Monday, August 25, 2008

out of babyland

cross posted from quirky black girls

in the past couple of months, i have begun to make some major changes in my life. i started to really think about who i am and who i am becoming deeply as i weaned my 1 year old daughter. for the past two years i have spent my life in baby-land: pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. babyland in many ways is like an altered state of consciousness. my body housed and fed another living being. it is a beautiful exhausting heartbreaking space to live in.

weaning my daughter, re-viewing and re-formulating life is happening in conjunction with my first saturn return. when the old and unnecessary structures of my life fall away and i determine what is useful to who i am. it is a bit scary.

i have been thinking about the rebecca/alice walker sadness. it paralyzes me. i have loved both of their writings. and i am an unconventional black mom raising a biracial kid. her father's family have so much more resources than i do. and i struggle for time to write to read to think. i would love to drive a 100 miles away for a few days and write. *sigh* i also struggled with a mother who seemed to put her work and her reputation before my best interests. i would have loved to have a mother who could be involved in my life without making it 'about her'.

i wonder what my daughter will say about me? will she rail against the way i raised her? ahhh...i can hear her now: you took me to dangerous war zones, locked yourself away so you could 'create', never let me develop traditional bonds with my extended family, wrote openly about how you resented being a mother, referred to me as a 'parasite' when i was still in utero, refused to take me to a medical doctor even when i had a high fever for 2 days, fed me unhealthy food, never had a stable home and bribed me with a lollipop so that you could write an insignificant blogpost (that was 10 minutes ago). all of that before she was 2 years old...

so part of these changes i have decided to make are more writing time, healthier eating, studying more, more long walks, more bodywork, being a practicing member of an online spiritual practice community (still looking), and a more concerted effort to get my work 'out there'...which in another sense means i am committed to being an even worse mom.

right now my daughter has abandoned the lollipop and is throwing books into a box. no, now she is trying to crawl into the box. the lollipop is stuck to my leg.

i hope that when she is older she will not feel that i abandoned her to travel and write and love. but i am sure that she will...sometimes...because i refuse to be a martyr for my child. if i were then she would learn to be a martyr and i owe her more than that...

right now she is standing on the box, yelling no over and over again. when i smile at her she stops for a moment and then starts proclaiming no again.


fiercelyfab said...

that story, wow.

It's scary. Exactly what will our kids say about us?

If we don't revolve around their existence, and have other independent interests.

I read that there is so much hurt on her side, I'm sure Rebbeca Walker isn't the martyr mom, and that she's having mixed feelings about the balancing act of being a mom and a woman with independent interests outside her children.

Lots of food for thought. I want to write a blog entry about this as well.

Anonymous said...

oh, but it is possible to balance it all. that in the long run the big picture ...

your child will feel protected, cared for, nurtured *enough* with also being proud of your accomplishments and how you showed them all a woman could be, giving them hope also for their own goals and projects

I mean, that is the wonderful glow I live in now! I live with a daughter (age 20) proud of me! and real - realistic, we can talk and blush and laugh, about the struggle.

but the balance is possible.

I wondered too. I felt like a failure at it at times, for sure. my daughter used to hate my writing in her teen days adn the alice walker comparison was something very real, something I was very interested in.

no one will ever criticsize you better and closer to the bone then your own children, at certain times. (as also, no one will ever love you and accept you as you are, at other times)

will my daughter always resent me? I mean, they resent you for even tlaking on the telephone.

but you can balance both your needs. when you do your best, your best is ALWAYS enough. it is so possible to care for the rights of both the child and the mother ...

and so possible for us to work towards fighting for the community support we need for mothers and children, both, to thrive!

in solidarity
(wonderful website, I just finished reading through all the posts backward)
the future generation