Thursday, July 06, 2006

What's Been on My Mind Lately

I will just go ahead say it: I have been having a little trouble lately. It's this whole transitioning from full-time working mommy to full-time at home mommy that has me feeling rootless and more than a little perplexed and what I am supposed to be doing. Which begs two questions, "Supposed to be doing?" and "Says who?"

Sez me, I guess. I don't know what I expect from myself out of this time. Maybe that's my problem.

When I worked (as a graphic designer - *sniff* - I really do miss my last job) I knew what I needed to do each day. It was nice to hear things like "thank you" and "this is great" at the end of one project or another. The accomplishment of the work felt good. And now, well, it's so much more relative. The goals for each day are so much more...elusive.

There's the time I know I need to devote to OC, but she demands a lot of time all throughout the day. When can I say "Go play" and not fear doing detriment to my child?

It's not so clear what needs doing when you are at home. It ALL needs doing. What first? When? How much? And what about that sense of accomplishment? I know I get a lot done in a day, and there is also a lot that doesn't get done. How much is enough?

How excited can one really be about how I folded that last load of laundry? No one is going to talk about it and say, "That last load you dried, wow, that was great! I love clean shirts!" Nor do I expect them to. I don't really know WHAT to expect. All I know is, at the end of the day, I wonder if I've done enough with all that there is still to do. At an office, you leave it and go home. When home is your work, there it is, all the time, for anyone to see and comment upon or criticize.

There is still something inside of me that craves approval from others. (You don't get much of that with laundry, let me tell you.) It's not quite enough for me (yet) to make a list, do those things, and be content. I am left wondering, "Is this enough? Will OH be happy?" because I don't have a gauge to measure What I Should Be Doing.

The whole house needs to be cleaned, but it isn't going to happen in a day. Meanwhile, the parts that got cleaned last week will just get dirty again. How do I strike a balance between getting done the things that need to be done, playing with my child, and oh yeah, doing things to replenish myself so I don't go batshit crazy?

I think the whole internet is trying to answer those questions. Anybody come to any conclusions yet?

I don't have a new baby, I am home with a 5-year old, and this is new to both of us. That is the one big difference I have noticed with most of the at-home moms whose blogs I have been reading.

Don't hate me because I'm not dealing with poopy diapers. Believe me, I get how hard that is to have a new baby, with all the hormones, constant demands of a newborn, not to mention body issues going on.

Even so, this is hard, too. I need to connect with people who are in this same situation. By doing so, hopefully soon, I will figure it out and relax into a new flow in life, and find that this feels normal. That what I set out for myself to do each day is enough.


lynsalyns said...

I've been home with Em for almost a year now and it isn't easy. It can be isolating and I find I question myself all the time ... "should I be singing the ABCs instead of loading the dishwasher now?"

It must be such a big change for you and your child. I'll be back to listen.

Thanks for telling me about your crib incident, I was sure someone was going to call DCFS on us.

sunshine scribe said...

I totally hear you on this. I always am so secretly disappointed when no one says thank you and raves about how great the house looks after I clean it like I'd get at work for a job well done.

I too have a 5 year old and I also get what you say about that being different than having a newborn.

I am considering transitioning to being at home part time or full time and the transition you talk about scares me the most.

Izzy said...

I promise it all falls into place after a while. I went through the same thing with my first baby. Eventually, I got into a groove and it's been bliss (lmao!) ever since.

Okay, bliss is a strong word and I also have another baby now (1 yr) so bliss isn't actually even in my everyday vocabulary (unless I'm describing how I hope to feel after a few cocktails at BlogHer!)

Isn't there a blog for all those cool Portland mamas? Urban something? I'm just so envious that you get to live in such an awesome city where so many great mom bloggers hail from.