Thursday, June 17, 2010

Internal Conflict

My brain is arguing with itself.  It sounds a lot like this:

Left Brain:  You need to find a new job.  You can’t make enough money to survive with what you’re doing now, and you have to support yourself and your kids.  Besides, you don't even like your job, or your schedule.  You owe it to yourself and to them to find reasonable employment.  Get cracking on that resume, lazy.

Right Brain:  But I’m scared of my resume.  It represents the job I have to get that I really don’t want because I want to be home with my kids.  I don’t want them to go to day care.

Left Brain:  That is understandable, but they will be fine in day care.  They are older now.  You’ll be fine, and they’ll be fine, you’ll see…but you have to LOOK for the job to find the job.  The longer you ignore that resume, the more scared you get.  Just go do it.

Right Brain:  But it’s going to be hard to revise it.  I have to think about working and offices and daycare and stuff.  And what if my kids need me and I’m not around?  And why can’t I be a stay at home mom who can just enjoy raising her kids like I really want to?  My kids deserve that, and I want that.  It’s not fair. 

Left Brain:  Life is not fair.  But this change will be good for you and the kids in the long run. You’re scared of this new job and you don’t even know what it is yet, and you’re scared of day care and you don’t even have one to be scared of yet.

Right Brain:  That’s part of the problem. I have to find reasonable day care for Abi and after school care for Samuel and it’s scary.  And I don’t have a spouse to help me if I can’t be there for them, and their dad lives in Oregon so he can't be there for them either.  And what makes me think I can handle work plus parenting on my own anyway?  It’s too much.  I don’t know how to do this on my own.

Left Brain:  Remember what your counselor told you today?  This past year has been filled with nothing but upheaval and chaos for you; in fact, the last several years have been nothing but upheaval and chaos for you.  Naturally, you are used to living with that kind of instability and preparing yourself to handle it.  But what makes you think that it will continue to be that way?

Right Brain:  Well, nothing, I guess.  But I worry about my son, because he is such a high needs child and he has had so much trouble in school, and needs a lot of help with simple things like homework.  And I also worry about things that are unforeseen.

Left Brain:  Break it down rationally, then.  You have family here to help you with the kids.  You have neighbors who can help you.  You may even find a job where telecommuting is an option for you.  But you won’t know until you try.  And besides, in two more years, when Abi is in first grade and both of your kids are away from you all day anyway, will you really be happy being at home, or will you want to work? 

Right Brain:  Work.  Definitely work.  I am just not ready for that right now.

Left Brain:  You’re more ready than you think you are.  Don’t worry about the resume this instant if it’s stressing you out; just think about the job possibilities that are out there, and the companies you’d love to work for.  Think about the peace of mind that will come with having a solid income and medical benefits.  How can you expect to line yourself up for that kind of work if you’re too scared to try? 

Right Brain:  I’m not too scared to try.  I can do it, I think.  I hope.  No, I can do it.  I just have to take one more step in that direction…just one.

Left Brain:  Good girl.  Just one.  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Your kids love you and they know how much you love them.  They’ll be fine.  You have given them the tools they need to navigate this successfully.  You’re going to be fine.  Just take it easy, and take one baby step.  Go to one employment web page and look at some job possibilities.  And shut up about all the jobs you don’t qualify for…you only need to find one, and it’s out there for you.  You have all the time you need.  You’re the only one pressuring yourself.  No one else is pressuring you.  Take it easy and take that next step, and then the next, and you’ll get there.

Right Brain:  Okay, I’ll try one little step.  Just stay calm and rational like that.  I need that right now.

Left Brain:  Gotcha.  Calm and rational.  I can do that.  Calm and rational, I am.  But one more thing…

Right Brain:  What’s that?

Left Brain:  Remember your friends and family, the people who love you?  Let them help us both through this.  Because I may sound all calm and rational, but truthfully, this is very hard and scary for me, too.  We both need love to help us through.

Right Brain:  Love.  Yep, you’re right again.  We both need a lot of love.


Kim V. said...

"Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your kids love you and they know how much you love them. They’ll be fine." This.

I know how you feel with the internal struggles though, I have them often and it can be very draining. I pray that you find peace and direction soon. I am always here for you.