Home > Me > Am I missing something?

Am I missing something?

Raising two kids and being married is hard.

Add to this the fact that I live in what could be considered the middle of nowhere, certainly a far cry from metro-NY where I grew up and where most of my friends and family are located, and you can understand why sometimes I could find this difficult.

Occasionally, I find myself feeling like I’m missing out.  It’s really hard to reconnect with college friends and relive those good ole days when you don’t even live in the same city.  I can’t just call someone up and take a night out with the girls to a nice lounge in NYC or one of our old high school haunts on the Island.  And it doesn’t even have to be about going out with the girls… The only kosher restaurants here in Cleveland are open pretty much until 9pm when the whole city shuts down and the choices are far from spectacular.  Compare that to my friend who lives on the upper west side and has the opportunity to go out to dinner or a drink with her husband to one of the close to one hundred kosher restaurants and eateries/bars in the City.  blah, it makes me feel… just blah.

But tonight I found myself wondering: why do I miss that?  Do I really feel that deprived?

And I don’t really know if I have an answer.  I’m hoping writing this helps me find one.

I wasn’t the type of person who liked going out with friends to skeevy, sweaty, icky bars.. .maybe because me and my friends all had the same kinda taste – nice, upscale, modern (read: pricey) lounge-type places where the drinks and the ambiance were as classy as we thought we were.  (I must mention here a place that embodies this description – POD, right by UPenn, and one of my friends knows exactly what i’m talking about! ;))

So why those? Was it because I liked the illusion of being fancier and richer than I really was?  Was it just a comfortable way to spend an evening with friends?  Was it an atmosphere that allowed my friends and I to open up and really grow as people and in our friendships?

I think maybe the last is the closest understanding.  And maybe that’s what I am really missing most…

Yes, I do have friends but the conversation inevitable centers around kids, whether it be the latest antics or the latest in age-appropriate milestones.  Gossip, while inevitable, is usually limited because, hey we shouldn’t be talking about other people anyway…  And lots of times we are talking just about how we are handling life… juggling maintaining a good marriage, raising our kids in a crazy world, most of us are working at least part-time if not full, and keeping our houses as well.  Who has time to think or deal with anything else?
And as I’m writing now I’m thinking that’s the major problem.  Maybe what I’m really missing is the growth that comes with having smart conversations with smart friends.  The intellectual stimulation that was ‘de rigueur’ in college.  Where we sat around debating the moral rightness of  the “veil of ignorance” and the brilliance of the Federalist Papers.   That was refreshing.  That was reviving.  And just maybe that’s what I feel I’m missing?

It’s a bit difficult to debate political thought with your 21 month old while you’re trying to convince her to simultaneously not stand on the couch (because she will get a boo boo) and to pick up all the Baby Einstein flash cards she has covered the living room with.  And difficult to have a meaningful conversation with your husband while trying to convince him that your toddler scratching, pinching and hitting isn’t just a “phase.”

This is FOR SURE not to say that my Cleveland circle  lacks the capability – I think what we all lack is time and energy.  We desperately need to relate to each other about our children because we need the advice and answers that come with it – that’s the urgency of it all.  We don’t desperately need to spend hours in high philosophical debate, about politics, religious or anything else.

So maybe now coming to this realization I need to be the change I want to see in my world (so to speak) and I’m open to suggestions on how to do this.  Maybe living outside my “box” for bit would start to chip away at the feelings of slight deprivation that have started to crop up.

Just cause I’m a mom doesn’t mean I have to give up my sense of self and what I find fulfilling does it?  It just means I have less time to embrace it.

Right?

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Categories: Me
  1. December 26, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I think sometimes as we enter these new stages in our lives (frum, married, and mommied) what we find fulfilling shifts slowly away from the things which gave us a rush while in academia. Then we find ourselves being nostalgic, but it’s a bit like an amputee having phantom pains. For instance, I often waxed nostalgic about the world of classical music. However, while chaperoning a Yavne trip to see a CIM orchestra perform, I overheard a conversation between two of the musicians, and I quickly remembered why I didn’t miss that life.

    If you want a little more intellectual stimulation in your life, perhaps you could start a book club, or a topic club, or something where ladies get together once a month, or once every couple of months (’cause, you know, we’re all pretty busy). Give us an assignment (like, learn about a topic in history to discuss) and then we can meet and be all smart. Until our babies need us again. 🙂

  2. ruchi
    December 26, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Do Kiruv.

  3. Meredith
    December 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I think that a number (though not all) of women/men/parents/busy people find this type of stimulation in the work place. Some people may also find it at home with their spouses, or as Ruchi suggested, with guests that they invite into their homes. However, in the latter two cases you will be restricted to common topics of interest which may or may not include the federalist papers. 😉

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