Monday, July 21, 2008

Ch-Ch-Changes and a Vague Sense of The Jumble

So, lately I've been feeling a little...what's the word...jumbled. And a little aimless. For the past few years I've had a pretty good routine going and while the particulars changed, the general flow did not. Dave left for work at 6 am every day for five years and returned home at 5:30pm every day as well. I've watched another child for one or two days out of the week and I've had Tot in preschool or waiting to be in preschool. I was pregnant or nursing a good deal of the time and we moved once and then decided that we were probably in this house to stay. But now, well, everything is different.

Dave works from home and travels part of each week, which means that when he's home I get to see a lot of him but when he's gone, he is gone. He rarely travels more than a day a week, which is fine by me, and we've adjusted to this much better than I thought. He loves his job and is generally happier than he was before. Until September I'll only be watching another child a handful of times and then none at all, like, ever. I'm neither pregnant nor nursing, and we've decided that we're going to move in about five years. Not exactly a rapid time line, but still a different perspective. And finally, Dave and I have solidified our plans to home school, which effectively rules out preschool (I know, I've totally not said anything about that on here, but we've still been in discussion mode and I felt it was smarter to give you all our actual thought out plan instead of our blow by blow discussions on how we planned to do this...but anyways).

So, you know how when you have certain parameters you plan your day accordingly? Well, before I had very specific, constant parameters and now I feel like I have none. Dave pops in and out most of the day and I have no day of the week where anything has to be done regularly. There is no major life event to be planning for and I'm just kind of spinning my wheels here. I mean, there are always things to be done, like laundry (sigh.) and dishes, but there isn't a driving force right now. There isn't something that I am constantly aware of, planning for, and working towards.

Intellectually I know that I am raising children to be adults, focusing on giving them the skills they will need, and making sure that they are grounded in their faith before they leave. I mean, it's not like I'm doing nothing. I feel a very strong calling to be at home, and Dave and I both felt a strong calling to home school (not something I expected, by the way). So, I know that I am currently where I need to be. I feel zero desire to go off and get a paying job away from home and even less of a desire to go conquer any mountains of importance. I'm good where I'm at.

I guess, the issue here is more along the lines of how I am to pursue all these things that I'm sure I am supposed to do. I had a decent handle on it before (read: not a daily failure, more like a weekly disaster), and now I'm a little out of sorts. How does God want me to order my days now that everything is different? What should this season in my life look like, and how do I pursue His goals and will in the most joyful and efficient way possible?

Are any of you dealing with this same jumbledness? I keep coming back to the phrase "season of life" (also, the expression does not lose its cheesiness the more I type it. I thought it would...) and I know that mine has changed. It's certainly not worse, I'm kind of loving it, I just need to get a better handle on the rules and how best to enjoy it, yeah?


April Spicer said...

I hear ya LOUD AND CLEAR, girl!! Yes, I feel everything you just described (minus the homeschool bit)and understand perfectly. Add to your scenario no friends or even makeable plans and you have me. In Indiana. Everyday. So! What to do? Well, greet God every morning and ask him to take your plans (or maybe lack thereof) and make them His. This morning I asked Him to just order my day (hour by hour or minute by minute) and help me focus on loving the boys and helping them see Jesus. I also asked that he bring other people into my life that I can show Jesus to. Sounds pretty simple and not very exciting but obviously it has all the potential in the world. Suddenly you realize your life has very little to do with your husband's availability, future plans, and preparing for much of anything. It's simply serving your family and community each day, and finding joy in the moments. Now that all sounds a lot grander than it was in my mind, so forgive me if I sound all uppity on you. :) You know that's not true. But I think you and I were thinking the same thing at the same moment---just a few states away. I love and miss you and can't wait for October!!

Beth said...

Yeah, I've kinda flet like that for the past couple of years. Ever since I left my job when I became pregnant.
I strive on a routine and a schedule, when I don't have those things, I feel panicky, and nothing gets done.
WHich is strange considering my life growing up was sooooo not scheduled! (Perhaps that's why I yearn for it now?)
Anyway! As you know life with a baby is anything but scheduled, so now that Elle is older and like me, enjoys a schedule, life is straighting out a bit.
I used to be a preschool teacher, and saved my curriculum. So this past weekend I pulled out what I had for a 1yr old/toddler and planned out our shedule along with the curriculum, feel free to check it out.
Perhaps your new "normal" is what your life is now? Try to find a routine, in what is now your life instead of focusing on what was your day to day life!
I"m there with you girl!
Hang in there!
Autumn is almost here, and I don't know about you...but doesnt' everything just seem clearer in Autumn!?

The Garrett's said...

I am SO right there with you! I don't even know what to say or do about it, but yeah, I'm there too!

Donielle said...

This past winter was sooo bad for me in that area. Year one with a newborn (I also quit my job to stay home) was busy. I mean I had a newborn! But this last year with a now toddler, umm I just felt, jumbled. No real schedule I had to follow, no hurry to get things done, and everything was same 'ol same 'ol.
Like April I began by starting out my day in study and prayer and I can't believe how much this helped me. I've been going through the Stormie Omartian books. (love, love them!) I now make myself a basic schedule that we keep everyday including some type of 'schooling'. Having projects also helps me a lot! With my personality I NEED projects to focus on. Otherwise I walk about aimlessly. Things complex like quilting a blanket for the boys room or as simple as what I need to bake that day.
I'm also glad to hear I'm not the only SAHM that's felt....jumbled!

Jennifer said...

well written. Yes, I feel the same way and I'm sure as you will see there are many SAHM's out there that feel just like you do. Just continue to pray for guidance and direction.

Cameron Clark said...

Ok, granted my opinion may be completely invalid since I'm out of the loop on the day-to-day happenings of your life, but if you feel like you're spinning your wheels, you probably are.

It seems like you are in survival mode. Not like you're getting through a crisis, but like you said "nothing to build up to." Just kind of waiting around for....something.

When we were in KC, I was totally and completely like that. Not where I imagined being, or doing, and nothing in sight for a change to the uncertainty and monotony. Just the routine.

Now that we're back in my town, everything is changing, and in a good way. There is direction, there are things to do, people to see.

So, from my vague knowledge of what you're up to lately, it seems like you're not taking much time to get to your goals...? maybe?

I see a bunch of family goals you have laid-out, a goal of time with Dave, but it seems pretty void of what you're taking the time to do that is all your own.

Something I realized is that if I want my kids and my wife to know me, I should probably pursue some things that are mine and mine alone. For a while, it was as if there were not any personal goals of mine that were not a "family goal", no solo goals or activities.

I have a "Y" chromosome, so I won't waste our time going over things that help me take care of kids, a house, coaching, poker night, and a radio show. I guess the question is, "what does Kristen dig doing? What makes her tick, feel re-energized, and gets her going to tackle the responsibilities she has?"

I guess it's TBD, and only you have the answers. I look forward to seeing if I am completely off-base or not, and what you do to bring order to the jumbledness.

It seems like a lot of women draw some kind of comfort from your writing. Keep up the good work!

Jennifer said...

I think it goes with mommy-hood, ya know? We're redefining who we are and what our purpose is, and for me, wiping runny noses, cutting up peanut butter toast into tiny bite-sized pieces, and watching the same Sesame Street DVD EVERYday leaves me feeling a little lost sometimes, a little scrambled. That's why I like your blog - it's so honest and frank. I would SERIOUSLY like to get together and pick your brain about homeschooling (the hows and whys). I'm totally curious. And you're right, our job is SO SO important, even when it feels a little monotonous or scrambled :)

Gayle said...

Homeschooling is going to be a great season in your life! Just remember to be relaxed and not stress out about "will I teach them everything they need to know"... you won't. I homeschooled for 11 years and loved it. My boys are all teens now! Crazy how fast it goes. (I know it doesn't feel that way when they're toddlers.) You will get into a groove soon. If you're a schedule oriented person, then you'll start planning your days out plus with homeschooling, you will get to do field trips and hopefully park days with other families. Believe me, your days will fill up fast. I am kind of going though a similar "feeling" right now, so I know what you mean. My oldest just graduated, my husband is home full time now (was working out of town everyday) and I am working full time. It's a new season... and I am looking forward to all it holds for me! Have a blessed day! I love your blog by the way... you make me laugh.