Jumping into Untested Waters

I feel like this whenever I do something new.  Ironically when I let myself relax for a day, and let the kids swim in the creek at a local park, I saw this sign AFTER I let them swim.  I hope I am not missing any giant warning signs about my new adventures.  And that my children’s skin doesn’t melt.
This is the year that I do things that are completely outside of my comfort zone.  I may need to be sponsored by a major pharmaceutical company.  Personal growth is awesome.  But it also makes my tummy hurt.

I’m not sure what triggered it, but I feel like I am needing to spread my wings, and define myself by more than just how clean my house is, and how well-behaved my children are.  If my self-identity is related in ANY way to the state of my house, then I am in big trouble.  I think I will put the chaos and dirt firmly on the rest of my family’s shoulders.  It’s like hot potato, and I’m passing it on.  As for my children, none of those bootcamp type shows have called to recruit us, so I’m going to call my child-rearing a success.  (Maybe I’ve had enough pharmaceuticals, because I am clearly delusional).

I think that the time that a stay-at-home-mom’s youngest child begins grade one is often a period of adjustment for her.  A lot of women return to work either full or part-time, and some stay home and look forward to reclaiming some sanity (have you seen mine…I think it was scared off).  I always imagined that I would have all this free time for hobbies and that the house would be immaculate, and organized with neat labels on every container.  Instead my hobbies have included “Name that smell,” “Guess that stain,” and “Facebook.”  I’m not sure which one of those has taken over my life more.  And the only things that are neatly labelled are my children’s belongings that they take to school.  And my children themselves.

I feel guilty if I do anything for fun when the kids are at school, and I spend a ridiculous amount of time cleaning.  The house still looks like the “before” on a TV show for people who need an intervention.  The school day turns out to be much shorter than I realized.  So my days were spent cleaning up, and then getting mad when the kids undid it all the second they got home, or when I couldn’t get it as clean as I felt it should be.  Life is too short to obsess about that.

I still want to be home with the kids after school, and I need a flexible schedule.  I have begun doing volunteer work which has intimidating for me to jump into with not knowing anyone, and going to places that I haven’t been before, but has been so rewarding.  I am really proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort zone and taking the plunge…it has really been worth it.

I am using these experiences to talk myself through the next challenges that I am throwing myself into.  I began writing this blog, and I am also working on a book.  They are something that I have always wanted to to.  I did something crazy and signed up to go to a blogging conference in the fall.  I find that I allow writing to fall by the wayside because it feels like a guilty pleasure, and there are always more pressing things that should be done.  Signing up for the conference is like how someone who wants to run more signs up for a race to encourage them to train.  Can’t very well go to a blogging conference without a blog now can I?  I am going to BlissDom Canada in Toronto.  Are you going?  Please say hi to me because I am terrified!

I am also starting a bookkeeping business.  I actually miss accounting.  And while volunteering pays back in countless ways, the jerks good people at Mastercard don’t take gold stars as bill payments.  Anyone need their beans counted…I’m your girl!  As long as you don’t pay in beans.  My family has enough gas.

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