I’m struggling to align my mental image of myself with my new role as SAHM in this Massively Multiplayer Real-life Role-Playing Game called ‘Life’. You may have heard of it – like World of Warcraft only without the healers to come and get you back in the game after you’ve accidentally set yourself on fire.
It’s nothing new. I’ve been here before and asked the same hard-hitting question:
“What the Sam Hill will I do with myself while the baby is sleeping that will make me feel clever and worthwhile and maintain the shreds of sanity I’m barely hanging onto … but doesn’t involve cooking, cleaning or craft?”
In the olden days of my first time around as SAHM, I discovered study and I really do attribute it to keeping me from going completely ga-ga. I started my Bachelor of Science (Library Technology) via Virtual Campus and of course, fell pregnant midway through my first semester. Never one to let a mere trifle as children stop me, I carried on for the next 10 years, cutting back to one unit a semester when life got complicated (i.e. had another baby) until I finished.
Once I’d completed that sucker, I was hooked and went on to do a few other courses and diplomas related to teaching, editing, proofreading and graphic design.
The only one I didn’t see through to the end was the teaching grad dip. One round of prac finished me. I had three kids at home already – did I really want a class full of them as well?
Looking back, I note that I started them all at a time where I was struggling with my identity and self-esteem. Some people drink and take drugs. I get my jollies from assignments. Drugs would probably be cheaper (just ask my accountant about my HECS debt) but hey, my addiction fills out a CV really well and makes me look smart.
This SAHM do-over, I vowed to take a different path from the norm. I would get involved with mum’s groups and baby play-based education sessions. I would take the baby for long walks in the pram. Leave baby home with Dad occasionally and go out for Friday afternoon drinks with the girls.
I would not sign myself up for more study and would definitely not spend countless hours at the computer with the baby asleep (or waving its arms frantically in hopes of gaining my attention) in a bouncer at my feet.
If I were grading myself on how I’m doing so far, it would look like this:
“Welcome to Stay At Home Motherhood … again.
So far your efforts to get out and socialise are to be commended and you seem to be tracking well for achieving some semblance of regular adult conversation and interaction – even if it is baby-centric. Excellent work. Keep it up.
I see you’ve arranged to get together with former work mates this week. Please remember that whilst your world revolves around your baby’s bowel motions and cute smile that may or may not be related to said bowel motions, not everyone will want to hear about it.
A simple “Baby is still alive. Husband and I still talk to each other with words of more than one syllable. I am a little tired but all is good” will suffice. Try engaging interest with topics other than your baby such as world politics, the state of Kim and Kanye’s marriage woes or, if desperate, the weather.
However … I see you’re getting into the blogging again and I wonder if this is a wise choice? That baby is only going to take vigorous bouncing at your feet for so long before she really jacks up. Please arrange an appointment to see me about this before it goes much further.”
Now, if you’ll excuse me, someone is waving their arms at me frantically …