Nothing puts me on the defensive faster than being asked, "Don't you get bored?"
My mind starts to race as I think: Bored?!? Are you out of your mind, of course not!!! Making food, serving food, picking up food, cleaning sticky hands and faces, wiping down furniture, countertops, floors, and little butts, doing loads of laundry, which then need to be folded and put away, playing blocks/farm animals/trucks/reading books/etc., changing two sets of diapers and clothes...
That's all before 9:00 am.
But lately I've been thinking about the question, and, well...I am bored.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things to do. I definitely keep busy. There's a pretty relentless cycle of chores and routine that's required to keep a household with two active babies-who-are-almost-but-not-quite-toddlers running. But that's a fairly mind-numbing list of things to be doing each day. Loading and unloading the dishwasher isn't exactly my jam. And there's a difference between being busy and bored.
To be fair, I think the "don't you get bored?" question-askers are really trying to ask a different question: "What do you do all day?". Assuming that I can't find or that there aren't enough things to do to stay occupied all day as a stay-at-home mom. And that's an entirely different question. I could give a run-down of a typical days schedule and still feel like it wouldn't truly encapsulate what on earth I spent my time doing.
But. Back to the boredom question.
Am I bored? I think if us parents, especially those of us who stay home, were to start answering that question honestly, without putting our defenses up first, we would answer with a resounding "YES!".
For me, it's the relentless again-ness of everyday motherhood.
Wipe down the counters...again.
Put away laundry...again.
Pick up the sippy cup that was thrown on the floor...again.
Change a diaper or two...again.
Wash off the high chairs...again.
Pick up the toys...again and again and again.
That's exhausting. It's not necessarily hard (though that depends on the day's level of sleep-deprivedness). It's not that I'm searching for things to do (though sometimes I'm searching for things to do that help me avoid the things I really need to do). But it can be extremely boring.
That doesn't mean I don't enjoy being home. That doesn't mean I'm longing for a job outside of the home. I don't think I want to go back to being "at work" all day. Not now. The boringness of being home-it's just honest. There were parts of my career before babies that I found boring, too. There were parts of school that I found boring. I don't think anyone would have told me that I should have switched careers or dropped out of school just because there were parts of it that I found boring. It's what you do with the realization of this is boringthat matters.
That's why I write. And read countless books, blogs, and news articles. And take photos and enjoy editing those photos. It might be ridiculous to have photos numbering in thethousands
of Caden and Brooklyn's first 13 months (and counting)...but for me, it'snecessary. Coming from a creative field especially, I need some sort of outlet. It's a bit of a respite when I get a chance to sit down in the evenings or during naptime and am able write and go through photos. I also step away from the boring some days and dedicate them as "play days". I tell myself that nothing needs to get done that day except for the bare minimum to survive (making food, maybe laundry). Those days, projects don't get tackled, bathrooms don't get cleaned, stacks of clothes might sit in their baskets. That way I can enjoy playing and not worry about the things that "have" to get done (or at least not worry much). Caden and Brooklyn are fun to be with right now. They become more interactive by the day. Heck, even turning on some music or TV (What's that? Screen time? You monster!) during the day relieves the tedium and makes a huge difference in my (and their) attitude.
If expecting moms ask about staying home, I tell them honestly now that it can be boring (and lonely, but that's a whole other post...). But that doesn't mean it's not worth it. That doesn't mean I hate it. Sometimes...that's just what it is. Though if you find a way to make doing the dishes interesting, I'll gladly listen.