I’ve been thinking a lot. A lot. I’ve been thinking about motherhood and being a mommy and where I belong. When I think that my parents were younger than I am now when they had both me and my sister, I feel slightly reassured that, to some degree, all parents fake it. Because we have no idea what we’re doing. Well, we have some instincts, thank God, but otherwise, you try to love your baby and not lose your mind.
Since becoming a parent 16 months ago, my life has changed. My world, my work, my body, my relationships, all different now. (I’ve an ocean of thoughts about all of these differences, but perhaps for another day.) And certainly the way I’m perceived has changed – I can tell because of how I’ve been treated by people during the stages of my life, which, at this point in my parental mind warp, I can crudely divide into 4 wholly unequal parts: Pre-Parent, Pregnant, Mommying, Mommy Sans Banz*. And I think if I frame these stages through the lens of outside perception**, maybe I can corral a fraction of these thoughts. Or maybe not, but whatevs, here goes.
This is the longest stretch on the timeline, and I have the least to say about it because gurl, I have to save something for the memoirs. Happy child, bright student, messy parental divorce, socially awkward and painfully self-conscious, solo move to the second city. A part of me has always thought that I’m awesome. People probably perceived me as some mess of kind, nerdy, prudish, fun, stuck up, shy, careful.
I was just getting a massage, because my body is a wreck (and whatever, I don’t have to justify myself to you, dude), and I was thinking of what I’d write for Rational Creatures. Ah, yes, the Massage Table, where I get my critical thinking done. And the massage therapist, who incidentally is also a doula, remarked that women, during their first pregnancy, have a glow about them. I replied, Yes, a mix of excitement and terror. I was pregnant with my daughter for most of 2013 and my body was badass and did really well, really took to pregnancy. I could do this over and over, I thought (before I delivered). (more…)