Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thoughts on this blog, on motherhood, etc.

It almost seems silly to write here again. It's been so long I contemplated just scrapping this blog and starting anew. But, no, I will try to stick with it.

Here I am, 4 months into motherhood. As usual, my grandfather's adage: "Most of the things you worry about don't happen", has proven once again to be true. My fears that I would have difficulty with being a mother have not come true. I am enjoying motherhood more than I ever would have thought possible. I prepared myself for the worst: I worried about post-partum depression (since I was indeed depressed for much of my pregnancy), I worried about not attaching to my baby, I worried about having trouble breast feeding, I worried about being traumatized by a scary or painful birth experience, I worried about feeling tied to my baby and trapped, I worried that since my pregnancy was emotionally and physically difficult I would resent my baby. I worried about pretty much anything I could.

So it came as a surprise when so much about mothering came "naturally" to me. I had a "natural" or drug-free home birth. I have followed my intuition and my baby's lead and everything has felt fairly easy, again, almost "natural". The thing is, I pause as I write these words. I feel like saying all this will make it more difficult for those who are having a hard time. Of course, I know that this isn't everyone's experience, it might not even be mine second time around. There is so much out there online about motherhood. So much pressure, so much noise. I read much of it when pregnant and continue to read it: blogs about birth, about pregnancy, about feeding babies, vaccinating (or not), co-sleeping, etc. But I have been trying to fill my brain with more material that is critical of the noise and the expectations. I see why there is so much material, since becoming a mother I too am fascinated by the intensity of this emotional, intellectual, and physical experience.

Spending time at home with baby V, I feel conflicted about how I am spending my time. Is it enough to just hang out with a baby all day? I feel like I need something, another project? As though having a baby isn't enough of a project? There is so much pressure online too, to be productive, to be creative.... I read all kinds of blogs where women are super creative, earning an income making art, being mothers, planning blog-worthy birthday parties for their children, buying/making exquisite toys and clothing for their babies etc. More pressure, more expectations.

I am loving being a mother but also recognize that I need to maintain interests outside of my baby. I need my daughter to grow up seeing a mother who is engaged with the world, who is a person outside of being a mother. So, for now, this blog is going to be about exploring what that looks like for me, as well as what being a parent is. I know, the world doesn't need another "mommy blog", and that's not what I intend this to be.... I am not sure what I intend it to be, but I do want to use it as an outlet for examining some of the many thoughts about this experience.