No, I haven't written much on my blog lately. Yes, the things I have managed to type on here have been somewhat gloomy and not uplifting. As we all know by now, I am going through some sort of funk. I am in a weird space in my life right now. It's not a constant state of funkiness or depression, but I have definitely had my share of bad days lately. And I guess I have stayed away from writing about it because there are some feelings, thoughts, and experiences that are hard to put in writing...hard to convey through words. Because no matter how hard I try to explain to my hubby or to my friend or to my mom how I am feeling or what I am thinking, I just can't seem to get across the state of affairs in my own mind. I cannot seem to adequately express on the outside what it is I am feeling on the inside. And maybe that's because I am not sure myself. Maybe I am trying to figure it out, too. But what I am going to do right now is to try to get it all out...kind of in a free association form...so I can move on and quit dropping cryptic messages on my blog.
First and foremost, a lot of what I am feeling has nothing to do with my role as a mother. I love being a mother to my son. Period. But being a mother does play into my current mindset and way of thinking because it has completely changed my view on life, and even more, my perception of myself.
There is no question that I have always wanted to be a mother. And I feel lucky and blessed to have been able to conceive a child with so much ease. But even though you want something so badly, you never know how the reality of it is going to affect you until you're in the midst of it. And that's where I am. In the midst of it. Trying to sort things out.
I've never been one of those people who likes to live in the past. I try to enjoy each stage of my life as it is, and when it's time, move onward to the next. And when I reach that next stage in life, I look back on where I've been and what I've done and feel glad to have had those experiences and to have grown and moved on. I did the college thing...to the fullest extent possible. I lived on my own as a young professional...an independent woman who could take care of herself. I fell in love with a boy. I moved in with my boyfriend and started a life with him that led us down the path of marriage. And for 3 years, we enjoyed being 'just married'...just the two of us. And I enjoyed each of those stages; each experience. And so it was time for a baby. It was our time. We decided. So here I am now...a mother; the next phase of my life (and a phase that I know will last the rest of my life).
But for some reason, the transition from all of that other stuff...from the previous life stages...into that of motherhood has not been so seamless for me. I have found myself going through somewhat of a mourning process (for lack of a better term) as well as an identity crisis. I am not saddened about being a mother; I take quite delight in being a mom. And I am not uncomfortable with the role of being a mother; I think I do it pretty well. So what am I trying to say here, then? This is the part where it becomes hard for me to put into words my exact thoughts and feelings.
I guess my struggle lies in going from doing pretty much whatever I please whenever I please to being at the beck-and-call of another person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I've never in my life been needed so much. I never knew what it was like to be needed...for everything. And I love the fact that I am the one who can provide what this little person needs. It gives me pleasure to be able to satisfy my little guy. But providing all the needs for another person means that some of my own needs (and wants) have to go unmet or be put on hold. And that's okay...for the most part. But at some point...those unmet needs (and wants) creep back up and nag at you. And for any person to be functional and to feel good about herself as a whole human being, she has to give into those needs and wants every once in awhile. And that is where I am trying to find the balancing act...between my baby's needs and my own personal needs and wants...and to not be selfish in the process...and I also have to figure in the fact that my hubby has his own needs and wants, too, that are separate from family and home. I just keeping thinking in my head, "How am I going to make all of this work? I just need to give something up. Afterall, you just can't have it all. You can't have your cake and eat it, too, and have every one be happy all of the time. Something has got to give."
And coupled with the ongoing challenge of trying to meet my own needs along with the demands of baby, hubby, dogs, home, friends, family, and work, comes the added internal struggle of figuring out who I am as a mother and an individual outside of being a mother. Can the two ever be separated? No...is the short answer I have found to be true. So how do I come to terms with being a mother and being an individual with needs and wants and desires and dreams and goals that are far beyond that of just being a mother. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being "just a mother." I know that being a mother is the most important thing that I will ever do in my life. And I take being a mother very seriously. But I am also a woman of the 21st century...a girl who was raised to become a woman with dreams and goals and a career and a home...and my goals and dreams in life shouldn't stop or be forgotten because I've brought another human being into this world. Shouldn't I be setting an example to my child that dreams and goals are a lifelong pursuit and don't have to end because of a change in life or circumstance? I seriously believe that I should not live my life through my child but with my child.
And I have found that since I have had a baby, I don't know how to interact socially anymore. I, mean, I've always been a bit socially awkward. But my awkwardness has moved up several notches. I often find myself crying after social gatherings telling my hubby that I feel like I don't belong anywhere anymore and that I don't quite fit in. All the things that I thought made me interesting pre-baby just don't seem so important anymore or I just haven't had time for those things. And a lot of the things I enjoyed pre-baby don't quite bring the same enjoyment to me anymore. But I have found new joy in staying at home with my baby and with my hubby. That is where I am most comfortable and most me. But a girl needs to get out in the world sometimes...to break free from the everyday humdrumness of life. So when I venture out into the great world (or just out to dinner with family or friends), I feel alone in a lot of ways. I feel like I have nothing to add to the conversation. Afterall, how many stories of baby poop and spit-up does someone else want to hear about in one sitting? No one cares about my baby and his happenings more than me and my hubby. It's just not that exciting for someone else. (Come on...let's be real...you know what I am talking about when you've had to listen to someone else obsessively talk about her own child. Ugh!) And a lot of times the conversation feels forced...like a battle. The other party thinks that all I want to talk about is baby so they keep asking questions about baby, and all I want to do is talk about something other than baby to feel wholesome and interesting; but the truth is, I have nothing to talk about other than baby. So there I am...stuck in a gridlock.
So while I have all of these things that I am questioning and sorting out about myself, my identity, etc, etc, there is also another heavy burden weighing down on my little family. And this burden is constantly swirling around in my head...while I am awake and while I am trying to sleep. It is constant. It is always "there" wherever I go, whatever I do. And the burden I am speaking of is one of finances. I worry constantly about money; about our money and our financial health. We all know this. I talk about it quite regularly.
I don't even know where to start with my worry and concerns when it comes to finances. But what I will say is that we are struggling. Yes. That is right. We don't have a lot of money. I've never been one to put on a show or pretend like I have something I don't. What you see is what you get. I have no need to impress anyone with my worldly belongings (or lack thereof). And I am not going to pretend like everything is hunky-dory when it isn't. And I am not going to try to "keep up" with others when there is no possible way our financial situation would allow us to do that without doing some real damage.
I just get down sometimes because my hubby and I are hardworkers. We put in our time each week and make an honest living. We have been able to pay all of our bills and have never had to make a late payment, and for that I am thankful. But by the end of the month, we are literally scraping the bottom of the ol' proverbial barrel. There are no leftovers to go have some fun with...like dinner or a movie. There is no extra cash for me to go get some new clothes or shoes. Hell, there usually isn't any extra funds just get some of the basics. And if there were to be a crisis (oh, I don't know, let's say a car breaks down or an appliance goes out)...well, we would kind of be up shit creek. Yes, we could always use credit, but we have worked our asses off to not have credit card debt (even though some does exist).
I am not trying to have a pity party (okay, maybe I am having a little one) nor am I trying to solicit any funds. I just get so sick and tired of spinning my wheels when it comes to our money and never getting anywhere. It just seems that things never get better. We are not frivolous spenders. I can't remember the last time either of us went shopping for clothing (with the exception of my thrift-store shopping where I spent a whopping $20 on clothes) or for random do-dads or for anything for the house (like some nice picture frames to display baby pics). Everything we have is what we have...nothing new has come into our household for quite sometime...except for the absolute basics needed for survival. And with the basics, we use coupons and shop for the deals, and that gets tiresome sometimes.
I am just tired. Tired of thinking so hard about our money. We work hard for our money. We want to enjoy our money. I just feel like we are always going to be living on the edge of financial crisis. I feel like we are one step...one paycheck...away from financial disaster. Don't get me wrong. I am thankful for what we do have and what we can afford. And by most standards, we live a pretty darn good life. But I seriously just want to recall what it was like to want something (like an outfit or kitchen gadget) and to be able and go out and get it without thinking about it. I am in no way materialistic or find my worth in materials that I possess, but, damn, I just want to have a little extra breathing room.
So, yes, I have a had a lot weighing on my mind. And I have found myself in a dark and desparate place at times leaving me to feel down right hopeless about life. But, at the end of the day, I want what is best for me, for my baby, for my hubby, and our little family. I think it is okay to have that feeling of desparation or hopelessness or sadness if it can be utilized in a way to propel my life forward in a positive way. I don't want to wallow in those feelings forever, but I know myself well enough to allow me the freedom to wallow in it just long enough so that I get agitated and start making movement to change things. I chose to let these things get me down. But I also choose to move on. I will continue to struggle and to feel burdened and to question myself, but isn't that part of the journey of this life? My goal is, and has always been, to do the best that I can do each day that I am here...knowing that some days I am going to be more successful at "life" than on others.
There. Done. Out. Over.