Sunday, July 18, 2010

Redefining

Maybe someone that is good at reading between the lines might realize that the last couple of months have been a sort of redefining period for me. I think everyone goes through these many times throughout their lives, as kids, teenagers, adults, parents, grandparents, etc. Now that I have quit my job, I find myself needing to re-establish a sense of identity that I felt I was close to figuring out before I stopped working. One of the things that I prided myself in -my nursing career and knowledge- has been put on the back burner indefinitely. One of my friends, who is also a nurse, told me that after she quit her job to become a full-time mom felt like she used to have to tell people she met that she was a nurse and had chosen to stay home with her children. She said it has taken her a while to get to the point where she doesn't feel like she has explain it to people anymore, that being a mom is enough. I hope I get there soon.

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.

3 comments:

The Jefferies said...

Well I'm glad at the end you said you knew you had talents. I totally agree with your feelings though. I also always forget to water our garden and pick our produce. Sewing is something I like to do but I totally have to be in the right mood or I'll never do it. Canning, oh goodness. Well I like canned things but I never want to can. Totally keep up on remembering all the amazing talents you have because that's what makes up you and I think your fantastic and totally wish I had many of your amazing talents.

Cher said...

you need to find your mother-niche, not what you think mothers are supposed to be. you can do what no other person can for your kids, give them your love, time, and wisdom. right?
plus, i think it helps to have goals you are working on, personal goals not mommy/family goals. that doesn't have to be sewing or cooking. it could be exercising, or journaling, or slowly reading the books on your list, etc.
you will get there one day, where you know being a mom is the most fulfilling and beautiful thing you can do. when you look at your sweet kids sleeping, can't you feel it? you're getting close, i can tell. :)
p.s. every mom has to work on this, don't feel like it's just you. even those who on the outside look like they have it all together.

Cher said...

p.p.s one of the blogs i love to read, a friend from a long time ago, wrote something similar to this a few weeks ago. you might enjoy it.
http://smyliesforever.blogspot.com/2010/07/me-and-them-them-and-me.html