I found this little gem ages ago, and I have been thinking about this, not quite in these terms, but similar ones, for a little while now.
Also, I haven't been blogging lately for many reasons, and hopefully through this post, you'll understand a bit more about why I'll try a bit more to keep up with it.
Never before have I felt more alone. I knew that living in a new state would be challenging, and I have been trying to give it all I've got. Utah isn't the easiest place to live, especially when you fall under a certain set of demographics:
- Working Mom
- From Out of State
I'm not going to get into all of the reasons. It would take forever and ultimately, it wouldn't come out the way I wanted it to.
Instead, I will give you a little story, and hopefully you'll understand what I mean.
The other day, I was with a friend and her kids, and we were having a grand time. Ethan and I had only been there for a few minutes, when I started to tell my friend about Tyler going out of town for a day on business. I'm really excited for him, yet really quite nervous because of the way our daycare situation runs - I drop Ethan off in the morning, and Tyler picks him up and I get off of work 2.5 (+) hours later. This business trip of Tyler's necessitates that I leave work a few hours early so I can pick up Ethan. Not a big deal, but still stressful (especially since I do not like to ask for circumstantial favors at work, etc. Its not in my prerogative. I don't feel like I should be able to take off early - I know, I'm crazy). Before I could even explain why I was stressed, this friend proceeded to tell my why she wasn't even sorry for me, and then every sentence for the next hour started with, "SAHM," and how life is for her.
[SAHM: Stay At Home Mom - it took me years to figure out what this meant!]
Now, I don't think that any of these things were said out of unkindness; I think they were said simply so that this person could convey their situation to me, and probably a bit out of spite. I didn't say anything else for the remaining amount of time we were there...what could I say?
I guess I don't get it. My mom is a SAHM, and I have never looked down on her for doing so. She is brilliant and choose not to work; we sucked up all her brilliance at home and it was awesome. Cool! I never would have gotten through life without her doing that - she was a great mom in her chosen field.
So, why do other people act like I look down at them for being a SAHM? I don't treat them any differently than I do my friends who work. Ultimately, I'm going to be a SAHM, and apparently now isn't the time for that, so I'm a working mom. But at the end of the day, we are all still moms. I don't tell people to go to work - why do they feel the need to tell me about why they are at home? It doesn't even begin to make logical sense to me. Its like my head is stuck in a cloud. Or dense fog. Or pea soup. I am completely befuddled.
My favorite phrase about why people are SAHM: "I didn't want to miss anything in my children's lives, so I stay at home." Right. That's why I choose to work - because I don't want to know anything about my kids, etc (sarcasm is heavy here, friends).
And people don't say these things with an air of "matter-of-fact" about them. There's always a sneer that is a bit hard to miss, or a look down the nose, etc. And trust me. I've been looking past this for so long that I can't anymore. I've gone past numb and apathetic to raw and exposed; vulnerable.
Case and point: I could really use a friend. A real friend.
For months now, I've been beating myself up about why I don't have friends - real friends. The list goes on and on, and as soon as I start to see sunlight, I beat myself down again, and tell myself I don't deserve that happiness.
I was talking to a friend who lives a long ways away about how her mom worked while she was growing up. She asked her mom one day about why she didn't have a lot of friends, to which her mom replied something like, "I guess I never had time for it. I had you and your brothers, and my family and work."
I guess I don't have time for it. I don't have time to gossip about mutual friends, or acquaintances. I don't want to spend my life like that - yet all of the girls I know who have good friends do that to each other....can someone explain that to me? Honestly - I just don't get it. Not a judgement, just an observation. Really - I don't get it.
When I go to work, children are being diagnosed with cancer. Life is bigger than what so-and-so said to you last week. I guess I have a skewed perspective.
Living here is hard because you don't see all those hard working moms like you do back east. (And I say hard because life is hard for everyone...regardless of where you do your work - at home with your kids or both in the office and at home.) Back east, everyone's mom works...for the most part - and its a way of life. People reach out and car pool without a second thought - people don't throw it in your face all the time -why? Because its life. I bet my mom had some hard times because she didn't work. Its the same thing I'm facing now, just on the other side of the fence.
I would give anything to move. Because for a few minutes, that would fix the problem. I know its not the real solution. But its a heck of a lot nicer to dream about than waking up to the stark reality that you're dead lonely. And why are you lonely? Because no one can spare an ounce of kindness to reach out and support; they only have time to bash what they hate - instead of promoting what and who they love - which should be all of us. We should all love and promote one another.
Oh, and I also really want world peace.
So, why am I going to try to blog more frequently? Because as I do, I am reminded of my true friends: my family. A husband who is my best friend, which is probably why I don't have a lot of others. He fills so many roles and excels at them. And a little man who keeps me busy. I know that I am the best mom for Ethan, and part of being that mom is making the best decisions for my family. Working is one of those decisions. And so is playing with him. And reading to him. And feeding him cookies instead of lunch. Happiness comes in many forms, and for now, family is mine. Hopefully I will count my many blessings more often and fill my life with the joy that is already here, waiting to be realized.