Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Happier Me

I know it has been a while since I have posted and I wish I could say it was because I was off doing exciting things like traipsing through Europe, but no, unfortunately there was no Europe, nor traipsing, involved. I have been mostly laying on my couch, sleeping to keep from coughing, and watching my kids play video games and watch movies. They have loved it!! I have been miserable and felt totally useless, but it has given me a lot of time to think. Here are some of my thoughts.

Young Women's
Wow! This has been such an emotional time. I was released from Young Women's after 4 years. It came as a surprise and I was really sad. I have loved those girls with all my heart. After praying about it, I felt very strongly that this is the right thing. The new presidency is amazing and it is time for other women to have a chance to influence these wonderful girls. I also realized it is my time to focus on my family. With this new little one coming, I am looking forward to trying to figure things out a little better. I thought being sick was taking away from this opportunity, but it has let me ponder on this.

I have been contemplating this a lot. I have known for a while that I had to figure out my own definition of what a good mother is and the kind of mother I want to be, or I will never be truly happy. It can't be based on anything else except what I can give. It is the most important role I will ever play and I want to succeed. I have struggled as I have tried to come up with this definition. What do I bring to the table? What are my talents? Is it okay that I don't do art projects with my kids very often? That I don't sew them cool things? That I don't scrapbook all their pictures? I have thought a lot about it and today I finally feel closer to my definition. I had an awesome walk with my good friend Suzie this morning! (This is one of the things I miss most about running. The friendships and venting that spending kidless time together allows.) I started thinking about when I feel happiest, and I realized it is when I am not in the house. Now, being a stay at home mom, and living in Oregon, you might see where I am going with this. I have always said that I feel I am a much better summer mom than winter mom. I love being outdoors. I can spend hours at the park playing with my kids. I love swimming. I love boating. I don't like being indoors. I just don't know what to do indoors and I feel like all I do is clean up after messes when I am inside. So, during the summer, we clean in the morning and then spend the rest of the day outside. I feel my kids are happier when they are running around also. Then we come home and have down time and I feel renewed. So, I have a few more months before the capri weather comes, and I am determined to learn how to be a good winter mom. If you have any ideas let me know. For now, I am going to try to take the kids swimming at the YMCA more and even just meet other moms at the Y to let the kids kick around a soccer ball.

I found 2 pictures of when I look truly happy, and of course, they aren't inside my house!! (Sorry that they both happen to be in a bathing suit, but being pregnant, I am remembering a better time!)

So, that is all for now. I am going to keep trying to find my strengths and use them. I do want to find joy in being a mother. I feel so lucky to be at home with my kids and to have a supportive husband.


katie said...

I so know what you mean. I no longer compare myself to other moms, I compare myself to myself. What do I want to be? What do I really want for my kids? Winter is hard, sickness and just plain cold. My sister has taught me about going to the dollar store and buying party stuff and throwing a huge party. We have done pirate parties, lua parties. Get some friends and throw a party that is summer like.

I hope you get to feeling better.

lys said...

You are so fortunate to have been able to serve in the YW for four years. It has been my lifelong dream to serve in the YW in some capacity, but I am always called to the Primary or the RS.

Laurie said...

That's a cute idea Katie has. You know, I definitely think it's easy to fall into the thinking that other moms are so much better with their sewing skills and their scrapbooks, but the reality is that none of that matters. I had the best childhood and great parents, and I have no scrapbooks to show for it. I have no hand-sewn dresses from my mom. What did impact me was the fact that my parents were kind, interested, and taught us the gospel. We didn't do grand vacations either. Just went to the beach, the park, the pool. That's it. That's all kids really need...lots of love. I remind myself of this regularly though too - trying to define my routine and style and sense of confidence in the way I do things.

I bet that was really emotional after 4 years in YW!!! Leaving a calling is so hard. I know I will be sad when I leave my current calling. It does sound like a good time though to allow you to focus on the new baby.

Hope you feel better this week!

Suzie Petunia said...

I think one of the things that makes you a great mom is that you are always striving to be better - not better than another mom... just better than your current self. That is all that matters. I'm so grateful you share your insights with me. You make me feel like it IS possible to improve and find solutions to my mothering problems. I've been thinking a lot about it, too. Thanks, friend.

And thanks for dinner. MMMmmm.