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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just needing to vent here, and perhaps hear other people's perspectives/stories.

I worked very, very hard to get into grad school. Was a star student, got scholarships to every University I applied to. Went to Harvard, fully funded.

Met my husband right after arriving in Cambridge. Less than a year later...oops, pregnant.

I proudly kept going to school with my baby in a sling. She went everywhere I went until she was 14 months. I then took a leave of absence, because I could not successfully divide my time between school and my daughter. During that next year, I became pregnant with my second child. I then officially decided what I had already decided within my heart -- I would stay home with my kids. And we also plan on homsechooling, now that I've looked into that.

My problem -- lately I really miss the old me. The single, carefree me who worked her buns off to get into grad school, and who had plans and hopes of her own. Marriage and children were not in my plans AT ALL when I arrived in Cambridge. Everything was an accident. A happy accident, but an accident.

Now that I have kids, I feel what is best for our family is that I stay here with them (SAHM) and take care of them. But I also find myself in mourning for the person I was planning to become, since I have sacrificed that potential in order to be a SAHM.

I love my family, and am very happy most of the time. But sometimes I get pangs. I dont know -- perhaps I just need more time to myself? It's been 2 1/2 straight years of give-give-give. Maybe I'm just longing for the days when I could do what I want, when I want..?


Anyone else sometimes wish they could live two lives simultaneously (having a career with no family ties, while also being a SAHM)?

Hope this all makes sense. I just ran across my old webpage and am experiencing a bit of longing for the old days.
 

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OF COURSE!!!! I will be holding my son, and simultaneously be dreaming of joining the Peace Corps or doing sustaiable development work ovrseas! :LOL I miss the old me that would hop in the car with my kayak on the roof and drive to wherever the whitewater was good at that moment, even if that meant going to Idaho. I think it is healthy and totally normal to miss the "old" you and to even wonder what you have done! I have found ways to blend my 2 selves, well actually I have a lot of selves. We travel with our son, and we will move overseas with our children at some point.

What you are feeling is totally normal!

Cheers!
 

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I think it is "normal" to miss those old days a bit. Our lives do change when we have little ones and that's okay too.

Is there someway you can have a little of it all? I've found that even taking a course here & there has really helped me feel like I'm working hard for something just for me. I can still be a mom & be with the kids but I also have a little project on the side that's just for me.
 

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Great post! I was just having the same conversation with my friend last night. What I concluded is that I am not challenging my self enough. This dosen't mean that I have to start 5 new projects right now or develop an interesting exciting career overnight, it just means that I need to be thinking about and slowly working on the ever changing me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, a bit of personal growth very slowly, I guess that's the answer. I can't/don't want to go back to grad school with two small children. I just cannot divide up my time and energy to the extent needed to be the success I'd like to be at both grad school AND mommy-hood. So it's impossible for me to continue along the same course as before. But perhaps a little something, slowly? Possibly. I have the kids all day, and by the end of the day I'm exhausted. I barely find time to exercise, let alone anything else. So I'm not sure wgat, if anything, is feasible at the moment.

I know things will change as they get older, even if we are homeschooling. But I do miss some semblance of the old me right now. I wish I could put the kids on "pause" for a weekend and run out of town for a bit.
 

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Just remember, you can always go back to school, start or re-start a career, etc when the kids are grown
I think i might do that myself. I'll be 40 when #3 graduates hs, lol, i've heard of people starting out even later than that!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RedWine
Anyone else sometimes wish they could live two lives simultaneously (having a career with no family ties, while also being a SAHM)?
I do. All the time. Being torn like this has caused some major depression. Thats why i am looking at WAHM and having my SILs babysit. Its realy hard to feel like you have lost your identity in your children. Sometimes I resent it alot. I think that taking a course a semester might make you feel like you are still moving forward.


We as mothers can't always give, give, give.
 

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Hey I want my kids to have a "pause" button :LOL Ok but seriously wouldn't that be nice.

I'm all kids all the time, I don't even know who I once was
When I do think about it I get sad, I feel like that person is gone and was replaced by someone who makes kids eat veggies and drives a minivan, that is not how I saw myself at all.

I remind myself that this is where I want to be (it really is what I want) and they will only be this 24/7 demanding for a few years. Dd is 21 months and put on panties today, and then I thought that's it I need a 3rd my baby can't be wearing panties. Then they started screaming.........
 

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Almost the exact same situation here, and I've managed to regain my sanity by reminding myself that I will go back and start my PhD when my youngest feels ready, even though we plan on homeschooling, too. I figure watching me earn my advanced degree will set an excellent example for my homeschooling children.

I also try to pick up small RA'ships and a bit of marking just to keep my skills up to date. TA'ing would require me to attend classes, so I don't do that, but if you live near a university, I'll bet the grad studies department would be thrilled to have a marker with your qualifications.

I just tested positive today for #3, so I won't be setting my big PhD plans in motion for three to six years from now, and that's perfectly fine with me.
 

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Yes, Red Wine. I've gone through that and now my kids are a bit older and I've gotten to experience some freedom again.. It does come, believe me-- really sooner than you think. Your post brought tears to my eyes to remember how it felt.
What I really feel though is that although we may sacrifice so much, there is a lot of learning we can experience through our children and through mothering. It's not like any other type of learning. Maybe you know what i am talking about.
Maybe it's simply something I've allowed myself to see since unlike you I really had no plan, although like you the kids were not planned either. That may not make sense but, anyway......I DID have a life, one that was carefree and fun and full of adventure. I remember longing so much for those days again when the dillema could well be: which do i do first: rollerblade or sit under a tree writing in a journal???? It still hurts a bit that I will never again be the young carefree chick in a truck driving across country. But, everything changes (shit, im crying now
)
I strongly agree in finding some little spaces of time and adding to them as the kids grow and re-acquainting yourself with yourself again.
~L
 

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Yes, I can understand where you are coming from. Although I never started grad school, I had ever intention of going back to school, but ever since DH and I were married, we always got stuck in really rural areas (his job is very specialized and it's not easy to find jobs). The closest grad programs for my interest were 1.5 hrs drive EACH way. I had started the application process when I got pg, which ended in a m/c. That is when I realized that maybe I wanted to start a family... well went through 2 yrs of infertility and another m/c, before finally getting pg and had my son. I put my grad school plans on hold, b/c I was worried I was running out of time (biologically) to have babies, d/t infertility issues, and better start a family ASAP. Anyway, we now live in ANOTHER city that is also 1.5 hrs drive EACH way from the nearest grad school.
AND... I am pg with baby #2. I just feel like if I do not go to grad school soon, I will never do it, kwim? Like I would get too content with my life and be too lazy to go back to school.

At least if there were a program in my current city, I could slowly take a few classes here and there. However, as of now, I am not willing to make the commute and put my kids in daycare while they are so young. DH and I both feel they need one of us at home with them as the primary caretaker. I *HOPE* to start pursuing grad school once my kids have started grade school. If not grad school, at least returning to work part time might be another option, just to save up $ for education (mine and the kids). I just feel like I can't leave my career/education totally behind me... b/c I might forget all my knowledge and skills, and if something were to happen to DH, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I know it sounds paranoid, but I'm normally a very driven person. I had not planned to start a family until AFTER grad school, but b/c of logistics and our infertility problems, our plans changed and I had to put my career on hold. I don't regret our decision... I am just afraid I will never get around to going to grad school, b/c I feel like it keeps getting put off.
 

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Oh my goodness! I was thinking of starting a thread about this the other day!! I was even thinking I would call it...Identity Crisis!

Needless to say, yes! yes! yes! I can completely relate. I worked my tail off in college to get into vet school. I tutored organic chemistry and genetics, graduated with high honors, had an ideal job in my field, applied to vet school, got pregnant, had my son, got accepted...then reality set in. It took me several months to realize that I could not be the student that I wanted to be and the mother that I wanted to be simultaneously. I seriously have a one track mind and I can only give 100% to one thing or I am not a happy camper. Before classes started I backed out.

I had a major identity crisis at the time but happily chose to be a full time stay at home mom. I am very happy with the decision that I have made and I know that it was the right one for me and my kids...BUT I still think about how my little bubble was burst by motherhood. Nobody told me that the call of motherhood would be so strong as to knock me off of my path. Until I got pregnant, I had not considered what becoming a mother meant.

My children have given more meaning to my life than my academic life did. I have to admit to being a bit insecure and school was my way of proving to the world that I am a smart dazzling person. Without the badge of honor that school gave me, some part of me felt like a loser. My kids have taught me that I don't have to prove anything anymore, in fact, now I know for a fact that I'm a pretty neat person. I can also look back on my past accomplishments and be proud. They are a part of me that will always be there.

I do think about returning to my former life, but when? When my kids are school aged I want to be there for summer, holidays, etc. and any career path that I take would not give me that. Maybe when my kids go off to college.

Well for now I am happy, but there's this little rumbling inside of me. It's pretty quiet. It is indeed an identity crisis though. This is not the life I ever imagined for myself, but I am glad I'm where I am. Does that make sense? If I could have both worlds and not have them at the expense of each other that would be great.
 

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You know I could have written that post. It's hard some days. It's like part of me is lost and wandering. It's already been three years since I graduated and I'm so afriad I wouldn't be able to make it in grad school anymore for lack of "brain excercise" It's a goal of mine to go to grad school and I fear that it won't happen.

Why can't we have it all at the same time? I'd love to have it all.

Let's build a commune and we'll take care of each other and each other's kids while we all attend school. Who's in?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Eman'smom
Hey I want my kids to have a "pause" button :LOL Ok but seriously wouldn't that be nice
My dh always teases me that if our kids had pause or mute buttons, I'd use them all the time. He's right
I guess that's why they don't have them.

Seriously RW - I too got married at the same time I was accepted to PhD school with a full ride. Even though not pg, I decided not to go. 8 years later, I have no further schooling and 3 dds. I do think about the old "me" but I don't really miss her.

What I have done is taught college classes part time for the last 10 years. It keeps me interacting with adults but "hip" adults - lol. I see the stuff they're into and I realize, yup, not much to miss...LOL. I make some money, but it doesn't interfere with parenting as I can do it part time at night while dh is home to parent. It's really been a saving grace for me. You might look into it.

I wouldn't trade SAHM for the world. It *is* THE most important job in the world. But it's nice to have something that keeps you attached to the you you are without kids...not all the time, but sometimes. It's great for sanity. A little break. A little something.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mary
My children have given more meaning to my life than my academic life did. I have to admit to being a bit insecure and school was my way of proving to the world that I am a smart dazzling person. Without the badge of honor that school gave me, some part of me felt like a loser. My kids have taught me that I don't have to prove anything anymore, in fact, now I know for a fact that I'm a pretty neat person. I can also look back on my past accomplishments and be proud. They are a part of me that will always be there.

[...] This is not the life I ever imagined for myself, but I am glad I'm where I am. Does that make sense?
I related quite a bit to this. I actually just finished my master's degree. I gathered the data for my thesis study while I was pregnant, and I managed to finish the thesis writing (which luckily was nearly done already) after DS was born. It was an extremely stressful time because he was a very demanding baby. I can't imagine trying to take any classes with a baby/toddler, particularly a high-needs one.

I have thought about getting a PhD. Even while I was pregnant and my fiance was applying for academic jobs (having just finished his PhD), I encouraged places that had PhD programs in my field. The place where we moved has a great program for me. But I don't have as much interest in it as I once did, and if we have more children, it's going to be a long time before I can consider school again. I have mixed feelings about it. Part of me just wants it for the accomplishment, maybe even the status. The other part doesn't care - I have this whole other task in front of me. Although this baby was planned, up until we started trying, I really never thought I'd be a parent. It just never appealed to me. I never could have foreseen how becoming a mother would affect me and how devoted I would be to a baby. It's been incredible. I wouldn't have known that if I'd have stayed on my academic track.
 

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I too never dreamed I'd be the kind of mom I've turned out to be. I never even thought about AP...never knew it existed. Having my first baby sure opened my eyes.

I do miss the academic scene. I guess I'm one of those people who love going to school. If we could afford it I'd attend grad classes and slowly work on my Masters. I don't want any more loans as we're still paying them off. I'd have to do some kind of work to afford grad school. That's too much time I'm not willing to sacrifice. Time for classes and work would take too high a toll on me as a mother.

Later perhaps. It's nice to be able to share my frustrations with fellow mamas.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zannster
I actually just finished my master's degree. I gathered the data for my thesis study while I was pregnant, and I managed to finish the thesis writing (which luckily was nearly done already) after DS was born.
I finished my master's degree the month before we started TTC. I figured if I didn't finish it before we had kids, I probably never would, and I thought I would always feel some regret. I can't believe you finished your thesis after your son was born -- I could barely manage to brush my hair!

I don't really expect ever to use my master's degree -- at the time I started it, I was on a high-powered career track where that degree would have been really useful, but by the time I finished it 5 years later I'd decided to TTC and, assuming that worked out, become a SAHM. I don't know that I'll ever want to return to that career field, but I'm still happy I have the degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
DR -- congrats on your pregnancy!!

Everyone, thanks again for all your comments. I think a big part of the problem is that I've just had another baby, and am feeling a bit of disconnect with my oldest. We've had a great couple of days recently, the kind where I remembered why I stayed home to begin with. I let the housekeeping go and just concentrated on her (while slinging dd2). I now feel much closer to her and a lot less pang-y about the past. Also, dh and I have worked out a schedule where I can have some time alone each week to do something just for me.

Thanks for reassuring me that it's normal to feel this way at times.
 
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