I'm feeling philosophical this morning, perhaps because I slept in loopy 45 minute bursts as punishment for trying to sneak a square of Lindt Intense Mint Dark Chocolate last night before bed. Alas, a baby's gut can't be fooled. Most of my dreams involved being the skull-headed, hot, dead, Aztec chick from Robinson Crusoe and running into things because I was a skull and didn't have eyes. Too cruel.
In any case, I followed a blogpath this morning that took me from yo-yo abandonado by friend and follower katiri to this blog by ChicagoSane. Warning: both blogs offer some mature content, including the dreaded P and C words, which doesn't bother me, because I curse like a sailor when little pitchers with big ears and bigger mouths aren't around.
Now, most of the blogs I follow are admittedly for mothers, by mothers. It's so easy to get caught in the loop of "this is what I do, ergo, this is what I am". We grow so accustomed to hiding behind big bellies and adorable babies that we forget that other people actually see *us*, and sometimes we forget to see ourselves. I find it refreshing and surreal to read the thoughts of people on the prowl in a world where sunglasses and hairstyles and freshness of underpants are sincere considerations.
It's like studying pictures of tribes who find porcupine quills through the cheeks attractive. As in, "I know people do that, but HOW? and WHY? and OUCH!"
I have no idea what I would do, were I single and looking for love. I don't know how people in their thirties actually meet viable, long-term partners. I'm guessing a terrifying combination of church, work, Facebook, eHarmony, Sunday morning bookstore-ing, and ritualistically sacrificing black chickens in supplication.
In my world, women publicly judge eachother on a wide range of variables from coolness of diaper bags to Transformer-ness of high-tech strollers to cuteness of organic cloth diapers. Men generally don't see us, as we have small children attached to us, and there is very little as sexually repellant to men as small children. Children judge us on the probability that we will produce snacks from our gigantic purses.
And I want to rebel. I don't want to be judged by any of these criteria. I want to be seen as a unique and passionate individual who just so happens to have children. And yet sometimes, I find myself venturing out, covered in all the wrong bodily fluids, wearing hideous shoes and jeans that don't fit, throwing my dirty hair into a bun and trying to mentally block out the fact that I am still being judged every second, quietly, by *someone*. And that someone does not know that I keep a blog, that I have an art studio in my living room, that I can bellydance, that Baudelaire is still my favorite poet, even if i've outgrown the melancholy. That I'm a freakin' unique snowflake!
Part of being a mom is giving up the chance to be known deeply. No one asks probing questions on first dates or calls you "just to talk". When we speak to eachother as our children eat paste off the floor, we ask questions like, "What did you want to do when you went to school?" or "What did you do for fun before kids?" Even our own phraseology admits that we've given up the vibrant parts of our personalities, and that's an enormous tragedy.
They say that marriage takes work, that each partner should give 100%, not just 50%. I believe that's true, and so does my husband, and we are ridiculously happy. Obviously mothering takes 100% dedication. But I think that being a person, a self-aware and constantly growing person, also takes 100%. People who put all their personality eggs in one mothering basket are going to go without delicious omeletts, and I see a lot of omelett-hungry women out there. You have to refill your cup, whatever it is you want in your cup.
If you don't work a muscle, it atrophies. If you don't work on marriage, it sours, and you grow apart. If you don't work on mothering, your kids will go wild and live in trees. Like marmosets. And, in my opinion, if you don't work on *yourself*, no matter who you are, you become a zombie. And if you become a zombie, I will one day hunt you down on a Vespa with a rifle while wearing some really kickass boots.
Okay, maybe not the last part.
But still. Beware the mombies. Always fight the mombies.
I am now going to go wash my hair and find a belt.
Tonight: Pet Parade. Promise.