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Is being a mom "enough"? - Page 2

post #21 of 90
Thread Starter 
I guess I should mention that childbirth has become a passion of mine as well. I started apprenticing to be a home birth midwife and although I loved it I felt the hours and on-call schedule were just too much with little ones at home. I do doula work now, but in this very mainstream area I will never make enough to support myself as a doula. Same with teaching Bradley, etc...I love it, but it won't pay my bills. I've been toying with the idea of starting a business that expands on the idea of a postpartum doula. I wouldn't only serve new moms, but housebound seniors, busy professionals, etc. I could cook, clean, shop, run errands, organize, or just stop in and take care of their pets. It seems like fun to me, but not exactly the career path I've been so pressured to find. My head is swimming and I guess what I was asking here is why do I have to do more? Why isn't just being a mom enough? I had kind of convinced myself it was, but asking myself the questions you've proposed ("How could I support myself if need be?" and "What will I do when the nest is empty") has definitely made me rethink things. Keep your thoughts coming...it's really helpful
post #22 of 90
Well, you're saying that the oncall hours were too much because of kids right? When the nest is empty that won't be an issue so that's an option for the future!

Can you do a blog? Write articles and submit them to magazines or something? Do SOMETHING with the knowledge you have?
post #23 of 90
Thread Starter 
Blogging does sound fun! I love writing. Off to "google" how to begin a blog
post #24 of 90
I have like 4 blogs, but I always forget to post on them. LOL So, I guess technically I could introduce myself as a "blogger" eh? heh heh heh
post #25 of 90
Being a mom was enough for me when the kids were younger.

It stopped being enough when they were more independent/school aged. Sure I still do all the mom things, but I found a passion external to anything maternal (hey that rhymes ) that really does sustain a different part of my soul.

But that's just me.

Mothering is only one part of you, you just have to decide how bit a part it is. I really echo another poster's comments about having something under your belt in case hubby dies/divorces/need extra family income. Security, kwim? I have a profession that is very well paid that I can jump right back into. Many moms would jump at the opportunity if there was money to do it.

One more thing: your mom might know you - or have a better read of your relationship - than you think. Her wisdom of having BTDT does count for somtrhing...
post #26 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by septmommy View Post
I guess I should mention that childbirth has become a passion of mine as well. I started apprenticing to be a home birth midwife and although I loved it I felt the hours and on-call schedule were just too much with little ones at home. I do doula work now, but in this very mainstream area I will never make enough to support myself as a doula. Same with teaching Bradley, etc...I love it, but it won't pay my bills. I've been toying with the idea of starting a business that expands on the idea of a postpartum doula. I wouldn't only serve new moms, but housebound seniors, busy professionals, etc. I could cook, clean, shop, run errands, organize, or just stop in and take care of their pets. It seems like fun to me, but not exactly the career path I've been so pressured to find. My head is swimming and I guess what I was asking here is why do I have to do more? Why isn't just being a mom enough? I had kind of convinced myself it was, but asking myself the questions you've proposed ("How could I support myself if need be?" and "What will I do when the nest is empty") has definitely made me rethink things. Keep your thoughts coming...it's really helpful
Plenty of people do that exact career path. If you want to go that route at any point, talk to a nanny agency about what you are interested in and then you can either sign up with the agency or hang out a shingle on your own (Craigslist etc.). One woman in my area that does what you're talking about calls herself a "concierge service" but I think it varies by region. In NYC and Los Angeles they are called personal assistants and can make oodles of money.
post #27 of 90
What matters is if it's enough for you. If you're happy, then no, I wouldn't say that you have to do anything else right now. Not to mention that you are taking care of six children.
post #28 of 90
It is totally enough. But then how will you make it last "forever"? 'cause they will grow up & move out & then you may very well find it's not enough. It's not a bad thing to prepare for that eventuality.
post #29 of 90
100 percent YES, it is enough. It is definately enough to want to stay home with your children, and to love being a mother. Trust me, I don't WANT to go back to work. For three years I've been at home with my child *a little more than that actually, since I had to go on maternity leave early and just didn't go back* and I wouldn't have it ANY other way.
post #30 of 90
I feel a lot like you do -- but, like you, we also have some financial "patchiness" to deal with. I am very thankful that about six months back, I got the opportunity to begin a work-at-home position giving business/conversational English lessons over the phone to people in Western and Eastern Europe and Asia.

I get to set my own availabilities and work this job around the needs of my family. I also get to have daily conversations with other adults, and in various parts of the world -- something I hadn't realized how much I'd been missing.

I was somewhat older before I married and started my family, so I already had my bachelor's degree which is a requirement for this job. My bachelor's degree is in Social Work, not English or teaching, but the job just basically requires a university degree and some corporate experience; most of my work experience was in childcare centers and that worked as they were corporations, and of course there is a customer-service aspect to early childhood education, since the parents are paying customers.

If I were you, I wouldn't jump into anything, but I'd start looking into ways to enable yourself to provide for your family if need be -- ways that would enable you to have maximum time at home with your kids as this is very important to you.

A little planning and preparation now might make the difference between being able to ease your way into paid work that's family-friendly and possibly work-from-home, and having to jump and take the first thing that's offered.

Actually, I feel quite confident that if you calmly start putting your feelers out, the right opportunities will emerge. This was what I started doing several months back -- not panicking, not jumping into anything, but just talking to other moms and learning how others are coping in this economic crisis.
post #31 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by septmommy View Post
I guess I should mention that childbirth has become a passion of mine as well. I started apprenticing to be a home birth midwife and although I loved it I felt the hours and on-call schedule were just too much with little ones at home. I do doula work now, but in this very mainstream area I will never make enough to support myself as a doula. Same with teaching Bradley, etc...I love it, but it won't pay my bills. I've been toying with the idea of starting a business that expands on the idea of a postpartum doula. I wouldn't only serve new moms, but housebound seniors, busy professionals, etc. I could cook, clean, shop, run errands, organize, or just stop in and take care of their pets. It seems like fun to me, but not exactly the career path I've been so pressured to find.
PM'ing you. My friend has started a not-for profit doing many of the things that you described. It has been very successful and well-received in our community.

And -- a book that you could read to help you sort things through is:
"Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want"
http://www.amazon.com/Wishcraft-How-...2949196&sr=8-3

The title is kind of "blah" but the book is really great. The author also wrote:
"I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It"

I've read both, and "Wishcraft" is much better. My advice is to keep the journal with your notes that she recommends. The exercises are thought provoking and enlightening.
post #32 of 90
Since you express uncertainty about your marriage, I would go back to school however much you need in order to be employable/ self sufficient if you divorced. That way, if you do stay, you at least know you are not staying because you are financially trapped. I guess it all depends on how stable/ not stable your marriage is.

But as far as your basic question, YES being a mom is enough. God bless us "just moms!!!!"
post #33 of 90
septmommy, dont let your likes hinder you. look around and see what opportunities open up to you. try everything.

as you go thru life you will discover your likes and dislikes change.

for instance when my dd was young she was my life. EVERYTHING revolved around her. that would have been a bad time to think about what next. i was sooo child focused i couldnt think of anything. all my likes and dislikes were focused around children. i took ECE classes, daycare training, etc. those ECE classes definitely helped me with parenting for sure.

but now she is flying the coop little by little. she is in the 'bitter sweet' life zone. she wants me AND wants to hang out with her friends without me. so she is caught in a quandry.

you have started your journey. the biggest lesson i have learnt is that sometimes i have to do something to realise how much i hate it.

there is no reason why you cant have 'multitude' 'jobs/careers'. today one of my friends not only teaches but he happened to fall upon making chocolate by accident and is now a professional chocolateur making gourmet chocolate with ancient recipes and ancient maya designs.

so look around you. within the time constraints see what you can do now. dont let any opportunity pass you buy, least of all if you like it or not. go in with a curiousity. i have discovered many things about myself. what i thought was fascinating was boring and vice versa.

and here's the thing. the more involved you get into something - even volunteering - you meet people, make connections and soon a whole other set of opportunities open up for you.

look around you. i am a 100% sure there is something you can do NOW. there is an opportunity - even volunteering - staring at you right in the face. or a jewelry making class or something.

you start at one place and you will discover you land some place quite different.

i am sooo excited for you. this is going to be so much fun.

but dont sit around for opportunity to come knock on ur door. just grab what is out there easily available now.
post #34 of 90
I say take a year without enrolling in anything and see where it leads you. You have time.
post #35 of 90
Thread Starter 
meemee what a beautiful post. Thank you.
post #36 of 90
I think that being a mom as your primary identity and passion should not be something that you pursue for the rest of your life--otherwise you run the risk of turning in to a MIL from hades and perhaps becoming way too dependent on your adult children to make you happy.

But this is not the rest of your life, it's now. If it works for everyone now, then why not simply enjoy the now?

Honestly though, I suspect that perhaps you DO have a bit of fear in focusing on you or something other than your kids, if it's true that your relationship isn't what it could be now and because you mention that "is it fear". I know I was scared as hell to look at myself, and intense parenthood made it easy-peasy for me to not sit with myself. I'm far more comfortable running around being busy than I am trying new things out--for me. I really think that most moms go through a stage (or three or four) of that, it's pretty natural.

Last year, with all my kids in school all day for the first time, I pushed myself into taking a class that I'd wanted to take since I was a kid but never had time too--pottery (how stereotypical is that?). I love it, and took 3 more classes after that and will be taking my 4th - 8th this year. For once in my parenting life I did something FOR ME that had *nothing* to do with family. To be honest, I think "going back to school" is for the family, not you, if it's in the context of "so I can support myself". I hated it when people asked me if I was going to go back to school, yuck. But believe it or not, I am actually considering one day pursuing a fine arts degree--I never thought of myself as an artist, and I don't really need the degree, but I might as well get something for taking all the classes I want to take. Not that a fine arts degree--I am in no way interested at all in teaching--would allow me to support myself anyway. Anyway, I felt guilty for the first two classes, I mean really how dare I saddle my DH with our children and neglect them all for 3 hours every week so I could play with dirt? But it started to feel wonderful.

It's nice to have a hobby that is mine, that feeds my senses, where I can play with things that I can't have around the kids (like cool chemicals and FIRE!), and to be in a situation where I can be justme, and not my relationship stamped on my forehead. Nobody cares whose mom I am when I'm bent over the wheel or plunging a ceramic pot that's 1800 degrees into combustible materials to make it beautiful--I just get to be the hand shaping the clay and part of a team safely making art.

Didn't realize how important that was to me until I actually did it. Just this little bit is enough though...for now.
post #37 of 90
Is it "enough" well for me, right now, it is. In fact it is about to be all I can handle (I will have 3 under 3 this winter), however, long term, I do feel that it would be more emotionally healthy to have other passions in life. I do have a degree that I could use to support my family if I had to, but it isn't a passion either, so it doesn't fulfill that part of me. I have some passions that I really can't indulge right now (time/energy wise) but I know that this is just a season of my life, and that there will be time for other projects as my children grow and my time is more my own.

I think it's great for life to revolve around your children when they are little, but I've known a few moms (including my MIL) who never find something else for their lives to revolve around as their kids get older - and it always turns out emotionally unhealthy. My MIL is totally toxic for a variety of reasons, but I think the core of that is a very human need to be useful. But she never found something to do and love as her children grew, so she mostly drives her adult children (24 and 29 years old) batty. She would be a much healthier person if she took up soccer or painting or blogging or WHATEVER she could feel passionate about and contribute to the world around her in some way.
post #38 of 90
This thread is sad to me. If the moms from MDC think that mothers need to find fulfillment outside the home because mothering is not enough than where are we satisfied mothers and homemakers to find support?

Yes, being a mother is enough!

In the future, you may change your mind and that is the time to look for something else. In the meantime enjoy motherhood and be there for your kids who still need a mother even though they are at school for a few hours everyday.

I am reading Radical Homemakers right now. It's going very slowly since everything in the book is so profoundly reaffirming of my feelings of self worth and importance as a mother and homemaker. I suggest you check it out for a different perspective on what you do and just how valuable it is.
post #39 of 90
I think at least some of us would have responded differently if the OP had said her marriage and finances were stable.
post #40 of 90
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the book suggestion AbbieB. I had heard of it once before and was intrigued, but I never got around to purchasing it. I will definitely check it out.


Perhaps my question was too personal. I was asking for advice for my life, but I think my basic question concerns most women trying to figure out the right choices for themselves as women and for their families. My own situation and rocky relationship do add another dimension to the question. In general, though, does our society support women who feel fulfilled by making parenting their main role? I often feel very belittled for feeling it is enough. It's as if I have a more limited view of the world and less to contribute to conversation. I often suspect people feel I am unmotivated or just a throwback to the fifties. I am certainly not one dimensional. There are many things I am interested in and I love to constantly learn new things. But I have zero interest in gaining a formal education or making those things a career path right now. I am enjoying being primarily focused on my kids. It feels like a calling, like what I was meant to do. Gaining "surprise" custody of DF's four girls has reaffirmed that calling for me. Maybe one day it will change, but for now I'm feeling very right about it. This thread has made me think more about how I can support myself if need be and I'm thinking a home business makes the most sense for me. This way I can be with my kids no matter what and still feel self sufficient. Now if I could just miraculously whip up a successful at home business
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