Not Much

Last night I was having a lovely talk with an old high school friend when he mentioned someone we used to know was teaching college while working on her doctorate. While also raising two daughters. By herself. Now, this is someone I remember best as getting in trouble for sneaking her boyfriend INTO her house after getting grounded for sneaking OUT of her house. Our deepest conversation ever was a lesson in visible panty lines. And did I mention she’s younger than I am? The whole situation just made me feel like I was staring at a giant sign that says “Welcome to Inadequacyville! Population: YOU”.

No matter how much I love being a mom – especially a stay at home mom – it just doesn’t feel like an accomplishment. You don’t have to be smart to have a baby. In fact, stupidity really seems to work in reproduction’s favor COUGH16andpregnantCOUGH. Sure it may be hard to be a GOOD mom but you don’t get any fancy letters after your name for the three hours you spent caring for a sick baby last night or your infinite patience cleaning up spit-up or the pain you went through for the sake of breastfeeding. Ok SURE you get a happy, (mostly) healthy, well-adjusted child but the only people who really appreciate that are their teachers, future spouse and the person who sits next to them at work some day. Blah. Would anyone even notice if all I wrote for the rest of this post is whine whine whine complain complain so ungrateful for all I have annoying self absorption whine whine whiiiine?

This is why the only people who look forward to their high school reunions are Bill Gates and Barack Obama.

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8 Responses to “Not Much”

  1. lalaland13 says:

    Well, if you’re lucky, the kid does. I try to tell my mom how awesome she is occasionally. We have a joke about “I’ll double your salary.” I think Husband Evan appreciating and cherishing you (oh god sorry I sound like a church counselor) will set a good example for the kid.

  2. Robyn says:

    As a working mom, with a few letters after her name, who’s also going to school for a few more, let me just tell you that you should NOT few inadequate! You are working hard everyday at the MOST important job. I feel inadequate for not being home with my baby more, especially those times when she refuses to nurse, which i keep blaming on of all those bottles she gets when I’m away. Being a mom is a hard job no matter whether you work or not, and every mom that does her best should feel proud of herself for trying so hard. We, as moms, all need to go a little easier on ourselves and each other…we’re all doing the best we can, or at least we should be. And as a side note, I do kind of wonder about those “super moms” who seem to do it all…kids, job, school, keeping a really clean house, and making healthy meals from scrathc…somethings got to give. I know for me, things like house cleaning, time with just my husband, and time for myself have to be sacrified in order for us to give the baby enough of what she needs.

  3. AGreenEyeDevil says:

    Quantity of actions DOES NOT equal quality of actions – trust that you are on the right track!!

  4. Meg says:

    I have to disagree with you, Suzanne, and agree with the first three commenters. You don’t have to have advanced degrees and all kinds of letters behind your name to be important. Right now, you are the most important person in Baby E’s life. Soon, he’ll get to that point where he not only needs you, but also knows that he loves and needs you. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment, to be the mother you are.

    That said, I sometimes feel it, too. I see people from high school who went to Big Colleges (I went to state school) and who have Amazing Careers (I’m a non-tenured middle school teacher who’s had a bunch of different jobs). Then I remind myself that everyone’s path is different, and my path took me to England and Washington, and has given me opportunities these other people won’t have because they’re stuck in one place growing that Awesome Career. I’ve learned how to have adventures while they stay in one place!

    I guess it’s all about perspective. Maybe when Baby E is a little older, and you start thinking about preschool, etc., you can start your amazing foundation for children or animals and become a household name for your awesome philanthropy.

  5. Meghan says:

    Having kids is like writing a tell-all book. They will pick up on all of your flaws and great qualities and you will see a reflection of you and Evan in them, both good and bad. This in and of itself may not seem like a great accomplishment since it will happen regardless of how much energy or thought you put into it. So, the ‘accomplishment’ part comes in being purposeful about what you want that legacy to be.
    I know our parents left us the legacy of commitment by staying married to each other. That is something from my parents and grandparents that I want to pass on to my kids as well. Now staying married to the father of your children may not seem like an ‘accomplishment’ either, but in this day of age, it really is.
    My mom stayed home with us and now I’ve continued that legacy and added to it by homeschooling my kids as well. I hope that is part of my legacy that they continue down through their lines. Sure, I could work at a j-o-b and get my sense of accomplishment from the number of zeros in my paycheck, but that isn’t the legacy I want to leave.
    Going to your in-laws for a long weekend for the holidays may not seem like an ‘accomplishment’ but when Evan 3 is an adult and married and has his kids, he isn’t going to take the attitude of “if they want to see me they’ll come to us”. You will have left your legacy on him that extended family is important and so that will be important to him as well.

  6. Raincheckmom says:

    Now you know why you ended up as a well adjusted individual, my darling daughter! Welcome to the motherhood club…

  7. Merin says:

    I feel the same way a lot of the time, Suzanne. I was so busy always: college, grad school, first job, then career, school+career, school+career+unsuccessful IVFs…leading to new career that I love and finally feel motivated about going to work and BOOM I get pregnant. Which leaves me sitting here at home with Cora, who is definitely awesome and a blessing, but its hard not to think about all the hard work, etc it took to get to this point, and am I throwing it all away by being a stay at home mom??? I’ve finally come to the realization that there is plenty of time to work. The baby is only a baby for a short time (how many times have you heard that?), and soon will start to develop a life of her own. You will never get this time back.

    And, I have to TOTALLY agree with Meghan’s post about staying married. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it really, really is. My marriage was one of the driving factors for me to stay home. I think you have to be realistic about what your plate can handle. I knew that if I went back to work, I would be mediocre in all facets of my life-mediocre wife, mediocre mother and mediocre teacher. Why not do a couple things great instead? I don’t think you will regret it.

    Oh-and later on, if I ever have Evan as a student, I will be VERY THANKFUL that he has such great parents!!

  8. I would like to echo the chorus of everyone who posted in front of me, especially Merin.

    I was trying to post about being a “working mom” last night and just had the first, worst case of writers block ever in the whole history of my blog. So I put the computer down and devoted my full attention to Glee.

    Since I’ve been back to work I’ve felt terrible about the time I’m away from my daughter, and I’ve also felt completely distracted and inadequate at my job. I can’t seem to ‘let go’ either the guilt of being away or the distraction while at the job. Some people thrive on having really full hectic lives while doing it all. Me, not so much. I’d be really happy to spend my days at home with the baby. Unfortunately, I can’t.

    And you know what, being a good mom and raising your child to be a decent human being is one of the greatest accomplishments in the world. All those letters after your name won’t mean dick if your kid grows up to be an asshole (and I am NOT trying to insult people with PhD’s who have kids here, or imply that your kid will be a jerk if you work or go to college while they’re a baby- I’m just saying what’s important is raising a decent human being in today’s crazy world)

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