#draftfromthepast: March 2013 "more"

Draft Post written in March, 2013

Yesterday, I swept my floors twice, I cleaned four out of five of the bathrooms in our house (Why do we have so many damn toilets??), I made three square meals for my family, I wiped little bums, tucked in sleepy children and did two loads of laundry. If you threw in some ironing of my husbands shirts (which he has banned me from doing, because I suck at it), I would be the picture perfect 1950's housewife.

Trust me, this is not what I pictured my life to be like when I was a 20-something, career-focused gal, with sights set on MAKING MY MARK IN THIS WORLD. I am not quite sure what I had pictured, but it was probably somewhere in between these two. I have always been a bossy, know what I want kind of person, and I have a bit of a flair for the dramatic, so you see, equal parts Hillary and Gaga and there was my future me, Grown-up Natasha - Making her Mark!

Hillary and Gaga
Hillary and Gaga

So what happened? Where is that woman? Was that her yesterday, yellow-gloved and elbow deep scrubbing toilets?

I have moments lately where I look at myself and I wonder if I really do know myself. Do I know what my purpose in life is and am I living that fully? How exactly am I making my mark?

A lot of questions I know. Yes, I am a mother and I am making my mark by moulding the minds of these two little people in my care, and that is the single greatest (and scariest) responsibility and privilege in my life. Perhaps it is because I am not as young as I used to be and that feeling of "Go forth and DO something BIG and meaningful" seems to be slipping away as the years go by. Maybe this is a normal kind of thing that happens to people when a parent dies. We see their lives, their regrets, the things that they wish they had done differently and wonder if we too will be on our death beds, asking for forgiveness, wishing we had done more, trying to find peace, hoping it was all enough.

This grief stuff is tricky. I am fine for days and then I go through the so-called "five stages of grief" like it's some kind of morose Candy Crush game. Denial of my own still present anger, and then angry for feeling anger, then I think about how (or if) my life would have been different had he been in it, then I try to wash it all away in my happy place and be at peace with what is/was. Most days I complete all the levels and try to move on, and others I get stuck with that one piece of jelly that I just can't clear. One nagging thought that won't leave me, one piece of the puzzle that I wish I had, but that I know I will never likely find.

Right now I am stuck here: Am I enough?

I wonder if we all reacted so viscerally to the infamous "Are you Mom Enough" Time magazine cover, because perhaps deep down we really do wonder this very thing about ourselves? Are we mom enough? Are we woman enough? Are we wife enough? Are we contributing member of society enough?

The thing is, I don't want to just be enough. I want to be more. I want to be spectacular. I want my children to look at me and see the Hillary/Gaga Natasha and be inspired by her. To know that they can be whatever they want to be and then some! That yes, they can have it all, but perhaps just not all at the same time. Maybe this is my problem.

I used to be the primary breadwinner in this family. I was the one with the upwardly mobile career, the accolades and awards and incentive trips and an eye on climbing that ladder to the top. And then things changed. The new life growing inside me became the top priority, and life in general became less and less about me.

I feel like I am at a point in my life where I want that back somewhat. I want my life to be about me again. Not all about the mothering, the housewife-ing, the keeping it all together for everyone else-ing. Oh dear, that's it isn't it?  I am having a bloody mid-life crisis! The status quo is no longer satisfying me and I need more. More what exactly, I don't know. I have no desire for a sports car or a young Brad Pitt a la Thelma & Louise. I don't want to go back to my previous career path.

I JUST DON'T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE.

I don't want to feel this feeling of just getting through my days as fast as possible. How soon until school drop off, pick up, this lesson, that class, dinner, bedtime... My life in one to two hour increments of wondering how much of it I get for me. It really shouldn't be like this. I shouldn't feel like this.

I have a wonderful life. A husband who loves me, two amazing, healthy, beautiful children, an incredible roof over our heads, I do not want for anything.

And yet... this feeling that there must be more. That I should be doing more, being more. It's nagging me like crazy lately.

This might also explain my reluctance to get together with people. I can't handle all the questions. How are you? What are you doing now? What's new?

NOTHING! Nothing is new. And I am NOT well. And I am not really doing a whole lot of anything that would interest anyone outside of my immediate family.

But no one wants to hear that. No one wants to hear that I have days when I really wish I could be anywhere else but here. That I can hear my children asking me to play with them, but I just can't do it. That I hope that they can tell that my hugs are desperately trying to tell them that I am trying...

...really, really hard.

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I wrote this shortly after my father passed away in early 2013. It was before I started taking antidepressants and just after I started therapy as well. My kids were 3 and 5 and it was still 1 year before the Summer of Sepsis & Stroke (as I am now calling it.) 

It's quite the ramble and my thoughts are all over the place, which I believe is a testament to the chaos I was feeling in my mind that desperatley needed organizing. 

As mothers, I am not sure we ever fully believe we are ENOUGH in this life or for these little people we love. Since I wrote this, I have learned to make my life more fulfilling for myself and ask for or take what I need, when I need it - with a lot less guilt then previously. 

I am MORE now and I was always enough (and you are too!)

XO,

N~

P.S. ALSO - can I just say that I was totally #WITHHER (Hillz that is) way before the election!

Snowed in.

Today it snowed. And we were supposed to leave for a family weekend getaway in the mountains. The car was packed, everyone had their movies queued up on the iPads and we were good to go.

But...

We live on a street in a valley.

And I made an appointment to have my winter tires put on NEXT week.

My poor car couldn't even make it up the hill in front of our house to get out of our neighbourhood.

We had to park a block away, grab all our stuff and walk back home.

Four people, walking home, all looking pretty much like this.

georgemichaelcharliebrown

So we fired up the fireplace (flicked the switch actually) and settled in for a day of movies, games, naps, dinner out and a new Wii Dance game.

The day ended far better than it started.

I am still disappointed that I have to cook meals all weekend, but we are together and we are going to have a fun little staycation (the kids are on a 5 day break from school).

And next year, I'll book my tire change at the beginning of October and look more seriously into heading to Palm Springs for this fall break thing!

n~

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Day 8.

NaBloPoMo_November

 

Feminist Fare Friday: Edition #23

Here is the thing. I flew from Edmonton, Alberta to Atlanta, Georgia and back again in the span of 3.5 days. I spent most of those days awake and in the company of so many amazing people that sleep just wasn't big on my priority list. This essentially means that this week, I have been a total mess. Jet-lag, lack of sleep, a brain on overdrive, a soccer season that started on Monday and has us on the field 4 days a week and all the regular daily stuff, has caught up to me and people, it is NOT pretty. My eldest child looked at me yesterday and in a concerned voice said, "Mama, are you tired? You should go lay down." So, I did.

But first, I've been collecting some awesome posts this week! So here you go, some good Mother's Day weekend reading!

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1. Gabourey Sidibe's speech from the Ms. Foundation Gala. Pro-tip: never ask a women how she is so confident. Just admire it and perhaps, let it rub off on you a bit.

 "If I hadn't been told I was garbage, I wouldn't have learned how to show people I'm talented. And if everyone had always laughed at my jokes, I wouldn't have figured out how to be so funny. If they hadn't told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn't tried to break me down, I wouldn't know that I'm unbreakable."

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2. Remember that time I was on an airplane and the guy behind me protested loudly as I lowered my seat to get more comfortable and then I folded in on myself? Did you know that I constantly apologize for taking up too much space with my "stuff" when I am at the coffee shop? This space issue is a gendered one, a societal one, and it's one we learn early on. And while it may be her school headmistress that Soraya Chemaly hears in her head, it is my grandmother in mine.

To this day, when I sit—in a chair, on a bus, a train, at a desk—I hear my primary school headmistress explain that ladies never cross their legs at the knees. The thought of sitting, arms stretched out on either side on the top lip of the back of, say, a park bench is laughable to me, it’s so physically alien. Usually, in public space, I fold myself up and try, by habit, to make room for others.

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3. Mother's day is on Sunday. Did you know it is the 100th anniversary of Mother's Day? Did you also know about it's radical feminist beginnings too?

The American incarnation of Mother's Day is the result of years of women's activism that coincided with other women's movements -- like women's suffrage and labor movements -- around the turn of the 20th century.

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4. Mothering in the digital age. Google that. You'll find pages and pages for almost any topic/issue/need that you have as a mother, as you prepare for motherhood, as you struggle with motherhood, as you celebrate motherhood. Meagan Francis wrote this incredibly personal and insightful post after the Mom 2.0 Summit this past weekend and well... just read it. You'll understand.

These days, parents take a lot of flak for being online too much. We're called everything from neglectful to egotistical for wanting to share our lives and our opinions and our struggles and our adorable Instagrams with the rest of the world.

 

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Happiest of Mother's Day to each and every mother out there. I wish you 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, a closed door to pee behind. a book to read that has more than 10 pages in it, a quiet moment and a nice cup/glass of {insert whatever you love to drink here} and love, lots and lots of LOVE!

MothersDay

XO,

natasha~