Sunday, December 26, 2010

round and back again

So the Great Stay-At-Home-Mom Experiment of 2010 was an epic fail.  After five weeks, including three off after surgery, I returned to work for 36 hours a week, which is full time in the real world, a little more than part time in the paramedic world.

I have great appreciation for stay at home moms.  I don't for a moment think that it's an easy thing to do, and I don't doubt that it is rewarding.
But I was completely, totally, hopelessly miserable.

I longed for adult conversation.  Longed to feel like I was actually accomplishing something other than wiping a runny nose and tossing laundry in the washer. 
Mostly, I was bored. Bored constantly.  It only takes so long to clean the house and throw something together for dinner, and if my husband was working a 24 hour shift, I didn't even bother to cook, just ordered take out.  I would sit, staring at my phone, trying to think if I even had anyone to call, just to talk to.
I didn't.

We threw out various ideas to make me happier. Maybe I could volunteer someplace--except I couldn't come up with anyplace to volunteer.  Or find a moms group, except I couldn't find one within driving distance.  The same for mommy and me classes, baby swim classes, gymnastics classes, and any sort of enrichment activities.  Then we considered maybe I would be happier if I went back to school--but to take one class it worked out to paying $400 a month.  Which is doable, if I'm working.  When I'm not working, it doesn't make a lot of sense to pay that much on top of my $500/a month student loan payments.
So that idea got scratched.  Rob suggested I find some hobbies, but the list we came up of my interests were:
American literature, particularly 20th century essays
Evangelical feminism

17th century philosophy
Religious philosophy
Current trends in conservative theology
Civil War history, especially concerning advances in medicine and women's rights
Rock climbing
Emergency medicine

Clearly, this wasn't going to work.  My interests are primarily academic, but just reading about them doesn't do much for me--I thrive on discussion, the free flowing of ideas, and debating.  Probably my initial plans to be a literature professor weren't far off the mark, but life has veered too far away from that now.

Eventually we decided it just wasn't worth it.  I needed to go back to work, even if I'm not crazy about working as a paramedic, primarly due to the large amount of down time and lack of projects.  I need things to do.  A job that involves a lot of time with nothing to do isn't something I'm suited for.

But for now I'm stuck. There isn't much to do in this geographic area, and though I've tried to cultivate hobbies, I truthfully can't come up with much I'd like, even to try.  Switching careers at this point isn't an option; I'm locked into prehospital medicine, and though probably going back to an ambulance service where I ran more calls and there was something of a career ladder to climb would help the situation greatly, there's none within a reasonable driving distance.  This is a very rural area, and moving isn't in the cards either.

So we're back to where we started. Again.   


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Add a few more children to the fray and it probably won't be quite as boring! LOL!

I do remember feeling lost when I had my first child. I had no idea what to do with myself. If I hadn't started doing Bible studies and scrapbooking, I probably would have gone mad!

Two years later I had two children and boy did things change.

You have to do what you have to do though.