Friday, January 24, 2014

My First Week as a Working Mom

This working mother stuff is not for wimps.

I went back to work this week.  A friend of mine from library school had a baby, and she had asked me to cover for her during her maternity leave in a neighboring school district.  It's a half-time job, four days a week.  I alternate working in the mornings and afternoons, depending on what grade I teach that week.  I also had the opportunity to interview for a full-time position in our school district that came available over the Christmas holidays, but that didn't work out, although I did get to interview this time.  I'm quite sure that God knew what he was doing when I didn't get the full time job - just the half-time job is wearing me out!

Because of the holiday, I worked three days this week.  On Tuesday, I went to work, about 25 miles from our house, taught, and came home.  When I got home, Gracie looked like death warmed over.  She said her ear hurt, and it was obvious that she had been blowing her nose all day, as she looked like Rudolph with her red,  red nose.  She said she was well enough for her cello lesson, so we loaded up and went.  On the way home we did the grocery shopping (after Maggie texted me the grocery list, which I had left on the counter!) Back home we unloaded the groceries, and I got Maggie started on the preparation of dinner, then loaded Gracie back in the car for a trip to urgent care, where we found out she had a major ear infection.  Back home to eat, then back in the car to go get Gracie's scripts from the pharmacy, then back home, where I collapsed.

Day two was another busy day.  I got all our finances straightened out in the morning before work while Gracie slept in.  She stayed at home while I went to work.  I came home, picked up Maggie and took her to church, then headed to my night class at a local university (oh yeah, I'm a student again too!) and then ran errands before coming home and collapsing.

Day three.  Gracie headed back to school this morning, I went to a early doctor's appointment, then off to work.  I had hoped that a tank of gas would last a whole week with my new commute, and it might have, but my mileage range when I got in the car this morning was 57 miles, and as I mentioned, my new workplace is 25 miles away.  I really, REALLY didn't want to get gas, as it was 1 degree outside with the wind whipping down the plain, but I also really, Really, REALLY didn't want to run out of gas in that weather either, so I stopped for gas.  Can you say librarian-cicle? I was extremely grateful that there were no extra curricular activities when I got home that evening, so I moved up my collapsing routine to 4:30.  I had planned to take a 30 minute power-nap, but my tiredness got the better of me, and I slept until it was time to make dinner, and then helped Gracie with her mountain of homework left from missing a day of school.

I'm sure that I will get used to this new routine, but I don't think I had more than ten minutes to myself any day this week.  For someone who hasn't had a set schedule in almost 14 years, it's quite an adjustment!  I am so grateful that Jerry and my girls are so helpful.  Maggie was a real trooper to make dinner for us on Tuesday night.  I am also grateful to the folks I am working with, who made we feel welcome this week.  I think this is going to be a great experience!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Conflicting Resolutions

The last few years I have been pretty lax on the New Year's Resolutions.  They've all looked something like this:  

"Survive Graduate School."  

or, the ever popular: 

"Become a certified teacher."  

But now I've achieved both of those goals, so it's time to get back to those more mundane resolutions.  Traditionally I make ten, and see how I do.  Some years it's better than others.  I try to make a good balance of resolutions - some that are fun, and some that are challenging.  There have been ones that I thought were fun, and would be o-so-easy to keep, like, "Get a pedicure once a quarter" in 2007.  I did manage to get one, but man, I thought that would be an easy one, and I just never made the time.  

I always try to make my resolutions "SMART" goals that I heard so much about in the corporate world.  You know, Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-bound, so you know without question if you actually achieved it or not.  Lots of these I've missed the mark on, but still they improved my life, such as "Try a new recipe a week".  While I didn't try one every week, I did manage 19 of them over the year, which was (arguably) an improvement over zero.  

I have one resolution that I make year after year, and that is to do 365 scrapbook pages - one a day, theoretically, although it never happens that way.  I did manage to hit the goal once, in 2006, but usually I did between 150 to 280 on the years I didn't make the full amount.  It makes an appearance on my list again this year - and I'm determined to get to 365 as my backlog is now four years deep.  So far, I've done one page.  But I do have a weekend crop coming up!  

This year's list of resolutions has some repeats, like my scrapbook page goal, but some new ones too.  For the first time I have resolved to read the entire Bible in a year.  I've played with the idea before, but I usually get bogged down in the building of the tabernacle or some long genealogy or something.  This time I'm going with a plan on YouVersion that organizes the Bible chronologically.  So far I've made it through creation and Job.  I'd never made it through Job before, but now that I've been a mom for 13 years, 40 chapters of whining isn't as hard as it used to be, (ha, ha).  

What else made the list?  Oh, you can bet there's at least one each about improving my health, reading, encouraging family members, and serving others.  One thing I've noticed though, is that some of my resolutions conflict with each other.  For instance, I got a FitBit for Christmas, so one of my goals is to move a certain number of steps on a weekly basis.  Obviously, to do that, I can't sit still for long periods of time.  As of yet, I haven't figured out a way to scrapbook while on the move, but there's still plenty of the year left, I suppose.  In the meantime, I'm perfecting reading and walking at the same time.  It would probably be easier with a treadmill, but I don't see that happening either.  Hey!  Maybe a treadmill with a craft table built across the handlebars. . .  I could train for a marathon while I scrap!  Who's with me?  

So, what are your resolutions?