15 Jun

I want so many things, it’s frustrating.  Many many things.  contradictory things.   Big things, little things.  Life-changing things and inconsequential things.  But I’m a grown-up (most of the time) and I know that wants aren’t needs.  Know that my wants can’t possibly all be met.  Know that sometimes the wants and needs of others have to come before my own. 

The wants that I have are so varied, so changed, I’m afraid I no longer know myself.  I’m really afraid I never actually knew myself.  And I live by the tenant that to be happy, one must know oneself.  I think that knowing what motivates you, knowing why you do the things you do, makes life easier, happier.  But if I can’t figure out what I REALLY want, do I know myself?

Things I want:

  • A baby
  • To be a stay-at-home-mom
  • To be able to go where I want
  • To be able to buy what I want
  • To have all the lovely dates with The Judge I can handle
  • To be successful
  • To be financially comfortable
  • To live in the downtown of a big city
  • To live in suburban Joliet
  • To never leave Indy
  • To own my grandmother’s house
  • To live in the house The Judge and I bought
  • To install new flooring
  • To never ever do another thing to this house but sell it
  • To travel the world
  • To never leave the beautiful haven of a house I created
  • To be thin
  • To eat the things I want, whenever I want
  • To be near my family
  • To never leave The Judge’s family

The list goes on and on.  I’m sure there will be things I regret not putting on the list the moment I hit publish. 

But most of those things can’t be.  At least not together. 

Part 1: The Baby and Home Life

I know, know, so desperately, that I want a baby. Okay,  babies.  Fine, many, many children.   And I want to stay at home with them.  Raise them.  Be a homemaker.  A maker of a home so beautiful and comforting, you feel happier and at peace just crossing the threshold. 

Guess what? 

#1 – The Judge does not support the idea of SAHMs.  He thinks (not unreasonably, I guess) that marriage is a partnership and that work should be divided equally.  And by equally he means straight down the middle.  You do half of the parenting, half of the homecare, half of everything.  And he’ll do the same.  And this will “free us up” to both work full-time as well and that way, no one “has” to stay at home. 

#2 – I like to live well.  I like stuff.  I’m not the hugest fan of scrimping and saving.  Even if the Judge was okay with the SAHM thing, he doesn’t make a fortune.  If I wasn’t working, and he didn’t find a better-paying job, we’d be down to 55-60% of our income.  I don’t know if I could do that.  I don’t know that I could cut what we live on, the activities that we do, down by 40%.  If I get to be a SAHM, but Junior would have to sleep in a dresser drawer and we had to eat PB&Js everyday, is that the kind of sacrifice I’d be willing to make?  If I didn’t get the chance to eat out or go somewhere or whatever, would I start to hate my life a little?

#3 – I like my job.  I mean, do I wake up everyday impatient to get right back to the office?  Nope. But I do like it.  I’m well paid.  I get to be in charge of things and people.  The work I do serves a larger purpose and helps people.  It can be quite satisfying. 

#4 – Could I really do it?  Could I really stay at home and not leave for other things?  Not have the chance, daily, to be fulfilled by something that wasn’t home or family?  Sadly, I can’t know the answers to those things before I experience them.  I won’t know until I try.  But what happens if I try and it turns out I was fooling myself?  That I hate being home?  That I can’t handle the washing/cleaning/babyminding/mending/etc?  That I would, in fact, rather share those things and work? 

I know that these are questions faced by a lot of young marrieds.  I know that I come across as selfish and demanding.  But this is how I feel.  And I can’t talk through it with the Judge; he’s on a multi-day jury trial this week. 

Coming soon –  Part 2: There’s no place like home, unless home is somewhere else.   Wherein the author tries to reconcile her love of the city with the reality of her life. 


3 Responses to “Unmet”

  1. Biswajit Dash June 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    This is such a nice and honest description of feelings! This post is enough optimistic, full of wishes and by grace everything will be granted.

    Tek care!

  2. km July 14, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    When it comes to kids and work v. SAHM don’t make any decisions before you have the kid. You may realize that 24/7 momhood is not for you, even though you are 100% positive that that’s not the case now, at this childfree time.
    I had a very wise boss whose wife was an absolute laser-focused career person who when her son was born stopped everything and devoted herself to her family. He was stunned. When I was pregnant he said “know what your intentions are and be very open to changing them”>
    On the other hand I have had friends who after 6 months at home come crawling to my office door saying ” find me something, anything. My mind has melted into mush”.
    So don’t decide on any fast and hard rule. Maybe you could stay home for a few months / till preK/till college/ never. Play it by ear.

  3. Rechelle August 16, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    I am really glad I stayed at home with my kids, but I was also frequently driven insane by it and now I am faced with a life that if far behind many of my peers in terms of career. If I ever gave a young woman advice I would certainly counsel her to stay involved in some way in a field of work that is interesting to her even if she wants to devote herself full time to the care of her child. Maybe a part time job or job share, maybe in a way that allows flexible scheduling or work from home. As to your husband, I think the reality of his own child is quite different than the abstract version of his child that is in his head. Women seem to visualize parenthood a bit more viscerally than men do. Men don’t seem to fully absorb the idea until the baby sticks it’s head out of the birth canal. It is a major shock to their systems as if they thought that their wife (partner) were simply pretending to be pregnant the whole time.

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