Terrified

Friday, May 9th, 2008

“it all depends on what you want out of life and the attitude at which you look at your current situation. from my eyes it would seem that you have it all: a gorgeous and supportive husband who truly loves you enough to move away from everything he ever knew, gorgeous and intelligent children, your biggest cheerleader in a mom who sees the spectacular woman you are even when you don’t see it yourself, a good paying job for a company that is owned by one of your best friends, a big house, a car that i would kill for, etc.

i think desiring what you don’t have is natural. and i also think you need to look at the positives of your situation. there are plenty. you really do have a good thing going…please don’t ever forget that.

so i will ask you, what do you feel that are you being held back from? what is it that you desire that you feel that you can’t have by being married to jared and being mom to your children? are you sure that you really are being held back and not simply afraid to try certain things?”

I received this in an email from a brilliant friend of mine yesterday. She was responding to an email from me in which I basically asked her if she regretted any part of her life as a single woman and confessed to her that I was struggling to appreciate my own.

I have a habit of doing that. I look at people like Dave2 who get to travel the world, meeting new people and doing exciting things – and the jealousy eats me up. I watch my friends who don’t have children and can get in the car and take off for a long weekend without a second thought to child care, and the envy seethes from me.

I even find myself being jealous of my mother – who is living on her own for the first time in 28 years. And I know first hand the pain she’s been through to get to where she’s at right now.

In it’s worst form, my jealousy manifests itself in resentment. In those ugliest of moments, I resent my family like hell – including my children.

I will kindly ask that no one reminds me of that on Mother’s Day.

And yet, I know that my dear friend is right. I know, in my head, that I have a great life. I know, in my heart, that I absolutely adore my children. And my husband.

And still… I am restless. The world is flying by outside without me, while I go to work and make dinner and ignore th laundry. My children’s childhood is racing past me and I have to force myself to keep my focus there, even though I am longing to pack a bag and take off for a new adventure.

Yes, I know. It’s selfish. It’s immature. It’s an “always chasing the carrot” mentality. I know. OK, Mom? I know.

But still… I am restless.

“so i will ask you, what do you feel that are you being held back from? what is it that you desire that you feel that you can’t have by being married to jared and being mom to your children? are you sure that you really are being held back and not simply afraid to try certain things?”

What I desire…

Is to travel the world. I have never seen New York City – and it calls to me in a very sick, eerie way, I’m sure. I’ve never been to Germany or France or Spain. I want to show someone else what I loved about Italy. I want to live some place long enough that I am forced to learn their language.

What I desire…

Is to live spontaneously. I want to pick up and go when I’m ready to go. I want to stop and relax when it’s time to relax. I want to read when the mood strikes and drive absolutely nowhere just because.

What I desire…

Is to be alive. To breathe and breathe deeply. To not be so God damned tired. To laugh and to cry and to feel it in every cell in my body. To wring every glorious thing possible out of every moment of life until I am spent and there is no more to do.

That is what I desire.

Is that asking too much?

  1. avitable says:

    It’s too bad your name’s not Mork or something, because a campaign to “Send Britt to New York” really doesn’t have that zing that’s necessary. Are you sure you don’t want to go to Pittsburgh, because I’m sure we could send Britt to Pitt.

    I also think that if you got a little appreciation – like if Jared would help the kids do stuff on Mother’s Day for you – you might also find it a bit easier.

  2. Poppy says:

    DUR.

    Send Britty to New York City.

  3. Sheila says:

    I want to do those things also, yet don’t see any of them happening in my future. And I don’t even have a husband or children …

  4. adena says:

    I think all mom’s feel that way, to some extent. I know I do. More often than I’d care to admit.

    There are so many things that I thought I’d have done with my life by now…so many places I would have thought I’d have gone to.

    I’m thirty-freakin-three! The only reason I even got to travel out of the States for 2 weeks was because I was working…it was not a vacation…it was work w/ occasional breathers…so, it doesn’t really count.

    What do I want?

    I want to not worry about money anymore.
    I want to be able to just decide on a whim to go somewhere, and not have to worry about finding someone to watch the kids.
    I want to have enough peace and quiet to THINK enough to be able to write.
    I want my own space, free and clear of clutter from children, and a big child.
    I want to travel. REALLY travel. I would literally KILL to see Ireland and Scotland. I want to go there so bad it hurts, sometimes. But, I doubt I ever will.
    I’d love to see the East Coast. I’ve never been. I’m a West Coast girl, and while I love it, I’d love to see some variety.

    So, yeah. I get it. You’re not alone.

  5. martymankins says:

    Poppy has got the stuff… that’s a great tag.

    You were so close to NYC last weekend, too.

  6. SJ says:

    The obvious thing to say is, “Everyone feels like that sometimes.” While that is undoubtedly true, knowing it doesn’t help you one damn bit.

    It sounds to me like you have Mom Burn-out. You need to allot some free time for yourself, when you can do things just for you – take classes, lay on the beach, whatever. Having those blocks of Britt Time to look forward to can make the mom/wife times easier to bear.

    If you have a good relationship with your husband, maybe the two of you could take a short trip to New York City. You could be spontaneous as a couple.

  7. othurme says:

    “To wring every glorious thing possible out of every moment of life until I am spent and there is no more to do.”

    This is something we all want and you put is so well. I can’t imagine anyone actually achieving this even if one truly lived by this credo their whole life. No one is ever satisfied. The hard part for many of us, especially me, is to remember to keep trying. I suck at it.

  8. You strike such a nerve here. I feel so many of the things that you do. When you wrote about writing a book, that’s me. I have so many started. . . and then I start to look at agents/publishers and realize it’s such a “have to be in the inner circle” thing and I get so discouraged, so I stop writing. I think every Mom of little ones feels like you do. It’s like you want to put every second on pause but some days, all you can think is “just get me to bed time.” I SO hear you.

  9. SJ says:

    Uhhh … that was NOT directed at Adena’s comment, which I had not seen!

  10. Dave2 says:

    It’s a trade-off. I’ve always wanted kids. Sometimes the realization hits me that I don’t yet have a child… will probably not be having a child… and all the travel in the world can’t compensate for it. So it’s my turn to be jealous of you.

  11. Britt's Mom says:

    Ah darling it is hard hard hard to be in that place. I was thinking today that I realize that most of my own unhappiness comes from WITHIN me and luckily, I have plenty of people around me to piss me off just when I need someone to blame for my unhappiness.

    But that started me thinking that, therefore, I needed a toolbox of sorts of things that bring me back to some kind of peace and happiness when I am not happy.

    Like going to the lake with the dogs. Having a day off and taking a nap and turning the phone off. Reading brilliant writing.

    I still need to work at it. And I very much acknowledge that for the first time in my life I have some freedom to do that. The saddest thing about raising brilliant kids like you and your brothers (and Devin and Emma) is that it flies by so fast in a mind numbing fatigued blur.

    I love you babe. I have utter faith in you. Remember, those desires were not put in your heart to torment you. They were put there because you’re supposed to have them. Now the trick is to remember that you can have them in any number of creative ways. It’s not an either/or situation. You really CAN have it all.

  12. Penelope says:

    Very powerful writing Britt, I am always left thinking after I read your posts.
    I related to this on so many levels, mostly when my marriage was failing I dreamed of better times, without my husband. In reality, he left and life got just a little bit harder!
    I don’t know the answer but your friends, and Mum, all seem to have great advice :o)

  13. Patti Cake says:

    I read something recently that said something along the lines of: “A satisfied person is a boring person.”

    Most of us that want more feel the angst that you do. We just have to learn how to balance the needs of our families with our own needs and desires. Easier said than done, as I well know.

  14. Turnbaby says:

    I need to come back and comment lucidly when it’s not 4:30 am.

    {{[hugs}}} :heartbeat:

  15. bubblewench says:

    I think you put what everyone wants into words very well. Awesome post. I’ve been there.. am there constantly and fight the urge to just leave. I don’t have kids, so I guess I could, but I do have other commitments and responsiblities that if possible, I would give up for just one day of that pure freedom.

    Great, Avitable makes me laugh at 6am and you, thanks for making me cry!

  16. Miss Britt says:

    avitable: I really don’t think I can put this off on Jared. And I don’t need a fundraiser. LOL If I really wanted to go, I have the money.

    Poppy: I was just sure that was going to end with “titty” somehow.

    Sheila: just life and responsibilities, huh?

    adena: there HAS to be an answer for us. Right??

    martymankins: I know – no one wanted to go. LOL Which is fine, I got to experience Philly and wouldn’t have really gotten to do either one if I’d try to squeeze it in.

    SJ: heh. Yes. Well. My husband’s job doesn’t really allow for spontaneity. But that’s a LOVELY idea.

    othurme: you know what’s funny – it’s NOT something that “we all want”. I know lots and lots and lots of people who don’t want or need that.

    Sometimes I actually envy them that.

    Black Belt Mama: you mean the 8:00pm Holy Moment? Ahhh yes. :D

    Dave2: how about we switch. Just.. you know… for a few weeks at a time. :-)

    Seriously though, your comment hurts my heart. :heartbeat:

    Britt’s Mom: I’m really, REALLY trying to figure out that balance. I swear I am.

    Penelope: yeah, I think about that reality too. The run away and be free fantasy only works for about… oh… 2 weeks.

    Patti Cake: I am not, by nature, good with “balance”.

    Turnbaby: lol, well I’ll be waiting with bated breath.

    bubblewench: oh gosh, I’m sorry. No crying! No crying!!

  17. yep, we really all do have it in our dna to want more. it is what drives the us to continue morning forward, to evolve if you will.

    britt, we all want. just as you noticed the other day that we are all a little (or a lot) nervous about social situations, we all want things we don’t have. believe it or not, you are normal. my mom used to want to want a full length fur coats. she couldn’t handle the thought of the animals dying for her to have the coat, but she loved the look and feel of the coat. so she enjoyed the longing and left it there, even though she could afford the coat, she wanted to want it. (as i kept saying in our emails, a lot of happiness is simply in the attitude).

    my cousin, who lives in ft. lauderdale, got pregnant her freshman year of college. stayed in school with the baby, eventually marrying the father and also bringing a gorgeous little girl into this world. my cousin was going to be an archaeologist and travel the world. talk about a dream screeching to a halt. you have no idea how much you remind me of her. hell, i might have her call you to tell you how she dealt / still deals with the longings to travel, to be single and free.

    when my cousin’s kids were about 15 and 13 she left hubby at home and jumped in the car with the kids, headed north from ft. lauderdale. they stopped at any “world’s largest ball of twine” on their way to boston and back home. yes, they even stopped here in pittsburgh for several days. and one of their stops was nyc, where they saw “wicked” and all the touristy fun stuff that folks do. i tell you this because i want you to know that while life is short, we often find that we get to do the things we want to do, just sometimes not exactly when we want them.

    all of that being said, if you really want to do new york now, if you don’t wanna wait, then i say we do new york. either leave the kids with someone (pick me, pick me!) and go with jared, or jared can stay with the kids while you and i go take new york by storm.

    :heartbeat:

  18. woops. “moving” forward. and only 1 coat. shit, it is way too early in the morning! need coffee…

  19. Shania says:

    I posted along these same lines a few days ago. Then I waited to get slammed for daring to resent my family and for being an ingrate. Thankfully that didn’t happen, and I realized that people actually understand. So thanks for saying what I was trying to say with so much more eloquence! And for making me feel not so alone.

  20. avitable says:

    Oh, I didn’t mean a fundraiser. I meant a campaign. A movement. Even if I have to watch your little monsters angels for an entire weekend or more. :heartbeat:

    And I don’t think Jared can take the whole blame, either, but I think that if you felt appreciated as a mother and wife, those feelings of resentment might be a bit less. Maybe – it’s hard to tell.

  21. Nat says:

    I am the queen of not appreciating what I’ve got. The Man and I have been through some pretty major shit. So I make it a point to do something just for me. (That is, in part, how the running thing started.)

    The Man and I had a deep talk and basically talked about all the things we’d like to do. Fact is I would love to travel more but right now, we can’t afford it. But we can do smaller trips, spend some time with gfs and go off shopping for a weekend.

    I guess what I am saying is that you can do some of that… you just have to be selective… :)

    Big hugs.

  22. Brit – to see NYC, you call your friendly neighborhood DAWG and tell him you and the Fam are coming up, so he better have space in his apartment for you! Or know of some fairly decent, inexpensive hotels to book! If the fam doesn’t want to go, hell, go yourself! Come to CT and stay with me and we’ll take the damn train down for a couple days! That is an easy fix. Especially in the summer, when there is so much to do in the city! Plus a lot of airlines have specials to NYC so plane tickets would probably be very reasonably priced.

    As for the rest of the world, you and me sister. I have dreams of visiting the UK, of figuring out where the ancestors came from….it might happen one day, but it might not.

    And as you can see, I don’t think there’s a woman on earth with a family and children who doesn’t lament on the “might have been’s” and feeling resentful which turns us into ungrateful, which we realize and turns into guilt. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do something in this life for YOU. Do not let that feeling drag you down. Do something for you once in a while (seriously NYC? totally Doable, and obviously there’s a ton of Bloggers who would meet you there).

    the offer to stay here in CT stands….just…gimme a couple more weeks to get my mother out of the house LOL. :hug:

  23. Kristin says:

    Ah! Honey I know just how you feel! I didn’t used to feel this way, but getting married and getting an instant family squashed the hell outta my wants, needs, and desires. I want nothing more than to travel, pick up and go, and to some extent, I still can. But, with my instant family I have had to learn to sacrifice. I would be foolish to say that I have never resented the kids or my husband, because there’s a little bit of that in all of us. I know that I can live on what I make and still have money leftover to buy things and go places. But, because I chose to take on some wonderful kids in my marriage, all the things that I want and need aren’t going to happen for at least onther ten years.

    That being said, do you know that I am actually pretty close to NYC and HELLO!? I would love to be your tour guide. Maybe we need a girls weekend!?

  24. ~jtm says:

    Um, yea..me too. I am a nomad in my soul and my family…well, not so much. Right now my kids are old enough to fend for themselves for a day if needed and it won’t be long before we can leave them over night by themselves. It’s hard, but we are closer to gaining our independence again. We are at our 17th anniversary and by our 20th we will be able to embark on a grand adventure without worrying who will be taking care of the kids. Bottom line, it will come… but, yea… me too.

  25. RW says:

    Miss Britt… meet George Bailey. Hello Bedford Falls. Hello you wonderful old building and loan.

  26. tori says:

    I wrote a post the other day about how I wonder if anyone knows I am anything BUT the mom. I’m always the person who has it all together and takes care of everyone else, and just once I’d like to be the one taken care of. I know your post is a little different here, but I think it is sort of the same thing. I am happy with my life, but I would sort of like a little vacation from it for a little while sometimes. I’m not explaining this well, but I get where you are coming from here for sure!

  27. Steph says:

    YES! You know what? I’m not easily brought to tears and this post, well, brought me to tears. I completely and totally relate to what you’re feeling. I too have a fabulous family, supportive and wonderful husband, great kids, a nice home and, well, everything a woman could want. Yet I find I am jealous of my friends who get to travel extensively, don’t have obligations to kids/husband and other stuff like that. Like you, I know I have everything to be grateful for and at the same time feel like life is passing me by outside my little world. How does one resolve these conflicted feelings?

    I’ve just decided to start “living” in ways feasible to my situation. We have a bank account completely dedicated to saving for a six week Australian vacation for all four of us. I’ve scheduled a trip with a local company to go cage diving with great white sharks next year. I’m training to do a group swim from Alcatraz to SF. These are all things I’ve found that are in the affordable range and make life a little less mundane. Perhaps finding smaller stuff might help you out a little? Make the lack of travelage a little more bearable?

    Hugs to you! I know what it’s like!

  28. Finn says:

    Get the fuck out of my head woman! I feel everything you said from my head to my toes, from the inside out. It is those desires that keep us moving forward, keep us alive. Without them we’d wither on the vine.

    The key, I think, is to share the dream and find some way to make at least part of it come true. Learn a language and then take a longish vacation somewhere where that language is spoken. Set a goal and make a plan. If you don’t want to take the family, I’d love to travel with you!

    There is a way… you just have to find it.

  29. sizzle says:

    I see this desire in many of my married friends who have children. It seems par for the course (not to diminish your struggle!) that we would hit that wall when we are giving so much to others and often feel tethered to our life. It’s natural to dream of freedom and spontaneity because it is the opposite of what you live now.

    Your friend has an excellent point- look at what is great in your life and try to see it as a gift, not an anchor. Easier said than done (and who am I to give advice as a single, childless woman?) but it’s worth the effort, I bet.

    Is there any way to factor in pure Britt time where it’s all about you? Everyone needs that!

  30. Tori says:

    The grass is always greener… and that’s all I’m gonna say about that!

  31. It’s an identity thing that comes with being a younger mom. I know first-hand and totally understand what you’re saying.

    I have 3 boys, ages 5 and under and I’ve been with my husband (dating & then married) for 12 years. I’m 27.

    I never dated really – other than him. I’m done having kids and my h.s. friends are just starting to. I’ve never been my age, always years older in spirit and sometimes I wish I could act my age, less future-oriented and more in-the-moment-living-right-now.

    But guess what? That could never be me. It’s not my personality, even though I’d like to think it could be.

    I recently took two girls nights out in a row, a very rare occasion, and you know what? I was ready to be ME again when it was over. I wasn’t cut out for the carelessness.

    But I still struggle with that.

  32. Selma says:

    I went through a similar thing at your age. There’s a lot of responsibility involved in being a mother, a wife and having a career. It’s hard. Even though your life is good, it is natural to wonder if there’s something more. I felt trapped, almost cloistered for quite a long time. Sometimes I still feel like that. It’s important you manage to do some things just for yourself. I have seen too many people I care about become embittered in their 40s because they feel they have put everyone in their life before their own interests. For years. That needn’t happen to you. I’m sure you can work out a way to do the things you need to, to make you happy. I know it’s scary, but you’re not alone in the way you feel. And you’d be surprised what a difference a small holiday would make. :hug:

  33. Dragon says:

    Delurking for a minute. :) There is nothing more human than desiring what you don’t have. Give yourself a break, Brit. I’m single and I don’t have kids. I can do whatever I want, when I want. My married/mom friends tell me how lucky I am but I would trade places with them in a new york minute. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life but its normal to wonder ‘what if’.

    Love your blog, Miss Brit.

  34. Lynda says:

    I don’t have kids, but I know how you feel.

    Lately, I have been thinking of how nice it would be to pack up the dog, and just drive.

  35. DCup says:

    I found you a couple of months ago through comments you make at Rich’s blog. I’ve been lurking and laughing and understanding just what you say.

    This post drew me out because I’m doing what you say you want. I’m leaving it behind. The house, the husband, the kids, the housework, the job. And lo and behold, I’m moving to NYC, a place I’ve only been to once in my life.

    New job, new city, still no money, but I expect my life will be different in ways I cannot even begin to imagine.

    I’m scared. I’m excited. I’m freaking out about not being here all the time with my kids.

    But like you, I was full of resentment. It was palpable. I’m not suggesting that you do something as whim-crazy as what I’m about to do, but I had to take the chance. Finally.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Miss Britt!

  36. othurme says:

    “you know what’s funny – it’s NOT something that ‘we all want’. I know lots and lots and lots of people who don’t want or need that.”

    That is strange. I can’t imagine it as anything but universal. I gotta think that those people are fooling themselves because a) they don’t want to admit they are not as in control of their life as they’d like to be, or b)they’ve let other people teach them it’s ok to settle for less.

    All I know is exactly the way you put it sounds perfect to me.

  37. greg t says:

    Like someone said The grass is allways greener. Those with kids have the comitments of everything that goes along with kids. BUT they have the love of those kids for LIFE. Those that don’t have kids are alone for the rest of their life. Your time will come to travel and do what you like. Mine are grown and on their own now and it is finally all about me and my wife. We go where and when we want. We have the love of 4 kids that I wouldn’t give up for ANYTHING… Hang in there pretty lady. Your day will come…

  38. wafelenbak says:

    I agree with those like Dave & Dragon who echo the “grass is always greener” sentiment. I’ve been more or less on my own since age 18, and can do as I please when I please (aside from work commitments). For the most part that is nice, but I am getting to the point where I really want a family and fear more and more that it ain’t gonna happen. :(

  39. J.O. says:

    I think it is really easy to lose ourselves in our lives. I did it with my first husband. I sat around at work and day dreamed of the day he would divorce me. How my life would be when it was just all over with. Then it happened and I was completely lost. I didn’t know how to live if I wasn’t his wife or their mother. I felt like I lost my identity.
    One day (Valentines 2005) it was very bad. I was depressed and feeling completely lost. I was at work and a couple that I knew from church but had never really talked to came in. I had my back turned to them and I heard one of them say Jennifer. That’s when it hit me. I had an identity, I was Jennifer and that was exactly who I needed to be.
    I said all that to say this: It is ok to take some time away from your family so you can be just Britt. So you don’t feel like you are “only” a wife and mother.
    I also think Avitable is right. I am remarried to a man that shows appreciation for all things that I do for him. He lets me know regularly that HE knows there are times that I put myself on the back burner. I don’t actually need constant validation but it’s nice to know it’s there.

  40. Miss Britt says:

    hello haha narf: how does June look for you?

    Shania: this is one of those posts where I WISH so many people didn’t “get it”. I hate the idea of people running around feeling like they are missing something.

    avitable: a movement huh? :lol:

    Nat: if the man and I have one more “talk”, somebody is going to end up dead.

    And I think we all know – it won’t be me.

    Cissa Fireheart: NYC IS totally doable. Thank you for reminding me.

    Kristin: :heartbeat: :heartbeat:

    ~jtm: I’m a nomad in my soul and my family not so much. Yes. EXACTLY.

    RW: I really fucking hate when you put me in my place with one line. Really.

    tori: the most surprising part of this past weekend for me was that not only did I not have to take care of anyone else, but other people took care of me. Without being asked. They just… did. It was freaking AMAZING.

    Steph: holy crap. That is some serious freaking living woman. Thank you.

    Finn: you are so, so right. About all of it.

    sizzle: like this whole last weekend you mean? LOL Yeah, I do get pure Britt time. I really do.

    Tori: I know. I know. I don’t want to hop fences. I just want to fertilize my lawn.

    Undomestic Diva: I can totally do careless. I wonder how long it would take me to get sick of it…

    Selma: and I don’t want that. I don’t want to spend my life waiting “until” – because, what if “until” never happens. Right?

    Dragon: thank you. :-)

    Lynda: what’s stopping you?

    DCup: wow. Holy crap.

    othurme: and that is a relief – to be reminded that *I* am not alone in that feeling. Because A LOT of the people I *know* are in the other camp.

    greg t: thank you. :-)

  41. Miss Britt says:

    wafelenbak: I suppose it is inevitable to wonder “what if” then, huh?

    J.O.: I am really lucky in that I get to be “me” in a lot of places. And I get a lot of validation for that.

    But I do wonder if it would help to get that kind of reception at home. Or if that is even realistic.

  42. I really enjoyed reading this post, and I’m glad I happened upon it (through BlogHer). What you said here really struck a chord with me. It really did. It also made me think… hard.

    Most of the people I have known over the years have told me how they would love to have my life instead of the one they have. You don’t know me, since I only just stumbled upon your blog for the first time this morning, so I’ll fill you in on what I mean by that.

    I have all the time in the world, since I don’t have to work a traditional job for a living. I probably lack the SAVINGS to really be traveling the world at this time, but when that changes, I suppose I can just take off and go for it. I’m talented artistically, and I’m allegedly smart enough to be considered a genius. I’m considered beautiful. People are always telling me how jealous they are of me, and I’m SO sick of it.

    What they don’t know is that I would give anything to have my health, parents and family who truly love me and are proud of me, and even a handful of other women in real life that I could call true friends. These are things that have alluded me all my life. Some of the reasons why are clear to me, others are not so clear, and many are beyond my control. Most of the people who claim to be so jealous of me already have these things and take them completely for granted, never guessing that I’m jealous of them in my own way, too.

    I definitely don’t mean to sound ungrateful for my life, because I’m not. I do understand that I’m very blessed in many ways. It’s just always interesting to me to hear from people who dream of different things than I do, but with equal intensity. It reminds me to be grateful for the things that I DO have, because sometimes I really do forget to be. It also reminds me that things aren’t as perfect on the other side of the fence as they tend to look to me sometimes.

    However, like your friend (who I agree is very wise), I think it’s natural, and perhaps even healthy, for people to want more than they have, or to want to have different experiences as well. I think it’s good for us to try to do or acquire the things we want in life when and if we can, since life to me IS all about growth and experience.

    Again… great post. Great blog. I think I’ll take the liberty of adding you to my blogroll, if that’s all right. I’d like to come back and read more from you in the future.

  43. DeannaBanana says:

    Does Jared ever read posts like these and get hurt by them? Just out of curiousity.. Your desire to travel is a pretty common one, I think, and you had the kids very young. Lets face it, a lot of people take care of the wanderlust before they get caught by the…err…lust and end up with kiddies. You are doing things backwards (yet again) and raising your children young. You will have all sorts of time to travel when you are through with this phase, and you will be planty young enough to tackle the world then. I think the desire for more is human nature. I think the realization that a person is really very blessed with what they have comes with wisdom and maturity. I also think that if you choose to live/breathe/feel deeply right smack dab in the middle of your circumstances, you will find the opportunity to laugh with more sponteneity. Sometimes, being happy and content and relaxed takes nothing more than the decision to be.

    Now then, all that and $0.25 will get you a phone call! :)

  44. DeannaBanana says:

    I also think I should proof read before publishing so my typing errors do not make me look like I spell poorly. :banghead:

  45. greg t says:

    Your welcome. You got me thinking about my life and what I could and couldn’t do. I walked my oldest daughter down the aisle on New Years eve. That was the proudest moment of my life. I wouldn’t have given that up for anything. My youngest is getting married next month and I can’t wait to do that again. KIDS are what it is ALL about. And I mean ALL..

  46. i love june. looks spectacular. lets make something happen!

  47. Sheila says:

    Yes! That’s exactly it! Growing up sucks. Being responsible sucks. And, some days, life really sucks.

  48. Rachel says:

    I wish I was healthy. I wish my stomach wasn’t covered in scars from 11 operations. I wish that I wasn’t so paranoid about being ‘less than perfect’ to let someone in to love me.

    I wish that I met the man of my dreams who made me want to have a child with him.

    I wish I wasn’t afraid of the world!

  49. J.O. says:

    Believe it or not it was something I had to get used to. I had to learn to appreciate the little things. He washed the dishes and cleaned up on his day off, or stoppped along side the road and picked some wildflowers. It’s all in how you look at it.

  50. Phoenix says:

    A while back you requested that your readers give you movie suggestions. Well, this post keeps redirecting my mind to a wonderful book. Maybe you have already read it, or maybe just heard of it: Eat Love Pray. Certain aspects of your desires are very well reflected in this story of one woman’s journey accross the world in search of self-discovery. No, it is not boring; quite witty and well written actually. I reccomend this read to you. I will have to think about my “wildest dreams” and comment later. Thanks for the food for thought!

  51. Trishk says:

    You know, one of the perks of having children when you are younger is that by the time they are raised, you are still young enough to take off and do all those things.

    I did have the advantage of being able to visit quite a few places, mainly because of the military and being transferred across the country multiple times.

  52. Poppy says:

    I cannot wait for BrittCon.

    That is all.

    Carry on.

  53. Meg says:

    I saw an airplane taking off over my suburb today and thought, as I do most every time I see a plane taking off, how lovely it would be to be on that plane and off for some adventure, or – hell! – off for some business travel! Anything to escape the routine, the daily pressures of My Life.

    I read this post this morning, before I saw the plane. then I came back just now and read all the comments, and while everyone provided excellent doses of sympathy and perspective, it was RW’s one line that grabbed me by my proverbial balls. Because really, think about that movie and how it ends (I cry every fooking time).

    Is it time for a gin & tonic yet??

  54. Miss Britt says:

    Shannon Hilson: hello, welcome, and thanks. :-D

    DeannaBanana: Jared reads sporadically. I hope this wouldn’t hurt him, since it’s more about me than it is about him.

    greg t: I know that is true for a lot of people. And I will definitely agree that NOTHING compares to having kids.

    hello haha narf: so, um, I think we’re going to need t-shirts…

    Sheila: well, yeah. I know THAT. lol

    Rachel:oh honey, that kills me. Please – don’t be afraid of the world. The world is just full of a whole bunch of people who are just as afraid as you.

    J.O.: so I keep hearing.

    Phoenix: I will definitely look for that – thanks for the recommendation.

    Trishk: yeah, I do know that. I also don’t want to live my life “waiting” for that day either. Because I don’t want to feel like I’m waiting for them to be gone.

    Poppy: heh. Me neither.

    Meg: except, isn’t that movie about how he thinks HIS family would be better off if he hadn’t been born?

  55. Meg says:

    No, dude, It’s A Wonderful Life is about how George Bailey wants to leave Bedford Falls to see the World, except he ends up having to take over his dad’s Savings and Loan, while his brother is a soldier and is stationed at far-flung ports and doesn’t have to share the burden. George gets all wrapped up in what a crappy-ass town he lives in and dragged down by his mundane life (despite his smokin’ hot wife and adorable children), to where he wants to go jump off the bridge and end it all. That’s when he meets Clarence, who gives him the gift of seeing what life would have been like for those he left behind if he had never been born. Then he is able to come back (because after all, it’s fiction) and embrace his loved ones and finally realizes that, DAMMIT, he really does have a wonderful life!

    Yes, I’ve seen the movie a few times. And I don’t think it means we have to be complacent or give up our dreams (reference the airplane fantasy from my first comment), but it does help me realize, whenever I watch it, that despite all the bumps and twists, my life is damn good, and so what if my kitchen floor looks like shit and my kitchen cabinets are literally falling apart and my basement floods. I have the most awesome husband and three boys who totally kick ass. And, when I am in the midst of stepping on some goddamn matchbox cars or collecting dirty socks strewn about the house or vacuuming crumbs off of the rug that I just vacuumed yesterday, I say this to myself: I know that SOMEDAY I will really miss all of this. Because someday, they’ll be gone from here.

    Sorry, long-winded reply. It’s the red wine talking. Toodles!

  56. Y2K Survivor says:

    Sounds like somebody needs to take a trip to exotic Tulsa Oklahoma! I am pricing Greyhound tickets for you right now!!

  57. Shelli says:

    Throw your kids in the car on a whim and drive wherever for no reason.

    Write, girl! You have a knack for it and it could lead you to the other things you desire.

    Find joy in those things your kids do on a daily basis. (Which you probably already do, but it’s hard to remember that when you are feeling this way.)

    I think what Finn said is true, to paraphrase, restlessness keeps us alive.

    Finally, remember that this is not abnormal. I remember that when my kids were small, I could not wait until 8:00. If they were up past that time I was practically chewing my nails to the quick and pulling out my hair strand by strand. Or I was climbing the walls. I was a parent before I was a partner, so Jason and I have never spent anytime living together without children. I regret that fact and I have spent most of my married life wishing the kids would hurry up and grow up so Jason and I could finally be alone. I cannot believe I just said that out loud. I don’t think I have ever told anyone that. But it is the truth. So don’t beat yourself up. Everyone has these things in their head. As I am sure you have seen from these, oh, 55 comments, 56 including mine.

    Big huge supportive hugs, Britt. I’m here if you need to talk.

  58. Mr. Fabulous says:

    You always know what to say to me. I wish I knew what to say to you.

  59. K8spade says:

    I sometimes resent my husband and my baby. So many things out there to grab onto that I never got the chance to try. But…thing is, I never tried while I had the chance.

    I think it’s ok to dream, to think about the things you would have liked to do, still want to do, but I try not to think of them as “what might have been”. Because, let’s face it…they never would have.

    Life, she is a bitch.

  60. Angel says:

    Like at least one commenter before me, I married already having children, so we never had time alone. He is restless and less responsible than me; I get to be the spoilsport and the serious-minded one all the time. I always tell him our time will come, and by the time it does, we’ll have saved plenty of money to do whatever we can dream up in the meantime.

    It gives us something to look forward to, but it really doesn’t ease the ache for something more of OURSELVES and a little less of EVERYTHING ELSE. It’s so hard to stay that carefree person we all were before children, marriage, careers….in a word-responsibility….but we have to let a bit of that person go in order to be the mother, the wife, the employee or boss that we need to be.

    I think it’s about responsibility being overwhelming sometimes. Being pulled in so many directions-and, yes, they are wonderful things that we love doing the pulling..family, relationships, jobs, etc..but none the less it amounts to demands being placed on us constantly, barely giving us time to tend to our most basic needs, much less the self-nurturing that we push aside for our “free time” that we all know never comes. (Holy run-on sentence, Batman!)

    I think we need to acknowledge that to each other and know that motherhood is very fulfilling, but it is fucking HARD, too! And there are times that there just isn’t enough left of ourselves after everyone takes their piece for us to feel, well, like ourselves. We need wiggle room, we need some peace in our lives, and we need to connect with ourselves sometimes in order to be the best (fill in the blank) that we can be.

    For me, college and the gym are just-for-me things. Yes, my family benefits from these things, so it eases the guilt factor for taking that time for myself, but they are things that give me time away from the hustle and bustle of family and work, and help me connect with my love for learning and my need to like my body more. It’s not about something good for them; it’s about something good for ME.

    Another thing that helps me is dressing like the glamorous woman I imagine myself to be if I hadn’t chosen motherhood. I love to turn heads, and, being a bigger girl, dressing well for my shape and size often brings appreciative looks that I interpret as “Wow, now she makes big girls look good!” (Sometimes I fear I am misreading these looks, but I think that is just that frumpy-mommy-comfort zone trying to claim victory over the sexy-curvy-siren side of me, heh!) When I go out in heels and walk with that hip sway that was replaced with the mommy-rock 14 years ago, (if you don’t know what the mommy-rock is, stand in a circle with four mothers of young children and one without-all the mommies sway from side to side. really, try it!), it makes me feel so, well, powerful! Like I can do ANYTHING. It makes me feel so far removed from spit up and potty training and bedtime battles that I can imagine, just for that brief moment, that I could just book a flight across the world without a moment’s thought, or that I can buy those $400 shoes without missing a mortgage payment, or that I could let myself be whisked away by that handsome stranger.

    PS That’s why guys go to titty bars I think-to create the fantasy of not being responsible for a spouse and family and to pretend they actually could be irresistible to this beautiful young woman. Unfortunately some men don’t know where to draw the line, or they get caught up in the fantasy and try to make it a reality. Some things are meant to stay fantasy, know what I mean?

  61. Sybil Law says:

    Well said, and obviously, you are not alone in those thoughts. I really think it’s just natural to wonder “what if” and I also don’t think you’re being an ingrate for thinking any of it!
    That’s what daydreaming is for, right?!

  62. Winter says:

    I can’t read all the comments or I won’t be able to say what I want to say. First, Dave is right. Life is trade offs. I think it’s rare when someone gets everything exactly as they would like it to be. When they don’t, there are trade offs.
    However, that being the case, I don’t think Adam is strictly right. It’s not up to your husband to make you feel fulfilled. It is up to you. There is nothing wrong with knowing in your heart that the choices you made are right for you, yet still having a yearning for the things you traded away.

    My mother, who had been married most of her life from the time she was in her teens, taught me that we come into this world as a complete being and so we shall leave it. Everything we do and feel is up to us. It is our choice. We choose our attitude and our feelings. It may not be a conscious choice every time, but it is still our choice. She told me that I do not need a man (or a partner – Mama was pretty with it and open minded for her age) to “complete” me. She said there is no such thing as “the other half of yourself” the way the romance books describe it. Instead, she told me, there are people who compliment you to the extent that the grass looks greener, and the sun shines brighter, when you are with them.

    I don’t think you’re dissatisfied with your life. I think you have a healthy appreciation for the things you’ve given up to have what you have. That appreciation just breeds a little envy and self pity on occasion when you’re tired and when you’ve had an opportunity to go somewhere and do something that was sooo much fun you couldn’t bear it. But you wouldn’t give up your kids, and your husband, to have TC08 every day. Because then, you would give anything to have the kids and the DH.

    As for me, I would trade you any day. My kid is almost 19 and I wish she wasn’t. You have a nice house. I live in a dumpster (or rather a condo-ish version of a dumpster.) You have a husband who can make a decent living. I have man in the custody of the state. You’re short and cute and have a pretty decent shape. I’m none of those things. I can barely walk, barely breathe because I need a knee replacement and I have asthma. I would trade you… except I would miss my 19 yr old, no matter how nice it would be to walk a block without struggling to breath.

    You’re really not as dissatisfied as you think you are. You just have look your life from another perspective. Then you’ll remember why you are who you are and why you’re THERE.

  63. NYCWD says:

    I’m late to the comments as usual.

    I’ve always found the grass is greener on the other side.

    At least until you get there.

  64. Greeneyezz says:

    “so i will ask you, what do you feel that are you being held back from? what is it that you desire that you feel that you can’t have by being married to jared and being mom to your children? are you sure that you really are being held back and not simply afraid to try certain things?”

    I think your friend is very very wise indeed. I also think that you need to pay attention to your ‘restless feelings’.

    I think I remember reading that you were a young mother, which means you really didn’t have the chance to experience life independently, focusing on your needs, wants, and desires, as you needed to focus in on the needs of your new family…your children and husband.

    And I think as women, we’re often socialized to focus in on taking care of every one elses needs, and forgetting about our own.(I think this is slowly changing tho.) What I have seen often happen is as the children become older and much more independent (read: no longer ‘needing’ mom to fill every Need for them), and ‘mom’ (entering into middle age) starts reflecting back on her life and finding extreme dissatisfaction with it, realizing they’ve often put their own needs and wants to the side ‘for the sake of her family’ and somehow feeling they’ve lost ‘who they are’ in the process.
    To call that a “Mid-life Crisis’, I think is cliche, short-sighted and trivializes it, as I think it’s more of the Developmental Stage we go through.
    However, some people, (both men and women) think they need to leave the marriage they had built their life around, inorder for them to ‘re-discover’ who they are and what they want out of life.
    I do not agree with that.

    You are not the same Woman/Wife/Mother that you were 2 years ago. And you *won’t be the same* Woman/Wife/Mother in two *more* years either. The same thing applies to your husband. We continually grow as people, but we have to allow for those changes. It’s like a renegotiating of your roll as a woman, wife, and mother.

    And that, Britt, can still be done within the context of your marriage/motherhood.
    Your husband will need to be open to this and allow this renegotiation of your roll, without viewing it as much of a threat. In my opinion, I think that many marriages fail at this point because one recognizes the need to renegotiate who they are in that marriage, but the other views that as a threat to the stability to the marriage. The one ‘threatened’ then either allows ‘way too much space’ (read by the other as ‘not caring’) or out of fear, starts to hold on too tight (making the other feel suffocated).

    So, plan a trip to New York.
    Is there a class you’ve always wanted to take? Then register for it.
    Have you always wanted to learn Swahili?
    Then take a language class.
    Is there something you’ve always wanted to do?
    Then do it.

    There’s no reason why you can’t develop more of what you want/do/be within the context of your marriage/motherhood.

    And as you work through your personal struggles and develop more of ‘who you are’, not only will you recognize that this can be done within your marriage, you’ll also be a support for your husband if he also struggles with this for himself.

    And isn’t that the true Beauty and Essense of Marriage?? Allowing and supporting eachother to become the Very Best that each desires to be?

    Good luck to you Britt.
    :)

    ~ZZ

  65. I see what you are doing here! You are making the rest of us examine OUR lives. And we love you for it.
    Pardon me while the old lady that lives on the outside of my body (the inside is still young) comes out. I was you. I couldn’t fight the desires. I was a school teacher who watched the glamous world of the booksellers while drooling (me, not them.) They wined and dined people. They sent them lavious gifts and accepted the thankyous knowing that the company had paid for them. They flew all of the time to places that I only taught children about. I quit teaching and joined them.
    I spent endless hours alone in airports while flights were cancelled. I tried to strike up conversations with strangers who looked at me like I had 3 arms. I had to talk to my husband and son on the phone more than I got to in person. I got up at 4 AM without being able to remember what city I was in so that I could have hot coffee and bagels for ungratefu teachers. I carried cases of BOOKS up 3 flights of stairs in Miami because all of the elevators in the schools were broken. I HATED IT.
    It was the best thing that ever could have happened to me. I am back teaching school and
    loving it. I buy my own alcohol and drink it with friends, not strangers.
    I recommend that you do some of the things that your heart desires…NOW! It will give you longer to appreciate what you have at home.
    And for NYC? Break out the charge card and do it now. Then do it again every year after that. Go with girfriends. I took my husband once…mistake. (“That’s too expensive. We can’t afford that.” bleh) NYC is the most fun city ever!
    Thanks for making me think this early in the morning. Thanks for the giggles too.

  66. Poppy says:

    What Been There, Done That said.

    Do it now so you don’t have regrets later.

    And, nothing wrong with a tiny bit of debt to help you feel settled back into life.

    I am getting even more and more excited to see you in NYC. I know you will love it. :hug:

  67. Poppy says:

    And… off to sell my house so my next chapter can begin. :wink:

  68. DutchBitch says:

    OK my own moment of bliss totally had me miss this but I am coming back to it just to comment. I have learned by own experience that most unhappiness that I’ve experienced in life, marriage and the time after that comes from inside, just like your Mom said. You will find things to work that out, trust me. I know that doesn’t help you very much right now, but you are the one that can change that (and you CAN), by finding happiness in the smallest of things or even bigger things and have that harbour itself inside you. Happiness does come from inside, YOUR inside, and it IS in there, I am sure of it! Muah! :heartbeat:

  69. [...] on her blog Miss Britt recently talked about how she sometimes feels jealous of friends with less commitments than her. That, on her very worst [...]

  70. All of this has probably been said, and I don’t want to read through the 69 comments, but I completely understand. It’s TOTALLY normal.

    Some women have their families early. Some, by circumstance, don’t. Some choose not to and choose to do the career thing.

    At some point in our lives, our priorities and desires change. Or, we have a desire to get the hell out and do all those things we wanted to do. It’s totally normal. That’s the human experience; there’s no guilt in that.

    There is no reason why you can’t follow your dreams within your marriage. Dolly Pardon’s answer to the question “How do you make your marriage work and for so long?”, she said, “We take separate vacations.”

    It’s okay to plan for a vacation, by yourself, or with your girlfriends. You don’t HAVE to go on vacation with your family. That’s not selfish. That’s a renewal. Everyone deserves to have a life. What do you want to teach your children? Live your life; you can do all those things you want to do within the life that you currently lead. It takes more time, but you can do it.

    As for what I wish I had; I wish I had a family, a loving husband, a loving mother, and I wish I was in management at work rather than continuing to consult and be in services. I wish I owned my own home; I wish I were out of debt; and I wish I could travel overseas more, rather than going to every damned state in the US for work travel. Trust me; work travel sucks!

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