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Upon finding out more about core beliefs. It's surprising to know how much things underlying my thoughts and desires are underpinned by factors that I would rather not be about. Things that are neither me or something I would like to see in anyone else.

I know the other infps here can relate, and most other people can relate as well. What would you say is an idea that has been fixed into your mind? and what steps have you taken to cope with them?
 

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Oh yeah, there are definitely some. Ideas that my SJ parents drilled into my head. I can totally see that they are reasonable and "safe". Very safe indeed. But if I let myself be influenced by those ideas, I will never take any risk to do anything that will make me happy. I will not be unhappy. But no, not happy at all. Hell, I wouldn't even start a conversation with anyone.

How do I deal with it? I occasionally contact them and say, no I'm not sick, yes I have been eating well. (I don't understand why, but usually, when I ask them what's going on over there, they never have any story to tell). I mean, it's not like they'll care or even get it if I say, I've improved so much on my bass playing.

And also my mom was pretty disappointed that I never found a boyfriend at my oh so prestigious college, because if I marry a smart guy, apparently I will never have to work a single day in my life. I can just do what I like to do without having the fear that the product of my intellect and creativity is any good at all. She also advised me to stay away from the musician types.

And what's worse is that they accuse me of not wanting to face challenges. Is it a challenge if you're not even interested? Why would I want to take a path that would lead me to some life I can't be happy about even if I'm successful at it? I'd rather try to do something I want to be good at and die trying.


Shit, I know I shouldn't be that angry, but do you see why I'm angry?
 

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I know the other infps here can relate, and most other people can relate as well. What would you say is an idea that has been fixed into your mind? and what steps have you taken to cope with them?
Great topic. IME changing beliefs involves focusing on changing words and images. Normally focusing on whichever one resonates with you.

Words

I had belief that was causing me alot of anxiety, and with the simple exercise from CBT that I gained I learned how to change the belief so that it doesn't bother me anymore. (Though IMO changing beliefs isn't the be and all of healing 'issues' IMO and IME)

I simplified the CBT thought challenging exercise (I found it unnecessarily long winded) to basically this;

Grab a piece of paper or type in word the unbeneficial belief. The belief that isn't benefiting you is normally authoritative like; I/they should, I/they must, I/they shouldn't, etc.

So frame the belief like that;

I should be/do/like/say/ XXXXX

I must be/do/like/say XXXX

And then underneath write 3 to 5 reasons that support that belief.

Then underneath that, then undermine each reason in turn, with reasons that support a belief that is more beneficial.

After you've undermined each reason, then write out the beneficial belief at the bottom of the page in a positive way, that has a language that encourage autonomy...

I can learn to XXXX

I can XXXX

I'm XXXX

I'm moving towards XXXX

I find that if I do that for 6 days a week for 2 weeks, I've basically gathered momentum for the new belief to gain a firm foundation in my mind. And then it's simply down to reinforcing it with more reasons as often as I want, in any way you want eg. reading.

NLP reframing principles are a very helpful guide for belief challenging work. And it basically either comes down to changing the meaning, or changing the context.

Changing the meaning, is basically asking how could I change the meaning of the situation to one that is more benefical, more conducive towards a positive self image, more conducive to compassion, etc.

Changing the context, is basically asking is there any other context where this belief isn't beneficial or is beneficial.

Images

(I use images in a broad sense so they could be; moving or still, with sound or without, interactive or non-interactive, etc)

Recently I've become very interested in changing beliefs by playing around with images. Gathering images that moved me towards beliefs/goals that I desire, and away from beliefs/goals that I don't desire)

I'm seeing a rolfer who is also a trained psychotherapist (so it's 2 forms of therapy for the price on one) and she was telling me one of the ways in which she helped heal a poor father figure. and poor model of romantic relationships. It focusing for a year or so gathering a 'mental store' of positive images of father figures in fiction and IRL, and of positive relationships. She even said that she spent that year imaging what it would be like to have this positive father figure archetype that she was building, as her father. She said and it helped her let go of negative beliefs about men.

Another way is NLP image changing exercises that can be found in a book I recently got called; Get the life you want by Richard Bandler. NLP has some kooky ideas, but IMO their visualization exercises are beneficial.

Buddhism also uses image exercises to strengthen compassion ie. loving kindness meditation.

Psychology research in different contexts shows that images affect beliefs, so that's something to think about. (Advertisers know this, and they are very good at influencing people's emotions and behaviors. That isn't a 'conspiracy theory' that's the foundation of the advertising industry.)

Reading books is also a good way of challenging or strengthening beliefs.

Thanks for posting the topic, it helped me to summarize my own research, experiences and perspective.


 

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Discussion Starter #4
How do I deal with it? I occasionally contact them and say, no I'm not sick, yes I have been eating well. (I don't understand why, but usually, when I ask them what's going on over there, they never have any story to tell). I mean, it's not like they'll care or even get it if I say, I've improved so much on my bass playing.

And also my mom was pretty disappointed that I never found a boyfriend at my oh so prestigious college, because if I marry a smart guy, apparently I will never have to work a single day in my life. I can just do what I like to do without having the fear that the product of my intellect and creativity is any good at all. She also advised me to stay away from the musician types.
....

Shit, I know I shouldn't be that angry, but do you see why I'm angry?
I was raised by heavy ST parents (mum being an estj) and I can relate. The expectations are high, and they are actually things that have been imprinted into how I put expectations onto myself. And I've noticed the more I apply what they're saying, the more I give out on who I'd rather be. Someone I would rather be is someone who doesn't have to brood on external validation, and not being able to have cultivated an independent source of motivation and commitment is what has really been a major setback in comparison to anything else that my ST parents would say is the issue with me.

I see why you're angry. But would you say you are angry at your parents or are you angry more at yourself? I can feel the latter often .. and then I realize that it's me just going into that loop again, it's like I need to impress them somehow.

I guess I can relate because I'm also bass player. how awesome is bass? :p

Great topic. IME changing beliefs involves focusing on changing words and images. Normally focusing on whichever one resonates with you.
.....

Buddhism also uses image exercises to strengthen compassion ie. loving kindness meditation.

Psychology research in different contexts shows that images affect beliefs, so that's something to think about. (Advertisers know this, and they are very good at influencing people's emotions and behaviors. That isn't a 'conspiracy theory' that's the foundation of the advertising industry.)

Reading books is also a good way of challenging or strengthening beliefs.

Thanks for posting the topic, it helped me to summarize my own research, experiences and perspective.


. an absolutely amazing post right here. :)

I'm undergoing cbt for an anxiety disorder, and I think this the words section can actually help along with the behavioral experiments that have been suggested to me prior.
 

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@AverOblivious it's obviously the bass player connection XD

Yah, I would say I'm angry at myself too, although I'm not sure if I'm more angry at myself. Mostly it's because I'm angry at them that I'm angry at myself. My parents have done a lot for me, what am I getting angry about? But at the same time that doesn't mean that they didn't do/say anything that I shouldn't get sorta pissed off about. But yeah, sometimes I'm angry at myself too for "losing" to their influence and forgetting what I believe in. It's like, when I'm about to make a decision, at times it would seem like everyone who is judging me is exactly like my parents, and I can hear their voices in my head telling me to do exactly the opposite of what I think I should do (ok, that part is kinda cray, because there are times when I've found out that their opinions are different from what I imagined them to be, phew). And if I end up listening to those voices, later I'd want to kick myself in the head because it turns out to be a bad decision (for me). But I also want to make them happy, which is why I sometimes would (erratically) make decisions that are pretty uncharacteristic of me, just to be unsure about it later.
 

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My main instrument is violin, though I do have and play occasionally two passive, electric basses (not at the same time, of course.) However, this has nothing to do with the following:

A)Parents are wonderful, but they are human, and not necessarily realize what's best for you. It's nice and appropriate to be respectful to our elders, but even I have to admit that many of their caring concerns, while practical and very well-intentioned indeed, may not fit each son and daughter out there.

B)Can an INFP be happier disowned by his/her immediate family by following his/her dream, or disowning his/her dream to make his/he parents happy? I wish I didn't have to ask this question at all, but some people do have to face it daily, or at a crucial time in life. The answer is not perfect, but there's only one (INFPs have an inextricable relationship with their dreams and their persona, and while making others happy-especially those who we love-is important, it is ALSO important to be happy with ourselves and our dreams, even if those may conflict with those that other people with the best interests at heart have prescribed for us.)

C)Making decisions that betray ourselves but please others, even loved ones, hinder our personal development, and make us have those "what ifs" in our mind later on in life. Following cultural or societal standards to be safe IS often safer than following any specific, "long shot" dream, BUT in many cases it won't make us happy regardless safety-in which case the "do it the proven way that works" (AKA SJ logic-no offense to them) doesn't apply at all to many INFPs.

I wish more SJ parents were aware about different personality types, so that they understood and be more open-minded about people's seemingly "wild" choices that make little sense to them. There's zero reason why an ESTJ should be like an INFP, and viceversa, but often many SJs have little idea that the path less traveled is actually a valid one, even if it's not the common way to do things, because PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT, which is what I fear many parents and authority figures fail to understand.

I LOVE parents, and being rebellious for its own sake means nothing to me. That said, if it hurts who you really are, you must sometimes consider going your own way-a choice I wish didn't need to be made in the first place, if only people were more understanding of each other's differences.
 

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People, mainly my parents I guess but people at large, have tried to mould me in a certain direction since I was very young, which I believe has contributed to fucking me up (to use a psychological term) amongst other things.
All kinds of ideas, since I was very young.
Be like everyone else. Work hard. Look like everyone else. Be responsible. Don't use money to enjoy yourself, save it up or you might regret it. Stick to what you know. Do what everyone else does. Be safe. Safety comes first. Don't question people older than you. Don't do what you enjoy, do what will be useful in the job market. Et fucking cetera.

I mean...it's a good question, but it's a pretty vague question, as you said I'm sure most INFPs can relate.

Around the age of 12-13 onwards, I realised (I think subconsciously at first and I gradually became more consciously aware) some of this was incompatible with who I naturally was. Enter depression.
Around the age of 16-17 epiphanies set in and I just went:
 

And that is pretty much that. I realised it was okay to do what I wanted to do and just dumped a load of the lessons and values that had been drilled into me successfully until that point. Honestly, I can't explain it. It's like my mind just went 'fuck this shit' and walked out. I'm outright angry at the way some of my best talents and skills have been suppressed against my own will at a point I could not fight or understand it by the people closest to me. It's not simply a matter of personality clash or whatever, I think the people I've grown up around are pretty intolerant and afraid people. Dumping their ideas in favour of my own is just me being fortunate enough to realise at so young an age that whatever they have drilled into my head will negatively affect my health and happiness. If I follow what they have drilled into me it will kill me, it's that simple.

So to answer your question: I have taken no steps to cope with them. I've left them behind in a cloud of smoke and a shower of sparks.

I'm going to do with my life whatever I fucking well please thank you very much. Haters gonna hate.
 

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I seem to be very suggestible. Although I like to pride myself on being pretty self-actualised, I find that I can't keep my mind from considering other's viewpoints and the possibility that they are right, even when said viewpoints are absurd and/or unpleasant. It's the down-side of open-mindedness.

I definitely have the ability to critically examine what I hear and I can draw logical conclusions.... but I seem to lack the confidence (arrogance) to trust in my own judgement sometimes. I tend to believe others over myself, especially when they a very confident and self-assured. It's not like I genuinely believe them, more like a sliver of their way of thinking creeps into my mind regardless and causes me angst.

It's kind of ridiculous, but I struggle to know what to do about it...
 

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I definitely have the ability to critically examine what I hear and I can draw logical conclusions.... but I seem to lack the confidence (arrogance) to trust in my own judgement sometimes.
I have the same tendency you have to be strongly influenced (not controlled, influenced) by the principles that seem to be outlined in the book; influence by Robert Cialindi. Everyone is influenced by those principles, but it seems you and I are more strongly influenced than others.

I think that you associate trusting your own judgement as arrogance is part of the problem. You are the only one who directly experiences the consequences of your conclusion, trusting your own judgement (as long as you care about having true and/or beneficial conclusions) makes sense from the perspective of self love. No?

And if you try to have intersubjectively verifiable or intersubjectively explainable reasons for your conclusions, then you'll believe in them more strongly. In practice that means; having and sharing anecdotal evidence, and/or rigorous research, that supports your conclusion. Rather than only having subjective reasons that can't be communicated meaningfully to anyone else eg. I feel it to be true. Sometimes the only reason why as humans believe things is purely subjective, but conclusions based on pure subjectivity are the most easily swayed for people like us, IMO and IME.

I tend to believe others over myself, especially when they a very confident and self-assured. It's not like I genuinely believe them, more like a sliver of their way of thinking creeps into my mind regardless and causes me angst.
I understand.

Kiersey in Please understand me 2 said that one of the core traits of the NF temperament is diplomacy, which involves the disposition of being highly empathetic (which isn't the same as being highly benevolent or highly compassionate).

IMO and IME it has positive consequences, as well as the negative one that you outline. For example; IMO if we want to change negative social narratives we have to empathize with it's proponents, and try to understand - even if we don't agree - with the reasons for their conclusions. Meaning not just intellectually but also on a 'feeling' level. IMO and IME simply dismissing prejudiced people without attempting to empathize with their perspective strengthens their resentment, and doesn't allow you to challenge it in any meaningful way.

Also NLP has a very interesting concept called modelling, a concept that you and I seem to have ease utilizing.

I'll self disclose'; when I wanted to develop a greater appreciation for masculinity I actively searched for masculine people who I felt would influence me to have a positive appreciation for masculinity. It worked.

Finally; daily mindfulness meditation lessens emotional reactivity.

Hope there's something helpful in the above.
 

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Choosing money over happiness.
"You shouldn't do this because it makes less money than that"
"That isn't where the money is right now"
"Oh that's cool! But you do realize that you could be making more money doing this instead of that."
 

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My dad was an intuitive thinker. A very original opinionated man, he imprinted a lot of ideas in my head about principled livin, responsibility, and society. I have great love and respect for him. But on the other hand he withheld emotional nurturance, something that affected me greatly slice my mom wasn't around. As I get older I find myself in conflict as my emotional side takes the core and I'm forced to re evaluate my foundational beliefs. It's difficult position, realizing that sometimes we build our whole self image and concepts of reality around ideas that are not "true" to ourselves. But it's good in the sense there is freedom in living your own life, not someone else's.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I definitely have the ability to critically examine what I hear and I can draw logical conclusions.... but I seem to lack the confidence (arrogance) to trust in my own judgement sometimes. I tend to believe others over myself, especially when they a very confident and self-assured. It's not like I genuinely believe them, more like a sliver of their way of thinking creeps into my mind regardless and causes me angst.
this is damn true. but maybe drawing logical conclusions also ties in with how willing we are to not just rid ourselves of another's influence on our opinions, but also how willing we are to say that we can exist with the same authenticity, feeling or love? without that influence. we can't keep hating ourselves because of what other people think, but usually they end up doing the same because they're too busy pointing out flaws about someone else. in which case, i'm trying to say I get what you mean, and the issue lies in how honest we are with ourselves when it comes to whether we can conserve the same will we use to trust the views of others, except in ourselves.

like the best way to reject another person's standard, is make ourselves the standard that others shall follow by. or maybe it's just believing that we are greater. I don't know either, but I defs want to find out like you do.
 

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great subject, I have noticed that people can become most defensive when they are challenged on a belief for which they have no grounding, ive witnessed regressive behavior when said person realizes the belief they have been living by has no foundations, we all get tuned in by our attachment figures, (care givers parents) and the idiot box does more than its fare share, we adopt beliefs so that we are accepted, its about belonging which is about survival, its all pretty unconscious behavior that serves to keep us alive.
 

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My dad's way of adding opinions to misguided facts (for years I actually thought my dad 'knew' what caused the Falklands and Vietnam wars actually telling others only to be wrong by proxy) and ideas without researching further.

Having to question how others perceive connections or friendships, when favours or bartering skills was more necessary in his generation but in this generation can make one susceptible to being used or misanthropy when trust is 1 sided.

A need to test cynicism of elders versus my own perspective of life, knowing I have more tools at my disposal: education, EQ, career opportunities, empathy and unconditional resiliency for example.

The value of gaining a meaningful education, observing how all but one of my relatives left school without a single qualification (with degrees being perceived as 'middle class opportunities our type never has'.

The notion that a man should not be than their title or collection of gender behaviours unless it benefits the many over the few in some way.

How empathy and sensitivity are my natural predispositions, not something that needs 'correcting' to become a better male.

The value of achievements on the personal level versus 'pot luck and good favour' as a natural worker [working class] that should only be rewarded for hard work; never being called by a title accept their actual name.
 

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My father drilled an idea that if I am useless, I won't be loved. I don't quite get the meaning of useless. I think he means that uselessness is having no job, not producing anything for society. I think people should be loved for who they are regardless of their contribution to society.
 

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This is an interesting topic.

At the moment, I have a one-year-old and have been reading a lot of parenting books, mainly to see how my child is measuring up based on his age and milestones. Of course parenting books are full of advice, often the same advice. So I read it and I read it and it gets drilled into my head. BUT my gut tells me other things. I find that when it comes to parenting, nobody can tell you how to do it. It's an intuitive thing. You follow what feels right for you and your kid. I am often feeling ashamed and guilty for some things in regards to parenting, and I am always justifying myself in my mind every day. Everyone says do THIS, but I'm doing something ELSE. And it feels weird going against the grain like that, but if I do it their way, it doesn't feel right to me.

Other things like gender stereotypes have been drilled into my head. My mom was a big proponent of "being a lady" and was constantly telling me not to do certain things because they are not "ladylike". As a teenager I rebelled against the whole lady thing big time. And now I'm more at peace with it. I feel like I can be both ladylike and masculine.

damn gotta cut this short. damn damn damn :(
 

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I'm gonna keep posting on this thread because I wasn't done yet. Plus, it's a good topic so more people should respond!

Ideas that were drilled into my mind that weren't what i wanted ----
The whole idea of work being something you go to school for and then get hired doing something you love as a full time career. I believed in that idea for a LONG time. My parents did too. And just about every American probably does. But what if all you really want to do is be a mom? I constantly had this tug of war going on in my head. I never could decide what job I wanted to do. I wasted a lot of time just staying in the same sorta menial job I always had at a bookstore, just waiting until something better would come along. I did end up getting a better bookstore job with better pay and benefits and stuff, but I never would have picked it for myself. I wanted to do something fulfilling with my time. Something meaningful! Something I loved! But what was that thing?? The ONLY thing I could ever think of was that I wanted to be a mom. To me, that was the most important, meaningful thing I could do with my life. But no one is gonna pay you to be a mom. In fact, it's the other way around.

Well anyway, what happened was, I realized more and more that this is what I wanted to do and I didn't care about the fuckin American dream and all that bullshit. I am not sending my kid to daycare to be raised by someone else. So my husband and I worked it out so that he works full time and I only work part time and one of us is always home with our son. We don't have much time together as a family, but it works. It still needs tweaking, and hopefully my husband will get a better job next year after he gets a certificate for some classes he is taking. But right now, I am pretty happy with how my life is going. I wouldn't get to be home with my son if I had put all this effort into getting an education and finding a career. I would be sending him to daycare and missing out on so many things! I have nothing against the parents who send their kids to daycare. That is their life and decision. I just knew it was not what I wanted to do. So we are pretty poor and just scraping by at the moment, but life is good. I am happy with what I'm doing and I have high hopes for the future.

**And this is coming from the daughter of a university professor and the granddaughter of two high school teachers. My family is all about education and getting degrees and shit. But I got my BA in 2003 and that's all I did. That's not the life for me.
 

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I believe in simple answers to matters of balancing states of mind. Long answers need lots of thoughts, lots of thoughts are the original problem, isn't it? Long chains of reasoning rely on vasts amount of memory and clear states of mind to get through all the steps. You may just forget them to the volatility of the ideas you are facing. The problem is unwanted thoughts causing division to internal identity.
'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication'
Leonardo Da Vinci
The answer is easy if you look at it in a different way.
'If you hold any tension in the mind, you don't need another enemy in your Life, you will just slowly work against your self.. You will turn your own Life energies against you'

You must simply realize that if you are a person with intense thoughts and feelings you are prone to developing internal fissure. It does not pay to be angry, to become frustrated to think about your fears, or your doubts. It only makes it worse.
'When things are around you that are unpleasant, it means even more the importance of remaining pleasant. '
Seek virtue and you will find inner happiness, there's a much grander scale of Life going on and it is beautiful if we can only stop to notice it.
Hope this helped.
 

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Very helpful stuff. Thanks.

I think that you associate trusting your own judgement as arrogance is part of the problem. You are the only one who directly experiences the consequences of your conclusion, trusting your own judgement (as long as you care about having true and/or beneficial conclusions) makes sense from the perspective of self love. No?
True. Although I don't think I'm the only one who directly experiences the consequences of my conclusion (consider, say, my voting habits based on the principles I believe to be right. Stuff like that). But you're right about the self-love part. I've always had a hard time with that. So I guess it stands to reason that I lack faith in myself, too. <br><br>I do see it as arrogance to be so assured in one's own opinions. And that is part of the problem, too. Yes. I desire to be open-minded and not to dismiss other's ideas just because they make me personally uncomfortable. But the people who assert those opinions are often not so conscientious, which in turn makes them seem more confident.

Kiersey in Please understand me 2 said that one of the core traits of the NF temperament is diplomacy, which involves the disposition of being highly empathetic (which isn't the same as being highly benevolent or highly compassionate).

IMO and IME it has positive consequences, as well as the negative one that you outline. For example; IMO if we want to change negative social narratives we have to empathize with its proponents, and try to understand - even if we don't agree - with the reasons for their conclusions. Meaning not just intellectually but also on a 'feeling' level. IMO and IME simply dismissing prejudiced people without attempting to empathize with their perspective strengthens their resentment, and doesn't allow you to challenge it in any meaningful way.
This makes perfect sense. Very true. I've often made this very argument against those who hear of a terrible crime and say "they should be *insert brutal and inhumane punishment*". It annoys me because removing their humanity both a) is counter-productive to addressing the problem, and b) makes us the very monsters we would slay, by means of our dispensing with empathy.

But yes, this empathy does seem to be what leads to highly suggestive minds sometimes. I had often wondered if other INFPs or NFs in general felt this way.

Also NLP has a very interesting concept called modelling, a concept that you and I seem to have ease utilizing.

I'll self disclose'; when I wanted to develop a greater appreciation for masculinity I actively searched for masculine people who I felt would influence me to have a positive appreciation for masculinity. It worked.
That's interesting, and actually something I've unconsciously done before now!
 

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I'm gonna keep posting on this thread because I wasn't done yet. Plus, it's a good topic so more people should respond!

Ideas that were drilled into my mind that weren't what i wanted ----
The whole idea of work being something you go to school for and then get hired doing something you love as a full time career. I believed in that idea for a LONG time. My parents did too. And just about every American probably does. But what if all you really want to do is be a mom? I constantly had this tug of war going on in my head. I never could decide what job I wanted to do. I wasted a lot of time just staying in the same sorta menial job I always had at a bookstore, just waiting until something better would come along. I did end up getting a better bookstore job with better pay and benefits and stuff, but I never would have picked it for myself. I wanted to do something fulfilling with my time. Something meaningful! Something I loved! But what was that thing?? The ONLY thing I could ever think of was that I wanted to be a mom. To me, that was the most important, meaningful thing I could do with my life. But no one is gonna pay you to be a mom. In fact, it's the other way around.

Well anyway, what happened was, I realized more and more that this is what I wanted to do and I didn't care about the fuckin American dream and all that bullshit. I am not sending my kid to daycare to be raised by someone else. So my husband and I worked it out so that he works full time and I only work part time and one of us is always home with our son. We don't have much time together as a family, but it works. It still needs tweaking, and hopefully my husband will get a better job next year after he gets a certificate for some classes he is taking. But right now, I am pretty happy with how my life is going. I wouldn't get to be home with my son if I had put all this effort into getting an education and finding a career. I would be sending him to daycare and missing out on so many things! I have nothing against the parents who send their kids to daycare. That is their life and decision. I just knew it was not what I wanted to do. So we are pretty poor and just scraping by at the moment, but life is good. I am happy with what I'm doing and I have high hopes for the future.

**And this is coming from the daughter of a university professor and the granddaughter of two high school teachers. My family is all about education and getting degrees and shit. But I got my BA in 2003 and that's all I did. That's not the life for me.
I know I've probably said this before but I do really think what you are doing is great!

I can't remember if I've mentioned these stories before... sorry if I did already!

I used to work in a preschool connected to a prestigious all girls private school going up to 12th grade in an area of town and community where people were very wealthy, educated, and quote unquote successful. Basically, the preschool was put in place so that the women that went on to graduate from this school, get degrees, and have successful careers could also balance their careers with having a family... and would have a good quality place to put their kids. So these female alumni had first dibs on putting their children in this preschool which always had a long waiting list.. Well, the point of this story is that the other teachers and noticed a changing pattern and attitude among the families in the area. Basically, we saw a growing pattern of quote unquote successful, empowered, educated women choosing to stay at home, and that becoming the more preferred choice for those well enough off to be able to do it. So instead of putting their kids in full time, many of them would put their kids in part time, leaving lots of time to spend with them. At the end of the day we don't want to live life to be validated, but at the same time I was kind of happy to see this that it was becoming seen as more acceptable and even admirable to stay at home in this community.. Basically that it was being encouraged.

During the time of working in this school, I spent a short phase working in the infant room (which really wasn't my preferred place, but that's besides the point), and one of the mothers of the babies was a librarian at our school working on the same campus, and every single day she had to drop her baby off in our room she would have a long crying session.. It was torture to her. And honestly, it was kind of difficult to watch each day.. I felt bad taking her baby from her arms each day.... almost like it wasn't my place...

After a long, painstaking month or two, she finally was considering the idea of quitting the job she enjoyed and staying at home. She'd really loved her job, being a librarian at this wonderful school and working with all the students, but she loved her son more.. It was unnatural for her to part with him everyday. She came to us for advice, and we encouraged her to quit in so many words... Basically I told her that she should do whatever was right for her. Money didn't seem to be a major factor; Her and her partner would have been able to make it without her working it seemed, but she seemed to be working because she was 'expected' to from some outward pressure, or maybe because she just had never envisioned quitting. I was really happy for her when she made the final decision to stay at home... because I knew she was doing what was right for her and her family..

And just another little thought, although I think its great when moms are afforded with the ability or drive to stay home, like you ethylester I also understand that for some moms, working might be best. Its really just about people choosing what works best for them and their family.
 
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