Ever been stereotyped? Ever had your identity breezily labeled, cut out in cardboard -- likely pink if you're a woman -- and sidelined as silly and inconsequential by The Media, by analysts, perhaps even by other women?
Welcome to the world of women who blog about parenting. At this point, we moms don't even need faces or names -- "moms" are the most sought-after social media consumer I hear, and launchers of many a brand campaign. My former print and television newsroom colleagues cannot get enough of MommyBloggers, despite the fact that women blog on every topic under the sun, often on the very same parenting blogs in question.
But I digress. Because I'm okay with it all now. Zen, even. Why, you may ask, as the one BlogHer co-founder who is a mother and has been obviously gnashing my teeth through all of the above?
Because of On Motherhood, a post on Whiskey In My Sippy Cup. Blogger Mr. Lady's transcendental essay delivers the reader inside the life and mind of a woman for whom living with children has not only become the defining act of her life but an unfolding journey for herself:
"Motherhood is a tide, ebbing and flowing in my life. It is a push and a pull, a give and a take. It’s me giving all I have to these people and me taking everything I can from them while I have them. It’s them holding on to me while they push me away. It’s watching them learn and grow, it’s mourning the loss of their dependence and celebrating the independent people they are becoming..."
Welcome to the shining inner life of a parent, the "why" behind the pain, sometimes the agony, and certainly the hassles of day-to-day motherhood. Mr. Lady is on a quest of her very own, one that is leaving stretchmarks on her heart and her soul, as well as on her child-bearing hips.
Sure, this journey involves her children -- but it's a solo flight and utterly inappropriate to share with progeny. I notice that her partner in parenting, in this case her husband, is utterly absent from her reverie. That makes sense to me. Because this is her coming of age story -- not his:
"It’s who I have become to my core. It’s the space in between the mistakes I make, between what isn’t getting done in my day or my life, it’s the touch and the sight and the sound of something bigger than me and better than me unfolding before my eyes."
I read her piece and thought this, this is what people who roll their eyes at the blog-versions of my other least favorite stereotype, "soccer moms," miss! This post also is what's so hard to articulate to women who don't have children and don't want them: Mundane acts of folding clothes, making dinner and family flu have become sacred moments in the lives of my children, where my goal is to become a bit player -- albeit a good one, natch -- in the exciting, unfolding story of their cherished lives.
And if we mamas really do good? Our babies come of age after age with joy, even when it ain't easy. And, mind you, we sacrifice for these wins -- with unpaid bills, untended friendships and unexamined dreams of our own. That's what we signed up for, whether we knew it or not. And it hurts so good when Mr. Lady sings it:
"It’s them holding on to me while they push me away. It’s watching them learn and grow, it’s mourning the loss of their dependence and celebrating the independent people they are becoming. It’s getting flustered because the dust is piling up and the floors are a mess but me not being able to bring myself to windex the little handprints off the windows because I want to savour them for as long as I can. It’s that it’s been so long since I’ve had a minute, a day, a week to myself that I can hardly remember what that’s like and it’s the way 11 years just blew past me right then when I blinked and the next 15 are going to be over before I can blink again. It’s running on three hours of sleep, grieving for the loss of a child not my own and at the exact same moment finding a fleeting moment of pure peace in the eyes of another child."
But don't take my word for why Whiskey In My Sippy Cup is our BlogHer of the Week. Take hers: "It has nothing to do with what I’m doing, and everything to do with what I’m becoming."
Thanks to everyone for continuing to send in your nominated posts. Remember to nominate individual posts, not entire blogs, and keep them coming! If you want to check out all the BlogHer of the Week posts, check out the BlogHer of the Week archive.
For Elisa, Jory and Lisa
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