Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Identity? Self worth? Motherhood? TOGETHER?

I started this blog entry back in early October and never finished or revisited it for several reasons. Instead of editing it, I'll go ahead and post it and add onto it as I can.

"Ok. It's time for me to unload. The last several months have been increasingly difficult for me. For what seems like no good reason, which then makes whatever I'm dealing with worse because it's something I try to put down as trivial eating up my life.
I've been feeling nagged to write about it because, well, that was the ENTIRE point of starting this blog. Self therapy and connection. Honesty. All that well intended crap. But I didn't want this turning into my online pubescent and angsty diary. But screw it.

Today I lost Bella. For easily almost 5 minutes in a swarm of school age children at the pumpkin patch. I frantically ran around screaming for her and I couldn't help but run every worst case scenario through my head. That's the way I've learned to deal with anxiety - I think of the worst case scenario and figure out how to handle that. I run every awful thing through my head in those minutes. Another mom found her in the hay bale maze. When I finally laid eyes on her again, her face was blank, eyes wide and brimmed with tears. She knew something serious had just happened and I think the realization that she was completely surrounded, alone, by strangers had set in. I embraced her and kept my voice calm for all of 4 seconds. Then I wept.
My failure to compose myself set off the domino emotional collapse I've tried to keep standing."

The emotional collapse was the fear and sometimes realizations that I can't live up to the mother I try so hard to be.

And that's another topic entirely that I'm having to slowly pick apart. Because these moments where I feel like I fail as a mother bring bouts of depression and self doubting that prove very difficult to get over. And I've found that these bouts are so intense and last so long because I've ended up in a place where I put all of my self worth into motherhood. Everything that I used to use to help keep my own identity I pushed aside for what I thought was the time being so that I could focus entirely on my child. The time being became semi permanent and those little things I used to keep so close slipped away so easily. Things like singing, painting, exploring and writing. Especially writing. I used to write about everything so easily. Not to say my singing, painting or writing were any good, but these things are what kept me feeling most like myself and I was proud of the things I had done because I could easily and successfully express myself.

I've trekked through so many things life has thrown at me within the last few years that required some sort of expression or even adequate words and am always met with nothing. So then I give up.

I started this blog to try to slowly curb this problem. But, as you can see, I ended up giving up on this for a short while. I'm uncomfortable with a blog where I'm so whiny and talk about myself incessantly.

But two weeks ago, I'm not sure why, but I decided I was done wallowing in self pity about it. I was done letting these bouts keep happening and lasting longer and longer. And doing it alone, especially. If I want to write again, I better sit my ass down and write. And if I want someone to recognize it I better share it. And if I want to pick up painting again then I better be a big girl and find the time to do it. If I want to sing again, then I shouldn't wait around for Palmer to nag me into recording something with him. (Again, this is not to say I'm even good at any of these things).


Here's what I'm hoping:

  • My being even slightly proactive may start earning me some self worth. 
  • Having self worth spread around into different outlets will improve my stupid life long self confidence problem. 
  • My having a higher self confidence level will allow me to accept the times that fail me in motherhood, because DUH. Do I REALLY need to go into detail about the times when parenthood is difficult. No question mark on the last sentence because that's not even a question.
  • This will also allow me to celebrate the wins and pat myself on the back more. When someone says I did a great job figuring out how Bella ticks and learns to develop her token system. And her potty chart. And my stern belief in giving options rather than just saying "no"; to not brush it all away with a "No, it's not me, it's that Bella's smart" or "I just lucked out". To maybe someday say and believe, "Yeah, you know what, I did kick butt with that. I didn't even need Pinterest to help me."

This one entry was initially going to unload everything borderline incoherently but for just diving into this whole bloggy, writing thing again, I'll save those for other entries. Here's to good intentions.


  1. I have backpack leashes for my kids...haha. some people look at me and i have had people even say "do you see those kids on a leash?" but hey it keeps them close :) Also I started reading a book called Professionalizing motherhood, it talks alot about the calling that we have from God to be mothers and put our husbands and children first, and obviously we all fail (alot) but it is Gods desire for us to train up our children, it also talks about making time to do something for you...something you can finish, because with motherhood, nothing stays finished (the house will be clean a totaly of 5 minutes...on a good day, and you wont be finished with your children ever really) so it talks about how importnt it is for us to get an outlet that we can do and see the finished result...thats one reason i crochet after the kids are in bed, I finish it and then i can say "hey i did this, its done and its not going to get undone--unless a kid cuts a piece of the yarn and undoes it all"...which has happened...ha. I can see from facebook that you are a wonderful mother and love Bella so much! Mothering is a hard job...but the most rewarding in the end :)

  2. Thank you so much Laurie. :) You are so sweet to say that.
    I actually loved reading an article you posted several months ago about the calling to be a mother (I don't remember what it was really called). It was encouraging and I read it at a time I desperately needed to. And you're totally right about needing to have something that yours that you can finish. I've attempted so many things that I intend to finish and get so discouraged (childishly so, really) that I give up prematurely. This part of my life is a big learning experience. Learning to balance and learning to keep my strength when I feel at my weakest. And always keeping in mind that it's God who gives me all the strength I have.