I always draft my posts in Word, allowing for edits and re-reads and more edits. That a post may include a typo – or worse, an honest-to-goodness grammatical mistake – is enough to instill panic.
When I began this blog (well, when I started my previous blog), it wasn’t only to document my experiences as a new mother. It was to award myself the opportunity to write the editorial, lifestyle pieces I always dreamed of writing in a magazine column, should anyone ever offer me a magazine column to write. I wanted to have presence as a writer, and I wanted my readers to mostly know what to expect when they swung by.
It’s been almost 4 years now, and I like what my blog has become. I’m no super-blogger; I doubt I’ll ever hit triple-digit one-day hits, or even triple-digit subscribers. That’s cool with me; I’m not about the fame. I don’t need to make money off my blog – I’m a copywriter by day; I already get paid to write.
But I think I’ve written myself into a corner here. I think I have worked so hard to cultivate my voice and my style, that I have started to limit what I write about because I think it will contradict the image that I have cultivated of myself – as a writer, a mother, a woman.
I think I do have a fairly strong blog ‘persona’ – I am a pretty hardcore attachment parent; I can be a bitch; I eat healthy food; I am sarcastic; I cry a lot.
That’s great. That means that I can write lots and lots about my joy in extended breastfeeding while lamenting the state of my saggy ass and the world in general. I can write about food here and move out of my box a little bit here. I can seriously fuck up crafty projects and attempts at exercising and invite you to make fun of the results. I love a lot of things and hate on a lot of others. I complete you, I’m sure of it.
I like action. All of my tags are verbs. It’s no coincidence. But what happens when the action cannot be categorized by any of my clever little verbs? What happens when life doesn’t just give me lemons, it gives me battery acid? Ok well, I’ll write about the rough patches. Everybody that ever looked at a their stats knows that the blogosphere loves misery.
But what happens when the way my life is going doesn’t exactly correspond with the neat, tidy little image of myself I have grown here? I like to bitch, but I hate to complain. Do I always have to be the poster-mom for co-sleeping and organic food? Are my morals, my image, compromised if I dare to admit that while I love sharing the bed with my children, I don’t always like it?
I refrain from writing a lot of stories, not only because I am a little bit cautious about what I let float into the ether, but also because I think that you think of me in a certain way, and I don’t want to compromise that. In fact, I will probably regret writing that last paragraph for some time to come.
It’s like my body – if I don’t admit that I’ve put on weight, you’ll still think of me as the tiny person I used to be, right?
I put a lot of pressure on myself here, and like many things in my life, when the going gets tough, I tend to check out. Easier to just not write for a while. It’s not writer’s block, or burnout, and it’s not exactly censorship. More of an identity-crisis kind of thing, and how fucking lame is that?
Anyway, I’m going to work it out, and I’m going to work it out here. Because really, there’s no place I’d rather be, regardless of whomever it is I end up being.
Saturday - Keep kids out ALL day so huz can clean house in anticipation for:
Saturday Night - Sister and niece arrive from BC! Stay up way too late.
Sunday - Whole family over for visit. Stay up way too late.
Monday - Whole family over. Stay up way too late.
Tuesday - Truckin off to Buffalo for The Dead show! Leave Dove overnight (w/Chris) for the first time EVER. FREAK OUT.
Tuesday - Get sick. Super sick.
Tuesday - At the Dead show! Lot is not the same as it used to be. No Rainbow Family; too many tweakers. Too many balloons around. Show is AMAZING. BFF spends the entire first set crying. I am almost too weak to dance, but Loose Lucy, Ramble On Rose, Loser, Eyes of the World, Playin In the Band? Must. Boogie. Stella Blue? Weep.
Tuesday - Cab it back to hotel room (The Hyatt - my how things have changed. I used to spend the night on picnic table benches or on the back seat of a Honda Civic if raining. Growing up has its privileges.). Watch Golden Girls and crash while my gals party it up at the (only decent?) bar.
Wednesday - Fall asleep on a bench while everybody shops at Macy's. No troubles at the border. Again, how times have changed.
Wednesday - Get home. Cuddle babies. Nurse Dove and get some relief from rock-hard, engourged boobs. Thought we were past that happening. Guess not. Crash for 17 hours.
Thursday - Feel like F-150 hit me. Improvement over Mac Truck that had been bashing into me for previous 3 days.
Friday - Make in to work for the 1/2 day I committed to. Will leave at noon to prepare for...
Saturday - Out of town wedding of two wonderful, amazing friends getting hitched after 8 years of (all of us) working together. Chris cannot come - he is off to his brother's stag in his hometown. Road trippin' with 2 awesome gals whose husbands also cannot come. Can you say trouble? One hitch - leaving my kids overnight with my sisters for the first time EVER. I have never left my kids overnight with anyone other than Chris. They will be fine. I will be too drunk to worry about it. Oh god - FREAKING OUT. Because I am not drunk yet.
Will let you know how it goes. Have a great weekend!
I’ve always worn my emotions close to the surface, but since becoming a mother, I cannot seem to control the waterworks. It started, of course, in pregnancy, when hormones sent me spinning, and it seemed like my tear-ducts grew exponentially with my belly. A kind word, a not-so-kind word, a perceived slight, a picture of a puppy – anything was enough to start the tears flowing.
There were a few notable triggers; events that could take me from composed to crumpled in 30 seconds flat. The first was this one commercial that aired during both of my pregnancies around Christmastime. I’m sure you know the commercial – it features nothing but close shot after close shot of angelic sleeping babies, fists curled, lips pursed, while Silent Night plays in the background. I don’t think I ever knew what the commercial was for – I could barely see through the tears.
The other surefire way to get me crying while pregnant was
With pregnancy 16 months behind me, (literally – you should see my derriere. Never recovered.) and the hormones pretty much evened out (I do still nurse), my propensity for crying has calmed down. And it’s not because I now have a thicker skin – no, just the opposite, in fact. Motherhood has rendered me so sensitive to the minutiae of life’s ups and downs; to the inherent strengths and vulnerabilities of every living thing – most notably the two that I birthed – that I have had no choice but to steel myself against all but the strongest of tear-jerkers.
That’s right; these days it takes way more than a silly, sentimental old commercial to play on my emotions. It needs to pack a real punch – say, a 3 ½-year-old’s wobbly, semi-recognizable first attempt at printing, or perhaps, a baby’s enthusiastic, mmmmm-uah! of a kiss for her mother, to turn me into a geyser. Yup; I sure am one tough nut to crack. I’m ready for anything that could be thrown my way, and trust me – I’ve got my defense ready for when my defenses are down. I’m ready, and I’m packing.
Kleenex, that is.
There was talk of props and distractions and snacks and pajamas and husbands and grandparents and aunts and uncles and back-up child-minders and videos and, and, and, and....
Seriously, my head almost exploded.
When we head to my mother's on Wednesday for the Seder (for which I am making the brisket - first time!), me and my husband and two kids will be packing:
Our bag o'plagues
And maybe a diaper or two.
Experience. It does a Mummy good.
Lately, on blogs/facebook/twitter (really, what’s the difference anymore?), there’s been a lot of chatter regarding people’s Bucket List, and their antithesis, the much more entertaining, F*ck It List.
Never one to turn down the opportunity to shamelessly tell you even more things that you didn’t want to know about me, I have been tempted to indulge in the writing of one and/or both of these lists. However, as I mentally started compartmentalizing all the fascinating shit I have partaken in or recoiled from, a new list sprang up.
I’ve called it the Upchuck It List, and it is comprised of all the wonderful things I never thought I would experience – until I became a mother.
Item #1 on the list, and its inspiration, is the joy that is being puked on by another human being. So while you may muse over the things you must do before you die, or the things you would rather die than do, I will wax poetic about the many ways motherhood has warped my brain.
I give you,
Kgirl’s Upchuck It List
Fifteen things I never thought I would do until I became a mother:
1. Get puked on by a tiny person.
2. Put out my hand to catch the puke of a tiny person, because I am easier to clean than the couch.
3. Consider a vacation at Disney World.
4. Consider purchasing, and thereby driving, a minivan.
5. Consider 8:30 am, sleeping in.
6. Say no to a social outing because it would mean leaving the house after 9pm.
7. Proclaim the day to be half-over already at 10am.
9. Use the term ‘poopers’ in daily conversation.
10. Rage about the cost of diapers, baby shoes and/or bread.
11. Get up, get dressed and leave the house without ever turning on a light or looking in a mirror.
12. Keep a food calendar, and not because I have an eating disorder.
13. Nod off in movie theatres, on the couch or at my desk, and not because I have a sleeping disorder.
14. Regard a portrait of a lopsided ballerina in crayon as the greatest work of art the world has ever been given.
15. Look at two tiny, sleeping girls, silently utter the words, I would die for you, and mean it.
So, what’s on your Upchuck It list?
Anyway, a little levity was needed. This winter has been one of pretty good suckage, and I wanted it to end with a smile. Of course, the snow has melted, but the problems are still around, blissfully unaware, as problems are apt to be, of birds singing and temperatures rising.
My husband’s second bout of unemployment in 6 months could care less that I am wearing a colourful spring jacket, having banished my winter coat to the cellar.
The puckering, peeling, water-damaged plaster in the kitchen does not take heed of daylight at 7:30 pm where darkness used to be.
The nightmares that interrupt my precious sleep, the ones I’ve had regularly since my dad died; the ones that wake me in a panic, fooling me into believing that something horrible has happened to Chris or Bee or Dove or Me – well, they don’t give a shit that it’ll be warm enough to go to Riverdale Farm when the rest of the fam wakes peacefully in the blessed morning.
The cleaning, the cooking, the laundry and the grocery shopping are shouting for attention, regardless of the weariness in my bones; the bags under my eyes; the exhaustion in my voice, or the date on the calendar.
I know, wah, wah, wah. Hard times. I have a roof over my head (no longer leaking since we spent the entirety of our savings fixing it), food on my plate (although it is of dubious nutritional value since I haven’t gone grocery shopping and am too tired to cook), and a family I love. A no-parentheses-needed family that I love, who help me weather the storms. The kids make pretty good umbrellas for tiny people.
And I have you guys, who keep me writing; keep me laughing; keep me SANE.
And that, my friends, is no joke.