Redefining "doing"


The most frequent questions I get these days (even more frequently than questions about the baby) revolve around what I'm going to "do" now that I'm home all day.  I never really know how to respond.  I do have a very long to-do list of long over-due household tasks, like organizing the kitchen cupboards, which have been on the back burner for years.  These are slowly being crossed off and this is what I usually talk about in these situations.  But to be honest, my days at home so far have been very quiet and very still.  Just how I hoped they would be.  I am struggling a bit with being "okay" with this stillness, though.  I feel so programmed to believe that I'm wasting my time unless I have some definable, completed work to show for it.  Unless I can provide proof at the end of the day that X number of hours produced Y results I feel like time has just slipped away from me and has been lost.  There isn't much room for things like reading and quietly being in the moment in this sort of accounting, though. 

I'm trying to find ways to bring value to these moments.  Sometimes that comes by reframing my activities so that they do fit into my preconceived notions about what is a valuable way to spend time--defining the time I spend reading as educational time spent preparing for birth and parenthood, for example.  Other times I try to just let go and be.  I've always needed a fairly large amount of meditative time in order to feel "ok."  I don't meditate in any formal sense, but I need time to look out the window, clear my mind of all thoughts, and just be.  I need to learn to honor that need within myself.  Pregnancy is such a short, sacred time in any woman's life.  I am trying very hard to give myself permission to really listen to my mind and my body and do whatever it is that feels right in that moment.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post. I got that question (What do you DO all day?) when I took a year off between working in Japan and starting grad school. It was very hard to explain that what I was doing was valuable to me. I always felt defensive, like I had to account for those hours each day.
    I don't know if it will be possible, but I would love to stay home with my kids someday. You are very lucky to be able to do what you want and your baby will be so lucky to have you around! Thanks again for sharing your reflections.

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  2. I really enjoyed these last few posts so open. People really ask what do you do all day? Well how about enjoy the moment being in it with quietness. Soon it will change with a baby but it too will be nice. As for the community it will open up slowly. I felt a little isolated when I first stopped working but once I got out with the little ones it was nice.

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  3. ha. my husbands actually asked yesterday what it was I did all day. FYI, people will still ask even AFTER your bundle of joy arrives and you spend the rest of your lifetime just worrying that you are enough.

    ;)
    Jen

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  4. It is such a wonderful time. Although hard, I totally get needing to "quantify" your time. But I also found it was a time to bond with the baby- even on the inside. I did lots of meditating with the baby, picturing a glowing light of peace and safety all around us...it's the best time ever, and OH so short!

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  5. Beautiful post yet again. Upon reading this a flood of memories passed through me, remembering my two months at home, not working, before baby. I spent a great deal of time meditating, listening to my baby, to my body, preparing for birth. Relish each silent moment! PS - your cupboards look fantastic.

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