Monday, May 21, 2018

Finding Myself Again

In my last post I talked a bit about getting lost in the middle of everything, and I promised I'd detail a few things I've done to combat those feelings.

In fall of 2016 I decided to run for the Board of Governors for my university alumni band. I hadn't been involved in the organization at all for years, but it was something I really wanted to get involved in again, something that was mine. I resolved myself that I would make it work, even though I had no idea how I was going to find child care for meetings and such, and I did it.

And I was elected to the board. As a Governor my duties were fairly light, but then six months later our Vice President unexpectedly resigned due to unplanned life changes that took him out of town. While there is no requirement to be local, all of the executive positions have duties that make working from out of town extremely difficult, and so we were left with an executive vacancy.

You know what I did? I threw my hat in the ring. And the President appointed me to finish the term.

I know it's just a volunteer position, but for me it's been a "wow" kind of whirlwind. I went from not being involved in any activities outside the home, to joining the Board of Governors, to being Vice President of a large organization in less than a year, leading a large cross-functional team and managing a major project.

I was re-elected to the office of Vice President last fall, and am now working on my first full term in office, again leading a large team. My biggest project is to plan and carry out all activities related to Homecoming weekend: reunion dinner, rehearsals, parade performance, on-field performance, etc. It's quite a large undertaking, and it's a lot of work, but I have enjoyed it so much.

Stepping up to volunteer, and then taking a chance and going for (and getting!) this position has given me a piece of my identity back. I'm a band nerd at heart and love this organization. The work has given me a chance to use my brain in a way I haven't had the opportunity to since leaving the corporate life. It's given me a new circle of friends, acquaintances, and even professional networking contacts. I feel a little more like me when I'm there.

Most recently, just this past week I agreed to become the Team Administrator for Jena's soccer team. Mostly it's a lot of paperwork and organization, with a lot of communications thrown in just for fun. But I'm excited for it.

These things: volunteering, taking on responsibilities outside the home, creating new circles of contacts... they all help keep me from getting lost, from feeling invisible.

It's not perfect. Finding child care during my activities is still a struggle. But sometimes I bring the girls to tag along to. They've been to meetings, social activities, and even to a vendor site visit. So far there have been no issues, and I think it's good life lessons for them to sit thru these activities and see mommy "work".

So if you, like me, are a SAHM feeling a little lost in the middle, a bit invisible to those around you, try stepping outside a bit. Volunteer, try something new, get involved in an old hobby or find a new one. Remember who you were and grasp a bit of your identity again.


So what about you? What have you tried to hold on to who you are?

As always, thanks for checking in.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Lost in the Middle

Yesterday was Mother's Day, the end of a long, busy Mother's Day weekend for our family.

Friday was Homeschool Field Day for Jena, then running errands with Jillian.

Saturday we had Jillian's birthday party, then dinner with my mother-in-law to celebrate Mother's Day for her.

Sunday Jena had a soccer game, then lunch with my mom to celebrate Mother's Day for her, then back to MIL's house for dinner to spend a bit of time with Jason's brother before he heads back to California.

There was no Mother's Day for me.

Yes, Jena got me a popsocket for my phone, which she bought when Jason took her shopping for Jillian's birthday present, and they remembered they needed a gift for me... but only after they saw the Mother's Day signs at Target. Even though they both knew the errands I was doing included shopping for presents for my mom & MIL.

It was a busy weekend, a good weekend, but the truth is I was forgotten, lost in the middle.

Kids, kids, parents, kids, parents, kids, parents, parents. No me.

I suppose this is what middle-aged really means. You're in the middle. Doing it all on both ends, but getting lost in the meantime.

As I sit here sorting out my feelings as I write, I realize it's not so much about the holiday itself, it's the getting lost, the invisibility of it all.
It's not that there wasn't time to squeeze in something for me, it's that it wasn't even thought of.
It wasn't that my gift wasn't something I particularly wanted, it's that the idea of a gift was completely forgotten.

I'm a mom. I've been a mom for nine years. Not only am I a mom, it is quite literally my job. I'm a stay-at-home mom. I'm a homeschooling mom. I literally spend 24/7 being nothing more than a mom. A noble job, don't misunderstand me, but it is what I am, what I do. And yet on the one day a year set aside to celebrate that very thing, I am completely forgotten, lost in the middle of generations.

Spending half of my weekend tending to our children's activities, and the other half celebrating our own mothers, putting in the time & effort to try to make everything nice for everyone else, but at the end of it, there's nothing left for me.

It sounds a bit whiny, I suppose. No one's paying attention to me and what-not. But it's what I'm feeling at the moment, take that however you must. It just would be nice to be noticed from time-to-time, to be appreciated. But such is the life of a mom, I suppose. Taking care of everyone else so they can do their things, and the act of taking care becoming the one thing that is yours.

It's so easy to become lost in the middle, lost in motherhood. I've recently tried to stake a claim in some activities in order to retain my own identity, give me something that is mine alone to do, and I'll detail that a bit in my next post.


What about the other moms reading this? What do you do to make sure you don't get lost in the middle? What steps have you taken to hold on to yourself while you take care of others?

As always, thanks for checking in!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...