Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.


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Hmm…

Hmm…where to begin.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post.  A few months ago when I was asked to renew my blog subscription, I questioned if I wanted to continue.  As I debated in my mind, I realized I did have more things to share and maybe another year of blogging would be a good thing.

Since I began my blog five years ago a lot has happened.  Creating the blog initially was an outlet for me to express my thoughts and feelings regarding midlife, motherhood and my transition from full-time home parent back to the workforce.  Well, I’m happy to say I made it through my “midlife something”, and am now fully immersed in my career.

For the last few years I have gone back to school to update my education, and have worked various jobs to update for resume and job related skills.  My plan worked, as I recently accepted a position that fully utilizes all the information I’ve learned, and has an unexpected bonus.  The job is located overseas in Italy.  It’s hard to believe, but my family and I will be moving over to Italy by the end of the year.

When I think back to where I was five years ago, I realize there were many things I needed to learn before accepting my current employment.  Originally, my blog was created as a result of not getting a job.  After not being selected, I knew I had work to do.  So I got busy. I went to school, started working, and began the process of getting up to speed in my career field.  It wasn’t easy. As a matter of fact, the last few years have been the most challenging times I have ever endured career-wise.  I’ve made many mistakes, but I’ve also taken some amazing risks. I’ve gone out of my comfort zone so many times that I no longer fear things I’ve never done before.  So much so, that I took a chance to apply for jobs that were only dreams for me.

What lies ahead for me is more challenges, but not the fear and doubt I once had.  Years ago I searched for my purpose, my meaning, my contribution to the world outside of being a wife and mother.  It took a while, but I found it.  I hope to use all my life experience to make a difference in children’s lives.

As I embark on an exciting adventure to Italy to live and work, I want to be able to share my experience.  I thought about changing the name of my blog several times to reflect the new direction of my life.  I still may do that in the future.  However, for now my three boys are home for the summer…eating, making messes, and lying around the house making me crazy.  My blog name seems the best fit my life right now.

Arrivederci, my friends.

 

 


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Period of Adjustment

Years ago when I started my blog I told myself I would express myself freely.   What that meant was expressing my thoughts about mothering and being in midlife without worrying what the reading public thought of me.

During the last two years I have written about almost every aspect of my life.  Most things have been humorous, but some have been personal and painful.  Writing my blog has allowed me a way to put to words my feelings dealing with emotions I am going through.

The blog has been a healing activity for me.  At times it’s been challenging to write my strong emotions in a way that doesn’t make readers think I’m nuts, but after writing a difficult blog I always felt better.

Lately I’ve had difficulty writing.  It’s not for lack of  things to say because I ALWAYS have something on my mind.  It’s because of my new job.  I’m now on someone else’s payroll and I feel the need to speak less about the personal life.  I feel as if I have a little person sitting on my shoulder whispering to me, “You shouldn’t say that.” or “Be careful.  Your words may be misinterpreted.”

It makes me sad limiting what I can say on my blog.  It feels restrictive and uncomfortable.  Being able to write freely has ‘freed’ me.  I often write about things I don’t have the courage to say in person.  I’ve felt healthier emotionally since I’ve started writing.  I’m nervous I will revert back to my old ways of being overly concerned what people think of me.

Maybe I’m worrying too much about what I write, but I don’t want to risk it.  I’d like to share about being out of the workforce for so long and adjusting to the changes. What I am going through is hard.  Seventeen years are a long time to be out of the professional workforce.  So much has changed.

Like anything new there will be challenges and adjustments.  It may take a while for me to decide what is okay to discuss on the blog and what is not.

However, I don’t think writing will be the same.  For over two years I expressed myself with a vulnerability I no longer feel able to do.

Maybe a little time is all I need.  Time to help me through this period of adjustment.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

 

 

 


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Blogoversary

Today is the day.  The two-year blogoversay for Insanity of Motherhood.  I’m making a quick return from spring break to celebrate with all of you.  Taking the week off for spring break was a good experience for me.  Many times I wanted to share things, but instead focused my energy on the family, friends and myself.  I amazed how much more free time I’ve had.

Two years ago launching a blog was last thing I ever thought I would do.  Suffering from a major ‘midlife something” I started the blog to share my voice.  I didn’t know what a blog was then or even how to begin.  Starting the blog was the first thing I have done with little or no training.  I struggled with each step:  creating the blog, writing, finding topics to discuss, and responding to feedback.  Each step in the process was difficult.

However, I survived and here I am two years later.  Last week I wondered if blogging was something I wanted to continue.  I even did a little research into “how to end a blog”.  It’s not that I have been unhappy with the blog, but at times I don’t like how eager I am for feedback and approval for each blog post.  A great lesson I’ve learned is how to let go of your ego and realize not everyone is going to like what you write or even care.  People have their own lives and it may not involve reading what you have to say.   That being said, some folks do like what I write and do care.  I am fortunate to have many people tell me how my blog has affected them over the last two years.  I can’t thank you enough for sharing you thoughts with me and for reading.

So what does one do after two years of blogging?  I am still trying to figure it out.  As flattering as it is to hear folks mention I should continue a career in writing I’m not convinced that it will be my future career path.  I need a back up plan.  One that will pay and allow for more social interaction.  Checked out a few things over the break career wise.  Heading back to school is a for sure.  You can’t be out of the marketplace for almost 20 years and expect your skills are up to date.

The blog has changed me.  Writing this blog has changed for the better.  It has challenged me well beyond anything I thought I was capable of.   Most of all it has released me of my fear.  Two years ago fear dominated my life:  fear of not being good enough, fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of not being liked.  Living with so much fear was an exhausting way to live.  I no longer live my life with fear and feel lighter and happier.

Happy blogoversary to Insanity of Motherhood.  I signed up for another year to keep writing.  A lot can happen in a year, but I’m ready for it.  I hope you will be too.  Join my husband, Tall Boy, Old Boy, Little Boy, dog, fish, snake and of course me for another year of our crazy life together.

Cheers!


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Make Things Happen

In a previous blog I mentioned I wanted to make things happen this year.  I am determined to get started on the next chapter of my life personally and professionally.

This blog post will be #460 and I am so close to my blogging goal of 500.  I hope to do so before my two-year blog date of April 1st, 2013.  After reaching my goal I’m not sure what the blog plan is, but I open to anything.

Writing the blog has been the single best learning experience for me in recent years.  It has made me take risks I never imagined I would ever do.  I have opened up to all of you about things I have feared, been angered by and found interesting.  However, lately I have felt the blog has lacked a bit of substance.  I mean, “How many times can one write about their lack of career and how teenagers make you nuts” anyway?

I have begun a search for new interests and clarification of where I want things to go.  Yesterday I whined yet again to my friend, Audra, about my lack of career.   She listened and gave me a task.   She told me to list ten things in order of preference that I enjoy doing.  She also mentioned to not over think or analyze.  It was a good activity for me to do.  Knowing what you enjoy to do plays a big part in what makes you happy, especially when it choosing a new career.

Here is my list in order.

Spending time with my family

Spending time alone.

Making people smile and laugh.

Eating out.

Traveling.

Talking with friends.

Being with young children.

Going to the movies or theater.

Educating people.

Listening to music.

There were hundreds of things I wanted to add to the list like reading, being outdoors, going to parties, and trying new things, but she mentioned only creating a list of 10.  Looking at my list I was able to see I what things make me happy.  With the exception of educating others I do most of these things all the time.  The list made me realize being an educator is one thing missing from what makes me happy.  I started to re-think my former career working with young children and how I could find a way to do so that would be fulfilling and support my desire to support my family.

Another great piece of advice Audra gave me is to think small when re-entering the workforce.  This is the concept I struggle with the most.  My ego would like me to be back in a leadership position when I return to work, but doing so would create too much of an impact on my family and me.  The real answer is to try things that are part-time and slowly adjust.  Slower and smaller steps are easier and I don’t feel quite as overwhelmed.

The conversation between Audra and I was a good one.  I realized I could start near the bottom, but will be able to move up quickly because of my years of life and previous work experience.  I can do it.  I can make things happen.

Tomorrow I will share with you another wonderful idea a friend of mine shared with my about searching for what makes for a happy life.  It’s a great activity for anyone who feels they want more from their life.

Untill tomorrow friends.


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The Reason

Several years ago I applied for a job.  The job was to become a Preschool Director.  I applied for the job after a 15 year absence from the early childhood education field.  I got down to the final two for the interview choice.  I wasn’t selected.

The rejection was difficult.  In all honesty if I had been offered the job I don’t think I would have accepted it.   The timing was wrong.  The responsibly was overwhelming.  When I tried to see how I could balance such a demanding position and manage my family I couldn’t see a way to make it work.

But that was a few years ago.  My little son is in school full-time.  He’s doing well.  The older boys are much more independent.  They are also helpful.  Old Boy will be getting his driving license soon (gulp) and will be able to help out with driving.  The thought of working and caring for a family two years ago didn’t seem possible, but things are different.  I am different.  I’m ready to think about heading back to work.

A friend of mine informed me the person who accepted the Preschool Director position is quitting.  She hopes to pursue a different career.  The information was surprising. The person selected has not been in the job long.  I began to wonder what would have happened if I had been selected for the job.  Would I have lasted or would the responsiblity have been too great?

This week I have been thinking a lot about the quote, “Things happen for a reason.”  When I wasn’t offered the job years ago I had no idea the lessons I would learn from the rejection.  I could only dwell on how I was not selected.  Now, many months later, I understand why I wasn’t selected.

If I had been chosen for the job years ago I would have reached outside my comfort zone and try new things.  I would haven’t attended more early childhood training or read new books about on the topic.  I wouldn’t have taken a friend’s advice to start a blog.  I wouldn’t be writing to you right now.  I wouldn’t have discovered a creative side to me I didn’t know existed.

After hearing the news of the selected person leaving the job I sent my friend a message.

Hi Betty (fake name).  Your news today left me a bit speechless.  If I had gotten the job years ago I would have never started my blog or writing.  Funny how life works out sometimes.

She wrote back with this response.

I’m happy you are writing your blog.  It is fabulous! Debbie (fake name) complimented me on an outfit a few weeks ago & I babbled on about how I’m trying to be a more hip mom & dress better.  She told me you wrote a hilarious entry on this topic.  You have teachers referring to your blog….how awesome is that?

Sometimes it takes a while to discover and answer to why something difficult has happened.  But you know what?  If you to do a little soul-searching, takes some risks, evaluate and let time pass..you’ll discover the reason.


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Never Put it in Writing

My mother had been know to give me good advice over the years. Simple things to keep my life going in a positive direction. Things like, “Don’t pick at your face it will scar”. And, “Graduate college first before going out to the world”. But the best piece of advice my mom gave me was this, “Never put it in writing”.

Years ago I had a roommate. She and I were good friends and thought living together would be a good idea. While living together she got involved with a guy.  The boyfriend used to spend huge amounts of time at our apartment. I began to resent him being there all the time. I discussed it with my friend and informed her I was going to move out if he remained. The guy didn’t work. He just hung around our place.

My friend told me the guy was welcome at her house. I told her I was moving out. I gave her notice and off I went. The situation was obviously much more dramatic than I described, but you get the idea. After about a month of living in my new place I received a letter. It was from my former roommate. In the letter my friend wrote how furious she was with me for leaving the apartment. She called me several ugly words and demanded I pay her the amount for the bills from the apartment. When I read the letter I was angry. She was the one who decided the guy staying at our house was more important than our friendship or my discomfort. And yet she blamed the entire situation on me.

I spoke to my mom about the letter. I told her I was going to write a letter back to her and tell her just what I thought of her accusations. My mother looked at me and said her now famous quote, “Never put it in writing”. She told me to let it go and send her the money. My mom explained to me if I put anger into a letter the person will be able to re-read the emotions for many years to come. I was reluctant, but I followed her advice.  I sent the money and wished her well.

Many years later I saw my roommate at the university we both attended. Actually, she saw me first. She walked up to me and said hello giving me a hug. She mentioned how glad she was to see me and apologized for the misunderstanding many years ago. The guy turned out to be a bum and she regretted ever dating him. I was so happy to see her and we talked for quite some time catching up on our lives.

When my friend walked away I thought of my mother’s advice. I was grateful I’d followed it.  I had once made the mistake of writing a letter to someone instead of having the courage of speaking to them on the phone or in person. The friendship was deeply damaged for many years until finally I was forgiven.

As I venture into the world of writing I see how people are so attracted to it. It’s wonderful to be able to clearly put your thoughts down, edit so the words are most powerful and send it off for someone to read. It’s easier to write something difficult than face the person because you don’t have to deal with the emotions.  But there are times when the written word isn’t appropriate. This is especially true with relationships. A letter, text or email can’t convey the person’s perspective of a situation as well as a speaking to them in person.  In person communication become clearer, even if it’s more painful.

Writing leads to many misinterpretations. Re-reading hurtful words over and over does not lead to peace. It only creates a situation where more fuel is added to something already burning. We have become a writing society. We send emails, text messages and write posts on Facebook. We fool ourselves to think we really understand a person by reading something they have written. But the truth is we can’t know all about a person until we speak with them on the phone or sit across them to watch the facial expressions, touch their hand, see a smile, or hear fluctuations in their voice.

I mentioned to a friend yesterday I no longer save hurtful letters, angry texts or disappointing emails.  Keeping the negative words available for me to re-read over doesn’t benefit me.  When we speak to someone on the phone or in person eventually the hurtful words will get forgotten.  Some words remain, but not all of them. It’s the forgetting that allows us to move on.

I write because it allows me to express myself in ways I never knew were possible.  I am grateful for that.  But when it comes to matter of the heart I will remember my mother’s advice.

It is good advice for all of us.

 


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The New Year

The New Year arrived with little fanfare at our home. No big party. The big boys and my husband stayed up late to watch a movie. The little guy and I went to be early. We don’t make a big deal about the New Year at our home. I guess we think of it as just another day.

As I look at 2012 I can say it was a good year. Most of it was spent redecorating our home. Endless hours of repairs, replacements and redo. I can’t believe we have done so much in such a short amount of time. We still have more to do, but the home does seem to be coming along well.

I didn’t make resolutions last year claiming I wasn’t into doing that. But this year I changed my mine. I didn’t get much accomplished last year with regards to my ‘midlife something’. I’m no further along figuring out a new career for myself than last year. So many people have given me so much advice on this topic I don’t know what to think anymore. However, I do know I need to stop taking and make something happen. So this year I have resolutions for 2013.

Before I talk about my resolutions I want to clarify something.  I am a full-time mother by choice.  I like my job, but I know I have more to offer.  I was good as a Preschool Director, but the job was very demanding and I don’t think I can head back to that career without it negatively affecting my family.  At least not while the Little Guy is still young. I would like to be in a leadership role, but there are few leadership positions that are part-time.  So this is why I struggle.

For the New Year I have three resolutions.  They are realistic and will make a huge difference in my life if I can get them accomplished.  Ready…here they are.

Three New Resolutions for year 2013

Lose 5 pounds

Losing weight is always the top of everyone list for the New Year.  I am no exception.  I recently lost five pounds, so I only need to lost five more to feel good.  I am sick of the ‘muffin top’ I have when I put on my jeans.  Ten years ago I would have wanted to lost 10 pounds.  But being hungry all the time isn’t worth it.  I like food.  I like eating.  Nought said.

Write a screenplay or two

For three years I have had a television show idea in my head.  I don’t know where it came from, but I have over time I have developed characters, storyline and plots.  The show is a comedy about motherhood (what else?).  I recently have made a friend in the movie industry who is a Director and we are meeting soon so she can give me a few tips and ideas.  I have two other TV show ideas that also need to be developed.  Are you surprised to read this goal?  I am surprised too.  What is most surprising is I don’t even watch TV.  My goal is to learn how to write a screenplay and write one.

Write 500 blog posts

This is a goal I set for myself a long time ago.  I’ve written 443 blog post already, so I am not far off from this goal.  Writing 500 blog posts is like writing a book.  If I can accomplish this goal I will mentally be able to say I am a writer.

So there you go. As I type the kids are fighting in the background.  I’m trying to cook dinner.  I have eight loads of laundry to fold.  At a time like this I wonder if I will be able to make it through the night let alone accomplish resolutions.

Thank goodness I have 363 days to get it done.  This is my year.  Last year was supposed to be my year too, but I am really ready now.  I want things to happen.

Bring it on…2013.