Sorry I haven't posted for such a long time. I took on a temporary part-time job, and it about wiped me out. It was working at a local amusement park, where my youngest son works in the games department. They open the park to school-aged kids in May for school field trips, but their normal workers are also in school. So they hire mothers to work a few days a week for about a month until school gets out. I was assigned to run a game. The hard part is that you have to stand on that hard asphalt all day long, and it wasn't very busy, so it was just standing there for the most part. I am not used to being on my feet for that long, even when I am canning. The other hard part was just not being home. I have a new appreciation for working mothers. Even though I was only working 3 days a week, I found I spent my days off either preparing to be gone to work, or recovering from being gone to work. I have been a stay-at-home mother for 35 years, and it would take a lot for me to get used to such a radical change in my routine.
One thing that I found made things easier, was cooking ahead for the nights I worked. I knew I would come home with aching feet and not want to cook. I also knew that I didn't want all that hard-earned money to go to buy take-out food. So I planned ahead, and did some cooking on my days off for that week's meals. It made a huge difference to come home from work, rest a bit, then heat up dinner. I would have made up freezer meals, but my freezer is pretty full, with only room for my homemade bread in it. For just those few days, it worked out well to just cook the food and store it in the fridge, re-heating it when we were ready to eat it. There was one night that I splurged and bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner. It was on sale for not much more than it would have cost to buy a whole raw chicken, so I didn't feel bad about that.
I find that my month of working has given me a new appreciation for the ability to be a stay-at-home mother, even though my kids are all adults now. I have the time and energy to plant my garden, make jam, sew a baby shower gift, shop for groceries, clean house. I am home for those little emergencies, like when my daughter's car had issues on her way to work. When I am home, I can just let her take my car. When it happened on a day I had to work, it was a struggle to work out how everyone got to where they needed to go. I am again able to tend my grandkids one morning a week while their mother goes in to her job. I may still struggle to accomplish all I want to do, but I am able to work on it at my own schedule, for the most part. I am very grateful for my life, and hope to be able to post more regularly now.