I was posed a thought provoking questions this week. The question was "what is your least favorite thing about being a mom?" I wasn't sure how to answer this question. I certainly did not want to answer by saying, "everything." But, at the same time I didn't want to put my laundry list of dislikes: getting up at all hours of the night, never getting eight hours of sleep, snot, a messy house, and oh, did I mention snot. Instead, I rambled on about how hard it was to balance...blah, blah, blah.
But after thinking on the question for several days, I realize there is one thing that strikes me as the most difficult part of motherhood. Disconnection.
Prior to being a full-time stay-at-home-mom, I had a job with a co-workers, a paycheck, weekends off, and specified holidays. All those things are great! I especially liked the specified holidays where I only had to worry about getting to and from grandma's. Now, getting anywhere on a holiday is about like trekking through the woods with a basket full of goodies. It is very difficult to make with everything intact. (Oh, the paycheck was nice, too.)
But, I digress, co-workers are such a vital part of life. You have a relationship of some sort with these people you see on a daily basis. You go home, live you own life, and come back the next day. You stand at the water cooler and share about the happenings, or perhaps a hit TV show that everyone is watching, or a bewildering news story. Even the people you don't necessarily like are connected in some way. Perhaps you can't discuss work issues without a confrontation but you both love Grey's Anatomy. You are connected.
Being a stay-at-home-mom is a very disconnected job. I have no co-workers, no one to share those interesting tidbits or to discuss my favorite show. And even though I have great girl-friends who are reading this blog, and even though we share the same type of job, there is still a bit of disconnect. The permanent tethering of this child to you prevents you from doing all the things that create such great camaraderie as you have in co-workers.
Twice in the last month, I had to cancel a play date with a friend who has a daughter Snugglebug's age due to illness (ours). I joined a mom's group and would have had a meeting with them today but it was cancelled due to weather, but I would have missed it anyway since I was taking Snugglebug to the doctor for bad chest cold. So, despite my efforts I am disconnected.
I am taking steps to change the disconnect. I have joined a mom's group and am trying harder to get together with my dear friends who are also moms. But, the transition from seeing co-workers on a daily basis to being home all day with one who speaks in mono-syllables is a difficult transition that no one warns you about. There is no water cooler at this new job. Thus no water cooler discussion.
I am also discovering there is a strange disconnect within myself. The person who once held a job and had co-workers must now redefine herself not as a co-worker but as a mom. How does one do that? I have realized after reading Scott Hamilton's Great Eight that I must perform a new routine. In my quest to live and think positively, I must first redefine the life I wish to live.
Interesting, isn't it, how one quest leads to another? I am still pursuing my quest to live positively, but now am on a quest to rediscover myself, my life, and my "co-workers" in this business of motherhood.
I'm not real sure what I will find on this quest. I doubt that it will be dragons, but it will still be an adventure.