Monday, October 18, 2010


So, I've got a few things to get off my proverbial chest - hence the two posts back-to-back.

Since being laid off, I have really felt blocked.  Or, perhaps, because of my ample free time, I'm noticing the blockages I've had for a while.  Regardless, I feel rudderless, without direction, without a purpose.  I feel like I'm mentally standing in a five foot by five foot box and have no idea how to get out.  I take that back, I do know how to get out but don't feel like doing what it takes.

Not only is that feeling frustrating and suffocating, but I also feel like I'm losing precious time and squandering valuable moments with Aggie.  We have our good moments, for sure.  But I often feel like I'm counting the minutes until her next nap or until Jason gets home.  I haven't been very creative about how we spend our time together - we watch a lot of TV or I try to otherwise distract her so I can do stuff on the computer or chores.  What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't feel like quality time.  And I feel it's because I'm not trying very hard.

Part of me thinks I'm being too hard on myself - taking care of a one year old is difficult, tiring work.  And I'm pregnant.  But I don't feel that I'm really challenging myself.  Here I have this wonderful opportunity of time with my daughter and I'm squandering it.  And the guilt that comes with that is tremendous.

I like to sometimes blame it on unemployment - if I didn't "have to" search for a job, I'd be free to enjoy my time.  Sometimes the baby - if I didn't "have to" take care of the baby, I'd be free to enjoy my time.  Sometimes the lack of car (which has been remedied) and living in small town - if I had something to do, I'd enjoy my free time more.

But those are just excuses.  I do think I'm expecting too much of myself to enjoy every minute of every day.  But I'd like to do away with this feeling of...listlessness...frustration...depression, perhaps?  Taking new meds isn't an option right now, so I'm going to have to get myself out of this without chemical assistance.  And the first step is to call the doctor.

Thanks for listening.

Oh, wait.  Not quite done yet.  A couple of more things need saying.  Part of this depression or blockedness or what have you, is being without work.  I need to acknowledge this.  I had really become defined by my job.  It was a defining job.  I was on the front lines of a very controversial and deeply emotional issue and I took it to heart, to mind and to pride.  I really pushed myself in that job and did very well.  Damn it, why can't I say it - I succeeded, I was successful at my job, a job I was terrified of doing at times (not safety wise, just believing in myself enough to succeed).

While I needed to leave that job for a variety of reasons, how it ended was abrupt and heartbreaking.  Initially, I took some good steps to help me transition - I unsubscribed from all the action alerts, stopped reading the blogs and news, just unplugged.  And that's helped me clear my head, helped the the swirliness, for lack of a better word, of my previous work life to settle out.  But now I'm getting anxious and want to fill that space back up with more work.  I'm really resistant to letting being a mom fill that space back up, which is both positive and negative, I think.  Part of me wants to just fall back into the routine of working and let that monopolize my attention, but a wiser part of me knows that is not what I need to do.  If only that part would hurry up and show me what it is I need to.  I'm not a very patient person, in case you hadn't noticed.

And there's the whole resistance to being a full-time mom.  I know why and I kinda hate myself for it - because I don't want to become one of those women whose only focus is their children, who can only talk about their kids, who can only do things for their kids.  That is totally stereotyping, since I don't actually know any of these women.  It's a fear, really - fear of losing myself, which is ironic because I do so in other circumstances, such as with my work.  So, why doing it with my daughter is a fear, I don't know.  Probably because I did have a mom whose life revolved heavily (though not solely) around me and that was a big burden to bear at times (at other times it was wonderful).  I guess I don't want to do that with Aggie and the new baby.  The wiser part of me also says this is not what I need to do, that I should have multiple interests and passions, including my children.  Again, I wish I could know what those other interests are already.

I think what I really want is a guarantee, a guarantee that what I choose to focus on and put my efforts into will be successful, rewarding and long lasting.  I thought I had found that with my last job and set my life up accordingly.  Same with grant writing.  I keep thinking I've found that "thing" and then I quit or become disillusioned or it becomes obvious that I need to move on.  I want security, damn it!  But, the wiser part of me says that I do not, that I do want uncertainty and challenge.  Sigh. 


heathre said...

I don't have any wise words to share but know that I'm here for you and I support you. You are an amazing smart talented woman and kickass mom to the aggster. You will find your way. xoxo

Nanimal said...

dude... I relate to this on so many levels it boggles the mind.

I went out to dinner with one of my fellow mom friends and one who is very similar in many things. she is stay at home momming right now... anyhow we were discussing how sometimes it would just be nice to be less smart than we are. lol... I know that sounds pompous and weird but I do think that sometimes...
The time I most felt good about my stay at home momming was when we would decide to complete discover a museum... but Aggie is still so little.

Amandaw said...

Wow! I just read your last two blog posts. First, know that you rock and are loved from all sides. Second, you are not alone. I go through moments of "why didn't i place my kids in a box and mail it to Yugoslavia when i had the chance" (hey I would have put holes in the box) to moments of "these two beings are the best part about me." It's weird being a mom. And hard, but only because we have these huge expectations of ourselves and our kids. I always strive for perfection and then when I don't get it feel completely inadequate. I want to be super mom, but I also want to succeed like no one else in my job.

Right now it's time for you to be home, later will be the time for you to start your career again. (And later could be two months from now). We need to remind ourselves that we have time to do all the things we want to. Relax, drink a mango smoothie, and watch a Matt Damon movie on mute. Love ya.

sunnywave said...

as you can see, i am late in catching up with coranation...but no less loving and sharing and hearing the frustration and hope and anger and love and guilt and every other rollercoaster emotion that you described. and when i get stuck "in" it, i try to remember to be gentle with myself, and yet i can't always.get.there. and then in the next couple of hours, i'm fine again. and then it fluctuates again...

we modern, educated women have so many messages coming at us--that if somehow we're "only" a mom, that makes us inadequate or less intelligent (which is so beyond making sense) on the one hand, and yet when we're overloaded with work responsibilities, we're supposed to be the go-to woman, somehow perfect emotional-financial-intellectual-fill in the blank supporter of the family anyway. it's so bizarre the expectations the world has for us! and how we interpret them and create near impossible standards for ourselves! so...yes we no longer have to be confined to the home, but just because we are in the home does not make us less intelligent, nor should we have to be perfect when we travel between the world and home...

and while this makes perfect sense...i still struggle. *love* to you.