I always knew that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. From very early on, even when I was going to college to get my degree, I knew that I probably wasn't going to use it much and that it would just be a piece of paper on the wall. I've just always felt called to be a mom and to stay home with my children.
I have so enjoyed being able to be with Annelise and watch her grow and learn. I have gotten to witness every single one of her firsts. I love knowing that the skills that she is learning, and has learned, are because of the hard work and dedication that I have put in to teaching her. My heart swells with joy as she points out the right body parts that I call out. She uses the handful of sign language signs that she knows so well, and she understands that that is how she communicates. I have spent so much time signing over and over for her to understand the meaning and repeat the sign back. It is so rewarding to see her connect the two and use the sign properly.
As much as I love being home with her, I still feel like I'm missing something. I have talked to Drew about this extensively and he keeps pushing me to go get a job. I just don't feel like that will solve the feelings that I have. I told him that I'm going to go from one small little dictator telling me what to do, to one big dictator telling me what to do. I don't need another person to be a boss to be. I'm sure that these feelings come from the past two jobs that I've held where my bosses have been women, and power tripping ones at that. I would constantly be talked down to and berated for the way that I handled situations. I handled them in a perfectly appropriate manner, they just may not have necessarily been exactly the way that my boss would have handled them, and for that, I was reprimanded. I never felt appreciated either. I worked very hard at both of my jobs, and very rarely did I ever receive a "thank you" or a pat on the back. I strongly believe that bosses should do both for their employees.
As much as I love being home with Annelise, I need to spend some time away. I spend practically every single second with her. I don't think it's healthy for either of us. I can see that Annelise is very clingy, and she gets anxious when she can't see me. She has a definite preference for me most of the time. And I never get a chance to miss her when I am with her all of the time. I can feel my sanity waning.
Annelise is definitely a toddler in every sense of the word now. She can be sweet and loving, rambunctious and playful, and trying and difficult. Some days, the trying and difficult part feel like they consume the day. I have been working so hard to maintain some patience, and to speak in a way that is positive rather than filling her day with "no". But, when I never get a break away from her to collect myself and rejuvenate my sanity, it gets hard.
A couple of months ago, I went to an antique store with a girlfriend of mine. We even brought the kids along. I swear, I was on a high for the rest of the day. Just the simple act of hanging out with another girl and having some chit chat and shopping, was amazing. I could not wipe the smile off of my face. And then, when we went to the zoo a couple of weeks ago, I turned to Drew as we were walking out and told him that I felt so happy and that we needed to do things like that more often. Getting out of our routine, being in a new place, and seeing Annelise so happy and excited made me really enjoy life again.
Frankly, I haven't been enjoying life much. I'm stuck in this rut of loneliness with a toddler who tests my patience on an hourly basis. Drew leaving for Portland could not have come at a worse time. I had made plans for me, and a couple for him and I, to get out and enjoy life. Of course, they all had to be cancelled. I needed these plans to maintain my sanity. I needed to get out of my routine of everyday life and be more than just a mom. I feel like that is the only label that I have. It's not that I don't love being a mom, but I feel like there needs to be more to me.