Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reflections on Moms and Identity

I wouldn’t trade my little Aurora for the world, but there are things about pre-baby life I really miss.  At the top of the list?  Being able to pick up and go anywhere at any time.  During the day, I can go almost anywhere I please, but it has to happen between naps/feedings and it’s a little more complicated getting all of the gear together (stroller, diapers and wipes, sippy cup, snacks, etc.).  It takes a little planning. As for going out in the evenings—that’s pretty much never.  Aurora is in bed between 7 and 7:30.  I can’t just meet a friend for a drink or go to an impromptu show at a club or go out dancing.  I need an advanced plan (and a babysitter).

I hear those parents that say, “I live for my kids,” and while I can appreciate the sentiment (that’s most likely hyperbole), I think that we can’t give our kids our best if we aren’t giving ourselves our best first.  You can’t run the car without fuel, you know what I’m saying?  We get tricked into thinking we’re selfish if we read two bedtime stories instead of five, just so we can have some extra time with our spouse (or a good book…or a bath) in the evening.
Right before I found out I was pregnant with Aurora, I made an inspiration board for myself.  I still had it hidden in my desk, so I pulled it out to share.

 I realize it's just a glorified collage, but it helped me to daily visualize the things I wanted and to remind me daily that I needed to pursue my passions.

At the time I made this, I was focused on pursuing music and writing.  I had also just gone through a divorce and found myself dating people who were really bad for me (mostly musicians).  My inspiration board reminded me of the qualities I had to have in a person to make them a true part of my life. "Reject Apathy" became my new motto.  I didn't want to do things or be in relationships if my heart wasn't in them.  At the center of it all:  Faith. Hope. Love. I really wanted those things to be the center of my life (easier said than done).  And I wrote in two of my favorite quotes by Rilke and Virginia Woolf (from  To The Lighthouse:  "And then she said to herself, brandishing her sword at Life, Nonsense.").

Some parts of it have changed—some parts have been fulfilled—and some parts I’m still waiting on. I think sometime in the next few weeks I’d like to make a new personal inspiration board for myself.
Mamas, who wants to join me?



NickiD said...

I love this idea. My little one hasn't arrived yet (I'm due in March) but I like the idea of making a pre and post baby collage.

Miskabelle said...

I'd love for you to try it! I'm also thinking about posting a collage of...collages...if we get more moms on board. Congrats on the pregnancy! :)

Joan said...

i'm so in!! great idea! i used to make collages years ago from magazines and loved it! i'm with nickiD though...i am not due until april, but would love to make pre and post baby collages too :)

Miskabelle said...

Yay, Joan! Let's do it! I started cutting stuff out for mine today...but haven't found everything I want yet!

APGB said...

how very true Amanda :)As much as I love my children they have a set bedtime so they can get enough sleep at night (um...actually so i can crawl up on the couch read, have a glass of wine, or watch tv) We do as mom's need to take a "timeout" and nurture ourselves so that we are the best mama's we can be :)

APGB said...

btw this is Ashley (Schultz)

Miskabelle said...

Oh, Ash, thanks for reading!!! Sounds like you're a pretty great mama. I'm not surprised.

morgan said...

such a nice idea! i've had a rough day, so this was a good little pick me up. thank you.