8.18.2004

to be poignant about what it is that i do and why is the weight upon me at the moment. to say how it is that i see this is spinning in my thoughts, the complexity of my motivations and the never-ending questioning of what they are, where they come from and how i can come to understand them or even to discover them. how i can come to understand myself, to unearth myself from beneath the images spilled into my head from out the books and all other forms of media, to unearth myself from beneath my history and the processes of my journey and the everyday and the confusing and the confounding. to unearth myself from out my mothers and my fathers and my sisters. to unearth myself from out my grandmothers and grandfathers. from out my ethnicity. to unearth myself from beneath each role and each archetype i posses or each that possesses me. to unearth myself from out myself and the ghosts of myself walking around me, the multiple dimensions of each choice made at every moment in an infinity of choice-making, the ghosts of my fifteen year old self who can still think that the kid in the newest version of peter pan is cute, the ghosts of my three year old self, wondering if the heap of old lady in the alley is dead or merely drunk, the ghosts of my twenty-one year old self, crying, fighting with my husband, trying to find truth and meaning and beauty in life, and perhaps even the ghosts of my future selves, all spinning inside my head and trying desperately to make the correct decisions with each moment, each choice before me so that i spend the best amount of time doing the best that was given to me and the most fulfilling thing possible always, constantly, despite the inconveniences it causes and knowing perhaps that really the choices made are the most convenient, the least disruptive and the easiest made, or alternately, no choice at all... but where do i find me? where am i hidden? is it true that i might be more satisfied elsewhere, doing more, doing less? did i make the decisions that have brought me to where i am for the right reasons? am i selling myself short? the question more precisely: did i arrive at motherhood, or did motherhood arrive at me? did i choose to be a stay-at-home-mother because that was something that i truly feel is a calling for me, or did i choose to be a stay-at-home-mother because it is what is best for my children and really, i hate work and would rather not have to go back? more precisely, barring those early years, do i intend on staying home for as long as i do simply because there is a lack of other options? will i find fulfillment? i truly do not like to make a game out of putting the groceries away. i do not sing songs with a smile on my face. i am not thrilled with my two-year-old's behavior most of the time. i can not muster the care bear strength to do all this and do it without complaint like some martyr to motherhood. but - is that okay? is this pressure that i feel to be the perfect mom who bakes and gardens and sings raffi songs and reads stories all day long while serving up organic, whole foods and sewing my own organic cotton diapers - is it reasonable? is it really what i want at all, or is it merely the perfect mom heroine in my head who births perfectly and breastfeeds perfectly and disciplines perfectly and never has a bad word to say about it? is this some fiction that i created, or did it come from somewhere else? how do i cut her off at the knees? i can never hope to aspire to that. i feel nearly done reading discipline books and scouring the electronic fields of mothering for the answer to my problems. i feel like what i do naturally is probably good enough. more importantly, i feel that what i do naturally is my best and that to strive for much more than that is setting myself up for failure. i cannot, i do not think, retrain my brain to do without words like "no" or to not get annoyed or upset. i can only attempt to not yell, as i have been doing the last six years with my husband. and what i am finding aids in this best is to lower the bar dramatically. if i do not feel the pressure to be the perfect supermom all the goddamned time, then i am much more able to get through the day with my two-year-old without wanting to strangle him (much). motherhood really does change your life - it makes you loathe the creature pulling on your leg, whining, and wonder why you ever did this in the first place (though of course, not all the time, just most of it).

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