I love to stay at home with my kids. No really. I’ve never really enjoyed going off to work or school much. I’d rather stay at home all day (more or less) even before I had kids.
But after we got married, there was a summer that I didn’t work much and I stayed home all the time because we didn’t have very much money. I just about went out of my mind with boredom. I tried to volunteer at the library or crafty handy work, but really we didn’t have the money for gas or the money for crafty hand work supplies. I ended up staying at home a lot watching Netflix on a really bad internet connection, with very little contact with the outside world.
It was the first time in my life that I didn’t have any kind of outside work, school or family to keep me busy. My husband was out of town a bunch that summer so I was left to my own devices.
Finally I had the time and no excuses to write. Something I had wanted to do since I was a kid. And I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t write. Actually looking back I might have been depressed. It was the first summer after we had gotten married and I had been so focused on getting married for such a long time that when I finally did achieve that goal, I wasn’t sure what to do next.
I lost myself. (But my sweet hubby put up with me anyway)
That was only for a couple of months, then we were back to school so Hubby could finish his last year. I did much better back at my job and even working full time.
Then I had our first child. Then followed 18 months of post-baby depression. I had anxiety over everything. My weight (I think I might have been border line anorexic, but I could be off my rocker), my baby, my job, my marriage everything was sucked into the depression and anxiety. I remember having panic attacks at the thought of taking the garbage out. I was angry all the time and when I wasn’t angry I was stressed out.
We finally discovered that it had to do with a birth control I started taking after I had Baby #1. I still remember the day that I stopped taking that medication and I laughed at something my hubby said. Just chilling and joking around with him. For the first time IN ALMOST TWO YEARS. And we had only been married for three. It still makes me cry a little to think about it.
That was under control, and we also discovered that I have anxiety problems when I am pregnant. (Really, karma?)
Finally, FINALLY my baby #2 is big enough that I don’t have to jump up and get him for every snort and whistle.
And I am right back where I was the summer after we got married (minus the depression).
What do I do NOW?
I love my kids, but I am not a naturally nurturing parent. I do my best to teach them and help them grow and become responsible little kids, but it doesn’t really interest me. I know some mothers who LOVE working with kids, especially their own, but I don’t. The 4 year old STILL won’t poop in the toilet. And I’m still worried about #2’s lack of words….
Does that make me a bad mom? I don’t really think so. It just isn’t my THING.
(Don’t worry, I don’t neglect my children, they are happy, healthy and we play together all the time)
I’ve talked about this before, but I’ve tried lots of different things. I do like geneology, sewing, crafty stuff, cooking (really like food), but I’ve never had THING that I do.
Like I have friends that are writers (actually most of my friends are writers) friends who are crafters, friends who are sewers, friends who are cooks, friends who are bloggers etc.
Now maybe you don’t HAVE to have a THING. But if I don’t have something I am passionate about, I feel, well, lost. Lacking purpose, maybe? Does anyone else feel that way?
A friend of mine recently mentioned that she has been writing a novel. We are both interested in the same kinds of fiction (YA Fantasy/SciFi) and have been swapping books back and forth for a while. She asked me what I’ve been writing lately, and I found myself making excuses. Lots of excuses. I said I wasn’t a very good writer, and that I haven’t been able to finish any novels, ever.
It made me think. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Always. Ever since I read Beauty by Robin McKinley. And Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. And Harry Potter, oh definatley Harry Potter.
I have always made up stories in my head, the only time I haven’t is when I was the most depressed.
Fear. That summer that I had nothing to do, I couldn’t write. I was afraid that I would fail. I couldn’t fail. I couldn’t.
Now, after going through having two kids and 5 1/2 years of marriage, I have learned that you don’t always getting things done the right way the first time. You have to try and try again. Sometimes you are going to mess up. Hugely, dramatically, and you have to hand out apologies to everyone you’ve ever met.
So I bought a keyboard for my tablet and started writing again. Just for an hour or so every morning. We’ll see. Maybe this is my THING. I’m determined to at least FINISH my novel, even if I never get much further than that. I’m not really looking for a revenue source, just an outlet for my creativity. For now.
It was easier than I remember. That was the funny part. I remember being so frustrated that it wasn’t perfect the first time I wrote it, but now it just seems to be rough, but I know I can go back and edit. I’m surprised how much easier it is to consider what my characters would say and questions they would ask. It will be interesting.
Do you have a THING? Do you think you need a THING, or is your job/kids/family fulfilling enough? I’m interested!
Light up shoes. He was THRILLED. In my defense, they were only 10 bucks at Shopko, or I never would have bought them.