Saturday, January 10, 2009

Journey on a Winding Road: You Have to Find your Place.

Debbie over at Mommie Mayhem wrote a post Thursday about a bit she saw on Oprah. When you had children did you stop being "you" and "just" become Mom?

Of course it got my brain going. Is that what happened to me? Did I "lose"myself? Is that where this craziness came from? Back through the archives I went searching to see where and if I stopped being me.

When Mo was born I was Appointment Coordinator/Mom. Nope that wasn't it. I still had a professional life. When Tuck was born I was Assistant Director/Mom and got promoted to Director/Mom so that couldn't have been it. You can't score a promotion if you aren't focused on more than just one aspect of your life. Then Munch came.

I was working as the director of a child care center and was putting in 14 hour days. I had 104 children in my care and 16 staff (where I should have had 21). I was forever pregnant and completely under water with paperwork and staffing issues. In the 10 hours I wasn't at the office, five were spent sleeping and the other five were divided between cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children aka being Mom. I went to bed one night and woke up in the wee small hours the next morning in labor. I went to the hospital, had a baby and didn't go back to work.
At first the full stop was wonderful. I was able to stay home with the wee leprechauns and be a really great mom. I was able to play, and read, and snuggle. Then I started into the housekeeping stuff. I decluttered, deep cleaned, organized and caught up. I felt like a super hero. But then it all became routine.

Every morning, I get up, make the beds, start the laundry, tidy the kitchen, vacuum the livingroom. I pack lunches and change diapers. I shuffle people from place to place. I make menus and go grocery shopping.

Did I lose who I was? No. I just became a different person. I don't resent being a mom. I think I would like to squeeze out a little more time for me but who wouldn't? But maybe there's the rub. I didn't lose me but me became so focused on my children that even when I had some time, I didn't know how to spend it. I would go to Barnes & Noble and just wander without ever picking up a book.

So I started to find new hobbies. I got back to sewing and knitting. I returned to my love of cooking and started concocting new recipes and tweaking old ones. I started not one but two blogs. I started a group on Cafe Mom called What's my Motivation?! where we try to help and encourage one another to be more whole person focused and work on personal goals. I started working out again.

Maybe none of those things will ever change the world but they all have changed me. They have given me other places in this big wide world. I'm not JUST Mom in the house doing the mom things. I know when I haven't done those things in a while. I start to spiral. I start to get down at the smallest whim. I turn moody and grumpy.

Again, none of this is a diagnosis or a treatment. It's just my way of controlling and coping. Some people will say that it is distraction and maybe one day I will learn that it is. Maybe there is a bigger underlying issue that I need to deal with but I would have no idea what that issue is. For now I'm content knowing that just by serving a purpose for my friends in the Motivators, or for my readers here in Bloggy Land or for myself when I pound the pavement every morning, I am making myself "better."

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