So the topic at the end of last month was Busy-ness...and how it relates to (or detracts from) our happiness as mothers.
The upshot of the conversation was that yes, we are too busy and that no one (not husbands or even our own mothers) seems to understand just how much so. Our group basically agreed that we don't have the time to take care of the kids as well as we'd like in addition to taking care of the home and the other details of our lives. And ourselves? Yeah, no.
So what does that mean? Because when I write that out, it makes us seem like a particularly whiny bunch. But yet, I don't think we are. I actually think we're pretty typical of many moms today who had or have careers, who are educated, accomplished and want to hang on to some of that as we raise families.
So here are some of the highlights from our discussion:
- New member and mom of two Sarah talked a lot about comparing herself to her mom, who raised four kids. "I ask her all the time how she did it. She made it seem to easy. But actually she reminded me that every time we moved, the first thing she did was find a new sitter to help look after us. Hearing that made me feel like I'd been granted permission to need help." Ahh, permission to need help. What an interesting idea. Have you grappled with that? With the guilt of needing or wanting some relief even though you love your kids? I know I have. A lot. Like daily. Because I feel overwhelmed almost all the time. Actually, that's not exactly it. It's not that I feel so overwhelmed that I can't function, it's more that I feel that the tasks of motherhood suck me dry of all of my other energy, creativity, good humor, pizzazz and love for other things in the world besides my kids. And I wish I could find more of a balance.
- Working mom of one Melissa (who is about to have #2!) admitted that her office job is way easier than caring for her daughter...and that when she went back to work after her first maternity leave, she actually found herself nearly giddy with excitement about getting back into her professional and intellectual life. A lot of our members identified with what she was talking about, and one even then added that she gets a perverse kind of joy out of seeing her husband get frustrated when handling the kids after he comes home from the office because it validates the feelings she has "kind of a lot."
- And Beth brought up the idea of how great it would feel to be hot again, which took the discussion down a whole new path. She argued that "hot" could be anything from feeling/looking sexy and getting positive feedback from a man other than her husband to just experiencing the fulfillment and confidence that comes from doing something she loves. And she challenged each of us to feel hot at some point before the next moms' group meeting. So we've got homework this month.
(and stay tuned for the hotness report....)