Friday, May 13, 2011

Finding a balance between motherhood and me

I keep having this anxiety feeling that I'm doing it all wrong.  I don't know where it's coming from.  Up until now I've been a pretty confident parent, owning the things I didn't know and celebrating the issues we solved by the seat of our pants.  I know that parenting is something you figure it our as you go, and I've been fine with it.

I think I'm having issues with what parenting is doing to me.  What is happening to "me."

Though I love my identity as a mom, I've never wanted it to be the only thing that defined me.  I am a mother, a wife, a sister, daughter, traveler, and for a long time I was a designer, professional, student, etc, etc.  Of course, this isn't groundbreaking, and everyone is made up of many parts of themselves.

It's more of a realization that mothering is currently completely eclipsing my other parts, and I'm mostly upset about how its affecting my professional identity.  Long before Cupcake came along I had a career, a master's degree and a professional path.  Shortly before I got pregnant I was laid off  due to the US economic crisis and spent some time figuring out how to find gainful employment again and taking underpaid freelance work just to stay active in my field.  It's not like Cupcake ruined me professionally and took me away from a thriving active career.  We were even glad I got pregnant so quickly, because it meant I could stay home with her until the economy recovered.  No cost of opportunity to be home with the baby.

There's a part of me that feels time passing me by.  Taking care of a baby/child is all consuming, there's little in the day left for me.  And I struggle to find help for the house, have an afternoon off, I'm filled with anxiety if I am doing the right thing.  Namely, should I pay someone to watch Cupcake and/or clean the house?  Or were we really stupid to not have done this sooner?  These are opposing views, I know.  I'm just on edge, like I'm letting myself go and by the time Cupcake is a toddler I won't know the way back to me.

We've been debating moving back to our home state to be closer to family.  Mmmm.... debating is not the right term, we've decided to move back when Nate fulfills his work requirement to be licensed.  And I'm filled with a combination of feelings: on one hand, I'm glad we're going back closer to relatives who want to babysit and help out, but I'm sad to leave this amazing city and neighborhood, and resentful that we still have to wait a few months, and fearful that once we move back I'll be able to find a job and then I have no excuse for my malcontent.

My husband is wonderful about giving me time off, and being there for me.  I fear that as I wallow in self pity, I'm not able to offer him the same level of support and affection.  I don't want motherhood to eclipse my role as a wife.  How do other people balance it? 


  1. It really seems that it never feels completely right. I wake up in the morning thinking that it is a new day and that things are going to go according to plan. The problem is they never go according to plan. There always seems to be something and the thing there really is no time for is for mommy to be herself. Not a maid, or a cook, not a mommy, or a wife. The person that she was before all the above took center stage.
    It is funny how everyone has different struggles. When I went back to work after having my daughter a friend who is a stay at home mom said she envied me. I on the other hand was envious of her. Now as I prepare to go back again I am envious of you and all those other mothers out there that get to be home with their babies. I do miss work, I miss adult conversations, and something other then diapers and feedings to focus on. But really I am scared to leave my baby this time even more then last time. I know in my heart (even though I do at times question it and am filled with anxiety) that things really work out the way they are suppose to.

  2. Yes! I agree with you on so many levels. And as an accidental SAHM, I can imagine it's tough to transition back to work. I know I'm lucky to be home with my LO, but I miss adult responsibilities too.