Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Do you ever wonder if you took a wrong turn

in life? Like what if you had made a different choice at that pivotal moment?

I feel that way sometimes about being a young mother. I got married at 22 and had my first child when I was 23, which is not way young but it is relatively young considering that most mothers I meet at the playground have infants and are in their mid to late thirties. Instead of pursuing my career or, more accurately, starting my career, I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom.

This year I'll be 28. I have no desire to go to any reunions although it's 10 years since I graduated from high school. I feel like I don't have anything to show for those 10 years except the fact that I'm fertile and can carry children to term and take reasonable care of them. Many of my counterparts are up and coming professionals now--lawyers, doctors, engineers and teachers. Getting on Facebook is a trip sometimes reading what everyone is doing at the moment. What could I write? Changing yet another diaper? Breaking up yet another sibling spat? Negotiating yet again with a cranky four year old what we will have for lunch when all he wants is cake?

Motherhood suits me and I enjoy being here full-time with my children. Really, I do. But sometimes I wonder how life would have been different if I'd made a different choice. I never did get to have my own motorcycle and wouldn't dream of doing that now with children. Never did get to travel and sure as hell don't want to with kids. Never did get all the partying out of my system. Never did get to live on my own. Never did get to where I thought I would be career-wise right now. You don't get the youthfulness and vibrancy of your 20s back and I'm spending most of it--if not all of it-- on other people. That's tough to handle sometimes.

I was grocery shopping at Whole Foods yesterday and saw two well-dressed, albeit weaved out, sisters clearly on their lunch break. It's hard to describe how I felt pushing my two babies, rocking Birkenstocks and trying to keep Z1 from destroying the flower display. I felt like they were looking at me sort of out of pity . . . or disdain. I know it was in my head. I know it was. They probably didn't even notice me. But I wanted to switch places for a minute--have on a nicely tailored suit, stockings, and heels on. Feel chic and successful.

I think I have another summer cold. It started off as allergies and I think progressed to a cold. I miss being able to just lie down and sleep because I'm tired and I need to so that my body can fully recuperate. I miss being able to just focus on me. And at a time when it seems like so many of my peers are super-focused on themselves, I can't help but feel a little jealousy and wonder what the hell I was thinking.

Anyway, more good reasons to stay off Facebook.

ETA: Got the fall edition of Brain, Child Magazine and there was a section about what you've lost and what you've gained as a mother. It put a lot into perspective. Glad I subscribed.


Kay C, The Quiet Storm said...

People covet what other people have because it "looks" good from the outside. Has it crossed your mind that they were looking at you wondering what your life is like?

I would love to switch places with you for a few days. Everything is not always as it appears.

Chi-Chi, The Original Wombman said...

You're right, of course. That's human nature. I'd like to switch places for a few days . . . and then I'd probably remember why I made the decisions I did.

80sBaby70sSoul said...

I totally understand! But I've decided that I will just enjoy where I'm at until its time to switch gears again. 4-5 more years of working myself into financial stability and then BAM...breastfeeding and crocheting! If you are done having kids (which you KNOW I'm not tryna hear), then you can look forward to switching gears back towards your career goals. If not, GET WORKIN' ON THAT BABY GIRL!

Anonymous said...

What you do is powerful and amazing...don't let anyone make you feel bad about it either! Problem is too many folks don't consider how significant it is to raise kids. You remind me of my Mom (may she rest in peace) she was a young stay at home wife/Mom too and when I was young, no I did not appreciate her as I should have considering in the 70's-80's most of my friends had working Mamas.

Yet now I see clearly what she gave up to stay home and the values she instilled in me. It may be years before you realize how powerful it is what you are doing, but it really is.

I envy those who can stay home and be fully in the moment as a SAHM. As you know I straddle the line since I work out of the home but am fortunate that I have a position that allows me to more or less schedule my own life. (in that respect my education has been useful)

Girl, if they were looking at you it was probably with envy. Check out my latest blog post, I think you will fele better. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I hear you. Sometimes it feels like a joke that I have a book about parenting. Because I enjoy me time. I have never even been the type to tolerate noise from a group of children or tolerate children who didnt behave in a certain manner. Yes, I miss the days when I could buy whatever I wanted and go out without thinking about finding a sitter.

My mother had it way easier than I. She still could go out with friends, travel, party, etc. My grnadmom watched me all summer and on weekends.

I love it when I go out alone. I love to go out at night. I wish I could do it more. I myself, need balance.

Tamara said...

*comes out of lurkdom*

Hey, its Brown Lioness from the MDC WOC tribe here. Write me down as another vote for they were probably envious of you....heck I am! But I am nowhere near chic and professional and weaved up like they were, lol.

Chi-Chi, The Original Wombman said...

80sBaby . . . you are too much. I actually do think the baby having days are over. I think. LoL. I'm ready to switch gears especially since the hubby is totally done.

BGIM . . . thanks sis. I read your post and it was moving. I'm going to comment on it soon. Believe it or not, when I am chanting and remembering those who passed away, I remember your mom. I love to hear you talk about her and the influence she had in your life and your closeness/relationship.

Raet, it's true. For the birth of my siblings, my mom had her mother come and stay for a year. She had way more help than I do as my mother has never watched my kids for me. She hardly visits. And I have since stopped looking at the ads for concerts and stuff . . . I do miss going out and all that stuff. It's a big trade-off you make having kids and I don't know if anyone is fully aware before they do.

Hey Tamara aka Brown Lioness!! Thanks for visiting my blog!!!! You know, it didn't even occur to me that might have been envious! I really didn't want this post to come off as ingratitude because I give a lot of thanks for being able to stay home with my kids especially having experienced the absolute nuttiness that was teaching full-time and coming home to be a mom full-time. I really am grateful--even though sometimes, I just need a break from being mommy full-time and wish I could be Chi-Chi for a minute.

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