boredom, part 1

by humanmama on November 1, 2010

So I’m not really sure, but I think I’d like to write a book. A lot of friends and family, neighbors, etc. have said to me recently that they enjoy my rantings, and even if just all of them bought a book it would make more than I’m making now, probably.

It’s so hard to be a “Stay-at home” person. I know a guy down the street who stays at home. At first I thought, maybe it’s perfect: a husband stays at home, the wife works. Then she comes home, does all the “home-work,” sees the kids, but still feels like she has both worlds. And guys are so laid back that they’re not stressing out over outfits matching and hair brushing–they just go with the flow, and it’s good for them, too. That’s what I thought. A few minutes of listening to him talk about it, though, confirmed it. There’s no job harder than the “Stay-at-home.” No matter the gender.

The difficulty about it is the sameness. And it gets much worse this time of year. I was at Chuck-E-Cheese in mid-January with the family for a birthday party and you could see it everywhere: the look of desperation on parents’ faces. The “Another 4 months until we can go outside for an extended period of time?!” look, and that’s probably why it was so packed there. The best thing about this, though, as usual, is that the kids don’t even notice. As long as you don’t care, they pretty much find fun wherever, from running around the couch 50 times to imagining their straws are people talking to themselves. Or if you stress that they’re always bored and understimulated, then they’ll probably always be bored, and totally drive you nuts. That’s the “stay-at-home”‘s biggest challenge: realizing that they’ll develop an imagination/soothe themselves somewhat/be okay if you just leave them alone for a second or two. Most of the time.

Unless your husband suggests this. In which case, it is absolutely ridiculous to think that a 4-year-old can be left alone for any extended period of time in which she is not being constantly stimulated. In fact, it’s selfish. Poor guy :)

Okay, let’s just say that I haven’t been feeling myself as a stay-at-home lately. Part of it is the brokeness, the broke-as-a-jokeness, the “I want to buy food coloring/a razor/paper towels but I have to wait 3 weeks until the 3rd paycheck of the month since all the rest are spoken for.” There’s nothing so broke as one income, except, I suppose, no income. But no matter how broke you are with 2 incomes, imagine just one. We have been doing really well, I think, since we own a home in a really, really great neighborhood with the 2nd best schools in Pennsylvania living only on what Ben makes. And he’s a carpenter foreman, a Union carpenter, which has its pros and cons but basically means “if you work your ass off, you will make money enough to live on for you and your family.” It’s not, if you might be thinking, CEO pay.

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