It’s crazy how quickly your ‘routine’ can change when you don’t have anywhere you have to be first thing in the morning. Now I know I should go to bed at a fairly decent hour because my kids are going to be up no later than 7 or 7:30 a.m., so then why do I find myself going to sleep no later than 1 a.m. every night. I have always been a ‘have to be in bed no later than 10 p.m.’ type of person because I need my sleep. But that has pretty much gone to the wayside.
And I also have noticed that other people I know who are unemployed are using this time to try to get in shape and eat healthier. Um, was that a part of the fine print of a silent unemployment treaty that no one told me about or that I wasn’t privileged to see because I haven’t been very good about that. But when I’m at my wit’s end and my kids are on my last nerve (because well, let’s face it they are two and four), my husband has kindly suggested a trip to the gym to calm my nerves. Most of the time this actually works, so why wouldn’t that motivate me to go on a regular basis then. I think it’s called… laziness, lack of motivation and, wait for it… a bit of depression.
I have suffered from varying forms of depression all my life. I really noticed it in college when I just didn’t understand how to let go of my “first” real boyfriend who had broken up with me and left me in a state of shock. I had found that I had turned into someone I knew wasn’t me. He was a horrible person in his own right because of his own demons, horrible past, and walk-in closet full of skeletons. But unbeknownst to me, I allowed someone to change me into a shell of a person who couldn’t function without his approval and didn’t know how to be myself without him standing next to me. I fully admit that I went off the deep end and it took one VERY drunken night for me to finally stand up for myself and to understand that I was someone worth fighting for in this whole situation.
After it was all over with him, it took a counselor and my friends to help me understand the severity of his ‘abuse’ mentally, psychologically and eventually physically. Since I was only 19 at the time, my reaction to this severe ‘trauma’ in my life was one of the most difficult times in my life. And it may have triggered my depressive tendencies for the rest of my life when it came losing other boyfriends, loved ones and even overly stressful times in my life. Not to completely to lay blame on him, but after nearly 17 years I think I can blame whoever I want because I’ve dealt with other more severely traumatic situations in my life and still managed keep my chin up despite the depression and anxiety that always seems to come knocking.
But maybe in my current situation, my kids really are my saving grace because not a day goes by that I don’t kiss them probably a too many times to count for no reason at all or hear an “I love you” out of the blue in a toddler voice; and it gives me all the motivation and empowerment I need. (Okay, maybe not enough to start going to the gym on a regular basis.)
I am also figuring that once I get a hang of this “stay at home” mom thing, I’m going to find a job. And then the “working mother guilt” will set in because you never feel like there is enough time in the day to truly do everything you want to do when it comes to having a career and being a good mother. But being as two incomes is the only option for our family, I can’t really do anything else other than continue to apply for jobs and hope my qualifications rise to the top. And do the best I can for my children once I go back to work and try to use what I know now to make things even better for our family.
And searching for a job is pretty much a full-time job in itself too. And then insert two small children, whoa, it’s kind a crazy, insane mad house with them running around, asking me a million questions, having me look at every imaginary animal that walks through our doorway, eating every imaginary piece of food they have whipped up and not to mention wanting something every five minutes — a drink, a snack, a different movie, etc. It’s kind of chaotic. And for about an hour or two, every day I have peace and quiet that I spend applying for jobs, researching companies, emailing contacts and making phone calls. Then on the rare days when I’m just too exhausted from my children or just don’t have the energy to be a job seeker that afternoon, I give in and take a nap too. Those are the days I could definitely get used to if this could ever become a permanent gig. Adult naps should be a trend that everyone partakes in on a regular basis.
Once again, I’m not complaining because I’ve wanted the opportunity to spend some actual time with my kids since my oldest son was born. To have more time and not just the couple of hours before bedtime during the week and then the rush of time on the weekends when you try to shove everything in because weekend hours always go faster than weekday hours.
These last six and half weeks have been great with, of course, the ups and downs, along with a couple twists and turns. But I’m trying not to just act like this is all a giant waiting game and my kids are the consolation prize. That will never be the case, rather they are the grand prize. I understand that every age is great, but this age is AWESOME because they are taking in everything like a giant sponge and I love having a front row seat to that right now even if it’s a temporary one. I know I’ll always be their mother but when you feel like you’re practically tucking them in seconds after you get home from work, you stop and wonder, “Am I doing the right thing? Aren’t they the most important aspect of my life?”
So for right now a regular unemployment check will help pay most of the bills, while my two little princes and a full-time job search keep me occupied in the meantime during the day. Life could be worse, much worse, I know. So I am perfectly okay with these twists and turns at this point.