Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sometimes Change Is Good

Ben was less than delighted when they closed his old Seminary class. However, for the most part, he has been delighted with his first week in the new one. The new teacher is, as near as I can tell from Ben's report, close to return missionary age. He is interesting and fun.

To my delight, this instructor dismisses class before 7:15. Even if Ben stays behind to recite a scripture, I generally have time to catch the earlier train and get to work by 8. My official work hours are 8:30-5 with a half hour lunch. With this new schedule, I may ask for a half hour shift earlier.

Fridays they don't get refreshments like with Bro. F, but they play games. Generally somewhat studies based. Ben seems quite happy with the trade-off. Last week they played a game that sounds like a cross between Taboo and Hot Potato ( I forgot what it's called.) You tried to get your team to guess a word or phrase. As soon as you succeed, you hand off to the other team. Whichever team is it when the timer goes off gets a penalty. Ben had a great time.

I don't know happened to the old Jr-Sr class teacher, but Bro. F is in there now. He lets out considerably later. There have only been 4 classes, but one by one students are drifting over to the younger class. Friday, there were 3 older students in the younger class. That might be partly by driver request because of the scheduling. Something I am considering for next year.

There are over a dozen students in Ben's class. He does miss the intimacy of the 3 Nephite class, but, on the other hand, team games were not an option. And he is getting to know youth from other wards.

Speaking of a social life. This weekend was scheduled for an ward YM overnighter at Rancho Seco with fishing and canoeing. Wet and windy weather being predicted, the leaders opted out and changed it to a Chili Dinner and movie night - Saints and Soldiers. When they were finally done with that, Ben called to say that they were coming home for family prayer and scriptures, but they wanted to go to Foell's to play Risk after. For myself, I was reluctant, but for them I was glad they were invited. They were willing to walk the 3 blocks, but I was more willing to go out and drive them over than to worry about them. They decided to spend the night there rather than wake me up at 3 or 4 to get them or to walk home which I don't want in the wee hours. Good thing. On the way home, I saw "police activity." This is not the worst neighborhood, but it is not the best. Last week a guy died in gang related activity.

When they canceled the overnighter, I thought we would work on our painting project today. The game overnighter has pretty much kiboshed that. They will sleep all morning and then goof off again. Who knows when or in what condition they will be ready to come home. Sariah used to go to spend "a" night at a friend's house, then make the daily call until she nearly stayed a week. Once in a while, the same thing happened in reverse. The boys only have today, but still. So, by the time they come home, I will be tired and the room will be getting dark. We have no light source other than sunlight while we are painting. I may have to call them home before they are ready. Another big storm is going to hit this afternoon/evening and some hatches need re-battening.

I have plenty to do without the painting. More tax prep work and then I need to figure out HOW to do my taxes. This is my first time doing my taxes in over 30 years (man! I am OLD) and with all the recent changes in my life, I hardly know what is what. I cannot afford to cheat myself. I also have a stack of Accounting homework to do. There is absolutely endless amounts of cleaning and sorting to be done. I probably need to go to the grocery store, but I haven't taken stock yet. Sunday dinner might just be whatever. I need to get tarps and bungie cords for previously mentioned hatch battening.

And I seriously need some down time as I feel dangerously close to breaking down. My former was notoriously not good at taking care of much of anything on the home front, but because I maintained the delusion that he should/would, I felt less personal responsibility. Now, although the boys will help as directed, the burden is all mine. Work, house, homemaking (hah!), food, church, Cub Scouts, etc etc. I feel under constant pressure. I am coming to the realization that I am going to have to schedule more me time. So far, the only me time is when I go to one of Ruth's Stamping workshop. That is not enough and I need time when I am not going and doing. And sometimes going and doing other relaxing fun things - when I can remember what they are!

OH, and I seriously need to find time, energy, desire and some acceptable (to me) form of exercise. Sitting at a desk all day is not good. Getting the munchies there all day is worse. Healthy food is not as easy, convenient or satisfying as unhealthy food. Oh, I can think of plenty of healthy-ish food I would love to munch, but it is harder to get, prepare and keep. Healthy food tends to need to be fresh, refrigerated and cut up. It is the shopping and cutting time that really get me. Dried fruit is good.

Life is so much better than it was a year ago, but I still have to learn how to make it really work.

And let me say to Husbands and Wives, no matter what the world says, it is so much better for the woman to be in the home than in the workplace. (Funny thing, the prophets are right.) There is plenty to be done at home. Trying to be both working woman and homemaker is HARD. And to be a MOTHER, is VERY Hard. I am blessed that I am not trying to do this with little children. I do not know how they do it or why. Except when it is an absolute survival need. Even with my boys being young men, not little kids, I am not being nearly the mother I ought to be when I am gone all day.

And as far as personal enrichment, bah! How did the world ever foist that one on women??!! Even without any money, a woman's options for seeing, learning, doing, are so much more as an "at home mom" when she can have some control of her own time, than when her day belongs to an employer. I am blessed with a good pleasant job, for a good boss, and with good co-workers. I am blessed with work-related learning opportunities. I can listen to the radio sometimes while I work. But in many ways my life is much more limited. It is part of a mother's job to take the children to the park and other outings. To explore the world and even to have fun with the kids - enriching both them and yourself. Not so easy to do when you are gone 10-12 hours a day, most of that time in a cubicle shuffling papers.

An at home mom works hard and her work is never done. It is not easy being a homemaker. I do not at all mean to belittle it in any way or paint it as a never ending vacation. Sometimes it seems not only endless, but thankless. However, it is much better to be an at home mom than a working mom IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. Better for the mom, the kids, the house, and the dad. Believe me. If not me, believe the prophets.

Well, I guess this counts as me time. Now back to my many responsibilities.

PS - Dear friends, please blog, comment, or email. I miss you!


  1. If I am not mistaken, many of those strings of overnighters happened in the same house that the boys stayed at last night. Good memories. :)

    I wish you guys were here, or at the very least had our weather. This week has been absolutely glorious! The sun has been shining everyday and the temps are PERFECT! Pleasant; not hot, not cold. We are finally opening out windows to let in the fresh air! :)

    I know that what we have now is weather you are used to, but it's an early surprise for us! We're used to what you're about to get, so I guess you got the bummer end of the deal. Sorry! :(

    I hope you are able to find some "me" time. Have you thought of getting a blessing? I gain so much strength from them and I often receive counsel that I wouldn't have thought of, things that really help. Most recently, I was surprised when the only counsel I got (besides "trust the Lord") was about my physical health, to: 1) properly nourish my body, 2) strengthen my body, and 3) make sure to have time for meditation and relaxation. And that by doing those three things, my burdens would be eased. I know that President Hinckley often counseled to do these things and I also know that he did them himself! If that could help him with all that he was doing as prophet, how much more could it help us with our daily responsibilities!

    Good luck, it is not easy! I don't even know how hard it must be, but I can imagine it. Get a blessing. You're in my prayers. :)

    Love you!

  2. I hear you on the 'me' time. Sometimes, i feel guilty taking a half an hour to an hour to just read in bed, and recharge myself. But, after I do, I feel much more capable to be the mom the kids deserve. I don't know how I would manage to be a working Mom if Bill weren't here to help me. Kudos to you. You are an amazingly strong woman.

    The healthy snacks and meals away from home are difficult. Luckily, I am on my feet all day, and half the time on a dead run. Even without dieting, and going out to lunch almost every day, I have been losing. If I HAVE to work, this is a bonus. LOL. Recently, the dr told me she is 98% sure I have diabetes. I find out for sure this week, but I know in my heart it is true. I drink about 6 quarts of water/milk/diet soda a day, and I am still always thirsty.

    Your wish to be a SAHM again really strikes a chord with me. I would do anything to stay home again. With Bill being on unemployment 1/2 the time, I have no choice but to continue to plug along.I feel i have really cheated Tyler in her kindy year by not being outside her classroom door each day when she gets out, like I was with the other six. I always hated the kindy year, because I had to be at the school three times a day instead of two. But, to have that back is my fondest dream. Now i am crying and can't see the keyboard. LOL. Yes, I STILL type that way!

    This is becoming very wordy. I'll spare you more of my laments. Just know I think of you often. I have asked Bill if we could drive up there and visit you, and he said "We'll look at finances later" It is a good sign.I miss you. i miss having someone to talk to who is almost in my boat. We have the whole SAHM to work thing going on. My heart swells with warmth and happiness when I think of you. I know I have been very negligent in writing, and I will rectify that soon.

    Have a good day!

    Love, pam

  3. You are loved and just keep keeping on

  4. Oh, I know what happened to the old seminary teacher. She is now my Young Women's President. I hear they've gone through 3 or 4 teachers since she had to stop teaching this fall. I'm glad Ben is enjoying his new class!


  5. Thanks for visiting my blog, I haven't been over to yours for a visit in quite a while. I have been blessed to be a SAHM. I really don't understand how women work and raise kids, etc , etc, and I can see that it is a terrible burden. My parents divorced when I was 6 , and Mom worked in a factory. She came home and took a 20 minute nap on the couch, and then got up and took care of everything else. She didn't have as much time as I have to go to kids' activities, or the energy to deal with headstrong childrens' bad behavior. SHe was lucky to have good family support, my aunts and grandmother helped take care of us, too, when we were small. Again, I think you are right on in your assesment of how hard it is to work and raise kids. I admire and pray for the women I know who are trying to do this all, usually not by choice.