She Gets It

Tonight as I returned to my desk to get my own words down, I started reading other mommy blogs.  Writers need to read widely.  Moms need to know they are not alone.  I pushed myself to prioritize getting my daily word count completed, but I fell deep into the dreamy writing of Kristen Hedges.  This, I think, helped me as a writer (or perhaps it hindered me there, but that is a story for another day…or post) and as a mom.

I tried to describe to Dawn the conflicted feelings associated with no longer breastfeeding.  Bittersweet, though cliché, is a good word choice.  Conflicted. Contradictory.  It was no longer comfortable.  I was touched out.  We both knew it was time to move on.  But still.  Longing.  Aching.  A sadness that comes with anything so final.  Even something you wanted to end.

This, I said to a friend, is how motherhood feels in general to me.  The highest highs and hardest lows and being caught in between.  The way that some moments I want him to grow up and play a bit more independently and at the same exact time I want him to stay little forever — to put down that book he is “reading” on his own and run to me for a hug.

I could go on and on trying to describe this paradox; however, in reading Kristen’s blog tonight, I found the words.  They are not my words.  But they are the words that capture the conflict, the contradictory nature of motherhood so beautifully:

A murky, in between place. I wake, and I am the victim of my own life. I ache for the old self, the one who was touched only by a husband, rather than by ten kneading, needing, milk-tacky fingers. The one who freely wrote and worked and created and imagined and inhaled and exhaled without interruption. What a luxurious life she led! I parted from her willingly, I know. And I am happy that I chose this new life, for it is far more beautiful. But because I am human, there are days when I miss the ease, and the quiet, and the space.

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