Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The "Grass is Always Greener" Effect: Why I Can't Read Other Mommy Blogs

I decided to start a blog last year because I was hoping to find a community.  Perhaps some other working moms, youth ministers' wives, whatever it was.  I spend my time either at work or with my kids & hubby.  I don't go out much.  I can count on one hand since I've had kids how many times I leave everybody at home & just go out by myself to do something I enjoy.  So, the fact that this blog has been completely unsuccessful in that one goal is very disheartening & is often the reason I sit at my computer wondering whether I should even post the various draft blogs I have written.

Lately, I've really been feeling the panic that sometimes comes along with losing yourself to all the job titles that we as mothers have.  I am Jesse's wife; Sophie, Bella & Maddie's mom; I am someone's employee; I am the caregiver, housekeeper, dishwasher, laundry do-er, bill payer, kisser of boo-boos, planner of family events...the list is never ending.  But somewhere in that list, I've forgotten to include myself or anything that I enjoy doing for me.  I realize it is a big part of my unhappiness, but I can't seem to find anything that I'm passionate about just for me.  My parents love the movie, "The Bridges of Madison County."  It's not one of my personal favorites, but there is a quote from that movie that keeps playing in my mind...

"When a woman makes the choice to marry, to have children, in one way her life begins but in another way it stops.  You build a life of details.  You become a mother, a wife and you stop and stay steady so that your children can move.  And when they leave they take your life of details with them.  And then you're expected to move again only you don't remember what moves you because no one has asked in so long.  Not even yourself."

I can't speak to the part about children moving away yet, but I can certainly relate to not remembering what moves me because I have become so identifiable with my family & their needs.  This feeling is only perpetuated when I read other people's blogs.  In particular, I find myself angry when I read about the stay at home mom who takes online courses or the posts about cute, simple recipes or adorable house decorations.  I suppose I should be encouraged, inspired or at the very least, indifferent to the happenings in the lives of other mommies.  However, most of the time the only thing I feel is frustration in being unable to live up to those standards & wishing I had the circumstances they have.  I find myself comparing myself to these other moms & feeling constantly inadequate.  It's not a personal thing against any of the moms writing these blogs, it's more in finding fault with my lack of motivation or ability to take on such things in my own life.

It's getting to the point where I'm not sure I should read those blogs at all anymore.  And, it is forcing me to take a long hard look at myself, the things that are most important to me in raising our kids, and what things in my life cause my unhappiness/lack of motivation.  The frustration lies in knowing what things I want to change, but having circumstances beyond my control keeping me from changing them.  Jesse has long said that I have to find things to do for myself so I have something to look forward to.  Although I agree with him, I'm not sure where to start.  I think turning to prayer needs to be more prominent so I can find some answers or at least peace with where I'm at.  After that, who knows.  But hopefully there will be some revelations in my life.