I’m wasting my precious battery. Wasting. Wasting.

Last night, I cried. I cried and cried and I couldn’t stop crying. My “inner critic” came out and I listened to her. She told me I was fat. That if they had a new TV show called “pathetic housewives,” they’d follow me around.

That was the word I used to describe myself. Pathetic. I said how things would be better if I could just jump off a building. I didn’t want to be pathetic anymore.

This morning, I was in a good mood. I went to Starbucks with some old friends to have coffee. But somehow, we got on to the conversation of money and I mentioned how we don’t have a lot right now due to Christmas. And then somehow I said how I wanted another.

And my friend looked at me with concern and said “I don’t think you should have another. I mean…with the money and all.”

And then she got a serious look in her eye and I asked her what is wrong. “I’m just so worried about you,” she said. “You’re struggling so much.”

I don’t normally feel like I’m struggling. I don’t feel like I’m struggling with Ellie. I’m struggling with myself. Struggling so much with me and that inner critic. So I discuss getting a job with another friend. Perhaps at the YMCA, a few hours a day, a few hours a week. They’d watch Ellie and I could get a free membership.

“It’s $50 extra a week,” my friend pointed out.

And I got excited, but then, on the ride home, I thought about Ellie. Her nap times would get messed up. There would be other babies around. She wouldn’t be the center of attention.

I just don’t know what to do anymore. Why do I cry? Why do I call myself pathetic? Should I get a job?

Perhaps I shouldn’t talk to anyone anymore. I know they mean well. I know they look at me as someone who used to have a job, used to have money.

And now I’m just another stay at home mom with no money and wants more babies.

Put me on welfare, people. Let me ride the government cheese.

I’m down right now. I’m barely hanging on. I cried in a Starbucks parking lot this morning. I don’t know what to do.

30 Responses to “Pathetic”

  1. debutaunt
    December 29th, 2004 12:44

    Like I said before, you should fire your inner critic. I would give my left thumb to be able to stay home with my daughter. And if I were a SHM, I probably would have had like a baseball team of kids. But since I don’t play the lottery, that will not happen.

    And you know what? The money thing? Usually people spend whatever they make anyway. It’s Christmas. Be poor for a while. Struggling never killed anyone. Especially when you have such a cute baby to make you smile. She’s adorable. It (from a weirdo stranger’s perspective anyway) seems as if you are doing a bang up job as a mom.

    So tell your inner critic to go eat a dick.

  2. Gr8fulTed
    December 29th, 2004 13:11

    You know, there isn’t a judge on this planet that can be as hard on us as we are on ourselves. It is important to note a couple of things:

    1 - You were crying in the evening, but you woke up feeling better. That means all things arise and pass away. It is a normal occurance for humans. Just note it and try not to identify with it, as that is where the problem can lie.

    2 - Kids are really, really flexible, not just in body but also in spirit. You daughter will have a small period of adjustment should you decide to take your freinds’ advice, but soon she will have a new routine. It is this culture’s streaming guilt complex that causes us to feel we’re lousy parents when we leave our children with another to go about the work of living. Ignore the guilt and get out there again. Your husband will thank you for it, your child will benefit from the additional interaction, and you’ll get new stimulus.

    May you know success and fulfillment.

  3. Gr8fulTed
    December 29th, 2004 13:12

    I should review before I hit send. Sorry about the typos….

  4. LX Robotnik
    December 29th, 2004 13:16

    More in an email, but I agree with GR8. Ellie will adjust–and quickly, you’ll see. I’m speaking from experience. You know my situation well. Gillian now loves school (daycare). She loves the interaction w/other babies and the caregivers. She loves everyone there. It’s a huge relief for me. Ellie will be the same. You’ll see. And maybe you’ll feel better if you’re working. The $$ can always help, of course.

    Sorry, no word yet on freelancing.

    More in an email.



  5. Gretchen
    December 29th, 2004 13:25

    SJ, something I’ve learned is that you can usually find a way to make anything work if you have to. So if you really want to stay at home with Ellie, then don’t let anyone talk (or guilt) you out of it. You’ll find a way to squeeze by. But if you’re really feeling like you want to get back to work, like that’s going to make things better or make you feel better, then you’ll find a way to make that work too. You love your daughter–that’s very evident–so I know that whatever choice you make, you’ll still be doing what you think is best for her. Just take it one moment at a time and hang in there. Oh, and when that inner critic starts to speak up, you just plug your fingers in your ears, OK?

  6. Lujza
    December 29th, 2004 13:33

    SJ, personally….I don’t think you should listen to anyone, only to your own hearts and desires. If you can make it (we all struggle at times) one a single income and you’re happy being home with Ellie (and a few more) then that’s what you should do. If you’re comfortable with Ellie getting to know some other munchkins and you want to start working again….well, it’s all about what you want and what works for guys.

    I’ve been home now for 3 1/2 years (after working for 17…yes, I’m that old) and we’ve had some shitty times too…but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’ve now decided to “work from home” and do bookkeeping…so now I can be working for an hour and then folding laundry for an hour and then working again for an hour….

    Take care,

  7. Rachel
    December 29th, 2004 13:44

    I think a job at the YMCA would be great for you, it gets you out of the house and doing something, plus the membership is worth it! Ellie will have lots of fun and its only a few hours a week so its not like they are raising her. She will adjust to the new schedule and you will get to work but not at a job you hate! I am a SAHM to two kids its a hard job but one that I love.

  8. shaunacat
    December 29th, 2004 13:47

    I have been having fears (thoughts?) lately about what I’ll do when this baby comes. I can understand what you must be going through.

    I will have to work after we have this baby…we could get by if I didn’t, but it would be a very difficult thing for us to do I think. I’m scared about who will watch my baby, what will things be like? Will I have enough resources to pay enough attention to both hubby and the baby? And after that, will I have anything left for myself? I am terrified that I will end up a washed up shell of my fun loving and happy self that I am now. Please god, don’t let me run out of steam…that is my only prayer these days. I’ve always convinced myself that I can take on way more than I ever thought I could handle - and I do it now…but I am so scared I will not be able to keep it up once this very wanted baby arrives.

    I anticipate several breakdowns of this variety for myself between now and the next 18 years (and beyond). Please hang in there. I know if you can do it, I can too.

  9. Antonia
    December 29th, 2004 14:11

    From the sounds of it, you hate working and love staying at home with Ellie. So why even consider it, if that’s the case? Obviously no one knows what’s best for you and your family, except for you, and everyone’s going to have differing, if not opposing opinions on what YOU should do with YOUR life. Do what you want, and if they don’t like it, FUCK ‘EM.

    I’ve found that it’s very difficult in this city to live from day to day without feeling like scum if you don’t own two cars (preferably SUVs), a fridge with an icemaker, and all that other crap people break themselves trying to afford. The way I see it though, is that when you’re old and decrepid, what are you going to regret? I don’t think it’ll be never having owned an Explorer.

  10. Antonia
    December 29th, 2004 14:16

    And also, you’ll feel better soon. It must be another of life’s cycles to feel like shit and then feel great again, because it happens to us all. I was feeling pretty crappy, and then I watched Oprah yesterday and saw the Rwandan woman who had seen her family hacked to pieces and then endured torturous rape, and it put things back into perspective.

    Sorry if that was a downer.

  11. brilly
    December 29th, 2004 15:31

    I noticed that Robotnik mentioned feelancing. Is that something you could look at, or sub-editing from home? What about selling on ebay? I supplement my income by buying kids videos or books at garage sales and then selling them on ebay.
    I think some of it is just settling into your new role. I worked for 15 years before kids and found the first year home very hard. I didn’t know what to say when people asked me what I did. I felt very disconnected from my friends who were working. Eventually I settled into my new job, raising three good humans.
    Take care

  12. jamie
    December 29th, 2004 15:57

    you know what? i don’t think you do need a job. do you have a roof over your head? food on the table? diapers for the baby? then you are doing fine, honey, just fine. ellie’s only four or five months, right? don’t you worry about it. if you have the money to go to starbucks as a treat once in a while, then there is nothing wrong with you, or with where you are in your life. i think your friend is just surprised at the change. hello! you had a baby!! your priorities are different now!

    oh ya, fire your friend, and fire your inner critic. you, girlfriend, are top notch.

  13. becky
    December 29th, 2004 16:04

    I’m sorry about the Starbucks cry and I’m praying for peace deep inside. Money is such a goofy thing to use to measure personal happiness or success. It is tempting for me to live like that, too. But as far as the idea of “struggling” goes, someone once said, “the mark of the saint is struggle.” You’re not pathetic - that’s such a lie. Don’t you dare listen. You are loved much and wealthy in the things that last into eternity.

  14. LX Robotnik
    December 29th, 2004 16:39

    Yea, I know, but in the end it STILL doesn’t pay the bills. So I understand.

  15. MollieBee
    December 29th, 2004 17:36

    Dude, I have no good advice because i’m going through a similar thing and don’t really know what to do. Working these last couple weeks has been nice money wise but I miss my stinkerbutt and I’m not happy. I do know that you are not pathetic, in fact, you kick ass. Hope you feel better soon.

  16. Terri
    December 29th, 2004 17:37

    “…just another stay-at-home mom…”? Stay-at-homes mom bust their ass every day, I have the utmost respect for them. I haven’t been reading for that long, but you seem to be doing a great job. But if you truly want to work outside the home, don’t stress too much about Ellie. I did the same thing when I put my kiddo in daycare and she amazed me at how quickly she adjusted. Everyone before me is right, Ellie will adjust too. It’s tough at first, but definitely doable. Good luck.

  17. melissa711
    December 29th, 2004 19:11

    Sigh. The ‘real job’ comment. Funny because I’m looking at paying someone $450 a month to watch my little boy, you know….so I can do a real job. I guess I felt like what I was doing was a real job since, you know, I have to pay someone $450 a month to do the same thing (and not even with as much love as I give him).

    Anyway, I know I’ve emailed you about where my 6.5 year journey as a stay at home mother is ending. I wouldn’t change anything about my years staying at home. I wasn’t prepared to leave them every day with someone else until now. I wanted to be with them, even when I hated the ‘unreal job’ of being at home. I couldn’t even afford to work with handing out nearly $800 a month in child care.

    I know this falls under the realm of advice not asked for but I know everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another.

    But I beg you, in the name of leisurely time with your lovely fun first born. Wait a little bit longer to have another. I wish I’d had one more year as the mom of one. I miss it just being Maddie and me. I watch videos of her first 2 years when it was just her and I and it’s no wonder I wanted another so badly. It was amazing having her.

    But having two, while amazing in all it’s own ways, is also much busier and difficult and hard to balance everything. I just wish I’d had a little more time just enjoying one and watching her grow up. Then started over with my second watching all of that at the hectic pace #2 brings.

    I know it’s just my opinion but keep my experience in mind as you decide what works best for you.

    This is hard and it’s not because the kids are hard (though they can be) it’s mostly hard because motherhood is a mind fuck. weeeee.

    **I worked at the Y in the child care briefly. I only worked from 9-noon 4 days a week and one Saturday a month. I fit right into Maddie’s nap schedule at the time.

  18. Curly Girl
    December 29th, 2004 19:38

    dudly, tell your inner critic to suck it. that little ellie needs you. and dammit, material shit doesnt matter in the end. you are making ends meet (which is more than a lot of people) and being there for ellie is more valuable than any job. and dont let anyone tell you different. she has such a sweet personality because her mommy takes such good care of her. know that.
    and call me any time if you need me to yell at your inner critic :)

  19. Bree
    December 29th, 2004 19:54

    I say, only get a job if you really feel like you need to get out and do that. Dont do it because a friend of yours with out kids says you should. Its none of their business if you have $500 left each month or if you have $2 left over. If you are happy home, stay home, if you think a few hours a week working will be better then try it out. I honestly think that extra you will be making wont really be the answer. I am in the same boat as you. Same age, married 4.5 years, with two kids, and we make ends meet. There are hard months and great months. But we have a home, and food. Most importantly we are happy and love each other and thats all that matters in the end. I say tell that inner critic to kiss it and sit down :) Do what will make you happy, not what will make others happy. :)

  20. Mary
    December 29th, 2004 20:41

    First of all you have the best full time job ever! Full time Mommy. Secondly, tell your IC to Shut the hell up! You are a good Mommy. If you decided to take a part time job, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It would help socialize the wee one and give you some adult time. On the other hand, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. If you and the hubs are happy with the choices you have made then more power to you. I envy your situation. I wish I had a hubs and a baby to stay home with. I would trade them for my job (I finally got one) any day!

  21. beth
    December 29th, 2004 22:13

    Ok, my part-time job/addiction is the internet. I think the kids think me and my laptop are one in the same. Whether you work outside of the home, work from home or work as a stay-at-home Mom, you will be ok. You are very smart and talented. In moments like these I always remind myself that my boys aren’t the first children on the planet and that I am not the first parent on earth. They will be ok and Ellie will be alright because she is so loved. I am thinking of you. Remember that you are young, talented, and have a lot of life to live. Pace yourself. — Is that way too much advice or what? My empathies to you.

  22. Very Mom
    December 29th, 2004 22:26

    Oh SJ, I wish you had moved to booney freaking Idaho so we could be neighbors and commiserate on all this stuff. My email account is acting idiotic ever since I moved VM over to my new server, but let’s talk, k? Fire that inner critic (I know, easier said than done) and let’s go find trolly commenter “D” and sit on him and fart. Because seriously, his comment probably triggered some of this… and I just hate hate mail.

    Nothing genius to say, just… you’re wonderful and money is always hard, and… you’ll figure everything out because you rock.

  23. Auty
    December 29th, 2004 22:35

    You know…you lost your job when you were pregnant, you moved, you had your first child, you are now a stay at home mother when you once had a career outside the home… not enough time has gone by for you to absorb all this.

    You’ve had some very enormous life changes. Huge.

    She’s right…you’ll figure it out. You’re not a loser for the love of God. Believe in yourself, mkay?

    And money will come. Remember what’s important to you, always keep what is really important on the radar and those thoughts will help you recover from your crying sessions. Trust me.

  24. Karoni
    December 30th, 2004 00:54

    Since I have been out of work since March, I too have had some major financial difficulties. It is hard, but staying home with your child is so great and be thankful that you are. Not everyone can or wants too.

    I don’t know how much your stuggling financially. But as long as you have a roof over your head, food on your plates, and clothes on your back as well as you child’s. Your in good shape.

    Get a job you can work from home. Your creative, use your talents. Come up with an “mommy” invention and sell it. Sell things on E-bay (some people actuallly do it and make some decent money - I just haven’t had the time to try it yet).

    Keep your chin up. Things will get better. Promise!

  25. Leslie
    December 30th, 2004 01:32

    Your inner critic got a call from my inner critic, didn’t she? ‘Cause I swear to you, I had this conversation with myself this morning. It’s not easy to be poor and a first time mom. Even with happy meds, I still struggle. I think it’s lack of sleep. Anyway, the key here is that there are people out there who totally “get” what you’re talking about. Sorry you didn’t have a conversation with one such person that day. My working friends tell me similar things. But the thing is? I really don’t give a flying rats ass. They can have their guilt-free starbucks and fancy new wardrobe. I’ll have my kid.

  26. Tracy
    December 30th, 2004 02:19

    SJ, you are blessed with the best job in the world! OK so we don’t get paid in cash for what we do. And we sacrfice so much in our lives to keep the job we have. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not worth it. I can understand if you feel you need to get a job outside the home. I feel that way too at times. But, don’t think that you don’t have a life worth living. We all have our down times. We feel low about ourselves. Most of us are strong enough to get thru it. And reading your blogs and seeing what strength that is inside of you holding you up, I know you are one that can get thru this time too. :)
    I was scared too when I found out I was pregs with my second child when my first was only 16 months old. Scared to death that we couldn’t afford another one. I mean, we are so hard up on cash with just one let another. But, after all the fear, depression and worry, I know that things will work out and my family will never find themselves out on the street. After all, when you have inner strength, your instincts of survival kick in. Not just for you. But for your children too.


  27. Arianne
    December 30th, 2004 04:46

    I’m sorry it was a rough day. You didn’t deserve to be made to feel stupid by the “another one??” stuff. Sometimes others just don’t understand and its less stressful to only tell the therapist! :) You’ll find your rhythm and it will get easier…whatever “it” turns out to be.

  28. amanda
    December 30th, 2004 17:04


    When I wake up the next morning feeling better after losing my shit the previous day, I can ALWAYS attribute it to being female.

    Perhaps you feel in a rush to have more children because you (for some odd reason) think it would better justify your staying at home? I’m just playing devil’s advocate here, so no need to take me seriously.

    I’ve worked over the past year and hated it. HATED. it. I’m quitting my job in January to be poor and stay home with the baby. I would trade all the stuff and things in the world to just have more time with him. If you went to work I bet you’d feel the same way.

    Ellie needs you. And she needs you to tell that inner critic to shut the fuck up.

  29. Corrie
    December 30th, 2004 21:29

    It is so freaking hard to be a mom. You are doing your best and you are not pathetic, you are so cool. You have to do what is best for you. So what if you don’t have buckets of money, a shiny, fancy car or a huge house. Be happy for you. Good things come to good people. Make yourself happy, not others!

  30. backgammon setup
    April 4th, 2005 22:29

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