I am a bored mother.

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I’ve been struggling lately, as a mother.

Georgie is in such a wonderful and fun stage. She is walking, trying to say words, dancing, giggling, cuddling, picking flowers, squealing with delight, and reading books.

I know these are special, sacred times. But I am bored.

For those of you who are new around here, I resigned from my job as a reporter six months ago to stay home with Georgie. I don’t regret this decision, but sometimes I miss my old life.

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The other day I dragged Georgie to a peace march. TV news vans lined up on side streets around a community park where a few hundred Mexican Americans gathered to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and honor their freedom as Americans. A few of my old coworkers snapped photos with their iPhones and posted them to Twitter. One pushy reporter tried to interview me, and I finally understood why nobody likes talking to journalists. I dashed off to chase Georgie midway through the interview, relieved for an excuse to end it. Meanwhile, Georgie loved the colorful dresses, the drum circle. She loved running around in the grass on a cool spring afternoon. I loved watching her clap to the music and squeal at the friendly faces.

We left soon after the march began. It was time to go home and get Georgie fed before I start her bedtime routine.

A few years ago, I would have been at that event, notebook in hand. I’d have gone home after to write the story on deadline. It would have been a long workday, but I would have loved it.

Now I spend my days slicing avocados into small squares, wiping crusties off a variety of surfaces, and giving improvised puppet shows. And every chance I get, I write. Not for any publication, but piece by piece, I write my stories, on this blog and in one big Word document that no one has seen yet but me.

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Some days, I feel that I am going through the necessary motions just to get Georgie to take a nap so I can spend an hour or so writing. Some days I feel irritated when she wakes up, if it wasn’t as long as I had hoped, or if I was in the middle of something good. Some days when I’m playing catch with Georgie in the backyard, I’m mentally not there. I’m thinking of how I might edit that paragraph or restructure that section. Sometimes I am that mom on her iPhone at the park. I’m making notes of hazy ideas and plans for future prose.

I know many wonderful mothers who find their fulfillment in the very act of caring for their little ones. I admire these mothers. But I am just not like that.

I feel guilty for my boredom at home. I don’t want to be the kind of mother who lives for the chance to sneak away to do the thing she really loves. But this is where I’m at right now. With Mother’s Day around the corner, the guilt makes me feel unworthy of such a Hallmark day. I’m positive that Mother’s Day is a celebration of mothers who are not bored by their children.

I don’t have answers. But if you are in a similar place right now, at least know you are not alone.

**If you are looking to read a response to the “Dear Mom on the iPhone” post, this one is very good. 

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  • http://www.kellyjyoungblood.com/ Kelly J Youngblood

    Yep. My kids are 6 & 4 and I feel that way a lot. It’s great being a mom, but it is not all of who I am.

    • http://carlygelsinger.com/ Carly Gelsinger

      Did you struggle accepting that about yourself at first? Or did you know yourself as you went into motherhood, that it wouldn’t be all of who you are? I am figuring it out as I go.

      • http://www.kellyjyoungblood.com/ Kelly J Youngblood

        I can’t remember what I thought going into it, to be honest–it was almost 7 years ago. But it became very clear to me within a short time that I was more and I was able to find things to do here and there that helped. The best for me was when I went back to work part-time. Then we moved and for the last two years I have been back to being a SAHM. Hoping that will change again soon, though.

  • http://hopefullyknown.com/ Tamara Rice

    I hear you. My kids are “big” now and I am the one taking the naps … but I still find myself wishing away certain things about this stage. It’s hard to love WHAT we have WHEN we have it in the way we feel we SHOULD be capable of. (All that “should” thinking.) I could tell you that there will come a day when you’ll want to hold and smell this little mini-version of Georgie something fierce, and you probably know that’s true. But we both also know that doesn’t really change the fact that right now, the days can feel looooong. Just know that you aren’t alone. I don’t think the fact that our total fulfillment in life doesn’t come from motherhood makes us “less than” in the old, tired mommy wars. I think it just makes us human. (And honest.) :)

    • http://carlygelsinger.com/ Carly Gelsinger

      Yes, Tamara! I know I am going to miss these days, but even as I know that, it is a struggle. It’s strange. Thanks for telling me I’m not alone.

  • http://www.piganddac.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    Wow, thank god I’m not the only one. I feel a lot of times like I’m just waiting for them to go to sleep or be distracted so I can do what I want. Days with little kids can just be so tedious and monotonous, so I think it’s semi-normal…I hope! For our sake’s lol.

  • AlissaBC

    Yes. Exactly. You’re definitely not alone in all that. We’re all doing our best to get by. And I can’t help but feel our kids our going to feel our overwhelming, genuine, unconditional love for them in spite of our imperfections, and maybe even through them. <3 to you and Georgie, from one AMAZING mama to another. ;)

  • Stephanie

    It happens. It gets better and worse, depending on the stage. When my first baby was 9 months old and napping twice a day I thought I would DIE of boredom. Also, it takes a year, at least, to build a new life as a stay at home mom. Having play groups and friends in a similar life stage is really essential. Even with that, I feel like I walk a tight rope – some days I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything, some days I’m forever doing the math of how much longer I’ll be in this stage of life. It just happens.

    No guilt, friend. The BEAUTY of Georgie’s age is that you ARE giving her what she needs. In time she will require (maybe demand – some of mine do) more of your mental focus, but right now, showing up is enough. You’re doing everything right by her.

  • lthompson513

    I left my “day job” to be home with Marshall, and after 6 weeks, I started working part-time again. Then I worked for 3 years around his schedule (getting irritated if he woke up early from naps–ha!), and last year I put him in full-time preschool. I felt like myself again. I could get the work I wanted done, and then spend time real time, not distracted time, with him when he was home. This summer I’m taking him out for 3 months, and I cannot wait. I’ll be working around his schedule again, but this time, I’m excited, because I’ve had that time to do what I needed to do. I do not regret working around Marshall’s schedule for his first 3 years; neither do I regret putting him in full-time care. I want him to grow up knowing that I love him more than anything, but I also want him to know that his momma loves to work. I struggle with the guilt, but I’m getting there.