Thursday, July 24, 2008

Does 'always on' mean 'always seperate'?

Catherine of Her Bad Mother wrote a post today describing her experience at BlogHer this year. You can read it here:

I read this and felt my heart rip out of my chest. This post hit me on so many levels.

I know that feeling of being the mom, of being "on". Ever since I had my second child last september I'm always on. Before Ben, when it was just Will, if we got an invitation to a party, or a get together it sounded fun, it was something to look forward too. One child is so much more managable especially with two parents. Now if we get invited anywhere my thoughts are never about how much fun it will be. My thoughts are how much work it will be, making sure the kids are clean, nails cut, cute clean clothes, all the things I need to pack, extra clothes, sunscreen, hats, pj's, bottles, food, double stroller. By the time you get there your already tired,
a little bit grumpy. Then you have to constantly scan the crowd, who is holding the baby? Is he still happy? Has he eat/slept lately? Where did the three year old go? Is he near the water? Does he need to pee? Its getting near nap time should we go?
Ok its time to eat, what can I cut up for will? Come on hon just have a bite....

It's not something I can turn off if my children are near me, and they are young enough that I feel they need me nearby. This is one of the major reasons I haven't attended BlogHer, I've watched two conferences go by from the sidelines and just wished I could go. I could be brave like Catherine and take the baby but just the idea of trying to keep a busy crawling 10 month old entertained, fed and napped is scary. Never mind messing up the oh-so-fragile routine we have going. Leaving them this young is something I feel to guilty to do, and my husband is not exactly begging me to leave him with two little people for an entire weekend and spend the money we work hard to make on something other than our kids or our house or a vacation together.

Being a mother is what makes blogging vital to me. Every morning I get up too early, bring the kids downstairs, get one a chocolate milk, change the others diaper, get him a bottle, make myself a coffee. Once they are settled I log onto my laptop, I read posts, I check twitter. I need to know that there are still interesting things going on in the world. I need to feel like I am a part of the world, because once I was just me, with thoughts and desires and interests. Blogging preserves that part of me that just gets pushed further and further aside to tend to the now. The needs of children, the requirement to have clean clothes, and dishes, and meals made. On the internet I am the me I always was, just made wiser and more accepting because I am a mother, and more able to recognize what other mothers and woman are going through.

I will go to blogHer someday, I hope it is next year. I love blogging and the woman like Catherine that I read everyday. They don't know me, I'm not famous, but I get it, I'm a woman, I'm a mom...I'm a blogger.


Her Bad Mother said...

I hope that you go next year, too. With children or without. Either way, I will give you a big hug when I see you.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

This is an awesome post Ali, one of your best ever. It is so nice to have a place to just be yourself, isn't it??