Thursday, August 18, 2011

thoughts on motherhood.

i woke up this morning feeling a little less funky than i have been on previous mornings. which is odd because today's agenda included my least favorite chores: mopping the floors and...laundry. and who am i kidding? picking up my whole tornado of a house. i'm sitting here with a pit in my stomach wondering when i will ever have this homemaker thing figured out so i'm not always living in recovery mode-- the mode of putting things away while four grubby (but cute) hands and and four fast and furious feet follow quickly behind me undoing everything i've just done. sigh. still in spite of that stomach pit, i'm feeling a little more optimistic about things today.
i realize i've been falling in that all-too-familiar rut of comparing myself to others. which inevitably makes me feel bad about myself, and insecure about my abilities and state of life.

her kids are dressed so cute all the time.
their house is always clean.
her clothes are soooo cute.
that 3 year old has such awesome manners. shoot.
and that 3 year old never melts down.
and that 3 year old actually listens to their mom.
their car is so big and convenient. and is clean. meaning there aren't crumbs in every minuscule crevice.
her hair is NEVER frizzy.
the other 10 month old babies are snugglers.
they have a beautiful front yard.
she is so stinkin' crafty.
they get to live close to their families.

yadda yadda yadda.

i'm ashamed to call each and every one of these thoughts my own.
i know.
such worldly thoughts.
as if someone's possessions, gifts, and/or talents somehow diminish my worth. what the? i should celebrate their successes and happinesses. wouldn't i want them to do the same for me? instead of feeling discouraged anytime anything goes my way? i should be inspired. not discouraged.
i'm embarrassed.
i mean, most of those thoughts have to do with things i have or don't have. or just things for that matter. and things aren't the things that matter. people are the things that matter. love is the thing that matters.
and it's hard to feel love when you're worried about keeping up with the Jones's. or the whoevers.
i realize that if i need to worry about keeping up with anyone, it's keeping up with my girls.

and that's what's cured me.

disconnecting from the junk that's been pulling me down.
taking a little time off from the distractions.
and putting more time with the ones that matter most.

being a mom is hard work.
heck. being a woman is hard work.
making meals, morning, half morning, noon, afternoon, night...
doing dishes all day long...
wiping bums...while one of them does impressive aerodynamics to resist you...and while the other one yells for you a hundred times "i'm DONE! I'M ALL DONE!!!" and you're trying to get there as fast as you can but the timer just beeped and you need to take the chicken out of the oven...
keeping things picked up and organized...
disciplining naughty behavior...consistently...even when you don't want to...
kissing boo boos and giving bandaids and hugs liberally...
doing the errands while keeping everyone semi-happy...
and sometimes throwing it all out the window, all in the name of TLC and playtime, even on days that you're operating on little or no sleep.

i mean it's no wonder sometimes you feel like you need a little break from the chaos.

i have to confess:
i'll take the smudgy fingerprints on my glass doors.
and the spilled goldfish on my carpet.
i'll wipe the bum for the hundredth time that day. even if i JUST changed that diaper. or she JUST went potty 3 minutes ago.
i'll even take the tears.
because i know that around the corner from those tears is a big hug and a sweet nuzzle.
the nuzzle that makes me feel warm. and whole.
and i know i'd feel completely empty without the chaos.
i am chaos right now.
and that's ok.
the truth of it is i really wouldn't trade my job for a fancy orderly house, lovely clothes, a flashy car, or even a million billion dollars. seeing these little girls grow and learn truly makes me feel like the richest lady in the world.

with them in my life, i have all i need.
because i'm a mom.
and i'm beyond blessed.



Megs said...

I really loved this post. I thought it was funny that half of your thoughts about others were thoughts I had of YOU, my dear. Comparing is Satan's way of getting us to stop loving each other. I used to be big into comparing, but then I met someone that compares every aspect of life and she is miserable. I don't want to be miserable, so I have to work really hard at not comparing. It's tough :(

Your girls are absolutely gorgeous. The first two pictures - Ellie in the bathing suit & Alice in the tutu - should be blown up huge they are sooooo good & darling!

Phil Dunphy: "Glen Whipple. My college rival. Captain of the cheer squad. Winner of every robot battle. Every second I spent with the guy just made me feel worse about myself. Only thing I could compete with him in was close-up magic."

Erika said...

I think you put it so well here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts because I've thought all those things too, about other people's things and what I don't have. Thanks for reminding me to focus on the good and my kids.

Allie said...

I think all of those things about you on like a daily basis. Oh and Alice...don't get me started on Saint Alice. It's so silly that we feel the need to compare ourselves to others. However, I am grateful to have friends like you that make me want to be better for the RIGHT reasons.

ClaysJenna said...

You are an amazing mom. I find I have to remind myself to not compare myself to you because I find myself wanting when I do :) But sometimes...if you look at other people for the right reasons they can help you want to be better yourself...I try to take that aspect of it instead. You make me want to be better at mom, wife, homemaker and everything that comes with it. You are darling and I really do wish you lived close it would be fun to see you :)

Linda said...

Dear Mommy Chaos:
I can't wait for you to get your darling selves out here! Bring it on!
I love it when I have to go to the store to get all the chaos food, and chaos toys out, and chaos blankets and air mattress and all the chaotic pool toys and towels... BRING IT ALL ON! I am soooo ready.
Gammy Chaos

The Caldwells said...

Marci. I seriously cried when I read this. I've been having the same "funk" lately and you totally put it into perspective for me. Thank you my dear! And btw your babes are beautiful!

Kristy said...

Dear, dear Marce--
I'm sorry you've been in a funk. I, too, have been in a similar one--I think it's called, "I have a 3-year old and he makes me want to rip my hair out 98% of the day!" I know you can relate. :)
I'm trying so hard to stop the comparisons. Big deal if someone's house is clean...I bet that they didn't make donuts with their kids this morning. Who cares if someone's kid wears super-nice clothes...I bet she does laundry every single day, and I only do it once a week because I let my kids look like urchins to avoid doing laundry!
My point is, we all have different priorities in our lives, and that's ok! Comparisons are good if they encourage us to reflect on the things about our lives and ourselves that we want to change. And seeing someone doing something a different way than we are, and being motivated to try something new that makes our lives better is definitely a good thing! But when the comparisons start to drag us down, then they're not something we should be worrying about And that's definitely something I've been working on in my life. I know so many amazing people that seem to have it way more together than I do! It's hard not to get down on myself for not being as put together as they are. But then I try to remind myself that their kids are a different than mine; they have family close that watches their kids so they get a break to clean their house; their husband works from home; they don't sleep much at night and instead spend that time cleaning or whatever.
(This is way too long, and I'm not even done yet!)
Last month I had a friend and her kids stay with me for about a week. After the first day of dealing with her kids (who are older than mine, which I'm sure made a big difference in how things were!) I was oh-so-grateful to have the kids that I have. Sometimes it takes something to shake us awake so we can realize how sweet our lives are. And how we wouldn't change a thing.

Hugs to you, dear friend! You are an inspiration to me always. And sometimes I compare myself to you--I love how much fun you make for your family, and how much love just pours out of you! :)

Kim said...

Us moms are so critical of each other! I am completely consumed with thoughts of comparison. i have had all your thoughts... and more.
I agree completely with Meg. Comparing is satan's way of getting us to feel badly about ourselves, and to stop loving each other.

I love this post.
Hope you dont mind me spying on your blog :) you have a beautiful family. ...

Sara Morey said...

Marce, I seriously have been feeling this way recently! I was such a downer yesterday because I was comparing myself to others and I felt so yucky all day because of it. I think it is just part of female human nature. Your post about being a mother is spot on! Sometimes (between the meltdowns, and poop on the floor from both kids, and milk spilled on my new piano), I have little glimpses of how short this time with my kids being young is. In those moments, I just want time to stop and I want to savor every little thing. You're awesome! Love ya!