Friday, May 1, 2009

Mommy madness

So, I was at my Mothers and Children group yesterday gabbing with my lovely friends. It is so nice to have other moms of young kids around who can tell you that you are perfectly normal when you feel like you are losing your mind!

Part of our conversation was about the astonishing and immediate lack of freedom when you become a mom. Maybe I should say lack of spontaneous acts. There is always something to be planned for when you have a little one that you are primarily responsible for.

We all agree that we adore and appreciate our husbands (and children), but there is a difficult to express jealousy over a certain type of freedom that they still enjoy (at least part of the time). You sound crazy trying to explain it. The words are hard to find.

Well, a few months ago, I came across the words, on Sarah's Dandelions blog. Here is her post, and the article from that it references, as well as a another blog she came across that phrases it well.

For those of you who were wondering where those words are, you have found them!

Hugs to the Mamas!


Danielle said...

Innnnteresting! As a non-mom, and as someone who has worked full-time for almost six years, I get jealous that moms can stay home, or have the freedom to go to the coffee shop on the corner, military maneuver or not. If I want to go get coffee during the day, I have to earn the time off, then get it approved in advance. Not exactly freedom if you ask me.

felicitouschick said...

Yes, but you can run in to get coffee on the way in to work, or on the way home, no? Work is not a 16 or 24 hour proposition usually. Out of curiosity, is this a Danielle I know personally?

If so, Hiiiiii! :D

I DO love being home with my kids--that is one of the things so hard to explain, and anticipate before kiddos. I remember longing for this, and I am grateful...I don't mean to come off any differently--it is just very unexpected and, as you say, interesting!

Zoe said...

I can imagine how it would be overwhelming to be the very center of little people's universe. I think it's hard for those of us without kids to fully understand (especially those of us with very demanding jobs---I can relate to that, Danielle, as I write from my office on Saturday morning, having not had a day off in approximately four months), or even for people with older kids to remember exactly the level of responsibility you shoulder. Some SAHMs that I know struggle to find a moment to go to the bathroom alone, let alone find leisure time, something that the articles you referenced do a good job of illustrating.

It's easy for any of us to look at someone in a different situation and say "look at them--- they've got it easy and don't even know it," but I can see that's not what you're saying, here. You're a great, exceptionally thoughtful and engaged mom. Your kids and your husband are incredibly lucky to have you, not that I'm biased but I think there's serious evidence to support that. I know that you have a great and supportive husband, but that parenting very young children is a lot for anyone, and I think it's brave of you to "speak your truth plainly." I hope you never stop.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the upcoming months, I think about what am i going to do now with two? But having people around me like you, and sarah shows me the strength a mom has. There are weeks that i don't get a down time with Elena and I can't get a shower in for like three days. Which honestly, has become luxury on most occasions. I look back at who i was before children, and I took advantage of every moment. I could pay inside the gas station for gas without having to worry about someone turning me in for leaving my finally asleep child in the car, or being able to go to the movie theater, or just being able to just leave the house at a moments notice. The thought of no diaper bags filled with toys, extra clothes, snacks, tissues,and etc. I look at the times where I could go to a book store and sit down and read a book and enjoy a cup of coffee without having to utter the words, "No, don't touch, honey please sit down, hold on, hold my hands. Wait, no that's not a toy" I remember what it was like to try on clothes without having to figure out how to fit a car seat or stroller into those tiny little rooms, or to go to the bathroom without your little one wanting to pick something off of the floor and throw or try to eat it. I love my child, soon to be children, and I love Dan. But there are times where I envy him for being able to just sit and drink a cup of coffee or take a shower without elena running in asking what i'm doing while I'm trying to desperately shave my legs.
But I also look back and see that my life was missing the unconditional love my daughter has for me, and that need for me that she has. And how my life was missing that yearn to be needed by such a little person.

Amber Lianne said...

This is the famous, "the grass is greener on the other side," sentiment. And I guess, as a single woman, who would like to get married and have children, I'd just like to say, "Learn to enjoy and love what you have." A dear friend of mine has been trying to have children for a long time, and cannot. I know that in every situation there are difficult things, but perhaps as you deal with your difficult thing, you can remember those who have other difficult things--and pray for them that they may be granted strength, and even relief and answer to their prayers.

Every season of life feels busy in different ways with people to be frustrated with, or pull away from or just simply ways for us to mess things up for ourselves. May each be granted the strength to encourage others along the way, not just commiserate about how "bad" their situation is. Once again, my dear friend has said that the many things that mom's complain about she is absolutely aching to have. So, I pray for a divine sense of grace, mercy, and humor... plenty of it... all wrapped up in abundant love.

And Erin... seriously... do you even live near a coffee shop??? :-) Haha... Yes, mom's need breaks, and can get them. But Christian single girls don't really get a break from singleness and non-mother. I suppose in a way, a mother will always come back to it, but sometimes it's painful to see or hear others angry, upset, frustrated about situations that others of us may long for.

felicitouschick said...

Wow--I didn't intend to open up such a can of worms here. Mostly I was posting some links I promised to some friends and wanted to put them within a setting. I have to say that I don't feel like the "grass is greener on the other side of the fence." In some cases, I have been on the other side of the fence. In others I would not wish to be.

I made very definite choices to be where we are now--I left teaching and moved from an area of the country that I loved, to one that I never had any intention of living in because it meant that I would be able to have children and stay home with them. Part of our humanity is not knowing the full consequences of or actions. To be honest I find some commiseration between mothers to be encouraging--like I said, it helps to be able to gauge your sanity in a new situation. If others have been there too, I am able to cut myself a little slack.

And getting a break is an interesting concept at this particular stage in life...Nehemiah's life threatening allergy means alot of education must take place for anyone providing him care, and I am always just a little worried that my cell is going to ring and we're going to rush off to the hospital, and a nursing baby doesn't give you much time off...that was part of the point of the articles. You may physically be able to grab a little time here and there (if you have a supportive community, good babysitters, expendable money for babysitters, etc.), but you don't mentally check out of being a mom. You're always mentally packing everything needed for a successful outing. Wondering if you should leave at all during those time of separation anxiety. Worrying that in a nursery type childcare environment you can't control all of the environmental triggers for a reaction that could kill your child--and therefor cannot go to church anymore, because, should you need to nurse and corral a 22 month old, it won't really work in can be surprisingly isolating and constant.

I have amazing friends and family members living the single life that I love and pray for. Not just amazing either, but some of the closest women in my life! One other who I am grieving a miscarriage with, and another who I am rejoicing with after years of struggling with infertility and miscarriage who has achieved a pregnancy that is going well.

I pray for all of these situations nightly, because they are so close to my heart, and I want them to be close on the ears of the One who has the power to make all things new.

I know these things sound crazy...I really do, that's why I posted about it. I recognize my blessings--most of this blog is about my joy in my children and my life, but it isn't all joyous and it would be disingenuous to pretend that it is. Each stage of life has struggles. My struggles don't make anyone else's any less, but I hope that there is enough grace to know that their struggles don't make mine less either. I am sorry if I have caused pain unwittingly. It was certainly not my aim--as Zoe, who knows me VERY well, and since birth (!) understands. :)

PS--They did just open a rockin' little coffee shop and quilt parlor in the 2nd town nearest me. :)

Keri said...

Thanks for sharing this info!
Some of it hits so close to home....most of my bathroom trips today have resulted in crying fits from Kale. And if I have to clean the floor again (which I will!) around the table/booster chair I am going to lose it!
And all of this would be so much easier/better with sleep. I used to long for the days of sleeping "in" I would just like more than three hours at a time without interruption. I do love those special moments in the middle of the night with the boys, but BOY am I tired!