I spoke with a friend this weekend about some deep stuff. Like the stuff we don’t talk about. I can’t seem to get this conversation out of my head and feel like a lot of people may benefit from me sharing it.
I have this friend whom I catch up with once or so a year. We met in the same space during life. We have since both gotten married and both had three kids. I became a stay at home Mom and she is a successful traveling business woman.
During our catch up conversation we started with the apparent; how are the kids, your spouse, COVID life etc. Our conversation then started talking about the hardships and struggles we have had throughout the year. Then came the Mom and kid talk, the guilt, the frustration, possible animosity, heartache, struggle. Our conversation got deep. I haven’t spoke to anyone about any of this stuff on this level in a very long time. At one point she said to me, same window, different view.
I felt the need to share a little more about what we spoke about because I do believe we all think no one else is going through this, and it isn’t true. We just don’t talk about it.
*We talked about insurance. She and her family are fully insured and we have none. She has a huge monthly payment, a large deductible and out of pocket cost that they hit every year. We have zero insurance because we can’t afford to take that lump of sum out of our budget every month to pay for it and we do not qualify for state help. So instead, we pay out of pocket if we need to go to the Dr. But, by paying cash we get a pretty large discount even in the emergency room. If we end up with another debt (medical bill), add it to the list.
*We talked about student loans. We both have them. My original loan was for 23k and I now owe 32K due to interest… and that’s just one of them. She is in the same boat but with about triple the amount. The difference being she is actually using her degree to further her career.
*I told her I tell Adam all the time, I wish I had a career that would make his salary so he could be a stay at home Dad and I could go to work. At least I think I would feel like I was contributing more than I do now. She said her husband, a stay at home Dad, has it all under control and how she used to be such a good involved Mom and Wife and is now working on the balance again since she is home with COVID due to traveling less. She mentioned if she was still traveling at that rate, she doesn’t like looking and thinking about what could have/ would have/ may have happened to her marriage.
*She is a working Mom who before COVID was traveling sometimes 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month and her husband was raising the kids. She feels like the family doesn’t need her. They go to her husband for help and comfort and their routine does not include her. Although I am a stay at home Mom, Adam can do everything I do. I am the disciplinarian, the angry one, the one with the rules, the negative energy in the house.
*I told her that a few months back I had told Adam that I wanted to take an extra sleeping pill and not wake up. My kids would forget and not really know the difference. They would no longer have my negativity in their life and I mean, what do I really contribute to the household anyway? She said that her lack of patience with the kids, her work distraction keeps her from being present. I told her that in June we had a pregnancy scare and I was disappointed when I wasn’t because I know a baby would need me, when I am often unsure if anyone in the house actually needs me.
*We talked about how there is ALWAYS guilt. How the fu*% are we complaining and wondering what is wrong with us for not being content with our perfect families and loving husbands who supports us with everything we do?
*I told her how I was so darn moody on the day we spoke. The kids weren’t happy with the breakfast I made, not enough milk in their cereal and I lost it. She responded and told me she has been uber moody also and half assed the kids meals just because.
*All I do is body shame myself, I don’t know where the hell it comes from as my Mom wasn’t like that, but now I have a daughter and sons and I hate that I do it, but I can’t stop. No matter how well I eat, or work out, I can’t commit and stick with anything long enough and well, it seems 4lbs extra a year are just being packed on and I hate myself for it. I hate my reflection as it reminds me of so much I am trying to change and yet can’t make it happen (physically) I ruin when Adam tells me I look nice because I can’t believe him. She said that she hasn’t felt whole since she had a surgery and has a hard time figuring out her issues when it comes to something similar.
*I told her that by making this move to travel and not be in our big house with all the other stressors, we are trying to refocus. I am trying to leave my phone far away from me so I don’t pick it up all day. We purposefully put our kids to bed at 7:30 so we have a few hours together at night (as long as we don’t pick up our phones). We are both working on removing negativity from our lives because it weighs so heavily on us, physically and emotionally.
*I told her that I am lonely even with everything I have. That I miss my Grandmother and Mother so damn much. They both died in 2018 and 2016 respectively. I wish more than anything that I could talk to them about what we are doing. That I am looking and waiting and wanting their validation and support with the decisions we are making.
*She told me that with her traveling her marriage had hit a rough spot and thankfully COVID made the traveling stop so they could find their lives and love intertwining again as it was more parallel then interlaced.
*I had tears in my eyes as we were talking because RARELY are we this raw and real. It broke my heart that this is what life has become. Where there is so much expectation and pressure in our country where family is so hard to make number one, because we all have so much else we have to focus on. And very rarely do we talk about it and know that most of us are really in the same boat. With social media, the real is often unseen. I talk to a few girl friends on a much more regular basis and we talk about what’s going on daily. We talk about struggles and things that bother us, but we know each other really well… or I think we do. Maybe we protect each other more by not always sharing the deep because its just too much to add to each others already full stockpile of everyday shit.
I haven’t been able to get this conversation out of my head since we had it. I think we need to talk about it more. What is real…because we all have stuff and are too ashamed/ scared/ emotional/ annoyed/ confused/ embarrassed to tell anyone because lets face it, people judge, people shame, people hate, people hold it against us, people don’t believe us, people want to one up us… or, we are scared they will.
Just know lady, that you… Are not alone.