2.16.2009

Quick update

I've gotten a number of thoughtful responses to my last two posts, in the comments section as well as in individual emails. I really appreciate all the feedback, and I'm taking it all seriously as I grapple with the whole work/family balance.

In a conversation the other day, I realized something that I thought I'd throw out here for those of you who are worried about me: even though I'm often some combination of anxious, sad, and torn these days, I wouldn't trade this semester for last semester. This is better. I wasn't miserable in the fall, but my life then felt much less comfortable than my life now. Somehow, for me, waking up in the morning and wondering how I'm going to make it all work feels better than waking up in the morning and wondering how I'm going to fill a whole day with nothing going on and only me and Maybelle hanging out. This fact may speak volumes about my own dysfunctionality, but there it is.

4 comments:

Cindy said...

I am a stay at home mom and former ER Nurse....I spend everyday wondering how I am going to fill my days....I think every new mom who had previously worked goes through this...not dysfunctional, just normal. I mean, geez, there is only so much staring you can do at a newborn....

Rebekah said...

I like hearing (reading) your perspective and appreciate your honesty about being a mom and working and wanting to do both well. I'm not a mom yet though I hope to be at some point. Some of my friends are SAHM and I feel like the pendulum has swung the other way where you're not giving your child everything s/he needs if you also work outside of the home. This is, of course, some of my own insecurities and worries b/c I will likely have to work and being a SAHM will not be an option financially. At the same time, I don't know how well I would do being at home all day. (Yeesh, I get pretty wound up about this issue and I don't even have a kid yet!)

Quiche said...

I admire the heck out of you- you are Maybelle's mom, yet you are still Allison, a woman with a career and a cause, doing both well- an excellent example for Maybelle, and values worth emulating. I did stay at home with both of mine, and I now think for myself and my children, it might have been better had I worked at least part time, for my self-worth, self-esteem, and sanity (severely depressed for years, staying at home did not help!) which we all need and our kids need from us- parents with a healthier self-esteem raise children with healthier self-esteems. I think as moms we still need to feel like we are individuals in our own right, not always "attached at the hip" as it were, to our children, to have other things that bring us a sense of worth, purpose, meaning, happiness, fulfillment, etc. otherwise we are no good to anyone. The fact that you worry about being dysfunctional (that's the INFP talking), is proof in itself that you are a good parent, because it is the good parents who worry about whether they are doing and being the best for their children. There are different kinds of parents and parenting, just as each child is different and requires a different type of parenting. I think you simply feel that out as parents as you come to know your children's individual needs. Mabelle is getting her basic needs met, she is spending quality time with both of her parents, grandparents, extended family, friends, care givers, then she is well cared for, and has excellent parents, and a fabulous mom. Infinite blessings!

julie draws said...

As I ponder my own impending motherhood, I already know that I am not cut out for staying at home forever. I have always anticipated feeling like you have just said you feel. I'm sure it will be difficult in ways I can not even imagine yet!

My own mother worked my whole life. As a little girl, I sometimes would wish she could stay home with me like my friends' moms...until she actually would for various temporary reasons. By the end of a week together, even as a kindergartener, I remember us both totally being over each other. We BOTH missed our independence. My mom (and dad!) were always better parents--more fun, more excited to see me after work, more interested in how I spent my day, more willing to plan outings for our time together-- when they had their own adult lives. I had great, loving babysitters who I loved spending time with and still have relationships with today, and I am much closer to my grandmother, who also took care of me, than her other grandchildren whose moms did not work. As my grandmother ages and loses her memory to dementia, I am the only one in my family who knows all her old crazy stories, secret recipes, and knitting stitches!
I guess I have a positive (although not always perfect and rosey) imprint of what working motherhood can look like, and I want that for myself and my child! Maybelle's life will be full of all kinds of wonderful experiences because you are living a fulfilling (although not always perfect and rosey) life--what a great example!