Operation Caffeination

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mild irritations

with 2 comments

I have been looking at my blog stats, and now that I’ve been blogging sort of consistently for about a year I am starting to see some common themes between my regular readers (which, to be honest, I didn’t ever expect to have, so I’m pretty curious to know all about you). You are all chronic insomniacs, that is definitely clear. I get essentially all of my blog views between midnight and 4 am. I also get way more views on holidays and weekends, which, combined with the topics I cover, leads me to believe that you are mostly mothers who steal away to catch up on your blogs when your partners are around to entertain your kids for a bit.

In light of these findings, I’ve decided to post about some things that will likely be near and dear to all of our hearts: all the stupid little things that are driving me crazy right now as a mom.

1. My husband just read my blog for the first time. And, yeah, I’d been pestering him to read it for months, but I never thought he’d actually do it. I know he read it, and I’ve been waiting for hours now for any sort of feedback, only, you know, the kids were really demanding today and now he’s fallen asleep while trying to get D down for the night. I’m half tempted to wake him up. I feel like I did when my sister read my diary as a kid, just totally naked, and not in a good way. So. On the off chance that he ever does it again… haha…yeah, I’m talking to YOU. There’s a “like” button here, just like on FB. Feel free to use it liiiiiberally. Because if you don’t, I’ll assume that you don’t like what I’ve written and then I’ll freak out and start second-guessing myself and it’s fairly likely that I’ll delete the whole damn blog in a moment of gloom, and we both know how much you like my gloomy side.

2. All this pressure to not obsess over my weight and to have a healthy body image for my daughter’s sake is totally fucking with me. I DO have a good relationship with food. I love food, eat tons of it and totally enjoy it and I don’t feel even a tiny bit guilty about that. Food makes me smile. My ideal day is one spent drinking and eating hot roasted corn on the cob and lemon chicken as it comes off the grill. My ideal weight is somewhere in the vague neighborhood of 150 lbs (which, incidentally, I’m in right now, so there’s no dieting going on around here), because that’s the weight I like the best. I feel strong and healthy and attractive and I don’t have to deprive myself to stay at this weight. I don’t like my saggy post-baby belly and my boobs that could be mistaken for flotation devices, though. I know that the way my body has changed with pregnancy is outside of my control and doesn’t say a thing about me or my value as a person…but no, I don’t find myself beaming with self-love and satisfaction when I examine my c-section scar in the mirror, and all these articles about how we owe it to our daughters to be a counter-cultural example of body love are making me feel totally guilty on top of feeling less than lovely. How does this sound instead: I’ll feel the way I feel, I’ll be honest, and people who don’t live in my body and don’t know what it’s been through can fuck off with their judgmental and prescriptive attitudes. I realize that “I’m kind of flabby and mildly bummed about it, but don’t care enough to change my lifestyle” wouldn’t make for a great t-shirt, but it’s a pretty comfortable way to live.

3. Jon is graduating from school in June and has a job offer all lined up with an insurance company. We are totally thrilled about it and when I’m not drinking and grilling I am browsing around Craigslist for our next home because I am so, so ready to bid apartment dwelling adieu. People are starting to ask me what I plan to do once Jon graduates, though, and I am getting the feeling that people expect to see me use the extra income to pay for full time daycare so that I can pursue something more fulfilling and meaningful than mothering. I do plan to take more than one class each quarter once Jon’s around more to help out with the kids, but I kind of really resent the implication that the time I’ve spent at home has just gone down the drain.

Do you know what I’ve learned in the last four years? I’ve learned how to stick to a schedule without any outside guides to keep me on task; I’ve learned how to make time for reading; I’ve learned how to take a five minute shower, and how to fix my hair and makeup in less than ten minutes and still look presentable. I’ve learned a lot about myself, too. Turns out, I am actually am pretty anti-establishment all by myself and that wasn’t something my parents forced on me. I’ve also established my own religious and political views, without input from outside sources, and thanks to that experience I’ve gone all the way from my republican/baptist upbringing to the ecofeminist/secular Taoist you all know and presumably love.

Yes, I’ve found myself hungry for adult conversation. Yes, I’ve missed the sparks and excitement of catching a stranger’s attention so much that the cute boy selling nail care kits at the mall was able to charm me into buying a set just by complimenting my eyes (never mind the fact that I chew my nails so much that there really isn’t anything left requiring care). And, yes, I do have aspirations outside of mothering that have had to go on the back burner while the kids are small. I haven’t exactly suffered through all this sacrifice in silence. Still, to think of the time I’ve invested in my tiny kiddos as a waste, at best an unavoidable inconvenience or even as an unnecessary indulgence…that’s some misogynistic bullshit right there. If I quit a job, I leave a job opening behind me. Someone else will come along and fill it, no harm, no foul. Motherhood doesn’t work that way. I am the only person who is, has been or ever will be who can be a mother to Darren and Melia. My role as their mom is a very special kind of work and I won’t see it disrespected. Because the most important thing I’ve learned while staying home is that the rest of the world has it all wrong. Food, shelter and love are our inalienable rights as humans, not privileges to be earned in the workplace. Work is something you do for joy, self- and world-betterment, not survival, because survival is easy. It’s what’s programmed into you, what kept me going through PPD and PTSD, what drives my babies to learn to crawl and try new foods and to listen when I speak to them. I am only interested in re-entering the social construct people think of as reality because I’ve learned something and believe that I can improve life for others if I share what I’ve learned. So…waste of time? Get rid of your x-box and your big screen TV and then we’ll talk.


Written by GRSeim

January 20, 2012 at 6:03 am

2 Responses

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  1. I realize that “I’m kind of flabby and mildly bummed about it, but don’t care enough to change my lifestyle” wouldn’t make for a great t-shirt, but it’s a pretty comfortable way to live.

    FISTBUMP OF AWESOME. I tend to find that the pressure of mothering, period, is hard enough without having to be some paragon of social justice and whatnot. I am human, and I think it’s more important that my kids see that than try to pretend I don’t have grumpy moods, that I don’t struggle with life’s issues. Cool and calm and confident is great, but nobody should have to be that way all the time!


    January 23, 2012 at 5:50 am

    • THANK YOU. I get so tired of being told that if I am not legitimately a certain way as a person, my children will suffer as a result. I am not the only influencing factor in their lives, for one thing…and also, I’d like to hear more about the responsibility adolescents have to scrutinize the messages they receive in childhood. Put that angst to good use!


      January 23, 2012 at 8:16 am

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