I forgot to mention in the last post that I am participating in NaBloPoMo for the month of July.
I’ve been feeling rather flaky. I’ve had friends hounding me for weeks, trying to set up play dates, events, dinners. I’ve been so overwhelmed by their requests because of my schedule: or lack of one. The kids have no school for three months, my babysitter officially retired (she graduated college and accepted a job) and my husband isn’t around because of work-related events and travel. When he does get home, it’s usually after the kids have gone to bed.
For the longest time, I’ve felt so guilty. I’m letting friends down. Then today I realized, rather like Sally Field, that I should take these texts and emails as a compliment. People like me, they want to hang out with me and I should focus on that, not on my own failure to be able to respond.
When you’re a SAHM, there is little adult feedback in day-to-day life. Spending time with parents on the playground, at a venue, is honestly a mixed bag. Some people just make you feel inadequate. (Usually because of your own issues.) There is always a well-behaved child who eats everything their parents give them, even Brussels sprouts. There are nurses at doctor’s offices who give you a dirty look for checking your phone.
Mostly, there is little to no positive feedback.
This is not meant to be a tirade about SAHMs vs. WAHMs or parenting or anything like that. I think women have it very, very tough in general. Whether we are parenting after infertility or loss or in our twenties, confused about how to handle ourselves in this economy. Whether we are secretly mourning the fact we don’t have children or we just decided that we didn’t want children, for many reasons.
We expect the world of ourselves and are often disappointed. Our lack of perfection amazes us. We try so hard. We…fail. Often. Because we are human and flawed.
But: even so. We are lovable and admirable and fantastic. Every last one of us. I believe it. Because you tell me so. Because I read your stories, because I feel your love for your children, and I could feel that if I was on a rocket ship in outer space. Because no matter whether we are doctors or lawyers or accountants or writers or former PR people struggling to live up to our expectations.
No matter if we had to give up our dreams to be a parent because of infertility.
No matter if we are approaching an older age and feel less visible.
No matter if we aren’t living the life we dreamed for ourselves.
ALL OF US. We are worth our own love, we are worth our own respect. And it begins with ourselves.
Today I am telling myself that I am an amazing person. For the first time in a long time, I believe it.
It begins now.