Sep 30, 2010

Musing: Transitioning to Being Home

My last day at work was three weeks ago tomorrow, and I really thought things would be running a lot more smoothly by now. After all, I'm pretty smart and organized, and I'm spending more time at home so naturally I should be able to get my home put together.

Yeah right.

The reality has been that two big transitions at the same time - me being home and Alex starting kindergarten - is an awful lot to handle. There's just so much that's new, like juggling homework and dinner prep in the afternoon. I have time to cook dinner every night, but I don't have a laundry routine anymore. I just do it when the basket is full, but I nearly forgot to wash the kids' sheets yesterday.

I do sense that things are starting to settle down a little. I finally was able to itemize all of the items we've set aside for charity, and will be dropping them off for a fund-raiser garage sale tomorrow. It will feel fabulous to have all of those things out of the house.

I am also gradually cleaning and organizing here and there, but I do find myself wishing I had larger blocks of time to do these things.

And that brings me to something I wasn't expecting: shopping burnout. Already. One of the things I was so excited about with this transition to being home was that I could go shopping any day of the week, whenever I wanted. And I felt like I had to - after all, one of my jobs now is to shop smart and save my family money so that the loss of my income doesn't hurt that much. But over the last few days, I've come to realize something that I've learned previously: it's too stressful to try to catch every deal.

So I'm going to cut back on the shopping trips, be okay with missing a few deals, and focus on getting my home in order rather than stockpiling so that I don't have to pay full price for something if we run out. The chances of that happening are minimal anyway, since I've been couponing for a while and we have a pretty good stash of most things. And I'll still shop some - just not as much.

Hopefully within a couple of weeks, I'll be feeling much better about the state of things around here. Especially because there's a moment every day when I pause and give thanks for how lucky I am to be able to stay home now. I've spent time in Alex's classroom and seen how great his teacher is, I've attended every meeting at school that's been open to parents, and I've been able to reassure myself that he's in a good environment that I can help to make even better. Those things would have been much harder to achieve if I still worked at an office downtown, and I would have been incredibly stressed out. So I'm very glad and grateful that we worked hard to be able to make this happen, because it was well worth it!

*Previously: Coping with Drugstore Game Burnout


Camille said...

My husband is a teacher so twice a year (at the beginning and end of summer) I have to adjust my routine. It takes me a good month to find my "normal" each time. It used to drive me nuts, but now I'm prepared for it and accept the chaos for a few weeks! :-) Hang in there -- you'll find your normal soon... and then Alex will be home for summer and you can start over again! LOL

Chief Family Officer said...

Oh no, don't say that! Thank you, though - you've made me feel tons better :)

Christina @ Northern Cheapskate said...

I've found that the shopping burnout is something that comes and goes in my life. I try to stock up for those periods that I don't want to shop!

And I can relate to Camille, too! My hubby is a college instructor and our schedule gets pretty messed up at the semester breaks. Fortunately, his teaching times have stayed pretty consistent from semester to semester or it would be really hard!

Glad to hear you're starting to figure out what works. We're starting to hit our groove, too... but I'm still behind on sleep!

Chief Family Officer said...

@Christina - I feel like I should have seen the shopping burnout coming, but I guess I thought it would be different having more time. Except that I DON'T have more time! Get some sleep! :)