Is something the matter, mom? time to create your own version of “good Mom”
I am walking on fifth street, the road that intersects the street where I live. Down a block, back a block. Elle is one year old and she is in the Ergo pack, attached to my chest. Each step I take is a bounce. I am trying desperately to lull her to sleep.
I have not slept in a couple of nights, since the ear infection began. I am bone tired but I am singing. I am enslaved to this tiny master, I will do anything for her.
This is so f***ing hard, but I will admit it to no one. I won’t say, This is so f***ing hard. I’ll say, “Elle has an ear infection.” Because there are lots of moms whose babies get ear infections, and we are not talking about being bone tired but still singing.
I am ashamed of all the ideals I do not live up to.
But these ideals of “good wife” and “good mother?” They come from another century! The thing is, I love my daughter to the depths. I want to take her pain away. I don’t want to be away from her for extended periods of the day. I want to be a stay-at-home mom.
And I want to be an individual. Instead, I’m a vassal—in fealty to the household, to the health and wellbeing of my child.
So that is what I allowed to happened. I lost myself. While I believed I had a right to self determine my life, I couldn’t figure out how . . . I didn’t feel capable. I felt trapped by my role.
But I felt something more. A deep angst? What felt like something was the matter, was new matter wanting to form. I wanted to create. Something different, something new. Perhaps my own version of good wife and mother, of creative woman.
I didn’t know it, but my depressed state was signaling that something wanted to express. It was through my homemaker existence that I was being invited to take on the inside and outside job of creating a new kind of home. And I did.
I learned to care for myself. To give myself time and love. Over time, the tasks of the home became connected to the larger picture of who I am in the world, and that’s how home-making transformed. My creativity in the world is hitched to everything which I’m creating in my home (my inner space and physical home).