Thursday, May 11, 2006

Self portrait ...

I've been wrestling with this post for two damned days.

With Mother's day coming up, a lot of us here in the blogosphere have been doing some introspection. Pondering the raising of children, how well we're doing, how we're influencing our kids - particularly our daughters - and for those of us trying to conceive/adopt, well, there's all that.

Y'know being a woman is hard. Sometimes it really blows (obvious naughty references aside) and it's so easy to get bogged down in your own narrow view of your own narrow life.

I think that's why I love reading blogs and blogging. I'm not a social person. I don't have friends per se. I don't really require them, I'm content with a houseful of small people, an Evil Genius Husband, and my geese (ok, and the rest of the barnyard), along with an occasional trip to the Wal Mart.

But I genuinely and sincerely adore the ladies whose blogs I read. Maybe I DO require friends and they are them. I don't know, but I get so much from reading. I feel like I'm part of something. I feel like I have people I can ask if I have a question - who won't pull their punches if they answer. I feel like I learn something. Every day.

And here's what I learned over the past few days: I learned that I will never instill in my own daughters a good body image if I constantly reveal my own bad one. They will never learn self-confidence if they see my lack thereof. It is not enough for me to reassure my girls that they are beautiful no matter what size or shape they are (in direct contrast to the way it was for me) or of value no matter what they choose to do. I must overcome those deadening experiences from my life: the disapproval, the disappointment, the comments ("you have such a pretty face", "When are you going back to school?", "if you were in better shape you'd ... feel better") that stripped me of my self-confidence and sense of worth and have some love (or at least some tolerance) for myself.

Now, at this point in the post I've been trying over and over to write about how I've been inspired by Sherry and Michele and since I missed Self Portrait Tuesday I'd do a Self Portrait Thursday (now Friday) and list 10 things Good about me.

That quickly became five things. Then I realized that I can't honestly say five good things about myself.

Talk about introspection.

There's nothing physical to offer. I have nice hair. That's it. I'm not remarkable in any way. I'm pretty good in an emergency. I can make do with almost nothing. I can even live that way (and have).

I'd love to confidently type: "I'm a great mom" but I'm not so sure about that. In fact, when it comes to my daughters I'm frustrated and bewildered and the oldest is only three.

I lie awake at night worrying that I'm doing a really crap job.

So for those of you moms who have the strength to throw off the wet, heavy cloak of guilt and uncertainty, I am in awe. Rock on. I'll be here by the wall, watching, and hopefully learning.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 3:35 pm   6 comments


At 9:06 am, Blogger Anna said...

Blue, I've been really struggling with a started-but-never-completed post about Why I Hate Myself, and how to stop my daughter(s) from following on my footsteps. Such a difficult post to right, and that says something *sigh* Now I hope you don't think I'm stealing your ideas, but I'll try and complete it soon and link to this, if you don't mind. It's so nice to see I'm not the only one worried about this.

At 9:08 am, Blogger Michele said...

Ok, at the risk of sounding like a nagging housewife (guilty) - "If you aren't going to do this then I guess I have to."

5 Things I Love About Blue -

1 - She writes so well I cant wait to read her every day - funny, smart, hip and introspective.

2 - With kids that good looking, she has to be a looker too even though all she has let us see are her (beautiful) eyes.

3 - She raises LIVESTOCK for Pete's sake, and is raising her family and finding time to write for two blogs and run a side business selling funny t-shirts. Multi-tasker, thy name is Blue.

4 - Last week she RAN A MAN OFF HER PROPERTY for stealing wood. How cool is that? She's Ma Ingalls on steroids.

5 - After 10 years of infertility she has 4 beautiful kids and is trying for more. That is one tough survivor.

At 9:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never knew how much of an impact parents had on children until i became a mom. My view on parenting was completely based on what i knew growing up. The small world you live in as a family is yours, until as a child, you go spend the night with a friend and see how DIFFERENT their family unit is, or as an adult, watching another mom dicipline her child, etc., etc. I always thought other families were weird when i was a kid when in reality, their differences defined the word "family." Okay, so my point is--ummmm--as i watch myself being this MOM person, it has made me:
(1) flexible
(2) anal
(3) happy
(4) creative
(5) wacky
None of these adjectives "go together" per se, but they define ME!
Reading your posts add more and more to my jumbled ideas of being this wonderful person, M O M ! ! !
Happy Mother's Day, Blue!


At 12:06 pm, Blogger macboudica said...

I am with Michele, Blue. You are amazing and I am constantly scoping out your blog because you make me laugh. You are strong.. You speak your mind. And anyone that wants to fill their lives with children and faces the battles you've had to with infertility to do it gets bonus points in parenting if you ask me.

I think that for those of who do question our ability as parents, our techniques, etc., I think the quetioning and uncertainty are good things. I think that maybe if we question, we are open to learning/revising what we do and becoming better all the time. I know I am not always confident and not always right with what I do. Knowing this, facing this in myself, I explore new techniques and don't give up trying to get it right. I think that all of us who question ourselves are doing the right thing even if we aren't always right, if that makes any sense.

At 2:51 pm, Blogger Irish Divinity said...

I've just been a lurker, but wanted to come out for this. I too have the background you described as far as self worth, etc., and I have 3 kids (2 of them being girls) and have many worries about what baggage I would pass along. I have found that by just being me, being strong in the things I believe, being consistent with them in reassuring that they are beautiful etc. they are coming along wonderfully in the self esteem department!! (one is 10 the other 7) And in reading your blog you are a very strong, consistent, reassuring mother and I'd dare say those beautiful babies will be just fine in the self esteem department!! From your words you sound as though you're a wonderful mother and that will come through in them making them strong women, assured of their worth.(sorry this was so long)

At 12:11 am, Anonymous AeroDog said...

Those green eyes look familiar.


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