Last Updated On August 6, 2014

 

"Real isn't how you are made", said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you... You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand" ~ The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

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I tumble down the rabbit hole well underground. If not safe, then at least hidden. Am I for real? Does any of this matter?  Am I full of shit? I’m forty. I am defined by my children. I’ve been parenting for seventeen years, pretty much my entire adult life. Its culmination (although I am far from done) has resulted in the advancement and success of everyone around me. But I didn’t get a diploma, nor a gold watch. I don’t feel legit. My work in the realm of home and family, although appreciated and needed, gets no air time. Nobody is interested in the art or science. There is not even language or an existing paradigm to discuss my seventeen years. What the hell would I put on a job application? What am I left with?

It cracks me up when people say “I could never be happy just being a stay at home mom.” For one reason, the stay at home moms I know are all kinds of secret and not so secret things. Filling the gaps of society’s needs, seeing things that not many others see, creating stuff totally independently and out of the box unpaid with little support. I’ve never met this mythical stay at home mom that does nothing but custodial care of her home and children. But that aside, the happy part kind of kills me. I’m blessed to have much joy in my life but the pursuit of personal happiness was never really the driving force behind my decision making, nor has it ever been a permanent one time decision. Like most mothers before and after me, I do what needs to get done at any given time and under any given circumstance. Sometimes school doesn’t work for your family. Sometimes your kids have disabilities. Sometimes your marriage implodes like a zeppelin. Sometimes you get pregnant again. And you do what needs doing. I spent a good chunk of my seventeen years with bubbling anxiety about the welfare of my marriage and children, sometimes at a simmer and sometimes at a full roll. Will they be ok? Am I doing enough? Like a fucking wishbone lodged in my throat only recently freed. Is this what necks feel like? Its so much easier to breathe…

So I guess what I am left with is- YES I did enough. And I can and will do whatever needs doing. Because I have a proven track record. Below is a letter. A small attempt to connect with and encourage a younger me and those still in the blur.

Dear Mama,

I see you. What you do matters. You matter. Don’t let anyone tell you your life is on hold. Breathe deep. Don’t let anyone denigrate who you are or what you do right now. Its no less important than what you did before. Take off that martyr’s robe. Its too heavy and it doesn’t fit. Sit back and take a moment to be in awe of what you’ve done. You. Made. People.

Sure, its frustrating and mundane at times and there is bound to be some heartache, but thats not all it is. Motherhood is not something to “get through” so you can get on with your real life. Motherhood is the realest life. The most raw, most challenging, most transformative, and most epic of all adventures. Chin up, be proud.

You are strong. Those rocking and nursing arms could pull someone from a burning building. You are a zen master, the calm in the eye of a storm. You have xray vision- your ability to make inferences from scant context and predict future outcomes is astounding. You are a scientist in a laboratory of your own making, testing theories, gathering information, and conducting experiments. You are a jedi, capable of manipulating the energy of an entire home and its occupants. Your powers of executive function are a wonder to behold, which is good because your family’s survival likely depends on it. The art of negotiation? Lets just say the world is lucky you are on the side of angels. You are the arbiter of all things fair and just. That productive womb of yours has infused you with creative power, you have more ideas, you see bigger. No matter the interruptions, no matter the lack of cooperation, you get shit done. You are a logistical ninja. If you were tortured, what could they do to you? Sleep deprivation? (seriously?) Pain? (no biggie) Sensory overload? (are you kidding?)

You are un-fucking-breakable, mama.

But I know its hard. I know sometimes it feels like too much. I know that its easy to lose who you are with so much resting on your shoulders. You feel shellshocked. You know who else gets shellshocked? A warrior. You are fighting the good fight mama, none of this is futile. But no worries, sweetness. When it gets overwhelming. When your ass has had its last kick. Show up at my door. Collapse onto my carpet. Speak only in grunts and tears. No need to be lucid because I get it, I do. I will hold this energy for you.

But trust me, dear one. Its worth it. I’m not talking about the kids. For YOU. This strength, this fortitude, this creativity, this higher intelligence will serve you for the rest of your days. You aren’t accomplishing in spite of motherhood, but on the contrary, as a result of it.

Put THAT on your resume.

Love,

Nora

 

Last Updated On August 6, 2014

 

"Real isn't how you are made", said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you... You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand" ~ The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

 

I tumble down the rabbit hole well underground. If not safe, then at least hidden. Am I for real? Does any of this matter?  Am I full of shit? I’m forty. I am defined by my children. I’ve been parenting for seventeen years, pretty much my entire adult life. Its culmination (although I am far from done) has resulted in the advancement and success of everyone around me. But I didn’t get a diploma, nor a gold watch. I don’t feel legit. My work in the realm of home and family, although appreciated and needed, gets no air time. Nobody is interested in the art or science. There is not even language or an existing paradigm to discuss my seventeen years. What the hell would I put on a job application? What am I left with?

It cracks me up when people say “I could never be happy just being a stay at home mom.” For one reason, the stay at home moms I know are all kinds of secret and not so secret things. Filling the gaps of society’s needs, seeing things that not many others see, creating stuff totally independently and out of the box unpaid with little support. I’ve never met this mythical stay at home mom that does nothing but custodial care of her home and children. But that aside, the happy part kind of kills me. I’m blessed to have much joy in my life but the pursuit of personal happiness was never really the driving force behind my decision making, nor has it ever been a permanent one time decision. Like most mothers before and after me, I do what needs to get done at any given time and under any given circumstance. Sometimes school doesn’t work for your family. Sometimes your kids have disabilities. Sometimes your marriage implodes like a zeppelin. Sometimes you get pregnant again. And you do what needs doing. I spent a good chunk of my seventeen years with bubbling anxiety about the welfare of my marriage and children, sometimes at a simmer and sometimes at a full roll. Will they be ok? Am I doing enough? Like a fucking wishbone lodged in my throat only recently freed. Is this what necks feel like? Its so much easier to breathe…

So I guess what I am left with is- YES I did enough. And I can and will do whatever needs doing. Because I have a proven track record. Below is a letter. A small attempt to connect with and encourage a younger me and those still in the blur.

Dear Mama,

I see you. What you do matters. You matter. Don’t let anyone tell you your life is on hold. Breathe deep. Don’t let anyone denigrate who you are or what you do right now. Its no less important than what you did before. Take off that martyr’s robe. Its too heavy and it doesn’t fit. Sit back and take a moment to be in awe of what you’ve done. You. Made. People.

Sure, its frustrating and mundane at times and there is bound to be some heartache, but thats not all it is. Motherhood is not something to “get through” so you can get on with your real life. Motherhood is the realest life. The most raw, most challenging, most transformative, and most epic of all adventures. Chin up, be proud.

You are strong. Those rocking and nursing arms could pull someone from a burning building. You are a zen master, the calm in the eye of a storm. You have xray vision- your ability to make inferences from scant context and predict future outcomes is astounding. You are a scientist in a laboratory of your own making, testing theories, gathering information, and conducting experiments. You are a jedi, capable of manipulating the energy of an entire home and its occupants. Your powers of executive function are a wonder to behold, which is good because your family’s survival likely depends on it. The art of negotiation? Lets just say the world is lucky you are on the side of angels. You are the arbiter of all things fair and just. That productive womb of yours has infused you with creative power, you have more ideas, you see bigger. No matter the interruptions, no matter the lack of cooperation, you get shit done. You are a logistical ninja. If you were tortured, what could they do to you? Sleep deprivation? (seriously?) Pain? (no biggie) Sensory overload? (are you kidding?)

You are un-fucking-breakable, mama.

But I know its hard. I know sometimes it feels like too much. I know that its easy to lose who you are with so much resting on your shoulders. You feel shellshocked. You know who else gets shellshocked? A warrior. You are fighting the good fight mama, none of this is futile. But no worries, sweetness. When it gets overwhelming. When your ass has had its last kick. Show up at my door. Collapse onto my carpet. Speak only in grunts and tears. No need to be lucid because I get it, I do. I will hold this energy for you.

But trust me, dear one. Its worth it. I’m not talking about the kids. For YOU. This strength, this fortitude, this creativity, this higher intelligence will serve you for the rest of your days. You aren’t accomplishing in spite of motherhood, but on the contrary, as a result of it.

Put THAT on your resume.

Love,

Nora

Last Updated On August 6, 2014

"Real isn't how you are made", said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you... You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand" ~ The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

I tumble down the rabbit hole well underground. If not safe, then at least hidden. Am I for real? Does any of this matter?  Am I full of shit? I’m forty. I am defined by my children. I’ve been parenting for seventeen years, pretty much my entire adult life. Its culmination (although I am far from done) has resulted in the advancement and success of everyone around me. But I didn’t get a diploma, nor a gold watch. I don’t feel legit. My work in the realm of home and family, although appreciated and needed, gets no air time. Nobody is interested in the art or science. There is not even language or an existing paradigm to discuss my seventeen years. What the hell would I put on a job application? What am I left with?

It cracks me up when people say “I could never be happy just being a stay at home mom.” For one reason, the stay at home moms I know are all kinds of secret and not so secret things. Filling the gaps of society’s needs, seeing things that not many others see, creating stuff totally independently and out of the box unpaid with little support. I’ve never met this mythical stay at home mom that does nothing but custodial care of her home and children. But that aside, the happy part kind of kills me. I’m blessed to have much joy in my life but the pursuit of personal happiness was never really the driving force behind my decision making, nor has it ever been a permanent one time decision. Like most mothers before and after me, I do what needs to get done at any given time and under any given circumstance. Sometimes school doesn’t work for your family. Sometimes your kids have disabilities. Sometimes your marriage implodes like a zeppelin. Sometimes you get pregnant again. And you do what needs doing. I spent a good chunk of my seventeen years with bubbling anxiety about the welfare of my marriage and children, sometimes at a simmer and sometimes at a full roll. Will they be ok? Am I doing enough? Like a fucking wishbone lodged in my throat only recently freed. Is this what necks feel like? Its so much easier to breathe…

So I guess what I am left with is- YES I did enough. And I can and will do whatever needs doing. Because I have a proven track record. Below is a letter. A small attempt to connect with and encourage a younger me and those still in the blur.

Dear Mama,

I see you. What you do matters. You matter. Don’t let anyone tell you your life is on hold. Breathe deep. Don’t let anyone denigrate who you are or what you do right now. Its no less important than what you did before. Take off that martyr’s robe. Its too heavy and it doesn’t fit. Sit back and take a moment to be in awe of what you’ve done. You. Made. People.

Sure, its frustrating and mundane at times and there is bound to be some heartache, but thats not all it is. Motherhood is not something to “get through” so you can get on with your real life. Motherhood is the realest life. The most raw, most challenging, most transformative, and most epic of all adventures. Chin up, be proud.

You are strong. Those rocking and nursing arms could pull someone from a burning building. You are a zen master, the calm in the eye of a storm. You have xray vision- your ability to make inferences from scant context and predict future outcomes is astounding. You are a scientist in a laboratory of your own making, testing theories, gathering information, and conducting experiments. You are a jedi, capable of manipulating the energy of an entire home and its occupants. Your powers of executive function are a wonder to behold, which is good because your family’s survival likely depends on it. The art of negotiation? Lets just say the world is lucky you are on the side of angels. You are the arbiter of all things fair and just. That productive womb of yours has infused you with creative power, you have more ideas, you see bigger. No matter the interruptions, no matter the lack of cooperation, you get shit done. You are a logistical ninja. If you were tortured, what could they do to you? Sleep deprivation? (seriously?) Pain? (no biggie) Sensory overload? (are you kidding?)

You are un-fucking-breakable, mama.

But I know its hard. I know sometimes it feels like too much. I know that its easy to lose who you are with so much resting on your shoulders. You feel shellshocked. You know who else gets shellshocked? A warrior. You are fighting the good fight mama, none of this is futile. But no worries, sweetness. When it gets overwhelming. When your ass has had its last kick. Show up at my door. Collapse onto my carpet. Speak only in grunts and tears. No need to be lucid because I get it, I do. I will hold this energy for you.

But trust me, dear one. Its worth it. I’m not talking about the kids. For YOU. This strength, this fortitude, this creativity, this higher intelligence will serve you for the rest of your days. You aren’t accomplishing in spite of motherhood, but on the contrary, as a result of it.

Put THAT on your resume.

Love,

Nora