desperate to be a housewife

In ALL, INTROSPECTION, MARRIAGE, RAISING HOPS INTO BEERSby Stephanie Klein41 Comments

Desperate Housewives (Season 2)

I don't watch Desperate Housewives. I've seen it a few times, but I've never been an orthodox viewer. As I scrambled to compose yet another to-do list the other night, a preview for the show popped on, and I thought, "See, now there. That's what I want." I don't want to have to work or promote, to market, or to worry. I just want to do my little projects, to go to Target with a few mini boxes of raisins in my bag, and strap the tots in a shopping cart. I want to go to Mommy & Me events and developmental mornings, to make dates with other moms and talk about birth control, Sex & The City, and casseroles. I want to wear an apron and have coordinating potholders, to have time to capture more of my life with a camera, a pen, and some glue. Time to read magazines, or at least flip through them just to look at the coordinated outfits.

I think I want these things because they sound effortless right now. I know though, that if it came down to living that, I'd complain that it was too hard. That lugging around two kids all the time is taxing, that I need more stimulation, that I fucking hate baking, that I'm bored and want to go back to work, to an office, where women have office husbands, and people go out for happy hour. I think too many times I wish for "other" instead of being thankful for all that I have at the moment.

So as busy and stressed as I am, I need to give myself a good bitch-slapping into reality from time to time. Here it is:

As desperately as you think you want something else, realize that when you have it, you'll wish for this… at least sometimes. Don't be the idiot you refused to date, the guy who didn't know what he had until it was gone. Recognize all you have and hold it. Tight.

There is nothing wrong with want. It's good to want. It keeps you moving. Want is awesome. Want all you want, and don't feel guilty about it. Just also recognize all you have.

Celebrate the nights where you pull into the driveway knowing you have a beautiful family behind the doors of a home. That you can move freely, dance the funky chicken, and sing out loud. Yodel. Clap. Do the get down get down with those tater tots, and know that at the end you'll want more of these "now" moments.

I know you struggle with how to spend your time, how to prioritize, where to focus, so I'll make it easy on you: focus on your family and where you've been. Remember Grandma and all the questions she asked when she came over, how she wanted to hear about school and your friends and where you got your dress. Remember where you came from and let that ground you when you begin to compare, begin to compete, begin to doubt, and know there was a time in your life when you were loved and adored just as you are.

You are not your promotion, your graduate school, your marriage, or your blog. Open your eyes and realize you're where you should be, and that time in your past of which you think so fondly is actually still true today. Be thankful, and show it, to the people who do love you without the diplomas, awards, sales. Toast to them, drink with them. Call them. You'll feel better, and you'll brighten the day of someone else.

Comments

  1. I too suffer from "grass is greener" syndrome. I get so lonely and bored being a SAHM, but, when it comes down to it, I am too selfish to allow a nanny to raise my children. I never have to worry about missing an important event or milestone of my kiddos life- and, I wouldn't have it any other way.

  2. I'm glad you took this further because your description of Target etc. sounds like a fucking nightmare- desperate housewife indeed, stepford robot

  3. You're 100% right on with this post. I strive to live each day relishing every moment with the darlings, appreciating and ackowledging my mom and dad, patting and fluffing my co-workers…I call it living graciously. At the end of my life, I aim to look back and say with a sigh of contentment "that was lovely".

  4. Awesome post. I tend to have to remind myself to live in the "here and now" too.

  5. We are all so guilty of wishing for the "other" instead of being thankful for all that we have at the moment. Thank you for reminding me of that.

  6. Pure inspiration. Thank you for this – it is just what I needed today.

    I'm so excited for you to be at the Printer's Row Book fair this June! If you are looking for great places to eat, I recommend Spring, Naha or Blackbird. And get lots of cupcakes from Sweet Mandy B's, they don't disappoint.

  7. Gah. I am totally in the same place right now. I thought getting a PhD would be so fulfilling, stimulating and rewarding. But I now, most days, I am miserable. It's not enough for me and I resent it for taking up my 20s, my youth, my fertile years.
    What I really want is a baby and a house, with a backyard and a dog and a garden and daily yoga class and Gymboree. I'd like to write a book and run a bed & breakfast on the beach. I'd like to make my own organic baby food and read non-scinece books.
    My boyfriend asked me the other day if I thought my life would feel more purpose-filled (is that a word?), more important, more fulfilling, if I was a Mom, and I knew instantly that my answer was "Yes."
    Then there is the rational side of me that says, no, Crystal, you will regret it if you quit the PhD half-way through, your work is important and potentially life-saving, your single life is free and fabulous. You have it all, and you will miss it when things change.

  8. This post reminds me of the quote I have tacked to my cubicle at work. I don't remember where I found it though.

    "Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;
    But remember that what you have now was once among the things you only hoped for."

  9. OK! Well. Yes, not a very good start to a comment. I read this post earlier today. And promptly left. I thought about leaving a comment, but just couldn't bring myself to.

    I have thought about your post off and on, whenever my brain wasn't reading or doing something else. That means it bugged me, even though I wasn't completely sure of the reason.

    I'm still not completely sure; but felt that since you have always opened up about your life, thoughts and feelings with all of us, for myself, I needed to do the same. Your post hit on several of (what I like to call) my trigger buttons. Which means those areas in my life that the mere mention of can bring out my insecurities; or the vulnerable pain of my life choices that have caused me regret.

    I'd read a paragraph of your post, and BANG, button pushed. I'd read another, and WHAM, button 2 pushed. And on and on. (Thank God you didn't write another 10 paragraphs, or I'd have had to call my shrink for an emergency appt.) I'm joking. Somewhat. You have a way of writing that hits on areas that I think a good many of us may struggle with at different times in our lives.

    The life you desribe in paragraph one is mine. (Accept my kids don't need to be lugged around with emergency snacks anymore) Do I enjoy it? A good deal of the time. And then there's those moments when I see the rushed career woman in her designer office outfit and heels. Complete with full makeup, designer handbag and the modern version of yester year's breifcase. (Most likely a laptop, etc) Talking on her cell in hurried and important tones. She looks important. She's busy, with head held high, walking briskly and with purpose. And it hurts. I'm not sure why, it just does.

    My husband has a high-profile job that includes many dinners and events that the spouses are included in. I'm going to venture to say they are mandatory, although that may be a tad strong. Now take that housewife out of her comfort zone, where she's expected to make small talk. Of course small talk usually starts out with, "And what do you do, Teri?" The six words I dread most, and have spent many hours with the help of my husband trying to flesh out a response that doesn't make me turn bright red with embarrassment.(I'm sorry, in these situations, that's how I feel) That might sound a bit melodramatic, but you'd be surprised at some of the responses I receive when I say I'm a "stay-at-home-mom." The one I remember the most was when both husband and wife went dead silent, I guess not knowing what to say after that. The husband finally chirps up with, "Great work, if you can get it I guess." And that was the last of our conversation. Prior to that question, we had been talking animatedly of different places we'd vacationed. What we liked and didn't about Hawaii, NYC, etc.) But usually the response is silence and I no longer cease to exist or matter, which leaves me twiddling my thumbs and making trips to the restroom to reapply lipstick, or waste time until we can leave.

    Next up with trigger buttons, is my issue of no college degree. I took some classes, and did technical training to get my license as a pharmacy technician. While I worked in the hospital, it relieved a little of that embarrassment. Unfortunately for a few different reasons working in that capacity in Arizona is not possible. (Pay is half of what I made in another state, and starting out would mean swing shift. Which is no longer a possiblity with school age kids. I'd never see them, let alone be their mother) At this point in time, staying at home is a choice I made, with the full support of my husband.

    The problem is it's so hard to feel any sense of self-esteem, since I no longer bring in a paycheck. Add to that, if I had gotten a degree, maybe there would have been more doors open for me to work while they are in school. My biggest regret IS not having that degree. I shrink from conversations regarding colleges and where everyone went and what they majored in.

    At 44, discovering more than a few areas of interest that I would love to work in, but cannot, because I do not have that degree, is painful. I've spent many hours trying to come up with plans to go back to school. I have a list of reasons of why that isn't possible. My life choices have brought me to where I'm at now. But so often it seems worthless as far as society's attitudes, and even many women perceive you in that light. Adding the fact that almost everyone of the past women my husband dated, married, lived with, were all professional women with degrees and careers. (One of which followed him out here from back East, and basically has the career I would have loved to have had, under different circumstances.) I guess that's called plain old jealousy.

    And then came your bitch-slap. (I realize that was for yourself, but can see where almost any woman could apply it to her attitudes and life.) I may make a copy of that to read prior to the husband's work engagements, and after them as well.

    I have always loved reading your blog, Stephanie. (And still do) A small part of it, is that I look at your life as the glamorous one, with the dreams I'll never have. I have long since come to terms with that, and do enjoy the many attributes my lifestyle affords me. I enjoy reading about your life adventures and career. I applaud your every success, and pray for you and your family during the rough times.

    But the fact remains, there's a patch of grass on the other side, that looks more attractive than the patch I'm standing on. It is a battle to fight that attitude. After reading your post, I plan on fighting it a little bit harder.

    So, in the end, I want to thank you for a post that's so full of insight, that it had me running for the X-out. And that, I've learned over the years, is a good thing. In order to grow, there are uncomfortable moments that need to be faced in order to get where you want and/or need to be.

    I'll end with saying, I can't wait to read your new book!

    All my best,

    3T

    FROM STEPHANIE: I consider you a friend, and that was so brave, so beautifully stated, and so self-actualized. Being spoken to or greeted with pity has to be a worse offense than farting after sex. It just has to be. The fact is, we make our choices, and others make their choices, aligned with our priorities. I don't think all our choices in life were managed or manipulated by our lethargic brains or frail egos. I truly believe we've made the choices we have based on what we know, based on our guts, and sometimes, someone walks in and kind of throws something at us that sticks. And maybe kinda hurts, too. But the beautiful thing is, if we're lucky, we have the opportunity to do something about it. Sometimes the "do" involves thinking it over, and simply affirming our decision. Other times it involves taking steps toward something new. I applaud you (not that you need it) for doing a little of both. It's not easy. I know it. But you've got a fan rooting for you here.

  10. Crystal,
    I struggled with the same thing. Only in a slightly different way. In high school I wanted to be a lawyer. However I didn't know if I wanted to put a family on hold for years until I had gone through school and established a career and payed off student loans. I know it is possible to do both but I don't think I can do both (me personally). I don't want to miss out on a daily interactions with my family and I don't want to miss out on a large part of their lives. I know I would as a lawyer b/c I am a perfectionist and I would push myself too far/too hard in both my family life and career life.

    But that is me! I know that to me a family is the absolute most important thing in my life. But if that is not what a person wants out of their life I fully support them and their strive for a career (or whatever else they want to do!). Please don't get me wrong here I am not condemning careers, family life, or anything. I am just giving my point of view.

    I decided that law is not for me. I am meant to be a teacher. I love kids and I love teaching and I love helping people. So I combined the three!
    Crystal, if your heart desires a Ph.D. go for it!!! Just listen to the other part of you too. The part that knows you want a family. Could you possibly do both at the same time? I couldn't, but that doesn't mean you can't. :)

    I hope my story came off right. I don't know exactly what I am trying to say! lol :)

    Oh and yes my name really is Crystal too :)

  11. I have to applaud 3T for your amazing comment. I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. I am the same age as you, also a stay-at-home mom (of 3), and although I do have the college degree and worked until #1 was born, my husband and I decided that it would be best for our family if I stayed home. I worked from home for a few months, but I was so sleep deprived that it became pointless, so I gave that up to become a full time mom. My husband also has that high-profile career, and most of his partners' wives work outside the home (although there is one Mr Mom). I also sometimes feel as if I am looked down upon b/c I don't bring home a pay check, although I certainly have a very full time job. My husband happens to be away on business this week, and when he is home, he usually works until 9-10pm. It's not easy for either one of us.

    What really upset me last week was something my 9 yr old said. She had a class presentation during the day, and she BEGGED my husband to be there. He rearranged his whole schedule so that he could attend. That night, I asked her if she thanked him for coming. She said yes, and then she thanked me too. Then, she paused, and said, "but really, it was more of a big deal for Daddy to come b/c you come to everything, and really, where would you be anyway?" She didn't mean to be hurtful. She happens to be the sweetest child, but to her, I'm a SAHM, which translates to being at my kids' beck and call. That night I cried. I've been thinking for a while of going back to work. I still want to be available to the kids, but I need to be more than just mom. What my daughter said really hit a nerve. Where would I be anyway? Maybe having a life of my own! So, 3T, when you see the women dressed in their business suits and it hurts, perhaps that is why. At least, I think it is for me. We both have given up a lot for a great cause. But maybe now it's time for both of us (and many other women out there too) to start fighting our battles to get back in the game. And the jealousy you may feel for your husband's exes? Remember, he's married to YOU now!

    Oh, and that patch of grass you see that looks more attractive than the one you're standing on? A friend of mine once told me that everyone has the same shitty grass. So, good luck to you as you decide what works best for you.

    It's not easy, at 44, figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. The funny thing is, Stephanie, you once posted about "My Book About Me", which I filled out when I was about 6 or 7. I still have it today, and under the question where it asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wrote, "a mother". Go figure.

  12. 3t, the lesson in all of it is to not judge other people. There are women who have chosen the college career route rather than have kids, who have been judged just as harshly by moms. The look of pity a person receives for being in their 40's without kids is akin to the one you might receive at dinner parties. The grass really is always greener….

  13. Is this a redesign or what? New (big) font, newest posts at the bottom …. not nice.

    FROM STEPHANIE: No, this is not the redesign. Just someone who doesn't know how to program doing the best she can for the time being.

  14. Stephanie,

    This post is so timely for me and just want I needed to hear. It is stuff I struggle with all the time. All I ever wanted was to be published author. Writing was all I ever wanted to do. But what I didn't realize was all the work involved around that. The promoting and the marketing is not what I like. So what I am struggling with now is to how to not let the lack my book's success define me as a person or define my life. I let it make me feel like a failure as a person, and as a writer. I have let it keep me from writing more.

    When I survived cancer and even when I lost my husband I tried to look at what was really important. I have learned alot about myself through those experiences and yet have so much more to learn. I wonder sometimes what it is gonna take but don't want any more life changing lessons. I need to stop and look around me at what I have and that is most important. That I was lucky enough to find a man who could see past my bald head and boob without a headlight to what was really inside and fall in love with me. That I found that love again after loosing so much. That I have a warm house, a warm and fuzzy puppy, a husband laying next to me in bed at night, that I can walk outside and feel the sun on my face and the breeze blowing my hair.

    I want to be more grateful for what I have and where I am in my life. I want to realize that what I Do isn't who I AM. I want to take more walks, read more books, take more pictures, reconnect with girlfriends but most of all reconnect with myself.

    Thank you Stephanie for another great post that has made me think about alot of things thaat need to be thought about, things that can make me a better person, a happier person. Taking more time to realize that I am where I need to be……but still not giving up the "want"

    This is what I love about your blog….this kind of honesty in your posts. You write about things we can all relate to but may not necessarily admit to others and not even ourselves.

  15. Sk, and everyone out there:

    I'm a type A personality, meaning I'm prone to believe that accomplishments equal happiness. At the end of the day, they don't. And that's where I have my family to be grateful for and a husband who loves me, no matter what.

    I was very unhappy two years ago and I believed that changing jobs would be the answer to it all. When in reality, I wanted to disappear from the hell that I was surrounding myself with. SO I applied to become a spy at the CIA. I was chosen to interview and I went through the entire two year process, so excited that I was going to become the next '24.' In the meantime, my boyfriend (who is now my husband) broke up with me and told me that I had become a bump on a log, disatisfied with everything that was in front of me. Boy, was that the shock of a lifetime. I was offered a job to become a spy, and I rejected it, deciding to face my problems head on.

    So, I didn't go on to become a spy. But I thought that doctorhood would suit me. So I applied to a program at Columbia that is a post-grad certificate to obtain the pre-med requirements that I needed. One day, while sitting in class, learning about atoms, I realized that this too wasn't what I wanted. That becoming a doctor and a spy might be interesting, but it WAS not going to bring me happiness.

    I may pursue an MFA in the fall [The New School]. I'm running my second marathon in October. I have a pretty cool job as an accountant in New York, and I love my colleagues and my life right now. I'm at a place where I love accomplishing, but I don't let it define me because when it comes down to it, I the people that love me for who I am, degree, or no degree at all. I love that at the end of the day, my husband and I come home to each other, problems, smells and all. Because its the life outside your job, the authenticity of it all, that defines who you really are.

  16. 'It's better to want what you can have, than to have what you can't want.
    It's better to wish for something,
    than to not wish at all.'
    Steve Larson

    I try and say this whenever I am feeling lost.
    It works half the time.
    Thank you for the reminder!

  17. Amanda,. besides 1 slide with the cover of her book what about this video has to do with MOOSE? You actually wrote a comment whining that an author who doesn't have advertising on her blog and has a book coming out end of May promotes it? And promotes it in a fun way rather than in your face ad? Even then there wouldn't be anything wrong with it. The absolute audacity you have to even suggest Stephanie shouldn't promote MOOSE on her site because it interferes with your reading. Does she not still post just about every day with her regular musings?

  18. Me again – I just wanted to jump in and voice my support for 3T as well. I love your comments…and I agree that this life thing is not for wimps. I want to tell you that I've been working on my f-ing bachelor degree for 24 years. 24 years. More than half of my life. And now – finally – in 9 little weeks, I will own that piece of paper.

    This semester, I'm getting up at 5:30 – making breakfast and lunches for the darlings, straightening up – sending 2 of them on their way – getting other one poised to meet the car pool, getting to the gym at 7:00 – 30 minutes of hard cardio 5 days a week before class at 8:15 – scream out of there to work – work like a dog until 6:30-7:00 – head home, pat, feed, fluff the darlings, reconnect with home stuff – snuggle in for the evening with my laptop connected to work and work until 9:30 (in kind of a half-assed way) – then serious work once the kidlets are in bed, just to start again a mere 6-7 hours later.

    It's hard, hard, hard to go back to school. Let me take a moment and say to all of you young readers who are thinking "I'll be different – once I get married, I'll go right back to school – babies won't make a difference – school is important to me and I won't let life get in the way"…

    Life gets in the way. Finish BEFORE you take the next step. Listen to all of the people who give you that advice – we're right.

    Back to work now – I had my 10 minute break. :)

  19. I fantasize, too, about being able to fully immerse myself in being a mom – not because I have a job to go to, but because I have to start chemotherapy soon. I would love nothing more than to enjoy my 7-week-old baby and his big brother and have nothing else to do but nurture them all summer long, but you can't ignore cancer. Unfortunately. I look at moms out walking with their little ones and feel major pangs of envy because they seem so carefree and happy with their lives, and I can't even take my babies for a walk (cancer in my hip). But I can't let myself go there for too long. That's not the way to live life. I find I feel happiest and most alive when I am right there in the moment with my family, smiling at the silly words my 21-month-old strings together, at the sweetness of my newborn's toothless smiles. You wrote: "You are not your promotion, your graduate school, your marriage, or your blog." To that, I can add, "You are not your cancer."

  20. What lovely and thought provoking comments everyone wrote. Stephanie, this speaks to your abilities as a writer!

    In 2 weeks I will graduate law school. Did you know that it's possible to feel burnt out at age 25? I know that sounds ridiculous, but it has been some of the worst 3 years of my life. 3 teens' mom – when people ask me why I didn't take time off, I say that knowing myself, if I didn't go straight through, I never would go back. I watched my mother go back to school to finish her bachelor's degree in her 50s. I watched her straight A GPA ruined while she divorced my father. And you know what? She never finished it. She said, at her age (almost 60 at that point), she just didn't have the memory anymore. Couldn't retain. It is one of her biggest regrets.

    I joke to my mother all the time that i'll never get married. She says that I sound ridiculous, because I'm 25. She says, that's not how your life is measured. You will be a lawyer in a few months; look at all of your scholastic accomplishments. I point out that my clock is ticking. The point is…. in response to 3T, Julie, and everyone else's very beautiful and poignant comments, the grass does seem to always be greener. It's interesting to know that, while you're needing or wanting something, someone else is very much wishing for what you have.

  21. let me see if i can help you appreciate your green grass a little (i have g/b twins, 18 months). target doesn't have double shopping carts. until the bebes are bigger. and when we go i have to bring much more than raisens. sometimes it even involves the yodeling and clapping. out loud. in front of strangers. to keep the peace. oh yeah, it does. and same for storytimes and other events. but i do love it so i have to say that. i have yet to have the time to cook a casserole while wearing an apron and it takes me almost a full month to get through a magazine before next month's is at my door. i got my ph.d a few months before getting pregnant…it all fell into place nicely. now i dabble with work and i (sometimes) look forward to the next phase of really "working" when they are older. and getting back to that life. for now i just try to soak up every second, like you mentioned, taking at least 5 new photos per day and trying not to forget a moment. even bad ones. everyone could use a good bitch-slap though.

  22. Thanks to everyone for such insightful comments! I am doing the SAHM thing myself right now. I think it's a great thing to do for your little ones if you are willing and able, but it definitely comes at a price. There are plenty of mornings when I'd rather drop the tot off at a good daycare and sit in my old office and work all day with other adults. I can imagine running out for a coffee or doing errands all by myself at lunch. As a SAHM I can't even pee alone. Thanks for the reminder, Stephanie, that the grass is not always greener. I'm very lucky to have what I have and try to focus on that when things get tough.

  23. Green grass does not exist. Everyone has crabgrass and bare patches, none of which should prevent you from dragging your bbq & lawn chair right out there and enjoying yourself. Look closely at those who appear to have acres of pure green grass; you'll see that they actually paved over every bit of real turf and painted it green. And that's enough metaphor for one day. Also, no fantasy alternate life of mine would include Target. Or raisins.

  24. Thank you.
    I stood in the rain today. Wind blowing, 50ish degrees, at least 30 lbs overweight, house in a state of freakish mess, waiting for the first of my 3 year old twins to get on the bus for school. The short bus. Then I had to wait for the other twin to get off the bus… again, the short bus. You know what I mean by 'short bus'. Does that seem cruel? Shocking? Hey, I've got a sense of humor about all the things this life has brought me. I'm old(ish), I have a 7 year old born w/ a birth defect(not life threating by any means), then twins where one of the duo was also born w/ the same birth defect only far worse than his older brother. Then his twin sister who needed a helmet and as the years went on while focusing on her brother now has 'other issues' that fell so far below my radar I cried, hence, the 'short bus'.
    I relate to 3T and so many other moms here. I have a degree. I was/am a Spec. Ed. teacher. I was damn good too. I married late and swipe my brow thinking how lucky I am to have met a great guy AND have kids as that was a journey in itself. At dinner parties, Rotary events, school meetings, I use my past career as a point to prove I have value.
    Truth be told, I've never been more valuable, worthwhile, needed, loved then when I had my children. The other irony is I've never been more passionate or dedicated to anything in my life. The other unfortunate truth is I've never felt as defensive about my decisions as when I had children and chose to put everything aside for them. Because I'm fabulous? No, because they need me. Truth be told, all of my kids have something that require my complete focus and attention. Not easy divided by three.
    I looked at the grass across the street that is far greener than mine. The house is also far bigger, more opulent. As I was thinking of the wonderful, capable, suberb, excellent, contributing-to-the-world-mother that lived there, my three year old yanked the hem of my oversized, stained shirt to tell me she loved me. And I realized I am her world. I am where the train pulls into the station, where the buck stops, the piper to be paid.
    I stood in the rain today and thanked God I was able to stand, to have children, live in a house, complain about having so much to eat that my clothes don't fit, for living where I do to give my kids the best care in the world, for my health, for that moment, for realizing that my tomb-stone won't read, "I wish I had worked more and made other people happy", for my freedom to choose, for the people in my life.
    I'm blessed.
    No matter how messy my house is. :)

  25. Nice post. I try to do that… I try to live by the gravestone rule. What will be on my gravestone when I die? It sure as well won't be "delivered an optimal 3 year strategic plan," it will hopefully be "lived a rich and happy life. Beloved wife, mother,and friend."

    But it would be NICE to have a footnote in my obituary about some great shit I accomplished. :-)

    And no matter what, I DO hate baking.

  26. Thank you Crystal V! It's nice to know many other women out there struggle with the same things I do and I appreciate your you advice and willingness to share your experience.

  27. Thank you Stephanie, once again for your words of wisdom. I have just finished reading about all of these wonderful women, who we all have so much in common with; at the same time, all living very different lives. I'm goig to have to say, your "bitchslap post" for me, is one of your top-10-ers!

    To the person who stated that we all have bare patches and crab grass; thanks for the laugh! So very funny because of the truth in it!

    Colleen, God bless YOU and your wonderful family! I'm in complete awe of each of your readers, Stephanie!

    This has to be the most supportive and open comments I've read, oh; since Stephanie's last post.

    I'm humbled to be part of this wonderful group of readers!

    With Love,

    3T

  28. Not time to read the comments until later… I did see 3T's though and it was lovely. I feel for you and think it sucks some people might respond in a way to make you feel uneasy. Could be they really do not know what to ask as they don't have a point of reference (rather than disdain); they don't have a scripted response for someone who is a SAHM. I found your post heart felt and I wanted to hug you! It's never too late to do what you want, ever. You already have a loving husband and family it seems who will support you. It's a shame if some folks fail to see the importance of what a full time mother does but hey, the people who really count – your family- will more than make up for that. The kids who will grow up and think hey, mom was there for me. I'm so glad she was. You'll be more than rewarded. And know that you can do whatever you want. It starts with wanting and wondering.
    Those career women who look so together probably have has their own insecurities. They worked hard for what they wanted and might have nights where they wondered if they made the right choice. None of us are exempt from those feelings.
    I just wanted to wish you luck and support and I hope you give yourself the credit you truly deserve. Your life has made such an impact and sadly you won't appreciate it all right now until you are a little easier on yourself.

    And Barbara E. crabgrass comment- laughed till I coughed. You're a damned riot.

    Anyway, thanks Stephanie for this post. It's what you do so well, posts like this. You are good at motivating people. You could consider a career in that if you ever tire of writing. I mean it.

    And thanks again to the commenters who share so much here that really does help other people, total strangers, put things into perspective. It's one of the things I like about this blog.

  29. I am NOT a mom (yet) and I have not finished my degree either.

    I turned 27 in March and feel that time is going by wayy too fast. I made the mistake of putting a guy first and not school and here I am.. without that guy and without that degree.

    It is one of my life's biggest regrets.. and now, the hard part is finding the funds to go back to school. I so wish I would have finished my degree when I was younger and had all the time in the world..

  30. My guess is that a great majority of people reach the grass-is-greener stage by their late twenties/early thirties. At least everyone in my circle has. So maybe it's our demographic? Educated, accomplished young women with every option open to them. . .growing up and narrowing their options. I don't know if that makes sense.

    For me (and so many of my friends–we're all about 30 now), we went to college at a good private university. We had scholarships; we were smart; we spent hour after hour discussing what we would major in. . .where we would work. . .what travel it could afford us. . .how much of the world we could see. Options were nearly limitless, and it was dazzling.

    Then comes junior year, senior year. Time to make decisions, make the choice so we can get done in the respectable 4 years. And suddenly your options are narrowed–you've chosen a field. But! There are still so many options–so many different places you could work, companies, locations. Then you take a job–more narrowing. But! You still have a busy and amorphous social life to provide the excitement–who will you meet? Where will they invite you? Who will you meet then? On and on. Then you meet THE ONE. Maybe you're ready to quit the playing field, maybe you're not. But sometimes you can't deny what's RIGHT, so you see your chance and jump in. . .

    The snowball rolls on. You're together. You're not dating anyone else. You're engaged. . .married. . .pregnant. . .mommy. And suddenly, POOF. Where are all the options? Where is the limitless dazzle of being 24 with every major decision ahead of you?

    Sorry, it took way too long to get to my point. But that's where most of my friends are right now. "What if I had gone to medical school? What if I had taken that job in Belgium? What if. . ." It's part of the human situation to always look at the "other" and wonder. But I do believe it hits us particularly hard at this age and stage, where we're still so close to that last stage–where we can still feel the giddyness of how it felt to have all of that excitement ahead.

    So I am commenting to empathize, but moreso to offer the one piece of wisdom that's helped me get over most of the grass-is-greener feeling. It's something I realized a few years ago: there are literally hundreds of different lives I could have lived. Right? I could have chosen any career, found a job anywhere in the world, looked for any kind of man/relationship. I could be a ballerina in Moscow right now, I suppose, if that's what I had worked really hard for. The point is, no matter WHICH OPTION you chose, you never, ever could have chosen more than ONE. Right? So what if you were a ballerina in Moscow? There are still hundreds of other things that you COULD NOT be doing at the same time.

    That might not make sense to anyone else, but (strangely maybe) it's really comforting to me. Because I realize that when I'm thinking the grass is greener, it's because I'm thinking of ALL of those other things I COULD be doing. The reality is, in one lifetime I wouldn't be able to do ALL of those things at once. And I am happy with the choices I've made. Could I have been happier with any other choices? Certainly. But you can't look at all of those other options and wish you had taken those, because you couldn't take them all at once. And any one you took would be to the exclusion of all the others. So what if what you have now means the exclusion of something else? Could you live without writing AND being a mother? No? Then living the balance between the two is the option you need to choose, consequences and all. If you COULD live without the writing, then give it up and embrace that "other" which is such a reachable option for you right now. But my sense from you is that that's a choice your heart won't let you make. So embrace the balancing act and love that you can live a big chunk of TWO great options.

    I know I'm over-explaining–it's complicated and I just want to get it out there in case it will help anyone else with the restlessness.

    Remember: life is full of beauty and also shit. EVERY option would leave you with that same balance.

  31. I`m sure this is a post most women can relate to.
    At the moment I`m a SAHM with my second child who is just 6 months old. The older one is 6 years old. And I have to say that being a mom is definitely a full-time-job. And that`s the point: I`m working all day – cleaning, cooking, doctor-appointments with the kids – there`s a long list with things to do everyday. But, when the day ends, theres nothing I have to show and to say, look, that`s what I`ve done all day long. And this sucks! I mean, I`m working my ass off all day and there are no visible results. And this makes me miss my job, makes me want to break out off this housewife routine. Sometimes. Because there are other days, more days, days where I`m just proud to be a mom, where I`m lucky not to miss the milestones the kids make. Of course they are my first priority. Sometimes, grass is greener. But it helps to know that I`m not alone.
    Thank you for this post.

  32. OOOh. That one sounded a little like the "The what feels good" Diet Coka Cola ad. I could almost hear the voiceover

  33. I am appalled by the indiscriminate use of the F word by so many women today. Every time my wife is angry because of something I said like "What are you doing?" She comes out with "F… you in the A.." after some heated discussion @ whatever. She was filling water buckets for our 27 Ewes Barbadoe in the S pasture with water from buckets we just brought on the truck, where I have a 50 gallon barrel of water on the roof, which when empty I usually bring back to the barn holding in my L hand while I handle the 18 speed bicycle in 3rd speed w/ R hand which usually is also holding a bucket or hay basket, first easy because I am coasting down hill until I get to the waterway, cant use brake, no available hand, maneuver through the Mesquite trees w/ limbs hanging down which to avoid my face is almost touching the handle bars, then look up quick to manage going up the steep short bank & between 2 small Mesquite bushes (in case you dont know, they have long up to 3" hard thorns which puncture up to 8 ply tractor or truck tires) then bouncing on rocks which tend to send the bicycle & all directly toward some Mesquite brush which I should have removed a few years ago. Then stop at the fence by putting the barrel down. Now already weak & tired, remove the basket I have fastened w/ hay bale wire to the handle bar, lift the bicycle, then the barrel (its plastic only @ 15lb empty) & finally the basket w/ its contents (air pump in case of flat, respirator for breathing when handling dusty hay which tends to give me nasty sinus problems & sometimes asthma attacks, & sometimes the old JVC VHSC camcorder I use to document events) over the fence, where I should have put a gate when I built the fence. Now put the basket back on handle bar, bucket in R hand holding handle bar, barrel in left hand (3 fingers in fill hole, barrel is 3' tall), using it to balance to get started hard peddling up slight incline dodging rocks & Mesquite brush for a few yards until get to dirt road slightly steeper incline which takes my by W(ide)curlhrn ram who always comes to greet me at the gate to his pen. I have too many rams 27 separated him when others where continuously ramming him, so I'm his only company. Finally left turn & easy going to Champs grave (first ram killed by neighborhood dogs which jumped in pen (over 4' fence) w/ him & 2 older rams. He was partially bottle fed Ewe didn’t have enough milk) & very loved by Cecilia (wife) & myself. Then a right & back to 82Chevy 1ton p/t front drive rear dual wheel flat bed truck at barn which I use to take barrel w/ 25gal water back next grain feeding. I am wore out, but still have many rams to feed, Cecilia usually feed the Ewes @ the barn & house when she gets home from State of Texas affiliated job (checking correspondence to clients correcting errors via computer). But forget about weekends She is usually not home visiting friends relatives or the coast, all too far to drive at current fuel & auto maintenance costs. I have no income can't even keep up with the Sheep feeding & care & truck maintenance.
    Lets get back to the original discussion. The barrel was almost empty & I wanted to empty it first so I could take it back on the truck instead of w/ the bike, duh! But in the hurry forgot to tell her, I always ask her to check the barrel first & if almost empty, empty first. I appreciate her help but sometime the drama @ a seemingly insignificant statement make me wish she wouldn't even bother helping. Oh the reason we were running late is she forgot her purse in her mothers car & had to drive 30 miles to go get it. She was w/ her family in Smithville Sunday & Monday for Memorial day. If it's on the calendar & not Jewish which doesn’t pertain to them They celebrate, & Cecilia always comes back moody. Probably because cant get along w/ her Sister-in-law, & sometimes has spouts w/ her brother & mother, you know the old saying familiarity breeds contempt. I seldom see my family we dont have that problem, except several months ago I was shocked by my son after I told his wife she had no right to talk rudely & disrespectfully to me in my home. I never treat people disrespectfully & dont appreciate it from youngsters. I just finally had enough of her disrespect for Cecilia & myself, especially since I put aside money to help make the down payment of the home & 10 acres my son bought on which they live, while paying child support for 16 years w/ a meager income because of having to pay back court costs & debt incurred trying to keep in touch w/ him while his mother tried to prevent me from even seeing him. Many time I drove hours for nothing.
    There he was shouting at me, saying I was always running down his wife, when he knows that is not true & I have always treated her kindly, even though I dont appreciate her trying to run everybody’s business. Lot fat good it did for him to cover for her, she left him anyway, said he & children were too mush for her to handle, he was their full & only financial support & did a lot of caring for their two girls. She always had a habit of driving off here & there. Unnecessary expense, especially at the current cost of driving.
    Anyway I have a habit of saying things which upset Cecilia when she is moody, like "dont fill the buckets to the top, only half full" because the birds w/ defecate in it anyway & more water I have to pour away. It's not free & she has to work twice as much to fill rather than half fill, w/ no benefit. At any rate when I married Cecilia after she chased me until I caught her, which she many times says she regrets, I did not use vulgar language. Not until god was killing my sheep, I was over tired trying to protect & feed them. Oh & I watch too many documentaries & look at foccil records & see that everything was created to be maimed suffer pain & die, many times horribly & who ever wrote the "Holy Scriptures" puts all the blame on Woman & Man. I'm sorry but the killing & destruction was going on long before any humans where on earth. Too much said?
    Anyway are things so bad for women today that they have to use rough language, I thought that was our (mans) excuse, or do some think it is "Cool" or what?

    Oh, excuse any errors, I have long since learned to type w/ my left end of index finger missing but @ a week ago I broke the middle joint of the middle finger next to it while turning & rotor hub on my 1ton Dodge Dually truck, which gloves on which had & hole there, so it go caught & cracked the joint, the finger is still swollen & stiff. I also have a problem when typing fast getting hands out of order.
    "Dystextia!"

  34. Fabulous post! desperate to be a housewife | Stephanie Klein Greek Tragedy really tends to make my morning a little bit better :D Continue on with the exceptional articles! Thanks, You might

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