2017 was the year I accidentally stumbled into finding a bit of myself that I’d not given up on, but forgotten about. It was the year I found my love of theatre again, I found my love of being involved with something bigger than just me – the year I felt useful again.
Perhaps useful isn’t the right word. Productive would be a better choice. I felt productive in 2017 for the first time in forever. It’s hard to be productive as a parent – every day is a series of minor battles to get back to the same place we started – tidying, washing, cooking, sleeping… an endless cycle of surviving. I don’t feel useful, I feel like I’m just about keeping our heads above water.
I’ve written about it over the last 12 months, but back in February I joined my local am dram group – I got stuck in helping with admin and marketing, producing posters and managing the online presence. Not to mention treading the boards. And I feel like my life has renewed purpose. Yes, it’s am dram, it’s not like I’m running my own company, or saving lives, but it feels like such a huge step up from wiping a permanently snotty nose and arguing over putting socks on.
I’m prone to hyperbole, but that group saved me last year. In a whole new town, with no friends or family local, I could have just sunk into the quicksand that being a stay at home parent can be. I tried finding playgroups, only to remember why I hate them, so we were in danger of disappearing behind our front door, save the occasional trip to Co-Op.
January is always filled with a sense of fresh starts and new goals – and we rarely keep up with the grandeur of our resolutions and sweeping statements. That’s why I’m not really making any deals with myself this year – yes I shall try to avoid the fizzy drinks I love so much, perhaps cut down on sugar and start doing more exercise. But the biggest thing I want from 2018 is more of that productivity – more of feeling useful.
Do you have any tips on being productive when you’re a stay at home parent?