I keep hoping that this new identity will be a Betty Crocker one- that someday I'll be able to get past the survival mode that I feel I'm in (pulling Lauren out the toilet 20 times a day; keeping the boys from knocking eachother's teeth out; keeping them happy, fed and clean). I keep thinking the day will come when Dennis will be able to come home to a gourmet dinner, made completely from scratch out of food-storage items with warm, homemade bread on the counter, and our kids dressed in clothes I have sewed for them. I hope that someday I'll be able to have self-empowered, confident children from having used the "Love and Logic" principals that I think are so awesome but never remember to use- and that our garden will never have it's produce go to waste because I forgot to go out and pick it.
Earlier this week I went to a Relief Society canning meeting. The longer I listened to these amazing women share their endless knowledge of canning and food preservation, the more discouraged I felt. I don't really care for gardening, canning, sewing and a lot of the skills that set women aside as "Good Mormon Women." Dennis once jokingly told me that I would make a terrible pioneer. I laughed and punched him in the arm when he said it, but I have to admit his harmless joke confirmed one of my many feelings of inadequacies. Joking aside, sometimes in the LDS culture I think it is easy for someone to feel of less worth when those pioneer skills are not your strengths or even something you like. I feel at times like maybe I should can, sew and garden until I learn to like it. I'm afraid that might take a while though.
I think keeping a sense of self-identity through your mothering years can also be so incredibly challenging- especially when you feel you fall short in the areas you think are expected of you. It's hard to form an identity outside of a mold, especially when that mold is a very good one and one that you admire. I have to remind myself constantly that I do have talents and strengths, and even though they may not be the same as other women that I look up to (our neighborhood and ward have an abundance of these amazing women), that's okay.