Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vanilla Mommy

My latest tweet on Twitter went like this:

I'm so tired of feeling like I suck at everything. Redid the grout in my shower today.
Looks like my 6-year-old did it.

I have kinda been caught in this merry-go-round lately of trying to figure out if there's anything I'm good at. Anything at all. And I keep coming up empty. I read so many friends' blogs and I am truly envious of their talents. This one is a great writer. This one is a gourmet cook. This one is funny and witty. This one can sing. This one runs marathons. This one is spunk personified. This one can quilt and crochet (or is it knit?). And this one can take a piece of furniture from a junk pile and turn it into shabby chic.

Me? I can blog. And, considering the millions of people who host a blog, I don't really consider this a talent. It's certainly not that I'm fishing for a compliment. More honestly, I just am having a really hard time finding any talents that are uniquely my own. I feel like every day that I continue to play house with my husband and 4 (almost 5) kids, I become less and less unique. My cooking skills suck. I can sew, but I never do because I never have any time. My writing skills are adequate but nothing special. Even my cleaning skills are awful. I swear, the one job I actually am responsible for in this house and I can't do it to a satisfactory level.

I want to be special at something. Not because I have to have people say "Oh, you're so good at..." whatever. But rather, I guess I kinda feel like without anything special about myself, I am so vanilla. So boring. So just-another-unremarkable-SAHM.

Yes, I know my job is important to my family. Yes, I know no one could do my job like me. I am remarkable to them. I am special to them. But really, all mothers are special to their own family. And, like that line goes in The Incredibles, "When everyone's special, then no one is."

So I guess my choices are these: 1) Get comfortable with being vanilla, or 2) Become remarkable at something. #2 seems like a daunting task, considering I can't even think of anything I would have time enough for to become good at, so.... looks like I'm vanilla.

And, I would love to develop my talents and myself a little bit more, but where am I supposed to find the time? I know, you MAKE the time. You PRIORITIZE. But really, right now my own priorities are kinda on the back burner. I have substituted my own priorities with Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Church Groups, and PTL. I dream of taking a class to learn how to cook or practicing my photography skills or even just working on a scrapbook. But really? With a husband who works every weekend? And with a toddler and almost a newborn and 3 older kids?

I guess I'm on this teeter-totter between wanting to be an exciting me, and accepting that the exciting me will have to wait until later.


Aleta said...

With all that you do, do you think that maybe your skill that you excel at is time management? And by the way, I think you are an excellent blogger!!

Angel said...

I had to come out of lurkdom because you are an excellent blogger. I only wish I had some of you stories and I think you are super far from vanilla. Heck you grouted your bathroom! I couldn't do that even if i tried!

Jen said...

Your time will come, I think. At least that is what I am hoping. Besides, blogging I don't get to do any of the other things I like or am sorta good at. I am hoping in a few years.

jori-o said...

Um, were we separated at birth? When you find the magic spell to make a vanilla mommy something else....DO pass it on! =)

Anna See said...

You KNOW I love your blog! And the last time I looked, there were 99 other subscribers down there who wait with eager expectation to see what you'll write next, and that doesn't even included all of your other readers each day.

I know what you mean about being plain vanilla, though. I put the me in mediocre.

I was talking to my son at bedtime tonight. He doesn't like being: slow, short, skinny, unable to swim well, someone who cries a lot... and the list goes on and on. I told him I have spent a lot of time feeling different and inadequate, too.

I think there are a lot of us out here who don't have one huge talent, and that doesn't feel great. You don't have the time. I have the time, but I don't have the drive or the confidence. So I sit.

Bridgett said...

I think you're hilarious. Your comparison of children to white carpeting? Come on. Priceless.

That said, I know how you feel. I'm kind of stuck in a similar place, knitting and quilting aside. "What am I going to be when I grow up" has turned into "what the heck am I going to do once the youngest kid is in kindergarten???"

It's hard to wait; it's good to plan...I guess!

Wendy said...

You're totally right. You suck big time. Why do I keep coming back here, happy every time I see a new post is up? Why?? I can't figure it out.

No, seriously. You have ten times as many subscribers as me, so be careful what you say! LOLOL

I'm finally getting a little past the point where you are. I'm seeing how I finally have some time to do a few things of my own. For eight years I've just been Mommy. It's a hard, long haul. Yours is harder & longer than mine because of the number of kiddos you've got. Someday you'll have 2.5 times the blessings, too!

You can't get these years back. For now, you are just Mommy. And that is OKAY. Because the better job you do now, the more free time you'll have later.

Nothing is a bigger time-suck than a junior high kid who keeps getting expelled. Or a pregnant teen. Or having to raise your grandkids.

It's OKAY. What you're feeling is totally normal. You're just Mommy right now. Rock at it, and you'll have lots of free time in a few short years to be good at anything you want.


PS - I can't grout either and the laundry always looks like it's trying to compete with Mt. Everest. For some reason people still like me. I don't get it.

Jennifer said...

Vanilla is my favorite flavor. Seriously. Don't knock it... or yourself.

And at least you replaced the grout. We have this funky water that leaves a black residue on everything, not mildew because bleach would kill that, this is something else, like deposits from our water, and it is all in my bathroom grout. I need to replace it so bad, but I'm just so freakin' lazy. So at least you have that going for you... that you actually do what needs to be done.

nicole said...

I have felt this way so many times! I still feel this way some of the time.

Michelle said...

I'm with you sister. I want to have talents...and I'm OKAY with some skills...but wouldnt it be nice to have time to get better?

I know what you mean exactly.