Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Insecurity is taking over this week

Well, fellow stay-at-home moms, it's been one of those weeks.
They hit without rhyme or reason, and when they do, it really stinks.
I'm talking about insecurity.
I have to imagine it happens to lots of other stay-at-home moms. It can't possibly just be me, but it seems like no one really ever talks about it. Do other women have these days too? Is it normal? A low self-esteem? A jealous nature?
Probably a little bit of all of those.
So, here I am. Four and a half years ago, I had a career. I wasn't anyone important or anything, but I had a job as a reporter, and I was good at it. People in my county knew me. They read what I wrote to get their news. I got out of bed and got dressed and went to work every morning. I didn't just wear jeans and a T-shirt to work, even though I could have. I thought I should take a little more care with my appearance. Then I went to the gym after work and came home to make a nice meal for my husband. We took vacations and had fun together.
Then I had my son Logan. He gave new meaning to our lives. We weren't just a couple, we were a family. I quit my job and became a stay-at-home mom.
Three years later, I was just starting to think about what to do when I went back to work, and along came Jordan. Now I have two awesome sons. I know how to be a mom, and am adjusting to the change that going from one child to two brought.
Don't get me wrong, the kids are the best thing ever. I don't long for the pre-baby days at all, but I do sometimes long for the pre-baby ME.
Let me try to explain. I'm here, at home, every day with the kids. We get out to run errands or for a play date, but my interaction with adults is quite limited. I get stir-crazy sometimes. I also get kind of weird about my husband.
Husbands of stay-at-home moms. They work their tails off to support their families. They get up in the morning and I'm sure they envision the family at home, sleeping in, waking up to snuggle in front of the T.V., having leisurely days at the park, etc. We moms know that's not exactly how it goes, but that's beside the point.
But husbands get to, well, kind of escape. They get out of the house every day. They interact with other adults. They aren't covered in pee, spit-up, baby cereal or whatever. Through the whole process of becoming parents, they get to retain not only themselves, but their SHAPE.
Husbands aren't put on bed rest for hypertension for four months. They don't gain dozens of pounds (or if they do, all they have to do is stop drinking pop for a week and the extra weight is gone). Husbands don't turn into milk factories or pee their pants if they try to do jumping jacks. Husbands don't pull their jeans (and not their SKINNY jeans, just their plain old jeans) out of the closet and realize that after six months they still can't even heft them up over their butts. Husbands don't have to deal with their hair falling out, as if the leaking milk and huge boobs and wide butt and frumpy "fat clothes" and hormone-related acne and bags under the eyes from lack of sleep weren't enough.
But moms do. I do.
And I guess that's probably where most of my insecurity lately has come from. I just plain don't feel like ME. I don't feel pretty or smart or important or anything. I'm just Mom. I'm the mean one. I'm the one who changes diapers and wipes butts. I'm the one who makes Logan eat breakfast AND lunch before you get to have a treat. I'm the one who has to carry him kicking and screaming over her shoulder to his room for a time-out. I'm the one who has to hold down the baby when he gets his shots, even though it's more painful for me than him.
So, I sit here and think of Hubby, at work, around important people and put-together women who actually wash their hair and put on makeup and FIT into their clothes. Then he comes home and I'm a hot mess. I get jealous. I feel even more insecure the more I think about it.
Frankly, some days I will admit, I feel just plain worthless.
Hubby always tells me he believes having kids is the meaning of life. It's what we're meant to do. My job is very important, he tells me.
I try to believe him. I really do.
But sometimes it's hard. Like this week.