Sunday, August 23, 2009

Easy Breezy Baby: A New Inspiration

I am not sure if I am treading on a "normal" emotional mommy state or creating a world of motherhood anxiety from the unique living situation we have gotten ourselves in.  Regardless, lately I have been panicking about the direction of my life.  I have this aching sense of fear and worry that is harder to shake than my overwhelming nail biting addiction.  I see myself standing at a crossroads deciding which way to go, when my kids and husband just want me to sit down in the middle and have a picnic!  I can't focus in the present and I am petrified of the future.  Especially, since the planner in me is telling me to make big decisions now to impact my journey, hopefully for the better.  But really who knows what tomorrow will bring!!! Ugh!

Part of me feels this is probably normal for a woman from my generation, who has been drilled relentlessly from birth to be independent and self-sufficient,  to feel a need to commit to career outside the home.  Let's face it, Mrs. Cleaver took a back seat to working moms everywhere a la The Cosby Show, Baby Boom, Mr. Mom, the list goes on!  Young women aren't trained in the arts of home keeping, child rearing, and husband pleasing any longer.  Instead with a sudden twist of "traditional" role confusion, women are groomed for college, careers, travel, and adventure all to help impose a sense of purpose, confidence, empowerment and above all self-worth which women before us have connected to their dependence on men.  In the divorce storm of the baby boomers we are even more motivated to follow this new and improved plan. 100% security, 100% Independence = Happiness?  

Now, college educated, career driven, crazy in love and married with two young "spirited" boys, plans for a third, and a unstable living situation, I feel extremely confused! I wish I could have a luncheon with Mrs. Cleaver, Jackie O, Katherine Hepburn, Reese Witherspoon, Heidi Klum, Oprah, and my modern mom best gal pals, most of whom are working moms, to discuss this emotion and the ideal choices one should take when feeling this way.  Let's face it, I am at a critical crossroads of my life and the crazy planning, worry-wart festering inside is enjoying this overtime bonus!  

Not only is this career driven alter-ego festering inside me, but the desire to help out my team with a steady income is bubbling to the surface.  We have been lucky that one income has been sufficient over the past few years so that I could take on a traditional female role with the kids.  Yet the big question keeps popping in my head: Could we as a new family do better if I was working full time?  Would our super spirited boys suffer under a daycare's guidance? Would the differential in pay to daycare even be worth it? Will I be a more present or more strained mother after a full day of work?  If I wait until the kids are in school, am I committing career suicide? Does that even matter to me now? What about another baby?  That puts my career front on an even longer hiatus!  What career will call me then, when I am ready?  How many fresh college grads will I have to compete with?  Without some substantial current experience where would I start in the hierarchy of positions? Who will I be when I begin that journey?  I decided the logical direction regardless would be to foster connections, build a portfolio, and gather experience in the field so that when the day comes, I will be able to walk with ease through that door.  But, I can't seem to make up my mind.  I have a degree in education, a license in aesthetics, a passion for cooking, and desire to spread knowledge and inspire others especially woman (who are products of this crazy feminist role reversal era that is leaving a lot of us down right confused and who are probably sitting right now having this exact same feeling)!

 This freedom to develop a career has been wonderful for a lot of working women and moms in starting new businesses and creating flexible schedules but for a lot of us, most of us, it leads to more and more guilt.  Not enough time spent with kids, husbands, friends, home, and last on the list but most importantly self.  How does one create a work/home life balance? Is that the desire?  If it's not, how do I make sure I won't loose my "power" and self-worth when I give that box of opportunity up?  We are not like our mothers who didn't start with career and go to family.  If we choose a traditional in home focus, will we end up "trapped" like our mothers did?  Or will we embrace this role since we've tasted all the other possibilities?  I need a new source of inspiration, one that isn't telling me to stay home or fight for my place on the career ladder, but rather to let go of the worries and stay present.  For that's really all we've got! Tomorrow, planned or not, may end up completely out in right field.  How does a over planning, worry-wart like myself find solace in the freedoms of the unknown?  

There is only one place left for me to my younger sister!  We are eleven years apart and through the years I would call her and my other siblings part of the Britney Spears generation.  A group of youngin's who seek out the desirable, the instant gratification, the reward without the work, the liberal arts.  They are creative, relaxed, spoiled, uninhibited, dangerous, worry free, list celebrities as inspiration, communicate through technology, have relationship issues being that most of their interactions with others are online and their parents are probably divorced.  They hardly saw struggle in their lives maybe until now.  Regardless, they possess an ease ability towards life that I long for.  They look at life as a playground, a source of joy. They are more present, rarely worried about the future.  They seem to enjoy where they are at, even if it isn't where we think they should be.  I am not sure how this generation will end up, but I am inspired by this new attitude towards life! I love talking to my sister who reminds me over and over that life can be "Easy-Breezy" even without all the stuff and without all planning. It's a state of mind, it's a calm place where contentment fills you and worry leaves you.  It's YOU and what you choose to DO and how you choose to FEEL and where you choose to BE.

I want to be strong and flexible like bamboo! So today, no more worrying about careers. I have a full time job right now that needs more of me than I even have to offer.  Today, I am a full time mother trying to stay positive and peaceful, keeping a semi-orderly home, taking tidbits of time for myself and my marriage, and hoping that I will find joy in the obvious chaos that is my life right now.  Screw my feminist upbringing, this is real life! Keep you posted a la career, I have a baby to chase!

Are you feeling the same way? Do you have any advice? I would love to hear from you!


  1. Amen!

    Maggie directed me to your site today. Although I am part of what you consider the Britney generation, I do feel the same way you do: scared, unsure, and overwhelmed.

    I really enjoyed reading this entry. I'm currently trying to manage 20 credits, new baby (10 weeks), boyfriend, the house (cleaning), working, and all those other little things I manage to pick up along the way. That house wife-career woman struggle is a constant battle. A pulling toward this way and that, trying to find the perfect middle. (I honestly don't know if that place will ever be found.) Nice to know that women (even those 11 years older) are struggling with the same things!


  2. First of all Janette I am SO PROUD of you!!! I am impressed by your ambition and commitment! To manage school, a boyfriend, house and a brand new baby, you deserve a spot on Oprah!!!! I am not sure if that balance will be found but I am hopeful and you should be too! Keep me posted on the quest! And if you discover any secrets along the way please share!!! Take care of yourself!!! Best, Maria