Marriage · Parenting

The $64,000 Question


I consider myself to be generally content with my life. There’s a roof over my head. The kids are all healthy. I’m pretty much still breathing and the Hubby is doing well. We have enough to live on and pay the bills. Then why am I so blah?

Before you say it, it’s not depression. I know what depression is and I’ve had enough people die in my life to recognize it and know what to do about it. It’s more of a malaise or my favorite word ennui.
For those of us who missed that word on our high school Freshman English exam, as I did. Ennui by definition means, a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement. That’s what I’m feeling right now or have felt in the course of being a stay at home parent and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.
It’s not that my life is boring but in a way it is. In my working days long before children came along. I had things to do, I had deadlines and meetings, places to go and people to see.  I wouldn’t say I had a career, it was a job and it kept me busy and paid the bills. I guess the problem is, I don’t feel like I do anything worthwhile.
I can hear the peanut gallery now, raising kids is worthwhile. Yes, I agree. It is a worthwhile occupation. The majority of the children are happy and well raised. Other than occasionally suffering from parenting burnout, I have no complaints there. They are all healthy and well cared for and are always doing some activity with us.
It’s also not that I’m not appreciated. My husband appreciates everything I do.  I deal with things so he doesn’t have to. I take care of everything from laundry to child rearing so he can concentrate on work. On providing. It’s a fair deal. Yet I still feel like I don’t do a thing but if I listed everything I do in one day it would take up a whole page both sides. Do any other SAHPs feel similar? Maybe that’s why we all blog or go PTA insane? All I know is something is missing and I want to find it.
 

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2 thoughts on “The $64,000 Question

  1. Oh, you are not alone here! There is an entire realm of SAHMs who thought they would feel complete and full of joy once we got the opportunity to raise our children full-time, without deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, and work clothes to iron. But it turns out, those routines and challenges gave us a sense of fulfillment that we didn't recognize until we didn't have it anymore. I don't know what the answer is for you. I like that you used the visual of a missing puzzle piece because I think that's what it is – a missing piece that is different for each of us. I know some who have filled the empty hole with playgroups and social interaction. I know others who have had to go back to work full-time or part-time. I personally have made the decision to put my kids in preschool three days a week and launch a freelance writing career. This has been my missing piece, as I now have peace and happiness and can enjoy my 4 full days at home with my kids. I hope you find your piece – and your peace. I know that unsettled feeling all too well and it's not a fun place to be in. Good luck and keep us posted!

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