I’ve been absent here. Not for lack of thoughtfulness or ideas of a writing topic. But fear.
What do I possibly have to say about being a mother that hasn’t already been said far more eloquently by another author, another Scary Mommy contributor or HuffPo contributor, or another mommy blogger who’s gone viral on all my mom friends’ Facebook pages? Who am I to even think about writing about the life-shattering effects of becoming a first time mother? So many others have done it far, far better.
If you need examples, try these on for size.
Having It All Kinda Sucks – this one knocked me flat, especially this excerpt (full credit given to the author)
“Here’s what we tell women today: You not only can, but should have a career and children — because if you don’t, you’re basically a) lazy, b) weak, c) not a real woman. But also, you should do it without any support. Without government-paid maternity leave (what are you, a socialist?). Without too much childcare (because then you’re a shitty mom) or falling behind on the job (because then you’re a shitty employee — typical woman!). Without too much help from your husband (because then he’s a pussy).
We applaud companies for paying for female employees to freeze their eggs, but don’t push them to give women the space to have children during their actual child-bearing years and come back to work without losing their place in line. Instead of changing the systems, we tell women to lean in. Because of course, it’s our fault for not taking initiative. Fuck you. I’m leaning so far in I’m falling flat on my face.”
I Became A Mother, And I Died To Live – And oh God, this piece slayed me. If you don’t read the whole thing, then at least read this.
“…there are moments, moments when you remember when you used to run around and visit people and live your life and work and be alone. You remember when your body was just your own and you were thinner and felt contained and like the owner of your boobs and vagina and life. You remember having a couple shots of tequila or maybe a cigarette with some friends, and you did it like it was nothing, never knowing it was somebody who was going to stand like an old friend some day, a thousand miles away.
You were twenty, twenty-three, thirty, thirty-five. You were free and young and somebody else.
We were free and young and somebody else.
But now, we’re mothers.
At some point the reality will hit us: We are never alone again, no matter where we are, and we are the only ones in the world who have become this person toward this child.”
And then finally, for a bit of self-deprecating humor, we have 31 Things To Do After Your Baby is Born That No One Else Will Tell You. I especially enjoyed the following:
Remember not to punch people who say, “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” They really do mean well.
Don’t be embarrassed to add things like “put pants on” or “brush teeth” on your To Do list.
Try and be near other grown-ups for at least a couple hours every week so you remember how to talk to people who aren’t likely to spit up on you.
Drink in the smell of sweet new baby head and feel the love swim through you every chance you can, reminding yourself that you can do this.
So what do I possibly have to contribute in the wake of these brilliantly penned articles? Not much more than the details of my struggles of balance, my feelings of inadequacy and the crushing weight of trying to be all, do all, look like I didn’t just give birth and continue on with my ass-kicking career like my world didn’t just get thrown completely off its axis.
I’m relying on other people’s words for now. At least until I can find my own again.
Till next time,