October 13, 2010

Identify.

sad nose

I was at the zoo last week and observed the other moms; [honestly, subconsciously pretty much wherever I am I look for my kind.] If my brain doesn't mean to do it, my heart does it anyway.

Someone like me.

I can usually tell- we all wear a uniform- and in this sea of criticizing eye squints, teeny tiny yoga-classed-fit bodies in skinny jeans and trendy tops with their designer diaper bags and matching children,

I saw

who I used to be. I used to play that part. We all do in some way. If we fake it then maybe people will believe it. Maybe we'll even start to believe it ourselves.


red nose

I felt a little melancholy and I felt alone.

Then I thought, what if I'm the one that people are searching for in the crowd, to find their kind?

untitled


They'll see many imperfections, and many good intentions, [and- obvs- many insecurities] and feel like


they

are

home.

happy nose

35 comments:

  1. Yes. Just yes. I always feel like a "phony" when I am at Target and I put the baby in the carseat in the basket because I'm going to try on clothes and the babywearers with the Ergos look at me and scoff and judge and I want to go "No! But I'm like YOU! I am! I just can't use the Moby/Sling/Ergo and try on clothes, too!"

    Always trying to prove something ... always looking for the connection.

    But really, I guess, we all have that, right?

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  2. I just typed out a long comment but then deleted it, because I've been at the 2 months and I can't claim to have found my parenting niche yet, but I get it. I do.

    When I wear McKinley and I see other mom's babywearing, we have this connection, unspoken. I wanna come up with a wink or a nod, a "what's up, friend?" sign.

    Like when my husband rides his motorcyle and gives some sort of special motorcycle wave to other bikers. :)

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  3. i agree with Mrs. Cline, we need a secret hand-sign or something.

    it's natural to gravitate towards people we perceive as "like us". not always good, but human nature for sure.

    it's comforting to look out on a sea of people and think, "hey, you're like me!"

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  4. I understand. Lovin' Noah's new look...nose and all.

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  5. No one was like me 11 years ago in rural missouri--breastfeeding and babywearing were virtually unheard of. And extended nursing?! People still scoff at the fact that I nursed Zane until 3. I'm ok with not fitting in. I never have (never will!) ;) Embrace it. Your children will thank you for being different.

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  6. So true! We all search to find that common bond even if it's just a nod or smile to say "hey I wear those shoes too". It's also so amazing to me that people I assume are so perfect and together I often find out are just like me....messy and imperfect:)

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  7. reading this post and the comments taught of how we all judge and compare our self to other, why , but why do we do it.

    To find someone is worst then us, to find that we to not measure up to some others, to covet what some have or pity the one who does not have what we got?

    Why are we doing this???

    Then I remember the verse in Matthew about the speck in the other eyes when we have a plank in our own eyes.

    We are all mothers, we are all different, none is better then the other, differences are good.

    If we could truly embrace our differences and truly accepted one another for they are then I bet we could truly be free to be who we really are!

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  8. I so get this post. I remember years ago trying to be like the 'older' moms so I would fit in with them. Hoping that I would be accepted because I dressed the part, even though I never did really fit in because I was so.much.younger than the rest of them and had done things many hadn't done and well in this small town....it was hard. I remember trying to seek out younger parents and then realizing that just because we were of the same age bracket that we didn't fit in together because more often times than naught they weren't responsible, they wanted to party and to pawn their kids off on whomever they could.

    Now I look for kindred spirits. Those that while they may be weary and tired they have that love in their eye and the understanding and well...this peace. Now mind you, they might not feel this peace, because its more a peace with being who you are and being okay with that. We might not all agree on the way we raise our children or discipline methods or even what or where we chose to worship, but that's okay because we know who we are and we are okay with ourselves (or getting there) and others.

    I have long since realized that I don't have to befriend those who have kids my same age. I have tried that for years and years and it just didn't work. It would be nice, but I understand.

    I see that peace in you. I know that you are okay with who you are and how you parent. I know that you love your kids the best way you know how to and your kids are happy and loved and that makes me so happy.

    What makes me sad is that we are so close yet so far away from each other.....someday we are going to meet up in Amish town ;O)

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  9. i teared up reading this, sort of knowing that you're one of my kind, even though we've only known each other (5 years, almost!) through these blogs. love ya, steph.

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  10. Home is the place where we are most ourselves, where we don't feel the pressure to conform.

    In that sense, I find myself being more at home every year.

    Love the pictures. :-)

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  11. I'm still trying to figure out where I fit in the whole parenting world. I have skinny jeans and clothes from designer stores. I have pretty sundresses and scarves. I go barefoot but own cute strappy sandals. I breastfeed and cloth diaper but Liv has been known to watch TV with us in the evenings and she has her own bed. I cook but don't bake from scratch. I'm creative but don't sew or knit. I shop on Etsy and Zulily and Target.

    I think I dabble a bit in all the parenting worlds while I figure out what kind of a mom I am. I've changed my view on things since being pregnant and having a child.

    For me, it's a constant metamorphosis. I have to listen to my heart, my gut and my soul when it comes to me and my daughter and my husband. I just hope I hear the right things and pick the best direction.

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  12. Yes!!! I don't really comment, but after reading this I just had to. It just spoke to me- I feel. the. exact. same. way.
    We recently moved to NYC and I am still looking (everywhere!) for a mom like me. Where are the ones in sweatpants and a sweatshirt while their kids sport mini boden? Everyone here looks so classy..sigh...

    Hoping you find your match, and that I find mine.

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  13. I, like you, look. Through the groups of moms when I pick up my son at his new school, or at the zoo or well, anywhere. I look. I am three months new in this town and feel a little alone in my own neighborhood when I wear my daughter. Still I smile, hoping that someone will be that person looking for me. Thank you for this post.

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  14. I became interested in babywearing when my youngest was on the verge of being too big to wear, but I know what you mean. It seems other mothers seem to have it together and I feel so un-together. They are dressed cute with their hair just so and are peacefully shopping with their children and there is me... in sweats, hair in a ponytail barely keeping my 2 under control. I would just once like to feel like the "stylish together Mom".

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  15. I soooo get it. And I LOVE the pictures of Noah. He melts my heart every time :)

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  16. That's why I try really hard to smile and make eye contact with every mom I see, whether I am with my baby or not. The work of motherhood is hard enough as it is and every mom could use a smile!

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  17. Beautiful, and very true.

    You never know when the person who needs YOU will find YOU, just as you are.

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  18. Totally off the searching topic... but that young man looks really good in his nose!!!

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  19. Had a similar epiphany at the Zoo the other day...how funny...and so so true.

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  20. I had to give up searching for kindred spirits in the crowd long ago. It seems like strangers, and even friends, boil me down to being simply a mother of a mass of humanity. It's my identity.

    It doesn't matter what I wear, what I don't wear, where I go, where I shop, what I drink. When people find out I have 8 kids, I am automatically all about THAT and little else.

    I could go out wearing a clown nose and people would notice the brood.

    It's okay with me. Clown noses are awesomesauce.

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  21. I get this and I have felt like both the fake one and the one looking for others like me before.

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  22. it doesnt really matter..whats most important, we're all mothers..arent we?

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  23. I have never been that mom. I don't even try, because I would fail miserably!! Sometimes living around here, with all the "trendy moms" gets tough. But I am true to myself, and I suppose that is what matters! :)

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  24. I feel like I've always scanned the crowd for someone to identify with, no matter what. In high school, it was about how grungy we all were and if they wore flannel then they probably liked the same music i did. I've always found it hard to identify with the typical mom, or woman or female, for that matter. But in my adult life, I am friends now with more women than ever before because of Christ. I still look for the mom who's also into the movies or music that I am, mostly because it's fun. But in a crowd, I'm just trying to do my thing, and yeah, sometimes it's lonely. But being with my kiddos or all together as a family is comforting because they are like me. And then I can be thankful for the gifts that God has given me!

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  25. Yep. And if I'm picking up what you're putting down, we're talking in all of life, although parenting sure is a crystal clear example. It's all of us, everywhere, and what we layer on ourselves to project whatever it is we're trying to be. And it's hard to land into those spaces and times when you feel like you're all alone is a sea of sameness.

    I get you, Steph. More than you probably realize.

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  26. I just wanna be the best mom to my kids that I can be. And I hope that all the moms out there, no matter what they wear or which stroller they use, etc., etc. are doing the same. But I get what you are saying. All that "stuff" doesn't matter. I see right through it now...

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  27. I just really, really love this post. I'm sure I have said that to you before, but this just spoke to my heart, which has always been searching for its own kind. I was adopted by a family that wasn't really my kind, I'm not criticizing or being ungrateful, I was just the pear in a bag of apples... and this post made me happy. So thanks.

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  28. I, for one, am thankful for authentic you. For the way you put to words the deepest, raw-est, true-est of emotions. And how I relate to {almost} every single thing you say. It's lyrical, what you do. And then you add photos that perfectly illustrate and pull it all together so that the whole story plays out right here on the page.

    So gifted.

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  29. Oh yes, this post definitely speak to me. You've got it.

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  30. I've totally thought that before! Despite my age, I still have huge moments where I have no idea who I am or how I ended up here. Trying to like myself again. It's hard.

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  31. I love this. I've been thinking about it all day. Only, maybe a little differently than your original point? It's interesting cause I often wonder if the blog friends I only know online would be my IRL friends. Even you and I are light worlds apart, really. We have different points of view on lots of things; baby birthing methods, how long to breastfeed, whether to vaccinate, diapering methods, etc. But I have learned so much from you. I really have. I love that your ways are often different than my social circles norm and that if gives me much to think critically about.
    I realize more and more that under the exterior trappings, we're all so much the same. So, even when I want to grrrr about the mommies that look more pulled together than me, or seem to be doing mothering better than me, or whatever, I'm trying really hard to remember that truth. That under the layers, they're probably more like me than not.
    Thanks for the thoughts.

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  32. This has rattled me for a day and I'll tell you why. Bottom line- as mom's we all have a need to feel and be accepted right where-we-are. I agree with you that being a "yoga-classed-fit body" mom (and all that included) may not have been right for you. But when you see a mom like that when you are out I hope you will be willing to take your eyes off her body and possessions long enough to gaze into her eyes and smile giving up yourself and your issues for a moment so she feels acceptance-

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  33. I hesitated to comment, but this post keeps gnawing at me. I understand the sentiment of needing to find your niche, wanting to find others like yourself, and even using visual clues as a shortcut to know whether others are like you or not. But I wonder if I'm misunderstanding part of what you wrote, because it still sounds like judging others based on appearance. Just because someone is more into keeping up with fashion trends doesn't mean they're necessarily fake or shallow. And to some of your commenters, just because someone is using a stroller or infant carseat doesn't mean they don't also love babywearing. (I don't think that's even what you were getting at, but it seems some people took it that way.) I'm just as guilty of judging people by appearance and I know I shouldn't, but still, something about this post struck me that way. For example, it seems we all want to be fit, and often think "I should exercise more." So why then when we see super fit moms that have put in that effort do we immediately cast it so negatively, assuming that they are fake or only care about their appearance?

    Anyway, don't take this comment the wrong way. I think everyone in this world wants to fit in in some way or another. That's something we can all relate to. And I hope you never feel alone.

    I, too, can't help but be put off by, (or intimidated by), super put together moms. I've seen them while nursing in the Nordstrom women's lounge and wondered how they deal with toddlers while wearing stilletos! Wondered how they found time to do their hair. (Maybe I'm just jealous of that last part!) So maybe I'm right there with you...still judging by appearances. Maybe it's just natural?

    So now I've written a novel here and I'm not sure it even had a point to it.

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  34. (trying again- my phone was autocorrecting weird words!)

    Kate,

    I actually was being a bit cryptic in my post, it wasn't really about this (although I did confess my true feelings for always looking for my kind) but also it was a point in that, while I'm looking for my kind (and being judged in the process) (and doing my own judging) the ones I can't connect with or am intimidated by might be looking past me because *they're* searching for their kind, too, and I'm not it. If that makes any sense!

    I didn't mean for it to be about appearances, but being able to go beyond it, either by taking off that "uniform" of having it all together OR the uniform of not caring if you have it all together,

    and actually more about being "gotten" by someone for your heart, and your crazy, and your intentions. But it's so hard sometimes for us to get to there, because we stop short. And too soon.

    Good things come for those willing to look deeper.

    Steph

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  35. Thanks for taking the time to respond! This makes much more sense-

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Your comment is gonna totally make my day!

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