I'm not sure this is the right place for this, since I'm urban rather than rural, but I'll give it a shot and if anyone has a suggestion as far as a better place to post, please let me know. I also thought about posting it in the SAHM forum, but I'm totally not SAHM... just cut back hours to what most people would still consider full time.
My husband and I were both high powered career people -- MD and Ph.D. working 80-100 hours per week. After we had our baby, we realized that this wasn't a good thing, and both of us have cut back pretty significantly on our professional commitments (DH's grant funding ran out, so he's home and not looking for work, and I restructured my job to work only 50 hours per week with no call). At the same time, we're striving for more home-based living -- lots of cooking, brewing, coffee roasting, etc over the last several months. A lot of that we found time to do prior to cutting back, but now we have a lot more time to do things like this.
Overall, we're really happy, but some days I wake up and go "OMG, what am I supposed to do today?" I just feel like I should be doing a bunch of stuff. I'm also afraid (and I know it's irrational) that because we don't have "enough" to do, we're in danger of becoming depressed and lazy. I find it hard to put the brakes on, realize that there's nothing else pressing, and just enjoy being home with the baby. At the same time, I feel like this is probably healthy. It's the first time in a decade I've stopped and looked out side and said to myself "wow, it's beautiful how the sun glints off the tree outside the window."
Has anyone else experienced this? Is it normal? I've heard people talk about deschooling on the homeschooling forums, is this kinda like that?
wife to DH, new mom to 7/4/2011. .
"I remember my mother's prayers and they have followed me. They have clung to me all my life." -- Abraham Lincoln.
Priorities and interests will change. I am a different person than I was 12 years ago before dd was born.
No longer interested in city living and getting *stuff*.....not that it isn't a great option for some. Shoot,my mom offered her 200k house for us,but I had to decline,because living there would mean giving up a somewhat country lifestyle.We are looking for more land,and while her home is great living in a neighborhood is not for us.
Even when the kids are old enough that I could return to full time work I don't think I will. I would rather work from home and/or make due with less. I have not had a use for my college degree in years and that is ok. Do what makes you guys happy.
Thanks for writing. I know A LOT about what you're talking about.
A little background first: I am a high-powered super type-A personality who has been super ambitious. While earning my Ph.D. in less than four years I also got three academic articles published, finished my dissertation ahead of time, earned a teaching award, picked up four extra teaching courses in addition to my teaching scholarship, started my own personal training business, got into fitness competition, and also spend a large amount of time being a good wife to my husband.
Long story short, I ended up needing to seek help so that I could back off. My body started to shut down after about 10 straight years in the "fast lane." I just simply couldn't learn how to shut myself off once I reached all my personal goals. It scared me a lot, and it scared my husband. In fact, I became very sick.
I am not an urban person. In fact, the city was making me worse because what I needed was calming influence. Around lots of energy, I was just floating through time and space. I couldn't anchor. I've always been a country person and as soon as I got my degree, we moved to Vermont. My life changed so much. We decided to start a family. I am healthy, living off the land.
Your question seems to be a call for options: you want to know -- when I turn everything off, how can I still be productive?
In my experience, "turning everything off" to be a "mother" is not the perfect fit for everyone. I am a firm believer that a happy mother makes a happy child. And I also believe that when I child sees a mother full of passion and dedication to the MANY things that she loves, that this will nourish her child.
For me, it's about shutting out the things that don't matter in my life. I am a busy woman. And I need to prioritize. I focus on being a wife and mother, and an academic. I love all of these things. And I can have it all -- everything that I want -- if I am smart and effective at my approach.
I continue to work on my book project, teach at university, and also learn gardening. I have plans to breast feed until at least 2 years old, I am dedicated to natural and organic living up in the mountains, with no technology (television). I have finally found an outlet for all my energy. FEED your passion. But direct it wisely, and let yourself keep the fires of your heart alive -- because what more can we teach our children but to be hungry for all of the supreme joys of life?
I want my child -- when s/he is born -- to participate with me in my many, many projects and avenues of exploration. We're up here in the middle of nowhere and I am out mushroom foraging, hunting, and teaching my child, while I teach myself, about what matters most to our family in this life. Why cap yourself off? Mothering is not always about moderation. Sometimes it's about the explosions of stopless energy and passion. Spreading it. Breathing it. Joining the particles of your life together.
Professor mama dedicated to natural birth, breastfeeding, growing our food, cloth diapering, hunting, foraging, a Nourishing Traditions lifestyle, no television, no vaccinations, no circumcision.
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