My darling daughters:
Motherhood is a timeless and unifying journey, if you allow it to be. I like to compare it to a free flowing river, where I see myself as the guiding riverbanks, and each child as their own flow of fresh life-giving water. I am always there for you, to guide you as you need it, to protect you from turning into a pond, and to let you flow freely as you find new paths in your life.
This blog is for you to resort to when you are confused, to refer to when/if you have children of your own, and to find comfort in when you begin to wonder about your childhood.
As your mom, let me tell you that I am often confused about how I am raising you, whether I am doing things right or whether it is ok for me to feel the way I feel. Motherhood is a strange concoction of infinite, deep love and joy at the level of the subconscious mixed with a natural hormonal turmoil that begins with pregnancy and continues until who-knows-when. So, confusion is a very normal state of being for a mother, regardless of how well she is handling her moments with or without her children.
I look at my own mother, who is currently living thousands of miles away from me and my brother and from her grandchildren, and I can’t even imagine how much she misses us. And yet, she continues to be strong as a rock and continues to put on her best face and energy when she calls us for a video chat every single day.
Now that both of her children are adults, she is dealing with a completely different reality than I am. She is living with the memories, the scars and experiences of raising us, of always worrying about us, and of loving us to unknown depths. Her goal every day is to check up on us and to try to read in between our casual chats, and decipher the smallest possible extra wrinkle that may be lurking on our faces, just to make sure that we are OK, that we are not off track or confused.
Believe it or not, she has almost always been able to call out the slightest imbalances that I have been experiencing. Sometimes, on video chat, she will prolong the conversation so much and ask the same open ended questions until I finally tell her what is bothering me. And on those days when everything is ok with me, I will poke fun at her for repeating her questions and we just laugh it out.
My frequent moments of confusion are quite different from my mother’s. I find myself sometimes over-analyzing the simplest things, such as whether I should be changing diapers every hour or every two hours? Whether I should be offering you water or milk? Whether I should wean you off the breast or let you wean yourself? Whether I should consider the “wisdom” offered by others of letting you “cry-it-out” when you refuse to stay asleep at night?
I refer to these as simple, because I now have hindsight on them. At the time these questions were before me, I felt like the world needed to stop turning until I found the best and perfect answer, that would benefit my daughters. I felt that the slightest “mistake” in my decision-making might affect you forever and that pressure was sometimes unbearable.
Well, guess what? That confusion still continues, and almost every day new questions emerge. I just take comfort in the answers that I have found so far, knowing that my mommy-gut will lead me to more answers in the future.
And then there are times when my mommy-gut needs a little jumpstart and leads me to asking around and going online. Sometimes, I wonder if access to the internet has been my best friend or worst enemy; I have the same thoughts about talking to other mothers and comparing parenting notes with them. But ultimately, I feel that the better informed I am, the better my decision-making will be.
Maybe some of the things I write here can be good starting points for you when your questions emerge. I will do my best to write about as many different topics as I can think of related to your upbringing, including some of the basics such as sleep, nutrition, parenting styles and so on; but also, tucking in some of my personal thoughts on society, media, education etc, just so that I can vent a little too.
Venting is one of the most gratifying feelings as a mother – in addition to chocolate, wine, and quiet-time while everyone is asleep. When the hormones are completely in disarray and the body is on 6 hours of fully interrupted sleep, the mind turns into an unforgiving and nagging alien. Writing about my deepest and darkest moments has always been my release, and so keeping this casual low-chi journal will become my new outlet.
I want to keep some sort of diary that you can both refer to one day, to get a glimpse into how life was before your long term memory was initiated. I often find myself wondering the same thing, and what I have to refer to is lots of pictures that my parents saved from our childhood. Sometimes the smallest details in those pictures speak chapters to me and revive vague yet genuine feelings of nostalgia.
Now that I have openly stated why I will be writing here, the pressure is off. I can now warmheartedly invited whoever is interested to follow this blog for which ever reason they wish.
I will welcome comments with one simple exception: only positive, informative, educational comments will be approved and posted. I will read everything else and may even respond to you personally via email, but please understand that this blog will be a work in progress aimed for my daughters for as long as I am alive. I do not wish to taint it.
Let’s let the rivers flow freely to find their place in the open seas.