Monday, February 2, 2009

Jen's Brutal Honesty

I was "tagged" in Facebook to write those "25 Random Things" about myself that everyone else has written so well. I finally got around to it yesterday. I couldn't think of truly random things, so being the way I am, I opted for being completely honest about different stages of my life. I think number 25 has thrown some people for a loop, and I wanted to take the time here to clarify. Note- For all new moms out there, I think you'll be able to relate... at least a little.

I mentioned in number 25 that even though I had everything I thought I wanted from life, I'm not truly happy. But I don't think I'm alone in this. I remember thinking years ago that if I just went back to Japan, I would be happy. Then I thought maybe if I MOVED to Japan, I'd be happy. But that didn't work either, so then I started dating my amazing husband and thought surely that would make me happy. Nope. Then I thought it was time to start having kids, so THAT will definitely make me happy. HA! (All moms are at least having a chuckle over that one...).

A friend once described me as having the subtlety of a nuclear warhead. I hate phoniness and don't believe in faking how I feel. There are times when I have said that I hate my life. Those times are usually when I am utterly exhausted, Eric hasn't napped all day, and John has been watching t.v. or been on his computer for three hours straight, making me feel alone as a parent. I don't really mean that I hate my life during times like that. What I mean is: I want to give Eric about a fifth of whiskey so he'll sleep non-stop for 14 hours, scalp my husband, and take a vacation for at least 2 weeks.

I remember looking at women like me when I was single- women who had the financial capacity to stay home with their kids, who were in good marriages, had beautiful homes, beautiful kids. I thought to myself 'They have it all. They must be so happy.' As if their life was a bloody commercial for a week at the Magic F%$@ing Kingdom.

Having kids is the hardest thing I've ever done. I actually thought it would be easier than teaching. That thought literally makes me laugh out loud now. But I know I'm not alone. Every new mom I know is going through this. Maybe everyone goes through it, or maybe it's just those of us who stay at home with our kids and feel our youth and sanity draining from us.

I send out a plea to every mom out there- STOP trying to paint a picture of perfection to everyone. Be real about the ins and outs of your life, the good and the bad. Be real about the stress on your mind, body, your marriage. This is why I blog (cheap therapy) and read other blogs from moms like me. We need to know we're normal, that we're not bad mothers, and that we're not alone.

I have several friends right now who are either pregnant or will be getting pregnant sometime in the near future. I have been as real about the reality of motherhood as I can be. But I know nothing will prepare them. No book you read prepares you for the unique experience of navigating your relationships or marriage, right?

Of course, did I listen to the moms who tried to tell me how hard it was? Maybe it's something we all have to find out for ourselves. Experience is a hard teacher, but a fair one. I know I'm starting to ramble, so I'd better end this. I wish I had a concise, eloquent ending. :-)


Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say except Amen and this post is SO you. Reading it makes me miss you. :( I actually did read a book that prepared me for what this is like and I keep having moments where I think "oh, this is what "Mother Shock" meant when it said...blah blah..." so maybe it's something we should both start buying for PG friends. I think I told you about it months ago but since you were preggo at the time I'm not surprised if you've forgotten :) Love you!

Silver84 said...

I found this blog when I googled 'a day in the life of a new mother'. i'm actually not a mom, and i'm still a newlywed. but i'm thinking about having children sometime within the next couple years. i had a very hard time adjusting to married life, and post-college life, and wanted to get an idea of 'motherhood'. i appreciate the brutal honesty. some things you can't adjust to or understand until you experience them. it's good to hear 'a day in the life' stories though. It's good to hear that it is tough and stressful sometimes, but there's no way around that.

I totally get the 'happiness' thing. I'm the opposite though- I avoid doing things because I know they won't 'make me happy'. I was always anti-marriage/family... because I knew it wouldn't fulfill me. I don't want to 'have it all' because it won't make me happy. That's a sad way to live though, and I'd rather have a stressful and rewarding life than an empty one. But I'm so glad I'm married, and it a lot of ways it is so fulfilling, but I'm still not truly happy. It's the same thing with children now. In some ways I never want to be a mom because I know it won't make me happy... but I can't imagine growing old and never having kids.

My name is Rachel btw, great choice for a girl's name. My middle name is Megan if you're still trying to find one. I'm an 80's baby though.. I don't think Megan is used much anymore.