Jen writes

March 18, 2012

(Be)longing [still]

For the past several days I’ve been trying to write a blog post. I kept getting stuck, so I took a few minutes to peruse the Momalom archives. Along the way I found that I’d already written what I’ve been trying to write. This post was originally published in December 2009.

Was I lying when I wrote about not apologizing for my dreams? Because I haven’t been doing much to further those dreams lately. I have been composing only in my head. At night. Long after everyone else in the house is asleep. Or I have been jotting down notes on a legal pad between trips to the kitchen to do a dish, get a snack, refill a juice cup. But I have not been here. Here. At the computer, the porthole to the blog, at night, after the kids are asleep. I have not. Instead I have been with my Sweetie. Where I like to be. Where I need to be.

But. Then. There is this. All of these thoughts. At night. Later and later until it is early and the kids wake up. There is this. Writing that needs to be written. Ideas. That need to get out of my head. To make room for the rest building up in there like snow drifts against the door, creeping higher and higher until they are visible through the peephole. Until there is nothing to do but bust open the door and get covered in snow.

Motherhood is defining. It has changed the way I operate in the world. The way I see the world. The way I think about the world. And the way I try to make sense of the world. Most important, becoming a mother has irrevocably changed my place in the world. My very reason for being here. I have arrived.

And I am grateful. Because along the way I found a way to write again. A way to write and endless “material” to write from. I didn’t think I could write “essays.” Like this one. Or poems? Like this one. I didn’t think I’d be a “blogger.” In all honesty I’m not 100 percent comfortable with the term. But I have found–if not a definition for what it is I do–a way to write, to think about writing, and an appreciative, supportive, understanding community who also challenges me. A community of readers who are also writers. In the past there were fiction writing groups that met every other week. And there was the MFA. Gone unfinished for now. But now there is a community in this blogging world. And while I haven’t abandoned my fiction, for now this is where I need to be. Where I can be. Where the time and patience that I have available to me can form a complete idea. A “post” can be written start to finish in one sitting (more or less). It is not the scope of the novel that I know I will return to, but it is more than I had hoped for. And yet I don’t know how to really belong.

I struggle with the grips of dependency. And with the urge to run to a place that is quiet. I struggle with all that I want to do and all that I need to do. And I’m fairly certain this isn’t going to change any time soon, if ever. I struggle with embracing myself the mother and finding time for myself, me. It is an ongoing process of growth and change, this business of parenting and family wellness. For now I will try to focus on doing as much as I can for everyone, including myself–including continuing to write. I don’t have a lot of time. But I wasn’t lying. I’ll be here when I can. And when I’m not, I’ll be mothering, snuggling with my Sweetie and, occasionally, jumping in the snow drifts.

Read More in Jen Writes, motherhood, three kids, writing
Naomi writes

I identify with this so much. Part of the issue must be that my to-do lists are overly ambitious so I get to the end of my “me” time and I don’t feel that I’ve accomplished enough… and there was no time to rest!


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