Friday, July 27, 2012

My rambling thoughts on who I am

I keep wondering what my hang up with blogging is.  I used to post all of the time and it felt so good to get my feelings written out.  I have REALLY been soul searching the past half year.  I feel like I can barely function because my mind is so consumed with thoughts.  Thoughts that are so scattered and so deep that I just can't blog about them.

I am NOT who I thought I'd be by this age and stage of life.  When I was a child and thought forward to my life as a mom/wife, I saw a beautiful, active, smiling, thin blonde who kept a simple, warm house.  A woman who kept romance alive with midnight swims and star gazing.  A mother who was calm and sweet and who tried to see the adventure in everything while teaching important truths and the love of learning.
I did not see this overweight, unkempt, frazzled, impatient, scattered, selfish woman I am today.

These are a few areas that are weighing heavy on my heart lately:

-Friends.
I feel like I'm the kind of person that does best with just a few close friends.  My husband is definitely the opposite.  He just thrives from making a new friend every day.  I know it sounds so stupid but some days I feel so overwhelmed with how many friends I love and I feel totally inadequate as a friend to keep up, let them know I love and think about them.  I tried to make a list the other day so I could make sure I was keeping up with them and I had to stop at 40 because it was driving me crazy!  I feel like especially my college friends are slowly becoming more and more just people I keep up with on FB, not because I don't care but because I rarely get to see them and because there just isn't enough time in the day.  I hate it because it doesn't mean I don't love them, it just means that things change.  I feel like I endure a lot of guilt on a regular basis about how badly I keep up with friends.  I also think that it makes me a little bit guarded when meeting new people because I feel like I'm at capacity for people I can love.  I hate that.  Especially being at a new church with a lot of people that need to feel loved, welcomed and feel Christ's love for them through me, I hate that I am guarded and not open to them.  I think that I have a problem wanting to be perfect.  I want to be the perfect friend that is always there and always up to date, but it just isn't possible with all of the wonderful women God has given me as friends.

-Comparing.
I hate it so much but I compare myself to everyone.  I don't think this started until I became a mother.  I used to be confident and sure of myself, and just happy with who I am.  There are at least 5 different women that I daily just fight my jealousy of.  Some of these women I am very close to so I don't feel like it's just me taking the best from facebook, blogs, or instagram.  There is a girl that I just envy the simplicity of her life, how easily she operates in a traditional wife/mother role.  I envy her  ability to handle her children, be there for her husband and feed her family wonderful organic meals.  She's like Laura Ingles, and I believe she's happy.  But when it comes down to it, I am just not that way.  I want so much to be that traditional wife/mother (it's an idol to me), but I am not that way.
There's another girl who acts like every single part of her day is an adventure.  She is constantly doing activities with her children and finding the joy in every minute.  I feel like I do that a little bit but I still feel inadequate with how often I just want to survive.
And another girl I envy her marriage and how romantic they still are.  The list goes on and on...


-As a mother.
 I don't know why but I feel like the reality of being a MOTHER to two boys is really sinking in.  I think it's because my first real, concrete memories start at 4 and Barclay is 3 1/2.  I feel like I don't have my act together at all!  I mean, how can I even begin to compare to how my mother was at this age?  I feel like I have no routine, no idea what I'm doing, in fact, honestly I still feel like every single day is a real survival.  I worry about how little I read to them, how often I let them play by themselves.  I feel like they aren't going to have any memories of things like, "every morning my mother woke up and kneaded fresh bread", "every Friday we made popcorn and played games", or anything like that.
I can't believe that Barclay is now suddenly so old!  It really snuck up on me.  I still feel like I'm using the overwhelmed new mom excuse...but I am not a new mom.  Shouldn't I feel a little more confident by now?
I want more than anything to be a good, fun, consistent, loving, accepting, teaching mother.  I'm scared to death to mess this up.

-Creativity.
Can I just say how thankful I am that I don't live in a time when women could either be mothers/housewives OR be creative/working women?
I feel like if I lived back then I would be some sort of crazy artist who lived in a teepee on top of a mountain, without the joy of raising children or being married.  My head is constantly filled with ideas and thoughts about how to create art.  Thankfully I get most of my creative outlets in photography.  I still will pick framing art over cleaning the kitchen any day.  I blogged a while ago about feeling convicted that I put my job in front of my children, so I cut back...I have come to realize that I functioned much better as a mother who works than one who doesn't.  I woke up feeling like every day was the same and that nothing mattered much.  Now with working a lot again, I feel the need to stay motivated and organized.  For me, working and creating makes a much better mommy.
I feel like my photography is seriously the only thing I do well.  I have such pride in the images I create and I get high on getting complimented on it.  I really have to watch myself that I don't make this an idol in my life.

-Housework.
The main topic of distention in our marriage.  I feel like if a genie were to grant me one wish...I wouldn't pick thinness, beauty or wealth...I would pick that I could make myself be a neater, cleaner, better housecleaner.  Isn't that sad and weird?  I feel like having a clean house is my husband's love language, and I seriously cannot get it together no matter how many cleaning charts I make, how much I pray and try to get my heart right about it.  I am just not an organized neat person.  The fact that I daily fail at keeping the house clean (despite my best efforts and my genuine desire), makes me so sad.  I promise you I think about it at least every 10 minutes.  I'm trying to go easy on myself and just make small new habits.  There are days I push myself and manage to keep the house clean, but those are days I ignore my boys, my discipline, and myself.  I feel like at the end of the day I am spent and have no energy to even be NICE.

-Marriage.
Let me say that I love my husband.  I love him deeper than I did when we got married.  BUT I feel like we still have to work SO hard at our marriage.  It doesn't come naturally to be selfless in our marriage.  We are definitely two selfish, stubborn (first born) sinners trying to make it work.  Marriage is hard work but honestly I can say it is worth it.  God is using my marriage to sanctify me BIG TIME.

-Body.
Ugg my body.  I have steadily gained weight since I got married.  The only time I've lost weight in my life is once in high school when I stopped eating for a month (I got skinny and a lot of attention) and with both of my pregnancies (which include not eating from morning sickness).  Every time I deliver a baby, I am immediately thinner than I was when I started the pregnancy.  It's so odd but the first few days after delivering I'm able to wear my skinny jeans and skirts I usually can't fit in.  Then the breast feeding sets in and also my ability to actually keep food down and I immediately gain 20 lbs.  I think that this summer was the first time in my life where I find myself thinking CONSTANTLY about how I look and what others are thinking and judging me for.
I feel like if someone who didn't know me were to look at me, they would assume I eat at Mcdonalds every day (which I seriously never eat fast food except for the occasional chick fil a sandwich).  I think people would think that I can't run or do anything active and drink soda all day.  I find myself trying to find a way to mention that I do this or that activity or don't eat or drink this or that.
Noah has recently lost about 40 lbs just by cutting out soda, sweet tea, coffee, and fast food.  He hasn't exercised at all.
Since January I have been hard CORE trying to get fit and loose weight.  Not only did I not loose weight...I gained it.  I got on thyroid meds...nothing...I got on some hormone meds...nothing...I got on diabetes meds to see if that would help me...nothing.
I am so discouraged and find myself not being as healthy because why does it even matter?
I hate my body.  I hate that I can't even wear clothes I like.  I hate that if I ever do get pregnant that I am considered to be slightly high risk just because of my weight.
I hate that everyone I know can work out a little more or stop drinking soda and drop 15 lbs.  I hate that people think I'm lazy and dumb nutritionally when they look at me.
If I didn't ever see myself or didn't know what I weighed, I would feel like a healthy, strong, active woman.  But I catch a glimpse of myself in windows or pictures and I feel like I'm looking at someone else.  I feel like nothing I can do will help.  I guess I'm trying to avoid anything with a reflective surface and always be behind the camera until things change.  I'm still going to stay active and eat healthy, I just am not going to worry about results.  Maybe when I'm done having children and breastfeeding and start sleeping more, my body will get out of survival mode and start getting back to it's previous attractive self.
Being self conscious sucks.

-Pregnancy.
We decided to start to start trying for number 3 in December (even though I knew that I could barely handle my two).  I usually get pregnant pretty fast.  Only women can probably understand this, but I feel like when another baby is being tried for that life goes into a little bit of a limbo stage.  This is trivial but for example, I didn't buy any one piece bathing suits (and there were so many cute ones) because I just knew I'd be pregnant this summer and need a two piece.  That is just a small example of how I was preparing.  I've been doing acupuncture regularly to help with morning sickness, I've had to keep estimated due dates in mind when booking weddings or events...And here I am 8 months later still not pregnant.  (just an early miscarriage that got our hopes up in May)
I will say I am content.  I don't feel that same urgent need to get pregnant like I felt with each of the boys.  I feel like having more space between children is probably a good thing, but I still have a desire for another baby and a desire to wrap our little family up with a beautiful bow and be done with things. I think I already knew that God doesn't like us to get so comfortable with our families that I feel like things are wrapped up nice and pretty.  It scares me.


I think after typing up this novel (I doubt anyone will make it half way through!):
-I am, in the end, a happy, content and blessed person.  I would say more moments than not, I start crying because I feel so happy and blessed.
-I am just the kind of person that wants to keep getting better and trying new things...although I am content with what I have and my situation in life, I will never be content with the person I am.  I'll always want to be better.
-Above all, I am thankful that God loves me and see's perfection when he looks at me (not because of anything I've done but because He see's Christ's perfection).  I'm thankful for the many, many people who love me too.

7 comments:

  1. O, Helen Joy. Your honesty is so beautiful. I think those last 3 points show your heart the best. :)

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  2. I can't remember how I came across your blog but I've been following it for several months now. I am also a SAHM to two and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this post. I can totally relate to all of it!!! Thank you for your honesty and making me realize I am not the only one who feels this way!

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  3. This post really hit home with me.
    Honestly, I feel like it could have been me writing the "comparing", and "mother sections, almost to a T. :-(
    A lot of your comments on "body" are similar to me as well. At least the way you feel about it. I feel like people think I sit on the couch eating bonbons all day. I judge myself so harshly that I worry other people are thinking the "fat, lazy" things I myself feel like sometimes.
    And funny enough, I also have 2 kids, a 3 yr old boy, and a 1 yr old girl, and have a set time in mind to try for our #3 to wrap up our family as well! And same here about pregnancy, we tried for maybe 3 weeks to get pregnant with my son, and it took 2 times to get pregnant with our daughter! I'm praying it will be easy again when I am ready for #3!

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    1. Hi Helen Joy!

      I know we haven't hung out a ton since I've been at GBR but I've always felt like we had a lot in common. I've been just trying to hold my shit together since I've been working this full-time job, John has been starting a business, toddler, pregnancy, staying on top of house work etc. I haven't had as much time for having folks over or getting together with other moms.

      I can relate to your post on so many levels.

      I just wanted to encourage you and remind you to celebrate the small victories. I completely understand the feelings of inadequacy, lack of patience, forgetfullness, and overall sense of not having your act together. I, too, imagined myself a beaming mother with a perfect schedule full of home-made goodies, tidyness, and craft projects. But comparing is a quick way to crazy land or depression. I know first hand. I was so depressed with AJ the first couple years comparing myself to everything facebook, twitter, others...It's best to accept the reality of who you are, your limitations, and also celebrate the areas of strength God has given you.

      First of all, the boys room is perfection. Really, you did an amazing job. Barclay's third birthday, the decorations, the food, were super cute as well.

      You're running your own business which is a huge responsibility. I know too because I did the same thing with photography a while back. Returning quality photos to your clients is a huge accomplishment in and of itself. AND I'm sure you're a pleasure to work with.

      Your boys are well cared for and happy. Barclay is confident and Sullivan has this constant content look on his face. It's unnerving to feel the frustration and lack of patience well up in you, I know. I have felt so much guilt with Anna-Joy. But we have to remember how God's grace is just abundant for us and to us and to our children, despite feeling like terrible failures.

      I completely understand the limbo phase of pregnancy. It sucks. And I'm sorry it's been hard to get pregnant this time and for the miscarriage, I didn't know that happened. All I can say is your Father loves you and has your good in mind in all things!

      Finally, even the super skinny ladies have some kind of image struggle. It's such a terrible part of our culture. I've had lots of obstacles in this area, too. I don't know if it would be applicable to you, but a while back I read a book called "the rules of normal eating" which really helped/is helping me restructure my relationship and thoughts about food.

      Anyways girl, I love reading peoples blogs, and it's a quick way for me to get to know you better even though I don't have a lot of time to hang out right now.

      Be blessed!

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