monotony and dreams

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sometimes life just isn't that grandious. Nothing bad, but nothing exceptionally good either. I've felt lately like I am in a rut, stuck doing the same things day in and day out. I've felt a bit of resentment that I've given up some of my freedom, if you will. That sounds so horrible, I know, because I am truly happy, but I feel limited in many ways of what I can do and who I can become. But I also feel all the contrary that I am now in a position to do things and become someone that I otherwise wouldn't be. Isn't that the oddest thing? I miss the freedom I once had before having a child. I miss my relationship with Jared, just us two. Yet without Evelyn, I wouldn't have become the woman I am today. I wouldn't be able to love as deep, appreciate this world with brand new eyes, test my physical limits, start raising my own progeny. I wouldn't be as joyful today without her, that is certain. There's no mistaking it. I'm just trying to find balance and contentment between giving my all to motherhood and still nourishing me and my marriage.

Sometimes women get a bad rap for being hysterical, dramatic, high-maintenance, overly sentimental, emotionally unstable, and all other kinds of things that make our sex sound weak and petty. Although I'm sure I've earned that title on occassion, I don't think I am THAT woman. I think I am pretty strong. But every now and then my jar of sanity and patience reaches the brim and yes, my emotions are in full force as husband was able to witness this past Saturday. However, I felt so deserving of all those emotions, like I had earned them and it was my right to release them. I had valid reasons for my passionate "unraveling."  I think it's because I care so deeply about life, choices, circumstances, and people, that I have such strong reactions. And I'm ok with being passionate. What I'm not ok with is feeling incapable.

In being honest with myself, I think a lot of my frustration at the moment has to do with this blogging world. Uh, and I hate that! I have a real life that goes on outside this computer screen and getting caught up in the cyber world is so unhealthy. But seeing women taking trips here and there, able to leave their kids behind leaves me thinking "Uh, I must be such a weak mom because I am not emotionally ready for that nor would Evelyn be such a charming kid to let me do that." We have a hard time sitting in our carseat for errands, let alone trips across the country. Then seeing so many that have their lives put together, or able to afford this and that, conjures up emotions of jealousy, which is deadly poison. It can crowd out hope and happiness in the blink of an eye. And for all I know, all these lives I read about are a facade, or at least not the whole truth. I have to be truthful. My life is awesome! Everything I post on this blog is authentically me. I try not to sugar coat things and I try my best to be a) joyful and b) honest.  And this is me being honest. I do realize that there needs to still be a sense of privacy, and maybe what I'm sharing should be written in my journal and not here {you don't want to see my journal. My thoughts on this are way more exponential there :) } but I also don't want to be misleading about my life either. So here is vulnerable me.

I sincerely am content with my life. Yes, it is rather monotonous right now and I may have lost a bit of my independence, but I've gained the dependency of a loving husband, an ever-affectionate daughter, and tummy kicks of a baby boy.

The other night I was talking with my best friend {I love that I have one of those}, and she said her plans for the evening involved watching The Help. She said something rather curious that stuck with me. She said she liked that movie because it's about dreams and asked me if we adults have dreams. I asked "Like nighttime dreams or aspirations?"   "No, aspirations. When we're kids we dream about being an astronaut or ballerina. When we're adults, what do we dream for?

I've dreamed my whole life about the time that I have right now to be a wife and a mom. I can't let anything entice me or distract me from the wonderful reality that is mine. 

"You are the trip I did not take,
You are the pearls I can not buy;
You are my blue Italian lake,
You are my piece of foreign sky."
-Anne Campbell

Those words done pierce my soul. Travels can wait, time alone with the husband may be few and far between, but what I have right now - the prized attention of an 18 month old, the opportunity to raise the next generation and shape someone's whole life and a loving man who is willing to do it beside me? Definitely better than pearls and foreign sky. My dream is unfolding before my eyes. It's quite miraculous, really. 


  1. Kendra, this post is beautiful. I always admired your wisdom and authenticity. I am not yet a mom, but I hope that when I am to have the courage and conviction to raise my children so selflessly.
    Noël (from your 'courtesy clerk' days, oh yes.)

  2. I can really identify with a lot of the feelings you discuss in this post and I deeply admire your honesty. I know those other blogs you talk about and I like yours better, because of your honesty!

  3. Oh Kendra!!! This post speaks to my heart!! My friend and I have actually had this same conversation several times over the past few months. You may not want to hear my two sense but maybe for my sanity I will share them so I feel better as my thoughts lift off my chest. Choosing to be a stay at home mom and focus so much attention on something that gives little "worldly satisfaction" in return is no joke!!! It would be easy to go back to work - an 8 to 5 job- and feel successful (promotions, financial improvements, praise of co-workers) but it is not as easy to feel as "successful" as a mom. It takes a strong woman to be able to choose to stay home and give up all of those other things to be able to truly raise her children. I feel sorry for the women who so desperately want to be stay-at-home moms but cannot due to outside reasons that they can't control. We are so blessed to have husbands who want a mother for their children instead of a travel companion for their adventures.

    Anyway, I will get off my soap box but I feel and have felt several times before as you do. The trips would be so fun, the extra money would be nice, the awards and promotions would be uplifting, but in the end, it is the hugs and kisses from loving children and adoring spouses that make it all worth it in the end!!

  4. Absolutely inspiring! Thank you! It's refreshing to hear that we all experience feelings of monotony once in awhile.

  5. Sending you love, for the ups and the downs.

  6. Wonderful post! Seriously, it can be frustrating to read about everyone else's grand adventures and the lifestyle that they can afford. I often feel like my life is so boring too and being a stay at home mom exacerbates that feeling. But hang tight lady! You are doing a great job and someday you will get to do all the other things you want to do too!

  7. Thank you for a wonderful post! You are so insightful and such a great mother. I especially love the poem at the end. It's something that I need to frame and look at every day, since I often get caught up in the same feelings of jealousy, monotony, and loneliness. I have often had many of the same thoughts as you about this whole blogging business. For every uplifting post or creative idea, there are a hundred posts of photos I could never take, clothes I don't have, beauty I don't posses, trips I can't take, things I can't see... and it's often depressing. I find myself living life, trying to have or be what these superstar bloggers are. And honestly, it's kind of sad, when what I have all to ,yield is just as food, I'd not better! It's just different.

    1. (Sorry, sometimes the comment form doesn't agree with me...)

    2. *when what I have all to myself is just as good*

      Sorry, I am really struggling with this! Ha! Anyway. Thanks for this post and for brining me back to earth. Being a mother to my little girl is the best thing and the most fulfilling thing that I could ever do at this period of my life. :)

  8. love this.
    it is so easy, to get caught up in the lives that others portray online, and wonder why ours don't look as beautiful as theirs, or this, or that. comparison is a good thing, when it helps us improve ourselves, not when it has us feeling like we don't measure up.
    it's in those moments when i have to step back a little, and see that my life is good just the way it is. that my life is beautiful in it's own way.
    beautiful post. :)

  9. I loved this post because it's so honest and real. It is SO easy for me to get jealous of other bloggers who have enough money for real houses and cute decorations and children that they dress up. It's always good for me to talk to someone like you did, and remember that I'm so happy with who I am, and with what I'm doing.

  10. I have all of these ups and downs too, and I think it's totally normal. My whole life I've wanted to be a wife and mother, and now that I've achieved that I find myself pushing for baby #2. My husband tries to remind me to appreciate what I have - rather than focusing on what I don't. It's tough advise to take sometimes, when you see others doing things you wish you could/should/would. Wonderful post:)

  11. You hit the nail on the head. I could say ditto to all of it!

  12. I've had these same feelings. And I often feel guilty about them - I've always wanted to be a wife and mama, and now that I am, it's not what I imagined. And I feel guilty that I have negative thoughts sometimes because I know there are many MANY women and families out there that would give anything to be in my place. But, that doesn't mean that I'm not allowed to FEEL. I've come to the conclusion that my life is perfect (or I'm slowly trying to come to a sense of perfection) for ME. Our situation makes it difficult to go out at night, go to play groups, go on vacations, etc. but that just means that I get to perfect my profession as a mom and homemaker. And I'm grateful for that.

  13. Part of being a mom is the 'rut' feeling - we tend to do the same thing every day. I've learned if I start feeling that way, I immediately count the blessings I have. Works every time.
    Just remember, there is always someone out there more than happy to trade places with you. I'd love to be pregnant with my #2 but I have to find joy in the little dude I do have.

  14. sweet friend this is such a beautiful post. believe me I sometimes miss the times of "before I had Judah" and sometimes when I drive down 123 in Vienna I think of how i could just pop into Starbucks or randomly take a trip to see my family in connecticut or have the freedom to see my dr whenever I please with out having to figure out a childcare schedule. But then I realize. I am living what I thought I never could, being a stay at home mama to my sweet boy. For now our adventures don't have to be grand, but our adventures are raising our children and hey we live in an amazing area to take our kiddos out and explore. You've been able to take Evelyn to DC! Thats amazing to me and every day your taking her somewhere new :-)
    hugs sweet friend
    and believe me its such a joy to have you in my life

  15. This a beautiful post, thank you for your honesty. When life begins to feel monotonous, I like to remind myself yes I don't have all the fancy clothes or holidays, but I am so lucky that my child will never have to experience starvation or fear of violence and disease. He will grow to be literate and educated, and be able to follow his dreams, not like so many millions of children who are born into poverty around the world. I am so grateful for that

  16. You know what I absolutely love about posts like this, the truth and raw feeling behind it. We all have these thoughts. Im newer to the blogging world but Ive been reading blogs for a long time, and what I can say is, when I first started reading I thought the same thing. "How is it possible they have the perfect marriage?" "How is their baby an angel and mine sleeps very little?" "How can they afford everything and I work fulltime and cant?" But then I thought what ever happened to just being happy for everyone. Or taking what I read for what it is. I think we can all feel rutted from time to time but at the end of the day Im a mama a fiancee and furbaby-mama and I love every ounce. Thank you for this post. Its inspired me to get a little deeper on my blog. Something I wasnt sure I wanted to do, til now.

  17. You just echoed EXACTLY how I feel from time to time. I'm prego too, and let me just say that I think pregnancy itself puts a little stress on a marriage. I'm not my spontaneous adventurous self this summer because I literally cannot hike for miles or ride a bike. It stinks! But the good news is that pregnancy doesn't last forever. Our husbands are good men and we will survive this lull. I have to remember that there is a time and a place for everything, including some of those aspirations or dreams like traveling. Your time, OUR TIME, will come for such things. I've also noticed that when I open up and ask other close friends/family about how they handle, let's say their budget, I am surprised to get answers that sound very similar to my own! I suppose we all put on a good face in blog land most of the time. :) But you are very very right on about focusing on all those good things.

    One of my favorite quotes in the world:
    "As a physician, who has been deeply privileged to share the most profound moments of people's lives including their final moments, let me tell you a secret. People facing death don't think about what degrees they have earned, what positions they have held, or how much wealth they have accumulated. At the end, what really matters is who you loved and who loved you. That circle of love is everything, and is a great measure of a past life. It is the gift of greatest worth." Bernadine Healy

  18. Girrrrl!! You are so spot-on! I have to check myself all the time about those exact points. I read a handful of mom blogs and so many of them see more put together than me. They are always looking stylist, have new clothes, have their hair dyed and styled, they cook, bake, clean and invent new games and crafts for their kids hourly. I always feel inadequate in comparison. I push myself really hard to be fun, and lively for my daughter and cook and clean and be interesting/ interested for my husband.

    At the end of the day you gotta just unplug and realize that A) all those people/ bloggers only show the best sides of life and themselves B)You are enough and can do the smallest things to add some spice to your routine. Even if it's just eating lunch on a blanket in your front yard, there are tiny ways of feeling like you're doing something new in your day.

    Hang in there. It's hard with these little ones, but it'll get easier as nap times and temper tantrums fade in time... right?!

  19. LOVE this post-- love how candid and honest you are-- love the poem-- love you.

  20. I adore your blog and am frankly truly impressed by any woman who is strong enough to be a stay-at home mom. It is the lowest paid hardest 24/7 job out there. Often times when we achieve our dreams, whatever that dream may be, we find that we are not as satisfied with the end result as we thought we would be. The feeling of monotony is normal whether you find yourself living a grandiose lifestyle of travelling the world or a more simple lifestyle of having a family. We go through the same feelings of boredom, jealousy, frustration, happiness, etc. Often times, making a small change to your routine has very positive results on your well-being. It could be as simple as doing 15 minutes of yoga in the mornings or taking time to have a tea before bed. And enjoy the quiet as life is sure to have more surprises in store for you! :)

  21. Such a great and honest post
    I have a 22 month old and I know how you feel...I think it's totally normal and women of previous generations just didn't talk (blog) about it so honestly as we do!
    It's like a secret!
    Sometimes I fell claustrophobic about my life and I don't want to read Mr Bump and sit on the floor or carry a toddler on my hip whilst making dinner! That sounds so petty as I read it but it's true!
    But I love that little girl unexceptionally and before I know it she will be at university and I will be wishing for that toddler gripping my arms and sitting on my hip and wiping rice cracker in my hair :)

  22. Everyone feels like this at some point. Even within a single day, I go from euphoric about everything, to despondent and depressed, back to gloriously happy again. :D

    But I think you're right, in that while its so wonderful that lots of young moms are committed to their mommyhood and their babies, there are lots of tired days that don't necessarily make it onto the blog. Its OK. Keep doing the best you can do, and keep the main thing the main thing. :)

  23. I feel like bloggers all over are writing stuff like this lately... it's good to hear, and also point out the truth that we all feel the same. Some choose to be more light hearted and post only about the good on their blog, and some choose to post more real life, the good/bad/and ugly. I love your blog, because I can tell you love being a mom! I actually don't even notice/care where you live (apartment, house, canal:) or how many trips you can take because you are just sweet, and I like that! I read something about what Design Mom answers when people point out her obviously very fortunate life (in terms of financial and career success) and she says- her blog is like a story, and she likes happy stories. She openly admits that her blog is only a small percent of her daily life. I'm okay with that, and I think I fall somewhere in the middle (in terms of wanting my blog to be only the good). I LOVE the feedback I get from readers and the connections I make when I really open up (like my most recent post- yikes! that was scary!), but when I look through all my old posts, or make my blog books, I love to see posts of just the happy highlights. It forces me to look through rose colored glasses and I cope better that way:) I do always appreciate bloggers honesty though, and a peek into their "real life", even though I'm not good at posting that way myself. Just know I'm pretty sure EVERY mom feels the same way you do! xoxo

  24. Hi Kendra! I've been following your blog for a little while now and just saw this post and I am so sorry you were feeling this way! It's so easy for us to look at our flaws and compare our lives with the lives of others, but it's not good for us we must always remember that everyone is fighting their own battle and it's normal to feel the way you're feeling! I look at your life and think its wonderful and I'm sure so many others think that way too! Look at how much you've accomplished a such a young age and look at the wonderful life you and Jared are building!!! You go girl and don't get down on yourself you're doing great!!!!

  25. Hi Kendra! I've been following your blog for a little while now and just saw this post and I am so sorry you were feeling this way! It's so easy for us to look at our flaws and compare our lives with the lives of others, but it's not good for us we must always remember that everyone is fighting their own battle and it's normal to feel the way you're feeling! I look at your life and think its wonderful and I'm sure so many others think that way too! Look at how much you've accomplished a such a young age and look at the wonderful life you and Jared are building!!! You go girl and don't get down on yourself you're doing great!!!!

  26. I needed this post today. and yesterday. and all the days to come. I actually just had a break down moment with my husband last night feeling only mediocre at achieving almost all of my jobs, instead of feeling successful at just one of them.

    On the days I'm at home with Elyse I feel like I should be doing something, without realizing that I AM doing something...I'm helping to raise our little girl & teach her that no matter what I'll always be there.

    Thanks for your honesty, you seriously have no idea how timely it was.

  27. Great post! It is interesting because I have followed your blog for a while and admired that you live such a full life. You see, my husband and I have struggled with infertility for several years before adopting our little boy. Before I was a mother, I would read your blog and just kind of wish that I had a little one too. Not that I was being jealous or thinking anything unkind! I just tended to kind of daydream about the day when we would be able to enjoy being a family of more than just two. It was a hard time. And I would read blogs like yours and think, "Wow, they are just living the life! They are so blessed!"

    I love your conclusion though, that your dream is unfolding before your eyes. Sometimes life isn't the grandiose, epic experience that the movies make it out to be or that we even expect it to be. But that's ok. It's the simple, sometimes even routine moments that grow together to make a life. And surprisingly it is often those simple moments that stand out most to me in my memories.

    Thanks for sharing.