Friday, August 22, 2014


The daily life of a stay at home mom (SAHM) isn't all play dates at Starbucks and a long nap in the afternoon. Sure, those do happen, but more often than not I'm either cleaning, quelling temper tantrums, or rolling out playdough snakes. It's busy, and it's boring. Yes, boring.

We play games like "ring around the rosie" and sorting shells from little animals. We color with crayons and stickers are a hot commodity. 20 and 24 piece puzzles are the new challenge.

We make music,

we paint,

we wear shorts on our heads,

we have conference calls with our Aunt Angie,

and we eat. It's an action-packed life.

Sometimes I don't have time to play because I have work to do. Dishes to wash, toilets to clean, laundry to fold and put away. Sheets need to be changed. What are we having for dinner tonight?

My days are full. They're jam-packed. But I get bored. What is lacking? My job isn't what you'd call "intellectually stimulating." It's challenging, frustrating, demanding, exhausting, labor-intensive, fun, and demands an insane amount of multi-tasking, but it doesn't engage the critical thinking portion of my brain.

For awhile I thought that what I was missing was the end result you get from a professional job. I thought I needed to produce something. Something tangible, something bigger than me, something beyond the preschool crowd. I pumped a lot of energy into writing a nonfiction memoir about our sailing trip in the Caribbean.

I loved writing the book, but I loved the process more than the end result. The process: critical and analytical thinking. The kind you get when you work in a professional atmosphere where you have to write reports, organize a team, or do research. Teamwork, the back and forth exchange of ideas, compromising, expanding. Recognizing a problem or a need and tackling it to its solution. I miss the give and take and the thinking that takes place at work.

This, apparently, is my "thinking" look.
Listening to the commencement speaker at Hans's graduation, May 2014.
I don't, however, miss work. I love staying home with my girls. I don't want to change that, but I do need to expand my daily horizons so I'm feeling more personally challenged. How?

  • I listen to the radio, a lot. I love news and politics so I keep abreast of what's going on in the world and in my neighborhood.
  • I'm writing every day. Writing is a great way for me to organize my thoughts and expand my thoughts. Like talking with a good friend, the more I write, the more I learn about myself.
  • I'm trying to write better. I'm taking my time with blog entries and I'm thinking of each one as an article as opposed to a personal journal. Complete sentences, big words (!), humor (at least I try).
  • I'm reading non-fiction books. What are other people doing? How can I be inspired? 
  • I'm brainstorming ways to get involved in my community through volunteer work or a part-time job.
It's so easy to get stuck in the rut of cooking, feeding, cleaning, playing, cooking, feeding, huh? What day of the week is it? I don't want to end each day feeling drained. I need to refill my own pot and, as much as I love Facebook and Pinterest, it's going to take a lot more than surfing the web to keep me inspired, engaged and fulfilled.

1 comment:

  1. As we've discussed, I'm in the same place as you in terms of wanting to contribute something tangible to the world. I think your goals are a great way to engage in a new place! BTW, I love the shorts-on-head picture haha