Friday, October 8, 2010

Introspective Ramblings

You know you're overdue for a blog post when you start blogging in your mind when you should be sleeping.

I do this all the time.

I started doing it again now. My mind is so full of bloggy thoughts that are just begging to be released into the blogosphere. I know I won't be able to sleep until I get something out there. Whether anyone reads it or not. This blog is more for me anyway.

And so, I'm here. Blogging. At nearly 2 AM.

And despite the fact that I have about a million things to write, I have no idea what I'm going to say.

So I'll ramble. A lot. I usually do, so it's not like it'll be anything new.

First, I want to express gratitude for my happy healthy children. I recently learned about a friend's baby who is going to need extensive medical care shortly after he's born. I can only imagine the stress this family is experiencing. The fear of the unknown, the what-ifs. I can't imagine how hard it is for them.

It makes me all the more grateful for my perfectly healthy little ones. If they weren't asleep right now, I'd hug them. Tightly. And kiss them repeatedly and tell them how much I love them.

They really are my everything.

Sometimes they drive me crazy.

But they are still my everything.

Lately, I've thought a lot about how all I do is talk or write about my children. It's totally natural. They are my life. The majority of my daily conversation revolves around potty training, diapers, meals, time outs, naps, bedtime, and no-Hyrum-don't-eat-that's.

As a parent, it seems all I have to contribute to a conversation regards parenting. Being a mother consumes every moment of my life. It is my life.

Who really wants to hear all the gory details of potty training other than another potty training parent? No wonder people rarely solicit my society when that's all I can talk about.

But I have more to contribute.

I often forget that.

I have hobbies and interests that don't revolve around my children.

I am still an individual and independent woman. I have thoughts and feelings that aren't solely rooted in my motherhood.

I neglect that aspect of myself too often.

It's time to write about me. Not to be selfish or conceited, but to keep things in perspective.

I often feel inadequate, especially around other women. Women who I think are more talented, beautiful, intelligent, charming, organized, kind, loving, spiritual, socially acceptable, etc than I am.

But I have those qualities, too.

I struggle to see the beauty within myself. My husband sees it. He always tells me I'm beautiful.

I say he's delusional.

But in reality, I'm the delusional one. I neglect to see the beauty Heavenly Father has given me.

It hurts my husband when I refute it. I'm sure it hurts Heavenly Father, too.

What an awful thing for me to say. I'm trying to learn to just say thank you. And to mean it and learn to accept it.

No, embrace it, for I know deep down that it's true.

It's a hidden truth, really. Buried deep beneath the layers of scorn and criticism the world throws at me.

I need to pull it to the surface where it belongs. It's not something that can happen overnight. I know that. I've struggled with self esteem issues all my life.

Looking in the mirror doesn't help much, either. I hate the post-baby pouch and inner-city road map of stretch marks. My genetics conspire against me. I don't know if I'll ever get rid of either.

I honestly don't understand how my husband finds that attractive.

But I want to learn.

At least that's a place to start, right?

I do like some things about myself. Some are physical, some are spiritual, some are emotional, some are talents I possess. I need to write about them to keep my perspective in check.

I don't care that it's 2:30 AM. This needs to happen now.

I like my eyes. They're green. Like, really green. They're surrounded by long lashes. I also like my fingernails. They're really strong and I have a natural French manicure.

I am a talented musician. I sing and play the flute. I can plunk out parts on the piano. I feel inadequate as the choir director at church, but I know I can do it. I certainly have the knowledge, despite being a bit rusty. I just need more confidence, which would come if I spent more time preparing in advance.

I am a talented writer. I can elicit emotions through my words. I try to use this gift for good. I can write stories. I've started a few books, but I have a long way to go on all of them. I have an English degree with an emphasis in creative writing. I'm a bit of a grammar nerd; I think editing is fun.

I am creative. I enjoy doing all sorts of crafty things: photography, digital scrapbooking, hair bows, mod podge projects, acrylics, hot glue, rudimentary sewing, and more. I have a lot to learn, but I enjoy it. Of course there are people who can do it better. But I think I do a pretty good job most of the time. One of my current projects is a dollhouse for Emma's birthday next month. I banned myself from the craft store; I could go broke too easily there. Someday I want to take photography and interior design classes. I can't wait to have an actual house to decorate (and paint!) how I choose.

I am a great cook. I make really yummy food. My husband loves this fact; especially when desserts come into play. I don't make super fancy meals that take forever to make or cost an arm and a leg (seriously, who has the time and money for that anyway?). But the meals I make are good. And I like finding quick-to-make recipes. I'm also fairly picky, and Emma has a nut allergy, so I omit or substitute a lot. Most of the recipes I use get altered at some point or another to accommodate my preferences.

I am a good mother. I love my children and they know it. I tell them all the time. And I know they love me. I'm not perfect by any means. Far from it. But my children know they are loved. I teach them the things that matter to me. I teach them about our religion. I teach them about the gospel. I teach them secular learning such as numbers and letters. I teach them what kind of behavior is acceptable and what is not. I teach them to say please and thank you. I try to be a good example. I discipline the way I feel is best for our family. My husband and I are almost always on the same parenting page, for which I am grateful.

I am a good visiting teacher. I know that might sound kind of dorky, but I am. I visit my girls every month. Sometimes it ends up being at the very end of the month, but I still make it happen. My visiting teaching companion is virtually impossible to reach so I've basically been on my own for months. I recently vented to John about how frustrated I get about it, how I feel like I'm doing the work of 2 people by myself. He said that's because I am doing the work of 2 people by myself. But I don't let that be an excuse not to go. I also try to serve my girls in other ways than just a monthly lesson. It's not just an assignment; they're my friends. I'm a visiting teaching supervisor and it makes me sad to know how many girls don't get visited.

I am a good friend. I am loyal and fiercely defensive of my friends. You hurt someone I love, you better watch out.

I am empathic. I feel for others in their joys and tribulations. I have a real soft spot for couples who suffer infertility or the loss of a child. I have never experienced either firsthand. I hope that I never do. My heart aches for those families.

When I clean, I'm good at it. LOL. I lack the consistency part on that one. I'm working on it.

I'm good at organizing things. Living in a small 2 bedroom apartment with 2 kids means I have to get creative with space. Ok, so I cheated and got a storage unit. But it's a small one and I keep things I don't use often in it, like Christmas decor and clothes the kids grew out of. And the dang treadmill that sat in my living room for 3 years. When we prepare for trips, I'm the mastermind behind packing the bags and the car. My little kitchen is well organized. I wish it was bigger and that the cabinets weren't so weirdly designed, but I did the best I could with the small space available.

And most importantly, I know who I really am. I know who I can become. I have a strong testimony of the gospel. And since I have that, everything else will fall into place. I just need to have the faith to know that and act on it.

I'm not perfect.

I know I never will be on my own.

And that's ok. I know where to find help. All I need to do is ask.


  1. Thanks for sharing that Sara, today has been horrible so far and its only 8:30 am!! I need to write a post like this about myself. You have inspried me, thanks again.

  2. Great things to remember :) Don't forget them!!

  3. What a great post. It's true- you ARE amazing!!! Seriously! I think everyone thinks those negative things about themselves sometimes. But you're right and I think we'd all do better to focus on our self worth instead of our self esteem. It's really not about what we are but whose we are. :) You're great.