I’m Happy. Am I Missing Something?

nap  My most recent read is Meg Wolitzer’s The Ten Year Nap–a novel about a group of friends, connected both by their sons’ attendance at a New York City private school and by their own decisions to give up their careers upon having children.Wolitzer explores the women’s pasts as she delves into their feelings about their current lives and their hopes for the future. 

What struck me most about the novel was how similar in tone it was to Ellen Tien’s article in last month’s O Magazine, “Divorce Dreams.”  Like Tien, who admits to being in a “mid-wife” crisis in her marriage, these women seem to be in some sort of “mid-mother” crisis.  And no one seems all that happy about where they’ve found themselves, either in real life or in fiction.

I found The Ten Year Nap difficult to relate to–wanted to tell the characters, “Enough already!  If you don’t like how things are, change them.” Evidently, though, many people didn’t see it that way.  Check out this link for other bloggers’ thoughts.

Reading everyone else’s comments about how they related to the novel made me wonder if I’m a little weird in this regard–now, those of you who know me quit asking, “Only in this regard?”  But, just as I said in regard to my marriage when I wrote about my reaction to “Divorce Dreams,” I’m happy with where I am on the motherhood front.

In fact, I’m enjoying this time with my kids even more than I did during their younger years.  Sure, teens and preteens are high-maintenance in their own unique ways, but I love the conversations we’re able to have now.  Love that I can talk books with them.  Love times like tonight when I taught Dancer Girl to make one of her favorites–Tortellini Carbonara–all by herself. Love the glimpses of their future selves that come much more frequently these days.

And I really don’t mean to come across as all “oh, my life is perfect,” or anything.  Things get crazy around here.  I get frazzled.  I yell at the kids. But, I’ve come to grips with my own decision fourteen years ago not to leave my job.  I struggled for a while with that, but now I feel comfortable with my decision.  It’s a good place to be, one that I hope every mother, regardless of her own decision to work or not to work, finds for herself.

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5 Comments

Filed under Kids, Life in General, What I'm Reading, Work

5 responses to “I’m Happy. Am I Missing Something?

  1. ramblingmom

    If you’re happy — stick with it!!!

    (You yell at your kids???? I don’t think I’ve yelled at my kids in AGES — I mean I think it’s been 24 hours).

  2. CT Mom

    I’m happy too, LSM! Despite the fact that it’s always crazy around here and no evening is complete without two conflicting activities, I enjoy my kids and I enjoy their activities and I enjoy the friends I’ve made through the kids. In some ways, I think I do have it all (or at least I will once my four year old matures a little!)! I used to be a little jealous of my full time SAHM friends, thinking how much easier they had it when the kids were little, but now they seem to wish they had careers to go back to…it can be very tough to find interesting, high paying, professional work when you’ve been out of the workforce ten plus years. I will also say that I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a 40 hour work week. Thirty suits me fine even when I don’t have a little one.
    The book sounds good – I’ll put it on my goodreads list. Thanks.

  3. Must be that pragmatic side of me that is so totally with you on this! I would also be frustrated with people who don’t change things that eternally frustrate them. While I have never had the *choice* about whether or not to work, I have always made the best of it and truly feel as you do that I have the best of both right now. Even though I only go home to fall into my bed to sleep 🙂

  4. Rachel

    I’m with Christina on the frustraion with people who complain about being unhappy, but don’t look for a solution. In fact it’s one of the things I yell at my kid about 🙂

    I’m sometimes frustrated with the way the family division of labor has fallen out — but I try only to complain about it when I’m in the midst of making sure it doesn’t get worse — because I know I’ve been a party to most of the choices we’ve made, and they seemed like the right ones at the time.

  5. Pingback: I Blame My iPad | Somewhere In The Suburbs

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