Defining “Productive” in This Season

September 17th, 2012

I’ve been struggling a bit with finding my rhythm now that the kids are both in “school” full-time.  I work part-time from home after several years of 40 hours a week in an office with another few hours of commuting thrown in.  There are suddenly a lot of extra hours in the day and I’ve felt this nagging sense that I wasn’t utilizing them fully.

And, I’ll be honest.  I felt guilty that I had so much free time to myself away from the kids.  I’m a mother of two.  Shouldn’t my every waking moment be filled with caring for (or preparing to care for) my kids??

Um, no.  Actually.

But it’s been hard to bring my head around to that.  I’ve had to redefine what it means to be “productive” when work dominates less of my time.  I have different metrics now.  Last Friday, I spent a couple hours editing  a video for work.  I wrote a blog post.  I prepared a Sunday school lesson for the women’s class I’m teaching.  I made cinnamon rolls from scratch.  And chicken enchiladas for dinner.  And yes, I watched a couple episodes of my current favorite TV show.

It was a good day.

It’s been helpful to be reminded by several friends that there are seasons to life.  And I’m in a brief, liminal season right now.  Six months from now, my life will look completely different as we welcome Baby 3 to the family.  From everything I’ve heard, it’ll be chaos for a while as we figure out new routines.

So I’m allowing myself to go slow for a few months.  Take some deep breaths.  Enjoy baking.  And reading.  And going to lunch with my husband.

And as for feeling guilty about not spending every waking moment with my kids?  Miss Mouse set me straight when I arrived to pick her up from her school on Friday afternoon.  I walked in with a big smile, only to be greeted by a glaring almost-four-year-old who demanded — “Why are you here so early?  I’m busy doing things!

7 responses to “Defining “Productive” in This Season”

  1. Emily says:

    Enjoy it, Kate! This is why you moved to Kentucky – to have this freedom. When I took early maternity leave at 35 weeks, I finished prepping for Madeline’s arrival but I also walked, spent a lot of time at the coffee shop, baked, watched tv, looked up things online I’d been meaning to read about, and napped. Oh, those wonderful naps. And that’s what Zach expected me to do! I love my daughter but those were hands-down the beast 5 weeks of my life.

    • Kate says:

      I’m sure they were. I had about a week before Miss Mouse arrived and they were such lovely lazy days. You can’t truly appreciate how much your life changes after kids arrive until they’re there. So getting to savor those last days of freedom is a gift. So glad yours were great!

  2. Emily says:

    Enjoy it, Kate! This is why you moved to Kentucky – to have this freedom. When I took early maternity leave at 35 weeks, I finished prepping for Madeline’s arrival but I also walked, spent a lot of time at the coffee shop, baked, watched tv, looked up things online I’d been meaning to read about, and napped. Oh, those wonderful naps. And that’s what Zach expected me to do! I love my daughter but those were hands-down the beast 5 weeks of my life.

    • Kate says:

      I’m sure they were. I had about a week before Miss Mouse arrived and they were such lovely lazy days. You can’t truly appreciate how much your life changes after kids arrive until they’re there. So getting to savor those last days of freedom is a gift. So glad yours were great!

  3. Jen says:

    Thank you for this post Kate. There have been few concepts more helpful to me than the idea of “seasons”. Plus you gave me permission to spend the morning not even writing–but just reading–other people’s blogs!

    Oh, and just the other day we were heading to a birthday party and my four year old said very seriously, “Mama, you will be leaving, right? I really want you to.” Is it bad that this was music to my ears?

  4. Jen says:

    Thank you for this post Kate. There have been few concepts more helpful to me than the idea of “seasons”. Plus you gave me permission to spend the morning not even writing–but just reading–other people’s blogs!

    Oh, and just the other day we were heading to a birthday party and my four year old said very seriously, “Mama, you will be leaving, right? I really want you to.” Is it bad that this was music to my ears?

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