TIME (& what it means to this WAHM)

As I drove into town tonight with my laptop, ready for a cup of joe at one of my favorite local coffee shops, The Eye of the Tiger came on the radio. I found it quite fitting. Let me explain.

I am having another brief evening all to myself.

This is the third evening in a row.

No toddler.

No husband.

Just me. …just little old me.

The past two nights I’ve had this new-found TIME and I’ve spent it at home, catching up on cleaning and writing one blog post (a lovely pumpkin ice cream recipe).

I’ve spent it rocking out to some of my favorite music (LOUDLY) while dancing, singing, and being productive…in whatever ways that I desire.

Tonight…I am out-and-about on the town, baby! Woo Who!! I am getting AMPED on coffee, friends!!!

My husband and I have recently come to an excellent agreement. This agreement involves…

Time to me is now as good as gold. I never realized just what time really meant, that is, until I gave birth to our amazing son.

Are you a Mommy? Do you work out of the home? In the home? Are you a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM)? Are you a work-at-home-mom (WAHM)?

You know what…it doesn’t matter. No matter what you do, when you have a toddler in the house, having a lengthy stretch of time to accomplish, well…anything…is like finding a needle in a haystack.

15 Minutes

For me, it seems like I have time in 15 minute increments or so. What can I do in 15 minutes? Well, A LOT!

That said, there is still A LOT that I need to accomplish that CANNOT be completed in 15 minutes. This means that I often start many projects and am unable to finish them.

Start the dishes…stop to help Oliver, as he fell off of the couch and I need to kiss his boo-boos.

Start to fold laundry…stop, as Oliver wanted to come ‘play’ and throw the clothing around the room (hey, he’s learning about gravity, right!?)…hehe.

Start to fill some skincare orders…stop, as Oliver woke up from his nap, so it’s now cuddle time.

Start to declutter the counter (which always seems to be packed with, mainly crap!)…stop because Oliver decided he’s hungry (and he’s right; it’s probably lunchtime).

Start to create some skincare products…stop because Oliver wants to play with me (I love this time the most).

Start to write a blog post…stop because Oliver wants to play on the computer with me (okay, my sweets, let’s do it).

Okay, you get the picture. If you are a Mom, you can probably relate.

I am still trying to find a balance with everything that I do. 

First, let me say that I absolutely adore what I now do in life. I am NOT complaining; I am simply sharing my thoughts and feelings with all of you.

Besides The Eye of the Tiger encouraging me as I drove into town to rock out a blog post, another irony happened JUST now…right next to me. Bizarre…please, let me share. I appreciate you indulging me and I’d LOVE to hear your stories below! I am all about story sharing. Okay…

When we moved to this little college town just over a year ago, I was enrolled in a PhD program to finish what I started. I had earned a Master’s of Science in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) and finishing the PhD was simply the next natural step.

After the first semester, I could not fathom completing the program. I had fallen out of love with HESA and more in love with wanting to stay home with my son. Personally, for me, I did not want to send him to daycare while I slaved away on coursework, networking, paper writing, conference/symposium proposals, journal submissions, blah blah blah…especially since it was no longer in my soul.

We have made extreme sacrifices to live this life…of me being home and not earning a substantial income from outside work. Is it worth it to me? Absolutely. 100%.

Anyway…sitting next to me a few minutes ago was a former colleague from the HESA program. She didn’t notice me. She was talking about all of the proposals she recently sent in for upcoming conferences, the multiple journal articles she would love to get published, all of the homework she had to do, etc etc etc.

I was absolutely exhausted just listening to her…and in my soul, I KNEW that I made the right decision. WE made the right decision.

So…The Eye of the Tiger and HESA talk…

All of this brings me back to TIME.

We ALL have only a certain amount of time on this Earth. We make decisions on how to spend our time, each and everyday.

Me?

I spend almost every waking hour with our toddler, as that is my #1 job. That is how I WANT to spend my time.

That said…

TIME, I think, also means…

Taking
I
Moments
Everyday

My toddler (obviously) has multiple needs, each and everyday. I am there for him. I support him. I care for him. I love him.

My husband needs me everyday, too. We are all in this together and we need to all be there to support each other. He works ridiculously hard for this little family, and for that, I am beyond appreciative. I love him.

You know what?

What about me? Remember how I mentioned that I spend almost every single waking moment with our son?

What does that mean for MY time?

I do what I can in my 15 minute increments during the day. In the evenings???

I fulfill skincare orders, create skincare products, write blog posts, schedule Facebook posts (and tweet, and ‘Pin’ things, and respond to blog comments), clean the kitchen, try to finish laundry (I’m pretty bad at laundry), spend time with my husband…

Oh yeah…did you see that last one?

Spend time with my husband.

How do I do EVERYTHING else listed above and STILL have time for him?

Sometimes, I falter; it’s not fair.

So…finally, we are getting to the heart of this blog post…

I need to have some undivided TIME (Taking ‘I’ Moments Everyday) so I can take care of things that NEED to be done (for the home, my business, and my husband…and little old ME).

Again, TIME to me is gold.

Hitting that reset button.

Being able to refocus.

After only 3 days of our new plan for me to have a little bit of evening time to myself, I cannot begin to explain how much more I feel like…me.

I feel more focused, renewed, energized, and creative. I feel more like washing the dishes everyday; I feel more like dusting (which I despise); I feel more like laying down and tickling feet with my hubby; I feel more like having some intimate time with my hubby; I feel more connected to Oliver.

I really DO need TIME (Taking ‘I’ Moments Everyday).

Seriously, I think that everyone will benefit from me having ‘I’ moments everyday…especially all of you SAHMs &/or WAHMs. It’s easy to do the same thing day-in and day-out…you know, fall into a rut.

For me, being in a rut feels like a stone on my chest. I feel like I cannot breathe.

You, too?

Now, my husband travels a lot, so I will not get undivided ‘I’ time everyday through him, but knowing that when he returns I get it, is going to be enough to keep me going.

I am filing this blog post under the category of ‘Giving Thanks’. I am writing this blog post for a few reasons…

  1. To publicly tell my husband THANK YOU for ALL that you do for our family. THANK YOU for hearing my quiet pleas for ‘I’ time, and listening. THANK YOU for being such a rock for our family. THANK YOU for your unconditional love and support. THANK YOU for taking extra time with Oliver (I know that he loves & needs his Daddy 1-on-1 time). Thank you.
  2. To encourage YOU SAHM/WAHM/anyone, everyone…create some ‘I’ time into your days. Having TIME is crucial, I believe, for us to remember who we are. It can become quite tedious to be with a toddler everyday…you have to create time for YOU.
I've been golfing 3 days straight, and I LOVE it!
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I’ve been golfing 3 days straight, and I LOVE it!

Again, I am thankful for being able to stay with our son. I could not image working fulltime or going to school fulltime (or some amazing Mommas that I know who do both); you have my sincere mad props. I am simply not that good at multitasking, and I know that I’d fail at something.

If I hadn’t been able to chat with my husband about having TIME, I don’t think I’d be able to continue blogging AND running my skincare business AND be a successful (most days) Momma. Something would ‘give’, as that’s just, too much for me.

Thanks for listening to my story. I really would LOVE to hear yours! Have some tips to share that might help other SAHMs &/or WAHMs? Please, by all means, comment below!

…I was just wrapping up this post and guess who stopped by to say hello…?

HUBBY AND TODDLER!

Seriously…I love my life. It’s not all roses, rainbows, and *real* food all of the time, but it’s pretty damn good. Having this arrangement for TIME has made it all seem a bit more manageable…and even more enjoyable.

I am one lucky Momma and Wife.

Until next time…

xoxo,
Jess, aka Scratch Mommy

PS Seriously, if you do not know what the song Eye of the Tiger is, go HERE and at least listen to the preview.

Photo credits: Hourglass & pocketwatch

Comments 4

  1. Jess,

    I loved this post!!! I think this is probably my number 1 fault….TIME. It is something that I am working on and is a goal of mine for 2014. I know that sounds kind of silly, but I work out of my home and work an additional part time job, so my schedule is made far in advance. I am learning how to say no to others so that I can have TIME. This is a very difficult task for me because I do not like to say no, I love making people happy, but if I don’t say no now, there will be no making people happy in the future, I do not want to burn out.

    Thanks for this post, it is so nice hearing other people’s stories of their life to help me understand that mine is normal. 🙂

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