Saturday, April 9, 2011


I've hit the wall. (and Christ, it is brickish).  To flagrantly steal from Wally Lamb, she's come undone.  And now she's admitting it.

I feel as though someone is holding a pillow over my face and smothering me with it.  It hasactually come to that.  I can barely say the words, write the words, without choking on them, without tears.  It feels so traitorous, and so diametrically opposed to my blogs' opening mama-festo.   But there it is.   I cannot be a full-time stay-at-home mama anymore.   I need something else.  For me.  Outside the walls of my home.  And I need it pretty soon. 

I face this upcoming process of change with the terror of a someone who has spent the past four years employing no other skill than her ability to love.   And I'm not dissing myself here - you should be so lucky to be loved by me.   But in this process - I have forgotten what I love about myself.  I have forgotten why it is that L. must love me.   Those things that might  make me smart, sexy, funny.   I have forgotten the bits that make me separate from those little miraculous beings whom I love more fiercly than anything, who both make me and unmake me.

I am all kinds of afraid.

Afraid that I have no marketable skills.
Afraid of not being good enough.
Afraid that this is horribly selfish.
Afraid that I will fail those exquisite babies of mine.
Afraid that I will fail myself.
Afraid that these feelings mean I don't love my kids enough.
Afraid that they aren't ready for these changes, whatever they will be.
 But more than that, much much more than all of that, afraid that we will discover in this process that I was not what was best for them.

I don't know what happens next.  But I am putting this in writing because something needs to happen.   And if I tell all of you, maybe I won't let the fear overrule the action. 

A kind of promise from me - to me.


  1. I'm not going to help you rationalize here. (well millions of kids are in day care, they do fine, I will be picky about who I leave the kids with... blah blah blah..)

    You know all that. And being able to think clearly about their needs is what makes you a good mom in the first place.

    Your kids will do just fine. It won't be easy. You'll have a lot of internal and external conflict.

    But I truly believe that a mother doing what's best for her emotional and mental state is also best for her children and her spouse and HER.

  2. I am drawn to your blog because I was also a sahm for 4.5 years. I completely relate to your struggle. I could have written it myself, although not nearly as well! I truly lost my reference point between my self and the world. I felt lonely and insecure. I was unsure how I would ever reintegrate into the working world and unsure how to juggle daycare and 2 working Parents. Well I did it. Sometimes it's hard. Kids are tired but still thriving with amazing care givers. I am also tired and somewhat overwhelmed at times but I remember who I used to be again--almost like I am getting a second chance at life--my life. The hardest part was the tranition. Finding the job ( after rejection ) and lining it up with daycare. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  3. I know you can straddle the worlds of home and work... I think you should start the PhD program post-haste... you will be successful, and your family will thrive with your enthusiasm and commitment...

  4. Mama T,

    My first lesson in therapy was, put on your oxygen mask first. Trite but true. (Which some of us, er, learned the hard way.) There is a balance to be had and I have no doubt you will easily find it and maintain it, in a way that all of you grow and prosper. Trust yourself. Cheering you on!