Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Old Kate.....New Kate

Have you ever referred to yourself as the "old" me? Or maybe you call yourself the "new" me. I usually think of these monikers being used when someone has made a life transformation. Maybe he or she stopped using drugs, or maybe they chose to do away with another bad habit. Either way, the terms typically signal a dramatic change in a person's self.

But what if there is not a dramatic change? What if a change takes place and that person can't even tell its happening? That is how I feel. Erik often refers to me as "old" Kate and "new" Kate. Let me explain further:

Old Kate
  • organized
  • "together"
  • accomplished tasks and set goals
  • finished projects
  • strived for perfection
  • made lists---and completed them
  • did not forget things
  • multi-tasker
  • satisfied after a days work

New Kate

  • a disorganized mess
  • so totally NOT together---EVER!
  • starts tasks and may or may not finish them
  • who has time for goal setting?
  • feels extremely frustrated that I have several projects I would either like to start or have started that I need to finish.
  • has accepted "good enough" as the standard by which all things are measured
  • makes lists then loses them
  • can't remember why I even walked into the room in the first place
  • Multi-task...well, it's still a necessity.
  • Still satisfied after an even longer days work, but for different reasons.

You see, when I decided to become a mommy, I never knew my life would change so drastically. I had no idea what becoming a mom would do to my "old" self. It wasn't just the outwardly things either. No, I still can't fit into the size 2 skirts that I wore before Ella was born and this stomach will never see the light of day again. But those aren't the things that bother me. Its the psychological and emotional changes that I have been through that make me wonder if "old" Kate will ever return.

For instance, I put my girls down for a nap today and just laid down in Lucy's bed and cried. My house is a wreck, I have no idea what I will cook for dinner, laundry is piled high and there is no end in sight. It's completely overwhelming at times. And that is where the ugly cycle begins. Some days I get so frustrated with all that there is to do that I can hardly will myself to move forward. Now before you tell me I need some kind of medicine, I've already tried that. How do you think I made it through the first 6 months post-partum (but that's a whole different story)?

But there is hope for the "new" Kate, I think. Some days I have small breakthroughs of organization and togetherness. Some days I actually accomplish all most that I set out to do. I know it will be an uphill battle for many years to come. I also know that as the girls get older they will begin to take on more responsibilities around the house and that will be a huge help.

So how, you ask, can I say that I still feel rewarded after a long day's work? Well, I take one look at my darling little girls as they peacefully sleep and realize that there is nothing greater on this earth. God so graciously allowed me to trade the "old" Kate for Ella and Lucy. I did not realize what kind of deal I was making with God when it all happened. Maybe if I did I might have been hesitant. Instead, God took care of all the details and I am now blessed beyond belief.

"Old" Kate might have had it together, but she had no idea what love really was. She had never felt quite as accomplished as the "new" Kate feels when her children so innocently say their night-night prayers. Or as proud as "new" Kate felt when Ella came home from preschool reading her first book. Even the sad times are so rewarding. For in those times my love for my children is confirmed even more.

Which ever Kate you liked better, which ever Kate made you happier, this is the Kate I am now. I dislike her a lot of times and wish she could/would change, but this is the Kate God is working on. This Kate loves her husband, her children and most importantly her Lord. That's all that really matters. We love to tell our kids they are a work in progress....well, so are mommies.

Erik jokingly bought this for me at the grocery the other day. Oh, how I wish the answer was in a bottle of water. I would have bought the stuff by the gallons several years ago. Did you notice that the name of this V-Water is "Focus?"

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Sarah said...

you are funny. we all have "old" selves...and us mommy's are all disorganized and can accomplish less in a day. you're a wonderful mommy and i'm always amazed at all you do!

Danielle said...

you are being way too hard on yourself! from day one of meeting you i was seriously amazed at how much you do and how totally "together" you seem. i wish i had half of your energy! we all have those things we wish we still "were" but if we were still some of those ways, then chances are we'd only feel guilty because it would be taking time away from our children. they are only little once and housework will always be there! keep on embracing it and pat yourself on the back from time to time. you deserve it!

Susan Sampson said...

Kate-If I've told you once I've told you a hundred times that you are the most creative and talented person and I wish I ONLY had a dab of it!! We are all a WORK IN PROGRESS just be glad you are on the right path! Love, Susan

nicole said...

We give up alot to become mommies, don't we? But it is completely worth it! I think I like this better than who I was or might have been before!! Now...wonder what I'll be like with an empty nest one day...nope, don't want to even think about it!!!

Kendra said...

Give the new Kate a break...I kind of like her. I think she's pretty cool. :) Doesn't she get points for having the capacity to remember her weird friend who loves stale Peeps?

Christi said...

Clearly, there are so many responses to this post because I think so many of us can relate!! When I think back on pre-kid days, I can't even imagine what I did with all that free time! But, (sigh..,) the day will come when all my time is freed up again and I know I will be eager to fill it up again with grandkids.

The Thomas Family & Zoo said...

Your write the most beautiful inspiring words. You have blessed me so many times. Thank you for taking the time for your blog. I love you. Aunt Jill

~lillie~ said...

My mom read your blog the other day and told me that I had to read it because she would have sworn that I wrote it. I totally relate to everyword. I too was a lot like you pre-boys and now I sometimes don't know who I am. I have just learned that is all what I make it; when I take time to stop and realize how blessed I am I can breathe again! Thanks for sharing.

Laura Dawson said...

Ditto, to what all the other posts have said...plus....the prioreties you listed....teh Lord, your husband, and your girls, prove that the new Kate is doing something right...also, you seem to make time for friends when needed too!

Elizabeth said...

You sound like me...I look around and wonder-what in the world did I ever do before??? Somedays I feel like I am living on candid camera and someone is going to pop out of the corner but nope...it is just life. We all change, at least you have some great friends around you to cheer you on.

sheri143 said...

Kate, I think you are an amazing person. With all that you are dealing with, it is understandable why you feel so tired and unorganized. You are doing a wonderful job at being a mother. That's what is most important now. I just found your blog and I enjoy reading about you and your family. I will keep Lucy in my prayers and your whole family. God Bless you.