I'm suffering from a slight case of the 'who am I?' blues today?
I hope you can relate, at least on some level, lest you think I'm just crazy and moody (which I sometimes am left to think just might be the case...but let's just pretend for a minute that that's not really true, that there really is something deeper to talk about here).
The 'who am I?' blues often comes on when, like today, I wake up from a short mid-afternoon nap, stop to look in the mirror and find, looking back at me, a 32-year old lady who has not brushed her hair or teeth, washed her face, or even put her contacts in since she woke up this morning. It hasn't been a terrible day-- the girls have actually been pretty good--it's just that somehow, when you're at home with children that stuff doesn't happen every day.
To complete the picture you must know that my eyebrows need to be plucked so badly that Sarah, one of my closest high-school friends here in Buffalo actually laughed aloud when I pointed it out to her last week. And, beneath the boring black t-shirt and white shorts that I managed to summon out of the mounds of clean and unclean laundry in baskets in my bedroom, I am wearing a nursing bra, yes, again, because it's one of the few bras I have that fits comfortably.
Yes. I stopped nursing eight months ago if you were confused by that last statement.
To top it all off a local publication that I do some casual writing for published an interview with an author that I had interviewed for another publication and was hoping to also write up a short story on for this particular publication. This published article about this author was not by yours truly, but by another writer I do not know. I mentioned wanting to write the article to the editor last week...I'm not sure where the communication went wrong, I'm a little peeved about it though. (I hope the editor is not reading this blog! Fortunately he doesn't strike me as the type to spend time reading blogs about stay at home mommy life-- especially as he is not yet married and has no children).
While this incident may seem not very monumental it simply exemplifies the 'who am I?' day I was already having about balancing mommyhood and writing or a career of some sort and how the two fit together...or don't lately, in my case.
My challenge/frustration is this, while I cannot dream of putting my children in daycare, and I do cherish many of the moments I have at home with them, there is a sadness that part of who I am and who I enjoy being feels underdeveloped. I feel like I've spent much of the last few years trying to reconcile this issue-- trying to find a way to write from home while still being able to keep my girls at home. While I have had some successes in this area, it has been incredibly hard...
It is hard because when you are trying to ramp up a writing career you need time to do interviews, research stories, write queries, find publications and then send out the queries. You need to use the momentum from one day to feed into the next and so on.
Sometimes, I work on a project or an idea for the 3 hours my babysitter is over and then I don't have a chance to even look at it again until she comes again a week later. Sometimes, I think I should be more diligent to write in the evenings, but Ava hasn't been going to bed until 10 p.m. and then I'm simply tired. Sometimes, I write down great ideas on slips of paper and then someone shrieks because they have fallen off a chair, or bumped a toe and I leave the slip of paper on the counter only to be swallowed up by eons of other slips of paper and eventually filed in a dark corner or thrown out...
In the case of this particular publication I was unable to move fast enough to put the article together or stay in touch with the editor closely enough to ensure I'd get to publish the article if they were interested. But sometimes, with this publication and others, I just feel so out of the loop, so under a rock, so down the rabbit hole (to quote an old post!) that I feel unable to write anything well informed anyway...
It's kinda a nutty thing...this wanting to be a professional from your pajamas at home with your children.
Some days I feel like I should just throw in the towel on this whole writing thing for now...stop trying so hard and just focus more on life at home; trying to find better ways to manage meals, and organize our home, and be a better wife and mother. Not because I'm bitter, just because I think life would be more peaceful if I didn't put the "professional" expectations on myself.
But the old me doesn't rest silently long enough for that idea to take root.
Here is the question for today...do I silence the old me and relish in the new me or continue to struggle to find a balance between the two?
How have you other moms navigated this part of your life? Emotionally and literally?
I'd love to hear from some of you! Just drop a line or two about your own identity crises and shifts! Let me know what you've let go of and what you've hung on to!
P.S. If you want to comment but don't have a gmail account I'm pretty sure you can just click on "comment anonymously", but then write your name after your comment so that I know who you are!!