I know that being unemployed is a pretty lousy circumstance, but like I've been saying, I'm trying to keep a positive attitude...at least while I can, before the real stress of applications and interviews begins. That should be soon, by the way. My resume is pretty much done and that's when it gets real.
In the meantime, there are many things to enjoy. Bonus time with Carter, in particular, is nice. He's at a hilarious age right now, and I love hearing him try new words and come out with a few phrases here and there. Of course, he's also getting into the terrible twos and is prone to tantrums and turning to jello at a moment's notice, so dealing with a little more of that isn't always easy. I enjoy the opportunity to catch up on my favorite 80s TV shows (most days it's game shows on GSN and today it was The Cosby Show) and keep my DVR clear, but that can get old after a while. I've been able to take up reading again, but the moments to do that still seem to be few and far between. I can keep my house a little cleaner, but that's not really very fun and I feel like I've already picked up the same toys a thousand times in the past two weeks.
So what is my favorite part? Seems silly, but my favorite part is not being rushed. Don't get me wrong, I still have a schedule. I have to get out of bed and get Jacob's lunch ready before he leaves, and I still have to pick him up from school and manage appointments and schedules. But there's a certain luxury to being able to schedule my own time within those limitations. Overall it just makes me a less stressed human being. I can shop during the day, rather than cramming it into the commute home. I'm not trying to run errands like a maniac all weekend or in the evenings. Having time to get it out of the way during the week makes me a less crazy person during the times that used to be my only chance.
I know this seems like sort of a little thing in the grand scheme of things, but it's hard to explain how it changes your entire outlook on things. Before, it was easy to push things off and say that I simply didn't have the time. Now, I often can take care of things right then and there, or I can put it on my mental list to get it done soon, and know that I have the time to actually do it. I'm trying to remind myself every day how lucky I am to have this time (regardless of the reason) and how annoyed with myself I would be if I didn't get things done on my to do list before I get back to work. I have curtains that need to be hung in two rooms, for example. I have a smoke detector that needs to be installed. I have organization projects that I'd like to get around to. I want to get back in shape. I need to schedule a physical and get a new doctor. I want to grab lunch with Craig once in a while. Hopefully I can get them done, but it's nice to know it's even a possibility.
I just like that I'm not spending every spare moment trying to cram things in, and rushing myself and everyone else all the time. I guess you could just characterize it as breathing room. Instead of feeling completely crushed by my schedule, I have wiggle room and options. It's refreshing. I'd like to think it makes me a better mom who can live in the moment a little more easily, but I'm definitely still working on that. Just because I have more time doesn't mean that dinner still doesn't need to get on the table by a certain time, and having a kid attached to my leg makes that difficult...and Carter doesn't always like that. I still need to be the heavy and get Jacob off the Wii sometimes, and he doesn't always like that. But I am trying to take the time to play with the kids more and not rush them through everything. I'm still not great at remembering to get into Jacob's backpack or clear out the diaper pail, but the odds of it happening sooner than it would have previously are definitely higher!
I'm definitely still finding my way through this stay-at-home mom experience. It's not the way I wanted to do it and I never dreamed I'd even have this opportunity, so it's a bit of a mental adjustment to realize all that I can do with it. I know there's a lot of work ahead of me, but in the meantime I will enjoy the perks...at my leisure, of course ;-)