Well, this laundry isn't going to fold itself, I remember thinking to myself with a sigh just after my first child was born. I sat staring at yet another load of burp cloths, onesies, and miniature-sized jammies. As I began to attack the huge mound of blue, I felt listless. What was the point of folding these? I would put them back on my son Michael, he would spit up on them again, and I'd be right back here on the couch staring at the same pile of baby clothes. Again.
Don't get me wrong—I adored my son. My pastor husband Geoff and I had been thrilled with the news of our first baby boy. We played the name game, shopped for our first crib, and joyfully bought that first pack of diapers, having no idea how much money we would be investing in the diaper industry over the years to come.
I was thrilled we had figured out a way for me to quit my first teaching job to stay home with Mike. I had only taught for a few years and loved it, but now it was time to be a stay-at-home mom. Anticipating my time at home, I dreamed about how my day would go. It would allow me extra hours to bond with my son, and I could really devote myself to keeping a tidy house and planning out nutritious meals. I could finally attack those messy closets, and make my way through what seemed to me an endless list of stay-at-home mom projects.
The novelty of this carried me for about two months, and ran out about the same time as my list. I had tackled all of my major projects, and now found myself searching for ways to engage not just my hands, but my intellect as well. I wasn't having doubts about my time at home with my precious baby boy. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I was thankful. But I wasn't prepared for what was happening to my brain. I felt uninspired. I felt tired, as if my supply of never ending mental energy in the classroom had completely drained away, never to return. I felt bored. I felt guilty.1