting itself out. And my days are filled with little bits of laundry and loading and unloading the dishwasher and watching a toddler and feeling...weird about it all...and...not fulfilled.

Oh. I said it. That felt good.

I've never felt strongly about staying home with my kids nor have I felt strongly about working outside the home. Life just sorta happened. When we had Jake, I had part time work that was a perfect fit for our needs in LA. Now we're in Houston, and I'm not working. Instead, I'm waiting for the time to tick by before I move in with my folks in five weeks where I will spend three weeks playing Cribbage with my grandmother while I wait for labor to start.

This is just a season. And unlike many seasons, I can see the end and I don't have to do anything to help it approach. A baby will come and disrupt life irrevocably, and I will abandon these frustrations for completely different and more legitimate ones. I know all this, but I'm still having trouble living this season well. 

I spend my free time trying to feel productive, but instead of embarking on the dozens of little projects that have waited patiently for this exact kind of moment in my life, I bumble around on the internet trying to find the answer to my funk but I end up just feeling lost, reading blogs, playing Candy Crush.

We're in a difficult place I suppose. I'm not living in a space that I'm inspired to make beautiful because we will only be here temporarily. Jacob's work is slowly picking up, but it will be a while before we feel the financial boon of that. I'm stressed about money; I'm worried that I'm letting whatever semblance of a career I had just sort of fizzle out; I'm not sure how happy I am just staying at home with tiny people, and I feel guilty about that.

I mean. I have like the awesomest kid in the world. I have moments when I look at how beautiful his face is and I can't hardly stand that I get to be around something so beautiful all the time. I get to be around someone who when he wants to get out of his high chair and will call out: "I'm stuck! I'm stuck!" and then after we get him out, will say: "I'm fixed!"

A kid who used to eat his food and then ask me where it went. Now he's figured it out of course and says proudly: "I ate em all. They're in my belly button!!"

But then the next minute I'm completely bored at his neediness, and I'm doing everything I can to get him to play alone with his motorcycle so I can go and waste more time on the internet. I used to live for the reprieve of nap time, but now nap time is a black hole of What The H am I Doing With My Life meets Place Holds on All the Library Books.

So there you have it. I bet you never imagined how exciting it would be when I finally posted more than twice in a week. Wonder no more. 

(But please come back. I promise I won't always be like this. I really only did this so that next week when I'm out of this funk and finally succeeding in making the world's most beautiful loaf of sourdough, that I will photograph on a wooden cutting board next to some rosemary and glowing in the orange of evening, you can all marvel at my phoenix from the ashes trick.)

But until then. Until that blessed day. 

I feel ya, little bud.


  1. Katie, this sounds all too familiar. I struggle with how much I enjoy my work, while feeling a little guilty that I'm not with Wyatt all day. I really think all of us moms need fulfilling projects, goals, or work beyond just raising our kids whether we admit it or not. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to your time in Fredericksburg. I'm already planning lots of fun get togethers! I hope you are game.

    Also, I love the new header. :)

  2. I'm so glad you said this, as I was too afraid to say it this summer. Jeremy and I have come to the conclusion that he would make a much better stay-at-home parent. I always get more done and have more "engery" for Samantha and Jeremy when I'm working. Go figure.

    1. I think it's great when mothers figure out what works for them in terms of juggling work and motherhood. I suppose I'm in a time of figuring out what works best for us and for me, which is kind of liberating but also intimidating. Right now finances are tight but ain't no big pregnant mama gettin' a new job, so for now I get to make peace with the fact that I'm not contributing financially and that's OK, and we're OK, and I am home, and I get to figure out how to live these days well. And I think I will, but not without a little growth and a lot of grace.

  3. I'm really not sure what urban stay-at-home-motherhood should look like...I mean, when you think about it, it's only been in the last century that being an urban middle-class SAHM was possible. I grew up on a ranch, and my mom "stayed home" with us, but she also drove tractors and fed cows and grew an enormous garden and made meals for an army of ranch hands and 5 kids. She was a SAHM, yes, but she was also working in the family business, as nearly every woman did in the pre-industrial world. I think it's okay to feel a little ambivalent about what it means to be a SAHM today...and I'm not even sure what SAHM means these days. I work part-time so that I can be more available to my children, but I also work to supplement the family income. Sometimes I've worked more because we've needed the money, sometimes less because of a baby or kids in a rough age. You and Jacob will do what you NEED to do for your family, and sometimes that means working, and sometimes that means staying at home with babies.

  4. oh gosh. I know I wrote a very similar post right before I had Sebastian and the shock of Simon working all the time was fresh and raw and it was just me and J and wow --- busy but boring. Anyway -- you said it all SO much better of course. I have no words of wisdom ever. I get nostalgic for those days though now so .... again, no help.

    just come over and have some wine with me and we can hash it allll out. that would be great.

  5. Great honest post! I have three kids and they are are a bit older than yours 7,5, and almost 3. I will tell you that this is a season.. I was just telling my husband, I feel so busy and squeezed out right now, but I remember having one and being pregnant with our second in a kind of crappy town and feeling like the hours of the day were just ticking by at a snails pace.

    Fast forward to now, I've some in school, I'm working part time and running a couple of other projects on the side and I feel kind of harried. Every season is different! HAng in there! I always felt like being a stay at home mom wasn't so bad when I had a couple of good books I was really into. I would just ignore the kids while I read all day.

    But you aren't alone in feeling bored sometimes. It is hard and sometimes isolating. But yeah, my only suggestion is get a couple of good reads or even just a stupid read like "Dad is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan...

  6. I've never commented here before, but I totally feel you. Staying at home is nice, but could I be any more bored by these 3 fabulous small people who frustrate me and who I love to just look at? And my circle of people and the things I have to talk about just seem to shrink all the time. It's a funk, but you're not alone. So thanks for vocalizing how I'm feeling.

  7. Have you thought about teaching any online classes? Keep current in the field but enjoy your time home as well.

  8. Eileen hit the nail on the head. Everything truly is a season. I remember when I quit working full time to stay home. My daughter was already in school but I also had a 10-month old and I couldn't bear leaving him in day care any longer. But when I was suddenly at home all day with him, it was boring, definitely! I think it doesn't help that you're also somewhere brand new. Once you establish yourselves in a church and meet people, hopefully you will find playgroups and other moms with similar aged kids to do things with. That really helped me. Once my kids got bigger, I started homeschooling and life was crazy-busy, between school and sports for my 4 boys. But now, my oldest two are back in school (the 2nd JUST went this year) and suddenly, I only have two at home during the day and I'm looking around for things to do again. I also have found (through some opportunities that just came my way) way to do some project based part-time work. It is interesting, gives me some adult interaction without interfering with our family life too much and brings in some extra income.

  9. I know what you mean. I worked right up until delivery, and once my mom left and it was just Natalie and me it was weird having wide open days and not having to be at work at a certain time and deadlines and stuff anymore. So I turned to the net for self help tips for homemakers. : ) what else.

  10. This is my last week in the office in which I've worked for over five years and then I'll be staying at home with one and pregnant with another. Thanks for being honest - I'm right there with you. I'll be doing some contract work and while we need the money, honestly, its more for my sanity!

    1. Congrats on number two!!! I hadn't heard :) xox

  11. I pretty much always have a comment for every post you write, but I am usually reading your blog through the bloglovin app on my phone and for whatever reason .....comments don't cooperate for me there. But, now that I am on a real life computer, instead of trying to recap my comments for the last 12 posts I meant to comment on ... I just want to say that THIS ONE in particular spoke to my heart. And, apparently, to so many other mother's hearts as well (as evidenced by all the comments that they managed to successfully leave here).

    Unfulfilled was the perfect word choice. I have struggled to describe my own feelings about staying home - "unhappy" is too dramatic, and "bored" to too simple. Unfulfilled is quite accurate. Thank you.

    And I still can't get over how adorable your little guy is (as pictured in other posts I never commented on).

  12. Oh, I love this post and your honesty. Your writing is so beautiful, and it's just such a comfort. I can't wait for our phone date this weekend :)


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