I've been very, very spoiled for a long time now, and I fully realize that. While being a stay-at-home mom is possibly the least glamorous job in the world, it does have certain perks. For one, I can dabble however I please. I've tried scrapbooking, selling Tupperware, gardening, and then knitting, which finally stuck. My schedule is also incredibly flexible. Oh sure, the kids need routines, and that's great, but I'm not going to get fired if I'm behind on dusting the baseboards.
The problem is that the lack of focus is freeing and constricting all at the same time. While I have firmly enjoyed not being tied down to a certain vocation or extensive scheduling, it has also made me much more likely to be, well, a slacker. My little inattentive ADD brain really needs some kind of external structure to function well. (Okay, maybe to function at all.) I think that's why going back to school has been so great for me. I finally have a reason that I have to be somewhere and have certain things accomplished at a certain time. Of course, I have to admit that I'm still a total slacker when it comes to housework. I seem to have just enough free time left that I'm quite comfortable with heavy-handed procrastination.
All of that is about to change.
This semester, I am going to be taking twelve hours of classes, working as a tutor and Supplemental Instruction leader for twenty or so hours a week, and still trying to keep up with my three busy boys. Now, I fully realize you "normal" folks out there don't really think this schedule sounds too bad. Good for you. Consider this a virtual pat on the back. I, on the other hand, am vacillating between excitement and dread.
You see, I have lived so much of my life under a dark cloud of depression, and the fact that I'm actually accomplishing something tangible energizes me. Even when things are going well, staying home with the kids leaves me with very little to show for it because no matter how much I get done, almost all of it is undone by the end of the day. For someone prone to feeling worthless on the best of days, that cycle gets to be excruciatingly painful. I'm also hoping that a tighter schedule will motivate me to get more done. If I have less time to goof off, I'll goof off less. Right? (Oh, I certainly hope so.)
However, at the same time, I know that there is a delicate balance of structure that is just right for me. Too little, I waste time because I have so much time to waste. Too much, I have severe anxiety issues over never having quiet, alone time and eventually suffer from a total meltdown. So, with the new semester starting Monday, I am cautiously optimistic, praying that my schedule has just the right balance of what I want and what I need. I've got my Google calendar all color-coded so I can keep up with the kids' schedules and see what I need to do when as far as housework and homework are concerned. Tomorrow I'm going to get my notebooks all ready for my new classes. And Monday I'm going to take on the world. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I think I'll need it.