Monday, September 29, 2008

Being Alone, the Salve for All Thoras

Avram has left for school. Lydia and Elisheva are both asleep. I sit here, having read scriptures, eaten, dressed, in my (messy) living room. And I am alone.

I love people. I was a social butterfly in college. I love having people over, I loved flirting when I was single, I love to have conversations, I love feeling social.

But I also deeply, deeply love being alone. When I'm alone I listen to music. I never turn on music even when I'm only with Avram (although I can listen to it around my girls). When I'm alone I can hear myself think. When I'm alone I can actually write a blog post and keep track of the main point in it. And when I'm alone I'm ten times a better homemaker than otherwise.

I find that being a homemaker (my preferred word over stay at home mom, because that phrase conjures up images for me of sitting at home all day on my couch while wearing sweats and staring at the wall/TV. I may be wearing workout type clothes [I thought they would inspire me to feel cleany today], sitting at home staring at the computer, but it is a very different sort of thing. I promise.), I need to be alone to function.

When Avram is at home, like he has been since moving here until he started school this last Wednesday, I get nothing done. We've been here for three and a half weeks, and the two bedrooms have yet to be completely in place. Part of this may be an inherent difficulty of inventing places for items to belong (the hardest part of being clean, I find), but a lot of this is whenever Avram is home I lose my bearings as a homemaker. Part of me thinks that with two of us we'll be able to accomplish twice as much, but more often than not we're both absorbed in taking care of the girls, and nothing gets accomplished beyond feeling beat up by a two and half year old and a five month old.

We were both thoroughly ready for school to start, and I was never so happy to see Avram walk out the door the first morning. When he's gone, I don't waste time on the computer or reading (usually, unless it's a really, really good book. But I haven't read in a long time. That recommended reading list on my sidebar? It's not outdated, I just have only read one novel since finishing the Wheel of Time series, because I'm not good at multitasking while reading, so I tend to not read for long stretches of time, although it's my most favorite activity in the world). Suddenly my malaise turns to desire for productivity, and I bustle around (wow, I love my vocab this morning) doing dishes and assigning random places to put things that I'll never remember later. Hey, no one's perfect.

Avram too loves being out of the house, since he's never desired to be a stay at home dad, and his recent stretch being a scratching post for his girls has only strengthened his determination to always work outside of the home. I can't even stand him studying at home during the day, because even if he's upstairs, I know that he's home, and so my productivity dies, and I mentally think that it's time for a holiday.

So here's to being alone, and being a homemaker, and being able to write posts!


  1. Cheers! (to your toast)

    I like the term homemaker, too. I find it very empowering. Enjoy your minutes of silence!! (they usually only come in minutes, don't they?)

  2. Well I'm not a homemaker, but I too, can't do "homemaker-y" things when other people are around. No guy I know has ever understood why I need the house empty of people in order to clean it properly. But I do. I thought, once, it was just because the kids where little, and took energy and focus off cleaning to care for them, and also, they would follow behind undoing all my work. But now, even that they are old enough to help (and do, in theroy) I STILL get much more accomplished when they are gone.

    And I can't cook with anyone over, at all. I don't host many dinners, because I can't seem to talk and cook at the same time. (How DO people do that?)

  3. I don't mind if people are here. They just need to be silent and not move. So sleeping people are fine. I can get tons done when people sleep.

    I was wondering the other day if I have ADD because I never seem to finish things, like sentences or laundry. Then I realize people are ALWAYS talking and needing me to care for them. (Three major interruptions since I started this comment, for instance.)(Four.)

    :) :D It makes me smile, in kind of a deranged way. (Five.)

  4. i know what you mean.. i always think i will get so much done on monday (cory's day off) and then it comes and we loung around and talk and play with the kids and then they kids go to bed and he is playing video games and i just can clean if he is having fun.. so i get on the computer. it takes a day like today when he is gone for me to accoplish things like going to the store by myself with all three kids after i installed all their car seats in my new van. then i droepd neal off at his drivers school and picked him up, took cory dinner at his work, came home and cleaned the kitchen nursed put the older boys to bed, cleaned some more and even went through the pile of mail that i never go through that piles up on the counter. why i wonder can i do all this on my own with three kids yet when cory has the day off nothing gets done at all??? I think its because on their days off they want to sit around and do nothing. and hey, who am i to complain when it sounds nice to me too!

  5. T-
    Stumbled across your blog, and being a Mormon Daddy Blogger, this is probably the wrong post to comment on . . . oh well. I'm certain that the Mrs. HTF relishes her alone time too - for similar reasons.
    Keep up the happy writing!

  6. Thanks for the comment, htf! Hope you don't think I'm always mommy centric.

  7. Boy can I relate right now! I want Todd to get back to work SO BAD just so I can get something done! I'm accomplishing some, our of sheer necessity, but it's dreadfully harder with him around. Not to mention that he's started this new knit picking thing that's really not neat. I'm not parenting (or driving, or cooking, or cleaning) any different, but now he's around 24-7 to see it. Gah.

    I relish alone time too, infact I daily stay up too late because with Todd home all the time, that's my ONLY alone time.