Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dr. and Dr. Smith

I certainly didn't expect such a response to my 'making lunch for you husband' post. The comments took it a whole different direction than I intended them to. But I loved it. I found every answer interesting. I didn't agree with every comment made, but I love that there are so many different views in this world...that's how the world functions. If everyone in the world had the same opinions and interests, we could end up with millions upon millions of doctors for example, but no teachers. I love that everyone is different or the world would be a boring place.

I had written about packing lunch because that's an issue for me. I don't like to feel like I'm subservient to my husband...or the only one cleaning up his messes and the messes of all the members of my family. Because that's how it makes me feel, I didn't realize that not everyone feels like that about it. Autumn brought up a great point about love languages. I don't get the impression that she's a fan of packing her husbands lunch...but that's one way he knows she loves him. It's a sacrifice she's willing to make. While he is not a fan of writing her love notes...he does it because that's one way she knows he loves her.

I was glad to see that there were a good number of you who don't pack lunch. I guess I was just talking to the wrong people. And many of the men answered that they happily pack their own lunch or they do pack their own lunch but wouldn't mind if their wife did. Who can blame them for that, really? I wouldn't mind if Spencer came home every day to make me a lunch, either. I had one friend who responded via email. She said her husband not only packs her lunch, but irons her clothes, too. Whatever works for each family is the best answer...as long as every one's happy in their role.

Now this is where your comments took my post a different direction...a debate started to develop about whether or not it's best for women to stay home with her children. I have billions of comments but just can't get them all out. One, I don't have time to write them, nor you to read them. Two, I don't want to sound offensive or defensive. It's actually hard to put my thoughts into words without doing that. I'll do my best.

First of all, I don't think my not wanting to pack lunch for my husband has any bearing on how I value the family or what kind of mother I am. I obviously think it's important for a parent to stay home with their children, or I wouldn't be doing it. But whether it's the mother or the father who stays home should just depend on the parents and their personalities. A family where everyone is satisfied in his or her role, is going to be the family that functions best...the family that is the happiest...regardless of who stays home...if anybody. If a mother is completely depressed at home (and I can easily see how that could happen), that family is not going to function well. You hear stories on the news all the time about stay at home moms doing all kinds of awful things to their children while struggling with depression.

At this point in our lives, I definitely think Spencer would be the better candidate to stay home with the crazies. He's patient and NEVER freaks out when they're buggin'. He knows how to play with boys. I can't tell you how tired I am of playing superheroes, aliens, and trains. I'm not even good at it. Spencer is WAY better at that kind of thing. On days I'm especially frustrated or depressed because my life is consumed with this type of play, we discuss the option of him staying home instead. The problem is, I think there might be a time in the lives of our children that I might be the better candidate to stay home. I think I work particularly well with teenagers, for example. For us, we've decided that who ever is in it, is in it for the long haul. Trading off wouldn't allow for either of us to be successful in our careers. So I've opted to struggle through this phase of their lives so I can be the one home to struggle through a later phase in their lives.

Several of you mentioned how women are the nurturers. I don't think a woman has to stay home to nurture her children. She can nurture when she is home. Besides that, I do not now, nor have I ever used the word nurture to describe me. I really don't think I have much nurturing in me at all. Nurturing is so not natural for me. The little bit I have expresses itself only when my children are sick. I don't love it when my kids want to cuddle. After about ten seconds I have to push them away. I just don't like it. I am so grateful my kids are not snugglers...I'm sure I've made them that way. This is by high and large the main reason I choose not to breastfeed my babies...I'm just not nurturing.

I am a big supporter of women in the work force. The world has come a long way. Women can do things these days that were not possible even ten years ago. I LOVE the idea of a woman for president. I always choose women for doctors...not just my OB/GYN, but my family practitioner and my children's pediatricians. I like to support women in the work force. And I'm just more comfortable discussing my health and the health of my children with women...particularly with other mothers. I had a phenomenal OB in Ohio. She had three boys and was a family oriented woman. She was very encouraging of large families and very supportive of me having kids close together. I am so grateful (and sometimes jealous) that there are women like that who choose to work.

One of my college roommates chose the professional route. She has been married to a fantastic and supportive husband for seven years now and she is currently pregnant with their first child. I don't know all her plans, but I do know she intends on working after her child is born. She has a career that will allow for her to be home at times, too. I was so glad to hear that she was already booked for January after her baby is born. The world would be a little bit sadder place if Tammy decided to stop sharing her talents.

With every one's comments, I am wondering if all women feel like staying home is a huge sacrifice. I'm not talking about a financial sacrifice. And I'm not talking about the string of sacrifices we make throughout the day...sacrificing sleep, sacrificing the good piece of toast to give to your kid while you eat the burnt one, sacrificing time out with your friends to stay home with a sick kid, sacrificing hobbies, etc. But do you all feel you are sacrificing an education and career to stay home? I certainly do. I regularly dream about what I would be doing if I hadn't chosen this path. I hadn't quit my job before having Parker. I remember when I actually made the decision to quit, talking to my boss in tears. Even though it wasn't my dream job, it was a big step out of the work force and into the world of staying home. But maybe some of you don't feel it's a sacrifice if you don't want an education or career anyway.

I don't think this is coming out right, because I love motherhood. There isn't anything that I wouldn't do for my kids. I never regret staying home, I just miss school and working sometimes. Jeanine made reference to a stay at home mom who filled in at a job for someone for a week and loved it. I have no doubt that's how I would feel. I have every intention of having a career at one point. A friend made a comment to me when I told her we were moving to Texas for Spencer to get his PhD. She said how awesome that would be...we'll be Dr. and Mrs. Smith. While I love that my husband values an education, I HATE being the Mrs. It makes me feel like I'm left in the dust. That moment sealed the deal for me...I have no doubt I will one day proudly sport the initials PhD after my name. Dr. and Dr. Smith sounds much nicer.

I think Jeff...a single man of all people...hit on it the best. He mentioned how sad it is when a woman's entire identity becomes her husband and children. I think that's where my struggle comes in. The more time I spend at home, the less I remember the pre-children Katie. I currently feel like I am Katie the Homemaker and nothing else. Like about a trillion other Katie's in this world. I feel like I get lost in a crowd. I have nothing else going on in my life, but I don't like to be defined by my responsibilities as a homemaker.

Since I made the move to Texas, I have been going through a serious identity crisis. At first I was blaming it on the move. But I made friends here rather quickly. There are some great girls here. I don't think that's it. This is the first time since I've had kids that I haven't had anything else going on. I was serving in Young Women since long before Parker was born. And while Young Women isn't really a hobby or something I chose, it was something that I was good at and something that filled my time. I don't even think my counselors knew how much time I put into Young Women. Even though I was burned out, I really loved it. And now I have a major void in my life. No hobbies. Except blogging...which is just a reminder that I have nothing going on outside of my home.

I need a hobby. But it's nearly impossible to have one with my husband working and getting his PhD at nights. I've been seriously looking into going back to school...so serious that I've spoken with the department and have an application packet in hand, but I just don't think it's feasible right now in my life. So what are your suggestions? What do you all do to maintain some independence? To not forget who you are? To feel like more than just a homemaker?

This is some serious venting. I sound like a bitter woman. I think it's all a result of this identity crisis I'm going through. I try to keep my blog upbeat, but I've just taken it to a whole new level...a level I don't intend on visiting often.

I will end this by saying how much have enjoyed my time at home. Even though there are moments of insanity each day, I would miss out on so much if I were gone all day. While I am sometimes jealous of Spencer, I never resent him. It is not at all motherhood that I am struggling with. Or even having three children. I love being a mom. My children have brought me more joy than I ever knew was possible. I even find daily moments of joy at home with my crazies. Three kids is just three times the joy. Maintaining the eternal structure of the family in the ever changing world is just as important to me as it is to each of you. While I may dream of the life I could have had, that life is not nearly as important to me as the one I chose. I wouldn't trade all the degrees in the world for even five minutes of motherhood. I love it.

21 comments:

Jeffrey Benson said...

If it makes you feel better, I really think you've done a great job at maintaining your identity. Naturally, as your life changes, you will change as well. Nothing can stop that. I really think you've done a great job maintaining your self identity. I really enjoyed our time in the car together driving from Ohio to Texas. It reminded me of our crazy trips across the valley looking for the best thrift stores.
I completely agree with the entirety of this post, very solidly stated.

Lauri said...

First of all, let me say that Spencer may not be so patient if he was home EVERY DAY playing super hero and aliens. He is good at it because he only does it occasionally.

When I look back on my years of three pre-schoolers, I remember at them with incredible joy and wonderful memories. But when I look in my journal, I see a lot of what you're talking about here...frustration with the mundane, not feeling fulfilled, feeling like this was never going to end, and needing to do something to get out of the house.

Regardless of what time of life you're in, there is joy and there is mundane. For instance, as glamorous as getting a Masters may sound to you...and I do love the way my mind thinks when I'm in school, spending 8 hours in front of a computer for 2 days in a row isn't a piece of cake.

A season for everything...
Love you.mom

jeanine said...

I agree with your mom. Spencer is patient because he's not home all day every day. Rich is the same way--he's great at playing super heros and aliens and they have a great time. I know that Rich would get sick of it if he was doing it all the time.... and he knows it too.

I have more to say but I have to make some lunch...

Autumn said...

I have SO many thoughts and can't write them right now. I suppose this is the most ridiculous comment but just know that I loved your post and I have lots of upcoming thoughts!!

Traci Elizabeth said...

I always say that it would be easier being a stay at home mom if you have a lot of money. I know they say money doesnt buy happiness, but I think in some cases it does. If you have a lot of money, you don't have to stay at home all day. You can go do a lot more things like amusement parks and things that cost. Also, If you have money, you can hire a babysitter a couple of times a week to go and do things for yourself.

Unfortunately, most of us don't have lots of money when our kids are young and we do lose our minds staying at home, I know I do.

As for things to do. Does your community have adult classes? here in brea they have running groups, horseback riding classes, yoga, jewelry classes, dance classes, adult sports leagues and all sorts of things you can sign up for that are cheap. Maybe you could swap babysitting with some of your friends and do something like that once or twice a week. I have been thinking about doing it just to switch up my days a bit.

Just to let you know, I respect all of your ideas and dreams and I hope that you get to follow them. Although I know you are a great mother, I also know you would be great at any professional path you would decide to take as well.

Good luck!

utmomof5 said...

I have actually been thinking about your past post since I read it. It really stuck in my brain and made me do some serious soul searching.
The part of this post I like the most is about not losing your identity to your husabnd and children. I would not do anything else at this time in my life. I believe that being at home with my kids is the best way I can have a positive affect on the world. I work very hard at not letting my roles as wife and mother be my only roles. I think it makes me a better wife and mom of I have other interests.

I also agree with your mom (She is one smart lady) about Spencer with the boys.

Remember that you are in the thick of motherhood consuming all of your time. Once they get a little older and school comes into play you will find time to really identify with who you are. I know it seems like this part will never end but they do grow up.

Embrace where you are and don't wish it away, I was very guilty of that when my 3 oldest where you kids ages (give or take).

I realize I only know you from your blog but to me you seem like a great mom and wife. Best of luck with your identity search!!

Kelly said...

Your mom is right:
There is a season for everything!! You will find yourself when you least expect it, and perhaps who you were is not who you are destined to become. You are an amazing mom and wife and you have more talent in your elbow than most of us have in our whole body! You are terrific!
I know it is not the glamorous life we all imagined (though when you have a girl, you get to do more glam things), but I get it, I do understand you and how you feel- it is not as easy as it sounds, this stay at home job, and there are times I dream of life on the other side, but I promise that for the majority of us (less those great women OB's and fabulous teachers of our kids in school_, it is not greener pastures. I long to work outside of the home, but for now, my season is here and I too wouldn't trade it for anything. You should read "I am a mother" by Jane Clayson- it may help- it is good, cheesy at times, but good, and real life (except she left a very enticing financial career that most of us never can even dream of). Check it out sometime. I am thinking of you!

Autumn said...

I figured the best way to do this is open up a separate page so I can remember all of my thoughts as I go along.

So first, I have a feeling these first two points might annoy you but I'll say them anyway because I genuinely mean them. I highly doubt it that you aren't good at playing trains planes and automobiles. I just don't buy it.
Second. You don't sound bitter. You sound like you know who you are.

In college years I was most definitely of the opinion that moms should stay at home regardless. I just had my reasons. (I could go on forever, but I'm trying to limit this.) However, I had a very enlightening experience.

My sister went through a very serious stage of depression. Stay at home mom with 3 young kids. Full time student husband. Their income level of students=poor. She is someone who thrives on financial regularity. Her husband is very opposite in this department. He didn't need to know when $ was coming and how much.

The good news in this horrible depression is they learned a lot about themselves. They deduced that she would in fact be a better bread winner than he would. She has the mind of a business person and he is the ulti-parent. Patient, playful, can tune out screaming, on and on. (SHE is a great parent too but has a quicker boiling point as I do.) As she was telling me all of this I told myself that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing in situations like these for a mother to be the provider.

She was depressed. And I don't think she would have been if she was working. Because she has a mind that itches to work outside of the home as well as in the home. For them I think it would have been a good set up. She is better now and when we talk (as we did last night), we talk about our forumulating business ideas. Hers will probably come to reality before mine. Her hubby has all of his PHD to go. I hope they can make it work without another dip into depression. Geesh-these things are hard. I suppose its called life. I really hope she'll find her outlets that will help her steer clear from that dark place before his education is through. I also hope that when she ventures into her outlets she can do it without feeling guilty...self time is better than sad time!!

I only skimmed the many responses. But from what you said about Jeff's response-this is my ultimate fear as a Mom, losing my own identity. That is why when I describe myself on my blog, cheesy as it sounds, "first self". I greatly fear that I will somehow slip into "Mom" and only Mom. While its an honorable role, I think the best Moms are the ones that are themselves first. I don't excel at it all the time, but I try to remind myself.

I admire you for wanting to go back to school. I am not a good student. I loved college and I love learning, but I'm not a dedicated student. I am sure if you want to be a DR you will be!

I very much picture myself being a better Mom of teenage kids. I'm not trying to hope on the I-wanna-be-like-Katie bandwagon, but I do. I can't wait for post-date talks, playing soccer with my kids (I mean really playing, not pretending), and seeing personalities unfold. I really look forward to that stage. I don't think I'm bad at this stage but I've always looked forward to that stage.

I think its a blessing for me that I hated teaching so much because when I think about pre-child life I think of doom and the promise I made to myself that I would enjoy this more-regardless...and that reminder serves its purpose.

I hope this doesn't come across as me educating you on how to be your best self-especially with one child. I very much imagine that with more children I will have even more identical feelings.

I think its a really great idea about finding another interest. I found myself in a very bad boring home bound home today. I eventually sat down with a pad of paper about to start a list of things I can do (for myself) while I am home alone. Jake happened to walk through the door before I put pen to paper. I'll be looking to see if you have follow up thoughts on your interests.

Amanda B. said...

Hi Katie! Just want to say- hang in there, you will figure things out! I agree with you about not enjoying playing superheros and trains and such. I don't enjoy that part either. Poor Jacob gets so bored and I do the best I can, but I can only take so much of it. He needs to go to Kindergarten- August can't come soon enough! :)
That aside, I love staying home. I am not "just a stay at home mom"- I am raising the future. A women keeps her own identity, I think, simply by deciding to do so. Does that make sense? Maybe not. I know what I am thinking, but it is hard to say. A woman is defined by how she decides to be defined. Whether a woman chooses a career, or chooses to stay home, she can be lost or found. Hanging on to time for you will help. A hobby may help. I agree with your mom and Kelly- a time for everything. Someday, I will go back to school and/or work, but not now- I personally don't even desire it, but I can see for sure how some do. And, even though I loved what I do now, I still get frustrated, bored, angry, irritated, restless, etc. But, you know what, so do women who work.
Anyway, I didn't intend this comment to be this long, and I am not even sure it is what I wanted it to be- just hang in there. Maybe keep your struggles in your prayers and our Father in Heaven will guide you to feeling fulfilled, no matter where you are. Love you and miss you!!!

sharon kaye said...

In Oct 2007 conference Sister Beck gave a great talk ("Mothers Who Know"). She said, "Mothers who know are nurturers....To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers who know create a climate for spiritual and temportal growth in their homes." It sounds to me like you are a GREAT nurturer!

Suzanne said...

Hi Katie, I was checking out your blog and thought I would comment instead of being a blog stalker!

I had a great career and worked full time until baby #1 was 18 months. It was hard! I was constantly torn between family and work and I didn't feel like I was succeeding at either one. When I was pregnant with #2 I created a part time position in our company (lucky for me they approved it) which enabled me to work part time from home. Again, constantly torn between career and family! It was hard maintaining balance between my mommy hat and career hat. When I got pregnant with #3 I decided this was enough and I quit. I have never doubted that decision becuase now I am not torn between the two roles. With that said, I have moments when I wish I had more productive things to do. But, thanks to you leaving Ohio (not really) I have your calling as YW Pres. and that certainly consumes a lot of time.

It is true that women have more opportunities today in the work force but I also think that if a woman has the opporuntity to stay home and raise their kids it is truly a blessing for the family. Not many families choose to pull that off anymore and our society suffers because the family unit is fading away. Your time will come when you have the opportunity to work or serve in a capacity that will challenge you. This may sound cheesy but as we teach our Young Women the Lord knows our desires, limitations and needs. He will provide as long as we do His will.

Although we didn't have a lot of time to get to know eachother in Ohio I have enjoyed getting to know you through your blog. I will no longer be a stalker and add you to my friends list if you don't mind!!

As a side note, the Young Women here love you and miss you. They talk about you and the fun they had with you and your boys. Keep up the great work out there in Texas. I'm sure you are a blessing to those Primary kids and the parents are glad to have a teacher that cares!

p.s. Once preschool starts you may find your mundane routine changing a bit and you will get to meet moms and your kids will have more friends which = play dates etc. Hang in there:)

SHIRLEY'S said...

well, I really do think that part of ME is missing in taking care of a little one and making sure the house is clean and making sure there is dinner on the table, & making sure my husband is happy with the way things are going in our lives. But he is the one that is working so hard to make sure we have the necessities in life. And we have been told by the great prophets of the church that we are to be home with our children to truly teach them, and love them. Im not saying thats what you are necessarily talking about, but I feel so much more greatful that I (or your husband) is fulfiling a commandment given.

But Matt is also very supportive of the things that I enjoy doing. Not that I have done anything for myself other than scrapbooking. but thats not even what I feel like I should be doing with my precious time to myself.

However, I do get out and work 2 days a week, after Matt gets home. I go and work with a little autistic boy as a program therapist. It really helps me get out and use the skills that I know I have. I too really would like to go back to school and get a degree. All I have is an associates degree. I just need a little more!

XOXO

SHIRLEY'S said...

another thought I forgot to share.

Matt's mother is of the Spanish culture and Matt grew up with this mother taking care of everyone and EVERYTHING. This has really been a struggle for me to address. We lived with his family for the first 6-7 months of our marriage and I saw this happen first hand.
its been hard for me to do everything, especially coming from a family of 10, and EVERYONE pitched in to help clean, make dinners and take care of others. So I have also struggled with the thought that a woman is made to do those things around the house, and the men (since they work) get to sit back and relax...
Not happening in our home!!

Amanda B. said...

Just one other thought. First off, I agree with you that women are needed in the work place. I, as well, like female doctors and I would absolutely vote for a female president. My mom is one of the worlds best nurses and it would be a huge loss to the nursing community if she wasn't there. I also agree that it should be a womans choice to stay home or work- because, like you said, a miserable mom is good for nobody. I also don't have a problem with dad's staying home if they are up to the challenge. I just think sometimes women get a bit carried away with having to prove they can do anything a man can do. Of course we can- we have proved it time and time again. Women can do the same work as good if not better and are never any less than men. But, does that mean we are subservient or inferior if we forgo the career, or title to stay at home? Of course not. I think if a women works just to prove she is "as important" as a man, then she is missing out on the most important role she will ever have- that of a mother. They are young for so short a time. It will be no time at all before they are grown and gone. I guess this is how I base my decision. I am home right now and I love it. Wouldn't change a thing. If I had a career, my kids would be in day care and someone else would be raising them. I will have a career someday, but this is more important to me now and I am at peace with that. I am not inferior to my husband, just doing the job that needs done now and other pursuits can come later. I guess it goes back to a season for everything. This is my line of thinking, just another way to think about it- but may not work for someone else. I agree completely that what works to make a family happy, whatever that is, is what should be done! I got to thinking about this last night, so had to comment again. Thanks for getting the thoughts flowing! :)

Erin said...

First of all make those boys play some girl games. They can play tea party, school, mother, and dance. Austin even paints my nails with clear polish and brushes my hair. This teaches him to be nurturing and he plays really good with girls.

Second, I struggle with being at home and even more so when I have a hard day at home(sick kids, bad behavior, or freak outs on my part). But I get through it by remembering that everyone has a hard day. I remember those days at work when I really hated being there. I was missing my babies, and jealous of Paul who was watching them. I was sad when I quit, but I wanted to be home for them and also to allow Paul to have a total flexible schedual for his job in sales.

The thing that gets me through is my great husband. he is always telling me to get out on my own. If he can be home he is so I never miss out on the chance to have girl time. He gives me time alone at home to if that is what I need. Bath time, nap time, tv time. Occasionally I get frustrated and he does to but I always tell myself not all women have the luxury of a great husband like me.

I love Traci's ideas of local classes. Places like Michael's even do some. Or start a Joy School with local ladies with kids the same age and at least you can get the interaction you all need.

Your a force to be reckoned with! Your mom is right-This is a season that will pass at soon enough another will start. Be strong, chin up, and turn on some music and dance that sad mood away.

I am hugging you tightly right now and wish I could convey all my love and support!!

If you ever need to have someone to talk to in the hard moments I would be willing to listen!

lawteda@netzero.net

email me your number if you want. Sometimes a good ear helps me tremendously!!

Chrissie said...

Wow! Did I visit your blog at the right time or what?! I have been missing all of this with my move and vacation, but I am so glad I got to read your thoughts today. My perspective on this all is totally different because I do not have children and I am going back to get my masters this Fall, and I made Brady lunch this morning. I don't have any great words of advice or insight to keep the dialogue going. I do agree with your mom, there is a time and a season for everything and it is important to enjoy each season. When I lived in Boston, I was always saying I can't wait to move back to the West and looking forward to the days when I would be back. But now that I am back, I feel so sheepish and disapointed that I wasted so much time wishing and not enjoying Boston for what it was. Live in the present, enjoy the season you are in. Make the most of every season. And as my Dad loves to say "Stop complaining." Katie, if it is any consolation, I really look up to you and Jeanine, Jessica and Traci. I love reading your blogs because you are doing great things as mothers. I take notes and I am so glad I have great examples like you to look up to, and have had my whole life. I am really excited to be a mother some day and hope I can be just as cool as you!

Crystal said...

Well Katie, I know exactly how you feel. I went through that after I had Hunter. It was extremely hard for me. And it didn't help that I was really sick on top of that. It was a very hard point for me in my life. Ever since I was a child I always had things going on. I had gymnastics, school, seminary, then it was off to college where my classes, studying and work took up my time. Having my days booked in the mission field was easy for me because that is how I need to be. Then I came home, returned to school and a 40 hr/week internship. I was busy, busy, busy!! I then got married, got pregnant right away and all the sudden had nothing going on in my life. I know I had a lot to accomplish as a mother and as a housewife, but it was very hard for me. I never felt that I was accomplishing something. I felt that my talents were just wilting away. Who was I? I was not the talented Crystal that I used to be. Instead I was some mother who didn't even know how to raise a child, who got very impatient all the time, and who never got sleep. It took a lot of blessings from Zac and really striving to read my scriptures very diligently to realize that that crisis would pass. Satan's favorite thing to do is to make us forget who we are. To make us feel that we are lost and that we aren't fulfilling our full capacity. As I realized that and as I received the blessings from Zac who helped me remember how much Heavenly Father loved me even with my grumpiness and impatience, I was able to move pass it and realize that my time to shine would come. I dream about going back to school all the time. I can't wait for that day. I want to get my teaching degree and I want to teach high school. I won't to work full time. I do feel that is something that I am supposed to do, but now just isn't that time. I'm always praying to see if it's the right time, but it never is. I'm finally okay with that. I don't feel I'm a good mother in any means. I lack many good qualities mothers need. But that is why I am supposed to fulfill this role as a mother right now. I need to learn those qualities.

Sorry, I know you know all that. I hope it didn't come across as preaching. I was just sharing with you my experience with those feelings.

A talent that I am trying to develp now that I feel I can accomplish with children is becoming more knowledgable in the scriptures. I know that doesn't sound like much of a talent, but I think it is and I love it. I don't just read my scriptures anymore, I study with a manual and always try to write in my scripture journal. Lot's of people have that talent already, but for me I don't. So it is one I can accomplish now and feel good about myself as my testimony grows and strengthens.

Another thing I have found to help me feel that I am doing something with my life is making Hunter exercise with me. He'll do all my exercise tapes with me or he'll take his turn on the treadmill or we go for bike rides. The I don't feel like I'm neglecting him, but I'm doing something important for me.

I have also really starting getting more into cooking. I'm trying to recipes all the time. I'm trying to add my own little kick to recipes. It's fun and I'm learning to use new spices and new foods.

I know these don't sound like anything big, but for me they have made a huge change in my life. I am happier. I feel like I am still developing talents and I feel that I am not in Zac's shadow. These are things that I am good at that he doesn't have time for in his life right now. I don't know if these suggestions help, but I hope they do. I love you!! Hang in there!

jeanine said...

Wow... I can't add much more to what's been said already. I LOVE everything that Crystal said about developing new talents. Such a good idea! And Katie, you have always been a busy person. Maybe you just need something to keep you busy... besides your boys! I like what Traci said about taking classes. I know you're all anti-BYU and stuff but I know that they offer free independent "enrichment" courses. Just an idea.
And I loved what Chrissie said about living in the moment. I was just reading something about that... I think it was by Elder Bateman. Anyway, sometimes we all get caught up in these pitty parties and forget to live in the moment. I was just watching Scrubs and the janitor was telling Eliot "Wishing is a waste of time" or something like that. We have to enjoy the moment or we're just wasting it away wishing we were doing something else.
Oh and I loved what Erin said too!
So it's late and this comment is getting really random. So I"ll just leave it at that.

jeanine said...

ps Mom... I loved that quote. I'm going to have to go back and read that talk.

sharon kaye said...

I love what everyone has written. You are all so wise! Just one more thought--something I learned many years ago. When we lived in Florida, I really did not like it. I did not like the people, the weather, the culture, etc. One day I thought to myself, "Someday I am going to look back on this experience and miss it, so I better start enjoying it now so I can have happy memories." I tried to look for joy in very little everyday things. It actually made my experience there much happier. I'm glad I finally learned to "live in the moment and enjoy it becasue 'this to shall pass.'" I think that is something that most of us struggle with doing. As a young mother, I remember feeling a lot of the things you are feeling. I read an article once that said that the most stressful time in a woman's life is when she has pre-schoolers. Just think, if you can handle this, you've got it made!!!

Cynthia said...

oh my goodness. . . not only a lot of comments, but LONG ones too. When my life settles down a bit and I have some time, I'll have to come back to this week's posts and read and read and read.
You could form/find/create your complete identity and 3 years from now you'd have to do it again. Life changes so much from year to year.
I still don't like the fact that I've lost the connection with my maiden name. Grandma Stowell even used to get cranky that all our family history stories we shared were often just the Stowells. "There is some Nelson blood running through all of us, too!"
On education - I love the fact that education doesn't just prepare us for a "job". It teaches us how to think, create and expand our minds. Dave's dad is often amazed that his sons can do and build and create so many things that he, himself, claims he never knew. They answered him one time - "Dad, you taught us how to figure out problems and not to give up until we get it done." I think that sums up a good education. When you know how to think, and research, and problem-solve, and ponder, and read, etc, etc, whether or not you ever 'work' in your chosen field, you are just a better person over-all with skills that benefit every area of your life.