Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to School

There's all this "back to school" talk this week.  Everyone is raiding the Nordstrom kid shoe department and posting pictures on Facebook of their kid with a backpack on (guilty, and guilty).  But, hey, what about me?  I went back to school this week.  Kind of.

I'm always a sucker for those Groupon/Living Social/Bloomspot discounts.  I've bought some random things - magazine subscriptions, cases of wine, two for one pizzas.  (I've been very tempted by the hair removal/teeth whitening/make yourself a little less gross deals as well, but haven't followed through quite yet).  A few months ago, I saw a link to a deal for an Introduction to Digital Photography class at the Washington School of Photography.  Four classes, $100 bucks, sold.  Learning more about photography has always been one of my tangential goals.  You know, kind of like:  "I want to read more books" and "I want to get in shape" and "I want start a blog."

My first class was this past Tuesday.  I could not wait!  Not because I was so excited for the class itself, but because Tuesday at home with the kids SUCKED.  Constant rain.  Lack of naps. Several meltdowns.  The baking of cupcakes (to bring to Braden's school), the cooking of three separate dinners (because no one will eat the same thing), and A LACK OF DISHWASHER (broke down this weekend, yay).  Two loads of laundry.  No good television to look forward to (save for Teen Mom).  Just general malaise.  But the class - it was my saving grace.  It meant that despite my husband's workload, he had to be home to relieve me by 6:30.  And no matter what, by 6:30 I was off duty.  I would drive in a car, by myself.  Ahhhhhh. Three hours, just for me. 

By the time I left the class at 10pm that night, I was refreshed and inspired - not by photography, but by a sense of freedom.  This was the first time I had done something by myself, other than an errand or a doctor's appointment, in forever.  I don't go to the gym.  I don't go for walks.  I don't go shopping.  And I don't work.

Since I've been a stay at home mom, I've made such efforts to plan activities for the kids and keep them active, busy, and stimulated.  And in doing so, by the end of the day when the kids are in bed, I am utterly exhausted and what I want most is to crawl in bed myself and catch up on trashy reality television.  But maybe I need to start resisting that and doing more - things just for me.  Because in the midst of all of these playdates and parks, I think I may have lost myself a bit.

I used to be interesting, you know?  I traveled a ton.  I volunteered for political campaigns. I did yoga.  I was involved in fund raising for the Holocaust Museum.   I had an (arguably) interesting job.  I had things to talk about.   

It has dawned on me lately that despite the fact that I am a mom who stays at home, this does not have to change.  My time is limited, but I can still better myself.  I can still meet interesting people.  I can still be involved.  I may not have an interesting job or have time to volunteer for political campaigns, but I can take a walk around the neighborhood.  I can go see speakers at local universities.  I can start doing yoga again.  I can take a photography class. 

I love, love, love my two adorable boys.  They crack me up and bring me more joy than I could ever have imagined.  But...maybe there is still life outside of my kids.  Maybe that's okay.  And maybe it's time I started living it a bit more. 


  1. I know what you are saying - it is hard to get motivated. But you'll be glad you did.
    SAHM for 5 years (and I like to consider myself pretty interesting)

  2. 1. this labor intensive period with young children, really, only lasts a while. the rhythm of your life will certainly change. i promise.

    2. you DO work. all day every day. you just don't work FOR MONEY because of the low value society places on family carework. you are not even earning social security credits, which is insane when you consider that by raising your own children, you make the future of our economy and our country possible.

    3. it DOES feel like you are losing parts of yourself. but, they DO come back, you can get them back, and you will continue to exist separate and apart from your children, as a free-standing, 3 dimensional human being, even tho' it may not feel like.

    Your friend Valerie

  3. I am so excited to hear more about your photography class and to see some of your work! I start mine at the Torpedo Factory next week and I can't wait. :)

    BTW, if you need an amazing TV recommendation, I can't say enough good things about Big Rich Texas. I am a Teen Mom fan, too, and BRT more than matches up.


  4. I am about to become you. I went to law school, got a pretty swanky job that has me traveling all over the world (which I love) and now I just found out I am prego. Thrilled, but sad about what this means for my job. Sigh.


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