On the Mothering Zen

Well, the weekly updating hasn’t gone so well. Motherhood is exactly as time-consuming as you think it is. And then I went and quit a perfectly good job to be an at-home contractor and everything that counted as a routine in my life went directly out the window. All of last week was like living in a flooded house. There was earth under my feet but all of my belongings were floating around, unmoored and random. I’m working this week on grabbing the big pieces of my sanity before they float away.

Tavi is 5 months old next week and I currently consider myself a pretty successful mom. I mean, she’s not even a little dented yet. She smiles, she’s learning to laugh. She likes some people; other people she hates. She likes baths and sunshine and hates the cold and poo on her butt. As I said, 100% success so far.

While I find her changes, happening daily, to be fascinating, I’m more surprised and overwhelmed by the changes she’s making in me. (more…)

Published in: on June 14, 2011 at 4:00 am  Comments (1)  

On Collaboration

I’m pretty much 3 months into this motherhood thing. It has been since…November since I wrote more than 100 words at a sitting of fiction. That hurts. (more…)

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 4:48 am  Comments (1)  


SaHM = Stay-at-Home Mom

I had planned to write about breastfeeding in this post. It was going to be a heartwarming, magical little post about the wonder that is feeding my wee babe. But. Then there was today and some revelations and the plan went by the way side. (more…)

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm  Comments (4)  
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On Breastfeeding

It is 5:19 am. I’m up because I just finished the 4:30-ish feeding and have decided to stay up as this is the quietest hour I will get all day. Such a nice hour it is.

As I’ve noted in previous posts, most of what I do all day is breastfeed. The babe is a cluster feeder, by which I mean that she starts out the day on a steady “every 3 hrs” schedule, but those meals get closer and closer together as the day progresses until by around 8 pm she’s eating almost constantly. This isn’t an exaggeration. She’ll start nursing at 8pm, finish at 9 and then be back at the breast at 9:30 for another 45 min session. Recently this has reliably put her sound asleep around midnight for 4 plus hours, so there’s an upside…there’s rest at the end of the marathon. Except that the marathon always starts again the next morning. (more…)

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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On Permanence

“Never alone again.”

That’s what I thought while adjusting to the fact of motherhood, after we’d taken the magic test that confirmed what my body was telling me.

Never alone again.

The lack of solitude isn’t actually what bothers me about that statement. It is the permanence. The never that really gives me pause and has been weighing on my mind for the last week. (more…)

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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On Rubicon Crossed and the Nature of this Weblog

In 49 BCE, Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, a river in the north of Italy, with one legion of men, initiating the armed conflict that eventually lead to him being declared dictator of the new Roman Empire.

In the intervening years, the phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has come to represent the moment at which a series of events is set in motion that cannot be undone. To Cross the Rubicon is to pass the point of reconsideration. Once you have crossed it, you’re committed.

My Husband suggested it as the name of my blog on writing, motherhood, and other relevant topics for a simple reason: on the day we decided to have a baby, we crossed the Rubicon and entered a new period in our lives, one I’ll be exploring here. Note, we didn’t cross the Rubicon the day we had a baby, we did it before that, back at the point where we decided that being parents was something we wanted to do. At that point of decision, we would always see ourselves in those terms — “parents”, “not yet parents”, “people who wanted to be parents and weren’t”. From that day to the day I delivered had an air of inevitability that was both comforting and annoying. It felt like I was on hold, just waiting for the next thing, for my foot to land on the other side of that decision.

While sitting on hold, I thought about what my New Normal would look like. I’m still thinking about it.

For the last few years, I’ve been an avid amateur writer. I’m happy being a non-professional writer. I write when I want about what I want without having to satisfy anyone other than myself. Writing is my own selfish thrill. Early in my pregnancy, I lost the urge to write on all levels. There were no new ideas, no energy to find them, and no time to scribble them down. I experienced, and am still experiencing, the temporary death of my creative spark that so many women writers have described.

When I read Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own, I never thought it would happen to me. It isn’t intentional, I’m not being purposely prevented from entertaining my creative light. It is merely…the nature of things, somehow. And that’s the worst of it, the way that as a woman, I simply…lose it. Not by anyone’s effort, but by noone’s effort. As my keyboard gathered more and more dust, I realized that my writing was something I had to fight for, not merely work at.

I’ve spent the last months drawing up plans for what sort of parent I want to be, what sort of child I want to raise. Included in those plans is a plan for myself: I promised myself a room of my own in which to write. Not necessarily the best prose, not necessarily steadily, not necessarily fiction or non-fiction, but simply to write. I will not start out my child’s new life with the death of my interior one. To do so would be beyond irony.

So I establish this weblog as my own room. Initially I was torn as to whether I wanted to write about being a new mother or being a struggling writer. In further analysis I am both of these things, so I should write about both of them, along with all the other rampant identities I claim or have pushed upon me. I will allow myself to write about a wide variety of things, anything that seems worth writing about. I hope to even write fiction again one day. But for now, this blog will focus on my day to day: the mundane trials of getting out of bed, the miracles of bonding and breastfeeding, the constant search for a story worth reading or writing or hearing.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for observing as I change from just me (and my Husband), to just me plus one. We’ve crossed the Rubicon, the rest of the story is before us.

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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