Monday, November 16, 2009

What Next?????

Okay, so its now 3:31 am, approximately one hour and 10 minutes since I've put my 8 month old down for the second time and I can't believe that I am still up. No one told me that being a stay at home mom or mother included being a complete insomniac!

Anyway, its been about, 485 days since I heard the words: "Due to a company reorganization, your position is being eliminated as of today. You can pack your things and go home." At the time, I was a few weeks pregnant with my 8 month old, so those words met a variety of thoughts and emotions. At first, I was really relieved because I had so much stuff on my to-do list (that I really didn't feel like doing), not to mention the annoying sensation of morning sickness and shear exhaustion from the first trimester,but I was also a bit excited. My cube mate and I had talked in great detail about what each of us wanted the next time around when we had children. She wanted to stay home with the kids, while I said that I wanted to work but also secretly desired to stay at home as well. During my chaotic upbringing, I was programmed that a woman should work outside of the home while also juggling kids and the household and anything less was considered failure. Anyway, so when I heard those words + severance package, I mentally kicked my heels up and rode out into the sunset of being a stay-at-home mom (hereafter known as a SAHM).

But now, here I sit wondering what the hell is next for me? Now, don't get me wrong being at home has been great! I've had the opportunity to spend time and reconnect with my husband and kids, relax during my pregnancy, make new friends start my own event decorating biz but I am still hungry for more...I just can't figure out what more is! Part of my insomnia comes from the swirling questions about what's next for me and my family. Do I continue to stay at home and manage the household with the potential sacrifice of reduced shopping, less eating out, shorter family vacations, no more special wax treatments at J-sisters or massages at Oasis, Old Navy instead of J-Crew, JC Penny's instead of Bloomingdale's or Saks, doing my own manicure or going to Pinky's???? I know, it sounds a bit superficial but I'm only a mom, not DEAD! Those are the small luxuries that I've worked for and must admit that I enjoy!

I love being at home with the kids. I realized there was so much I missed out on while working a full time job, going to school, managing doctor's appointments, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, etc. Now that I am home, I can spend quality time with the kids (whatever that is) but I find it harder and harder to manage a schedule and appointments than ever before. The lack of a full schedule and other's demands has made it hard to decide what to do with the next minute, hour, day, month...

Along my 485 day journey, I have met some amazing people in small coffee shops, supermarkets, bookstores and cafes who have imparted special knowledge (some of which I'll share in later entries). But the people and knowledge that I find most fascinating are the SAHMs who've stayed home over the years and learned to cope with all of the sacrifices that I mentioned earlier. But no matter how long they talk and are excited about "living without all those things" as they aptly labeled them, I just can't get comfortable. Am I being a brat? Am I superficial? Is this the life for me are all questions that I've entertained recently.

How have you managed to cope?


  1. Hi Latwan, LOVE your blog. I can relate 100% to your ambivalent feelings. Being a SAHM is so rewarding and yet I too feel like something has been missing. And it's so humbling to be a SAHM after having a great career. Instead of getting positive recognition, you have to get used to other people judging you as somehow less than when really the job is definitely harder and extremely important.
    It's a funny coincidence but I have also started to write I guess as my way to cope. I think it really helps to connect to my authentic self. Being a mom it's easy to forget yourself when you are constantly making sure everyone else has been taken care of, kids, dogs, husbands, friends etc. I don't think you're being a brat at all. I think what you were really missing was a little piece of something just for you.

  2. Read babywise. Having Grant on a schedule is so important. Look on my blog for more info on the book. Milana sleeps through the night (11 to 12 hours) and takes 2 day naps from 1.5 to 2 hours per nap. She also takes an early evening nap for an hour. Babywise is an amazing book!

  3. Thanks Teresa. I will check it out. Grant takes 15-20 minute cat naps during the day but usually sleeps well during the night. If I could get him down a little longer during the day, I could get more done around the house. I typically stay up 2-3 hours after the kids are sleeping to catch up on housework. It would be nice to get into bed before 12/1 am.

  4. Wow Jen - that's exactly it " a little something for me!"

  5. Hi Jen,

    Coming over from our BlogHer group at MBC.

    I love your post. It is so true that with each hardship comes a bit of adversity!

    It has been a struggle for me to give up my film production job and be a STAHM but the rewards are mesmerizing.

    It is such a luxury to make raising your children your full time job, it truly sucks that we don't get compensated for it...AT ALL... I mean, what could be more important?