Friday, September 9, 2011

confessions

I have to admit, I have been in a funk for the last couple of days. I believe this is due to Zach being gone a lot this week, my "baby" turning 4 and therefore me feeling useless because I technically have no more small babies at home, this useless feeling leading me to question my role in the world, and anxiety involving one of my closest friends who has endured years of heartbreak, and now is about to become a mama, but there are some hurdles to get through first....

Welcome to my brain! It's fun in here.

First, let's address this anxiety. I want this thing for my friend more than anything in the world at this moment. Anything. I would do anything to make it work out. This is the one thing I know a lot about: adoption. But still, I have zero control over how this will play out. I need to wait, pray, be patient. It's eating away at my soul. I'm hopeful and full of anxiety. Praying for the next few days to go well.

Second, and trust me, this confession will shine a blinding light on my selfishness, I am completely jealous of my husband right now. I'll get over it in about 2 hours, but still, when this jealousy hits, I'm a real pill. Here's the thing... we've both been working really hard towards this goal of dental school. I pushed him to go for it, to leave his job that he didn't like. I counseled him to reach for it. We worked through fears and hesitations, and I consistently pushed and coached and insisted that he go for it.  I worked a lot to pay for his pre-req classes, and took care of the kids and the house by myself so that he could kick ass in those classes. He got in to school, and now he's doing great. Sooooo, you ask, what the hell is my problem?

My problem is that, even though I have worked my ass off to get him to this point, he'll be the one with all the honor. He's the one who will get the degree. He'll be the Doctor. He'll have something to show for all this hard work- He'll be able to get a great, well-paying, hugely satisfying job after he's done with his training. He'll get the respect.

I'm in the shadows. I feel just as responsible for getting to this point as he does, but I won't have the degree to show for it. I won't get the honor or the respect. I won't be able to go get a better job. I won't be able to provide for my kids if something happens to him (I mean, I will be able to work as a social worker, but it's not like there's a lot of respect there). It's a weird feeling to have worked this hard, and to know that there's nothing official for me at the end of this long road.

I suppose it's this way for any life partner in the "support" role, not to mention the "stay at home parent" role. Roles that don't get a whole lot of respect from anyone, even though we, the supporters, are making things run behind the scenes.

I second guess myself every day. I think, "what kind of example am I setting for my kids, especially my daughter? I'm "just" as stay at home mom. I'm not a doctor or lawyer. I'm nothing. I'll continue to be nothing. And yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't want anyone else raising my kids. That was my choice. I am intelligent and capable of much. But I've chosen this support role. Do I regret it? Sometimes, yes. I feel that I've wasted my education, let my parents down, let myself down, and embarrassed my teachers and my in-laws who thought I was capable of going much further with my life and my career.

Yes, let's remember, this is a confession. I'm NOT happy or proud of myself for having these thoughts. The support role in life IS important. My kids? Their lives are more important to me than any higher degree or prestigious job- I know this. Sometimes, though, I feel like I've failed.

What's the point of all this? I have no idea. Maybe I will go back to school too, once my kids are a bit older. Maybe society will shift a little and note that people in support roles are important, somehow. Maybe the dental school will add my name to the degree as "life coach" (ha!). What to do in the meantime?

Enjoy life. That's what I need to focus on. Why oh why am I always looking so far ahead? How is my selfishness and whoa-is-me attitude helping me or my family? It's not. I will not get these years back, so I shouldn't wish them away. I don't want to miss my kids' little life moments. I don't want to miss being the one to snuggle with them when they're sick and need to stay home from school. I don't want to miss sneaking up on moments like this:
Leah teaching Pete some of the piano that she's been learning

i don't want to waste the years when their feet don't touch the ground yet...
I don't want to miss these frozen yogurt smiles!

If you've read this far, I apologize for all the crazy rambling. But, I needed to give myself a pep talk, and remember that my role in life may not be glamorous or prestigious, and I may not be the one getting a fancy degree. However, I have so much to be thankful for, and so much appreciate right now. My selfishness needs to go away, and I need to refocus on what's important to me. I made these choices for my life, and I need to be proud of my choices. 

Okay, I think I'm done :). I hope this has helped someone out there today... I think a lot of us struggle this way, no? Happy Friday everyone! I'll be practicing soccer and breaking up sibling fights. Peace! 

7 comments:

  1. Oh...I so struggle with this too. Just had a great conversation about this with a friend the other day. I'm also a social worker and stay at home right now, so maybe it's just something weird with us?

    Happy note: We DID make it through grad school. It was tough, but we made it.

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  2. It is totally ok and normal to feel this way. I often have the OPPOSITE issue/guilt. That I am letting my kids and family down because I have a job and am in grad school. That I'm being selfish in pursuing a career instead of staying home with my children. And, oh, how I miss them during the week!

    Being a mom is hard. I feel like we have all this pressure on us-- sometimes put on ourselves, sometimes by others, sometimes by society as a whole.

    Bottom line, it's ok to feel jealous every once in a while.

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  3. JonesEthiopia...
    (I won't use your real name :),
    yep. you got it lady. it's always something, right? grass is always greener. this is my struggle and that is yours... and if we switched roles, we'd struggle still. sigh.
    see? we just need to all win the lottery :).
    anyway, thanks, as always, for your perspective and support. and you too,
    Sharon, thanks so much for your comment.

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  4. I think you stole this post from my journal a few years ago. I know exactly how you feel. Hugs to you.

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  5. The photos of your kids playing piano are priceless. I mean, really, that there is worth it. Good post.

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  6. Ugh. Feel it, know it, own it. Yup, uh-huh and me too. I feel we should chat over tea about this while the kids play?

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  7. I struggle with this so much. On one hand, I am so happy that I'm able to stay home and not have to put my kids in daycare. On the other, I am so depressed some days about being isolated at home with a baby, and I am so envious of people who get to go to "real" jobs and have contact with people who speak full sentences and don't crap their pants. And in the bigger picture, it's not like I'm even doing this for much longer. But it FEELS like forever.

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