So over the past 7.5 months I have been dealing with the identity shift that comes with being a mother.  My identity as a working person bringing in a contribution to the financial assets of my little family of 2 has been breaking down in chunks and it has been kind of a rough go.  I  like to work, I like to earn and to save and to feel like I’m contributing in a tangible way, I like to be busy and see a monthly or bi-weekly result.

It is becoming more and more apparent that either a) my son really is high-needs and high needs babies + working from home = stress or b) I’m just more inadequate than I thought I was at juggling a variety of different tasks including raising an infant (ouch. but maybe that is true. I don’t know why it seems so difficult to me…).

Just yesterday I found out I had forgotten to save a paper upon which I had written some important information and today I forgot to sign in for my 4-hour shift with ETS.  I NEVER forget…ok, maybe once before I did but only by 1/2 an hour.  I get very frustrated with myself when I do this. I think of myself as relatively organized but evidently I am not. I need to be more careful (that noise you hear is Troy nodding emphatically).

So I think I am going to hang on to the proofing but give up the ETS part, at least for now. This has been coming for awhile but I just kept thinking it would get better, that I would get more with it. There are other raters I know about with infants working full-time. Frankly, I feel like a big loser for not being able to do that. But it just stresses me out when I’m working and Miles is bored and fussing and wants me to help him do something about that. Short of plopping him in front of a video (which probably wouldn’t last very long anyway), I can’t see any other way around it.  It’s not fair of me to give only partial attention to both my son and the people who have paid a significant amount of money to take this test, which is very important to them.

So all of this is to say that yet another part of me is going by the wayside for the time being. Hopefully maybe my brain can start working better if I get rid of ‘extraneous’ things like wage-paying jobs *LOL*


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Mom
    May 19, 2008 @ 11:06:08

    I well remember the jolt to my ego when I went from being a full-time employee in a cutting-edge industry with an excellent wage and high-employee appreciation to becoming a full-time mother with no extraneous income and little appreciation. It was hard and it was depressing. BUT I DO NOT REGERT IT FOR ONE MOMENT!

    My first child was NOT a high-needs infant. But even as organized as I am, there was NO WAY I could have worked and cared for you. I just couldn’t have done it. So do not berate yourself for one instant for feeling a need to give up one of your 2 jobs temporarily. I know it seems like the past 7.5 months have been an absolute eternity, and that there is not end in sight, but this, too, shall pass, and you must do what you must do to get through the present with a semblence of sanity. There will be time down the road for work that will provide more money and higher self-esteem than you are getting as a full-time mom. (But there will never be a more imporant “job” than being a mom.) So do what is in the best interest for YOU and YOUR little one, and make no apologies to anyone.

    Thus endeth the sermon.


  2. Lisa
    May 19, 2008 @ 11:19:53

    ahhh–yet another woman hurt by society’s portraying the ‘supermom’ as ‘normal’ and/or ‘expected’. The problem is most definitely ‘a’ and most definitely NOT ‘b’.

    you are doing as much as you can with what you have to offer, and you have your priorities straight. In other words, you are doing AWESOME!

    and, as someone who struggled with brain problems (such as forgetting to make payments or making double payments when I thought I already had, showing up to teach my class an hour late, etc) until diagnosed with a sleep disorder causing lack of REM cycles (now fixed), i would strongly suggest that your brain will work better when you are able to get more sleep, particularly some deep sleep.

    To quote another dear friend (who recently had this quoted back to her by someone else): Remember, you are loved!


  3. The Mom
    May 19, 2008 @ 12:10:49

    Well put, Lisa. I couldn’t agree more!


  4. Lisa
    May 19, 2008 @ 17:30:40

    Thanks ‘The Mom’! I liked your ‘sermon’ too.
    Michele: I stopped back by the blog because I had a related conversation with another mom at work earlier today, and one of the things that occurred to me was that part of the problem is the long-term nature of the ‘result’, and all of the confounding variables that make it difficult to see the impact of your activity on that result, as well as our own inability to really define what a good ‘result’ is (varies greatly depending on your worldview, cultural expectations, societal changes, etc.).

    Boy–am I a researcher or what! In plain English: you don’t get a weekly or biweekly result that you can easily see, and there’s no clear definition of ‘success’ (except for all those inaccurate pictures thrown at women 24/7/52), and even if you have a picture in your head of long-term success (e.g. a happy, well-adjusted, adult Miles successfully parenting non-fussy children of his own), there are so many things other than parenting that influence how we turn out–that you can’t blame or praise the parenting as the causal factor. (slipping back into research-ese….must escape to normal conversation about recess with the six year old and gripes from the spouse about a rainy day meaning no softball game tonight…)


  5. ~m
    May 19, 2008 @ 17:45:34

    Heh. Lisa, your second post made me laugh…PLEASE use grown-up vocabulary so I don’t forget it!!!
    I appreciate so much the way I was mothered and want to be that kind of mother…but it truly is an investment. Of course, as you both say, there is no instant gratification in parenting. One hopes that there will certainly be a pay-off in the end, of course, but as you say, Lisa, that is unknown.
    But, one of the main reasons we decided to become parents was to mature in an area that one cannot mature in without parenting or a similar situation. So, I guess that THAT goal will certainly be attained!! 😀
    I guess right now I am feeling insecure because I CAN’T do what I had anticipated being able to do (continue working, albeit part-time..err, two part-time jobs, I guess), so I feel like I am a weakling parent that I can’t cope with both at once.


  6. nikkip
    May 19, 2008 @ 18:50:41

    this makes me very sad. not the part where you are having to give up on of your jobs, but the part that makes you feel inadequate for not giving more. must i remind you that you’ve taken on an over time position of mothering mr. man. and as competent as you are at everything in your life, no one can ever be prepared for taking on the role of full time parenting. sure, you could go off to work full time, send him to a day care, and fill that business side of you. but you wouldn’t be fulfilled (i’m assuming). you are doing the best job you could possible be doing by taking care of your little guy at home BECAUSE that’s what you feel called to do in your life RIGHT NOW. make sense? i understand your frustration. i understand the loss of brain cells that comes with motherhood. but hang in there, it doesn’t last for long. 🙂


  7. ~m
    May 20, 2008 @ 09:48:18

    Thanks, Nikki! You’re absolutely right. There’s no way that the business side of me (at least the ‘business’ I’m in) would be as fulfilling as taking care of my little Miles. There’s no way I wouldn’t want to be doing what I’m doing but the re-ordering of one’s life is a kind of slow process, at least for me.
    I’m just glad to know that everyone out there understands 🙂


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