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Embracing Reality of Life and Motherhood

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

thanks just wanted to process thoughts. deleting for privacy,

Edited by whoami - 8/5/13 at 12:36pm
post #2 of 13
I know this doesn't get to the core of your feelings and struggle, but have you used the term "partner" in place of husband? I had similar experiences during my first pregnancy, feeling like there's some switch in judgement from others by referring to my "husband" to whom I was not yet married. It does feel dishonest, but it feels so weird saying boyfriend or father of my children. I think I felt people would automatically peg me as an irresponsible or uncommitted mother. It's like it disconnects and lowers the quality of the relationship or something. We ended up marrying legally (in court) after our son was born. But prior to that, I did feel some internalized societal judgement for being an unwed mother. A friend of mine has been with her son's father for seven years and refers to him as her partner. I think it does a better job of conveying the commitment attached to the relationship without using a technically untrue word. Could this be helpful to you? I know some places are still far less progressive, and judgmental people are everywhere anyway. But maybe the word partner would help bridge that gap?

I'm sorry you're feeling the things that you are feeling. It can be such a hard adjustment, experiencing some of the isolation and also sort of forced relationships with other mothers just because you both have your kids in the same place at the same time. It's a strange new world that I am still coming to terms with myself in some ways. But I try to make time to spend with just myself to help me stay in touch with who I am without the clouding of conforming to society and all the little judgements we encounter all the time. It's hard to stay in touch with yourself when constantly surrounded by other parents and little young people.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

thanks again

Edited by whoami - 8/5/13 at 12:37pm
post #4 of 13
Oh, yeah... That makes sense. It also sucks. Would you guys be opposed to legally marrying in court? You can always be more festively ceremonious at a more convenient time by renewing vows. Or are you both more comfortable being unmarried? I realize there could be some tension or uncertainty between you two on this issue. Are you holding out for ( or wishing you'd had) a wedding ceremony, or just not really even thinking that way? Is it an issue for you and your fiancé in that you have different levels of priority for getting married?
post #5 of 13
My dh and I had lived together long before we were married. We were very much surprised at how folks treated us once we did legally tie the knot. I can't explain it properly but we did feel much more support and relief from our community at large that we had finally joined the ranks of "marrieds". So yeah, I get the whole argument that " a piece of paper doesn't make you married or feel married" but in our case the changes in our lives became palpable once we returned from the honeymoon. Weird, huh?

But, we did marry pre-kid. And, I have been lucky enough that he has never worked long hours. He has always, always been home by 6, eating dinner with the kids and me and then pitching in with dishes, bath time and stories for the kid's bedtime routine. So I guess I really do have a partner. It helps a lot in not feeling so alone while raising the kids. Because he's in this with me.

What would help you most? Can you talk this over with him?
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

you all gave great advice and insight.

Edited by whoami - 8/5/13 at 12:37pm
post #7 of 13
Are you in a common law state? If so, that would probably define what happens in case of death or other dire situation. If not, you should probably make arrangements for such things just in case. It's never a bad idea to draw your will and end of life requests to have it done. They can be amended as needed.
post #8 of 13
Does your husband call you his wife when referring to you?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Mama Amie View Post

Does your husband call you his wife when referring to you?


yes he does and family refers to me as his wife, daughter in law. I think were in a common law state. Been living together together for over 8 years now. 

post #10 of 13
Aw, heck. You're married. smile.gif. Hope you feel better soon. I know it gets rough sometimes. We're here to listen. Hugs.
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by whoami View Post
How do you embrace motherhood and all the sacrifices it demands, while still trying to figure out who you are at the core?

For me (and check out my UN!), the journey has been about being pretty authentic with myself. I have no interest in being a sacrificing mother. Yes, I do sacrifice sometimes because that's life and reality but I am careful to always keep some space for myself as an individual.


I'm not sure about the whole marriage thing. I'm married. Meh - to me it's not really a big deal one way or another though I'm sure some of the legal stuff is made easier by marriage. 


I doubt it would make you feel more married by having the piece of paper though. I think that may be a personality thing. 


Good luck on your journey! 

post #12 of 13

I never thought that being engaged or married would make me happier in my relationship, but it did.  I can't explain why, either.  I think your post was eloquent, thoughtful, and thought provoking.  It sounds to me like you want to be married and you want some sort of traditional something in your life.  That's OK- you don't have to become traditional in all ways by incorporating some tradition in your life, if that's a worry for you. 


I don't usually go on the Spirituality forum but I could see why the feelings surrounding the process of engagement and marriage fall under that category.  To me it felt special and opened up a whole new dimension of relationship. It seems to me that you are experiencing a disconnect between the reality that you are a family and the reality that you are not married.  If you want to be married to each other, I encourage you to do that. Not because I think that married relationships are more real or valuable.  But because it seems to be what will make you happy.


Your last paragraph about family life seems separate from that issue.  I can't think of any answers or advice but I think it is a fundamental human struggle. Maybe you are having these feelings because you sense that something needs to change.  That could be marriage, location, employment, education, hobbies.  Maybe you could just start with one thing to shake things up and change a bit.  Like put some new dishtowels in your kitchen.  Sometimes just moving in a new direction a tiny bit can help you see a new path.



(As far as practical aspects of a wedding, family dynamics are difficult.  I did lots of thinking and planning regarding that. If you want to explore those thoughts here I bet you'll get lots of different views on weddings, what they're about, who they're for, etc.  I went with what I thought was simple, fair, and the closest I could get to my vision of the perfect wedding. I weighted things towards my own happiness and I don't regret it. All family that usually shows respect for my own decisions as an adult also respected my decisions with regard to my wedding. I am sad for a small bit of drama it caused but I believed, for me, that the wedding was a private intimate event.  When I look back on that day I think it turned out to be the perfect wedding. Do you have a vision of the perfect wedding?)


Also, if you want to consider yourselves married and keep using the words husband/wife I think that's a fine option.  It just seemed like a simple, small wedding might be something that would appeal to you.  In any case, being a family/partner/mom can be hard.  Hang in there. I'll be watching to see if anyone has any good advice on that!

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 


Edited by whoami - 8/5/13 at 12:38pm
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