17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Monday, August 07, 2006

New answer to an old question: YES, my life is hard.

Last week, I was working in LA...something I have never done before. I spent 4 luxurious days and nights staying at the Four Seasons, shopping, working, seeing friends, bathing, reading, eating, taking photographs and riding in ridiculous cars. All of this I did A-L-O-N-E. At first I was advocating that all women should take a break from their job as mother to be pampered and relax for a half a week. And now that I am back, I am not so sure.

Being at the Four Seasons meant Ignorance was Bliss. I was able to almost completely forget my past life. I called home to talk to my daughters so that in the event they are in therapy in the future, they won't refer to "that time" when their mother totally abandoned them. I didn't really have a hard and fast need to connect with them, I did it out of obligation.

I felt rejuvinated and refreshed after my time spent A-L-O-N-E, and then when I got home it was a little too much reality. I have always been pretty good at getting my shower in, and sometimes wondered how women didn't shower sometimes...as if it was the kids fault. Well, for the first two days home, I think I had one 3-minute shower right before bed one night. My legs were hairy, hair was greasy. I was a wreck. And I hadn't sat down that day. I cooked, I cleaned, I did some grocery shopping, chapter-reading, emailing...just the normal stuff I do, but I just couldn't believe how hectic it was. Same with day two.

People always ask me this question: "Isn't it hard doing what you do and living in the city and raising kids?" I say, "If it was THAT hard, I wouldn't do it this way right?" I now know that my life is hard. I feel like I am on wife swap. I have come into this family where some lunatic mother has set up this household a certain way, and loves it, and I am forced to conform to it and live by her rules. The crazy thing is, I am THAT woman, and I made this life and these kids and this set-up, and guess what? It IS hard.

Now, maybe this is the jetlag, lack of food (the day I am writing this), exhausted woman who is getting a root canal tomorrow talking. Maybe I am just in a bad mood because I had to manually extract about 2 pounds of hard nasty big poop from Poopy's bum my first day back. Maybe with every high there must be a low. And I know that when I have been on top of the mountain, there will be a little valley following close behind, but this is much more intense then I thought it would be. I am TOTALLY out of my rhythm.

So, does this state that I have found myself in totally cancel out the relaxing time I had A-L-O-N-E last week? I think it might have. The jury is still out, but it's looking good that if I had the chance to do it again (without the work part), just pure relaxing time away from the family, I might pass...insane right?


  • Kage,
    You are not insane at all. I really know what you mean! I consider myself a "go with the flow" mom who is able to lead a normal life without COMPLETELY letting naps (DS, DD, Mine, and the cats) and routine take over our lives like I have noticed some of my friends have. I like to think I can do more because of it, we don't HAVE to be home at one specific time or another, per se. But I will say that the more balls I start juggling, the harder it is to regain my rhythm when I set them down for a bit to snatch some "me" time.

    Just last week I went out for a "girls night out", only to get home a little too early, and when we pulled up, one of my friends was like, are your kids still UP? And sure enough at 10:30pm my husband had them running loose all over the house. He, of course usually expects me home by midnight or later so he was not prepared for me so early.. and then I had to not only get the kids in bed BUT give them a BATH at nearly 11 pm because they were seriously dirty. It pretty much made me feel like I hadn't gotten any "me" time after all. I can only imagine the shock you're in right now after such a contrasting experience. Sometimes it does feel like we get so used to busy, diffcult, yet worth it lives that it may seem easier to not see the way "the other side" lives! =)
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 8/07/2006 08:25:00 PM  

  • Kage,

    I have also had similar times away (but not at the Four Seasons), and it is always hard to come back. However, I still don't think I'd turn down future opportunities...

    What struck me most about this post was that it was a "break", yet you were still working. Despite the luxurious accomodations, you still had the pressure to perform and do a good job.

    Its funny that I look forward to my "break" (working at my part-time job) all week. Why don't we give ourselves a real break?
    posted by Blogger Jen at 8/08/2006 06:18:00 AM  

  • So Kristy, is this your first public self-outing of your previously seemingly not-so private Kage persona? Or did I miss something somewhere along the way?
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 8/08/2006 06:46:00 AM  

  • anon, there have been a few links to my blog over the past few months....but nothing totally obvious. I just have a lot of adventure that have less to do with mommying, and more to do with my city/career life, so I needed an outlet for those experiences....
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/08/2006 10:02:00 AM  

  • My kids will be 5, 3 and 4 months next month, and I have never spent a night away. Not by choice, mind you, but the opportunity has just not come up. My business doesn't allow much for travelling, and when I do travel since having kids, it's to see family, so they go with me.

    Part of why I think I can actually DO this is because I have nothing to contrast it with- this has been my life for so long now, I don't know anything else. You probably have a very valid point...

    As much as I would love to have a getaway at the Four Seasons (Or even the Holiday Inn, if the truth be told!) it would be that much harder to pick up all my "balls" and put back on all my "hats" when I returned home. I'm afraid I would feel resentful, once I tasted the life of time and leisure and things being about "me" instead of everyone else. Hmmmm, something to think on.
    posted by Blogger Tracy M at 8/08/2006 10:37:00 AM  

  • Another thought I had aout this topic is that when I work at one of my Non-mom jobs, I do appreciate it as a break, because I enjoy the variety of lifestyle it gives me. I am a better mom when I have variety in my life.

    But also, when I have been gone from my family and routines even on a vacation I have realized that I love being with them, and think of how much they would have enjoyed it too.. and when I do return home I am reminded how much I cherish my time with them and feel affirmed in my decision to be a stay at home mom. Because it IS the best thing I could choose to do with my time. And nothing can ever replace the importance of it to me.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 8/08/2006 11:49:00 AM  

  • Oh and by the way, my "business" is as a freelance designer, so even when I'm working, I'm at home too. Still on diaper duty, lunch duty, boo-boo duty, tears duty, referee duty, game duty, story duty, barf duty, and so on...

    But Rachel is right. If I left, I would miss them something terrible.
    posted by Blogger Tracy M at 8/08/2006 12:19:00 PM  

  • I think I am officially clueless. Even though I have linked to my personal blog before, I guess the link in this post has caused a tiny little blip in the bloggernacle...it has been labeled my official outing. And Kaimi over at times and seasons labeled it: "One bloggernacle quasi-sorta-kinda-secret identity, revealed."

    If anything I might have expected this the first time I linked, but since it didn't, I just figured nobody cared, and I feel a little apologetic for some reason....or relieved or I don't know....anyway, thanks for reading?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/08/2006 07:49:00 PM  

  • For starters Anon, I didn't quite get the tone of your comment... I read it to be a little patronizing and not so nice. So speaking as a protective friend, please try to be a little more careful.

    And Kage, your life is hard!!! I have been telling you that for four years now. You are choosing to make it harder by staying here. So just surrender to coming with me to Cali in 10 months where you can still have your career, DH can have his career and you can both relax on the down time! Not deal with the "issues" of NYC life!
    posted by Blogger Zinone at 8/08/2006 07:52:00 PM  

  • kage-
    You are right and you are wrong all at the same time. :)

    Okay, hear me out. What I mean by that is exactly what you said --coming back to reality after having a dose of UNrealtiy is very hard and sometimes we forget how hard our lives really are until we leave them.

    But at the same time, if we don't take time away, then perhaps we will become either super frazzled, unappreciative, take our family for granted, wish to be away too often, etc.

    So, something in between is good. DH and I actually leave our children for a full two weeks (seperate weeks) every year. Sometimes it's hard to come back and jump into realtiy again, but at the same time, I miss those three munchkins so much I can't wait to get back.

    Just give yourself some time to get back into the routine. I have found that it takes us weeks to recover from our vacations (with or without children) and when I give myself that time and that privilege, I am happier with coming home. And much happier being mom again.
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 8/08/2006 09:01:00 PM  

  • z-thanks for having my back....cheryl, I see your point, and it would have helped me to know I needed to give myself time. That is something I have a difficult time giving myself...but you're right, we are rounding a week since I got home, and just now am I starting to feel like I could maybe do this.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/09/2006 04:56:00 AM  

  • Yep, you're insane if you pass up the next relaxing, away from the family time. You can't let the hard adjustment back to real life void out the glorious time at the Four Seasons. That's just crazy. I think as long as you enjoy your time away as just a nice little break from a life you really love and not a glimpse into an amazingly free and relaxing life life (that no one really has) and give yourself ample time to settle back into your routine, there is no reason to shy away from such experiences.

    When the family comes back from a vacation I give the kids a few days of "chill time" at home because it's hard for them to adjust back into "real life". There is no reason to expect that we, as moms, don't need the same.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 8/09/2006 09:30:00 AM  

  • A friend of ours once said "No good vacation goes unpunished." I think it's so funny and so true.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 8/10/2006 02:50:00 PM  

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