Thursday, 25 June 2015

Back to the drawing board

My youngest has turned three and that’s how long I have been out of a proper employment. Out of constant communication with mankind, other than my children, out of office politics and juicy gossips. Free from deadlines, strict guidelines, structured working environment and traffic jams. I thought I had it all, the day I called myself, a-stay-at-home-mom. 

I should be rejoicing because I am what many working moms (I know) want to be, but I am not. 

The first year, the transition year, was all about finding my KPIs and learning to cope with this new found freedom. I constantly found myself staring at the wall clock which moved at a snail pace, between the hours from 8 am to noon. The house was quiet and I swear, it felt like the walls were whispering to me. To shush it, I began watching a lot of soap operas. My favourite was Revenge.

Then baby three arrived and everything changed overnight. Suddenly, I found myself working at warp speed, like Starship Enterprise that travelled faster than light. Life on the fast lane was constantly changing and I was struggling to compete with the demands of a newborn plus my two slightly older children, who had just started school. Things that I took for granted (like taking a satisfactory dump) were snatched away.

I would cry myself silly, while sitting on the throne because I didn’t know when next, my urge to defecate would coincide while my baby slept. Things were crazy that I believed God was teaching me a lesson for I was never grateful and full of complains. Keeping up was tough. I felt like a lonely buoy, bobbing up and down in the water as waves moved past it.

After a couple of years of travelling in this warp speed, I had turned into a household item; only reached for when there was a necessity, otherwise left unattended. 
Yet, I would still not trade my sweat pants and sneakers for my office suits and high heels. Instead I’ve decided to face up to this one nagging and persistent, unresolved issue inside of me, almost like a muffled voice trying to break free that has been screwing up with my system, and on occasions making it difficult for me to function properly.

I had to reinvent myself because I no longer knew who I was. I had become a mother, a wife and a homemaker but had forgotten all about being me.

My family had become the center of my universe but I forgot to add myself in that equation. It wasn’t deliberate. It happened because I deemed my needs were being met through my family’s happiness. A conversation with me always involved my family. What my husband did or what my kids are doing.  There wasn't much to talk about me. Life had become boring and mundane. I wasn't entertaining enough for anyone.

I stopped challenging myself and narrowed my life’s perspectives to family matters. If I had to describe my life to you, this Malay proverb would best describe it;
“bagai katak di bawah tempurung” which translates to leading a sheltered life; oblivious to things happening outside my small world and I did this to me. I mishandled my new role because my vision and mission of my new job was poorly executed.

It didn’t take long before my relationship with my working friends fizzled and I stopped making new friends (making new friends is very time consuming). One by one, everyone around me stopped noticing me, inviting me or engaging in a conversation with me. I was becoming part of the props, just there because they did not know where else to put me or were too kind to tell me to bugger off.

I slowly disappeared and it didn’t matter to many. It mattered to me because I was slowly becoming this lone ranger who was destined to end up like the moms I’ve seen in some soap operas, whose whole lives revolved around the one phone call from her teenaged/adult daughter.

That's something I will not allow.

Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts
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  1. It helps me to think of my motherhood as only one facet of myself--just like my writing or my gardening or crafting or music-making. I am all those things, even when I'm not actively doing them; I'm also more than the sum of all those things that I do. Thanks for sharing; this caused me to reflect on "life." :)

    1. Thanks for sharing with me how I am still me despite being all of the above. I agree with it. That's the beauty of life: The only thing constant is change.

  2. Your feelings mirror mine. I am a stay at home mom and have been for almost 15 years with my life revolving around my two kids for far too long. I write..but most times my existence and activities coincide completely with them. I think I have lost me already if I ever had "me" in the first place.

    1. I feel you. It is neither bad nor good. It is hard to talk about it without sounding like we are complaining but honestly I am not complaining, it was a mere observation of mine about me today or rather the me I am now. But I cannot stress it enough, I AM NOT unhappy. Everything is just the way is it supposed to be.