Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Losing my identity

I am a "typical" woman. I worry way too much about what people think of me, I put far too many expectations on myself, I dream of doing amazing things.

I am also a mother. A stay at home mom to be exact. And while I feel so lucky to be able to be at home with my kids, I feel envious of having a different life. Not a life without my kids, no matter how much they manage to annoy/aggravate/grate on my nerves, they are, and always will be the most important thing in my life.

I never went to college. I mean, I didn't even graduate high school until I was 20, so by the time I got through that, I really didn't think college was for me. And, after I graduated, and immediately moved in with my husband. I also never really worked. Well, actually, I did, but only at one job. After Rob and I moved in together I applied to tons of jobs and got a job as a server. I wasn't particularly good at it, but it was a job, and it paid the bills. But, what I'm trying to say is, I didn't really do anything to further myself. I jumped head first into a relationship, and almost forgot about everything I had wanted to do with my life. And, it never really bothered me....until now.

I have taken a lot of shit for being a stay at home mom. Not just from complete strangers, but family, and friends alike. I think people have a lot of preconceived notions about what being a stay at home mom is all about, and the reasons why a family might make that choice. I'm always happy to answer questions, but when I start to feel attacked, or put down, then I'm out. It's a choice that's not for everyone, and a choice that is not feasible for everyone, either. I've always known that I was lucky to have this choice.

I have been home with kids for 9 years. That's a long fucking time. And before that, I only had 1 job. I am quite literally, qualified for nothing. My days consist of wiping noses, and butts, cleaning up after a toddler who makes it his personal goal to undo all the work I attempt in a day. I clean, I clean all day long. I almost never have a moment to sit, and do something that I actually want to do. But, this isn't me whining about how horrible this is. I also sleep in until 7 most days. Rob gets up at 5 with all of the kids, and leaves for work at 6. I have a wonderful, and helpful daughter who knows that I will not get up before 7, unless there's an emergency. She gets the boys breakfast, helps Logan with potty breaks, and gets him dressed. She is amazing. I am able to do whatever I want during the day. If I want to go out for lunch, I can, if I want to take Logan to the park, I can, if I want to just drive for an hour, I can. I don't really have a schedule, and don't book many appointments since Logan has stopped most of his therapies. Now, granted, I usually don't leave the house unless I absolutely have to, but the option is there.

One thing that nobody tells you when you decide to become a stay at home mom is, it's lonely. I have only a 3 year old to talk to until 4pm when the older 2 get home. And then, they do their own thing while I cook. There are moms groups, and play centres, but I've found these to be really cliquey and I inevitably start to feel like I'm back in middle school. So, I tend to avoid them.

I feel unappreciated. And a lot of the time, unloved. I'm with my kids for 13 hours a day while Rob works. Most nights he's home well after they've went to bed. I'm always the bad guy. With me being the only parent here all day, there is nobody else to discipline them, and I hear "I hate you!" far more often than I'd like to admit. Then, Rob comes home and says "How was your day?" and I can't even muster a smile. Then he'll say "What did you do today, besides clean, and cook, and referee the kids?" And, even though he says this with a smile on his face, and I know he's being silly, and trying to cheer me up, it makes me want to fucking slaughter him. For no particular reason other than, I'm stressed, I'm overwhelmed, I'm stretched way beyond my means.

I feel like my identity has been lost in this house, in these past 9 years. I used to have dreams, goals, things I was working towards. Now, what do I have? I look forward to the Saturdays that my mom takes my kids overnight so I can sit, or sleep, or take a bath...pretty much do anything by myself. I used to want so much more for myself. Things that I could still be with kids. But now, I just can't even think let alone think about what I want to do with my life. I want to go to school, I want to travel, I want to spend time alone with my husband so that we can actually talk to each other.

I guess I'm saying, as much as I love staying home with my kids, I think about the future. What will I be when my kids are all in school? I wish I could go to school, but there's just not money for that. I would love a career, something that I love that would feel fulfilling. I'm really afraid that my kids just won't respect me when they're older because I wasn't successful at anything. And essentially, the only thing that I've done in this life that is of any importance, is have these children. And while that's something that overcomes me with joy when I look at these amazing kids, I would also love if my kids could look at me and say "I'm really proud of all she's done in her life"

I really have no idea what I'll be doing in 18 months when I have 3 kids in school full time. All I can hope is, I'm doing it with purpose.