Monday, June 12, 2006

Some serious navel-gazing

I'vw had this snippet of lyric stuck in my head for a few weeks. The post under them explains why.

Times when the day is like a play by Sartre,
when it seems a bookburning's in perfect order....

Afternoons will be measured out,
measured out, measured with
Coffeespoons and T.S. Eliot

I rarely expect to think up anything really new or revolutionary, especially when it comes to motherhood/housewife type stuff. I was reading Diary of a Reluctant Housewife tonight and her post pretty much echoes a lot of what I feel.

I’m going to be finishing up work on Wednesday and will be staying at home with the girls from now on. I’ve been trying to find work from home, but haven’t had any luck finding a paying gig. I got a sweet non-paying gig, which could, down the road, turn into something that brings in a bit of money, but for now, I’m gainfully unemployed.

For months, I’ve been saying how much I’m looking forward to this; to spending more time with my girls, to getting things done around the house, to gardening and going for walks and drawing with sidewalk chalk in the driveway and eating popsicles. But now that it’s almost upon me, I’m starting to freak out.

I’m worried that I won’t have the patience or the energy to deal with a very energetic toddler and a often-times moody 11 year-old. I’m worried that I’ll be left staring at 8, 10, 12 hours of day and wondering what the hell I’m going to do with them. I’m worried that I’ll plop them in front of the tv while I go have a meltdown about what I’ve done. I’m REALLY worried that when the new baby gets here, it will only get worse, because then it will be a newborn, a toddler and an often-times moody 11 year-old.

I’m worried that my life will be defined by poopy pants and temper tantrums, by loads of laundry and dirty dishes. That I will cease to be anything more than a stay at home mother, someone to be pitied because she’s let her kids take away her identity.

I’m worried that TCBIM will start to say things like “Well, you’re home all day, doing nothing, why don’t you....” and I will lose it. I’m worried that he’ll start to resent me for not bringing in a paycheck. I’m worried that I’ll start to feel like a whore, wondering if I have to have sex with him tonight so that I can get some grocery money in the morning - all of this happened with my ex-husband, so it’s not like I’m pulling this out of my ass.

The rational part of my brain knows that TCBIM is nothing like my ex-husband, that I am not in the horrible state of mind I was in back then and that I will have a car and friends and a normal town to live in. I won’t be worried about getting evicted - something that happened FIVE times while I was married to my ex.

But the irrational part of my brain has that 1,000 yard stare and is starting to panic and scramble and freak right the fuck out.

The baby is crying...and so it begins.


Shannon said...

Being a SAHM is probably the most grueling job I've had both mentally and physically.

But the kids are happy I'm home, and I'm taking a writing workshop and will most likely take karate to help me get away from the daily grind.

I can be optimistic and say "It's rewarding, blah, blah, blah".... It is, as long as you do something for yourself as well.

TCBIM will have to take on the kids while you have some "me" time even if it's only a couple of hours a week. Anything to get you out of the house by yourself.

Jamie said...

I'm with Shannon - it is rewarding to stay home with the kids, but it's also mentally and physically draining. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - being a stay at home mom is the hardest job I've ever done (and the pay sucks).

It is important to make some "me time" to avoid any mental crisis. Seriously. I know up until lately, I hadn't take much me time and I was going loopy as a result. I've now since joined a few organizations, gotten involved with things and am getting out of the house more without the kids, and it really does make you feel better.

As long as you do that - I doubt you'll go crazy, and I doubt that you'll feel like you're losing your identity. Just be sure to set aside that "me time". Oh and some "dates" with TCBIM as well.

Ok, done my therapy session - that'll be $50 please .... :P

Sandra Miller said...

Being home with the kids is wonderful, no doubt. There's just so much cool stuff you don't miss when you're with them during the day.

Of course, there are some things you'd really like to miss (the toddler and/or adolescent melt downs, for example). But that's part of the job.

As Shannon and Jamie advise, definitely make time for yourself-- always hard, but oh-so vital.

LJ said...

Love the new look! You won't go crazy... you do have the internet to keep you sane. We are all here for you. Big big hugs. It's all going to work itself out. You are right you are not the same person you once were. Bravo for recognizing your fears, knowing them ahead of time helps in the long run because you know what you want, but aren't sure what to expect.
You'll do just fine, and I'll be around for a hug from time to time. Just take it easy, I know easier said than done. Rest up before that baby gets here. You know the rest...

Trish said...

I promise you that you wont go crazy! I never thought I could do it either with 4! 14,8,4 & 1 all different stages of life, with different personalities!

You will get a routine down in about a month or even sooner and it will be smooth sailing. Your husband will be greatful to you and admire you for your patience and ability to run the house and still be a loving attentive wife.

You should become a part of a local moms group, so you can have adult coversations at least once a week. Also go out with the girls once a month!

This is that hardest job you will EVER have! The rewards are priceless!

Joke said...

Being a SAHP is like boot camp every day. I wouldn't trade it for the world, though...given the results thus far.

May I say how GLORIOUS your template is?


MsCellania said...

I look at staying home as saving us about $100k a year - that's what all the things I do would add up to, charged a la carte. We have a special needs child, so I spend extra time playing games, making him work on his speech and motor skills. He never gets a break, so I never get one either.

To me, it's rewarding. Our sons are pretty centered, extremely healthy *touching wood*, and I'm a control freak so it's important for me to be with them. It's hard some days.

When they were little, my parents got us the greatest gift ever; a year of housecleaning! It was heaven! We also hired help 3 arsenic-hours (3-7pm) a week. And I never let that go, even when dh complained loudly about the cost.

Your husband is going to have to help more, too; 3 kids is A LOT of work. We worked on a chore list, and when dh didn't do his share, I hired it out! Didn't say a work, just wrote checks. That got his attention.

I do almost everything 'householdy' again, but the kids are older. Yes; those first few months with 2 babies was overwhelming. Get HELP if you can afford it. If not, you are married to the help. Get that sorted out now so it's not a battle when you've had 4 nights in a row of 2 hours' sleep.

What is your due date?! Congratulations!

Bec said...

Julia! I've been looking for you ever since I read your post a month or so ago about the time you discovered your daughter had diabetes (my husband is type 1 too) - I got you confused with another Julia who visits and just never got back here. Love the new look of the blog and love that I found you again!
good luck with the staying home thing. we're all different and for me the best answer is full time work (for the mortgage), but ending at 2pm two days a week (for making an appearance at school/pre-school) - I'm always on-call for work so they're pretty flexible about my start and finish times in the office. I wish I'd worked here when the twins were babies - but even more, I wish I'd been able to stay home for longer than I did. best wishes for the new arrival!