Sunday, March 18, 2012

Enquiring minds want to know...

I'm lucky that I have so many supportive people around me that are willing to listen. I'm definitely a person that has to process my thoughts outloud (I can never come to decisive conclusion in my head). So each time I get asked about my adjustment to being a stay at home Mom I learn a little bit more about myself.

The simple answer is, I'm enjoying it. I love the amount of time I'm spending with my kids. I love all the ways I'm able to serve my family (and friends) that I wasn't really able to before. I feel like there's a lot more peace in our home. Things are just simple now, and seem to make sense. Surprisingly, (I mean AMAZINGLY) I don't miss my job too terribly much.

(the old office)

So even though I'm happy, and the family is happy- it's still an evolutionary process. Being a Mom is hard (that's a generic understatement, I know.) I've decided that the reason it's so hard is because it requires such a high level of emotional investment.

A month ago, I was split in half. I had this half of me that gave me a sense of accomplishment. I will (not so humbly) admit, that I was good at my job. I was effective, I received a lot of praise, and I was respected. That assurance carried me... pretty much all of me.

Now, all I have to focus on is my parenting. I feel very one dimensional and I've become my own worst enemy. I am constantly mulling over mundane decisions about what the best parent would do... what's the best response, the best defense, the best way to teach, and what I spend the most time freighting over is what's the best use of our time (I'm constantly worried about missed opportunities that are passing me by.) And I'm driving myself crazy! I attribute every tear, tantrum, and misbehavior to my parenting.

I feel a bit like a fish out of water. Which is surprising to me; something I didn't expect considering I'm not new to being a Mom- just new to having it be my only identity. I've received so much training that I know all the textbook answers but I'm missing something. I can't put a word to what it is I'm missing; although I wish I could. It's the part of you that can just let go and do it! Just do it. That's what I need to do. I need to stop thinking about how my kid will be emotionally effected in the long term over how I enforce the rules of High Ho Cherry-o. I need to stop trying to measure my success and stop looking for ways to check off boxes of accomplishment.

As always, easier said than done. I'm open to any feedback, advice, perspectives you have! Please tell me I'm not alone!


Jen said...

You are so not alone, Christy! I think as with all adjustments, it will just take time. You have obviously been such a great mom all along, and like you said now you aren't torn in two anymore. Now all of your energy goes into your parenting. It will just take some time to get used to, and before you know it, you'll be wondering what was so hard in the beginning. I think you need to find your new normal, and when you do everything will feel much better.

One thing I have noticed about myself is that if I am constantly harping on myself, I never feel good, no matter how hard I work at being a great mom. Find joy in the ordinary life, doing the mundane things that matter the most in the grand scheme of things. If you are happy and therefore your children are happy and growing emotionally and psychically, then you are doing a great job! One conference talk I love to read is "Mother's Who Know" by Julie B. Beck. Check it out -- she is such an inspiration.

Oh, and I'd love to get together sometime if you're game! :)

Marie said...

I don't think this totally relates to your question, but there are days when I wished I worked again. Days when I wish someone else had to deal with my grumpy kids. But then I make myself think of the hard times when I worked, when I wished more than anything that I could not go to work and stay home. And it helps a little:) I guess my point is- it's easy to have a hard day as a mom and long for the time when you worked and every day was perfect and nothing bad ever happened. Your memory will want to trick you into thinking life was easier when you worked. But it's not true:)

Evaly said...

I do think it can be hard to feel like you are doing a good job mothering, because there isn't the praise and recognition of a typical job. Parenting is tricky too, because often there is not only one correct way to handle something. That can lead to a lot of second guessing, because everyone has different opinions! Also, it's hard to "measure" good parenting, because even good parents sometimes end up with bad kids! I think you will get into your groove though. You will find what works for your family and your confidence will grow. Of course, things are always changing and needing to be evaluated, but that's life, I guess! I feel like things are working well around here right now, but I know everything will change when this baby comes. Talk about a confidence shaking time! :) Good thing kids are resilient and we have personal revelation to help us out. You are a great mama and your kids are lucky to have you home with them!

Janalee said...

Usually blogging a lot helps.

"And maybe what you need is another baby". haha

Cindy Ardis said...

I am not sure why this made me cry, maybe because of the mistakes I made in parenting or wondering what opportunities I may of missed. But I think mostly because my daughters are wonderful mothers. We all need to do our best and I know that is what you are doing. Wonderful blog!