Saturday, April 18, 2009


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.


Laura said...

What an excellent post... your writing is great and the topic is sooooo true. Yes, I'm writing from the Land of Disconnectedness. I've been here for years :) I'm hoping to emerge from the deep soon and join my co-workers for coffee or a camera class every now and then.


Araratacres said...

I agree with Laura...this is a great post, and thought provoking. Perspectives are funny, aren't they? Having no children, and working full time(at work and at home), I find MYSELF disconnected from my friends who are stay at home moms. Yes, I have friends at work, but their lifestyles are quite different from mine, so we pretty much only share work hours, and small talk (and this after 7+yrs of working together). We are good friends because of circumstance, but I wouldn't say we are close friends....simply because we are so different. I feel a little envious of the moms who actually have time to visit (and vent) with other moms at playdates. There is definitely a disconnect in my life too, albiet a different type.

Cynda Western Felini said...

You are both always welcome to come play at my house!! You don't even have to be invited!!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog and agree with your feeling of disconnect but also from Araratacres point of view. I am finding myself more on the outside looking in with my friends that have children. Most of my dear friends are married with children and there seems to be a fence dividing us not on purpose but because where we find ourselves in our lives. I find myself longing to be on that side of the fence but circumstances prevent me from being there at this time. It is interesting trying to make sure that we all have many different "parts" to our daily lives.

Tammy said...

Great post Cynda and one that I guess I never even thought about. I'm sure you will find your new career in motherhood to be absolutely rewarding. BTW - we *need* to get together for dinner ;)