Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Internal War

Lately I have been having an internal struggle. I have been feeling like I need to be doing something more in my life. Don't get me wrong, I love my roles as wife and mother and I truly thank God for giving me the opportunity to stay home with my beautiful baby girl. However, after years of working/going to school/being super involved and overbooked, my life just feels a little too slow some days.

It was definitely a difficult transition to go from working to staying home with a baby. I am not going to lie, I definitely experienced some depression being home alone long days with a colicky baby. The baby got a little older and less fussy, I found my MOM group, and I adjusted to life being a stay-at-home-mom. Now I really love staying home and I really don't like the idea of having to go back to work and leaving my baby with someone else.

However, I feel like I am missing a piece of myself. I never realized how much of my identity was tied up in my "job". I never realized just how much I really thrived on the occassional pat on the back and the satisfaction of a job well done. Those are two things that are pretty nonexistent in a mother's world. The "job" is never done and there are virtually no pats on the back or thank you's. (So you should all take a minute and call your mothers and tell them thank you and that you appreciate them. Don't worry, I'll wait ... Back? Okay. I know that I certainly try to do that more that often than before becoming a mother myself.)

I feel like I am not growing as a person as much as I could be. I have been juggling around a lot of ideas in my head recently, trying to find a good fit for me and for our family. Nothing seems to quite fit at the moment, so the struggle continues on between loving to stay home with my baby and the need for some sort of personal accomplishment. Maybe I am just not really appreciating the blessings in my life and just feeling like the "grass is greener on the other side".

What do you think? Do you stay home? Work? Do you ever question your decision? What do you plan on doing when you have kids, if you don't already?


Regan said...

You could do an at home business. Like selling Pampered Chef or Longaberger or Tupperware or Mary Kay. Then you would be home and work when you like. You could have "parties" during the evening hours and weekends when Fiona's daddy could spend some quality time with her. I think that would give you the something extra that you're looking for without being a 9 to 5er job. What do you think?

Nicole said...

I have this same internal struggle. I did finish my MBA while my daughter was young and that gave me some satisfaction, but now that's done.
Being a SAHM has been very isolating for me. I love MOM and going out to meet with other people.
As for going back to work, I have way too much anxiety to leave my kids all day at daycare. However, I do know that I am probably not suited for being a SAHM, but I can't imagine doing anything else right now. I know for me personally if I went back to work while the kids are young, I'd regret it later down the road.
Anways, I ramble. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone in these feelings and being a SAHM is a thankless job. I hope you find resolution.

Amber Liddle said...

I'm kind of the opposite of you--I always worked at a job as a thing to do until I had kids. I went to school for German and when people would ask me what I wanted to do with that degree I would just say "teach my kids German." I worked as a nanny as the next best thing to being a SAHM! Then I had my daughter and finally felt like my life was complete and I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. But I know what you mean about having an identity. It's hard to be a person outside of being a mom since you are a mom 24/7!!

Tooj said...

I think people in general, but mothers especially, question this. Where am I in the mix of it all? What is it that I'm doing, that I'm contributing, that I am offering. I've decided that because I can't do what I want (exactly) right now, I'm going to do something similar. I got tired of asking the questions so I am doing a little something very soon. It's all about action and at least finding SOME THING that you enjoy or think you'd be a good contributor to, and JUST make the time, find the place, or join the group that will allow you to be YOU sometimes. It's a struggle as a mom to let go and continue allowing that part of you to come forward. But it's necessary, as I am slowly learning.

joyfully gray said...

Oh goodness, to stay at home or not to stay at home... something I have struggled with tremendously.

I am a teacher and have been home since my daughter was born in March. Fortunately my maternity leave ran into summer vacation, thus, 5.5 wonderful months home. (I cringe at the thought of six weeks like some mothers get.. our country needs to do something about maternity leave, but that is another rant).

I go back August 14th. Some days I still cry and cry about having to return to work. My staying at home is something we are aiming for, but it is not quite feasible yet. Many many tears have been shed over this issue.

That being said, there are days that I feel like going back to work would be really good for me. And even good for Lucia. She will have some interaction from some other little ones and her babysitter (I'm doing an in-home daycare). I myself will also have some other interaction and perhaps have a healthier balance in my life. Maybe a healthier me will be a healthier and happier baby?

Oh but can anyone really care for her up to my standards? Will she be okay? Will she cry and be attended to? How can I leave her? Am I a horrible mom for doing so?

Oh gosh, I will need prayers when mid-August comes around.

You will fid a balance. I can totally see where you are coming from.

joyfully gray said...

PS I just caught on to your daughter's name being Fiona and I love it.

Kristin said...

I'm reading a great book right now called Passionate Housewives Desperate For God. So thought-provoking and convicting. The authors illustrate how the world wants to convince us that we need to find purpose in doing for ourselves, but that God wants us to find purpose in laying down our lives for others (our families). Makes you think. :-)

Katie said...

Found you from Cloth Diaper Whisperer...
I think I wrote virtually the same exact post a few months ago. It's tough - I'm at home full-time with my 17-month-old daughter, and due in a month with Baby2.0.
I ADORE being at home with them - but I think I let society make me feel like it's not enough - and I do certainly miss getting positive feedback more often than a toddler tends to give it (or doing a job and having stay done!)
But when I make a point of letting go of what anyone else might think of how I spend my time - I know there is no better place for me than to be caring for these precious little ones. And so I work at finding a new kind of joy, a new kind of "work ethic" and a new kind of feedback.
Hang in there!!