I can’t get past the hurdle of thinking my inaugural blog post is of importance. It will set the tone for the entire blog. It’s not all stream of consciousness as I had wished. There is too much riding on it. And so after many failed attempts, I shall begin here:
I have always written since I was able to do so. As a teenager, when I told a friend’s mother I wanted to be a novelist she said, “So write a novel.” Her words were simple but true. You don’t need an advanced degree or even the wisdom of adulthood to write a novel. I should have taken her advice. Instead I spent my teen years writing poetry and short stories and story boarding, but I never started that novel. After watching a few people find success blogging I decided maybe this whole blog thing wasn’t as passé as I’d thought. Perhaps it really was the best way to take a step forward, put some writing out there, get some feedback, some exposure. But who would my audience be? Would they want to read what I wanted to write?
And damn it, my mind is so filled with the mother stuff. I don’t want to be just another one of the millions of women writing a mundane mommy blog. But I sit down to write and all that comes out is the mother stuff, or the other stuff, and the other stuff feels a little too raw, a little too much like a therapy exercise to publish on the internet. I take a writing workshop. We talk about the difference between writing for catharsis and revising for publish.
Revision is like pulling teeth.
I revise and let it sit. I revisit, and revise some more. I’m frozen, unable to post because real writing, good writing, is honest. Honesty is revealing, and my honesty has always been a bit too dark, a bit too angry. No one wants to read dark and angry. They want to read up-lifting. When we reveal too much of our truth we open ourselves up to judgment, but pride is a prison. I tell my husband that I’d like to write a piece on my miscarriage. It is such a common experience. His face recoils and he says, “Who would want to read that?”
“Other women,” I say, “women like me.”
I do a social media blitz to find readers, other blogs, gather ideas etc. But soon my brain is overflowing with the constant repetition of the story.
The story of women, of mothers, of embracing a “parenting style” or longing for the simplicity of the 1970s, the hippie goddess moms, the “fit moms” longing to have that perfect “post baby body.” I loathe the phrase “post baby body.” There are home schooling moms, some for Jesus, some for mother nature. There are the natural birthers, the breast feeders, the hash tagging, bottle is beautiful, I need to legitimize my choices mothers, the moms who feel judged and so they lash out and report any Instagram post with a nipple in it as inappropriate. There are the goddess Mamas claiming to support all mothers as a tribe of women, but their Instagram pictures are of nothing but tall, gorgeous, yogi Mamas with long flowing hair and smooth perfect bellies.
My brain, it spins, and spins, and spins and I wonder if I want any part of this at all. And none of it is real. It’s all on the internet. It is its own little self contained mess of milky breasts, and saggy bellies, and Louis Vuitton bags, and waging fingers. Do I really want to add to this cesspool?
Because off the internet, you know, in what we casually refer to as reality, there is a different “tribe of Mamas” that I’m part of. Some of them work, some stay home, some do cross fit, some chug full fat lattes and only fit into two pairs of their jeans, some vaccinate, some vaccinate selectively, some of them have sons with intact foreskins, some don’t, some breastfed, some didn’t, some of them never even tried, some walk with god, some are atheists, or republicans, liberals, libertarians, some have money and some clip coupons, and on, and on, and on. And some of the most important women in my life aren’t mothers at all.
And none of them judge each other, at least not out loud, because life isn’t the comments section. My life is real and the “goddesses” I surround myself with like to bitch, swear, drink and laugh. They also like to cry, rejoice, and feel grateful for the gifts life has brought them. They lean on each other. They love each other. They’re thankful for one another. They’re fully self actualized adults.
If you read this and find yourself nodding along, “Yes, uh huh, yes,” then maybe you’ll find your way back here now and then, to nod along some more.