Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Where Does The Time Go?

Today is effectively the last day of my time off work. For those of you who didn't know, I've spent the last two and a half weeks off work. I've been -- shall we say -- a bit burned out at work lately. After bringing this up to my boss's boss, he suggested I take off three weeks in November. Ya know, since I have that much vacation time that I haven't taken. And I still have the time remaining to take off the last two weeks in December.

For me, this was a trial run to see how I do without a job. I'm seriously considering going the SAHM route, for a nubmer of reasons (Little Miss leaving me out of family pictures, the working through dinners while working at home, the challenge of finding the time to do everything I'm committed to doing, the absolute dread I feel every time I have to have anything to do with my boss).

I tried staying at home previously when the wee ones were truly wee. When Mister Man was two and a half and Little Miss eight months, I stayed home for six months. Going hundreds of miles an hour at work to zero with two mobile (she was walking shortly thereafter) children while living in a new area didn't work out for me so well. Now, it's a different story.

I can happily say that I was not in the least bored while off work. Interestingly, I've been more busy than normal. I'm way behind on my DVR. I'm so far behind on blog reading (sorry!) that I'll never catch up. I did fun homemade dinners more often, but not nearly as often as I thought I would. While I caught up on a lot of stuff at home, I'm still trying to figure out how I didn't get more done.

Things I did get done:
Made of list of everything I had to do while I was off
Wrote Mister Man's thank you notes for his birthday (that happened October 17)
Made it to the gym regularly
Had breakfast and lunch with friends I hadn't caught up with enough
Got a mani/pedi
Sorted my closet
Put together the annual gift card fundraiser for Little Miss's preschool
Put out the preschool newsletter
Got caught up on laundry
Played games with the wee ones
Took Little Miss to her gymnastics class
Got the old blinds over to my friend's house who will hang them someday (maybe this weekend, she says!)
Took the wee ones to open gym
Went to dinner with the wee ones at a friend's house
Read
Caught up completely on the Labels for Education sorting, cutting and gluing

Things I didn't get done:
Make that dentist appointment
Get to the dentist
File the growing pile of papers in the office
Get my flu shot
Volunteer in Mister Man's classroom
Get caught up on blogs
Put up the reviews awaiting my review blog (next week!)
Make an inventory of the freezer and do meal planning based on this
Take the wee ones' outgrown clothes to the shelter
Straighten up the office
Call for a charity to come take away the old entertainment center
Get Mister Man's swimming lessons moved to a new time

I'm still trying to figure out how I'm busier with more free time than I was when I was working 30 plus hours a week. However, the realization that I have three weeks before I'm off again was really depressing, as me who can't count thought it was only two.

I loved having time with the wee ones. Hearing about their days in school and being able to take my time hearing all the stories instead of having two minutes between conference calls was great. Being able to see Little Miss run around the gym was heartwarming. Having the time to do vision therapy exercises with Mister Man instead of nagging my husband and mother to try to do them was gratifying. I liked being home.

While I felt guilty the first week about a couple things that I wanted to do for work, I successfully resisted the urge to ever check my email or to even charge my Blackberry. I separated, and I didn't miss it.

And there are so many things that I want to do yet if I had more time. With more time, I could really improve the wee ones' largest fundraiser of the year coming in May. I've wanted to volunteer at a hippotherapy center near me for years, but I can't justify it while working. I'm running further now, but once I go back to work, I have only one or possibly two (including the weekend) days that I can get to the gym, which means my progress will stagnate or worse. And the playdates that the wee ones love to have and so rarely get when I'm working? Just the joy that Mister Man showed on his face when I took him and a friend to go see a play on Monday was priceless.

But I'm wondering if the office will still remain with its growing pile of papers. I think my magazine pile might continue to expand. Somehow, the days just disappear. What's the saying though? Time flies when you're having fun. And me? I've been having fun.

14 comments:

Laura November 26, 2009 at 1:23 AM  

Michelle I think a more pertinent saying might be motherhood: where the days are long but the years are short. If you can afford it monetarily and mentally do it! However if 2 days a week away keeps you from going nuts well then I say stay at work. Here's a big **HUG** to you! It's hard but whatever you do will be right.

WeaselMomma November 26, 2009 at 4:08 AM  

I anxiously await your final decision. People often ask me if I'm bored at home, I always say, I don't have time to be bored.

Pat November 26, 2009 at 8:20 AM  

I agree with Laura: Those childhood years go by so quickly. It just seems like you turn around and they're off to college and time went by like a flash. I was a substitute teacher occasionally when my kids were growing up, but I was home when they got home. Then I went back to full-time teaching when my oldest was 17. I loved being home with my kids. I have no regrets.

H F W November 26, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

I hope you are able to have a peace about a final decision. It must be really tough; as a business owner, I know it's tough to split time between family and work. However, I must say that if I were to chose between the two, the kids would win hands down any day. I love being a mostly SAHM.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Mrs4444 November 27, 2009 at 1:33 AM  

We are equally busy at home and at work. The difference is that busy at home makes a difference; that's the selling point in my mind. Good luck with your decision.

And Happy Belated Thanksgiving! :)

Tara R. November 27, 2009 at 9:22 AM  

I'm home full time again (not so much by choice), but I am quickly adjusting and loving it. Now to convince hubs it's the right choice for us for me to continue at home.

Maybe once you make a final decision, and can create a routine, you won't feel so busy.

Mary~Momathon November 27, 2009 at 12:54 PM  

Hope you find the right balance! Sounds like staying home suits you, maybe do it for a year or two? I'll work again, someday. Dreading that thought.

Unknown Mami November 27, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

Go with your gut!

Kate November 28, 2009 at 3:54 AM  

Good luck with the decision!

Cookie November 28, 2009 at 9:58 PM  

So are you ready to take the plunge and stay home?!!?

Michelle November 29, 2009 at 5:20 PM  

Laura - You've definitely struck the nail on the head, and that's what I'm coming to realize more and more each day. When we moved to our current house, we did so with the intention that I would not be working, but ... I didn't last.

WeaselMomma - And I know the same was true when my mom stayed home with me. Until she went back to work when I was in junior high or so.... I'll keep you in the loop :)

Pat - That's something that I've considered. My husband teachers, and there is another PTO president in our district who does substitute teaching. I've actually thought about getting my certificate in general for "someday."

Hyacynth - Oh c'mon, you know there will never be peace. The grass is truly always greener. I just hope I can find contentment on a regular basis. And that I know I don't have today.

Mrs4444 - And my job? It doesn't make a difference in the world -- at least not in a good way ;)

Tara - Good luck convincing your husband. I have a few friends who've recently made the transition to being SAHM, and they're doing well and enjoying it. And I have friends who have been SAHM for years and are green with envy with the PT work that I have. Crystal ball, anyone?

Mary - The challenge is that in a year or two, will I be able to find a job that challenges me but that still offers the kind of flexibility I have now? That's the biggest thing that's keeping me in my job right now.

Unknown Mami - Of course, my gut is telling me to call into work tomorrow and give notice ;) I am really still wrestling (publicly!) with it though.

Kate - Thanks, I appreciate it. Changes are never easy, are they?

Cookie - I think I am. I just don't know if I have the courage to do so!

septembermom November 29, 2009 at 8:09 PM  

I think you would enjoy your time at home with those kiddos. Think of all those hide and seek opportunities. You should see the places that I find to hide :) Good luck with your decision!

Michelle November 29, 2009 at 8:16 PM  

Kelly - That cracks me up. I LOVE the hide and seek idea ;) Want to share some of your best spots?

Angela November 30, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

Good for you!! You deserve a break and I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it. I had four days off this weekend and, even with a house full of guests for that and the five days before it, I got a fair bit done and I'm pleased with the rest I worked in. I am SO much more productive when I don't have to work a full time job but we're committed to my working unless/until we have kids. Then we'll reevaluate. Thus, my prayers that we will get pregnant SOON because I, too am seriously burned out on work. But I'm hanging in there!

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