Clean House, Now What?

I’m at the bookstore again. It’s a beautiful day outside and I’m inside, chewing pieces off a mega chocolate chunk cookie which will make me even fatter, but I don’t care because at this moment, I need a little pleasure. A little buzz. I’m hunched over my laptop in the Barnes and Noble Café forcing myself to write something, anything… just so I have something to do.

Can we just talk about how boring it is being a stay-at-home mom? I’ve spent the last eight years dying for them to be in school so I could finally be alone – and now I’m finally alone, and I have nothing to do.

I don’t volunteer at the school because when I’m finally away from my kids, I don’t want to be wrangling someone else’s. I don’t do the PTA thing because it’s just not my thing. Since my diagnosis, I don’t run or go to the gym every afternoon, which I used to do (to burn time, not calories). I should volunteer somewhere, but I only have 2 1/2 hours of free time a day and honestly, right now, I don’t have the energy.

I just can’t face cleaning my kitchen again or planning tonight’s dinner (which I’ve already done anyway: grilled chicken and salad). We don’t have money, so I can’t go spend it. I’m pretty organized, so I’ve finished all of my errands.


I called my good friend to chat, but she was too busy ironing her sheets and had to go. I’ve tried calling a few others, but I just keep getting their voicemails. Where is everybody? What ARE they doing?

I wish more mothers would own up to how boring it is to be at home. Or at least give me a hint of what else there is to do. I once whined to one of my friends about how depressed I was because I was so bored. She told me when she needs a pick-me-up, she organizes a drawer. It gives her a sense of accomplishment.


I asked another friend for advice. She looked at me like I was stupid. “Haven’t you ever heard of shopping?” she said.

When I worked, I always thought I would love being at home so I could do the things I always wanted. I thought I would learn to play the cello, write a book, lose weight, listen to NPR, meet interesting people and take up tennis. Uh, I guess I forgot there would be kids. So after years of sweeping the kitchen floor, fixing meals, wiping butts, brushing hair, grocery shopping, paying bills and making beds, my energy for the cello is diminuendo. I’m too depleted to lose weight. And the interesting people are apparently already doing something — else.


I need a cause. I need a purpose. I need a job. I can only browse the isles of Target so many times. I think the people at the B&N Café are beginning to worry about me. I might need to find another bookstore.

Somebody better give me some ideas soon or I”ll be writing more posts as boring and whiny as this one.


5 thoughts on “Clean House, Now What?

  1. Hi! Gosh you’ve forced me to take another study break:)

    I think volunteering is a great activity! I can see how you think it might be energy-consuming, but there are really a range of things to do in your own time and space that might make it seem less overwhelming.

    Also, what about entering a non-physical competition? Like a national scrabble competition? Is that super-lame? Probably. But competitions are obsessive and can be really fun.

    Picking up a new language? I like cd’s (Pimsleur and Rosetta stone are pretty good) because all you do is really just chant after them. It doesn’t actually require that much of a mental component if you don’t want it to… more like repetition and it gradually seeps into the brain.

    scrapbook? knitting? investment planning? I actually really like personal finance books. Some of them are really interesting.

    also if all else fails… go to the ASPCA website and look at pictures of cats and dogs all day. that can suck up hours of time! 🙂 But again, that falls probably more towards the line of lame… is there a pattern here? hahaha.

    Oh, Emiko — You are a go-getter for sure. Could you see me in a Scrabble tournament? I can barely beat my own kids at Scrabble. I should brush-up, though, since the in-laws kick my ass at Scrabble every holiday. It’s embarrassing. A language would be good, but I’d be speaking to myself — again (though at least I’d sound cool).

    I’ll keep the personal finance books in mind. If anything, they might help with the occassional insomnia.

    Good luck with finals. We miss you guys!

  2. Well, I’m enjoying the posts (and the pictures! geez, can you come clean my place now???) so I would hate to see you stop. Any desire to write a book?

    I will gladly clean your house for a plate of those coconut muffins with lime glaze.

    I don’t have a real desire to write a book. I only thought that when I was working at a grinding job and dreaming of my other skinny, ultra-cultured, cello-playing life.

  3. Gardening done? Your garden always looks so beautiful.
    You can’t have it all in shape already……

    Gardening – check.

  4. I’m with C&W. Come to my house and clean.

    And I recommend the library over B&N. You can scope out the library for hours and nobody will even blink.

    Really, though, it sounds like you need to sit down and make some plans. As your kids get older, you are only going to have more time on your hands and you are far too interesting to just fade away. I’m sure your energy is depleted, but give it a try. Sit down and make a list of what you’d like to do. Pick the easiest thing. Start doing it. If you don’t like it, move on. But I think it’s imperative to start.

    Brew the coffee! If she brings the muffins with lime glaze to your house, I’ll clean and we can have a party.

    BTW, I can’t leave B&N – they have the best cookies. I’ll endure any and all suspicion for the cookies.

    Your list sounds right. I need to take get serious about it.

  5. In a way, I know exactly what you mean. Take tonight for example. For the first time years, I don’t have a single thing planned and I am going to be the only person in the house. I feel a sense of panic…which is completely ridiculous. I’ve been going non-stop with my to-do list for the past month and I’ve finally reached the point where I’m clear (for now). I would like to go to the mall, but I would not like to spend any money. That also rules Target out. My house could benefit from cleaning, but I am not going to do that. I’ve considered watching tv, painting my nails, reading blog posts, walking outside, trying to write something. It really shouldn’t be this difficult to not do anything…but it is.

    Pictures. What about finding something cool to photograph. Do you wanna?

    Okay – imagine your night tonight and then multiply it by say, EVERY DAY and that’s it! Meanwhile, your list looks good. I so enjoy your walks and photographs. Maybe I’ll do a photographic walking tour of Jcrewville and put it up for all to see.

    Have fun tonight. My suggestion for you is yoga and ice cream — in that order.

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