I am 2 years into this kind of parenting (yes I count the 9 months of being pregnant because it’s about time someone starts counting that) and I finally know what it’s all about. Bold statement, huh? I can feel the moms of 3+ grown adults rolling their eyes from here. Bear with me…or quit reading. Your call.
Parenting is one giant lesson, experience, invitation in Letting Go. Letting Go of preconceived notions about yourself, and about your child. Letting Go of exterior pressure, messages, and societal insults. Letting Go of expectation, mom guilt (that bitch), five year plans, and spontaneous summer vacations (at least for a few years). And the worst one? Parenting is one giant lesson, experience, invitation in Letting Go of your child.
I am of the mindset that our children do not belong to us.
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, they belong not to you.”
This poem in full is posted on our fridge, and we’ve held to its truths that resonated with us long before we had our son. But since I am being bold here anyway, I’ll go ahead and say that Kahlil Gibran has left out an important piece. I do not believe my son belongs to me. And yet, I cannot escape the deep seeded truth — those ones you feel in the depths of your gut — the ones that you feel so sure of that you don’t care who disagrees because regardless of exterior pressure, messages, and societal insults, they are your truth. And that alone is enough. I do not believe my son belongs to me. But, I know that I belong to my son. Continue reading
Some women transition seemingly seamlessly into motherhood. I was not one of those women. I could list the reasons why we struggled, why I struggled, but there is no sense in reasoning. Because regardless of reason, depression exists. Postpartum depression exists. And regardless of reason, it is real. But too often, women, mamas, suffer silently. And shame lives in the silence. So in refusing to be quieted, in refusing to get too comfortable with shame, I share this post. I wrote this when Elden was about five months old – my husband took the day off work and my dear friend drove me to the ocean for a few hours. I was in the throws of awestruck love, hormone changes, and the harsh reality of depression.
Good mothers can be depressed.
Brutality can exist alongside bliss.
I could share where I am now, to offer hope, to offer some sentimentality about the light at the end of the tunnel, but this post isn’t about where I am now. This post is about where I was then. This post is simultaneously about the tunnel and the truth that the light isn’t at the end of it – the light is wherever you are in the tunnel. Because after depression has its way, the light remains. Because after depression has its way, you remain.
Because you are the light.
Lets bring ourselves, our light, together to end the stigma, the pressure, the shame that mothers carry. We already know a mother’s arms are too full.
I came to the ocean
to see if I could find her
I know she loves the ocean
the steady power. the fierce calm. the moving stillness.
the repetition. the in and out. the filling and emptying.
the building and crashing
over. and over. and over.
I came to the ocean
to witness my beached self
large. heavy. desperate to be.
I’ve packed my survival kit — water and Trader Joes’ version of Swedish Fish — and parked my car by an open field on a sunny day. Apparently this is my idea of a survival kit – what I need to survive writing out Elden’s and my’s birth story.
Because I was very intentional with the type of birth stories I read during pregnancy, let me start by being very intentional with you, the reader. If I was pregnant today — one, I would need to be put on 24 hour watch because Lord Jesus, I cannot — and two, I would not read this birth story. It is not one of positive, spiritual awakenings, soft, pliable vaginas, and erethreal emergence. So if you need that – and I get it, I needed it too – stop reading. Right now. Continue reading
I woke up just after midnight. Heart heavy. Throat dry. Stomach empty. I needed food, and my little one. Creating and carrying life in my womb has left me with a visceral ache in my belly when I am not near him. As if the separation of a wall is just too much.
Yes a wall is just too much. Fuck you, president-elect, for promising to build one. For giving platform and validation of such audacious inhumanity. Don’t you know that separation is too much? That the one bedroom wall between my child and I is too damn much? How dare you excitedly promise to build more between families.
Ten days after I found out I was pregnant, I wrote a letter to one of my favorite writers and mom bloggers, Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery. Because, I told myself, if anyone could relate it would be her.
I’m sharing it today because I’ve learned that so many more women, so many more mothers, can relate. And that none of the feelings that I have felt or been feeling are brand new. Nope. As much as I like to think that I’m advanced emotionally, turns out these thoughts, these emotions, these fears – they’ve all been felt. For hundreds and hundreds of years.
Which brings me to the best news: we are not alone.
in our thoughts. in our fears. in our emotions. in our lives. in our deaths.
July 20, 2015
I just recently found out I’m pregnant. As in, a human being is growing inside of me. As in, I have a ultrasound on August 4 to hear the heartbeat. Not my heartbeat. Nope. The other one. The tiny human. Apparently right now it has a tail. A tail?! I am growing a human with a tail.