“Motherhood is mental freeze.” So sang Kim Deal of the Breeders in their 1993 track “No Aloha”. I had just received my Ph.D. in philosophy that year, I was 27, and that sounded about right. I saw all the exhausted woman who were feeding, disciplining, and ferrying around their crying, whining, snotty broods and thought: what a bunch of suckers. I will never do that. I will have a career and develop my mind, and write important words and speak important speeches, and when I die, I will be remembered not for changing diapers and driving to hockey, but for the wonderful contribution I made to mankind.
I am 46 now. I have 4 small children ages 12 and under. My baby boy has stopped pooping in diapers, but he will soon join his two older brothers in playing hockey. I’m trying to figure out what lessons to impart to my daughter, now that I’ve abandoned my tough career-chick attitude. I’m trying to figure out what lessons to impart to myself, now that I’ve abandoned my tough career-chick attitude.
Why did I let it go? Partly, my biological clock hit 30 and I met the first man that I could see starting a family with. I also found myself deeply frustrated by my academic career, and very unmotivated to begin the tenure application process, which would lock me into academia forever it seemed–and who wanted to be there? But that’s a whole other story…
So I shifted course, left my job, married my guy, and began the journey. It was a long haul. Our first son was conceived easily, but the rest of our children were all IVF babies, and we went through years of the stress and suffering of infertility. Several miracles later, here I sit at my computer, hurdling through middle age, trying to jot down a few thoughts at 6a before I’m “on”–as chef, laundress, driver, nurse, teacher, and playmate, just to name a partial job-description.
But why another blog? Well, now that I’m finished bearing children and occupied with the messy business of raising them, I have a lot of new ideas about mothering, wellness, nutrition and about life generally. It’s easy to blog a thought here or there, and I thought it would be fun to try. I hope someone out there finds my musings interesting or helpful in some way. I’m trying to find that elusive middle ground between career and motherhood. I have no idea if I will, but, if you care to, please bear with me while I try to prove the Breeders wrong.