No, this post is not about passion between DR and I. Have no fear, this is a G rated post.
I have a Facebook friend who wrote the following note and it really got me thinking.
I am feeling....uninspired. I am not a fantastic cook, I am not crafty, or creative, I don't garden, I don't have a "paying" job, and besides my family, I don't have a passion. I know all of these fantastic women/mothers who do so much and have a real interest in so many things, and I don't DO anything. I often cook from boxes. I print off pictures (taken with a point-and-shoot) and just slap them into a photo album (that I bought). I rarely volunteer because I've not found anything that is worth the time away from my boys. I don’t' bring home a pay check. For right now I am useful at least, I care for my family. What happens in 5 years when my two boys don't require so much of my time? What's left of me? How much of me is still inside? If you know me at all, you know I love my husband and my children beyond measure. I feel guilty (aren't those words that every mother has spoken?) that for all my love for them, I don't feel like I am living to my fullest potential. I want more in my life; does that make me a horrible wife/mother? Does it?
I haven't been able to stop thinking about my friend's note. She's a warm, kind, funny and intelligent woman. She's one of the people I most admire and am was rather surprised that she felt this way. Yet, I think at some point most mothers have some of these feelings. If we are working moms we feel guilty not being at home with our kids. If we stay at home all day raising our children then we feel guilty for not living up to our potential or that college degree we spent so much money on. Or we feel guilty because we want to do something with our lives that doesn't involve our kids or husband.
There are a only a handful of women that I know that are truly passionate about being stay at home moms. They are fabulous women! And what's wrong with that? What's wrong about really LOVING to be home with your family and caring for them? Nothing at all! I think it's one of the most selfless, loving roles a person can commit to.
I can sympathize with my friend and her passionless existence though. Even though my interests include running, crafting, cooking, gardening and photography, I don't consider myself passionate about most of them. I am passionate about drawing and painting, though I find it difficult to find the time to engross myself in those activities.
Especially when kids are small, what mother can find the energy to be passionate about anything? Sometimes raising children is merely an act of surviving from one day to the next. I think more so for stay at home moms, women's identities are wrapped up in caring for their family and it's hard to find a personal identity. But kids won't take so much energy and attention forever. They eventually stop wearing diapers and can dress themselves and before we know it they'll be driving away to college....and doing their own laundry (just foreshadowing for you my dear children!)
So when our days of mothering are 'over', how do mothers get their identity back? How do we stop living for our children and begin living for ourselves again? Where or how do we find that one thing we are passionate about? How do mothers find inspired lives apart from their children?
What advice do you have that I can pass on to my friend?