“Balance stumped me. I rarely drew boundaries to protect and care for myself. I did not neglect my child, but practiced abandonment every single day until I found that I had transitioned seamlessly from neglected child to neglected mother. More isn’t always better, time with children included. Staying at home meant that my child had me all to herself. But it also meant I was left with no self to myself. The sad irony is, if I had kept more for me, I might have had more for her.”
All posts tagged motherhood
A few weeks ago, I read an article by Nadia Bolz-Weber, ‘The Spiritual Practice of Saying No.’ The title invites an immediate shift in how we view our commitments, boundaries and pleasing impulses. Do we say yes because we are afraid to say no? Afraid of disappointing the asking party? Afraid of not doing our part?
It should come as no surprise that my dominant worldview lens is feminism. It clicked into place when I was still pretty young, but old enough to appreciate its framework. Say, about middle school.
Empowerment, personal successes, perfect pitch responses to thinly veiled misogynistic remarks…feminism cheers for these. And, man do I love praise.
But what about the times I unball my liberation fist for a moment? Am I letting the sisterhood down?
When I finally learned the whereabouts of my mother, after 10 years of no contact, I was pregnant. And things started looking different.
Many of us gain new perspective on our mom-as-human once we audition for that same role, and I was no different. But my perspective was more distant, and probably more melancholy. How do you thank someone for your existence—and say hi, remember me?—at the same time? Like this, I guess.
There is a certainty to keeping something secret. Once you share it, it can take on a life of it’s own. Better to keep it sealed up, cello-wrapped in opaque plastic—preferably in black, you know, if it’s handy—sterilized and safe.
It’s embarrassing how much time has passed since my last post. Over a year and a half. My daughter’s first birthday set off a chain reaction, not the least of which was the dropping of her morning nap…and subsequently, my writing time.
Then came my own birthday, and the mind-fucking that was wrapped up in those shiny, innocent looking boxes. Thirty I had survived fine, though I might need to thank post-partum hormones. The spiral that began with my 31st surprised me.
For most of the day, I’ve been reviewing the events of this day exactly one year ago. And it was going fine…early labor, shooting that tv commercial with my brother (and labor slowing down); all that anticipation, knowing that some time very soon I would officially be a mother (very soon? Sure. 27 hours or so…).
She slept through last night. Through. The. Mother. Fucking. Night. Yep. I said it. She was asleep at 7; not a peep until 6. Oh, glorious sleep.
But there is a toll for such miracles.
The girl has an ear infection. Fever. Screaming. Puking. Sleeping? Not so much. Well, these past nights have been better, but early on it was rough going. And I was sick, too. It’s really cruel, the way things sometimes shake out.
One day in the thick of full-flu-fuckitude, she eventually settled for her nap…after an hour of coaxing, Motrin-ing, puking and whining. Hurting everywhere, I dragged my un-tooth-brushed, sorry ass to the computer to waste some time on the mommy website I am a member of. Bad idea.