8 months – my baby is turning into a kid. It is awesome, and terrifying.
The past few months have been more difficult than the previous months. I have been thinking about this post and what I would focus on (knowing it was coming) and trying to pin down exactly what it has been about the past few months that have been more difficult. And I think I figured it out.
The reality that ‘this is life now’ has set in. And not in a negative way – but in a way that very much sort of nailed me to the proverbial floor. THIS IS LIFE NOW. It’s amazing, but it is messy and stressful. It is exhausting and demanding. It is so much fun and also gives me so much anxiety. Yeah, me. Who knew.
The heavenly newborn phase is over and every day my baby becomes more of a person. She can make decisions and express opinions. She is understanding what she likes and dislikes. She is understanding that mom and dad ARE MOM AND DAD and that everyone else isn’t quite as awesome (this, I really like). But, while the newborn months weren’t by any means, easy – they were difficult in a different way. Much of the things that were difficult before (napping, sleeping, going back to work, finding child care, figuring out a breastfeeding schedule, first time with a cold, etc) have sort of worked themselves out. We have a routine – and it works for us. The hard part now has been keeping up with it. One of the most stressful parts, for me as her mom, that comes along with keeping up with this routine is finding time for solitude…and ultimately, actually WANTING it. ** WHAT!! WHO IS WRITING THIS?!? Certainly not the Rainer Maria Rilke loving, solitude seeking and advocate writer we have all come to know and love? YES, friends, it is me! I don’t recognize myself either! **
It sounds good. A day off. A day to myself. Who knows what I would do. Unlike my husband, I am not a snowboard or mountain biking fanatic and don’t NEED to do anything like that for my sanity. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still need SOMETHING. The trouble I am having now is figuring out if that something is ever more important (or fun, or fulfilling, or rewarding) than hanging out with my little kid (yeah, barfy, eh?). Sure, I could take an afternoon to hang at a coffee shop and catch up on some reading. I could go shopping and self-soothe with some new clothes. I could meet a friend for brunch or something similar. The hard part is that when it comes down to it, none of those things (at least, not right now) are more appealing to me than a few more hours with her.
But then THIS happens:
I am home with her all day and all I can think about is needing to get out and have some ME time. *sigh – rolls eyes at self.*
It is never ending.
Maybe because I am a working mother, I relish the weekend moments I have to be with her. Maybe I am way too scared she is going to do something monumental (like crawl for the first time) and it will be with someone else watching. But I get really jealous of my husband sometimes and find myself wishing I had something as necessary to me as outdoor activities are to him. And I somehow feel like our time should be evenly spent on ourselves (wait, shouldn’t it be?). If he gets 5 hours to do what he wants – I want it too. But then, given the opportunity, I don’t usually take it. I am not trying to martyr myself here. I am simply trying to figure out what the hell is going on in my brain space.
My thing has always been writing. And, I still find time to do that on a pretty regular basis – even if it is just the writing I do for work or a quick restaurant review I post here on this blog. And, this kind of writing (personal and introspective, pensive even) is really helping too. I haven’t done a lot of it over the past few years and I have felt the internal and emotional repercussions of that. Maybe I need more time to focus on my poetry or just to lock myself away in a room for an hour and listen to some music that I find inspiring. I am not sure yet.
What I am sure of, is being a mom and being a person apart from being a mom, is near impossible. And honestly, I don’t want to be autonomous from motherhood. It is now a part of me in every way. I guess now the trick is to finding the balance (I remember something someone once said about “balance” being a facade and really, we are just choosing what is more important each and every moment, which I think I buy into) – or maybe in the end, it is simply realizing that my muse has changed and that she is now my number one source of anything poetic. I just need to actually write the poem that I truly feel my life generates regularly.
There is a quote I love – it is actually at the end of my email signature:
“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” ~Leonard Cohen
So, here is to creating more ash in 2015.
Yeah, I like that.