It's mid morning... and my eyes have trouble adjusting to the light.
I've woken up these past few mornings in a fog. I slink out of the backroom with my hair crumpled and sticking up. I don't know what happened last night. How long was I up? Did I rock her for hours or only a few minutes? This is real motherhood for me.
It's crazy to me that this one time in life where I need to lift my shirt in public to breastfeed and bear my stomach to the world is the time where it resembles playdough or a depressed balloon. This time in life where more eyes are on me than ever (really, they're looking at the baby... but still) I haven't brushed my hair since I don't know when.
Motherhood is losing yourself inside something great and fearful, from the first push on.
I'm walking my girls around the neighborhood, sweating like a fourteen year old boy and proud of myself for getting out- when I meet a new friend. We talk, introduce ourselves, say how cute the others' baby is.
And then I realize I haven't brushed my teeth... or even looked in the mirror for that fact. The horror!
And as if on cue my right breast begins to leak huge puddles of milk onto my dirty wrinkled shirt.
My new friend smiles kindly and says she understands.
But I have to wonder... who in the world am I? Who is this crazy lady that lives in my body?
I am mother.
Hear me roar.
I mentioned a new book I'm working through called "Writing Motherhood" by Lisa Garrigues.
Here's how it works...
You write, every day for at least a page or two. You turn off your inner critic and let the pen move.
So I've found/chosen my "mother" journal and I'm ready to start. I will occasionally share my journey.
How to start?
Choose your journal/notebook of course. One you can carry with you often.
On the first page today, write a "disclaimer" according to Garrigues women always apologize before sharing their writing. So she advises you to get it out of the way! What is wrong with your writing? What are your excuses? Go ahead and write them down on one page under the title "Disclaimer".
I'm sorry I'm disorganized, haven't slept a full night in months and am inconsistent. It's who I am.
On the next page write a dedication. Who do you dedicate this experience, this writing? Garrigues says it doesn't mean you're writing for them or want them to read it. But who is your muse really? I thought of my mom and grandmas. But for me, for this first journal the answer was easy... Here is my Dedication:
"For Claire and Sophie, from the very first thought and hope of you my life was changed forever."
I thought of writing more. She encourages you to fill the page if you need to. But for me, for now- this is all I need. And it's so so true.
I stare at it.
It's so dramatic and drastic. But true. Every word is so undeniably true.
I hover over the word forever, about to mark it out. But really... even that is true.
No one could ever warn or explain to you enough that children don't change your life when they're born... No... motherhood changes you the second you decide you DO indeed want children. When you and your spouse open the dialogue about them, or when you decide on your own that you do (or don't) want them... when you decide to start trying... start adopting.. or start waiting.
Whatever it may be, it's in that initial moment that you are already changed. Your life is no longer a ship you are sailing for yourself alone- but suddenly there are others aboard and you begin to look at your journey in that new light.
Claire and Sophie, you girls have definitely done that for me.
And I thank you for it.
If you're writing too- I'd love to hear! What is your dedication?