Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On Being a Stay at Home Mom

The clutter was driving me nuts!
I had no idea what I was getting into. I quit my job because I could no longer work for someone who didn't have one shred of integrity. I thought being a stay-at-home-mom would be a cake-walk compared to my career. WOW, I was so wrong. 

The first few months of my SAHM life was completely chaotic. I’m a creature of habit and routine. Since I quit my job, I had no routine. I also had no reason to get up at 04:00 am to work out, and nowhere I had to be. It was almost as if I had lost my life’s purpose.
It was very difficult to find motivation. I had a sick dog that I was caring for 24/7, and then she died. The ensuing depression completely destroyed any motivation I had left. On top of that, we had taken a huge pay cut when I quit my job and living on my husband’s income was proving very difficult. Going from the provider to the housekeeper was much more difficult than I had anticipated. In an effort to make myself feel better, I used my tax return to purchase several textbooks and other learning materials. I don’t know why, but reading medical biochemistry makes me feel better.  
My newly organized closet!
Shortly thereafter, I learned that I could make a little extra money as a freelance writer. I found Hubpages and Knoji, signed up for accounts and started writing. After publishing a few articles, I started to feel that sense of accomplishment again. The money was trickling in, but I had a purpose again, so it didn’t really matter.
With a renewed sense of purpose, I fell into a routine, albeit a chaotic one. I got all my chores done every day leaving me as much time as possible to write. I found I thoroughly enjoyed writing, and it started to become an addiction. I made it a priority to write every day; it became my new job.
Now, I feel like writing.
While I was doing chores daily, the house was still a cluttered mess, and it was starting to take its toll on me. Finally, one day I was suffering “writer’sblock” and I completely reorganized my bedroom closet. I was surprised at how much better I felt! Then I cleaned off a few bookcases and made my way to rearranging my living room. I cleared off my desk (it was completely buried under a mountain of paper) and created an inviting area for writing.
Amazingly, my creativity started flowing again and I wrote three articles in a matter of four days. My kitchen was next, then my dining room table. As I write this blog entry, I look around, and I can breathe a sigh of relief. With exception of my husband’s desk (which is driving me insane), everything is in order. 
I have counter space now!!
But, I wasn’t completely satisfied when I finished rearranging everything. I still felt as if I was living in chaos. Browsing hubpages one day, I found an article on household management binders (also called home management notebooks), and I had the proverbial ah-ha! moment. This notebook would allow me to manage everything from what’s for dinner to what I’m writing on my blog that week. I was ecstatic!
I found a three ring notebook and set to work. After about a week, my home management notebook (HMN) was fully functional. I’ve done inventory of both my freezer and my pantry, made a weekly chore list for the entire family, created a blog business plan, and I was even inspired to start a homeschooling notebook for my daughter (coming soon).
I’m finally organized. I’m working out again, five times a week. I started a completely new routine including changing my sleep schedule from monophasic to biphasic all of which was easily scheduled in my HMN. I have blog plans for two weeks, and I’ve almost planned a whole month of meals. I have time to write, time to homeschool, time to clean and most importantly, family time. It’s amazing what a little organization can do! Suddently, being an SAHM isn't so difficult!

Oh it looks so nice, I just wanna cook on it!!

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