Tuesday, September 04, 2012

"S-M-R-T" -Homer

I have been going through a little crise d'identité recently. (I find it much sexier to say it in French.) It boils down to 1) I feel a lot of pressure, both internally and externally, to go back to work and 2) I don't want to.

My grand aspirations to be this awesome everything woman who juggles a brilliant career for myself with awesome parenting skills for my supremely awesome little girl is not coming to fruition because. Fuck. I get SO TIRED after crayons! and dolls! and oops-toddler-pushed-GO-on-the-blender-before-I-got-the-lid-on-mess! every day. So I do the arts & crafts, including dried-smoothie wall art and sometimes make dinner and then crash and it kind of works for our little family right now. Except it leads me to be socially incompetent (you may note that I reference poop at least 10 out of the last 12 times I posted here...make that 11 out of 13, now) and I hang out with these people with multiple children and jobs and cheery dispositions and I am like..."how?"

I think I just don't have as much energy as a lot of my peers. I have always been suspicious of this fact, it was just highlighted when the raising a kid thing came about. I have never been able to keep up with most of my friends' schedules/activities/cleaning habits. And I realize that it's all about not trying to keep up with the Joneses and not coveting thy neighbors vacuuming habits, but sometimes that is hard because I do like how my carpets look when they are clean and also when my child is not crying. And also when I think regularly about things un-fecal matter-y.

I am happy with our current routine, and I don't feel crazy stressed most of the time, which is a fairly recent development. So it boils down to the person I want to be (creative, role-model-y feminist with Martha Stewart tendencies) is not, in fact, the person I am when I am happy. Le sigh, oh the first-world problems of ME.

What else? We went on vacation, Miss Thang did wonderfully, it is brilliant when a child no longer needs special food or special beds. And when she will sleep through the night in a place that is not HER BED, HER ROOM, 72.6 DEGREES, with oscillating fan pointed at 49 degrees north whilst "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"/ocean whales white noise machine hums at decibel 2. It gets easier. I liked vacation. I told The Funasaurus I wanted to move to vacation, and he pointed out that then it would not be vacation, it would be have to work in vacation location minus our awesome mountain view and support network, and then that was a big stupid but factually accurate rain on my fantasy parade.

So we're back (happily) in Colorado, talking about poop, waiting for the temperature to drop out of the 90s. Supposedly today is the last day of that nonsense. I just hope there is some fall and 60-70 degrees before the snow arrives.


Michele said...

Thank you for this post! I'm going through a similar identity crisis, sans mom-tired-thing. My life isn't at all what I imagined it would be at this point (nearly 50!), and is so different to the lives of most people I know (no kids, barely a job), that it somehow feels wrong, but only, I think, because I don't know how to describe my life to other people in a way that doesn't seem to invite sympathy/confusion/unwanted advice. Does that make sense? Clearly, I haven't thought this through, but anyway, I totally understand what you're saying here and I really like how you phrased it: "...the person I want to be...is not, in fact, the person I am when I am happy." Brilliant.

I heard a TED lecture the other day in which a guy said unhappiness results when our expectations do not meet our reality. Solution: change our expectations. Simple, non? :-)

Heather said...

Oh, Kat, mon amie, moi aussi!!!

You may have seen on FB that I've been interviewing for a job (waiting for the final verdict now sometime this week), and it really galls my I-want-to-grow-up-to-be-a-successful-woman-of-influence self how much of a struggle it is for me to wrap my head around what going back to work will be. Yes, I have a toddler, and that is busy and time consuming and holy crap this life over 30 stuff really slows a girl way the hell down! Add to it I've got two others, one an adolescent in the throes of middle school and puberty WITH sensory processing dysfunctions (oh, yeah, it is as BAD as I once imagined) and I am a tad bit overwhelmed. Ok...crap, I just hijacked YOUR post....uhm, so that was not to say I'm worse off than you, but totally to say, Friend, I totally get it.

Michele is right on re: the expectations thing and unhappiness..but sometimes changing those expectations is harder than we think.

Suffice to say, if you are content/able to be a SAHM right now, don't let your days be clouded with the "Woulda coulda shouldas" because it does go fast (though in that time warpy way of long days, short years) and this is but a season in your life. You can go back to work later, if you choose, and you'll have gotten some of the greatest years with your Miss Thang!