Friday, February 18, 2011

Thoughts?

Okay, so I want peoples honest feedback on this. I think it will help me feel better :)

This is a question to all you stay-at-home Moms:

Do you ever feel like you aren't living up to your full potential when you are just a stay at home mom?

This is how I am feeling right now and I'm not sure if this is normal? I don't want to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I'm pretty smart and a really hard worker and I sometimes feel like playing with play-doh and going for walks is not exactly challenging. I mean, granted I am teaching Ella things every day, but helping a kid wipe their nose isn't exactly rocket science.

I feel like there is more I could be doing. Like, I know I'm a really hard worker and a really good employee. I'm a fast learner and really smart. I've never had a boss that didn't want me to quit and the only job I've ever not been good at was working for my dad (go figure! haha!) I feel like being cooped up in my house is going to drive me crazy. I've had a job since before I was married and was either working full time, going to school full time, or a mix of the two. Even when we were living on the island and I wasn't allowed to have a real job, I ended up being Spouses Org President, teaching piano lessons two days a week, and being seminary teacher. AND having Ella.

Right now I am just being mom. I feel like I am being a big slacker because all I do is laundry, clean, and feed my kids. And a lot of times I don't even want to do those things! I know that being a mom is really important and that there isn't anything else better that I could be doing...but sometimes it is hard to remember that. I read a lot and play with Ella a lot. Is this really what being a stay-at-home mom is?? Or am I missing something??

I've looked into fencing lessons and I can't find any that work around Tom's schedule. I've looked into cooking classes and they are just too expensive. I found a book club, but it is at the same time as Tom's online class. I found some activities at the library, but they are for mom and kids. I want something WITHOUT kids. Is that terrible? I want adult conversations that don't evolve around Mickey Mouse Playhouse or Dora the Explorer...or potty training or baby food. I don't really have many friends in Salt Lake yet and the girls in the ward don't seem like they are very social with each other. Our ward is REALLY transient so it is hard to make friends, but we'll see how it goes!

Anyway, I think I am just getting a little burnt out of being cooped up inside all day, every day. Anyone else feel this same way? What do you do to find more satisfaction out of just being a mom???

6 comments:

Rachie said...

I don't have any advice, but if you are wrong to feel that way, then so am I.

anushka said...

oh laura! this is so normal. i think you probably have an overwhelming case of the mommy blues right now with all the change your family has gone through now to find yourself home with your two littles while tom goes out to continue to further his career. i think you should do a couple of things to help with this. first, i think you need to find something for you to do without the kids even if it's just getting a babysitter for an hour a week so that you can play the piano uninterrupted. second, you should find a playgroup with other like minded moms that you can get together with. when the kids are happy playing together, you can talk with the other moms and feel like you are doing something for yourself. being a stay at home mom can be very isolating - esp. during a winter in utah i assume, as it can be for me living in a hotel on an island! i also think you should look at the big picture. what tom and you are doing is equally important for your family. he will provide for you all to live a comfortable life and you can raise your children yourself. do you really want to put them in daycare to have someone else raising them? if you do - then, you should. just do it, find a job, and go to work. i know many moms who work and have their children at daycare and are happiest that way. the children all turn out fine. there are pros and cons to both stay at home kids and daycare kids. but, i never felt that i was doing my job as a teacher 100% or as a mother 100% when i was a working mom. i think because i had to work full time 4 months after ezra was born, i am much more grateful now to be a stay at home mom. i personally cannot stand the idea of someone else getting to watch my child grow up. i want him to learn from me about love, kindness, the beauties all around us in nature and good people. maybe you need to look at more stay at home mommy blogs to get inspired about your important work at home. i suggest going to www.soulemama.com and then checking out other bloggers who comment on her blog. you just may find a lot of inspiration there. go to the bookstore or library and find books that support staying at home with your children or books that talk about it open and honestly. have you ever read anne lammot's "operating instructions"? that is a great book when you're going through the mama blues. try it out. there are other great titles for you. i'll have to do some research. hang in there. do things that make you happy. ella and tom are so lucky to have you with them. there is nobody who loves them more than their mommy.

Nicki said...

I definitely feel this way sometimes, especially since we don't have our own apartment. I don't have as many chores as I would if we lived in our own place, so I spend a LOT of time reading, coloring, talking walks, etc. One thing that helps me is that I love sewing/crafting, so I often have a project or two to work on when I'm not with Owen. I know you said you're not a crafty person, but you could try learning something new. I know I've found myself more drawn recently to reading non-fiction books so that I feel like I'm still learning something. I've also thought about taking an online class so that I have something that will get my brain working again (especially since I'm stuck talking an octave above my normal voice :). Even with these things, I still feel like I'm not accomplishing a whole lot... Matt comes home from work and tells me the things he did there, or the things he's doing to look for a new job, and all I can say is "well.... we went on a walk today... aaaand.... Owen sat on the potty aaaaaand....". I know exactly how you feel, but I haven't quite solved it yet. I think for me, it's just that I need to reorient myself to new goals. There was a time last year when I had a really good goal chart going - it had chores, scriptures, exercise, teaching Owen, crafting, etc. on it, and I was pretty specific as to how much of each I needed to do each day. When I laid it all out like that and saw how much I actually had to do each day (even though it might not be 'traditional' working or schooling), I felt better about what I was accomplishing. I haven't totally got the stay-at-home mom thing worked out either, so if you find something that works really well, let me know. In the meantime, hopefully some of these ideas helped, and keep up the good work - you may not feel like it every day, but being a mom is hard work. Keep it up! :)

Andrea Tao said...

It's hard to transit from being validated constantly at a job to being a stay at home mom where you get NO validation whatsoever. That is challenging. it's important to find good girlfriends that are in the same boat, that is the only way I survive....if someone else is miserable too than we have alot to talk about! :) women are scared to admit that being a stay at home mom is tough and not always fun and fulfilling. I just turn it into a game, I want my kids to be smart enough to move up a grade...so I teach them things all day long in hopes to have the smartest kids on the planet! That takes up a lot of my time and energy. I also go out in the evenings ALOT with my girl friends, we get together at each others houses after the kids go down or go to dessert at least once a week, thats my therapy! It so normal to feel the way you do! TRUST ME!!

Megs25 said...

I used to feel the way you do. I think everyone does at one time or another. What I did is went out and got a job and a nanny for my kids and I didn't last a week. It just wasn't for me. I think the thing to remember is that being a mom IS a job, you just don't get monetary gain from it.
I've found that motherhood has it's seasons. Right now might be difficult because your kids are so young but kids grow up and you won't always be surrounded by babies.
What I do differently now is I go to the gym and my kids go to the childcare center there for 2 hours 3-4 days a week.I try to get all of the cleaning and laundry done by 10:00 am so that the rest of my day is spent doing other things. I make monthly menus and go grocery shopping once a week preferably before 9:00am. I'm taking more physical health courses, learning the piano, at home preschool with Mason, and I go out with my girlfriends ALOT. Derick and I also try to go out 1-2 times a month.
I know you love to work and if that's what you really want to do then go do it. Even if it's just part time.

Kelsey said...

I know I am not really in the same time of life as you yet, but one thing my Mom always said she thought was an important thing for Stay-at-home moms to do is service...I know that can sound pretty churchy but the way my mom put it sounded kind of cool... she was like I wish i didn't work as much as I did because I always think I could be using my talents to help ppl for free...and its true, maybe you could find an organization that'll hook you up with underprivileged kids who want to learn piano, or maybe you could record a bunch of your songs and start a fundraiser with it... maybe there is someone you know who deserves some credit for what they are doing, or an even that you think other mom's should know about and you could write a freelance article for your local newspaper...anyway I have been stashing all these ideas away for myself for when I do feel like I have time for them, so maybe they will work for you:)