Thursday, November 15, 2012

Life as a Quasi- Stay at Home(wood Suites) Mom

I'm in a funk.  Limbo.  A holding pen, anxiously awaiting that 'next step' that I've been trying to wrap my brain around.

With a week to go before Thanksgiving, I've decided I need to get over this 'blah' I've let myself fall into and step it up with my blogging (which, by the way, I've been *promising* myself I'd do every day since we arrived in Texas).  I owe it to myself, and most importantly, my kids, to document some of the things going on as we transition from life as Coloradans to life as Texans.

Things in Texas are going well...Randy is adjusting well to his new job, learning the ins and outs of oil and gas sales and discovering the differences of working in the 'corporate' world.  We are all enjoying his 'normal' schedule, and seeing him dressed up each morning for work brings a little smile to my face, cause he's just so darn cute. :)

Gavin is really liking his new elementary school.  He has two different teachers; a language arts teacher, and a math/science/social studies teacher.  Both have emailed me to let me know how happy they are to have him in class.  He's making new friends and likes the fact that he has a uniform dress code (I thought he'd be upset that he didn't get to wear some of his favorite t-shirts).  I'm driving him to school each morning for now, until we move into our house.  This dynamic allows for a mommy-son breakfast each morning that puts a smile on his face for the day (mine, too).

Brynn and Raegan hang out with me during the day, which gives us some time to visit the library and craft store.  We've been doing some daily exploring; checking out the city of Sugar Land, and getting used to where things are located.  B also has a few pre-school books that we've been working on each day, so that we can keep her brain busy until we get settled and figure out preschool costs.  Raegan's been keeping us busy with her typical toddler antics (I think we've cleaned up the overturned toy bins and scattered crayons at least a dozen times each day).

The dogs are doing well.  I'm grateful they have each other, and I think they are, too, even if it makes for tight sleeping quarters in their travel crate.  Biscuits isn't quite a fan of the fact that she needs to walk on a leash for her restroom needs, as she is used to having free range in the back yard.  I keep telling her that her time will come, as she sulks and follows along to the *perfect* spot Mojo sniffs out to spin 17 times before going potty.  As the days blend together, I think she's starting to doubt me.

That takes me to me.  I've always struggled personally with the working mom/stay at home mom dynamic.  The grass was always greener, whether it was the school year when I craved free time with my kids, or the summer when I craved the structure of a well-scheduled day.  Teaching gave me the perfect opportunity to experience both atmospheres, and just when I was 'settling in', the time of the year would allow me to flip the coin and experience life on the 'other side'.

When Randy and I made the decision to move our family to Texas, I was about 85% on board.  That 15% of me that wavered did so because I knew that it meant a shift in the role I played in my family and in my life.  For a decade, I taught classrooms full of students, sponsored student leadership teams, organized yearbooks, and directed plays.  Not to mention, I ran a household.  For six of those years, I balanced doing all of that with the added responsibilities of kids.  I thrived when my plate was full, wouldn't blink at saying 'yes' to a request from my principal for a project, or a dinner invitation from girlfriends during what almost always was an exhausting week where I'd hardly accomplished a full load of laundry.  Was our home spic and span and 'company ready' at all times?  Not a chance.  But my kids were fed and clothed and they were happy and smiling (unless they were fighting).  Was my classroom uber organized, lesson plans completed for the upcoming week, and papers graded in a timely fashion?, (but honestly, what teacher ever feels 'caught up'?)

Now, however, the pendulum has stopped swinging and is resting in the realm of stay at home mommy.  I'm relishing in the thoughts of getting to spend more quality time with my kids, making fun crafts, baking with them, having the house in a more defined order, and seeking out other avenues on which to find personal fulfillment.  My mental list of 'things to do once we're moved in and the house is in order' is speckled with wide variety of Pinterest finds, personal goals, and lots of laughter and smiles from the munchkins.  The possibilities are endless.

I did start this blog off by saying I was in a funk, right?  My friends and family have been emailing, texting, facebooking, or calling to see how things are going here in Texas, and I honestly feel like I'm lying to them when I say things are going great.  That probably sounds really hypocritical based on all that I wrote about the great things we have going on so far.  I don't necessarily feel like 'life in Texas' has started yet, which is why feel like we're in limbo.  

While the staff here at our Homewood Suites has been so very *sweet*, and I feel grateful that we have nice accommodations for our temporary housing situation, I still have this feeling of being on a family vacation from hell.  You know the kind...take a little dabble from the various National Lampoon movies and add in a little 'slightly spoiled' hotel guest and you get the idea.  The whole 'transition to full time stay at home mom' thing has taken somewhat of a backseat as we sit here, enjoying meals and housekeeping services.  ~Breakfast is provided every morning, with choices to please everyone's cravings (I cannot.stop.eating. the Texas-shaped waffles...I seriously contemplate buying an iron for our house).  Dinner is provided Monday-Thursday, and while I might prepare some of the options differently, for a *free* meal, it's not bad.  Plus, there's a salad bar...and beer and wine.  Randy's a fan of that part the most.
~Housekeeping comes in each day to change the sheets, fluff the pillows, and replace our 1-time-use towels with fresh, clean towels.  I've in inadvertently discovered that if I leave dishes in the sink, they'll be washed for me and left to dry on the towel beside the sink (ok, I seriously felt awful about that when it happened, and have since washed the dishes before housekeeping comes in).  We even came home the other day to discover that the kids 'lovies' and blankets had been neatly folded and organized adorably so on the arm chair.  
I mean, come on.  This is not how a household works.  Well, at least this isn't how my household works.  Parts of it, sure...the beds will be 'made' each day (the kids have a different meaning of the word 'made' than I do), and of course meals will be prepared.  I fear what the response will be, however, when the kids don't have a smorgasbord of options for their breakfast (although Gavin's requested I stock up on a variety of single-serving size cereal boxes and a silver insulated carafe for his milk).  I fear what Randy will do when he tries to make beer magically appear from the non-existent tap he 'thinks' is installed in our counter top because that's what he's familiar with at dinner time. I fear what they'll all do when they realize that sheets are not stripped and laundered daily, and towels can be hung up to dry so they can be used more than once as well.  I also fear what I'll do when I realize that these little 'luxuries' that I'm quickly becoming accustomed to as 'standard procedure' are the very tasks that will once again become commonplace on my own schedule.  Will I even remember how to cook/bake/make a bed?!

For now, I guess I'll enjoy this 'limbo funk', treasure the super squished living quarters, continue living as a quasi stay-at-home mom, and keep counting down the days until closing!  (as of right now, that count is at 17!)

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