Friday, June 15, 2007

A Continuation.

It's not that I don't like being a mom. It's not even that I don't like keeping my house clean. It's not even that I'm bothered by the fact that I had to virtually give up a life of freedom. The thing I'm not getting any joy out of is the Stay At Home Mom lifestyle. I've spent so much of my life driven by getting an "A" on an assignment. All of my jobs have had deadlines and projects. You finish one thing, you move onto the next and you only see the first thing again if you made a mistake. So driven by accomplishment, by ticking things off the proverbial 'to do' list once and for all.

How bizarre to now re-write my to do list everynight with the same items? How does one feel they are moving forward when it's just going around in a circle? The rest of the world moves forward but at our house we're stuck on replay, and rightly so. Routine is what keeps the kids calm, it allows them to thrive as they understand what is predictable. It's a very important part of being a parent, to do the same thing over and over again.

In my SAHM lifestyle I am often Stuck At Home which doesn't really jive with my personality. I like to be out and with people. Even if being "with" them is only walking beside them in Old Navy. But I live in a small town, with no bus system sometimes it's actually impossible to get out and go somewhere. There are several activities to do in town for moms and tots, but then arises the final stitch in my robe. I'm a mommy introvert. I have no desire to go to the local mom's group and compare stats. I know it's just the beginning and after the first awkward conversations you find true friends, but, well you other introverts understand.

I think someone told me that the biggest struggle in becoming a parent is remembering to be yourself as well. To feed yourself-emotionally, physically, spiritually. I think my struggle is better defined by trying to do that within my current lifestyle. People are always telling me to take a bath, read a book, make Nick stay at home while I go out. The truth of the matter is I can't do the things that feed me and make me happy while being a mom. Don't for a second think I'm saying I'm not happy and I'll never be until my kids are growing up. I'm just trying to figure out the evolution of being a contented me before kids to being a contented me with kids.


Tara said...

I totally understand. And as a fellow introvert I really do think it might be worth your while to give the mommy groups a try. I was forced into attending one because it is held at my church and it has proven, over time, to be very beneficial. Despite my reluctance.

And just a point... have you ever considered blocking "anonymous"'s comments? They clearly have issues and you shouldn't have to hear them.

Elizabeth said...

I just wanted to wish you peace. Thank you for your bravery and honesty in posting your feelings.
Sending love...

Jen said...

I know what you mean about the "to-do" list. That was nice feeling like you got something accomplished at work. At home it is the same to-do list everyday. Sometimes exhausting!

Tanneal said...

It feels very circular right now doesn't it, with the routines and all. I guess in the big picture the giant lifelong to do list is only one and not a repeating one every night. I would have to think for a bit to figure out what my 'big picture' to do list looked liked as far as raising the kids is concerned.

I just keep thinking of how people say it goes so fast, and it makes me want to linger in these days, even though they are quite exhausting at times.

Thanks for sharing your feelings!

Jen said...

I think Tanneal hit it right on the head! I've been wanting to say something more about what you've been writing these past two entries but words are failing me. Thank you for sharing your true self!

Lamb said...

People start out life with a to do list. We are raised to complete jobs and get on to another challenge.
Little did we realize that when one becomes a spouse or parent those challenges don't start and stop. They continue day in and day out. I think that is when we start doubting ourselves but that is when we are doing our best work, honestly. You are the centre of your girls existence. That is a privilege but as always along with privilege comes responsibility. I know it sometimes feels as if you are drowning in the every day but trust me that won't happen. I also understand how hormones when you are pregnant can run amok. Just ask John about what it was like to live with me when I was expecting our boys. lol
Amanda, you are always in our hearts and prayers. We love you very much.
The others are right. Block anonymous. If someone hides behind a moniker like that they are just a plain coward and it is time to just say NO to them. You don't need that kind of garbage. And, I for one, am sick of listening to his or her drivel.

Mom said...

I'll second that - the opinions of an 'anonymous' donor aren't worth the time it takes to read them and they should be blocked or deleted without hesitation!

You know very well how I coped with 3 kids - and it wasn't pretty, for sure! I'm glad I had a level headed daughter around to help me out. I wish I was by your side helping you as much. I have realized that the 'to do' list for Moms is quite different than the 'to do' list for working people. A Mom's 'to do' list has to be an 18 to 20 year long 'to do' list of things you want to be sure your children know before they leave your caring, protective home. That 'to do' list is then divided into 'to do' lists according to the stage each child is in and then broken down again into the daily, repetative chores required to get the child from one stage to another.

Perhaps if you make a 'to do' list for each stage of each child's life you will feel better about ticking off your accomplishments - like teaching Belle to use her manners, to communicate in ways you can understand, to use the potty, to put on her own pants, to put on her own t-shirt, to put on her own socks........

There are accomplishments even as a stay at home mom that you can check off and see that you have indeed accomplished some very meaningful tasks - which will lead to not only you being fulfilled, but to your children being able to become independent and fulfilled adults - very much too soon I must add!

Keep on hangin' on - just when you think you've reached the end of your rope, there is God.

I love you very much and pray that God will give you a sense of your true value both to Him and to your family and I pray that He will guide you to find some supportive people and to be willing to accept their support and open up to them in person as you open up on your blog.