There’s so much pressure on mothers. As my head slowly lifts from the fog of the past 7 years of birthing and nursing and postpartum, I’m just beginning to understand that I was on a rollercoaster of hormones and anxiety and trying so hard to be everything to everyone. And it has been a messy 7 years. Most of those spent on an island. Mothers are not meant to be on an island. We need each other. We need help, yes, but we also need connection. We need to see ourselves reflected back to us, lest we dissolve completely into our duties and sometimes even, be consumed by our fears.
I grew up in the generation where it was expected of us to go to college. We had no purpose, no value, without this degree and the magical career to follow. Modern women work. Modern women do not rear children. That’s for the women who’ve given up on themselves. This is what so many of us, with our impressionable minds were lead to believe.
And yet, I found myself a mother. But, of course, that meant I was a failure in some way. I’m supposed to be writing! Working! Because raising children isn’t work, right? And I would place all these obligations on myself— editorial work, intuitive work, doula work, serving at a local restaurant or managing a bookstore— and I would still look at myself at the end of the day and feel like I wasn’t doing enough.
Never mind the fact that all my friends, my sister, my mom— they are all long distance, unable to drop by for a coffee & conversation. I began to blur the line between my real life & my online connections because we all were just typing to each other anyway.
And it wasn’t enough. It isn’t enough. We flesh and blood and bone before us. We need one another.
It’s ridiculous really. The way our society has failed us. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. All this striving, for what? To drive ourselves crazy? I’ll leave the crazy to the world and anchor into my truth: I am a mother. It’s exhausted me. It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. The love, the joy— it’s unexplainable. If you know, you know. And it takes so much out of me that I just have only whispers left by the end of the day.
But, I am still alive under there— and on fire. And quietly creating, now. I’m also listening. Because I need more. More than digital connection. More than this.
That is the question at hand.