Welcome to my blog!
For a long time now I’ve wanted to write something, anything, about my journey through this strange thing that is motherhood. I began to keep a journal and then thought, “what the heck,” and decided to start a blog. I’m still anxious about sharing personal information over the internet (the viral nature of blogs and facebook is both compelling scary at the same time) so am just trying this out. At the end of each day, I’m so tired that it’s tempting to just call it an early night and go to sleep because before you know it, tomorrow will be here, and I’ll have to do it all again. (Or, more likely, many nighttime wakings with a still-nursing baby will pass, and then, blurry eyed and before you know it, tomorrow will be here.) Yet increasingly I feel compelled to write—it feels like an absolute necessity—so here goes. I’ve been postponing writing this out of some strange assumption that my first post needed to be something of an overview—who I am, where I come from, and why I need to write about mothering. But the energy, perspective, and time to write such a post never happened, so I’ll just begin, like so many things, in the middle; instantly interruptible.
Sometimes I feel like my day is full of starts and interruptions, and that I rarely get to actually finish and accomplish anything. Why is it that mothering, despite all the time and energy, frequently lacks a sense of accomplishment? I begin the day by starting to drink a cup of coffee but that much-needed cup of caffeine rarely gets finished before it goes cold; I begin getting dressed before having to run after a toddler who is running around the house with a sharp screwdriver (where did he get that?!) and settle with half an outfit and no makeup or hair done; I start to check email but can read but not write back to messages. I recently got a gently used piano and am enthusiastically trying to get my skills back but can only play a few measures worth of Clair de Lune until tiny hands join mine on the keyboard, and run up and down the keys. The ensuing scene resembles Sesame Street's Animal on the drums but on the piano. Several years ago, I was finishing writing my dissertation when my first was just born. I thought that writing a dissertation and caring for a newborn would be a snap but I soon learned that the two are not easily compatible and that, in the long run, if a mother is to write, read, or create something, it will have to be on her own time, in the margins of her day. The problem is that when mothering duties are done, mothers are likely exhausted to the point where any creative or intellectual activity becomes difficult. Anyone with young children can attest to that fact.
I’m calling this blog “Instantly Interruptible” because I feel such a resonance with Tillie Olsen’s quote. I sympathize with her desire to create something, and her frustration at having to balance the very urgent needs of young children with the longings of the soul for creativity, thought, and…some peace and quiet. To that end, I often end my day by curling up with a good book. Ah….after hours of pots and pans (and yes, pianos) banging, and children engaging in screaming competitions, introversion looks pretty darn good! I am an avid reader—I need to read in order to put myself back together, to calm myself, and nurture some much needed stillness. In this blog, I hope to share thoughts of mothering, writing, and reading with you. Like my life right now, it will probably be a bit unstructured, maybe a bit erratic in its schedule, but it will be from the heart, urgent, and, like mothering, a labor of love.
I would be honored if you would join me.