Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This is crack...This is your mommy on crack...

I wrote this post back in June. As I am in the process of job hunting and getting ready to reenter the work force soon, it is good to look at these moments and admit to myself what the biggest challenge has been of staying at home. Yet, I don't regret it for a moment. But, I'm ready to shake things up....

Imagine if you will...the ubiquitous egg frying in a pan. And the words: This is CRACK. This is your Mommy on CRACK. No, that is not how the original ad went, but maybe how it should have gone. The egg sizzling and frying to a crisp in the pan is brain, mommy brain. Some days are so friggin' miraculous. And some are so full of frustration and anger and yes...disappointment and then GUILT. Because, here I have this amazing life. I am at home with my children - something I dreamed of, and don't have any regrets about. I am here. I am with them. I try as hard as I can to be in the moment with them as much as possible. But, there is a very real feeling of this right? Is there something wrong with me that I don't feel incredibly fulfilled? Staying home is definitely about them. I think Moms or Dads staying home are doing it for the kids. Not for themselves, although we may convince ourselves that we are doing it for the greater good. I guess I'm trying to find some kind of peace with it. It is hard. And I am striving, constantly striving to be an adult and realize that yes, it is not supposed to be about me - and my fulfillment. I live fully knowing that I don't have regrets about being at home, yet I do have conflicts within myself about it. It is their time. Not mine. But, God...I understand so much more now. I understand the Valium housewives of the 60's, the affairs, the great, gnawing need to just bust out of yourself and feel alive! I get that. So, here I am busting out - hoping that by writing these things down and acknowledging these conflicting feelings that I will find something within myself that makes me whole. It is too facile a solution and so bloody desperate to go outside of yourself to fulfill the emptiness within. The challenge, the journey has to be to find "it" within myself. And of course none of this is new news or original or even very interesting, but it is what it is and grasping for "the crack" or whatever that may be at the moment is always tantalizingly near.

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  1. I am embarrassed to admit how many struggles I had those first years at home with my kids. There were days I, had I followed my heart, I would have climbed in the car and driven away without looking back.

  2. I have been home for 15 years with my kids. If I continue to stay home until Alexis leaves (to go to college) - it will have been well over 30 years that I stayed home with my kids. During this time, there has been many weeks and even months that I have felt that I didn't know who I was or that I was losing myself - I have struggled over the years, off and on. I am, and have been, in a good place for several years now and I am thankful for that, but I know the struggle!! I know it!! I think for some of the struggle - this is answers for and for some of it ... answers never come. I hope you find your answers - you have to look - you have to. Take care. Kellan

  3. I get that. I so get that.

    Having come from the same struggles you speak of, I too feel guilt for not being 100% fufilled some days.

    And there it is, the quest for balance and priorities (and world peace). Sometimes I think part time would be ideal. But at the end of the day, you have a choice - and if that choice doesn't work out you can always change it up again. Awesome post JCK.

  4. Mrs. G. - No embarassment here. I understand completely. It's gotten better on that front. ;)

    Kellan - It really helps to get the long-term perspective from you. If we had the financial freedom, then I would remain at home and do my own creative thing - writing and creating a space. My goal is to find a job that I can do that will enable flexibility, especially when they are older - to be home with them after school. And to know where they are! Those rascals.

    WorksforMom - Always, always the quest for balance. I think it is our destiny no matter what our choices are as moms, don't you? I love your mention of it being a choice. Sometimes I can forget that. :)

    Ladies - thanks so much for your thought provoking comments. I always treasure them.

  5. I used to describe my brain as bleeding by the time my husband got home. Awful. I know, but honestly, I just didn't enjoy being at home as I thought I would.

  6. This is a very deep post, JCK. I have struggled with it as well. I didn't recognize it though. I would come up with all of these new things to try and things I wanted to do and one night when I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to try out to be a contestant on Jeopardy he said to me "you know what your problem is? You've got 'been-at-home-too-long-itis". Being a full time stay at home mother is VERY fulfilling but it is not the "ALL" of you. Just a slice of you. I try to remember that the rest of me has been put on hold for a little while.

    And I'm sending you a hug.

  7. Since I'm on the front end of the sahm gig, so I haven't experienced all of this yet. Although I totally get the mommy brain syndrome. If I don't make lists, I wouldn't survive!

  8. Liv- bleeding brain. I like that! It is odd when you have something you've always wanted and it isn't exactly what you've wanted. Yet it is and you feel guilty for not wanting it.

    Tootsie - well said. It is not the "ALL of us." No, Ma'am, it isn't! The irony is that the job that I feel that I've done the best at - is being a mom. Kind of a paradox!

    Heather - don't be in a rush to experience it! LOL Enjoy!

  9. It is hard to work so frantically on raising the children and have nothing short-term to show for it. The "product" of our productivity doesn't arrive for 18+ years which is so hard for my "instant gratification" brain to wrap around. When I used to work at the end of the day I could point to a million things I had accomplished--with documentation and now I got nothing but a messy house and fed/hungry/clean/dirty/clothed/naked/awake/asleep children--and the cycle continues. Hang in there. Some days are WAY better then others!


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