I recently received an email from one of my many sisters-in-law begging me to please do another column since she had been sorely missing my wit and perspective over the last many weeks that I haven't blogged. More accurately, she asked if I'd quit blogging, but when I relayed the conversation to my husband, I chose to read between the lines and express her absolute longing for a blog post from me due, of course, to my very high entertainment factor. After many years of living together my husband can read between MY lines, and clarified "so... Lana said hello?" Regardless, her email has propelled me to get back on the horse- purely in justification of my silence over the last few weeks.
I'm busy. No, not really. In fact, if you ask my husband, he'll say that life is no different than it's ever been. That the house is just as clean (okay- just as messy) as it's always been. That I read just as many books as I ever have (as if I would ever tell him just how much time I spend reading). That the laundry is still always piled up (hey, I only wear 1/6 of those clothes... and probably not even that since I WILL wear a pair of sweatpants for four days straight), and I have remained consistent in my complaint regarding "being so busy" for the last nine years. So maybe nothing has changed... but really, I think a lot has.
For one thing, Micah doesn't nap as often as she used to. While this is great in many ways (ie, she sleeps better at night), it's not so good for me being able to sit at the computer and type for thirty minutes straight. She likes to type too, and that makes for an immense amount of editorial work.
Plus, I finally gave into my husband's pleas (and my own level of boredom) and started teaching again. So now, when I do have time to sit at a computer, I'm creating lectures or grading exams. (Which is exactly what I should be doing right now, but am not.)
And the older kids are back to school now. During the summer I couldn't write as much because they were always here and needed me to be ever present giving them ideas for what to play with and who to play with and how to play:
Child: "There's nothing to DOOOOOOOO!!!!!"
Me: I have chores you can do.
Child: I don't WANT to do chores.
Me: How about you read a book or practice your multiplication tables?
Child: I don't WANT to read or do homework. I want to play with someone.
Me: Hey, GREAT. You'll be happy to know that your father and I decided to have four children... and that means you have three siblings to play with. Aren't you thrilled?
Child: I don't WANT to play with any of them.
Me: Then play with the dog that you begged for.
Me: Outside NOW and find something to do before I find something for you to do that I guarantee you won't enjoy.
Those conversations took up at least 42% of my summer.
The other 58% was spent doing the same old laundry, cleaning, and reading of books. (Hey, a momma's got to have her fantasy world too.)
But now the kids are back to school; but instead of having extra time, I'm having to get up early, make sure lunches are packed, breakfast is eaten, and that Kayton is not wearing her pajama pants to school. If I'm lucky, I have time to enforce hair brushing. I'm not always that lucky. And on top of the kids being back to school, college is back in session and two days a week I am teaching 50 odd community college students what it's going to take to be successful in business. The hard part is biting my tongue and not saying "Step 1: Leave community college and go get your degree at a four year university". Okay, I admit, I have said that. But, lucky for me (since this is my job), and lucky for the community college (since this is how they stay in business), no matter what I say, there are an amazing number of students who are going to ignore that advice and believe that their Associates degree is going to earn them a fabulous job with a life-style changing income. Hey, an Associates is better than nothing.
But that's two days a week, which still leaves me five for writing. But another day is spent doing very little (by which I mean talking to myself) in preparation for my ESL (English as a Second Language) tutoring. Honestly, I love tutoring ESL. And it's not just because of the immense fun I get from explaining to my student that "I woke up and gave my husband breast" is not really an appropriate conversation for the class, despite how wonderful it must be to be her husband in the morning. My husband never gets breast in the morning. They are reserved for a baby in the morning, since that's my main recourse to avoid having to get out of bed at 5am when Micah wakes up. I give her breast and go back to sleep. Having two breasts, I've tried to convince Kolbie (my three year old) to regress to nursing so I don't have to get up with her at 7, but it hasn't worked. Yet. (To clarify, my student meant "breakfast"... which I figured out after some even more awkward conversation regarding "eat" and "yummy, yummy" and "he has to have it before work" and sign language involving putting things in mouth and chewing. Hey-- to each his own. Who am I to criticize whatever makes a marriage work?)
But even after this, I still have four days left to write-- but one of those days has to be a "catch-up" day to account for my absence from home the other three. And one day is a "relax" day in which I do nothing to make up for all the hard work I've done the other five days. And Saturday I have Mason's soccer games.... and Sunday is church and family day.... so. There you have it. No time for blogging.
Just think. If I had a full-time job, my kids would be running around half-naked (as if they don't already), my house would be a mess (hey, no it's not always), and dinner would always be spaghetti since it's darn easy to make. (We only have spaghetti one night a week... or maybe two, since that's the only thing JMahl cooks and, heck, if he's cooking, I am not going to complain about spaghetti for dinner AGAIN.)
So you see... finding the time to write this column may not be as easy as you may think for a Stay-At-Home Mom with very little else on her plate. In fact, the only reason I'm finding time to write now is because my two little girls both got up crazy early and passed out on the floor while I was looking for my corkscrew, and now I've got a glass of wine in me and the compulsion to write.
Heck, it's Friday. This is my "relax and do nothing constructive" day. Count your blessings that I'm blogging.