This week one of my email lists had an interesting discussion about work, family, free time and balancing it all. At first I was thinking that I feel like the biggest hypocrite alive, encouraging moms to have a balanced life with my work on Myria while my own life seems to be terribly unbalanced. I am definitely a chronic work-a-holic.
But then I started thinking I might be a little too hard on myself. Working at home with young children around certainly keeps me from complete real world isolation, though I confess I need to learn to shut the door to my office more and devote even more time to them. Lately when I'm not in my office, Hannah Mac will point to me and tell me "go to work, mommy!" because that's where she sees me the most. If there's any negatives to doing this at home as opposed to doing it outside of the home, that would be it!
On the positive side, I LOVE what I'm doing! Hours and days race by so fast... I am having a great time. I may wear my butt to the bone in front of the computer every day, but there's usually a little one scribbling away in the chair beside me. It's great. I guess when a person really enjoys the work they are doing, that must be a form of me-time, right?
Most of my other hobbies have gone to pot. I love to cross-stitch, but I'm not doing it much these days because I love my work more. Gardening is not something I make time for much these days. I suppose having very young kids might have something to do with that, however. One exception: I haven't kicked my reading habit. I am an avid bookworm and must get my daily dose of fiction. It's therapy. I'm usually well-stocked with fiction and read everyday and always at night before I go to bed in an effort to switch my brain off so I can actually sleep.
Another positive thing... I never watch TV anymore. Never. In the days before I worked so many hours and had any kids, I clocked quite a bit of boob tube time and that's one activity I'm happy to have replaced by something more productive (of course, that was usually key cross-stitching time, so it's a trade-off!
Also, I need to get more exercise. I'm very bad about that :-P.
Anyway, I do need to strike a better balance at some point in time or I will burn out eventually. I KNOW that and angst about it, but even as unbalanced as it is right now, I feel a big part of that is because I have young kids. I don't know to many moms of under-five-year-olds who feel like they get much me-time anyway, regardless of their work circumstances :-), so in some respects I'm ahead of the game on that.
Then again, in about 3.5 months, my world is going to be in total upheaval when I'm nursing a newborn around the clock again. Seems pointless to even put too much energy into my life's balance at this point in time!
I'm nesting... big time! I spent way too much money at the mall yesterday buying a bunch of layette-style stuff. Everything I had for Bailey and HM was either given away or too ratty or polyester. I stuck strictly to 0-6 mos sized stuff and got a bunch of gowns and little one-piece outfits (and matching jackets and sweet little caps :-). I hate buying so much of the stuff they outgrow so fast, but I never did with the girls since I got everything for that age in hand-me-downs or for Bailey's baby shower. It was quite fun to indulge myself this time around.
Of course, I had to buy everything in yellow or green or white, but luckily that gorgeous butter yellow and lovely sage and warm natural/ivory are all the rage right now. It was definitely a splurge, but I figured with 70 hour work weeks, I've earned it!
Put me very much in the mood for February to come :-D. In fact, once I got home from the shopping spree, I started rifling through storage bins and closets to find all the salvagable layette items from my previous children. I didn't turn up a lot, but it nicely supplements the new purchases. If that isn't enough, I then spent a good part of the day shopping online for more mundane items, like infant head support car seat inserts, crib sheets and a Boppy. I love it when my interests mesh so well. If I've got to be online all day, I may as well be shopping!
Loads of laundry
I must say, I normally detest laundry. But I could sit around all day for days on end unfolding and refolding all that adorable newborn stuff. At this very moment I'm resisting the impulse to dump the basket and start sorting all over again. I might just have to wash these things a few times between now and February so I have the chance to gaze lovingly upon the tiny garments, stroke my cheek with the soft cottons and neatly sort, fold, stack and put it all away again.
Ahhhh. Talk about a simple pleasure. It really makes the baby seem that much more real and makes me ever more impatient to see my lovely newborn baby plumping out the outfits and snuggled up in the blankets! (I'm pretending this particular baby won't know the meaning of the words projectile spit-up and poopie diaper blow-outs. ;-)