laid off and learning to love it… my journey from corporate sprinter to life marathoner

sahm: i can be flexible… if i know about it ahead of time 07/08/2009

Filed under: Activities,SAHM Choice — ccatet @ 8:08 am

i am not what you would call spontaneous. a few childless years ago, my husband and i were chicago bound for a long weekend. prior to departure, i spent HOURS putting together our agenda for the inbound travel day, including schedules and maps for all public transportation required to get us safely to a friend’s house in the burbs. needless to say, it did not quite go as planned.

we landed at midway and based on our destination, needed to find a certain bus. we could not find the certain bus. we hunted, we walked, we inquired… but nothing from my *plan* seemed accurate. i was getting frazzled fast and we had just landed!

my ultra-flexible husband (then boyfriend) kindly suggested we grab a taxi so we didn’t waste too much time. i didn’t want to do it. i wanted to stick with my perfect plan… but after several minutes, i conceded. later that day, my husband informed me that in my frustration between the airport and the cab, i very clearly told him that “i can be flexible if i know about it ahead of time.”

he still loves to tell this story to relay just how planful i am. he knows it is hard for me to NOT have structure. this reason was one of the main deterrants from being a SAHM. especially with young children, i knew it would be hard for me to remain structured and also keep them happy.

i have spent the past 4 months learning how to be spontaneous. it’s not easy! i can’t help but have a mental list of things to do on warms days, cool days, rainy days and the ultra hot days.

i am the polar opposite of some SAHM friends who play every single day by ear. we can’t do it… or rather, i can’t do it. it makes me crazy which in turn makes the kids crazy. it may just be my kids (who are around me too much) but i have found that in the absence of a rough plan for the day, we don’t really have that much fun. i wake my son up by telling him something we will do that day which usually excites him enough to get dressed and down for breakfast. overall, we do reasonably similar things every week with a few new activities or playdates to keep life exciting.

last minute activities are more possible being home with the kids and we’ve been able to change our plans more easily than we could when i was working full time. it’s not always quick – i work through so many details in my head before accepting, but i do try… and it is getting easier to be more agile.

at the end of the day, you can definitely say i am not spontaneous and probably never will be. i am okay with that… i am who i am. right now, the semi-structured life i lead satisfies me pretty well. however, these days when the spontaneous moments do happen, i make sure to enjoy the ride – by taxi, bus, minivan, jogging stroller, carousel or zoo train.


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