Saturday, February 25, 2012

Perception and letting go in 2012

I am by no means a writer. Add in the fact that Charlotte keeps messing up my pillows and Colton is screaming because God decided that a 6 month old should be able to chew through a piece of steak , and I honestly don't even know if this will make any sense at all. So, if it doesn't, I'm completely sorry but this is some stuff that's been knocking around in my head lately.


I often find myself seeing something, or doing something, and thinking, "What's the point?"  I don't know if it's a mild depression, or if it's just acceptance. The other day, I went to lunch with co-workers and realized that I have a mini van, but couldn't drive because A: I'm pretty sure they'd leave with a goldfish cracker or worse stuck to their butt (NOT that this happened to me the other day) or B: They would see the state of my van and report me to childrens service as a hoarder. 


And that's one of my problems. I don't know how people see me. I even brought this up at lunch. I know how I WANT others to see me. But with 2 kids, a full time job and running a household, I just don't measure up. I don't think I ever will. How do you get to the point where that's "ok?" When will I feel "ok" about leaving work first to get to my kids daycare, leaving it all behind (FIRST?) When will I feel "ok" about buying store bought invitations to a birthday party because "I'm not tacky like that." Plus, I'm a graphic designer. People probably expect something cool.  I don't buy organic food. I don't make my own baby food. And do you know what my daughter eats at LEAST 3 or 4 (ok, 5 or 6) times a week? Hotdogs or chicken nuggets. No joke. You know why? Its EASY. I could plan meals on Sunday and freeze them, but I don't. I'd rather spend that time with my kids or on the couch watching Brian Cox try to explain the universe to me.  The one thing that I do do, is breastfeed Colton. It's a personal choice and I'd love to tell you it's for the health benefits, but that's only half of it. It's free. My body totally responds to it, and it's free.  It's a pain in the ass but it saves me  a million dollars a month in Enfamil. It makes me feel needed too. So see? Again, totally selfish. So even doing something I should feel good about leaving me feeling like a huge douche balloon.


And I know why a lot of people have trouble with Facebook. They think everybody is busy trying to prove who has the "sweetest, most super bestest husband!" or "cutest most awesome kids!" Nobody broadcasts that they feel emotionally distant from their mate, or that they are late on their bills or burned dinner the night before and then exploded into a crying coma that lasted roughly 1 hour.


I'm pretty sure I'm in the majority of mothers who don't "do it all." In fact, I know I am. I used to trick myself into thinking I did. Because making Colton's mobile or having my husband sand down our fridge and painting with chalkboard paint made me feel like I was winning at life. I think that's why Pinterest is such a slippery slope. It's amazing as a resource, but it can also make you feel like a huge loser if you don't have a 5 story birdhouse hanging in your frontyard that you crafted from some old soup cans, bra wires,  pipe cleaners and bubble gum.  It can also make you feel like a hobo because you live in a normal house with very little natural light and tiny rooms that actually look lived in. It always leaves you wanting MORE. It's super oversaturating.  So watch out for that one. And in a huge dose of reality, my kids "playroom" and a playroom from on pinterest. Totally realistic. 


I'm like a "winning at life" addict though. So all this is VERY enticing to me. Looking at my RSS blog feed of my OVER 200 blogs that I read is almost like a release. I bet it's what a cutter feels like when they cut. A HUGE release and a dizzying high of glimpsing into other people's WAY (seemingly) more awesome lives.  It's like chasing the ghost. There's no way I could ever compare. Or measure up. How do they have time for all this? I convince myself their bathroom smells like pee or that their children are neglected and will surely leave them in a nursing home to rot as payback.  It gets me through.  There's no way, in my constantly rushing life, that I'd ever have a spotless house that smelled of febreeze and sugar cookies 100 percent of the time. In face, right now it smells like farts from our frontloading washer and I'm pretty sure I smell like crusty old milk. 


So, long story short, I have to figure out how to overcome all this. How are you doing it? Am I crazy for feeling this way? I feel like I'm just eeking by on life most of the time. Did my parents feel this way? I think a lot of parents or people in general in our generation are a bit more selfish and are always chasing the ghost of what could be. I think our parents knew how to deal with it  because being a Mom was what fulfilled them. (I could be completely wrong) but I think about that and then wonder why I'm such a selfish asshole because I want to be MORE than a mom. I don't know the cool new music out there anymore. The emo stuff I used to listen to almost reminds me of a time that I could've been ANTHING.  I could've done anything.  I took walks for hours, just me and my headphones, dreaming about what life could be like. I took time to watch the sunset on the bayfront. I took time… for ME. What a concept.  


I let my husband read a little of this, and he turned to me and said, "So,… what? You don't like your life?" ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I LOVE my life. I'm just trying to figure out that balance, or maybe I'll need therapy in a few years to convince me that because I didn't make that 5 story birdhouse, that my kids won't grow up hating me or thinking they had a lame mom.  I think we put too much pressure on ourselves (and other Moms) and it probably needs to stop. We're growing up ourselves (and definitely our children are) in an age that exists out there to make us feel like we're doing it wrong. There's a bazillion books to tell you how to raise your kids. I refuse to read any of them. Mostly because I don't have time , but also because I'm doing what works for ME and I need to believe 100 percent in my decisions and how I parent.  I'll totally get there. I might even let Charlotte design her own Valentine's box next year. 


JW said...

I hear ya, Devon. While I don't have kids yet, I totally see how these slippery slopes form. Check out this article--lots of people feel that way about facebook and being over-connected. I think the way to cope is to set boundaries and to always keep your quest for perfection in check. It can be sneaky, that one.

Rebecca Lewis said...


Christian Messer said...

Oh honey! No need whatsoever to pass judgement on yourself for being human and "getting through life"!

Those Ikea catalogue photos (that's what the comparison pic you posted looks like to me,) or any other on Pinterest has that ad agency/Hollywood filter on it - like all those supermodels or celebrities on the fancy magazines, it's all an illusion!

Real life = messy, disorganized lives - unless you have help like a cleaning service. Real life also requires you to have "Me Time" in one way shape or form. Otherwise, you begin to lose your identity. You become completely defined by Mommyhood. It's like saying, "This is who I am - mother, wife and working girl - that's it. Nothing else."

When in reality, there is so much more to you! Celebrate those other parts of you that are just as important as anything else that makes you…well, you!

Could be something as little (to start) as writing in a journal every day - or sketching or drawing in an Art Journal every day. That's what I'm doing - I went and spent money on Me - and my creative self - that could whither and die if I don't exercise it as do my body. Gotta flex those imagination muscles!

Ok - yammered too much - but know we love you and you're not alone!

Anonymous said...

i loved reading this and i love that you don't read everything that tells you how you should parent. this is a big thorn in my much info out there, it robs women of their internal, maternal gut. at the end of the day, are the kids happy (most of the time!)? if the answer is yes, then you are doing something right! keep it up =) ~nan

VellaRuth said...

Not sure if being a mother was enough for us old guys. It's not about that. It's being enough in yourself. Not sure how you get there, but it isn't through homemade baby food or artistic party invitations. It also isn't about chairing that committee or getting a good review from your boss. Those things are good for the moment. You just have to be enough. If you're lucky, you're given that when you're small. If not, you find it later if you can.

sharon said...

Devon, I laughed until I cried!! I see so much of myself there. You are so full of life and humor...btw, my kids think you are the coolest, so remember that when you have a bad day, or a thoughtful day, or a lazy day. Love you!! Sharon :)

Maria said...

There so much beauty in this. I can relate with every detail you've shared. Your post made me feel less lonely about it, thank you. I wish I had read it sooner. Today I wrote the following quote I heard on a podcast, "Perception is not truth, it's just your window into the world."