Monday, August 30, 2010

Mommy Blues

When I was a little girl, and people would ask me what I was going to be when I grow up, my answer was always the same.

“I’m going to be a mommy – just like my mommy!”

That was it. Plain and simple. What I wanted to be when I grew up was a mommy. I wanted to have a nice house… and a husband… and one boy, and one girl… and to be a great mommy.

I grew up with my mom at home with me. I think she would have preferred to work, to be honest. She has extremely poor eyesight, and has for most of her life. For my entire lifetime she has been unable to drive and because of her poor vision she was not able to continue working efficiently in the medical profession as she had been trained. So by the time I came along, she was already a homemaker full time. My dad made decent money – we were not rich by any means – but he made enough for us to be comfortable. Later, in my early teen years when my dad got sick and eventually passed away from complications of Type 1 Diabetes, things were very hard. Financially we were in ruins and I know it was hard for Mom not being able to work to help our situation out. But, with love, luck and A LOT of prayer, we made it through.

College didn’t seem to be an option for me… I was working from the time I was 16, to help support our household, and I did feel a certain obligation to help support my mom even after I was out of high school and working full time. She and I had talked about college… I was interested in becoming a veterinarian, but it was apparent to me that her fear of being left on her own was pretty big. So I passed on college. To be honest, in the back of my mind the entire way through that arduous decision-making process I knew that what I really wanted was to eventually marry and be a homemaker – so college didn’t seem all that important. The religion that I was raised in was actually anti-college (I will have to do a whole other post one of these days about what it was like to grow up as a Jehovah’s Witness) and so it was easy to justify just working full time and staying with my mom. How silly you can be in your late teens, early 20’s….and its really amazing how the decisions you make even then can affect your entire life there-after.

There came a point where I had to get away. And I did… I left my small-town hometown and moved to “the big city.” I got a job in a call-center and enjoyed my new found freedom. I even went a little wild! But I never lost sight of my future dreams of being a wife to someone someday – being a homemaker – and being a mommy.

It wasn’t long before I met and married Sugar Daddy. Now, before I go on – I want to be VERY clear. He is the love of my life. I couldn’t have found a better man – he is a great husband, and an extremely devoted father. I wouldn’t change my decision to share my life with him for ANYTHING.

But he is also a church musician (he has a fancier title than that, but even after you say Assistant Director of Music and Liturgy, it still really means ‘church musician’)… and I knew when I married him that the possibility of my being a stay-at-home mom when we had our children was VERY slim. I continued to work after we were married… and while I still had dreams of being a full-time homemaker and mommy, it was easy to let those dreams drift a bit.

When we had the twins I knew that it was not possible for me to stay home with them. And I was surprisingly okay with that. If I had had a choice I would have stayed home with them – but I knew that wasn’t a realistic option. So, I went back to work. It was hard leaving my babies… but being able to leave them with Grandma D was a HUGE blessing. I know I would not have been able to bear leaving them in daycare. So my mind was at ease that they were with someone that was whole-heartedly devoted to them during the day. I still had moments where I struggled with it… I missed some of those really important firsts… and I felt that I was unable to express some of MY wants and concerns for my babies because I was not the one that was with them all day long. My mother in law and I definitely butted heads over a few of those issues – but all in all, the situation worked.

When the twins were 27 months old Sugar Boy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I almost quit my job. I WOULD HAVE quite my job if it weren’t for the fact that the twins were on my insurance. And that I knew we needed that insurance more than ever now that we were to be dealing with this horrible chronic disease. Sugar Daddy has insurance through his work, but it would have cost a fortune to put the twins and I on his insurance. We had just bought a house 6 months before, and we had that to consider as well. Even though as a mother my need to stay home with my kids was stronger than it ever had been before, the possibility of that happening was now the least possible that it had ever been before. A cruel twist of fate – on so many levels.

So, Grandma D learned how to take care of Sugar Boy. And I learned how to re-do my make up in the car after crying myself to work on pretty much a daily basis. It KILLED me that I was not the one that was home taking care of my precious boy. I was not the one that was checking his sugar and looking out for highs and lows.

Unfortunately I still have not gotten over those feelings – it’s been almost two years since diagnosis, but instead of getting easier, it has gotten harder. I think it’s worse now that the Sugar Kids are in school. My work is a half an hour from the school – and will be even a bit further than that after we move offices in October. That is TOO FAR. If I were home I would be 5 minutes away. School has brought to the surface some Mommy wants and needs that weren’t there before, that have nothing to do with Diabetes, as well. I want to be the one dropping them off. I want to be the one picking them up. I want to be the first one to be able to ask them how their day was… It should be ME, their MOM doing those things. But instead I am here… at a job that does nothing for me other than provide a paycheck that covers the mortgage payment and insurance that covers the $20,000.00 in medical expenses that Diabetes racks up every year. I have hit my pay-earning ceiling because I never went to college… which I blame NO ONE for… but I sure wish I could have looked forward 10 years and seen that happening. All in all – getting up every morning and heading to work is the hardest thing I do in my day.

I have to find a way to be okay with this… I HAVE TO. But I just don’t know how…


  1. Oh! My heart is aching for you right now. I am glad that you let that out instead of keeping it all inside. I completely understand your Mommy needs...and I pray that at least some of those will work out for you. But either way - at work or at home - YOU ARE A GREAT MOM...a Sweet Momma!!

  2. WOW...first off I am feeling a little guilty posting about my teal eyeshadow issues and raspberry induldgence.

    Donna, I hear you...I don't know what it is like to walk in your shoes. But, feel if I were in the same situation that I would be struggling with the same feelings. You are providing so much for those children by being such a positive role model, stepping up when it would be so easy to not, taking time to share your family's story with others inspite of a busy home/work schedule. Your love and caring for your family are read LOUD and CLEAR through here.

    I am proud to call you my friend Donna. I hope you can find some peace with this issue that is nagging at you. XOXO

  3. I am so glad you were able to vent about some of this! I think this is a lot for you to have to carry by yourself. I hope you know how much your family appriciates the sacrifice you are making for them working out of the house everyday. It is a hard thing to deal with for sure. I havent walked in your shoes excatly but we do have to make different choices in our family because I am home. My husband is a speech teacher in the schools so there isnt a lot of paycheck left after the bills and such either. YOU ARE A GREAT MOM!! You have sacrificed the wants of your own for the needs of your family and you should be aware that, that is a great sign of a fantastic mom! I know lots of moms who do the pick up and drop off and ARE NOT GOOD moms!! Keep your chin up and know that we love you!

  4. What a loving, heartfelt post. I hope that good changes come for your family that get you where you want to be. Parenting is such a long road, in time I hope you look back on today and feel proud that you have so much courage to provide what your family needs when it's so hard.

    Maybe Reyna's post about eyeshadow actually ties in after all---whether you're training for a 1/2 marathon or driving to work when your heart is breaking or feeling overwhelmed by diabetes, we all need make-up that doesn't run with sweat and tears. Especially if it gives us away when our mommy hearts feel like breaking. Hang in there. You're not alone!

  5. Staying home with my kids was so important to me, and still is. So I really feel for you. I know I'd be feeling the same as you, if I were in your position.

    I know this doesn't make the day-in-and-day-out feelings any easier, but know that you're an amazing mother! You might go to an office every day, you're there for your kids!

    And take pride in how you're financially helping your family. As much as I want to be home with the kids, I know life would be a lot easier financially, if I were to work full-time. I carry around a lot of guilt, knowing that everything falls on Gregg's shoulders. I wish I could lift some of that burden off of him.

    I know you wish you could change things. I also know you live up to your name: Sweet Mama! You ARE Sweet (wonderful, caring, nurturing, loving, giving, kind, present) Mama! Your kids are lucky to have you!!!

  6. ::hugs:: My mom always said that motherhood is synonymous with guilt-- and I can see more and more how that is true. No matter how much we do, we're overly aware of how much we still need to do. Motherhood is tough! But your kids are lucky to have you!

  7. Donna, I'm so sorry. I've lived in both worlds, and right now, am debating whether I'm in the right one for our family. It is such a hard act to balance. I hope that life brings you some opportunities for change, whether it be a closer job, more flexible hours, or just a big fat winning lottery ticket.
    Love you girl. You are doing AWESOME for your kids.

  8. Hugs from me, too! I hope you take incredible pride in the sacrifices you make on behalf of your cbildren. They are truly blessed to have you. :)

  9. More than anything, your children know you love them. More than anything, they know you would move heaven and earth for their happiness and well being. The sacrifices you are making will make a positive impact on your cuties. Love conquers all Dear Donna. Leave your problems at the Lords feet...let him know how you feel. He will lighten the burdens you have to bear. Love you!

  10. Oh I feel for you. I can't imagine how hard it would be. I struggle to, on the opposite end. Our financial situation makes me often wonder if I should go back to work. My heart can't bear the thought of it though. You are obviously a wonderful mother and would do anything for your kids. Just know that you are doing what you need to do. Like Meri said, Lay your worries at burdens at the Lords feet, he will help you. I know that is easier said then done sometimes but it always helps! ((hugs))

  11. I almost feel guilty for writing this....but....I never wanted to be a full time homemaker. I chose nursing, because I knew I could work three 12 hour shifts and still have 4 days off. It felt like a good balance.

    Having an education and a career felt like REBELLION against the religious influences I was raised with. I wanted what I wasn't supposed to want!!!!!

    I blame diabetes for taking me away from the bedside. Don't get me wrong....I am VERY thankful for the set up we have. But....this isn't what I ASPIRED FOR.

    And, everyday, I'm learning that none of this is about what **I** want.

    It's about HIS plan for my life.

  12. Oh Sweetie - I am so glad you got that out. I think you are amazing. You are doing such a great job with those beautiful children of yours!!

    I stay home with my children but am so ready to go back to work. For me - that is not an option. I have no one to care for Nate and there is no way I could put him in day care.

    I worry now when my girls say that they just want to me a 'Mommy' when they grow up. I ALWAYS tell them that mommy worked outside the home before I was a mommy. It's fine to stay home and be a full-time Mommy but I want them to know that there options are endless.

    You working is instilling wonderful work ethic in your children. You are a mom that is doing it all and I totally admire you for that!!