Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day.

Here is where I am with mothering.

Each day is full of a rollercoaster of ups and downs.  I find myself completely proud and enchanted by them or one of them in one moment. And the next I find myself cursing them. If I didn't have kids, I wouldn't be cleaning up this quinoa from EVERY SURFACE, or wiping the quinoa poop from the toddler's butt (I do not suggest examining your poop after some good quinoa consumption...ew), or having my book mark pulled out of my book, or doing so many loads of laundry or, or, or...

And I am so grateful to be a mother. I am so grateful for the professional work that I have had the opportunity to do (mainly in my teens and twenties).  But I am having extreme difficulty reconciling the gifts and talents I have been given (tremendous, thanks be) with how I am spending my time.  I don't know if it is possible for me to feel content and comfortable with this time I am spending going to Target, Trader Joes, making the same meals over and over and over again, finding joy in the fact that I worked out today, that coke comes in mini cans, that I can eat peanut butter again.  I spend large parts of my day dreaming about another life, something else, something more.

I spend a lot of time feeling selfish. I want. I want. I wish.

I am so proud of my husband. He is everything to so very many people. He never stops. He doesn't fight depression. He goes and goes and goes. He is blessed, so we are blessed. It is family blessings. All of it shared. He gives us so much.  We want, he gives. He provides. He solves the problems, builds the dreams.  And he will say we have done it together, and we have.  He continues to progress and grow and change and climb and climb.  And I have difficulty watching this happen and wondering what I could achieve.  What could be?  

I know that these children are my achievement. I don't take the responsibility lightly and I am not throwing it away, but it is a constant cloud following me around--what if? what if?

So I am in a weird, conflicted place.  I received a blessing this past weekend and the words: Frustration and Joy were used in the same sentence. And that is exactly what it is. I am so frustrated.  I just want to be using my talents. My family is complete, I am out of my latest bout with depression, I want to get out there and do what I do...but I have made this choice and I also want to see THIS through. But it's not sexy, it's not applause, it's not hair and makeup.  It's spaghetti and all-purpose cleaner, and saturday nights at pep boys because the battery I just replaced is a lemon, and listening and hugging and cheering and organizing.  And it's exhausting most of the time and exhilarating here and there.

Today on Mother's Day my family left me alone.  And that's really all I want right now. A little space. A little me time.  And that's probably the wrong thing to feel, but that is what I feel today on this Mother's Day, 2016.


  1. I can't believe I have to rewrite this. Our bishop today told us to get rid of the guilt and be grateful. I totally understand what you are saying and I think Denise feels much like you today. I think we all have been there. When I was younger my girlfriends and I used to go out for dinner on Mother's Day, after all the home festivities had taken place, to relax. You are a great mom, but you are great in other ways also. One day you'll get your wishes but I think you will always be grateful for the time you gave of yourself to your children. Happy Mother's Day Kage - hope you get a little time for yourself.

  2. Thank you. I know I won't regret the choice to "stay home", but in this moment it's hard to stay.

  3. Next year, all I want is a hotel room to myself! That would've been great this year too! And, yet, it all goes by so quickly...and so slowly...

  4. It sounds like regret. Regret breeds resentment. All the what ifs must be heartbreaking. Not knocking the LDS but what if young people weren't SO encouraged to marry young and start a family? What if young people got to pursue their dreams first and then started families in their own time? I'm betting there would be a lot less regret and resentment. All the best to you K.

  5. I agree - it seems many LDS get married and start families young. You wanted children - why are you regretting that now? Obviously, you can't raise children and do all the things you daydream about! I think you are very fortunate. You have three healthy, gifted daughters and a husband who can support all of you in NYC. You seem to be aware of issues like autism and how challenging it is for some women to conceive, so I was surprised you wrote this and put it out there for the entire world, including your children, to read. Why would you want even more blessings than you already have? For the applause? Do you realize how many women want what you have? On one hand, you seem very confident and on the other, you seem quite conflicted and insecure. Life is not about getting everything we want!

  6. You are not the first LDS I have heard complain that they can't pursue all their passions and dreams because of children. WOW. Don't you think you should keep that to yourself? You basically said you are so talented and just being a Mom is not enough for you. Why would you want to share that with the world? You sound so ungrateful for your many blessings. Also, why are you in competition with your husband? I really hope your daughters have not read this post. I wish I hadn't.

  7. Thanks for all your comments. I have received some beautiful private messages in support of my sharing as well. I wish I had known that feelings about motherhood ebbed and flowed. I want my daughters to know that it's not all happy roses!

  8. Fair enough. Nothing in life is all happy roses. It is good to be honest and realistic with young people and ourselves. I just thought it was shocking that you would share such private thoughts on-line but I have noticed many LDS share incredibly personal things on the Internet. I guess that's because you know you have built in support from your community. You're clearly an incredible parent and your daughters are very blessed to call you Mom.

  9. In the Spirit of full disclosure, I think your post really bothered me because of my terrible experience with an LDS man/husband/father. He LIED to me and told me was separated from his wife. He complained about feeling trapped and how he wanted out of his daily routine and roles. I once considered him a dear friend with integrity/strong values only to discover he was a cheater and a liar. So yes, life is not all happy roses. You are very fortunate to have a husband you can trust and a community you can count on. Not to mention your youngest, Pippa, who is literally Grace-into this world with her presence. Thank you for listening. I will not be commenting anymore. All the best to you and your family.