Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ugh.

The snow outside is depressing me. So is the laundry that needs to be folded, the baby that won't let me put him down, and the test for which I need to study. And yet I can't bring myself to do much else but contemplate my life. Too much on my mind as of late.

It's become quite difficult for me to recognize the real purpose of life. Gray and I had (until about five days ago) quite the routine going day in and day out - weekends included. Wake up, make bed, eat breakfast, bathe, dress, clean something, eat early lunch, he naps while I study, eat late lunch, play, welcome Josh home, eat dinner, clean up after dinner, get Grayson to bed, spend a bit o' time with Josh, go to sleep. Of course there are several diaper changes (I've the most regular baby I've ever known), phone calls, errands, laundry loads, and other time-consuming activities (cooking, shopping, class, church obligations) thrown in there, but I still find myself shocked at how much free time I don't seem to have. I know I could get an extra 1 1/2 hours out of each day if I could figure out how to get Grayson to feed himself without making a complete mess, but it's constant cleanup for now.

Anyway, I've begun to feel like my 'free time' has been dwindling over the last month. Instead of blogging, I'm pulling Grayson out of cupboards, holding ice on his latest bump, and cleaning up his toys.
Instead of pulling weeds and planning this year's garden, I'm waxing cheese and scouring the ads for good deals on food storage items. Instead of leisure reading, I'm studying food labels and googling new recipes for chicken. Valiant endeavors? Yes, of course. But shouldn't I be able to do it all?

Maybe I spend too much time keeping my home clean. Maye I spend too much time studying for tests. Maybe I spend too much time trying out new recipes and stocking my pantry. Who knows? But the real question is...do I want to do all of this plus toss full-time dental hygiene school into the mix?

Honestly, I'm not sure I do. My Microbiology class this semester is difficult - more difficult than I remember Anatomy or Physiology being - and I would love to be able to dismiss it entirely and focus 100% on my family. I won't because that would be a terrible waste of $1000 and all the time I've spent succeeding in it thus far, but as of this moment, I can't imagine doing it for another two years.

I'm 32 years old and I've only recently embarked on the adventures of marriage and motherhood. A lot of people are done having babies by the time I finally started. I am at least 10 years older than the majority of students in my class. I almost feel like I'm ripping myself off by splitting my efforts between family and education - how much has Josh suffered since I've been in school? How much do my studies suffer since I've had a baby? Have I become a jack of two trades, mastering neither?

It seems so easy for other women. Either they have time on their side or their husbands have the job and degree they want and they don't need to plan for future changes. Is that reality, or have I once again fallen into the trap of comparing myself with others?

I have now spent one hour of my very valuable free time organizing these thoughts in my brain and writing them down. I am glad I did. Yes, I have about 20 unfinished blog posts, but this suddenly became more important to me than posting pictures of Grayson's first (and last!) hair cut. I will now
fold the kitchen towels, hang up the jeans to dry, and start a load of whites. Once that's done, I will share a snack with Grayson, play with him for an hour, then spend the last hour before I leave for class studying for my test. And when this class ends in one month, I will have to decide what the real purpose of my life is.

9 comments:

Lisa Burbidge said...

You crack me up. I promise it will be worth it in the end. You are a great mom and whatever you need to do to make life even better in the future is important even if it is hard. Law School was tough times for us but we have made it through with lessons learned and memories made, but that is the key to learn and enjoy what life does offer you because once you settle for something you will wish you had more!!! (Great thougth from you neighbor) Let me know if there is anything we can do to help, you know I am always around!!!

Melissa said...

Holy cow! Deep thoughts! Really, only you can know what to do and the rest of us can give you our thoughts. For me, at the age of 32 I'm done having kids. Not by choice, but because sometimes thats how life goes. Now, I wish I had spent every single little moment with them just doing nothing because they're only that age once. You'll know what's best for you and your family and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! :o)

Debra said...

We only see others often at their best, so what you think you might lack in comparison, you'll often find that you surprisingly share in common with others. But we each have different talents, skills, abilities, etc. You sound like you're making some sacrifices now to develop yours, and the reward will pay off!

Amanda said...

Wow, you have a tough choice on your hands. I don't envy your situation. Maybe you should just apply and see what happens. . . that may make the decision easier and clearer. But at the end of the day, only you, Josh, and Gray know what's best for your family. Wishing you the best in this decision!

Karynn said...

Oh, Paige! I'm sorry you are struggling with this. I have been there many times and I've chosen both ways. I hope you are able to come to a decision you are comfortable with. I know those things you posted about seem mundane, but I miss them! I can't wait to start over! I'm sure I'll be eating my words soon enough. :-)
I mean what I said, though. I mean, I may be 40+ by the time I pursue all my dreams, but I can do it for the rest of my life. Verna got her Masters at the age of 55 (I think) and is having the time of her life. I hope not to wait that long, but I know I can if I need to! For now, my time is dedicated to my most important career and legacy - my amazing boys (and the baby, soon). They are a huge investment and worthwhile venture! :-)

bechtold clan said...

I feel the exact same way. I feel that in a way Ive started all over again, and yet Im in the middle of it all...does that make any sense? not really probably except to me...and its the rat race that never stops...however Im trying to find joy in every day or figure out how to balance it all but end up not doing it very well. some days are better than others. thanks for the post. I realize that im really not alone.

Brittany said...

It's hard to do everything. I have to take turns with projects. I can't spend my evenings blogging or doing crafts (me time) AND devote a few hours to hubby AND do the dishes. My days are disastrous. I can clean or spend time with my kids or go shopping, but I can't do all of that! I haven't figured it out yet, except that I know I have to take turns. Sometimes I'm selfish and I ignore my poor kids so I can take an extra long shower, check my email during the day, or take the much needed nap. It's so sad! The thing I ignore most is my laundry, followed by grocery shopping. And we suffer! But hey, Alexander and I have some awesome memories!

Let me know when you've got any tips for the rest of us.

Shauna said...

L♥ve and Hugs to you my precious friend :)

heath said...

Let me know what the answers are. I think we've all been there.

When I start thinking like that, I just go to bed!!!
Good luck, you're a trooper! And your family's lucky to have you!