Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cabin Fever

I have cabin fever. Summer does that to me, strange as it may sound. As the long days of doing nothing but the same things (dishes, laundry, vacuum, orchestrate the child slaves, dishes, dinner, laundry, etc.) drag on and on, the joys of being home with my children 24/7 begin to fade. Is that bad? Am I a horrible person?

As someone working in the school system (I'm a high school sub) I have the benefit of taking the summers off with my children. This is something I look forward to every year - especially since this last year or two my schedule has been almost full time. Definitely too much for a woman with four children. As summer approaches I get almost desperate for the madness of trying to work and keep it all together to end.

Finally, summer arrives. Oh blessed mornings of not forcing people out of bed and into their clothes. The first month or so speeds by rapidly as we get immersed in our summer schedule of chores (I swear that's all we do around here). Eventually - sometime around the middle of July - the sun comes out and we start going to the lake. Other than that, things pretty much revolve around our house and Grandma's. The perfect, lazy summer with nothing to do. (But clean).

It's wearing me down.

By August, I begin to feel tired. "Why get dressed?" my brain says in the morning. Don't worry Mother, I do...eventually. I swear I wear the same three t-shirts over and over again. But then again, no one sees me so who cares - right? I still put make-up on - if and when I leave the house. I still talk to people - my mother and sisters. I still shower - but my goal to shave my legs at least every three days has not been met lately.

Am I pathetic? Is this normal? Shouldn't a person be able to feel energized even if they have nowhere to go, nothing to do (but clean), no one to see, nothing to look forward to but the next round of mess-it-up-clean-it-up?

I have never been good at the 'not having a job' thing. Whether it's something small, like teaching piano lessons or selling pampered chef, I have always done something. I suppose it's really a blessing, since financially my income is kind of important. It's not like I want to work very much either. Give me one or two days a week out of the house and I'm good.

On the bright side (because this is getting a little too depressing) it has been a blast to be home with my kids. I'm definitely glad that come September I'll be able to cut down on my 3-4 day work schedule and spend more time just being a mom. There's no doubt that it's the most important thing I could be doing, and I'm thankful I get to be with them as much as I do.

Still, I suppose I just need to face the fact that I am someone who needs a little outside stimulation. Kudos to all you moms out there that blissfully go about your days getting all you need just from taking care of your families and doing their laundry. I know people like this, and I often wish I could be more like them. But I suppose we all have things we'd like to change about ourselves, and I should just count my blessings and push on through. Summer can't last forever right? And it could be worse - I could live in Alaska.


Stephanie said...

I know what you mean. I'm usually in t-shirt and yoga pants (and I don't do yoga) and hair in ponytail and no make-up. I pretty much only wear mascara on Sundays and I know it only takes a few minutes and I really should do that more often. I'm just glad that there are others out there like me. Too bad we live so far away. :)

Kelly said...

Well I haven't worked out of the house since I had kids, but when I worked full time it was a long schedule! Up at 6am, to the office by 8am home around 5:30-6pm with one measly lunch break.

Watching the other women in the office who were moms not get to go to kids' school things was depressing. And having so little time with my kids during the day would be also, not to mention paying for daycare where my kid is one of 5-15 kids. I can't imagine raising my family that way.

So in my mind, it is stay at home (with yes, the occasional ho-hum of everyday life), or go to an office like I have before. I definitely would take being home!

You got lucky having Rusty home and your mom close, available, and willing to take your kids when Rusty couldn't. Most people don't have that and most people work all year long. What a blessing!

By the way, I get ready everyday, can't do without my make-up :)

Jen said...

I don't know how the women who work until 5-5:30 do it! I honestly don't think I could handle that schedule. At least I get to drop off and pick up my kids from school. And I never have to go to work if I don't want to. Subbing really is the greatest job for a mom!

Natalie said...

I couldn't agree more. The only part I question is if you REALLY know any moms who blissfully go about their days getting everything they need just from taking care of their families and doing their laundry? I think that all of us moms (even if working isn't the way we get out) HAVE TO break up the monotonous cycle and socialize somehow.

Kelly said...

Totally agree with both of you. Subbing is ideal, and I would love to have a place to go one day a week and converse with adults. However, since neither of those have presented themselves to me (can't sub here without a teaching certificate) I continue on!

by AnnieValentine said...

For starters, it is 3:30 pm and you have no makeup on. And nice attemtp at a "save" there towards the end, you sounded so very sincere. I could tell you were really trying to feel it there.