a place where I share my thoughts, my life, and my pictures

Friday, May 14, 2010

Consuming My Mind

*M.Fescoe Photography*

This is a very personal blog. One that I never intended on sharing but feel the need to get out into the cosmic void for whatever the reason.

I graduated from University at 22 years old with a B.A. in English.
At 23 I met my soon to be husband.
At 24 I gave birth to my son.
For the past 3 years I've stayed at home with Grady and have enjoyed it immensely but have always, ALWAYS felt the pressure to make money. Realizing my English degree wouldn't really land me a decent job in the area I decided to take on earning a B.S. in Information Technology. 1.5 years into its pursuit I confessed that I didn't like what I was learning. I put us $18,000 in the hole.

Afterwards I started a shop in Etsy selling Hill Tribe Silver (mainly) and did well, but not well enough to merit the time and stress of taxes. While maintaining that shop I took on another job, doing photography at home for a bead company located in Virginia Beach. Being a full-time mom, having a part-time job, and maintaining the silver shop was WAY too much on me. I had no time to myself. I was encouraged to stop it all and just be a mother (that was work enough!)

In April of this year, it was agreed by several professionals that Grady had a developmental delay and deserved professional help from our local school system. He started school for 3 hours a day 5 days a week. I felt useless that first week.

Suddenly my job, all day every day for the past 3 years was gone and still is gone from 9am to 12:45 p.m. He still takes a nap from 2:00 - 4:30p.m. too.

I decided to go for it with my metal-smithing and devoted my new free time to the jewelry, the blog, the kellyreece.etsy.com, even rejoined the dreaded facebook hoping to get more attention to my shop. But all of this time took away from my duties as a wife, mother, housekeeper (mainly housekeeper). So I dove into cleaning the house 1 hour a day every day of the week, and my drive to create jewelry has declined.

I've recently thought of getting an actual "job". But what can I do? What skills do I have? Nothing extraordinary. What would we do with Grady? I've thought of working my way through several arenas, such as being a bank teller or a pharmacy technician... but after a few days with the thought in mind my stomach gets sick with the idea of working weekends, nights, not seeing my family as often, doing the little things that get us through the week with ease, and my husband insists that I not work nights or weekends, to which I completely agree.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I'm at a stand still. What do I do with myself? Making jewelry takes money to invest in the materials, which aren't cheap. But being a housekeeper while my son is at school and husband at work is bringing me down. It's not that I don't adore taking care of my family, but when that's all I wake up for... I don't know, I guess it's not enough for me.

I want to make jewelry, but I get these moments where I feel like all I'm doing is putting us further into debt, not contributing to the family, and basically following a flighty dream that isn't in any way realistic at all.

I'm just putting all this out there because I found myself lost with what to do during Grady's nap today and managed to be in bed, with my eyes open. Staring. With these thoughts in my head. Feel free to comment. Whoever you are.


Joanna said...

"What do I do with myself?" (You know) I wonder that too. No real answers here...the important thing, I think, is to keep asking yourself that question. It might seem counter-intuitive, but as long as you acknowledge that question instead of avoiding/denying it, you'll get closer & closer to the answer -- without trying to force it.

No one said we were supposed to have it figured out by our 20s, anyway. We still have time :]

GraceThoughts81 said...

Be happy that you can stay home. Seriously, I am getting ready to have a baby and have to figure out how to go back to work, leave my infant in day care, and come home everyday exhausted to clean the house, make dinner, etc. I have NO idea how I am going to do it...I get tired just imagining what it is going to be like. Not to put the focus on myself..I just think that so often most people think they need to do more with their life, when really, the only thing that matters is having time with your family. Everything else is just a means to that end...or it should be.

Michelle said...

Keep in mind - I'm mainly speaking from my own experience and what works for me may not work for others...

You're not alone. I still go through feeling like this every once in a while.

As for the college degree - don't worry about it. Really. Forget it. No matter what path you take in life, that degree will undoubtedly bring value to most of the situations you encounter. You learned more in those four years than you give yourself credit for: critical thinking, problem solving, conflict resolution, time management, seeing a project through to completion, etc. Those are skills that will help you with your marriage, your parenting and your entrepreneurship.

As for making money and contributing financially to your family...again...you're undervaluing yourself! A SAHM is worth so much! It sounds cliche but it is oh so true! Oprah did an episode on this a while ago and it hit home for me. She interviewed women on both sides - the SAHMs and the working moms. The SAHMs felt gipped, like they were missing out on their lives (& even resented their children for it). The working moms felt immense guilt. The conclusion that Oprah came to, and I agree with, is that women can have it all...just not at the same time. Your son will only be this little ONCE and it goes so fast. Enjoy it. Be with him. Be the best Mom you can be. Challenge yourself daily. When the SAHM job is done right, I truly believe it is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Organize your days so that when you wake up in the morning you're not dreading "another day" but you're excited about all that you're going to do. You'll have plenty of years to work and make money once Grady is grown.

Now that Grady will be in school, that changes things a bit. You'll have a lot more time. Take some time to think about what you want to do with that time. Some suggestions - work 2 days/week at a retail store or coffee shop or focus on your jewelry business. You can clean the house and prepare dinner while Grady naps every day.

You said, "It's not enough for me." Get involved! I went through this when I started staying home. I know exactly how you feel. The remedy that has worked for me is to get involved! I stated doing things for ME - I joined a book club and that has been the best choice for me. Also, I run. Running has been amazing for me. It's MY time, without any distractions. Granted, I have to wake up super early so I can go while Chris is home getting ready for work but it's so worth it. Perhaps you could look at getting a gym membership or register for Yoga classes. Go to meetup.com and look for like minded people in your area. GET INVOLVED and make sure you're making time for yourself.

It's OK to feel like this. It really is. Like I said, I still go through it every once in a while. It doesn't mean any drastic measures need to be taken...you're a human feeling human emotions and it'll all work out in the end, like it always does.

One last thought - staying home isn't for everyone. It's OK if you think you and your family will be better off with you working. Although, I would suggest that you commit to that decision before expecting your family to make any big changes.

It's really really difficult - wearing so many hats as a woman, that is. Remember all the women before us who fought for us to have all these rights - the right to work and the right to stay home and the right to be independent and the right for an education. Times are more complex now and sometimes it can be utterly overwhelming. It'll all work out!

K.N.R said...

Wow! Such incredible responses! Thank you all for your insight. I think we allllll go through so much and barely talk about it as though we were weak for thinking it or saying it out loud. But it always turns out that when I really put myself out there and say what's truly on my mind, I find that we're all going through it too, in some way shape or form, but none the less, these are the same thoughts and emotions reeling through our minds.

I do need to get involved. I do need a life outside of what I have here at home and that's something I'm trying to put effort towards. Surprisingly I've really isolated myself and I think it's done more harm than good.

Deirdre, my sister in law told me this weekend that you HAVE to maintain a life outside of your children. If not, your child will start living his life and you can't exactly call friends you haven't spoken to in 18 years or try to "find" yourself at 45-50 (even though I still think you should if you haven't).

We need to be more clear an concise about our worries. I think we woman, as we get older need that consoling shoulder that really understands.

Sunny Rising Leather said...

My dear,

You have to be lost before you can be found again: I just know you're at the precipice of a very meaningful doorway.
Hang in there, one day, one breath at a time, and open yourself to meaningful possibility all around: it'll come rushing in once you're ready for whatever is next.
One and a half years ago my husband lost his job, and with it went security and our home in Los Angeles.
I watched him struggle to find peace in his new situation and it showed me so much about humility and grace: he never once tried to be where he wasn't: where I am a person who tries to 'positive' my way out of things, he is a realist of epic proportions!
The now? He's working his dream job and we're living in a lovely city in Northern California, a place I've always been so curious about.
I cannot wait to read an entry you write when the tide turns, when you receive grace and the peace that comes with renewed faith.

Huuuuge hugs,