Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Math and Motherhood

Jordan took a beautiful photo of me and Reuben when he was three months old. She entered it in an art show about women, this show required a story about the entry. Jordee told me it was that when you become a mother you loose yourself. The photo she took was of Reuben with my chin and lips in the upper corner. When Reuben was an infant mothering consisted of nursing him, changing his diaper, trying to get him to fall asleep, looking at him every few minutes to make sure he was still in the same spot, or bouncing him in the bouncer. When people talked to me they asked about Reuben, not me. It was not so much that I mostly disappeared, but the focus was not on me anymore. My life was about being a mother, not about being Brecken.

The photo above shows what being a mother of toddler is like. I am finding that in this stage you do have to loose yourself, at least most of yourself. Its not that the focus has shifted to the child, its that the little person has made most of you disappear. He's hungry so he runs to the fridge to touch the door and cry until you come to feed him. He's poopy so he lies down and lifts up his legs until you come to change him. He's lonely so he turns off your computer so you will cuddle him until it turns back on. He's bored so he starts throwing things so you will play with him so he doesn't break anything. He's tiered so he screams until you hug him long enough for him to fall asleep. I spend my day trying to do the things I need to do, but end up doing the things Reuben needs me to do. Then when I get someone else to do the Reuben things I have some time for the things I need to do.

This would be fine if things I needed to divide myself up for Reuben, Our home, Justin, and Me. This is my theory... the working mothers who like to work, do it for the fraction of themselves that they have left. It gives them a way to ensure that that fraction has its needs met, because the need is to work. I work for different reasons, mostly pride and fear. I work so we don't have to ask for more help than we already ask for. I work so that we have insurance so that we can get sick and its not the end of the world and we don't have to ask for more help than we already ask for. I work so we can have those things that make us feel like real people, like icecream and movie rentals and disposable diapers. I work because those three months where I didn't work we were really poor and had to rely on tithing blessings to eat something other than rice.

So, I either need to make it so the fraction of myself that is left for me is fulfilled by working, or Justin needs to hurry up and graduate so I can have that fraction of myself back.


The Jones :) said...

You're too funny!! I admire you for working too...and supporting Justin through his school!! I don't know how you do it...Klous is only gonna get bigger and more active, and I couldn't imagine trying to work too. It's hard enough for me to get showered and keep the house clean...but trying to work too...WOW...good for you Brecken!! Good for you!!
-Becki :)

Anonymous said...

You are doing a fine job being full time employee and stay at home mother at the same time. What I did for myself when my children where at home was “be a mother.” Live by and expect scriptural blessings. Pay attention to yourself in small and simple ways. And great things will happen. Remember there is a time and a season for everything. One day you will have wonderful productive children Like I have. You will have even more time to give to your callings. Your family will have different needs for you to look after. You will have more time for you husband and interests. And you will be blessed by you wonderful family. Because you serve you family you love them and they love you. Service is the key to love and love is what you need. Require you children to be responsible and be of service to the family so they can have and develop all the love they need too.

In the World view women think they need to do for them selves. They imagine their needs are more important then their infant helpless child. Not a productive program… In the long run they end up never ever having time for them selves because their children never grow up and they have to raise more children. Their children have children as children and the mother is then mother to teen mother and grandchild.

Keep up the good work. Like dad always says “nothings ever easy.” I helps when the daddy gives as much as the mommy does.