Sometimes I love the SAHM life, with all my volunteer projects/aspirations, home business ideas, hobbies, mother-and-baby groups and, of course, Fifi-time. Then on other days, it all seems too much. Today it seems too much.
First and foremost, my priority is Fifi. She's great, she's the light of my life, but she's a lot of work. Right now she has a cold (the downside of no longer exclusively breastfeeding!), so she's not sleeping well at night, and she's miserable during the day. So, as much as I love my Fifi-time, sometimes it's just really hard. My second priority is my house. Soon Scott will be (crossing fingers) working his part-time job on top of his full-time job, and the house will rightfully be completely my duty. I think this is more than fair, but with my more than full-time Fifi-ing, housework is hard to keep up. I've been doing a lot better lately with staying home more, which I think has been really good for us both, but the housework continues to pile up (the perfect example being the laundry, which is literally piling up). But it's my job, and I'm happy to do it.
Of next but lesser importance, I'd personally consider my volunteering. Scott might think my home businesses should be of next importance, but I just can't help but see my work with breastfeeding support being a higher priority. I care so passionately about breastfeeding and believe so deeply in it, that I want to do every bit I can to see other mums succeed. We live in a crazy culture where breastfeeding is not the norm, and those of us who know how to do it have a responsibility to those who are just starting out, in my opinion. So my breastfeeding support group on Thursdays and La Leche League once a month are really important to me. Also very important to me is the work of Baby Milk Action, which I'd like to get more involved with. But the more 'lactivist' I get, the more weighed down I get with the hugeness of it all. And on days like today, I wonder if I'm taking on too much.
Then there is my business ventures. For now, that is limited to Lori Borealis and the clerical work I do for a company called Sportscovers. Sportscovers was really an answered prayer for us, as it gives us a bit of money each month for a really easy, if not unbelievably time-consuming and boring, job. And Lori Borealis is a great idea but is also time-consuming and requires a lot more dedication than just transcribing reports like I do for Sportscovers. I'm in the process of finishing my business plan to present to a panel with the Business Gateway for a couple of grants. Getting those grants will be so great, but the time I need to put in for it at times seems massive. It's totally worth the money, of course, but where do I find the extra time that seems so rare?
Now, there is also the other business thing that I've been so mysterious about. I can say now that I have been offered a franchise, conditionally, for TinyTalk, a baby signing company. This is what I interviewed for in London. It is offered conditionally in that they want to first see me get a bit more experience with signing with Fifi (or other babies) before I begin my own classes, which is fair enough. If and when this thing gets started, it will take precedence over my breastfeeding support projects, as it will be a serious investment and a serious job. I really, really look forward to it and am really enthusiastic about it. It's one job that doesn't seem too much on days like this. It rather feels like a breath of fresh air - imagine seeing all those chubby hands doing signs for the first time and all those ecstatic mums who have seen their work pay off! Ahh.
But then, with all these things competing for my time (and it always comes back to Fifi, as she is what this is all about, she is the reason I don't work outside the home), where do I find time for me? I have so many hobbies and interests: reading, sewing, painting, theology, not to mention those long-forgotten interests of writing poetry and running. The time to do these things is incredibly limited. I've been working on my second sock alien for over four weeks now! That's the kind of project that used to take a couple of hours, tops. And I still have so many Christmas presents I want to make. It doesn't seem to matter that I started sewing for Christmas in August. It's October, and I'm nowhere close to finished. Time is so precious these days. Especially days like today.
I know it will all work itself out in the end. I know that I will learn to prioritise correctly, and everything will fall into place. I've already let many things go in order to keep what is most important to me. Like I mentioned before, staying in more often has been a big help. Not spending money has been a great boost to my soul, too. Cleaning the kitchen yesterday and tidying the living room today and having dinner on the table at a reasonable hour make me feel like I'm doing my bit. Seeing Fifi make huge leaps and bounds, seeing her always smiling, hearing everyone's comments on what a good baby she is, reminds me that I'm doing my best as a mother. Days like today may make me feel tired and overstretched, but I know that being a wife and mother, and a child of God, are the big things in life, and those are the things that I feel good about. The other things are simply other things.
I feel pretty good about my life.
And on that note, Fifi is stirring, and I'm smelling what might be a rather 'fresh' nappy... some jobs just don't have a punch-out card, do they? I suppose they are the most rewarding ones, though.