Friday, October 3, 2008

What's a Mom to Do?

Our family moved here in late April from Illinois. We lived in a very rural area. My husband was a pastor at a church there, and our house was next door to the church. Our little town was not only a place to live, but a place to worship too and a place to socialize. That's the way it is in little farm towns.

When we moved there, I felt very isolated. I didn't know anyone, and it was February - so it was really cold and I couldn't even get out and push my stroller. Little did I know that I wouldn't be able to do it in the summer either because all the roads were gravel. The only paved road had a 55 mph speed limit. Anyway, I didn't know how to meet people. You'd think, being the pastor's wife, that everyone would welcome me in. Well, they did and they were very sweet. But, I think people wanted to respect my privacy and not be too pushy. Also, it just turned out that most of the moms at our church that were my age were working moms. Even in the preschool, all of Peppermint Patty's schoolmates had moms who worked.

Eventually I met friends, though. It took about a year. During that time, I also grieved the loss of my friends from our previous home in Wisconsin. When we moved to IL, they all swore "We'll stay in touch! We'll e-mail and write letters!" But within 3 months only two had written or e-mailed, and at 6 months, only 1 was left e-mailing. I was crushed. At a time when I needed a friend so badly, I was in one situation where I was being dumped and in another situation where I was being left out.

Now, fast forward to today. We've been in Texas for about 5 months. When Texan Papa just told me about the possibility of the move, I told him, "I am not talking about this. We are not moving. I just established friends and I am enjoying myself. I don't want to go." Well, as the Lord would do, He just presented a few signals to us that it was time for our family to move. I did NOT want to move, but I saw it was inevitable. I tried to take lemons and make lemonade - Hey, we're moving to a bigger town. Lots of stuff to do! Lots of people to meet! And, now, almost 6 months into our move, I am in almost the same boat again: being left out from my new friends, and instead of being dumped by my old friends I am being missed terribly by my old friends, which makes it that much harder to just accept where we are now. Every day I think about our home & our friends & our kids' school in IL. There are so many things about living here in TX that I do not like. I really am trying to put on a happy face about it, but I miss my old friends, I miss my kids' school, I miss our old church, I even miss my husband's preaching. At his new job now, he does not preach anymore so I never hear him at the pulpit.

I am sorry - I know this sounds like a big pity party for me, but I just got all my emotions stirred up today. Let me explain...

I went to a pumpkin patch today with baby Sally. We went to meet up with a moms group that I joined. I joined the group almost immediately after we moved here, so I've known these moms a while now. I even have hosted 3 events at my own house. Now today, when all the moms were standing around, taking pictures & talking, I heard many moms pointedly ask another specific mom (not me, but RIGHT in front of me), "Oh, hey, I'm going shopping tomorrow. Just thought I'd let you know in case you'd like to come" and "Oh are you going to that thing at the mall tomorrow? I thought I'd check because I can meet you there." or "oh remember when we went out last week? Well, where was son-and-so? I thought she was coming?" Etc. I am so tired of being the outsider. These moms are really nice and really genuine. I don't doubt for one moment that if I jumped in and said, "Hey, I'd like to come." that they'd be fine with it. But for just once, I'd like to be the one invited instead of inviting myself or having to invite others.

I have to say that I'm just not in a very good place right now. I am trying so so so hard not to be resentful of my husband for dragging us all down here. Our kids, while they are doing okay, say to me at least once a week, "I really miss Illinois. I wish we could move back there." Inside, I'm saying "ME TOO!! ME TOOO!!!!!!" I want to be supportive of him, and I know that this move is good for him, but I don't know if it was good for the whole family. But there is more to the story that I just can't get into. Suffice it to say, that I feel like our family is going to be at the mercy of my husband's job whims. Even with this last move, I told him, "Sometimes people don't have a perfect job. You just have to put up with it because every job has good parts and bad parts. We can't keep moving every 3 or 4 years. I won't do it! I can't do it!" And yet.... here we are.

I love him and I want to support him. I want to be the support he needs because if I were in his shoes I would want his support too. I think this is the time when marriage is worst, but also best. It is the time when things are hard that you can't go at it alone. But I am so frustrated. He never shows emotion. If I tell him that the kids miss our previous home, he says, "Well, they'll get over it. We're here now." or "No they don't! They are just saying that because they're bored with what's going on here." But I know that's not true. And if I say that I miss our previous home, I'm afraid it will cause a problem for him. He's right - we're here now, so there is no use boo-hooing about moving back, because we won't.

So here I am, typing away at cyber people who have never laid eyes on me, never seen me in real life. I would SO love to feel like someone wants me to go to coffee with her. I don't need a new BFF - I have one of those. I just wish I had someone who could make me smile. Right now between responsibilities at home, and his crazy schedule, and the fact that he never seems to be "feeling well", Texan Papa is not that person.

I just don't like who I am right now. I am nervous all the time. I walk around, trying to accomplish something - anything - and I get side-tracked. I end up having a hundred half-done projects and a big mess. I am not being very patient with my kids. I am not being forgiving with anyone. I don't even have the energy or the time to go to the gym. I don't think I'm fat but I also hate my body. After 4 kids, my skin hangs like a gastric bypass patient's.

I have no idea why I'm writing all this. I guess I just have to tell someone. There, I told you.


Eudae-mamia said...

Hugs. I'm sorry. I'm an "oil brat" myself, so I'm somewhat familiar with the gypsy feelings. Everyone needs a time to just wallow in it - it's healthy.

I'm afraid I have no words that will really help, other than maybe I hear you!!


Bridge said...

be well Texan mama, we all have these phases. I moved here 2 year ago, I frequently feel like an outsider but then I also know my propensity to isolate and not call friends for a while.
Maybe take initiative and ask some women of they'd like to meet for a picnic at the playground on a afternoon your husband works late. Some activity you can get to know them better.

As far as the half-done projects go, you'll complete them, I go in cycles of productivity.

Its great your supportive of your husband, but also nurture your need to have women friends near and dear. Feel better.

dddiva said...

*hugs* I don't know what to say much except to say I know the feeling- Ar is not my first choice yet we are here and lucky for me Ken has a great family and they are here as well but it is lousy to feel like you are always the *new kid*.
I don't know if you have checked into it, but there are some great herbs for stress or possibly see your dr about depression. Nobody has to feel lonely nowadays and it might just be a hormonal imbalance.
I wish I knew what to say to cheer you up- I would love it if you lived down the street and could pop on over for a cup of coffee and some fellowship.

ReformingGeek said...

I know what you mean about not being invited. Hang in there, girl! Do something fun, just for you, as soon as you can.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I'm not a hugger normally, but I would give you a big old one right now.

That's about all I can possibly offer you; you already know what you should do [according to your man and people like Dr.Phil who always tell people to buck up, as if it's the easiest thing in the world].

Honestly, I say grab one friend and head out for drinks or at the very least, something extraordinarily chocolatey. You could walk there briskly to make it feel like a workout :D

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

G - It takes many months to get truly engaged in a community. You are right at that point that SO many transients hate. The - I have been here long enough to feel like I live here, so why don't I have any friends yet - phase. GIve it a few more months. I felt this way in Canada after about 5 months. At about 8 months, I had good friends. I know MANY Caterpillar wives that go through what you are going through in any move at exactly the point you are going through it.

Be strong for your family and your husband. Call your friends. Allow yourself the dignity of knowing it is a bad day and will pass.

Call me if you need to talk. I am always here for you.



I WILL GO TO COFFEE WITH YOU!....Except that I live in UT. I too feal isolated, It is because in Ut it seems like I am the only non-LDS person. I feal like I have been left out of the club, so I know how you feal. I guess you at least sought out to join the club. But it also sounds like you know religion is a very personal thing, and I won't be changing mine just to make friends. I have four lovely kids too...And I have just decided that my pooch is like a kangaroo pooch...except that kangroo's don't have to worry about finding pants to wear, that actually look cute. I rant and rave on the internet, and I confess, this is my first time reading your blog. It sounds like we actually have alot in common though. So hang in there sister, and I will keep reading, and WE won't be alone!
It helps to vent sometimes, it is normal, and sometimes you can tell total strangers things you woulden't or coulden't tell your family. ;)

Beth Anne said...

Where in Texas are you?

I hope you feel better soon. I know how you feel. I tend to have a hard time getting to know people because I am pretty shy. I recently became a SAHM and I feel lonely. I know it will get it will for you too.

As for the gym and the unfinished projects...I can again relate. :)

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this right now :(
Take some time for yourself to wallow and then come back up--you know you will.
Big hugs!

The Nice One said...

Well snap crackle pop. Wish you lived out this way.
We moved down here 3 1/2 years ago. When NMD presented the idea, I freaked out. I stuck my heels in the ground, flailed my arms and said NO. But then, I realized that I had absolutely no choice. He'd taken the position down here, sucks to be me, I'm going. Even after we moved, I hated it here. I hated it for at least a year. Maybe 2. I was an outsider- I am a Yankee, darn it! I didn't know where things were. Yadda... But now, I absolutely love it and I am crying about the idea of having to move anytime soon. I have found, in all my moves, that it takes a good year (or 2!) to really get settled and feel like your roots are taking.
I am sorry you're feeling down...but I promise ya, keep working at it and it WILL get better.

Carrie Thompson said...

Drive on down! I will show you a city...well not all of it anymore but the part that is left!

I will give you coffee and we can shop at the Galleria! There is an ice skating rink it!!!

I have never moved so I do not feel you pain but I have left a church and lost friends so I am right there with you babe! I know it is hard... said...

I have to say I think it does get better. I'm not from the area, but I've made friends with a group of transplants who understand & feel like I do. Maybe that is the group you need to mix with - other non-natives.

Anonymous said...

Awww, sister! I wanna have coffee with you. I really do.
Hey, I can sorta, kinda relate on the job situation. Just a little. We'll talk more about that when we have coffee.
This is a cyber hug for you.


I know you're probably feeling better by now, but just in case.

Don't beat yourself up for feeling the way you feel. It's alright.