Life as it Goes

Keeping thoughts from escaping

It's been well over a year since I've been on cafemom. At first, I felt it was a fun place for me to 'get away' for a little bit at a time. My baby was still young then. Now she's older and going to school and life has semi-returned to normalcy. With the exception of a little one in the family, I've resumed (in many ways) the life I was living before she was born.

I've been working a 40-hour-a-week job at a company I enjoy working at. The benefits are good and I've been moving up quickly. There are some things that are left to be desired, but I'm sure that's how it is in any company. I've also been attending school full time; something I've managed to do since way before I was even pregnant. Of course, I did take a semseter off shortly after she was born because I just needed to get a hold of my bearings again before I got too overwhelmed with EVERYTHING. This, of course I realize now, is kind of unavoidable when you're a new mom. Your body has changed, your mind has changed, your feelings are changing every second of every day, and not only do you have yourself to take care of, there is now someone more important in your life who needs even more caring for. I knew when that baby was coming that this was what I had to do. Be a mom. Work hard. Care and love for her the best that I could even though I had no idea where to begin. And I believe that's what I have been doing. I've done it all for her. But I don't think I've done very much for me.

I've been told over these last few years that I need to think about myself and what's good for me along with what's best for the baby. Well, she's not a baby anymore and I feel as though I'm still stuck in a similar place I was before she was born. Now, you have to understand that I was only 22 when she was born, newly accepted with a full scholarship to a prestigious conservatory, about to realize my dream of becoming a concert pianist. I'm not about to say that having the baby ruined everything or my plans to become the artist I wanted to be. That's not the case at all. If anything, having her made me mature must faster, grow as a person, become whole in a way that I couldn't have been without her. But today, and for over 2 years as a matter of fact, I have not moved forward in pursuing that goal I have had since I was 9 years old.

I am 25 now, and as I said, life has been pretty good. But I feel like something's missing. When the baby was born, I had just been accepted into one of the best conservatories in the country. My first semester there was extremely difficult because I had a 4 month old at home, I was attending school full time (both morning and night classes), I was working a part-time job, and I was required to practice on campus for 6 hours a day. The 6 hours a day is not unusual at all, but I couldn't do it anymore. I didn't have the time. I didn't want to take advantage of family watching the baby. I didn't have the heart to not be with my baby for hours on end just so i could play the piano. So I gave it up.

I transferred to another school where I am currently studying to be at teacher. I am almost done, thank goodness, but there is and has been a void that seems to get bigger as time passes. I haven't sat down at the piano and seriously practiced in years. People often ask, well, what about DH? Couldn't he take care of the baby while you practice? Well... In the beginning, he was completely reluctant to change his schedule so that I could have some time to try to live a normal life. I had the baby all the time and he went to school, practiced... did what he wanted. Then there came a time when we were forced to split our schedules so that the baby would be with him in the mornings and early afternoons, and with me the rest of the day. And instead of turning into a good learning experience where he came to the realization that we can't live our pianist college student lives anymore, he felt that I owed him time for staying with her while I was at school. Of course, he never owed me any time.

Well, after months and months, we finally started to settle into parenthood and he started to wake up and get the point that I was not to be the only parent and he could be the intermittent parent that came in when it suited his schedule. Mind you, he's never been a bad person, he's been a hard headed person who always wants to do things his way and is just so stubborn and full of pride that he is reluctant to admit that sometimes he's wrong. [I know, he sounds terrible as I'm writing this down]

But still, no matter how far we have come as individuals, as parents, I'm still not practicing. I'm struggling to get through my classes without missing a few each semester just to have some time to myself. Why am I so unmotivated? Why can't I just get it over with without feeling like I could scream if i don't get out of a boring class? To tell you the truth, school is just getting old. I had dedicated my life to doing something that I haven't done, I gave up a billion opportunities to do what I want in order to be the best parent I could be and raise a wonderful child.

I feel almost complete as a person knowing that I've been a good parent and taken care of my child. But why is that not enough to fill the void? What can i do to start living my life again?

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