Have you seen that movie with Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Kostner? Its really good and got me thinking about something. The story line is that a 30 something (Jennifer) is engaged to Mark Ruffalo and she is a bit less then content with her job, her, life and her relationship, as are most 30 something single women. I mean really its normal. I think we are still trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up.
In my case, since I was 21 and single when I had my son, I kind of did things backwards. I never finished college, however, I did graduate with my certificate as a paralegal a year after my son was born, so I had my future in site. Even though, I did not marry my sons father, because that would have been a huge mistake, I did know I would marry. Funny thing, I was determined NOT to be with someone who had a child of their own.
Ok, back to the 30 something frame of mind. So I met the man of my dreams when I was 28, he was divorced with a small kid...I know I know - that wasn't my plan, anyhow, We got married when I was 29 and 1 year later I got pregnant, things were the rockiest between us the first 2 years. I think being pregnant didn't help my way of thinking. 22 months after I had my first child I had my second - 2002 I was 32 years old. Things were really good, life was progressing and I was working part time making my own money, which was going to pay for day-care for my girls, I hadn't changed to my married name and I still had my own checking account. I felt independent to a degree. In 2004 my daughter started kindergarten near our home, which was 45 minute away from my job. I didn't feel comfortable going to work while she was way over here...then it started, my night in shining armor, my husband asked me to stay home and stop working. My mom, chimed in saying I was so lucky, most husbands aren't so willing to take on the full load alone and this was being handed to me. I would be stupid not to take it. It's every mothers dream, to stay home and care for their kids, isn't it?
It took me a few months to finally decide to stay home. In that sme time period, we opened a joint bank account and I changed my name to my married name. I kept worrying telling my husband that he better not leave me now, since I would no longer have my own income, I was no longer me. I literally turned my self over to my husband. Scary. I did it stayed home and went a little nuts, figuratively speaking, tried to find my place, a rhythm to my days. At first we lived paycheck to paycheck. It was hard and I had no limits. I felt I deserved what I bought for being forced to stay home. It was my payment for being a care giver. I was restless and wanted to move far away from this house we had chosen so long ago.
Then in 2007, I was 37 and found out I was pregnant again. I mean are you kidding me. My mom said it was gift. She said God doesn't give you more then you can handle. I thought it was way more then I could handle. I know it was more then I expected and I really thought I would lose my mind. My pregnancy was easy, having him was a real joy, waking up with him was a joy! I really loved being a mom this time, those first months were wonderful.
Then in 2009, I was 39, I felt un easy. I was so restless, I thought I would explode. I felt unsatisfied. I felt there was more for me to do. I got tired of JUST being a MOM. I was searching for something to fulfill my life. Family wasn't cutting it. Is that horrible to say? Well it's what I felt.
O.k so I am sure you are lost and confused at what the heck the movie has to do with any of this. Well, in the movie Jennifer, was just figuring out the movie "THE GRADUATE" was about her mom and grandmother and she went out in search of the man that they had both slept with, which was Kevin Kostner. She thought that her mom had the affair with him then went back to her dad because of PITY. She ends up sleeping with him too and loses her fiancé (mark ruffalo) in the process. She was feeling a disconnect with her family, her life, her job and her boyfriend. She eventually talks to her dad and comes to realize that he knew all along. He explained that he never asked for details but what her mother told her dad in the way of a reason I felt was very profound...She said that being with the other guy was a real adventure but that she knew in her heart that she could create a life with the dad (the man she chose).
That is what I was feeling. I felt like there was something I was missing. Like life was greener on the other side (but I didn't know what the other side was) I felt unhappy with the idea that I was always going to be JUST a mom.
I broke down one day at a pottery class I was taking and when I did, my friends responded matter of factly. They talked to me like this WAS NOT the end of the world. They made me realize that being a mom was the most important thing I could be, even if its all I did for the rest of my life. They made me feel special. They said they would be lost if I moved. They said I was so lucky to have the most amazing husband. That I needed to see what I had and appreciate it for what was.
It was weird to be feeling this way at 39 - I mean shit my life is almost at its 1/2 way mark. What the hell is my problem? I had a revelation that night. I had been searching for the adventure! I had been looking for more. I was embarrassed for not being happy with what I had. I realized that I was really good at being a mom and took really good care of my husband and we had a really great life and we did a lot of stuff as a family. I decided then that I would live the adventure that is MY life and stop searching for something that I am only imagining.
I am happier now. Sure I get exasperated sometimes being a mom of a teenager, and girls that argue over everything and a little boy who has detachment issues (clings to me for dear life everyday) but my saving grace is my husband. He makes me laugh everyday, he helps me with cooking and cleaning and bathing and listens to me ramble about anything and everything, he hugs me for no reason other then to calm me down. We don't fight over money, or jealousy, we trust each other and he gives me hope for my dreams of one day moving out of state.
So today January 11, 2015 - I am happy. I feel comfortable and safe in my role. I make my adventures I don't go looking for them anymore. I am exactly who I am supposed to be.
thanks for hanging around to this point. I wish you sanity and comfort in where you are in your life, today!