Thursday, June 21, 2012

Footnotes.

I don't do a lot these days. Well, I actually feel like I do too much, but when Jeff comes home and asks what we did that day, I can never think of an answer. Today we have: watched the first ten minutes of Toy Story 2 three times (Adam thinks that watching TV is a necessity while I nurse Avery); colored (I will attach my picture of Woody and Buzz); played with fruit snacks and a toy barn (Adam thinks that the only purpose of fruit snacks is to place them in his toy barn- Jeff and I call them barn snacks); taken a long walk (we do this almost everyday); trapped Adam underneath a laundry basket (at his request); and re-swaddled Avery a bazillion times. But when it comes down to it, I do a lot of the same small things every single day, so I can never think of a good answer when Jeff inquires about our day. I told him to stop asking.

I've been hearing a lot about women who feel like they've lost their personal identity now that they're a mom. I get that. Being a mom is so all-consuming, that sometimes I'll just remember things about myself. Just the other day, I remembered all of the sudden that I used to sing. I used to sing competitively. It used to be a huge part of my life. Now, I don't really sing all that much and when I do, there's a 90% chance that it's going to be from Barney (to delight Adam) or maybe the Dawson's Creek theme song (to annoy Jeff).

What IS my identity outside of my kids? It was fun to try to think about. I am a 24 year old woman. I am married to my favorite person on the planet. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I like to write, but usually only things that are humorous or melodramatic. I know more about pop culture than anyone I have ever met- I just do. I also like Taco Bell more than anyone I have ever met. I take wicked hot showers. I am good at trivia and have a pretty solid knowledge of history. I like to read. I read fast. Sometimes I read so fast that I finish a book and feel like I've done the opposite of throw up- like I've sucked it up. I use the vomiting analogy because I always feel a little woozy when I read a book in a few hours. I also use the analogy because I like to say shocking things- it's another important part of my identity. I am not a good housekeeper. Zooey Deschanel kind of bugs me. I hate when Jeff just turns the volume down on the TV, instead of pressing the mute button. I cannot remember a time when I was able to touch my toes.

I can go further. I can tell you deep, personal things. I have anxiety. I was an insomniac for several years. I have many people that I love and think of often, but very few people who I actually reach out to. I have Postpartum Depression. The future scares me. I am afraid that Jeff will one day realize what a mediocre wife I am. I am afraid that I will never improve, never be the person I want to be. Oh, I can tell you things about me, about my personal identity.

But it's funny- all of those things feel like they don't matter all that much. It's like when I describe my days to Jeff- if I try, I can think of many aspects of my personal identity, but when it really comes down to it: I am a wife, I am a mother. That is my identity through and through. The other parts of me are merely footnotes. I bet that makes some people sad.  It really shouldn't. Listen, I like reading, but I like when Adam calls me "Mah-Mee" so much more. I like how when I  get him up from his nap and open the blinds, he says "Oooooh!" every time. I melt every time he says "Wuv yew." I like how smelling Avery's head makes me feel like everything in the world is right. I like how she constantly stretches. I was holding her yesterday, and she was looking right at me and I realized that being held by me makes this little person the happiest she can possibly be. What an honor that is! Being a mother makes me feel proud, makes me feel cherished. Most importantly, being a mother makes me feel like me. I like that.

But it is important to tend to my footnotes. I've been reading more lately. I've been singing more. I still can't touch my toes- oh well. Also, I wrote this. It was fun and rejuvenating to do so. I loved writing this, but even as I was telling you all about this deeply personal issue of my loss of identity, I really just wanted to talk about my kids. (Avery is holding her head up! Adam is talking up a storm!)

I think that's ok.

Adam holding his sister's hand.

Proud as a peacock when I actually do his hair. Not often. Sorry, kid.

Her hair just does itself. Here she is in 0-3 month size clothes! Everyday I have a moment where I am just blown away by how beautiful she is.

I drew Woody and Buzz. Luckily, Adam was able to recognize them, the dear boy. (You can also see my version of Daddy and Mommy and Adam wrote a couple of O's.)

10 comments:

Mandy said...

Sarah, You are secretly my favorite. Great, now that's out.

Chloe Smith said...

This is great. So honest. You are beyond mediocre! you are extraordinary! I think we all have days thanks to Victoria Beckham or Angelina Jolie where we feel JUST being a wife and mommy isn't enough. When really being a wife and mommy and making that you're life is everything! So selfless! Like I said ,extraordinary! Your awesome!

Alexa said...

I hated when Eric came home and asked what I did that day. And, also, much of what you said resonates with me. Thanks for giving some voice to the young moms out there.

Marta said...

One of my favorite professors once said that the greatest and most important jobs on the planet is to be a mother. It is one of those phrases we hear so often, but coming from him (a renowned wildlife biologist), it meant more to me. He listed out all those little things that mothers do, and how our economy would fail if we had to pay someone else to do that work for our children. It made me completely re-evaluate my career goals. Thank you for reminding me of that, with this post. You said you enjoyed writing it, and I certainly enjoyed reading it.

Karissa said...

What a sweet post!!!! I loved it. I think it's something we all need to be reminded of. I think the world wants us to feel like being a wife and mother isn't enough, but it's more than enough.

also, reading about all of your footnotes made me miss you and your quirky self! and the thing about never being able to touch your toes made me giggle.

Except, I really like Zoey D. But, I'll forgive you for saying she's annoying because I did not like 500Days of Summer.

Anyway, you're such a wonderful mommy. Your kids are so incredibly adorable and I can't wait to meet Avery!!!

rachelhammond said...

This made me happy :)

Shantel said...

Yes.

I think you are a wonderful writer.

Jonathan and Linsi said...

I totally relate, except I'm not so good at tending to my footnotes :) My sister-in-law was surprised the other day when I told her I liked to read. But it's amazing how full your life can feel even when it's simply full of tiny people that say "wuv yew." That's the best kind of full, cuz it will only be that way for a little while. Still... you should upload a video of your competitive singing :)

Val said...

Ditto to everything. I'd write more, but I just heard a baby wake up.

Natalie said...

This was great Sarah. I love your posts. So deep, so hilarious :-) I will definitely need to refer back to this when I have a kid and feel "lost." Thanks!