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jeudi 13 décembre 2007

Frustrations of a stay at home mum

I have been blessed with the arrival of a newborn. The miracle of life never ceases to amaze. He is a beautiful creature that I never tire of admiring.

Yet I am confronting a dark and sombre period. Winter is here and that in itself brings about a sombre mood.

I seethe with rage everytime a stranger ask 'So what do you do for a living?' quizzically. I struggle with my response. The simple response being that I am a stay at home mum and that has all sorts of negative connotations embedded in it.

I am educated yet I am a particularly young mum with two toddlers and a newborn in tow. This is unusual if not to say a march against the tide and trend of today. It is unheard of that women who have fought so long to gain equality in the workforce with men can now relinquish what they have battled for and regress into the age of women who are nothing more than domesticated cattle who as a matter of course stay at home occupying housework and the raising of children.

I love the luxury of being able to watch my children grow everyday and realise that not many women are as lucky as I. Another part of me long to be able to do something more productive and valued in the ordinary sense, that is use my faculties to affect change and earn my keep at the same time.

I tread on this thin line of being exhilarated and down in the deeps of a self-evaluated worthlessness.

What I dread most is being Mrs ... without any rights to be my own person or woman entitled to being evaluated as a valued employee or credited with a job well done or having a capable intellect. What _I want is to be considered more than a simple minded housewife and uninteresting stay at home mum.
I do miss having a circle of supportive network here in Geneva. I have yet to establish links with the natives that go beyond mere acquaintances or convenient friends. I have found however a few friends whom I can sympathise/empathise and discuss my frustrations with. However I do not have a pillar of strength which is paramount to staying positive during this emotionally charged and tumultous (hormonally speaking) time. My husband throughout the three pregnancies have not been a tower of strength. I felt that he either spoke for me as if I needed a spokesperson before, during and post-partum. I can say that I've had the episiotomy stitches, childbirth pain and post-partum uterus contractions à travers the three pregnancies. I think it is not intentional on his part but he is ultimately a man and cannot empathise with what is uniquely a feminine experience that is different for every woman and different still with each new pregnancy. The husband made jokes which at the moment of excruciating pain did not seem all that funny to me. Maybe my sense of humour failed to see the light in the tunnel of pain but needless to say that his way of trying to lighten the mood did not go down well with me agonising.
What I really dislike is the post-partum question: So how are you ? Was it very painful? to which my husband answers with a decisive 'Oh it went fine, a birth punctuated with nothing out of the ordinary'. I would like to be able to tell it from my perspective so people do not mistake that the birth was all dandy indeed without any hitches. The end result though overrides all that pain and perhaps I do forget that it was hell when I was experiencing childbirth pain that stretched my pelvic floor however elastic it might be.

The lack of mental stimulation I experience while interacting with the kids is refreshing for its intense freshness and disarming innocence and yet tests my own limits of patience at the same time.

I resent the routine that staying at home entails mountains of laundry, cleaning after the kids endlessly, cooking and more cleaning...

I've been greeted with the baby blues...
I think I need to uplift my mood and am afraid that no amount of chocolate or other comfort food eating will do.

What is a desperate mum to do ?
This post has rather been highly therapeutic and that somehow eases my tristesse and gives me hope that I will overcome this with perhaps the help of a more tactful hubby who after having read this post will hopefully be more supportive and more understanding.

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