Getting More Involved

If one more person tells me to volunteer…

I know, you all mean well, and maybe that is the key to my happiness, volunteering I mean… but I kind of doubt it. And you’re all right, unhappiness with being a stay-at-home mom has been a recurring theme of this blog for months, dare I say years. I do want to thank all of you for your comments and suggestions. Even though I might not respond to all of you, I read every single comment and ponder it, sometimes for days or even weeks. Many of you seem to know me better than some in my ‘real’ life. And thus, I’ve come to some conclusions…

  • I care what others think. Maybe I shouldn’t, but not caring what others think is so much easier said than done. Maybe I want to fit in, or feel normal, or I base normal off of what others think and do, I don’t know… I just know I care.
  • I’m sick of caring what others think. I spend so much time feeling guilty for what I want, or sometimes what I think I want or should want, that I can’t even always separate what I want from what I think others want from me.
  • I haven’t yet figured out how to make myself happy. I appreciate the suggestions, and please, keep them coming. So far I’ve considered going back to work. That would be hard being there weren’t a lot of finance opportunities here the times I have looked. But… openings are always being posted. It would also involve a more full-time childcare situation. Again, we are still on a center’s waitlist, but I could investigate other options, such as in-home or hire someone to come into our home full-time. For now though, I’m putting the idea of a job on hold. I feel like it might create more stress for me, being the girls still have several appointments each per month in Iowa City.
  • MOPs is starting back up soon, next week I think, and I’m hoping that reconnecting with other moms, even for just three hours once a week, will help me relax and feel a sense of calm in my life. The Christmas break from MOPs was difficult for me, so I’m glad it’s over.
  • I joined a MOMs club through Meetup. No idea if anyone will be someone I will really connect with, but I’m trying. I made plans to attend a playgroup Thursday morning at the rec center here with a few of those ladies. I think the rec centers activities will be geared more toward Nora, but Nadia will have to come as well, since I don’t have a sitter on Thursdays. I know this will be good for us, but taking two kids out in the cold, alone, well, I’m already kind of dreading it. From the looks of the groups calendar, they have something planned almost everyday. We’ll see how much is of interest to me.
  • I think I’m going to register Nora for Kindermusik. Anyone familiar? The video terrified me. No seriously, check this out. I’m not entirely sure this is for me, but… maybe we’ll meet some good people, and it will get Nora some socialization. I just hope I survive! A look at Kindermusik
  • Ultimately, I just don’t think I’m meant to stay home with my girls. Many people keep telling me that I’m fortunate to have the opportunity, and while that may be true, if it’s not what makes me happy, than it’s not a good thing for me. I’m not quite sure how to describe it any better… I just wish some in my life would realize that what they think would be a wonderful life doesn’t translate to a wonderful life for everyone. I don’t want to act ungrateful for the opportunity to stay home with my girls. I am grateful that I don’t have to work, but I need those close to me to realize that they might not know what is right for me. I welcome suggestions, but I also need support when I make my own choices.
  • The idea of me and the girls moving to a larger city is still in the back of my mind. Eric commuting 45 minutes each way doesn’t really sound like the end of the world to me. Yes, I realize there are major downsides, like the fact that I would be alone with the girls even more, Eric would be home 45 minutes later than he already is… But there are upsides too. I’m not sure how to say this in a polite way as not to offend those who live in small towns and enjoy it, so I’ll just say it. There is an entire world out there… Don’t I deserve to live in a place that has a bit more to offer me? Nothing wrong with those who don’t want to live in a larger area, but I’m just beginning to realize that a smaller community with fewer opportunities is just not for me.
  • Ultimately, I feel like the reoccurring theme in my life is waiting for the next stage… Before I had kids I felt like I was waiting to be a mom for my life to start. Now everyone keeps telling me that this stage is hard and that I should just wait, that things will get easier and better once my girls are a little older. Can I just say, I’M SO SICK OF WAITING FOR MY LIFE TO START. This is my life, right now. I don’t want another day to pass while I wait for something to make me happy. I know I need to make myself happy, and now. Doing that though, well, thats another story. I need to think some more, consider more options… For the time being, I’m going to leave this calm relaxing Starbucks, go home, cuddle my beautiful babies, and the enjoy the chaos that is 4-7pm each evening waiting for Eric is arrive home 🙂

8 thoughts on “Getting More Involved

  1. i felt like being a stay at home wasn’t for me for several months and i felt the same guilt that you are feeling thinking “everyone else would die to be in this position” but everyone else is looking at it as a “the grass is greener” situation. also, not everyone is you and not every child is your child. being home, alone, with a demanding toddler (and i only have one child not 2) is crazy demanding and tough on the nerves. we have amazing days and we have terrible days but what switched it and made it better for me is simply maeve’s maturing. she is almost 2 (in 4 months) and she is changing. she is almost done teething so that whole thing is getting better by the day. she can play now and really learning new things (like colours, shapes, playing with play dough, colouring), she can help me with chores (you know, as much as you can let a toddler help). i don’t know if you’re at the stage where nora is is demanding and strong willed but i can give the tip of involve her in whatever you do and it may get easier. we got a stool from ikea and did a hack to make it safe for toddlers to stand on and maeve stands in that thing for hours! she does “making” and she helps me make meals. i give her a cream cheese spreader and a cutting board and scraps of whatever food i’m preparing and helps me “make”. she plays in the sink forever with just a few plastic bowls and wash cloth. she even stands in it to eat her snacks. for me the screaming and temper tantrums were killing my love of being home with her. being able to get more in tune with her has helped a lot. you may not be far off with nora 🙂

    i got a part time job working from home, maeve goes to nursery school on wednesday mornings (and will start at montessori 2 days a week in march), i ask my MIL to take her the odd day and i have asked my husband for days off for myself. i also go to the gym and drop her off at the childcare centre. i became happier when i made big leaps to disconnect myself from being with her 24/7. i know that this is very challenging for you but baby sets, it does make a BIG difference.

    i grew up in a small town and i wanted out big time. small towns are only for people with big families and enough friends that also didn’t leave. if your mom is down the street and you hang out with you brother and his wife every sunday and have all your same girlfriends from high school then you’re set. in my home town i have one uncle and aunt and cousins we never saw and it’s boring as shit to this day to even go home for a weekend to visit.

    i hope you find what will make you happy. it’s a hard struggle to get to that place. you just do what’s best for you and your family and that’s all that matters.

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    1. Thank you! You are certainly another person who truly does get how I’m feeling. So many who know me in real life just don’t. I also feel like so many think Nora is older than she really is… I know her birthday is in March, so soon, but she is really only 18 months developmentally, so I often feel like I really have two babies at home.

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  2. Great though it may be to be able to stay home with your kids, it can be hard when life seems to revolve around only one thing (even a wonderful thing). I totally get it. It’s part of why I started my masters when I could have just stayed at home full time. And despite growing up in a (very) small town, I’m loving being in a city now. Especially with kids it’s nice having a few amenities. I can understand your frustration there too. Good luck finding whatever balance works for you.

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  3. I totally agree a 45 minute commute is manageable— it’s less than many people do in the big city. And I also wouldn’t be able to stay home full time with the kiddos and admire those who do. There is no right or wrong– what works for you is what’s right. You are doing great.

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  4. Amen! Do whatever makes you happy! Putting it out in the internet is challenging so I imagine even our comments can be frustrating:)

    I did kindermusik twice. Once when it was just my oldest at 1.5 years and once when it was my two at 3.5 and 1. We did it but I never loved it, honestly.

    Basically just keep trying new things. I never tried mops but I should because we move all the time and I struggle for social time of my own. My favorite activities that we’ve done were little gym(the mommy and me class) and stroller strides. I loved that because we got out of the house and I felt productive working out. Winter makes that impossible for you and with three kids sadly I can’t handle it anymore. I really enjoyed it for the year I did it. At the end of our class, the kids played at the playground so it was a win win…

    Girl, applaud yourself, mops, mom meetup and kindermusik. That’s a full schedule. If you get help or put kids in part time care to fill up the gaps, then you are a rock star.

    Also I work part time remotely teaching online. Even though I barely have time for myself because of everything, I sincerely am so glad I secured the job. I’ve had it for a year. It really gives me a sense of accomplishment, much more so than cleaning the house and cooking. Some day I’m going to find a better balance in life and get cleaning help. Why spend time on that???

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    1. HAHA, yes, OMG, I hate to clean. I had to leave the house quickly this morning when the cleaners arrived so I wouldn’t feel so guilty sitting there just watching them!

      As for the kindermusik, I’m really not excited, but since I’m really trying to get more involved, I sent the registration form in this morning. Worst case, I’ve wasted $140 if Nora doesn’t enjoy it and I decide not to drag her to it weekly…

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