New Hood, MotherHood

My first Mother’s Day just passed. I knew before having a child that Mothers were Rockstars, but I wasn’t aware of how hardcore they are. I knew eventually boogs and poo wouldn’t phase me too much, but I was NOT prepared for the emotional rollercoaster. Geesh. I’m aware that I am an emotional person. Some people have a negative connotation with the word “emotional.” Thinking emotional means lack of strength. I whole heartedly disagree. I think we have the strength to truly feel the world. I’m proud to not be apathetic in life. I like a steady ride as much as the next girl, but damned if I don’t enjoy the ups and downs too. ‘Tis considered a ride right? This is something I’ve grown to be proud of though. I still keep a lot inside, it’s just my nature. But I’m learning that emotional outlets are an important part of life.

So anyway, when I got pregnant and I was like…ok, got this. Been dealing with my emotional self foreva. THEN lil peanut came and whoooooooaaaaaaaa. Like whoa. Every feeling heightened, lol. Everything felt so deeply. But now that babe is almost one year old, I’m basically back to my normal place on the emotional spectrum. Basically. Shout out to those of you who said, “it takes a year.” I always thought that seemed way long but I feel you now. I feel you. Becoming a mother was a large progression in my personal journey to becoming a woman. I said personal because everyone’s journey is their own and not everyone requires motherhood to complete their journey. But it really made me respect the emotional intelligence women have. We are such emotional, loving, caring beings. I’ve grown to be quite proud of it. There’s a reason people are so attracted to us. They like a lil cray. Don’t be fooled. A woman is a beautiful being.

I always thought I understood the role of mother. That understanding is growing so much every day. And opening up. Staying at home with my baby has gotten a lot of cheers. People share in my joy of being able to watch and foster the growth of my child. Observe as she makes connections to the outside world and experiences things for the first time. But, surprise, surprise , it also gets a lot of sneers. “So you think you’ll just stay at home then?” “Won’t you get bored?” And the soccer mom stigma…don’t even get me started. How judgey we are as a society. It’s a damn shame. It’s imprinted in me that staying at home is not enough. I feel truly guilty when I fill out the employment section of forms or have to explain to others how I have a lot of hobbies that I currently get to enjoy. Blah, blah, blah. Why do I feel I have to explain myself? I don’t. Spending time on my family and myself needs no reason or explanation. I was grinding in teaching for 8 years. And although I LOVED working with the kids, I was drained at the end of the day. Well my work day. Then I’d have to go home and grade papers, track scores, work on my evaluation, etc. The to do list was never ending. So much extra work that job entails. So on a side note- give it up to your kid’s teacher or the next time you see an educator. Because yeah…we get summers off and breaks but we deserve that shit. It’s tough work if you care enough to do it well.

I consider myself a feminist. But being truly feminist to me means being in control of your own life. Any decision involving your reproductive rights, your capability to be a mother, your capability to choose career over family is your choice. You’re right to obstain from the marriage, kids, anything. It’s your life. Not everyone is meant to understand your journey or decisions. They are your own and everyone’s path is unique. I’ve really come to understand the term “to each their own” as I grow older. I do feel like we are confined by a lot of our society’s paternalistic, ancient expectations. As a country and as a whole we are waaaay too concerned with the actions of others or what others think “should be”. Mothers, scrutinized for everything. My husband on the other hand couldn’t care less what people think. But he’ll forever be plagued by my perennial “Does this look stupid?” I can feel the eye roll, lol.

All and all, I don’t feel too different now. I mean I know having kids is a game changer but I’m not sure my personal game is very different. This is partially due to my ability to stay home. I don’t have the hustle and bustle of getting my babe ready for daycare/school, working all day, and then resuming mother duty in the evening. I don’t go out as much, but that was decreasing anyway due to so many of our friends having kids or demanding work lives. But now the great question is upon us, whether to have another baby or not. You won’t be surprised to hear that EVERYONE also has an opinion on this topic. But I don’t want to sound annoyed. I honestly like and seek out diverse opinions and views on the topic of motherhood. An overwhelming number of people think it’s absolutely imperative that we have another child. An absurd idea to think of only having one child. Of course I love the idea of siblings, especially as we get into the later years of our life. I feel close to my two older sisters. But I also think the world is more accessible with only one child. Being able to travel and not be tied down by extracurricular schedules and more. There is something about the number 3, the trinity, triangle. My sister recently drew my attention to numerology and I’m seeing it in everything now. I don’t know. Such a pendulum. Plus, I read Ishmael, and it basically explains how we are overpopulating the earth and draining all of it’s resources. So there’s that. Also, I don’t like how people act like it is a selfish concept. Again, “to each their own.” We’ll see what the future holds. I’m not in a hurry. Today at least…lol.

If there is one thing that traveling around has taught me is that women in general are strong and mothers are vastly different. It’s best to find your own way. Mind others, but stay true to your intuition. Your opinion or perspective deserves as much respect as some rando’s. We are all raised differently, some of us very differently. I truly believe people are a product of their own environment. We Ohio Slayers (Ohio Staters) are big Vygotsky people. I believe in nature too. But also circumstance and opportunity, things in which people need to thrive, are not innate. Notice I said thrive, not survive. Difference.