Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The One Where I Realize I Am A Green Eyed Whore & Maybe Even Nuts

*edited on 9/24... thank you all so much for your words of support and advice... it was comforting to read that I am not alone in my feelings and instead of being a crazy loon, I find I am rather right in line with many of you! ;-)

This is not the post I intended to write. After slugging through a day of red tape involving the phone company and the cable company and becoming suspicious that the TSA actually runs the entire world... so inept and convoluted and ridiculous was my afternoon, I felt sure that my blog would be the only place such drivel could be properly processed.

Until I found out my husband has been asked by his alma mater to possibly come back and teach an undergraduate class...

Now, you might think, "Well done, Hugh." Or even, "How nice to be thought of..."

Not me.

My immediate reaction was, "Really? Cool!" and it was simultaneously shared by the most outrageous pangs of jealousy I have ever experienced.

Not dissimilar to feeling like my head had just exploded.

Jealous. Of my husband.

And then I burst out into tears.

And proceeded to babble.

Babble that went like this: IamsuchaloserandyouarejustsogreatandIamnothing... sob, sob, SOB!

Because someone should be asking me to teach a class! On something! How about on throwing a nice party? Fuck! No one can ask me to teach a class because I know nothing! Nothing!

Hello? Issues? Is that you banging on the door?

But Hugh has been all successful and shit... I sometimes sort of feel as though I am being eclipsed by his many achievements... and while I am very proud of him and quite frankly wouldn't want to be married to a man who wasn't making a good go of it... I can't help but wonder if it's too late for me?

What have I done?

Well, I guess I do know what I have done... I've raised and created a really good and really strong family.

But my family is changing.

I am the mother of 3 children, 2 of whom will (most likely) be out of the house in 10 years. That will mean that at 48, the only child at home will be a surly teenage daughter who will want nothing more from me than rides to the mall and unlimited use of my VISA card.

I am moving into a new phase of my adult life. And I am scared I have nothing to fall back on...

I don't know what to do now.

Should I be doing more? Am I success? The world gives lip service to the importance of the stay at home mother, but do they mean it?

My kids are still young and Eva is just a toddler really, but the years fly by and for the love of shoes I have a child who is turning 11 in a few months...

My husband says I can do anything I want. (and by this he means I have the ability and his support) Anything. Do I want to go back to school and finish up that pregnancy interrupted Master's? Do I want to take up tennis? Get a job? Redecorate? If I want to stay home all day and eat cookies while the kids are at school that's ok too... just be happy.

I have been happy. Or, I thought I was happy. I am happy?

Yes.

Am I proud of my life? Yes.

But that doesn't change the fact that I have to start looking ahead... I am preparing the people in this house for life and I need to prepare myself as well... lest I spend my 50's wandering around clutching a hanky and keeping their childhood rooms as a shrine.

Obviously, the jealousy and the outburst are a clear indication that I am feeling a little less than fulfilled... I just wish I knew what it is I am looking for.

43 comments:

Mamma said...

Oh honey!! I had the same freak out yesterday.

I'm at the office thinking I don't really like what I do, but what do I want to do? And can I? And can we afford for me to do something different? Not if I still want to buy shoes...

UGH! I so understand.

I have definitely considered tennis and photography and blogging and keeping a clean house and becoming a famous rock star (oh wait I need musical talent).

Sorry to go on. But I understand.

Stephanie said...

You know, I think you are in the majority. A lot of people a some time in their life as that question "why am I here and what the heck am I doing?" I have been going back to school for a couple years now and still wonder if my major is right for me. I don't know if I will ever find that right niche that fits me perfectly.
It also doesn't help that I married an over-achiever. :)
Stephanie
www.forksandchopsticks.wordpress.com

CDPJ said...

I think is probably a perfectly natural thing to be thinking about, but you've got lots of time to figure it out. And something tells me that when the time comes you won't have the time to do all the thigs you find your self interested in/capable of doing!! (just keep the credit cards away from Eva... she looks like she'll be a shoe girl ;-)

Tuesday Girl said...

I SO understand. I think we all can.

Oh, The Joys said...

When I get this feeling (or the times that I have in my life) I throw myself into volunteering somewhere and it usually leads to something good...

Rach said...

To sound like a cliche, the world is your oyster! What are your interests and build from there. What about volunteering somewhere to see what your niche could be.

InterstellarLass said...

I think all people question themselves and their choices and their options from time to time. I don't think you're wrong for being jealous. We all want to be successful. You're obviously doing a great job as a mom, and there's nothing wrong with planning ahead for the future. I know I count down the days...sometimes. ;)

Anonymous said...

Kristin,
I think when a woman( or man) stays home and takes care of the family and home life, she creates an environment that allows her husband (or wife) to fully concentrate on his career.
His success is in part due to the fact that he hasn't had to leave work to pick up a sick child from daycare or take days off for teacher meetings and you should take pride and share in his success!
It also sounds, from past posts, that you do a lot of volunteer work for your kids school and your community, so I don't know if that is the answer for you.
I have been reading your blog for over a year but this is the first time I have commented.

Kayce said...

Oh...good post girl! I often have those moments of worthlessness. I so understand. As I went from an INCREDIBLE marketing job to being a sahMom/cleaning lady, I've had to deal with the same issues you're dealing with now. But you know what...stay as involved with your boys as you can until they are done with hs. Now is the time for doing cookie parties at school and feeling "bored", but come jh/hs...be there 100% you will no longer feel worthless or bored, you will feel needed and VERY worthwhile. It may sound strange, but it is true. My son is so happy that I'm there for him, and for all of his friends too. ANYTIME. No questions asked.

Quiting my corporate life was the best thing I've ever done. It may sound dumb, but take up something you've always wanted to do for YOURSELF!! Just you and ONLY you!

Shannon said...

Oh my gosh, I just had an incredibly similar meltdown a couple days ago! You and I are the same age, I also have three children - the oldest being 11 and the youngest being 3. I had a great job and gave it up to stay at home with the kids and I constantly question it...more now that they are getting older and need me less. Everyone says they will once again need me SO much once they go into middle and high school but for what? OH, chauffeur! I don't know, I haven't come to any good conclusions either, I'm thinking mid-life (is 37 mid-life?!) crisis :)

Mel said...

I understand. I UNDERSTAND.
I get that feeling a lot. So here's a hug:
(((You)))
And a firm wish that we may both find what it is that we need.

Anonymous said...

You have 3 healthy kids who are all in private school, you don't have to work, you spend a month in Hawaii every year and your husband is a successful businessman?
Sorry, but it's a little hard to feel sorry for you.

ananyc said...

Hey anonymous - no one asked you to feel sorry for anyone. An intellegant woman wrote her feelings in her blog. And besides, she has THE most difficult job I know of - a stay at home mother.

Marisa said...

I know what you're talking about! Sometimes I wish I had a big career I could go back to when my kids are older, but right now I think the only jobs I qualify for are chauffer or maid.

Tori said...

Hey Babe...

You know that I have these mini meltdowns every day - constantly finding ways to make money but be a mother to the brats at the same time. A month ago - as you know - I was about to retrain as a Juvie Hall counselor...(why I thought that would be a good job to have and be a parent, I don't know. I think the starting salary was just too appealing over the prospect of being shot by one of the inmates...!)

You've just got to write that Book K! Something you can do from the comfort of your own arse...without having to sacrifice too much of your truly blessed existence. I know anonymous Jelous Pants would be first in line at the Book signing line...

I hate you, I hate you...but I want to read more...more...more....

You know you can do what you want if you REALLY wanted to...

But tell me...can you really be arsed my fabulous Samoan Princess...?

Write the book Goddamit!

Los said...

You are never too old ... just remember that.

And, a family is a team - he couldn't have done this without you.

Jennifer said...

Wow, you and I are the same age and I'd never really done that math before. In 10 years, I'll have a freshman in college and a senior in high school.

Note to self: Okay, okay, stay calm, stay calm, do NOT freak out. I've got a decade to get my stuff figured out.

:-)

carrie said...

We're in this together, soul sister. We are.

Brett is teaching at a college beginning next week and he never even got a degree while I spent 5 and 1/2 years on my English Degree only to have it interrupted by (yup) pregnancy! I am like 2 classes from completion. Sad!

You are sooooo not alone.

I don't know the answers, but believe me, I'm on the same path . . .

Tammy said...

Oiy vey! Had this panic several yrs ago & it sent my SAHM butt into nursing school. Crazy. Took me to the ripe age of 40 to make a go of a 'real' career - but I was turning 40 anyway.

Sometimes it take a shake down to really take a look at your life. Being a SAHM is a 'real' job AND like someone else said - a family is a team and you should take some credit for the hubster's success. You were/are the woman behind the curtain.

All the best!

new girl said...

Hoo boy...I hear you...i am a couple years older and have been working all these years..about to adopt baby #1...and yet, in the last 20 yrs. what have I accomplished? I have a very good job, but fulfilled??? The problem is I have the sneaking suspicion that whatever it is that would fulfill me wouldn't pay the rent. Sigh.

Grim Reality Girl said...

((((((((((((Kristin)))))))))))))))
A book suggestion: The Path.
It helped me decide to change course and focus on what I really want to do... You are awesome that you can admit to your jealousy. It is normal. Follow your heart... volunteering as suggested can bring great rewards. Hang in there!!!!

Scribbit said...

I can relate--I think that at about this time in life the men are on the upward climb with their careers and honors and such and it's easy to feel that being a mom doesn't carry the same weight.

That's good that he's supportive of whatever you choose to do, try out something new each month and see what feels good!

dgm said...

So it's not a question of having the resources to try and discover what you want to do--that's good. You can skip that step. Sometimes it helps to think back to what you absolutely loved when you were younger and try to design a job or business around that. Maybe you're not talking about that kind of work at all, and you just want to learn something new. You could totally do that.

I'm a few years older than you, but I finally strapped on the balls to learn how to swim--really swim, like a gazillion laps, for fitness. I hesitated for so long (even though I surf for g*ds sake, and am out in the water) because I was embarrassed to be 41 and just learning. Turns out, all the people in my class were adults my age and older, many were triathletes who wanted to improve their swim times, and I did not suck the most. It was great! Doing that gave me the confidence and impetus to try all kinds of new things and think about doing other things I've always wanted to do. It makes life so much richer.

kris said...

whatever it is, i'm glad you're on the search-

and if you come up blank, you need to WRITE write write (as in get published)

Daniella said...

Hey there - I think so many of us SAHMs feel like this - thanks for sharing. I understand :)

Hope you have a great weekend.

Phoenix said...

You know I'm having a simular problem and I don't have a husband, three beautiful kids and a home to show for it. Maybe none of know what we want to be when we grow up. I hope you figure it out though.

Just as an FYI though, my mom is 53 and currently getting her Ph.D. She never finished college and went back when I was around 9.

Shelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelley said...

Boy, you struck a chord. The Anons coming out of the woodwork. :) Although, one of them has missed the point of this post completely.

Oh well, it wasn't lost on me darling. I feel the same way every day.

But I'm with Tori. Write that darned book. Among your many talents, you're a fabulous communicator.

Oh, and pass the cookies, will ya?

Shell

Kristin said...

It must be true that misery loves company because I certainly feel better knowing I am not alone in my feelings of uncertainty!

xx,

K.

Amanda said...

I have never produced anything, don't make things, can;t do things, I just really manage crisis well. Toss me into an event, light six fired and shoot miserable, impossible to please ladies-who-lunch at m and I'll give you the place-to-be-for-anybody-who's-anybody, but that doesn't amount to much on a resume - If things get fucked up, I'm your girls. Who wants to talk about that?
You sound as if you have an incredibly supportive husband and ten years to come up with a plan, it could be far worse, no? He could be dim, underachieving, and unsupportive and it could be ten years from now, in the thick of it and not anticipating from afar. You strike me as incredibly articulate and funny, that can go a long way. I say dip your toes in some different waters and see what temp you like.

Thanks for visitng my place today, I'll be checking in to see how it goes for you. You and your heavily insured self ;)

Mrs. Chicky said...

My dear you are preaching to the choir. I definitely understand this.

Jodi said...

My Mom has always told me that it's really hard to be a good Mom and not lose yourself in the process. Amen, sista. I think that it's really true, ESPECIALLY when you are a SAHM and the only tangile thing you have to show the world is a living breathing family. I think that all the suggestions that have been given here are really good ones. Write a book. Volunteer somewhere. Go take a couple classes at the college. You will find yourself in there somewhere. And it will probably be the last place you expected! :) Hugs to you.

Recovering Wino said...

Try and develop your spiritual side...sometimes crisis are crisis of searching for faith and purpose

S. said...

I am not there...yet...my oldest is 6--but I can absolutely understand your tears. I am lucky the two things that I personally would really want to do, either get my Montessori certification and go back to teaching, or go to nursing school, (well except the whole getting the degree part) are jobs that would work with my husband's schedule. (i.e. tomorrow is his first day off since labor day)

Anyway--you know people do get paid to throw great parties? If that is something that comes naturally to you, maybe that is something to think about--talk to the Ritz or the 4 seasons...or e-mail me
deacongirl at roverusa dot com
I do think the first anon. commenter made some valid points--but again, your reaction is completely understandable. I hope that you find your path soon! I think SAHmotherhood is great training for so many things!

mamatulip said...

Oh girl -- I had the same thoughts swirling through my head when Dave got promoted, and again last night when I hooked up with an old friend who has successfully started her own business...and she's like, three years younger than me. And so much skinnier than I am.

I totally understand what you mean. I get your thoughts. And instead of reminding you of how successful you are I'm just going to say that I get you. I really get you.

Niihaus said...

Wow! Kristin. This is exactly what sent me to the Psychiatrist in March. It's not so random that we mom's give up what's important to us and what we NEED in order to fulfill our position as mom.

I am always bitching about all the volunteer stuff I do. But then I think, what if I didn't have it to do.

I think, right now, Hugh may have this big teaching gig, but you have this blog, and while he's speaking to a few, you're speaking to the world.

Keep on doing it! And be proud. Be happy to know that you touched my inner mind today. (I don't let many people touch that.)

Lisa Fine/Kelly Kelly said...

this was such an awesome post. so honest. everyone has felt this way/feels this way right now.

you are something in addition to being a wife/mother. You are a WRITER is what you are. You write words on a blank screen that reach of the page and touch people.

Lisa

Amy York said...

I am 30 and don't know what I want to be when I grow up either. Oh well... you can figure it out tomorrow, eh? :)

Loved your blog... I found you from your comment on The Wink.

Michelle said...

I'm glad you put this post out there. I needed to read it and not feel so alone. I've been struggling with these same issues and it's been killing me...

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should be a professional bon dancer...you look fetching in a kimono!

jennie said...

I know what you mean. We made the choice as a family that my career would take a back seat, that I would do that so that our lives would be made better by the attention I could pay to all of us that would be made easier by less work demands. I certainly do plenty, and I do think our lives are more enjoyable because of it. But sometimes I feel like I could do more. As in more with my brains.

And, I don't think you should knock the lessons that someone could learn from you. Martha has made a fine living from sharing good things. I'm not suggesting you become a media mogul, just sayin', everyone enjoys a well planned party.

Lisa said...

You are a great mom raising some terrific people. You are a mom who makes this world a better place.

You are an amazing and very popular blogger. Your stories and insights make the world a little brigher for the many of us that read you.

You are a survivor. You are wise. You are intelligent. And besides, you have very pretty hair! :-)

(And I know what you mean on this because I've been having a similar sort of crisis myself lately.)

Class factotum said...

If it's any consolation, I went through the same trauma at least twice a year while I was working at my nice, high-paying corporate job that I needed an MBA to procure.

I would wonder, "Omigosh. I've accomplished nothing! I'm not married and I have no children, so I will have nobody when I'm old and I'll die alone because career doesn't sit at your bed when you're sick."

This was before I got laid off, along with about 1,000 people like me. Now I'm unemployed and still unmarried and childless, so the trauma is intensified! But I'd rather get married and have children than ever return to the corporate world. I could die happy knowing all my performace reviews stopped when I was 41.