The obligatory first day of school photo.
I’ve worked meticulously on this site since April, and I still don’t feel I’ve gotten into the blogging groove yet. I got a new theme, a new host, a new camera, and made new recipes. But it feels like I moved into a new house. The layout is different. I open the closet door and find myself in the garage. My furniture is in different rooms. Some things are familiar, other things aren’t. I also don’t feel like me.
For the past 6 years and 10 months, I was in charge of people other than myself. And it was pretty hard. Maybe it was the combination of being in a new city, no friends or family nearby, a husband who had no vacation or paternity leave, that made it harder for me to take care of two small human beings by myself. I didn’t know what I was doing half the time. It was isolating, depressing, and near hopeless. Every day, for years, I used a ‘take it one day at a time’ approach. Now that both my kids are in school, it has been the first time I can actually sit down in silence and contemplate what I should be doing.
I realized that I am a more productive person when my kids are in school. When people ask me what I’m going to do with all my spare time now that they’re gone, I joke that I plan to sit and stare at a wall. Because I can. Nobody’s tugging my shirt sleeve begging for a 3rd applesauce pouch, or asking me to break up a fight, or to give back a toy her sister took, or demand that her sibling draw her head proportional to her body. I can do nothing if I choose to. And it will be everything I ever dreamed.
It’s only been 3.5 days since school started. So far I’ve purged the old toys and books in the living room, dusted, vacuumed, cleaned all the bathrooms, went grocery shopping twice, went to the gym three times and got back before 10am, washed laundry twice, updated my 2017 household budget, paid all the bills, signed my kids up for extracurricular activities for the year, filled out all the necessary paperwork for their schools, and carpooled two hours per day. And worked on this blog. I plan to renovate my house one room at a time and do some landscaping in the front yard. I hate to say it, but having kids in the house sucks out all my energy, and makes me a less productive person.
My kids are happier in school as well, and less bored. This summer has been challenging to find things to keep them occupied, such as weekly summer camps, the playcenter at the YMCA, swimming, indoor playgrounds, outdoor playgrounds, vacations, and special mother/daughter days where I take one daughter out at a time and go eat, shop, or play. I put in all my time and effort into them, so they can have good memories to look back on. And although I enjoy seeing them happy and hopefully somewhat fulfilled, I need my own time. For the past couple years I haven’t been afraid to admit that, because if I get my own time alone, I come back to them refreshed and happier, and in return they’re happier. And there’s nothing wrong with that. What am I doing with my own time? Being productive I guess. I don’t feel happy unless I accomplish something, whether it’s posting for the blog, or fixing our budget, or fixing this house. I have yet to stare at that wall.
Since redoing my blog, I felt like I restrained myself when I would write posts. A part of me did it because since being a mom, I felt I had to talk mommish (that’s a word, right?), be reserved, less opinionated, more friendly, even when I didn’t feel it on the inside. After reading some of my posts I’ve written since April, I realized I don’t really sound like me. I sound like someone pretending to be someone else. There’s no personality. Do I even have a personality anymore? I thought after a few months I would get warmed up and start sounding like myself again, but I don’t know myself anymore. Sorry to sound so cliché, but I have to find myself again.
So from now on, I’ll stop holding back and just say what I feel, like an 86 year old dementia patient. Except that I’ll remember what I say. You know what I mean. I’ve wanted to write honest posts about the following things:
- trials and tribulations of motherhood,
- rant about anti-vaxxers,
- being annoyed at the whole organic food movement,
- peoples’ irrational fears of anything GMO,
- my hatred of acai smoothie bowls with frozen berries on instagram,
- food being served on non-plates,
- unicorn themed foods,
- how I suck at instagram, pinterest, and facebook,
- my fear of writing newsletters for the 250 subscribers of this blog,
- being rejected for perfectly exposed photos on foodgawker,
- my sadness in finding out foodbuzz and tastespotting is dead,
- how everyone and their mom has a food blog and the blogosphere is oversaturated with them,
- and much, much more.