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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cold Fronts, Warm Reads

One of my not so much a New Year's Resolution, but something I've been meaning to make more time for and not put the label resolution on, is reading. Not just my usual hour or more before bed (or the many nights when it's two sentences before I pass out!), but actually taking time to take a break wherever I am and read.

So, I've been carrying around my copy of My Life in France by Julia Child and every so often, I've made time to read. Ten minutes in the car waiting for the library to open. Ten minutes before Sam gets off the bus. Fifteen minutes with my morning coffee.

It's something that I've felt guilty about in the past. Reading, when I should be doing something productive, measurable. D's out working, I should be too. Always. Incessantly. Constantly.

And then I had a talk with my wise, mentor neighbor and she said, "Oh, if you think those guys work all day long then you're in for a big surprise. They chat and goof around. Why shouldn't you? Sometimes when N____ comes home I tell him I did a big fat NOTHING all day." Oh L, you inspire me so much! Thank God for friends at all places in their lives, older, younger, wiser, they're all so precious to me.

So, it got me thinking, when do I get my coffee break? Every once in a while with a friend isn't enough. What can I do to recharge? Because honestly, in a lot of ways, my job has longer (and sometimes shittier) hours. What do I do on the weekend that I don't do every day during the week? And when do I get to clock out? Can you say NEVER?

It was me late last night that was flipping the laundry from the washer to the dryer while simultaneously filling out a rebate form and having a conversation with Young One about the latest video games. It was me that worked the midnight and the daytime shifts for three nights while Young One was sick. It's me that sometimes does the same job over and over and over again until I want to smash something.

Stereotypically, stay at home moms are seen as sweat pants wearing, bon-bon eating, kept women. I used to think that, before I had kids. Then I got some pretty quick on the job training enlightenment. All that time that we used to fill with selfish pursuits suddenly is taken up by caring for another human. All that time that we used to have to focus on ME ME ME is gone. Even now, twelve years after becoming "Mom" I can't imagine what it would be like to just have to think about me and D. I suppose I would fill it with something.

D has NEVER made me feel like I've had to justify my time because he knows I'll either feed him Ex lax brownies (kidding) or stuff his pillow full of his dirty socks (long, but true story). Not really. He knows it would cost him a great deal of his salary to pay a cook, maid, laundress, nanny, accountant, errand runner, mess cleaner upper, yard worker, personal assistant, homework Nazi, pet groomer, insurance advocate, scheduler, seamstress.... you get the picture. One of the nicest thank yous I ever received was from him. "Thank you for working so hard so I can work so hard without worrying about what's going on at home."

That about sums it up, I guess.

All this about reading? I do go on, don't I? Very simply put, my point is that it's OK to recharge. And, sometimes it's an occupational hazard of stay at home moms not to. Nope, scratch that, I think it's a hazard that we ALL are prone to. We get so busy I think we sometimes forget to say yes to ourselves.

Reading more this year is simply saying yes to me.

I'm on Goodreads.com where I've found a community of other book lovers. Come find me. My reviews will all be there from now on. My latest reviews: Year of the Flood, World War Z, and The Hunger Games are all there.

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