Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity

or… adventures in infertility and babies and family drama!

Identity & Cash July 24, 2012

Filed under: The Blah — arminta @ 2:21 pm

aka Things I Miss, like a lot.

 

** Before I delve into this landmine of controversy let me say this: I signed up for this. I chose to make sacrifices in exchange for staying home with my son. I have not been thrust into this life against my will. That’s not what this is about. **

 

So, I mentioned a few days ago that I miss having money. And, I do. But, it’s more than that. I miss being ME.I miss having an identity outside of meeting needs for an army of small tryants and one quite large one. I miss having things that are mine. Nothing is mine anymore. Partially because I don’t contribute substantially to the family finances. But, more because my name is Mom. Here’s how it works: Mom’s toouthbrush? Everybody’s toothbrush! Mom’s laptop? Everybody’s laptop! Mom’s bed? Everybody’s bed. Mom’s dinner? You guessed it!

 

Usually? That’s OK. I did sign up for it. I do love it. Usually. But, sometimes? I want my own fucking dinner! and? I’d prefer it to be warm. Sometimes? I want to take a goddamn shower without having to worry about toddlers destroying my house! Every now and then? I want to sleeping until I wake up on my own. Cry me a river, right? The plight of every mom. But, it doesn’t change the fact that I feel this way. Now.

 

But, that’s really only part of the identity issue. The other part, I think, stems from the fact that I was so old (relatively) when I started my family. See, I was already used to a certain life. I had a fair bit of money (between us we brought in *just* over six figures, of which my contribution was about 2/3), enough that I never had to worry about things like eating out (duh, how’d you think my ass got so fat) or buying gadgets or fancy cable or the latest cell phone. If I wanted something, I bought it. Sure, I racked up HUGE credit card bills, but I I could afford to pay them. It is a GIANT adjustment to go from that to $500 a month to feed the family. Period. And, preferably we like to not use all of that because any extra we can scrounge up really needs to go to medical bills. I am SO not used to not being able to pay every bill I receive as soon as it comes in. I hadn’t had to worry about that in a LONG time. That money was part of my identity. Not just the money, but the lifestyle. The drinks after work, the shopping, the present buying. I love buying presents. I’m not going to lie. I miss that.

 

As much as I hated my last boss, I miss my work, too. I miss feeling good at what I do. Wanna know a secret? Software consulting is lower pressure than raising children. If I screwed up a project at work, or missed a deadline it was fixable. Sure, people would be pissed (most of all me, I hate missing deadlines), but it could be corrected. No one would be scarred for life. No one’s future hinged on my job being done flawlessly. No one cried. No one screamed (save my last boss, asshole). I miss that lower pressure life. I miss hearing things like “good job” and “thank you.”

 

I miss having the freedom to come and go as I please. I miss being able to run to the store or to Target whenever the mood strikes. I miss not being able to pop out and have drinks with a friend without having to face an inquisition, and crying and general hysteria because “OMG Mommy’s leaving for an hour!!!!! We have no idea how to fend for ourselves for a whole hour without Mommy!!!”

 

I suspect all of these things would be a little easier to deal with if the finances weren’t so tight. I further suspect that I wouldn’t be wound so tight if it wasn’t just dealing with my own kid. Having my sister’s kids all day is really taking its’ toll. Big C is almost 9. You know how most kids start that pre-teen mouthy, lippy, know-it-all phase around 9? Now, combine that with ADHD and ODD. Fun! He completely fucked my plans last weekend AND got me and my sister in a fight. Lil C, well, actually (and this is a HUGE change from when he first started coming here) I could deal with just Lil G and Lil C. Ladybug… yeah, that one’s about to get kicked out on her ear. She is bad. I don’t know any other way to put it. Big C was hyper, but still controlled. He rarely broke things. Lil C was whiny, but didn’t get into everything. Ladybug? Into everything, breaks stuff, makes big messes, fights, bites, hits, kicks, tells me to “shut up” 100 times a day. I love her, but she’s killing me.

 

So there’s all that…

 

Then there’s the whole “what to do with my time” thing. Obviously, I want to be the best mommy and nanny. And, I have to keep the house clean (which I’m horrible at, really I should be fired from that job). But there’s all this “other” stuff that I was really looking forward to. I thought I’d have time for and would enjoy and be able to do. The Etsy shop is one thing, but I thought I’d have time to write and do mommy & me classes and be more. I had this idea in my mind of taking these kids to the park and museum and writing in the afternoon while the big ones played and little ones napped and having a clean house when my hubs got home. Instead? My house is a mess, I have 3 half finished outlines that I haven’t written chapter one for, my Etsy shop is limping along (mostly my own fault for not putting more effort into it), we rarely go out, I don’t even shower everyday, and overall I’d say I mostly just feel like I’m treading water.

 

So, instead of doing anything about it I’m pissing and moaning on the internet, because I’m so overwhelmed the thought of tackling it is scary and daunting. Much like my weight. I know I could/should make better use of my time, but I’m so tired and so overwhelmed I just can’t seem to get any traction. Which is the biggest hit to my identity. I’m a doer. I’m a get it done’er. I’m a make a plan, work your plan’er. I am not a sit a whiner.

 

OK, I gotta go DO something before G gets home from work and figures out that I’ve done nothing (well, except Sissy damage control) all day…

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2 Responses to “Identity & Cash”

  1. Mrs. Gamgee Says:

    Oh hon…

    I HEAR YOU! I am actually going to a crafting night tonight with some of my girlfriends, but I have nothing to craft. I don’t have the energy to even think of something I could/should be working on seeing as I have worked so hard to carve out this time.

    There is something debilitating about a messy house. When my house is clean and tidy, I feel like I can get so much more done. When my house is a mess, it’s like it’s an enourmous weight around my neck and it prevents me from being creative in all areas of my life. Not to mention that I feel like I’m not allowed to do ‘fun stuff’ (like writing, window shopping, or going to the library) unless my work is done. I especially feel guilty blogging/pinning/etc.

    And money… oh money. We did okay (not spectacular, but my income was our grocery and play money) when I was working, and I know that if I were to go back to work right now, I’d likely be going into debt to pay for childcare, but I miss contributing to our finances. I hate feeling like a drain. I hate that my Beloved can’t watch football because we can’t afford to get the sports channel that broadcasts the CFL. I hate that I have to budget for two months to buy a birthday gift. And most especially, I hate that I have to think long and hard before I buy something for our wee-lings.

    Mummy-hood has some tremendous rewards. I wouldn’t give up this time with the wee-lings for anything. I just have longings… for a house with enough room so my Mom could come and stay, and that the kids could have their own rooms. For a grocery shopping trip where I’m not having to choose the no-name generic brand of everything all the time. For a trip to the bookstore and being able to pick up those books that I’m dying to read (and have wait-lists a mile long at the library) without feeling like I’m taking money from my kids’ college funds to do so.

    Sorry for the rambling. Just know you aren’t alone.

  2. cassiedash Says:

    You’re most definitely not alone! I stay home with my girl too and I miss a whole lot and often lose myself in my mothering. The only advice I have is to take care of yourself. I know everyone says that, but I’m finding it’s true. I go out with my girlfriends at least twice a month and go out alone to shop or have coffee or read a book at least once a month. I come back feeling, not always completely renewed, but at least refreshed and ready to take on the dirty diapers and being my daughter’s jungle gym for another week or two. I know it’s so exhausting and hard…no one has any idea what it’s like to spend all day with a child (and more than one, must be exponentially hard!). I hope you’ll find some balance soon!


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