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.