Monday, December 16, 2013

Meaning


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.

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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.

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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.











4 comments:

Jessica Valentine said...

Love you.

Jordan and Crystal said...

I have never heard the term SAHM- New to me. (Is that a Utah thing?) Krista your awesome! Keep being you! People are sometimes lame and don't think of anyone but themselves. I am sure I fall into that category sometimes too. Every family is different and there is not just one right way to do things. You and Tyler are great parents and doing whats best for you and and Ethan. Don't stop blogging I love your posts and hearing about your cute family. :) Much love from kentucky

Liz Ricker said...

Ah my dear friend! I keep up with your blog because guess what?... You are amazing and inspiring to me. I have had far too many similar conversations in the past few years and I understand! I mean, I don't understand the need some women have to shove being a SAHM down my throat, when I don't sit around telling them to go to work. Good grief, we are praising the stay at home mom for what they do, not to turn around and attack the working woman. Let me offer my friendship to ya! Here is what I know about you... You are so very bright, and had so many ambitious plans when I first knew you. Maybe your plans haven't worked out in all the ways you thought but it doesn't change your brilliance. You are still one of the smartest, kindest, funniest, most well rounded people I know and thankfully you get to share that with lots of others! (Outside of your home and within its walls.) I respect you. And love you. There is so much you are experiencing in life...there isn't time to waste on those who aren't uplifting and encouraging of all you do. Hopefully this little book I have written will help you see all the lives you have touched and wil continue to touch without even realizing it. (Ps... I just got done with my 14 hr shift, so hopefully this comes out better than my usual jumbled messes. I just had to respond to you tonight!)

audrey said...

Krista, I just love you! I just have to let my thoughts spill out to you and I hope they make sense :). I really related to this post in an interesting and kind of ironic way. I am from Utah and you are from Delaware. You are a working mom in Utah and I am a "SAHM" in Delaware. I don't have any answers for you, but just know that in a weird and kind of opposite way, I know how you feel. There are SO many times when I don't feel like I fit in out here. And I just found myself saying the same thing a few days ago--I could really use a REAL friend. I've also never felt "comfortable" in my experience out here. I guess by that I mean settled? Or like life is easy and I'm just coasting through? I don't know, I guess I'm just always on display because I'm different. A minority. But I'm learning to be okay with that because the way I'm finally seeing it, I don't grow when I'm "comfortable." And I don't really focus on serving others or give them the opportunity to learn from me. It's when I'm feeling "vulnerable" as you put it, that I find the Lord is shaping me into what He wants me to be instead of what I had in mind for myself. There are SO many days when I find myself wishing I could have the ease of living in an area where I'm familiar with the culture and people (and they're familiar with me). But I wouldn't trade my relationship with my husband and our little family's independence that comes from living far away from family for anything. I know that those relationships and lessons have happened for us because we're constantly being stretched and made "uncomfortable." It takes a long time to adjust to a new area. Someone told me to give it three years. It's been that long now, and I can see the wisdom in that thought. I'm STILL not fully adjusted, but we love where we live- trials, differences, and all. You have so much to offer, Krista. Utah wards-and women- need your compassion, your missionary mindset, your fellowshipping skills, your charitable and forgiving heart. You have a perspective on life that can bless so many people, including those who don't feel like they fit into the "Utah mold." There are more than you probably think there are, and many of them are Utah-born :). Keep doing what you're doing! Take pride in your work, both in your home and in your profession. How you live your life is between you, your husband and the Lord. And you are doing enough. :) Don't let anyone make you feel like you're not giving your child, husband and home anything but the very best, because you are! No one can love them any more perfectly than you do! You are setting a tremendous example to so many people and the world (especially Utah) needs more people like you! Hang in there! Your light shines so brightly and I have always looked up to you so much! Love you! (PS sorry for the book!)