FLOTSAM

Last Night

3 Comments

Well, that was cathartic.

As soon as I wrote everything down, I felt like the weight had been lifted. That was good.

My mind still worked on the issue of being caught between desire for self fulfillment and familial obligation. And that was OK.  It takes awhile to pin words and thoughts down. I googled a bit and played with terminology…self denial, motherhood, self efficacy, etc. Lots of religious content propping up self sacrifice in parenting.  Psychology today hit the issue on the head, but I found the suggestions lacking: it is OK to have mixed feelings and flail, you must find time for yourself,  and put yourself first. I’ve heard this before, and it difficult to do. Obviously.  It almost feels contradictory to put oneself first, and to be a wife and mother. Role models please? How do you do that gracefully, and without being selfish or feeling selfish? And something more than going for a pedicure. And some things that can be done without money, and without having access to babysitters or family help—suggestions please?

I want a religious-free discussion of both the hard work and sacrifice put into being a family, and ways to also maintain the self and nurture the spirit. I don’t think I’ve yet found a religious perspective that can do both, or a spiritual, self empowering perspective that takes into consideration parenting obligations.

…………………………………………….

links to mull over:

http://space2live.net/2012/07/13/self-actualization-and-the-suburban-mother/

http://lionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/the-importance-of-self-actualization-careers-and-the-sad-plight-of-women/

http://geeksjourney.com/a-primer-on-why-men-are-opting-out-of-marriage

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3 thoughts on “Last Night

  1. I hear and understand you. That last article you linked to (geeksjourney) got my blood pressure up. I commented on his post.
    I had to fight and am still fighting to have my own space and way of being. I took guitar lessons, writing classes and did volunteer work for the county in order to feel whole. Through these endeavors I met wonderful, validating friends. Pedicures are not enough. I teach my kids in small doses every day how to respect differences and create their own paths. Going against the current is tough but it’s better than drowning in it.
    Peace and strength to you.

    • Oh, yes! I don’t mind hearing it though. Nice to see what some men think. I really don’t like the use of words like sociopath, mental illness, or pathologies in reference to women trying to work things out for themselves. I think this conversation, between men and women would be productive, minus the illness references. I know I get really wrapped up in my own frustrations, it would be nice to see it from a different perspective. I think men and women want the same thing, and I think it can work, whether women stay at home or work. Oooh that is so optimistic of me! Snort!

      Often I wonder why god made men and women, and we are “supposed to” cohabitate and procreate together, yet we are such different creatures. God laughs! Or it is a spiritual challenge. (I say this from a religiously neutral place, since I am a lapsed Muslim Convert.) Or maybe we’ve just been dicking with gender roles too much over the centuries and have a really made things difficult for ourselves…

      One of the commentators of his post mentions things usually are fine either way (women at work or women at home) but once kids come it all gets muddled. Too true. Women burn out with the burden of 24/7 parenting, especially if their husbands think that since the went to work that day, it excuses them from familial duties. Specifically speaking about the years it takes until your last child is finally in school 6 hours a day, and your children can get themselves into bed without a huge ordeal. Specifically speaking about women who have no support network (this includes getting enough adult conversation in, which I think is the most minimal necessity). It is not that I mind being a SAHM or taking care of my kids and husband, it is just that it can be relentlessly tedious and unfulfilling at times, when you feel like you are being taken for granted. It is so easy to burnout. It takes time to heal from that, and process everything.

      I’m an introvert too, these last 6 years have been rough! Last year I got some time to myself, but not much to do anything productive. This year I have 6 hours, and I need to figure out how to balance housekeeping/errands and taking time for myself. I did try to homeschool several years ago, but that was a BAD idea! LOL, I love the idea of homeschooling, but there is no alone time at all!

  2. For the record… It has been easier for my husband to have “me” time, and to keep up his friendships (without having to take the kids along). He has been on several away from home for several days or weeks trips. It is just easier for men to leave and get what they need, that I don’t even think they get to the point of “needing” a break, or time away, or time to socialize (without kids). Granted, some of this has to do with us being experts at babies, or being the one with the lactating breasts. I think we are at the point now where I could go on a trip too (if we had the money!).

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