Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Last week proved to be a tough week for the mother part of Me. It seemed I was having a fight or flight reaction to my mama role and I felt uncomfortable and itchy in the skin I was in. I kept wanting to get away, feel away and it left me distanced and guilty. I think the guilt factor always kicks in when the part of me that mothers is strained, it is automatic and fairly non-productive and hard to reason with. That part that says I should be happy with it all...

It might have been due to the long weeks of confinement due to sick kids, maybe from the reemergence of willful toddler personalities, maybe just me and the swings that we all will experience in mood and energy. I guess it does not really matter. It did come to pass, and was helped along by a timely visit from a newly made, but now cherished blogger friend. During our conversation, I realized how helping it is to connect and nurture the other parts of me. Though I still had toddlers hanging on every body part and on her every word, well, it just felt good. Thanks, Jillian.

Now, this week, things seem more even and easy. I was in the midst of cleaning the tornado that was our room last night and found some notes I had jotted down after a solitary walk last week. I find it interesting that even while struggling with being a Mama, my thoughts are still so intertwined with the role. It has even taken up space in my scientific brain parts. Today I do not seem to mind so much.

Sometimes I think about the biology of Life and I marvel.

I think about the fact that I carried the potential that is now my two children, carried them inside me for thirty years before the explosion of life that came to be them. The were there, half, unknown to me and yet so much a part of my body, born to me.

I think about the mitochondrial DNA that is mine alone, in their cells, passed down by maternal line, creating the energy that is required for us to live.

I think about the billions of neurons in their brains, born with so many, so much more than would ever be needed. I think about how each action, movement, sensation creates pruning, strengthening pathways, creating the map of the world as they will know it.

I think about the acquisition of skill, physical and otherwise. I recall learning to drive a stick shift at 22, the uncontrolled popping up of my clutch foot, knee slamming into dash board repeatedly as I practiced. It gives me an appreciation in this current day as I watch them harness movements, overshoot and fall and stumble about but slowly, slowly improve each time. Until it is just second thought, like my clutch foot.

The scientist in me wishes I could touch these things, run my fingers along the pathway as it strengthens, the one that teaches confidence, love, respect, joy. I wish I could watch the cells divide and build as their bodes stretch and change and act/react to their world.

And the other part of me, the magician/goddess part sits back and revels in the magic of it all.

Someday I hope my boys find fascination in these things. That they want to know cell biology, anatomy, physiology, psychology. I hope they love the dictionary and want to know why the world works as it does, not to divest it of its magic, but to better appreciate it. To better be part of it. The knowing of these things enriches me, helps me be. And I wonder if it will help them.

Look of reproach? Who can run from that?

His hair reminds me of buttercream icing.

It ain't always easy, but it sure is worth it, right?


Dawn Johnson Warren said...

Amen, sister. Amen.

LauraC said...

Quickly commenting as I must run to pick up my sweeties at school...

I don't think we can be the best mother every day. There, I said it. Some days I suck as a mom. There are natural ebbs and flows to life, and I think this applies to mothering as well. I had a day on Sunday where I honestly did not want to put that much effort into being a mom. I wanted to lay on my couch and watch my tv and have no little voices bothering me.

Then Monday morning I got to wake two boys and tell them it snowed. And school was closed. And that day, I had one of my best days as a mother. I felt such joy in each moment. I was so happy to get this extra little day with my men where we couldn't leave the house and it was just us.

I try to listen to what my body tells me, and some days it is ok to not want to be supermom. And I think my boys will appreciate that I was a whole, real person to them instead of June Cleaver.

(Or maybe I will be paying therapy bills because I was not June Cleaver.)

(OK this wasn't short at all.)

jillian said...

Anytime, baby!

So glad you are feeling the even keel this week, as even as it gets, anyway :)

Patricia said...

I am with you on this. Toddler twins can drain you dry. The guilt piece really got me...I feel that way all the time, like I need a break, but feel guilty and almost like I can't say it out loud, like a good mother shouldn't feel this way. The truth is a good mother is just a person with feelings and needs!

To me, you seem like a wonderful mother, responsive to your boys, so attentive to the details of their lives...and they seem so adventurous, so bright and full of spunk.

Thank you for the camera advice. I think I am going to bite the bullet and just get it. I don't want to miss any more moments.

Sereknitty said...

Thankfully, the good days/weeks are the ones that we usually remember!

Anonymous said...

i always appreciate when people are honest about what having children entails. it's refreshing even when it looks hard. you're fabulous!!

Preeti said...

What a wonderful way to remember every detail that goes into making these little lives be so entwined with yours.