My last time I've written on the See Mom Work Blog was June 2017 - over a year and a half ago.
I've always aspired to be a writer and blogging seemed a natural fit for me. I have enjoyed keeping a blog and attempting to chronicle my motherhood journey in a quest for work/life balance. A few years ago, something shifted in my psyche and in my life and I burnt out of everything. Maybe it's been a mid-life crisis or depression, who knows, but a culmination of things caused an unexplained implosion.
Trying to raise three young kids, one of whom was (is) a diabolical pre-teen with ADD/ODD, and another immature, attention-seeking child, led to a chaotic household. I felt out-of-control and unable to cope with it. I tried unsuccessfully to keep the house clean which continually upset me. I tried unsuccessfully to advance in my Career, and had two awful, short-term jobs back-to-back. I felt like I needed a mental break and would have preferred to have ONE job for once - to care for the kids and home. I couldn't do it all and have it all.
I wanted my husband to step up and help me or lighten my load. Let me take a break from working, hire a house cleaner, take us on a vacation or short getaways. I felt trapped and hopeless. I became angry, bitter and resentful. I took it out on him and the kids and wanted to run away. I withdrew, blamed and was convinced things would never change. I felt triggered and experienced similar hopeless feelings from my memories of childhood; growing up poor in a chaotic household with 'feral' children and a single mom who had checked out and neglected us. It felt like my husband was also checking out, constantly on his phone or the computer at home after work, taking the kids camping trips on the weekend without me, not communicating with me or showing me affection, and other perceived slights. I felt invisible.
My hope and dreams of having my career and life aspirations had hit a stand still and I felt sad and frustrated that I couldn't make 'great' things happen. I was (am) very jealous of everyone else who seemed to be living much better lives, making their dreams come true and looking great doing it. It seemed to me I was always going to be struggling with unmet goals and needs. Perhaps my self-defeating thoughts were a major pity party based in lies I tell myself. But I focused my anger on my husband and blamed him. Which didn't have positive consequences - it led to our separation, then divorce.
I have been working full time again for about a year and a half in a job that I enjoy. I co-parent with 'Daddy-O' pretty well, we are friendly and focused on being good parents and the kids seem mainly well-adjusted and happy. I bought a condo almost a year ago that seems more and more like a home all the time. I'm adjusting to the minimalist lifestyle, following a tight budget, cooking and cleaning more rigorously and being independent and autonomous. But it hasn't solved my loneliness and melancholy. It scares me a lot when I think about being destitute and not able to care for myself and kids. So now I really need to make sure I stay employed, even when my restlessness and irritation kicks in (as it always does).
So, that is my brief overview of the new changes in my life the past few years. In this new year, I am going to focus on continue my writing 'hobby' to somehow turn it into more of a business. I'm going to work on improving my mood and outlook, seeking professional therapy and other healthy actions. I will read self-help books that deal with my unique issues with my dysfunctional family upbringing and attachment disorders. I will start journaling again. I will get better at meditating regularly. I will spend more time outdoors. I will be more honest, authentic and assertive. I will spend quality time with people who bring me joy. I will take up hobbies/activities that keep my mind and body active. I will drink less alcohol and eat more healthy, home cooked foods. I will ensure that my kids take me seriously and follow my instructions, doing their part to keep up a tidy, calm home and that we participate in fun activities together that don't involve screen time. (Wishful thinking).
For my new(ish) job, I'm going to continue to give 100%, get experience in that particular industry niche and eventually get promoted to make more, then work towards my next gig. Hopefully a job where I can work remote and have more flexibility. If the economy takes another downturn and I lose my job again, I will have to reassess my career choice. I'm getting older, less edgy, dare I say irrelevant. I need to make sure I stay on top of business trends, best practices and work those career angles. I have over 20 Years Left in my working life, so I would really love to work in a job/career I enjoy and I feel appreciated and impactful. I have at least five years left in paying after school childcare expenses. But, I can't get too excited because then I'm sure there will be a lot of college expenses to worry about.
I suppose I'm starting to realize that life is a constant struggle. Comfort and security is never really guaranteed. That social media is a farce and a lie. I will continue to limit my time on Facebook and Instagram for personal use because it aggravates me and tends to stir jealousy and anger in me. That perfectionism is toxic. Life is a circuitous journey. I should give myself and others grace. Gratitude is therapeutic. And all that jazz.
Well, I've successfully published my first blog post of 2019. And it wasn't that difficult at all! I will aim to keep momentum in writing and power through mental blocks against it. It is very therapeutic for me to share my struggles. I would like to delve into writing about my family, my battle against melancholy, seeking recreational activities to offset my demanding work/parenting life and other miscellaneous rants regarding working mom angst. Wish me luck! And THANK YOU for reading! Leave a comment and some encouragement if you're inclined.