Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Identity Crisis

Sometimes I just want to run away for a little while, for a chance to remember who I am. Because I'm pretty sure I've forgotten.

I used to have a professional life where I was really good at what I did and I felt accomplished. I was proud of my skills and I enjoyed the recognition I received from my peers and managers. I worked hard and learned so much in the four and half years I was with AOL. It's been almost 2 years since we all got laid off ... and I feel so out of touch. Like I've lost part of who I was ... who I want to be. And I feel guilty for feeling this way.

One of the biggest lies that experienced mothers tell new mothers is "it gets easier." I know that by "easier" they mean you'll eventually sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time, and that your baby will outgrow the colicky crying fits, and that you will figure out what to do with your newborn through trial and error until you find a way that works best for you. So yes, in that sense it does get "easier" ... once everybody starts sleeping through the night again.

But it doesn't get easier. It gets harder. More mentally challenging trying to put out fires before they begin, i.e. "Having eyes in the back of your head" for those times that your kid reaches for the cat's water dish to dump it everywhere. And more trying on your patience, for those times when you have to physically restrain your kid to change their diaper or secure them into their car seats while they're kicking and screaming. And my kid is only 19 months old, so I know I ain't seen nothin' yet ...

I'm glad I had the opportunity to stay home with Brandt during his early months and throughout his first year. I wonder, though, if he needs more than I can give him. Does he need more stimulation, more educational opportunities, more socialization? Do I need the same? Would it make me a better mother to have a career outside of my home? Would I feel more fulfilled? Or would I only feel guilty ...

And this isn't about whether or not I love my son, or me complaining that he can be difficult at times. This is just my reality - the internal conflict that I experience countless times a day. I don't think it will ever go away.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

A-FREAKING-MEN! I am a much better mother on Wednesdays and Fridays when my children are both in school for four hours! Tuesdays and Thursdays-forget it, I am absolutely the worst mother on the planet!

Whatever you decide, there is no wrong answer, I think each has its + and -!!!!