Well that was quite a hiatus! Where have I been? Both literally and figuratively, I have been all over the place. This is a weird time in my life and I am still trying to sort out where everything belongs. I am trying to work it out in my head but tonight I thought better of it and decided to put fingers to keyboard and see what I’ve got.
First, let me express my gratitude for the fact that our family was able to spend 4 weeks away from home, visiting family and friends in the Northeast. We were in New Hampshire for 3 weeks and New Jersey for 1 week. What a vacation, right? Blessed, blessed, blessed. When I moved to Florida I was childless and single, simply seeking solace from the bustle of the New York City metro area. Within a year of being here I became a stepmother and was about to give birth to my own child. Great, right? I got everything I ever wanted! Except that I was 1,200 and 1,800 miles away from all the people I knew and the proverbial “village” that it takes to raise a child. So while I have been happy with my new life and surroundings, at times it does sting that I don’t have my closest friends and family here with me. My boyfriend tells me I need to make new friends but when I think of how I have made friends in the past, those are activities I don’t have time for anymore. I can’t commit to a travel hockey team. I can’t spend multiple nights a week seeing local bands and drinking beer. The truth is, I need to be here for the family we made and I am not willing to take away from that. When I was working, I made some “work friends” and I have made an effort to keep in touch with one of them. I joined the PTA now that our oldest is in Kindergarten. We hope to also put her in a sport or activity so I think that will likely provide opportunities to meet other parents. I have high hopes that the future will bring some new friendships that are at least in the state we live in. Or, you know, we can win the lottery and buy a house in New Jersey as well! Solid backup plan!
My main battle has been deeply personal. It’s something that is hard for me to explain (HA! I’m a therapist and having trouble with feeling words!). Maybe it isn’t hard to explain and more that it is hard to accept. I’m 37 years old and became a stay at home mother when our baby was born. For the first time, I am not a breadwinner. I am wholly dependent on another person, something I have not done since I left my parents’ home. I stress about spending every dollar. I worry about the house being clean because I have been home all day. But most of all, I become emotional when I think about dropping my baby off at a daycare for 8+ hours. Do I know that it is the American Way now that two income families are the norm? Of course. Do I also know that having been home for almost 10 months is way out of the ordinary and I am crazy lucky to be me? Absolutely. None of that matters when I look into my baby girl’s eyes or I see her reaction when I leave the room. Never before did I want to be a stay at home mom. Now it is all I want to be. I have a Masters Degree in Counseling. I am a therapist. I am used to making money and helping others. I miss having that identity, though I am not willing to trade in motherhood for it.
You may wonder what the problem is. I have everything I want, right? You’re right. I do. A supportive and hard working boyfriend, and two beautiful daughters. An affordable house we rent from people we know and plans for building a new network of friends. Even as I type this I know that I come across as a real a**hole. Bitching about this while actually having nothing to bitch about. And now you see my dilemma!!
It comes down to this: I want it all. Now that I have some, I want it all. I want to stay home with my baby until I feel she should be socializing. I want to contribute to the home financially. I want to know that I am who I used to be and also that I can transform into a mom version. I want to meld the strong work driven woman with the soft family focused mom. Women do this. I have seen it. I just want to know how. HOW can I make money from my couch, legitimate money, with the skills I have and be able to snuggle my baby in between tasks? In the shower, where I do much of my thinking, I come up with book ideas, inventions that I have no idea how to build, sales pitches…a steady flow of desperate pleas to the universe to help me complete the dream.
If you have gotten this far, I commend you for following. This post is a slightly more organized version of the circus in my head. I know the whole world blogs about frustrations like this. When I started this blog I intended to steer away from this type of post but I had to get it out! People of the world, forgive me. I guess every now and then you just have to swim with the tide!