Sunday, January 18, 2009

truth be told...

This picture just epitomizes little bean at 23 months. Big blue eyes, long sweet eyelashes, curly pig tails, and her dollie nearby. Truth be told, it's been a rough few months. And that's the understatement of the year. I've really been struggling lately with her still not walking...it feels as if I've somehow failed. If I can't teach her to do something so innate in 99% of humans...and if there is no medical reason for it, what is MY problem?

I have good days and bad days. And I've probably had more bad days than good as of late, but I'll take full responsibility for that. Every time I read a blog post about how some other mother thinks that this age is just "the best!" or loves all their child is learning or doing, I just break down inside. I'm not sure my pillow has been dry in months. It's hard to go to mother's group or church or anywhere without trying to hide the fact that I'm NOT really ecstatic about how this 9 month old is cruising or this 11 month old is walking. It has NOTHING to do with these particular kids or their parents. It has everything to do with me. Selfish, yes. But it's my life right now and it's hard to feel that you're "failing" at you full-time job while so many others are "succeeding".

I know many would say that I'm not failing; that I'm doing the best I can and it's out of my control. That there's a reason for it even if I don't know what that reason is right now. And you can tell me that until you're blue in the face, but I still feel as if somehow, it should be me who fixes this...and I can't!

A lot of days I just put a fake smile on my face and walk out the door hoping to fool everyone that I'm doing just fine. Other days I really AM doing just fine!

I don't mean this post to be a "poor maren" post and it is in no way intended as an attack on anyone. I've just felt that I needed to get my feelings out somehow...and my journal is beginning to be a dismal record at best. :) I seem to only write on the bad days. It's not meant to be a post so I can receive countless comments on how cool I am, either. I already know I'm cool. :)

Hopefully I will learn what I need to learn from this experience and that in 5 years, I won't be carrying her to elementary school. Hopefully.

For now, I'll just look at this sweet little picture and hope that I'm doing an okay job with this incredible little spirit with whom I've been entrusted.

15 comments:

megan said...

I know you don't want to hear it, but I will tell you anyway...I think you are doing a fabulous job as a mother and I look up to you in many ways. You are very loving and patient and Leah is lucky to have you. And you aren't alone in feeling the way you do. I think it happens to all of us, at least it does to me. It's probably harder to see the progress day by day, but I feel like everytime I check your blog, Leah has made TONS of progress. She's doing awesome! And you are doing awesome! And Ryan, too! Keep hanging in there Mar...I love you!

Molly said...

Thanks for sharing your feelings. I think it's healthy to be honest about how you are feeling. You really are doing awesome. Thanks for chatting today. You are an inspiration to me!

Jen said...

Hey Maren,

Leah is lucky to have you. Mothers throughout time have been exasperated over their children at one time or another. I think your statement that you hope you won't be carrying her to kindergarten is great. I've used that kind of statement many times..."they won't be 16 and still not potty-trained". Reading, bedwetting, cleaning up after themselves...the list would be a mile long. There are so many things that mothers do for and teach their children. All in all, children will partake in new ideas when they are ready. Sometimes just relaxing can do a world of good (for you). Keep on trucking with whatever prescribed programs/exercises you are doing. It isn't you. Keep praying and keep smiling!

Mike and Joy said...

Oh, Maren. It is so refreshing to hear someone else honestly voice the worries of motherhood. While your situation is unique, I can really take the message to heart. Thanks for sharing that.

And I doubt you will be carrying her to elementary school! I love her new crawl. :)

Karen Hauley said...

Hate to paint an even gloomier picture, but the worries don't stop even after your children are married and have children of their own. While you are aching for Leah, I am aching for you. YOU are MY child and I'm so grateful for family and love and honesty. We're all just down here trying to do our best with whatever stumbling blocks are in our path and nurturing is an evernal committment. I love you.

Brad, Debbie, and K squared said...

I think it is perfectly acceptable that you are crying over this. I know that even mothers who SAY they wouldn't be upset by the fact that their child couldn't walk well when they are supposed to, would end up crying too if it happened to them. I know I would.

I know this is nowhere near as big a deal as what you are going through with Leah, but I feel the same way about kids being potty trained. Every time I see a blog post about someone's 2 year old being potty trained and how "easy" it was, I just want to strangle them...and then go cry in my pillow. Oh the joys of motherhood. :) For the record, I think you are great!

Julia said...

You are an amazing example ... someone who is persistent and honest, and an amazing mother who cares so much for their little girl. Leah *IS* lucky to have you. We are thinking about you.

B, C, and D said...

Just so you know, we do think you are cool! Thanks for being such a great example to us!!

ed and kelli said...

let's be honest.. you are the only one with the patience in this family to endure such a task.. i would have given up long ago (well i hope i wouldn't... but thinking about everything you have gone through without having a kid of my own yet, i would have given up)..but that picture is adorable and you are doing an okay job if not a great job... believe me.. why do you think i call you with so many questions about what to do and my kid isn't even here yet!!? you are a great mom and a great example to me... so thanks. and i love the elephant crawl/walk.. that is awesome.. now just teach her the lion king song and she'll be set!

maryirene allen said...

i remember one day when my sister came to visit me she wrote "i am a good mother" on my whiteboard and made me promise to say it out loud to myself everyday. i felt so dumb and didn't want to, but i can tell you that it made a difference. i still do it sometimes. you are a good mother. your daughter loves you.
just an idea. love you. mi

Jessica said...

Thank you for sharing your feelings and being open. it really gives me perspective about the struggle we all go through as mothers. i have been reading about your totally fun excursions you took over the break and i was thinking about what an incredible mother (and father) you guys are to get out even with a young baby. i'm not a eyewitness but i am inspired by hearing your mothering stories - good and bad. hope the days get brighter.

Jenny said...

Oh Maren, you are a better person than I am if you are still even going to mother's group! There was a period when I just had to stop going. It hurt too much to hear other moms complain and worry about their babies hitting milestones knowing that my little Samantha was nowhere near where their younger child was. So I stopped going. Perhaps I shouldn't have. Maybe it revealed a certain weakness in me. Either way, I stopped going because it was painful. It's so hard to watch your little baby not progress or do what we think they should. However, I have found such comfort in the resurrection -- knowing that Sammy will be whole one day. Now, I really believe that sweet Leah will be walking sooner than later...in the meantime, let the tears flow -- but remember to keep smiling.

This experience will enable you to reach out to someone else in a way that no one else could. Elder Maxwell talked about having trials in our life just so we could have the experience to empathize with others -- a Christ-like characteristic. Though it doesn't always bring me relief in moments of my sadness, it does help lighten my load knowing that I may be able to help someone else in similar situations.

I love you Maren. You are awesome. And not like the tubular awesome -- which are you -- but I mean awe-some. I stand in awe at your strength, your kindness and sincerity, and your ability to lift my spirits with just a small comment on my blog!:) You are a beautiful wonderful person. You are loved. (And really, Leah has a pretty incredible crawl/walk = cralk? Anyway, it's impressive!)

Brandon Danielle and Laneah said...

I think that is awesome- especially your honesty. I think that a lot of moms try to only say what is going right so that they don't look bad, so it is really refreshing to hear when others are struggling too. That sounds bad, but you know what I mean.

Dan and Heather said...

She'll be fine because you care too much and won't quit! Just remember, I didn't say a dang word until I was 3! I just pointed and grunted. See how I turned out?! She'll make up for lost time and become an olympic sprinter!

Julie said...

Noah came home from Haiti and almost immediately crawled onto the toilet. He was just over two years old. I thought I had it made. He pee'd his pants twice today. I'm sure he will do it again tomorrow, and the next day, just as he has done pretty much everyday for clsoe to a year of potty training. He came home knowing what to do on the toilet, yet I still haven't managed to figure out how to completely potty-train him. I've spent many days exasperated with him and with myself and then I spend my evenings feeling guilty for getting so exasperated. Lots of people have wondered if Noah has a medical problem. I think his only problem is that his mom can't figure it out. I know it's a different situation, but I feel your pain. If you want to feel great about your mothering, let me know and I'll send you my blog address so that you can see how somebody really messes up motherhood. I have no idea what I'm doing, but my boys seem to love me anyway and I have no doubt that Leah thinks the sun rises and sets with you. Just keep loving her and everything else will fall into place - eventually.