Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What's New

One of the more challenging things about being a stay at home mom is knowing how to answer the question: what's new with you?

While others can tell about the interesting business trip they just went on or the new project they have at work or the promotion they just received or any number of interesting things about their coworkers, stay at home moms don't see a lot of big changes in their day to day.

When I'm asked that question, I respond awkwardly with, "Well, I'm still homeschooling..." and then trail off into whatever milestones the kids have trotted out lately, but that's not really answering the question. The question was about what was new with me. And a lot of times, there's not a good answer to that. My day-to-day can come across as incredibly mundane.

When school and the pillow pile collide.

This is the reality of stay-at-home-mom-dom. If one of the kids isn't doing something dramatic (which is kind of the goal: no broken bones, no tantrums, no inappropriate artistic experiments), life can sound sort of boring. We do chores, we play outside, we do school, we walk the dog, and the next day we do it all over again.

But here's the beauty: all that humdrum ordinary that can't give a good answer to "What's new with you?" leaves so much space to see the extraordinary. And when I say "a good answer", what I might mean more is "a typical answer".

Because this week, what was new with me was our first hummingbird sighting of the season. It was sharing a cup of coffee with one neighbor, some much needed vet advice from another neighbor, and a cherry "Good morning!" at the track to a third. It was accepting that I am an introvert whose preferred response to all social invitations is, "My schedule is clear but my inner introvert is not available for company" or "Yes, but only if you come with a book so I don't have to talk to you" or--my all time favorite--purposefully not checking the phone until dinner...but instead saying "Yes" to friend-vitations after all and having a great time being social.

What was new with me is I learned that cilantro can do something called "bolt", and I dutifully gardened like an adult. I read a lot of books. Wait. That's not new. I plowed through some more school work with the Little Man so that we can finish school next week. I started tapering on my running program to prep for next week's half marathon.

I notice these things only because I have the space to do so, and I have the space to do so only because I have what, on the surface, can come across as a more than usually commonplace job. I think this is a not-so-small blessing.

So, I want to know: what's new with you?


  1. What's new with me? I'm catching up on your blog! I somehow missed several. I'm thankful to be catching up. Tomorrow we go to Livingston for several days. I'm getting over a cold or an allergy flareup, whichever the case may be, and I'm getting more adjusted to living here. . . I think!

  2. Nothing is new. I'm only catching up on a million old things. I have spent the week frantically planning for things that suddenly appeared in front of me. Then there were the moments when I thought that all the planning was going to be wasted because DHL couldn't get to the Chadian Embassy in Berlin in time to ship the passport with new visa back to Denmark, but after calling several people in several countries, it all worked out. And then trying to find a piece for our compressor using Facebook since Tigo network was's not new, but it keeps me busy.