Thursday, February 27, 2014

Too Much/Not Enough

I've always fixated on things. I'll obsess for days over a decision I made. Sometimes it is a decision I made 15 years ago. I rehash it in my mind. Did I do the right thing? What would have happened if I had done this? Or that?

Since I've become a Stay At Home Mom (can someone please tell me the proper way to punctuate that title?), my fixations have mostly focused on my children and my house. I feel like I have so much TIME to think about these two things, because I don't have a job. Excuse me, I don't have a job outside the home. Would I spend this much time worrying about where to send Clare to preschool if I had a job (outside the home)? I've toured three preschools, attended a preschool fair, and enrolled her in a nearby school. It is part of a K-8 school, and really quite lovely. The teachers are warm, friendly people and the room is sunny and bright. One of the main reasons I chose it was its flexibility - she can stay there from 8 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. if I choose, and you can tell them that week that you'd like the extra hours. It also has a drop off lane - I won't have to get out of the car. In the winter, with Christopher no longer in the baby car seat, this will be huge. Lately, though, I've been wondering if it is the right school for her. Will she learn what she needs to? Did I get the right "vibe"? Part of the problem is I talk to other SAHMs at play dates etc., and when I hear about their decisions about preschools I start second guessing myself. (I do this all the time.) But it is PRESCHOOL, right? Does it really matter that much? GAH.

My other obsession: that someone will fall from our open staircase. I mean, really. Lots of people have those, right? And children are not routinely falling from them?

Because I am not working on other projects (outside of housework), I think about these things constantly. If I was working, would I stop? Or would I obsess just as much?

Sometimes, though, I feel like I have no time at all. Why, when I have all this time, does my laundry stay in piles, never to be put away or even folded? Why can't I have a clean house, or get through simple items on my to do list on a daily basis?

I spend my days doing all sorts of "child maintenance duties" as my mother calls them. And thinking. And feeling sorry for myself.

But really, I just need to SHUT UP, right? I have a good life. I have a comfortable home. Yes, I work hard taking care of my children. I realize, though, that compared to many, many people, my life is easy. And it won't be this way forever. This afternoon, after Clare FINALLY went down for her nap after what seemed like 20 potty breaks, I sat on the couch with the cutest baby in the world (in my biased opinion), watched TV, and ate jelly beans.

I mean, come on. SHUT UP EMILY.

(But seriously, it doesn't matter where she goes to preschool, right?)

Cute baby.


  1. No, it doesn't (as long as it's safe). Many kids don't even go to preschool. They go straight from home with mom to K. I think for the most part, preschool is for YOU. She's going to have a blast, learn some stuff, it's convenient, etc., and YOU get time away from Clare. (And she gets time away from you.) It's all good. Chill out. ;)

    As for the falling down the stairs, etc., we all do this. I've written about it before, worrying about things like if I had a heart attack while they're in the bath, or what if a knife FELL off the counter and cut them. I mean, WHAT? It's stupid. But we can't help ourselves. All our worry goes to them. Even if you were working (outside the home), at least for me, work is MEH when it comes to worry -- all my worry is for at home.

    And it's impossible to get anything done with two children. Whether you're home or not. Impossible. We'll have clean, organized lives someday. I hope.

    Do you read Julia's blog? You might like the series she has going right now: Moms Make it Work. It's awesome to read about all the different moms out there in a completely positive, supportive way. You might find some joy in reading about other SAHMs. (Also, look for my post on her blog in a couple weeks!)

  2. If you didn't worry (and obsess, and worry some more), you wouldn't be the Emily we all know and love. :)

    Clare would do great in any environment. Really. I'm sure the preschool you originally chose will be PERFECT. Trust your instincts!!! (A is right, too, MANY kids don't go to preschool at all, they go straight from home to kindergarten or straight from daycare to kindergarten.)

    We toured a few different preschools for the boys (based on hours of availability, mostly) and it was easy to rule out the "no" preschools pretty easily. One was dark and kind of dirty, I got a weird vibe from the director in another one, this one was "just right." When Clare starts kindergarten, will she be walking to school or taking a bus? That was a determining factor for us — we wanted the kids to be able to take the bus to school from preschool. (Adam's preschool buses to three different elementary schools. I love that a teacher waits with the kids in the morning and greets the bus in the afternoon.)

    If we didn't have irrational fears, we wouldn't be doing our jobs. As writers, we probably have overactive imaginations, too, making it REALLY convenient to freak ourselves out with worst-case-scenario situations.

    And please don't ever shut up!!!! Your blog posts are refreshingly honest and humorous and well written and just so YOU. I love that you share little insights into your daily routine and your thoughts.