Tuesday, March 9, 2010

caught, red handed

not left handed.  not right handed.  nor smurf-blue.  red.  i haven't posted in for-ev-ah.  i got accused yesterday for not posting since halloween.  and after a few moments of reading some great blogs by great friends, i decided to sit down and type out a few thoughts.

as life has done a complete 180 for me, i've been really contemplating many things.  the biggest one is my own identity and how it has changed or not with becoming a mom.  it started with a conversation with steve before new year's about resolutions.  now, if you don't know, steve and i love to set resolutions and goals and dreams (we do it twice a year because we like it so much).  steve was excitingly informing me of his new year's goals, dreams and ideas.  then he asked what i was looking forward to in the new year and what my goals were.  i sat there for a moment and then got sad, because i realized i had drawn a blank.




that led us to a deep and ongoing conversation about identity and motherhood and cultural expectations.  i thought about long term goals.  the list used to be something like this, "school, work, fun, marriage, kids."  the list varied a bit over the years, but always ended with kids.  nothing after that.  so, what does a girl do being at the end of the list and only being 31?  for some reason i just never thought past it.  i think it's because i've never really considered myself grown up enough to even have kids.  i think i thought i'd figure it out when i got there.  well, here i am.  and yes, i'm trying to figure it out.

i don't have it totally figured, yet.  but, it's a work in progress.  part of the progress is just taking the time to write again.  hello.  here i am writing.  yes!  what i do have figured out is that my own identity, you know, the kjrstin that you all know, is very important for me to know, but also for my family.  how sad if sage had to grow up with a shadow of me, instead of the technicolor amazingness of kjrstin.  it's like never having the opportunity to taste dr.pepper/pepsi/coke made with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.  so, i've decided to continue to develop myself and pursue things that make me happy.  that doesn't mean that i always put myself first.  there are those inherent sacrifices that come with motherhood/parenthood.  but, i can take the time to make sure i'm ok, too.

kjrstin, you're saying, of course you would do all these things.  they make so much sense.  yes, but, i think there are certain expectations that float around in society, that say that this isn't ok.  that you are a bad person/parent/mother if you don't put everyone else in the world first, before you're own needs.  ok, i'm not a phd, but i know there is just not enough time in the day for that.  these expectations are often unspoken or unarticulated, but they're out there.  and i decided to challenge them.  i want to be a mom on my terms.  i want to be myself on my terms.

this is just part 1 of my thoughts on the identity subject.  the post is too long already to type more.  next installment is about selfishness... how to balance my identity/wants/needs and still be a mom.

have thoughts about this topic?  post 'em in the comments, or fire me an email, or call to chat.  i'm pretty open to thinking and discussing these ideas.

and here's a face to love....


Jarvis Family said...

I am totally with you. I just felt the same way last week and actually just wrote a post about it myself on my blog. Maybe it will help a little bit.
It was really good to see you and Sage and Steve. We really need to have some adventures. The kind that other people might think we are crazy to do with kids. :-) Like Havasupai or winter camping. Oh wait. We have already done that! :-)

The Chezik Family said...

I love this post. I think it is hard to decide to make time for yourself and what you think is best for you. In the end though, you will be a better mom if you are happy with you. I think for me, this will be a life long search for balance.

Erin Leigh said...

nice! we need to chat more about this. i've struggled indeed with this for sure. sometimes i wonder, where did erin go? i'm always trying to find her. it's hard.

Lindsay said...

Welcome back to the blog...it's good to read you again. :) And since we just chatted for a long time, I won't add additional thoughts here....