Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I'm used to juggling lots of activities; in high school and college I was always the "involved" sort. These days I'm still juggling, but most of my activities are family-related, from cooking to cleaning to changing diapers.

And as my focus has shifted to the "home front" over the last few years, I find that I've become a bit of a hermit. Not in the hide out in a cabin in the woods, grow a long beard, and avoid all human interaction sense. I'm too much of a city girl to live in the woods; my beard-growing skills leave much to be desired; and I do genuinely like people. But more in the "Do I REALLY have to leave the house today, knowing getting two kids in and out of the car is a pain and knowing I'll have trouble getting everything done at home?" sense.

I'm in the second year of my thirties now, and as I get older I find I become less tolerant of disorganization and mess. I take comfort in structure and an uncluttered home. Now, I'm not actually that great at achieving this level of comfort, but at least it's easier when I have lots of time at home. On days when I leave, whether it's to go grocery shopping or attend a playdate, there's an extra level of stress on my day. I'm more likely to go to bed with dishes in the sink, which messes up the next day too.

So I find myself connecting more online than in person, slipping into hermit mode in between church commitments.

Then I also find myself feeling sad that I don't have the depth of friendships I desire.

Hmm.... There might be a connection here. Maybe if I got out of hermit mode, I'd have deeper friendships. I might cause myself a little more stress on the home front, but with closer friends I'd have a better support system to help me through the stressful days.

So if you're one of my '"real-life" friends who's been saying, "We should really get together," keep asking, and make sure we nail down a date. I may not turn into a social butterfly, but I'm going to try to change my hermit ways before I find myself searching for a cabin in the woods and putting Rogaine on my hairless chin.


Tia said...

I feel the same way. I am a social person but sometimes it is just too much to get out. And I only have one kid! I too like and orderly home and to go out does put you behind!

Wanna be online blog besties?

Kristi said...

Beth - If it weren't for my IRL friends, I would be a beard growing, keep the blinds closed hermit, too! I have friends that are always on the go (with 3+ kids in tow) and are relentless about "making" me come along. I'm so thankful for this, as are my kids, I'm sure. They get to play with their friends and I get much needed adult interaction. Everyone's happier. I really recommend you try to make that "deeper" connection with someone and make it a point to get out of the house more. It's so nice to have someone (especially another mom)to confide in about our daily struggles and laugh about them, too. :)

I've also come to really depend on a particular "virtual" friend....YOU!!! So, your time at home hasn't all been for nothing! I feel lucky to have you to confide in and you have encouraged me on many occasions. If we were closer (move back!) I'm sure we could make an even deeper connection (move back!)!! :)

You're an awesome person and anyone would consider themselves lucky to be your friend!

C. Beth said...

Tia--Aw, thanks! Yeah, online blog besties sounds great. :)

Kristi--You are so sweet and a wonderful friend; thank you! I have really great friends that I know I can count on in a crisis, and I know we appreciate each other. What I think I need to be willing to do is just work more on the "everyday" nature of some of my friendships. Not that I have to see someone every day, but just getting together with friends more consistently means I will not only be able to count on them in a crisis, but will also naturally lean on them just for the general support that comes from close friends. Basically I just feel like I need to put more effort into the friendships I have so that they can be deepened. Like you, I have some friends who are great about keeping up with me and asking me to get together--sometimes I just need to respond better to that, and make more of my own effort too.

Bri said...

Im right there with ya on not wanting to get the kids ready and leave the house. I am such a procrastinator and prefer to stay home in jammies all day than get everyone ready and out the door. It's bad enough I have to get up and get my two oldest ready for school. They are old enough to walk themselves now so that makes me even less willing to get everyone ready to go out. I do have a playgroup that I attend once a week though and my job, so I only spend 4 days holed up in the house now LoL

I hope as I enter my 30's (not much longer) that I won't be so tolerant of the mess and disorganization that has been our life for years. I can already tell that it is bugging me. I hate having all this junk and am hoping when we move I can make an honest effort to keep the clutter under control. I swear I need to go on one of those shows that makes you throw away all your stuff LoL

Sarah (SEB1977 from BBC!) said...

I could have written your posting! We're the same age with kids the same age...interesting.
I keep saying to my friends... please get me out of the house!! I just can't get out on my own. That combined with DH working way too much its that much harder to get out. I recently joined a kickboxing class. It gets me out of the house and gets me active. And its offered almost every day so I can fit it in around DH...
And the organization thing - I get so sick of tidying, but really do feel so much better when its done :) DH doesn't understand this ;)


Anonymous said...

For me, friendships got easier as our children got older. And, btw, I'm over 60, so I don't see ANYTHING funny about chin hairs! NOTHING W.H.A.T.S.O.E.V.E.R! :)

C. Beth said...

Bri--DO IT! (The show.) It would be hard at first but can you imagine getting rid of all that stuff? I should do it too. :)

Sarah--Kickboxing, that sounds fun! I know, DH just wants me to sit down and relax in the evenings, which I do, eventually I think it's hard for him to understand that when I'm home all day I get stressed out if it's not a pleasant environment--especially when I first get up, or when I get home after being out.

Sandra--Ha!! I actually have to be vigilant about chin hairs already, so I'm dreading them taking over when I'm post-menopausal. :)

Sandi said...

I think I could have wrote what you did on this posting. I too, have noticed that some friendships have just went away while others have gotten stronger. It's so much work lugging the kids around and it really makes you think twice if you want to tackle the challenge. I'm also struggling with the mess and clutter that three children and a garbage-challenged husband can bring. I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle at times but hopefully, I'll reform one of the heathens into a clean loving creature!