i will write this post in lowercase as an act of humility and regret for not updating this thing in nearly a year. kids are a lifesuck. but so is facebook, feedly, netflix, you name it. i shouldn’t blame it all on the babe-now-toddler but i can blame some of it on her, right? sorry for my absence. so many friends are pregnant or having babies (including my friend rachel ann, just last night!) that i feel spurred to write again, not only about babies, but about life in general.
for (more than) the last 19 months, i feel like my life has not been my own. pregnancy feels like your body is possessed, because it is. rearing a newborn feels like living under a benign dictatorship. and parenting a toddler feels a lot like being out on parole — you get out a little more but your still being watched, your every movement monitored. often, you can’t even shower or pee by yourself, which is actually more like prison. knowing several formally incarcerated women, i typically frown at prison jokes. but there are some uncanny comparisons to be made. but on top of that, we were told last January, around the time i fell off the blogging train, that we were being moved to a different church out in the country, 20 minutes from the closest grocery store. [being married to an itinerating methodist minister means my life is doubly not my own). we have since moved and learned to love our new church and the mooing cows in the pasture across the street. but it also means i spend even more time alone than i did when living in the largish city of raleigh. staying at home with a child is isolating, even more so when you live in a rural area.
i follow a lot of mommy blogs. well, i should say, i follow a lot of blogs of women who happen to have children, usually small children, and are continually trying to rediscover who they are in the midst of rearing small lives and caring for small bodies while their own hopes, dreams, ambitions are put aside. what i like about these women is that they struggle. they wrestle with the stay-at-home parent role. they document their toddler’s screaming fits and don’t try to pretty-up a life that many of us know is covered with soggy cheerios and dirty diapers. they recognize that underneath the breastmilk-stained shirts and the unkempt hair lies a woman whose identity is something beyond motherhood, even as they stay home all day being pushed around by their little benevolent dictators. i’m inspired by these women, take comfort in their words and enjoy the glimpse into their chaotic lives that we so often miss in the filters of instagram and restoration hardware catalogues. i can only hope others take comfort in my words, even if they don’t always extol pregnancy or motherhood. and that my friends and acquaintances who don’t have children will forgive me for my absences over the past year and a half. it’s still me under here! believe me, i would give my right leg to sit in a coffeeshop with you and talk about nothing child-related. i’m still working on how to do this all well….being myself, being a mother, using my gifts and pursing my goals while caring for a sweet, spicy, clingy, independent tiny lady.
thanks for your ear. more to come.