I could not be more excited to feature my Very First Guest Poster Ever today!
Rebekah, from Mom-In-A-Million
is one of my most favorite bloggers. She's smart and funny and she
writes poetry to her undergarments. She was also so anxious to finish
Twilight that she snuck chapters in the loo.
Talk about persistent!
On top of that, she's got an adorable little boy named C, a fantastic
sense of humor and today, she writes all about how she manages to
maintain her sense of self while balancing mommyhood, work, and
insisting that I move my family closer to her so that we can blog and
drink Sofia Coppola wine sippies together.
I have to admit, it would be pretty magical.
Until then, you'll just have to settle for Rebekah's wonderful
contribution. Read her here, and then go check out more at Mom-In-A-Million
When Jenn asked me to guest post I was
all over the idea because I knew that no matter how much my guest post
sucks, I could just say “Hey! Look at Turtle!” and you’d all be
distracted by the cosmic cute-ness of her son and not notice that I
can’t write a coherent sentence. I also kind of hope you’ll think I’m
her because some days, our lives seem so similar that I think I’m her.
We’re kind of like internet soulmates who blog every day in our little
parallel universe and have imaginary playdates where our boys ride
their nearly identical rocking horses and we drink. Only she
stubbornly refuses to uproot her entire life and move halfway up the
East Coast to be my neighbor so we can do it in real life. What’s up
But I’m not supposed to be complaining about my bloggy friend’s (unreasonable) desire to have a life of her own. I’m
supposed to be writing about how I maintain my sense of self while
also being a fabulous mom. Well. I think the first thing we can do is
dispense with the word “fabulous”. Because today? I used a sharpie to
disguise the fact that there’s a hunk of leather missing on the heel of
my shoe. Because as long as it’s all the same color, no one will
notice the divot in the heel, right? Right? So, let’s just accept that
there is nothing about me that’s fabulous and just move along.
Nothing to see here. And stop staring at my shoe.
As for maintaining a sense of self…that’s harder. Because my sense of self is not particularly good. I mean,
which self are we talking about? The brooding poet of my high school
years? The aspiring actress of my college years and early twenties?
The bleeding-heart non-profiteer of my later twenties? The painfully
intellectual grad student? The 30-something career woman? My
identity, my image, has changed as many times as Madonna’s, without the
massive payout with each transformation. My identity has been fluid
and I have found myself shape-shifting multiple times and shedding old
conceptions of myself easily and without regret.
If there was anything discomfiting about taking on the role of mother, it is the permanence of it all.
From the day two lines showed up on the pee stick, I had to learn to cope with a role on which the curtain will
never come down. Motherhood is the last frontier, in a way. I will
ALWAYS be a mom. There will never be a day when the instinct to mother
my child will fade. Even when he’s 15 and desperately wishes I would
get the hell away from him with the camera and last-minute advice,
even when he’s a grown man with a family of his own, I will be his mom.
And it’s in his best interest to get comfortable with that idea
because, astonishingly, I did. In fact, I love it.
The harder part of the Metamorphesis into Mom is trying to retain a sense of urgency about the things that I must
be in addition to being a mother. It’s so easy to let my job take a
back burner and forget to schedule time with friends and to stop
traveling and not read or see plays or go to museums or any of the
million things that I loved to do before I had a child. It’s
shockingly easy to let my marriage become primarily about parenting and
less about partnering. And that isn’t good. It’s important that I
remain a person as well as a mother because I’ve met women who didn’t
do that and the day their kids went off to college was the day they
I also know that centering all my joy around my son is bad for him. Being the sole source of happiness for his
mother would be a LOT of pressure for a kid and would serve only
require enough therapy to buy the therapist a new boat sometime in the
future. And sorry, shrinks, I’d rather have a mentally healthy son and
self than pay for your next luxury vacation.
So, I’m slowly and carefully taking steps to reacquaint myself with the rest of me, the parts that have been on hold
while I adjusted to the earth-shattering love I feel for my son. I’ve
arranged with a friend to exchange babysitting so that we can each
have date nights with our husbands. I joined a book club and actually
try to read in the books so I get more than just a girly night with
wine out of it. And I’ve started writing a blog, which has given me a
creative outlet that works on my schedule and has opened a whole world
of real-life events and activities that I can enjoy.
I’ve also started making it a point to give my son the parts of myself that existed before he did so that we can
learn to love them together. I am trying to share with him my love of
books and live performances of music and plays rather than just
following his lead and spending my time with him playing trains and
kicking a ball, which are his chosen favorites.
All of it is a work in progress. I’m probably never going to get the balance totally right and I’ll probably
deflate when C. grows up and moves away. But if I’m lucky, I’ll have
enough of me left at that moment to be able to find joy in a job well
done and enough restraint to not slick down his hair with spit at his