Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why I Still Feel Like I'm Faking It

It all came out in a torrent of words, tears and emotions. It had been a tough couple of weeks with the kids and trying to keep up with everything. When my husband made a comment about doing the dishes so they don't sit overnight, I lost it. He wasn't suggesting that I do the dishes; he was offering to do them. But, to me it sounded like a very loud, "Can't you even keep up with the dishes?"

In the outburst that followed, I said something that keeps coming back to me. I was going on and on about the hard week I was having and how I spend most of my time and energy just keeping our four young children fed and alive. And then I blurted out, "I don't know what I'm doing! I don't know how to do this right.". After four babies in five years, I don't know what I'm doing? I don't know how to do this mothering thing? Really? What did I mean by saying that? I realized that somewhere inside of me I still feel like the new mom with a two-day-old baby who looks down on her child and thinks, "Is this for real? Am I supposed to know what to do with this child?". I still feel like an imposter. Like one day someone's going to see me for the fraud that I am and call me out, "Hey, you! What do you think you're doing pretending to be a mom?"

The irony of it is that amidst my daily mistakes and piles of things undone, my children actually think I know everything. My oldest, Maija, even asked me recently, "Mommy, do you know everything?". Wow, I'm pretty good at this faking it thing, at least in the eyes of my six-year-old. Unfortunately, I don't know everything nor can I do everything. I'm just hoping that when all is said and done, my children will look back and remember a happy childhood and will be blissfully unaware that I had no idea what I was doing.


Parker Family said...

I think that is how most moms feel, often. Thanks for sharing so I know I am not alone.

Maijasmummi said...

Kim, you should not feel that way. You now it. I think there are too many pressures on young mothers, some self-imposed, some imposed by our environment, all superficial in the grand scheme of life. I know your children call you "blessed." They love you and would not survive without your vigilance.

The White House!! said...

Oh Kim I miss you so much... I have a well he will be 17 the end of the month my very first one and I still wonder what I am doing and if I have ever done it right.. Its that sweet prayer or the million kisses and I love you at night. It the have a great day mom when the go to school... Its when you see a story my youngest son wrote about his summer and having to do chores but he knew he needed to learn discipline too... (Half the chores he did cuz he was in trouble) Its the kid that offers to drive you to the hospital when your bent over in pain. It the everythings tied up in one big huge thing like the dishes and the little tiny moments of you knowing everything.... I think your amazing truly amazing...

Pueblo PTO said...

Kimmy! I'll admit it. None of us know what we're doing because every single day brings something new.

Sure, I've raised a 13 year old before - but this kid is completely different than the last one. NOTHING is ever the same. The only constant is the ability to pray constantly for guidance, for patience, for sanity.

I remember the days when my poor hubby didn't know which way was up. I was overwhelmed, so he offered to help - then I was irritated because accepting help (and him seeing the need) meant I wasn't doing things good enough.
Learn to let that go - embrace the fact that the Lord sends help in the form of people (even husbands) and we need to be willing to accept that help.

Our #1 job is to love those kids and the dishes can wait for hubby to get home from work. Let's face it - some days, his job IS better/easier than ours. 'Tis life.

Love you girl! Keep hangin' in there!

Tammy said...

PuebloPTO is me. I forgot to sign out of school stuff before switching gears.

L. said...

Dishes and Daddies! My parents had 10 children, despite trying pretty hard not too (in the days before birth control). But my dad was more than fair. As a professor he had class-free hours, during which he came home and did piles of dishes. When he arrived home at night, AND after supper, he did dishes again. My memories of my dad are very much conversations around the dish sink (no dishwasher either!) While my memories of my Mom are almost always conversations around the laundry (sorting clothes, washing, hanging out a billion diapers, ironing).

OH! You're wondering what we children did to help out? Mopping, cooking, baking, mowing, raking, weeding, sweeping, setting, clearing, sewing, tending, vacuuming, hanging laundry, changing diapers, cleaning bathrooms, and earning our own spending money.

L. said...

That was a great post, Kim. You are always so thoughtful and thought-provoking! I remember those feelings as well. I can't imagine a better mother than you, though, knowing your personality.

A whole new guilt trip develops after they are raised and gone, and you have finally learned HOW to be a good mom. Only NOW you are realizing all the things you could have done better if only you had KNOWN! But you DIDN'T know! You COULDN'T know until you had gone through it all. In eternity you will be perfect.