Friday, November 02, 2007

Reclaiming myself

I began this blog in October of 2006. I wanted to create a place to capture my thoughts, musings, ideas that tickled my fancy, plus glimpses of our family life. I created this space for Kelsey to read when she was older so she could see the real me, not just Mommy.

Somewhere I got off track and it became all Kelsey all the time.

While I love the main topic of this blog very much, I realize that I have fallen short of my own expectations of this space. Sometimes real life does follow cyberspace and currently I am awash in being Mommy all day all the time...I feel I have lost myself as a person and have become "JoAnn, the mommy of a daughter who was adopted in China." This person can be boring, insufferable and tiresome. I don't like her.

I realize that my own interests have to take a back seat to Kelsey's needs, but do they have to disappear altogether? Can I tell you the last book I read for my own pleasure? nope. Have I had dinner with Kurt alone since we became parents? Nope.

If I weren't in this job search, I think I would be more able to handle this because I would have the distraction of work and it's rewards to keep me focused. But I all I have is the distraction of the job search...and right now it's not good. I realized this week that I probably won't have a job by Christmas. That blew me away in a bad way and I got angry and nervous, all at the same time. It's been 3 months since I got laid off from the y.

So, to sum up my current mood:
1) Angry, sad and nervous
2) Frustrated
3) Realizing that I'm boring
4) Anxious and determined to change

Today, Kurt came back from a short business trip and we put Kelsey in daycare today. Normally all I do when Kelsey is in daycare is clean, cook and job hunt. Today, I am going to do a few things that feed my soul in addition to looking for a new job.

Kelsey,
I know you get upset and cry because you don't want to be separated from us. However, what you don't realize yet is that if we don't take some time away from you, we won't be good parents to you. Moms and Dads are people with their own needs/wants/desires and sometimes we need to focus on what makes us happy so we can translate that happiness to parenting. If we don't get that break, we can grow to resent it and that would make us not very good parents at all. In fact it is such a bad example of parenting that I wouldn't wish that kind of parent on anyone, much less you! In fact, if you learn that you shouldn't lose yourself when you get married and create a family, that is one of the best gifts I could ever give you!

Love,
JoAnn (also your Mom)

4 comments:

Wayswin said...

My Sister, Boring?... I don't think so! When you are used to yourself, it is easy to forget that you are special. I know that job hunting sucks, and it is hard to separate the ideas of income and self worth, but taking the time to regroup mentally and spiritually is a step in the right direction.

Don't let the few seconds that Kelsey cries when you drop her off at daycare color your thoughts of how she is at daycare... unless you hear otherwise, believe that she stops crying the moment she sees you are gone, and dives in to have fun.

Have fun looking for yourself, when you find you, just remember that reclaimation is a type of recycling.

i-Con said...

Reclaim!

Well said. Gotta love yourself and care for yourself first or there isn't much to give.

MKBookWorks said...

10. You are very funny!
9. Terrifically smart
8. A kind and generous soul
7. Patient and kind (well you are to me anyway :0)
6. Competent, skillfull and choosy about where you will spend your days away from your family
5. Gorgeous - inside and out
4. Brave and courageous
3. Sweet and loving
2. Compassionate and caring
1. A wise and wonderful Mom and Friend (and wife and daughter, sister etc)

LOVE YOU!!
Missy

Gretchen aka mamagigi said...

JoAnn,
We've only begun to get to know one another in the last year and I can tell you that you are not nothing like how you're describing. You're funny, generous and wonderfully devoted to Kelsey.

That said, I hear what you're saying about reclaiming (great term, by the way) -- it is easy to get lost in the things on the front burner.

Howsabout a long, hot bath with a good book? Whether it means Kurt does the night routine with Kelsey (despite her wanting mom-meeee!)or a day she's in daycare.

You're absolutely spot on in your message to Kelsey -- and one day she will see that for herself, and likely will remember the model you set -- that we need to be happy in order to be good parents. And she will remember this, and stand up, wipe the crusty cheerios off her pants, kiss her little one goodbye and get outside for a few hours to reclaim the woman she was before motherhood.

(And rest up now, because you'll probably be the one she calls to babsit the grandkids!)

So happy your nablopomo-ing with me! (What tune will we be singing in a few weeks? Arg.)