Life in “Elmo’s World!”

“La la la la, la la la la, Elmo’s world!  Doo do do, la la la la la la la la Elmo’s world!  Elmo loves his Goldfish, his crayons too! That’s Elmo’s world!”

Life in Elmo’s world.  It’s interesting isn’t it?  Maybe for some of you it’s “Dora world” or “Sponge-Bob world” or “Thomas the train world”, the list goes on and on…

I’ve been thinking a lot which is usually when I pull out this dusty old blog and decide to write!  How do I know I’m doing a good job as a Mom? How do I know I’m teaching my son all the things he needs to know? Should I be doing something else along with being a Mom? Maybe a part-time job? Would I feel better about myself then? How do I accomplish my personal goals for 2012?  For example, getting up early to exercise and get ready for the day before my son does when I’ve been up a couple times during the night with my son so instead I can barely get up when he does at 9am? How do I remember to just be grateful that I was able to bear a child of my own while juggling emotions of disappointment that I’m not accomplishing much these days but keeping my house and a little bottom clean?

I’ve searched through talks and forums and talked with a few close friends, including my own Mom about some of my insecurities, worries and wanting to find more happiness and contentment in just being a Mom. A couple of things stuck with me: have faith that I’m making a difference. That I chose this and that I should love my choice. Nobody forced me into this.  That’s true.  And really?  I want to LOVE it!  I really do!  I’ve always wanted to stay at home and be the one to raise my own children.  I didn’t feel in any way forced into this.

I remember one Mother’s day as a youngster sitting in church next to my Mom and of course she was crying, it was Mother’s Day! I assumed that it was because she was touched by all the wonderful things people were saying about their own mothers. That she was feeling appreciated and loved and enjoying “her” day in the limelight. Afterwards as we were driving home I asked her if those talks made her feel appreciated. “No, I actually really dislike Mother’s day, it always reminds me of all the things I didn’t do or still don’t do well as a Mother.” WHAT! That thought had never even crossed my mind before, it actually pretty much made my mind explode with sadness! “Mom, that’s terrible! You’re a great Mom!” And indeed she was and still is! I loved her and I loved the way she did things. Kids just don’t think things like, “Man, I wish my mom had done elaborate home-made stockings and gingerbread houses every Christmas! Or I wish that she had worked harder at teaching me a foreign language”. No way! So why is it that I put those strange expectations on myself! Why? I don’t really know. I’ve thought it over and over and just can’t come to a conclusion.

Tonight while I was talking with my Mom I asked her again, why can’t I just feel content with what I’m doing? With what I’m trying to do well? I feel like I’m being completely honest with myself in trying to new goals so I don’t just get stuck in the routine. I try to squeeze in time to read a bit of a book here and there (audio-books rock! I totally recommend them!) to keep my mind active and semi-educated. Otherwise, I would be stuck singing “Elmo’s World” all day in my head! For those of you that watch Elmo’s World, don’t you think it’s pretty funny when he plays the tune jingle bells on the piano and repeats the lesson of the day over and over again? “Birthday’s birthday’s birthday’s birthday’s bir-ir-irth-days!” Somehow it makes Logan smarter, but me so much dumber. I feel like kind of an idiot when Ryan comes home and starts talking about real world issues and I’m like drrrr….

I would love some advice on how YOU embrace your role as a Mom. What you enjoy about it and what you still haven’t figured out. How do you manage your time? What’s your day to day schedule like?  How do you break your day up?  Any quotes that motivate you?  How have you developed your confidence as a stay at home Mom?  I want to be more confident about my choice and love it, I would appreciate any love and advice you can give me!

Sar

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3 thoughts on “Life in “Elmo’s World!”

  1. I love this post! You are such a fabulous writer and fabulous woman in general. I can relate to you and I’m not even a mom! The blogging world is so fun, but it just ups the ante of expectations we have for ourselves as we compare ourselves with other women and all their craftiness, decorating, cooking, and zest for life. Remember how our parents just let us watch TV all the time, eat crappy food, and entertain ourselves? Well, I think we turned out ok.
    I laughed so hard about the fact that the Elmo songs make him smarter and you a little dumber. Sar- you are such a fun chick to read about to and talk to. I’m so glad we FINALLY get to see each other again this weekend.
    I have had an emotional last few days. I’ll tell you why later (work-related) but I just need to be around REAL people like you. I even teared up a bit reading your post (and like 6 other things I read today on FB).
    I like the idea of thinking of more things that are fun and joyful about being a mom, but I don’t want it to be one more high expectation- you know? Like now I feel guilty cuz I need to be more joyful. Ha ha ha.
    Well, I don’t have a lot of answers to the questions at the bottom of your post, obviously, since I have no kids yet, but I do think about and plan for motherhood a lot (mentally). I think the joy comes naturally for some women and others have to work for it much harder and feel days as sheer drudgery at times. I think avoiding comparisons as much as possible helps. I’ll just do what I can and forget the rest and my kids will turn out fine, I’m sure. So true what you said about not wishing your mom had done fancy DIY projects with you all growing up. It’s too much!
    Anyway, I am totally rambling, but I love you lots and I think you are a FABULOUS mother!! I really do. You help other moms too by your attitude of non-judgmental mothering. I love it. And I think maybe it will help it be more joyful if you get more breaks- like playdate sharing or the gym daycare or something. And if you blog more posts for me to read. 🙂

  2. Pingback: A good kick in the pants and a new perspective | I can relate

  3. I loved this post Sarah. I think as women we are way too hard on ourselves. We compare our whole selves to the “perfect” outer selves that others show us. In fact, a couple months ago one of my best friends (who lives far, far away) wrote on her blog her weekly schedule with her little girl that is just a few months older than my little guy. It included things like story time at the library, gymnastics, playgroup, and visiting the children’s museum… on a weekly basis! I do not do a single one of these with my son. I kind of felt like a loser. The logical side of my brain told me that as perfect as a mom as she may seem to me, she must have some flaw… right? But that nagging side of my brain kept echoing “loser, loser”. It took me a while to get it all sorted out in my brain, but I came to the conclusion that what works for her doesn’t necessarily work for me or my son. I wouldn’t be able to keep up with that kind of pace and my mellow little kid couldn’t either. I’m also in a precarious financial situation so I can’t afford to do things like gymnastic class, children’s museum, and farm trips. I’m also not as outgoing and have moved a few times since my kiddo was born, so I actually haven’t met anyone to do playgroups with. For me, less is more. If we want to get out of the house, instead of going to the zoo we go to Cabelas (to which I lovingly refer to as the dead zoo). Instead of going to the farm, we go to Petsmart or find some horses in a field to watch. During the Summer I collect our bread ends and we head to the park to feed the ducks. We really don’t have much of a weekly schedule, we just fly by the seat of our pants. Some days we read for hours. Other days I draw pictures on a big roll of newspaper print and he colors them. Motherhood is more enjoyable for me when I take the time to do things with him. I try to not have my expectations too high of what I want to get accomplished by the end of the day or week. I also think Elmo is decreasing my brain activity, haha. I made a new goal this year to read one book a month. I love to read, but somehow it just never happens. Maybe this way I’ll have something intellectual to say if I ever find myself with other adults 🙂 I think confidence in motherhood just comes with time and finding what works for you and not comparing that to what works for everyone else.

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