Thursday, October 21, 2010

Heirloom


And because I am not the mother I thought I'd be (I am far too practical than I am whimsical and who saw that coming?) I've been on this constant quest to feel comfortable in my own mother's skin.

I should go back, back to the part about how I am not the mother I thought I'd be--because that stuff is interesting.

I am one of those cloud-heads. I've survived my life so far with a presence of imagination and skillful escapism. I like to play pretend and day-dream at all hours. A typical moment for me is talking about something and mid-sentence get caught up in a vision or idea which propels me off into a world of thoughts that I can only share with myself. This usually ends with Chup waving his hand in front of my face with a "hello?" or a "yes?"

And I thought all of this would transfer into motherhood, but it has not. I am the alter ego of myself when it comes to my children. I like order and tidiness and work. WORK! My greatest desire as a mother is to teach my children self-reliance and practicality and service! This is leading to a very serious identity crisis. I wake-up baffled most mornings.

And I don't really like it.

So I've been contemplating what I can do to bridge the gulf between myself and myself, and the answer I have felt most comfortable with so far is to focus on giving my children opportunities that are both creative and constructive.

And we've had our successes, sorta. Last month we went to Jacob's Cove one morning--really early--because I wanted to show The Chief what a creative farm looked like. Basically, Dale Allred is a genius farmer and has cultivated a plot of land to supply locally grown crops to high-end restaurants (like Communal and Sundance). But the real gem of this whole place is his willy wonka-ish tomato tent where Dale has invented new heirloom tomatoes in rows of swirling vines. Like the Sunrise tomato and the Sunset tomato and the Black Cherry tomato which actually tastes like a cherry. Sweet as the sun in July, I swear.


Chup even tried one and nobody hates tomatoes more than Chup. We actually have that in writing and are now contacting Guinness for an official record.

 As the tour of tomato rows and lettuce fields continued I felt increasingly proud of myself for finding something in my life that appeased both sides of me. This was practical, this was pretty.


That is until we lost The Chief.

My passionate response to this farm pulled me in and I forgot to take my son with me. We yelled for him, we ran up and down the vines, I proceeded to panic.

Then Chup found him playing in some rain water by a wheel barrow.


I saw it as our cue to head home.

I've said this to friends, and I am saying it today: I am a mess. I don't know where I put my sanity (I checked under my brain where I thought my stability was as well) but for the most part I am clueless in all directions. It's like motherhood has this druggish affect on my state of mind. I am whaaaaat? most of the time. Dazed, confused and silly. But I hear this is common side-effect of maternity. I just didn't see it coming.

Now I day dream about the time when I've got it all together. Both of me.







Locals can actually buy food from Jacob's Cove:


My peace/piece on chocolate:
 





I am c jane and don't tell me that day never comes--the day where I have it all together.
contact me:
cjanemail@gmail.com
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47 comments:

Maggie May said...

I still get baffled by the amount of 'micromanaging' that motherhood includes. Today for instance, Lola had Girl Scouts and Dakota had a therapy appointment while we had to talk to Ian and plan his Bday celebration for Saturday. I had it all together until I remembered that Lola was responsible for the GS snacks which I had written on our organization whiteboard and Still forgotten. Plus I realized I had made a repair appointment which my husband had to be at, leaving me at work and no one available to drive D. to his appointment! And I am 34 weeks pregnant with another. Hm.
:)

Hiatt Family said...

Love this post! :)

Alexa Mae said...

Can I get an AMEN!?
Although I will say, now that my son and daughter are 5 and four I feel like the daydreamer side of me is starting to come out more and more. But before...back when they were 1&2, even 3&4...too much to do, too little time. My mind would be in this wonderful magical motherhood moment, having a picnic on a hill and then I'd snap back into reality only to be scrubbing poop off of something.

So yes, it will come. It may take a couple years, and it will include more prodding at dog poop, getting lost then found, pulling your hair out, temper tantrums, scrubbing permanent markers off of walls... but it will come.

And then you will think what I think now, "Remember when I used to be an organized and disciplined mom?"

It's a vicious cycle.

Marie Photographie said...

Boy can I relate to this!

Mindy said...

We have an eternity to figure it out..even though we may just leave our kids with emotional scars and our husbands baffled most of the time. I'm in it for the long haul. And if at the end of a rough day (sorry but even though toddlers and babies are extremly exhausting, they are still cute even at their worst because they can't talk back in the bad way) at the end of a long day with two teens who are trying to figure out who they are (which involves lots of eye rolls and thoughts that mom (i.e. me)knows nothing,a fact to which I whole heartedly agree with..except that I do know you have to pick your jacket up off the floor where you drop it. If in the end the young man who is your son sits up in a half asleep daze and calls out "I love you Mom" as you dejectedly walk down the stairs at night thinking about how much you suck as a mom, it really is worth all the sence of out of control-ness that is motherhood. I can't wait for your kids to pass that stage when they are cute even when they are mad..I think it happens around 7 and all the romantic young mother thoughts get replaced with kids who refuse to hold your hand and let you talk in public with out some serious pre-screening on their part...that's the blog I want to read! Although I do love what you write now as well. P.S. I don't usually use the word "suck" but if you would have seen me tonight you'd know why I did. And also I have totally violated two of my personal rules of NEVER getting on the computer and NEVER EVER commenting when I have just taken a sleeping pill.

Leisha said...

Yes, the fog does eventually clear, and at some point you feel like you rule the world, if it's only your little family's world. But I must say it is terribly cyclical. Just when you think you know how to handle it all something happens to throw you off and it feels like you are back at the starting line again. And so you do, start again, since you are the mom and no one else can do it like you. And once again you feel like you rule world. The best feeling ever.

Dee said...

hmm are you pregnant...

Molly said...

Amen, and amen. I had to resort to Google calendar...this from a girl who never had a planner and never wears a watch. But I still let my son watch "Super Why," and I still let my baby slop in the mess after feeding time (because she loves it). I'll bet you are more whimsical in motherhood than you know.

DM said...

I have never in my life been the kind of girl who sucked the helium out of balloons. I always figured I needed those extra brain cells, ya know? And I thought it had paid off. I get my kids to school & church on time, dressed, hair done, shoes found & on (there are 6 of them, so this is BIG), I remember b-day snacks for school, half-time snacks for soccer, and all those various assorted mom things. And then it happened...I'd find that I had made conflicting arrangements. A date out with my husband at the same time as a speaking engagement. A weekend away at the same time as company coming into town. And it happens all the time. And I'm talking, sitters arranged at the same time as I'm washing sheets on the bed for guests to sleep in. Food being bought for the trip at the same time as meals being planned for the company. There is no pattern to it; no rhyme or reason. I'm a perfectly capable, competent, responsible woman in one realm, and in my alternate universe, an airhead. Now I wish I had sucked back some helium....It might have had been fun.

Mary Elizabeth said...

At some point, in the last 30 years I have misplaced all of my children.
I'm proud to say I never lost them all at the same time.
(It's sad that I'm proud of that)

And now my babies are all grown, and I'd give anything to have them back, so I could misplace them again.

Love your blog!!

M.E.

Veronica said...

So very true. It's a very strange conflict I have as well. I suppose we can just say, just go with it!

Beautifully written, by the way.

Deby Jensen said...

I agree with Leisha. You get it figured out and then the kids grow & change! (I've been telling them to stop growing for years, but they won't listen!)
BUT, it is better & that's the most important thing. I find that we try to do SOOOO much when they're little because we are so excited to have them and want to show them the world & all the exciting things in it, but all they really want at that young age is to simply play with you.
So I say, PLAY! LAUGH! TICKLE! GET MESSY! HUG! LOVE!
Then when they're older, they'll have a relationship with you and you can show them the world when they're really interested!

Heather said...

if it helps, I'm about 10months out post partum and it seems like the sanity and less ditzy me is making more on an appearance...hang in there!

Bridget said...

i am a stepmom of four (and this all happened when i married a widower at 22) so i completely relate to "whaaaat? where am i? what happened to me? how do i merge my old and new?"

you are not alone, cjane.

but i do think it gets better. it has and continues to. hang in there.

and your kids are adorable.

Natalie said...

I just love your posts!! I was just thinking the other day that I must have multiple personalities! I am a goofball of a person but as a mother I can be very different!!!!!! Some days I wake up as the fun silly babysitter type mom. Then other days I wake up as teacher serious mom. And then some days I wake up as grumpy tired mom. Love it that I am not the only one!!!!!

Cristi said...

Get a copy of "It's Just My Nature" by Carol Tuttle (on Amazon) and embrace who you are. You're an easy one to figure out and you'll feel GREAT about yourself!

PS: Word verification - Torte. Yum!

Dana at StrawberryTart! said...

Thank you for this post. I love it. I love knowing that I am not alone on things and my daughter is nine - I have grow out of it some, but then somedays my cluelessness (not sure if that is a word) hits me out of the blue.

Emily said...

Just the other day I was telling my husband I was "you know, when your pregnant, your mind goes, and its blah, and...and..and" He later told me I told him my mind was going faster, but I swear I said it is going slower...I also can't remember, umm, what's it called...oh yeah words, as well. Yikes.

This is really bad because I already tell my friends I have quarter-timers disease...words, thoughts in the middle of the conversations, birthdays, shopping list, all missing a quarter of the time....

Yikes!

KREW said...

I went through this same thought process just the other day. I thought that with all of my kids now in school all day, I'd have more time. NOT. If you aren't nursing, you are kissing skinned knees, or taking kids to piano lessons, or helping with homework, or trying to come up with THE BEST Halloween costume ever. The whaaaat? feeling never really goes away, it just evolves and we slowly get better at it! However, when your kids get older, there does seem to be more time to say "yes" to things that you want to do, which just keeps you more busy : )

Daughter of God said...

jacob;s cove is amazing! They've been using my dad's organic stuff on their plants to make them grow better and be more healty. Awesome you're getting the word out about them. :]

Kacey said...

Oh, good - so it's not just me. I find myself constantly trying to connect to a part of my brain that does not seem willing to allow access anymore!

Jen said...

Never said better! I feel like this daily.

Emily said...

I'm so glad that it's not just me. The best remedies for me are reading my scriptures and speaking with my Heavenly Father. The days that these things happen my mind feels less chaotic. Motherhood has allowed me to become more reliant on my Heavenly Father, and I like it!

Wendy said...

Ummm, I think you just described at least 85% of your readers state of mind now that we are moms. Good grief...I have never been such a mess as I am now. Thanks for putting into words how I feel because, to be honest, I am not sure if my brain is working well enough to be able to do it.

Asha said...

I'm always in another world, I can't concentrate on one task and feel like I didn't accomplish anything all day because of it. My mother was the same way. But I'm happy!!

karen gerstenberger said...

Sometimes I think that parenthood is one of God's best ways of cracking us open so we can let go and just BE who He made us to be. Once we have children, we are not the center of the universe any more, and we are clearly not "in control." It feels like a natural progression now, but in the beginning, it felt quite foreign, to me. I remember the disorientation well. Here is what I think (but what do I know?): you will adjust, as you continue to give yourself to God and your family. You will not lose yourself, though it might feel that way, at times. You will discover that God is not just our Creator, but He is always and endlessly creating, and we are part of that ongoing creation. It's beautiful, but it doesn't feel solid and stable alot of the time. But you already know that about the creative process, don't you? Thank you for your honest and FUN blog.

tharker said...

So glad I'm not the only one.

Jesse and Stephanie said...

My husband won't eat ketchup or salsa or ANYTHING that has tomatoes in it...so maybe he hates tomatoes more than Chup?

Tina said...

you are a better mother for being both of you!

me said...

I have a fever, so...fog is where I be dwelling right now.

Yes. I aspire to be this mother who "gets it" and is "plugged in" and every other descriptive phrase I can put into air quotes. And I thought that once I birthed these two magnificent pieces of heaven that I'd be "gettin it" for reals. BUT...no. SO. That's where I begin my lawsuit against the authors of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" but I won't go there.

Every once and I while I am ON! And I am able to not only bridge the gap between myself and those expectations but also between myself and, as you say, myself; where I find it ok to be who I am as a parent and yet still hungry to do something a little differently for the sake of adventure.

As mamas (and papas) we all know those expectations aren't about us--well, not ALL of them--but they are about giving to these little pieces of heaven we call children the best of ourselves. Or is that the fever speakin?

Anyway, speaking of fever induced hallucinations...do I need another hit of motrin or has your hair gone LONG since your last post??? Please answer soon so that I can properly report my symptoms to my doctor.

Abrazos.

Steve and Alli said...

Every time (since I was 16)I have ventured to "Zion" and wondered where all the "normal" moms are. I'm not joking. Now being the "normal" mom, I'm glad there are others out there too- especially in your neck of the woods! Thanks for the post, it might be my favorite so far!

Notes from Holly St. said...

great post...i look forward to that dazed and confused feeling in four more months...eeks!

Cindy said...

It gets better. But then they turn into teenagers and the worry chapters begin. Enjoy the here and now. And breathe.

e.m. said...

love this. thank you. from all of here who are me.

Amy said...

It was my second child that threw me into oblivion, and I've been both coming and going within myself for over seven years. But I hear it does get better!

Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

Sweet post! I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've found myself in a complete daze due to motherhood!

Chi-townRawlins said...

Oh Amen and amen.
That is all.

Johanna (JP) said...

I am convinced that I hate tomatoes more than Chup....and lucky for me I am allergic too so I don't even have to pretend to eat them to be polite. Thank goodness.

Jamie Jo said...

Whoa. this post couldn't have been timed more perfectly for me. I just called my own mother today and started the conversation now with "Hello!" but with "I am losing my mind!" while my 16-month-old scattered cereal on the floor and I let her eat it. My mom laughed. I sighed. My daughter giggled as she discovered how cereal crunches, and somehow life was better. ;)

chiarajulieann said...

lol and lol, form both sides of me.

i like you cjane because you are a lot like me, only, you write about it a lot better than i can. =D

i think it will come, the getting it all together. i predict, probably 20 years from now, lol. just kidding. i am silently rooting for 7 years from now, when they [the bebes] are both in the BIG school. which means finally having some stretches of hours when we can actually concentrate on other things that PROBABLY don't involve them. ha ha.

Katherine said...

Oh goodness, motherhood has messed with me too. My ability to adequately express myself comes and goes. Crap, most of the time I can't even talk.

Example 1: I (Katherine) called my mom and left a message on her machine, "Hey Katherine, this is mom. Call me back." This happened months ago, and my mom is still laughing about it.

Example 2: I asked my husband to bring me my cell phone. "Where is it?" he asks. I reply, "On the manticore." And I didn't even realize what I'd said. He just laughed and laughed. Manticore? Seriously? The stupid phone was on the microwave.

Briana said...

amen, sistah! i love this post. i'm also not the mother i thought i would be and i would love to wake up feeling comfortable with that. rather than battling it every single day. let us know if you figure it out! :)

auntjone said...

I bet I hate tomatoes as much, if not more than, Mr. Chup A. Cabre. For reals.

Also, I was in a daze for at least a year, possibly more, after Wee Man was born. He is 2 now and I still don't feel all together, but I'm getting there. My children are 14 years apart so the effects from #1 wore off years ago. If you continue to have kids (and I hope you do because your current ones are darn cute) you can probably expect to have at least a year of fuzziness from each. Good luck with that!

kelly said...

oh my GOSH, i really, really relate with this post. for so many reasons! you are NOT alone, girl!! i often feel a "war of the mommies" within - one part of me always telling the other to "lighten up!" & saying things like "whatever" & "no big deal", while the other is yelling, "you've got to get a hold of these kids!". it's exhausting when they fight!
also, i feel like such a ditz sometimes & i've never been that way, but i just can't focus all that well anymore (!), or at least for an extended period of time!!!
ha!
in conclusion, THANKS FOR THE POST!!!!!!!!!!!

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

I related to this on so many different levels. I had my fourth baby five months ago and I am just now starting to feel like me again. "Just starting" is the operative part of that sentence. I have a son who is a senior in high school and another son who is a freshman and another who is in third grade. Needless to say, my mind has to function at all different capacities and levels and a lot of the time I'm just not able to do that lately. I always like reading the comments that your readers leave you when the are referring to something I can relate to. It's so nice to know that other moms are going thru the same thing. : ) Thanks for your honesty. I may not always agree with your opinions but I enjoy reading them nonetheless. : ) God bless.

~ Wendy
http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

b. said...

I might hate tomatoes more than Chup.

Allison said...

Catching up on my RSS feed and had to comment on this one.

I think we do have periods of having it all together! Mine are 6 and 4 year old twins, and honestly I feel like about 80 percent of the time I have it together. Room Mom, working, soccer, Halloween costumes, cooking dinner, etc. Not perfect by any means, but orderly and calm and happy!

So, you will get there. And as others said, then a wrench will be thrown in and complete chaos will reign once again. But there are moments of peace and togetherness, I think.