When I became a mother – literally, the second my daughter was born and placed on my chest – I lost all interest and passion for anything else in my life. My evaporated passion for research, psychology, and career was worrisome for my wife and others in my life because they feared I’d never return to school to finish my doctorate. My wife, particularly, had lost a part of me that she’d always found attractive – one of the things that drew her to me as a partner was my passion and drive toward my dream career.
In the time since I became a mother I’ve found the patience and determination within me to continue working on my doctorate, but the passion hadn’t returned. Very recently, however, I met with someone I used to volunteer with and we got talking about teaching, teaching theory, and adult learning. That was always one of my passions and a part of the dream career I used to envision for myself, but it, too, had fizzled out. But as we talked, I felt a tiny spark ignite in my brain (or in my soul, maybe), and I started to feel passion for teaching again. I started to feel excited to get back in the classroom. I started to yammer on and on about adult learning theory. When the conversation ended, my excitement diminished again over the course of the day. But it’s almost as if a pilot light had been re-lit. Now it takes less to trigger me into excitement over the research and theory I used to be passionate about.
Today I was randomly wondering why women are expected to make so much noise during sex, and men aren’t. I Google Scholar’ed it and started reading feminist research on sexuality and I felt hungry for it, like I couldn’t ingest enough of it. I started to crave a good conversation on the topic and wanted to call up a peer who specializes in this area and go for a coffee.
This kind of passion for knowledge, for reading academic articles, for critiquing theory and methods, had been gone for so long. But I’m catching more and more glimpses of that old side of me. I’m hopeful now that I might actually return to wanting something more for myself than motherhood alone. I’m hopeful for this because I don’t want to deny myself of the career I’d always dreamed of because of the way I feel about motherhood RIGHT NOW. I don’t want to wake up one day feeling less completely consumed by motherhood and realize that I’m discouragingly far away from that dream career that I had been so close to before motherhood.
I was inspired by my blogging friend My Perfect Breakdown to do a random facts about me post. Here are 5 things about me that have nothing to do with my progeny or my parenting.
1. I grew up always owning horses, was obsessed with horses, used to show horses, but haven’t been on a horse since I was probably 19 years old (so, 12 years ago). I have absolutely no reason for giving it up besides just not getting a new horse when my last horse died. This memory inspired me to look through old pictures and share some here.
2. I used to breed tropical fish for spending-money in high school. I had over 10 aquariums set up in my house. My mom was so tolerant!!
3. I’m a whiney sick person. I’m not proud of it, and spent a lot of years denying it, but I hate being sick and I make sure the world knows.
4. I was raised mostly by my mom. My parents separated when I was 3, but they remained friends and my dad visited almost every weekend and every holiday. I’m still more of a daddy’s girl than a mama’s girl, maybe because my mom had to do most of the discipline and my dad just had to show up for the fun things.
5. My favourite animal is not the cat, despite being a self-declared cat person and always having at least one cat in my care. My favourites are a tie between the blue whale and the common loon. It’s on my bucket list to see a blue whale, and part of why I love them so much is that I know it’s actually very unlikely I’ll ever be fortunate enough to see one.
Last night we heard a frantic kerfuffle behind our washer/dryer, which is in our walk-in closet off the bedroom. We assumed there was a mouse-fight in the walls. We live in an old house. These things happen…
This morning it started up again, but in addition to the scrambling sounds, we heard wild and crazed bird calls (link to a video clip at end of post). We pulled the washer/dryer out and saw the flexible drier vent pipe jiggle and bounce as a bird clearly ran back and forth inside the corrugated tube. It wasn’t trapped (the grated vent cover had fallen off (and landed 2 stories below)) but it didn’t want to leave. I jiggled the pipe and tapped on it with a screwdriver and yelled at the bird to get out, and it squacked back at me with indignance.
I worried that it had already somehow had time to build a nest and lay eggs and hatch them out and that I’d be killing a bunch of baby birds by removing the pipe. I also worried that the angry adult bird would fly out the end of the pipe and attack me as I removed it from the back of the dryer.
But none of that happened. It was just one frantic bird who didn’t want its newfound condo to be invaded by humans. It left the premises when I removed the vent pipe, and had only brought two twigs in so far in an attempt at making a nest. I shoved a towel in the open pipe and we’ll have to permanently fix the problem when we come back home after the long weekend.
Here’s a clip from my Instagram stories showing the wild and wacky sounds it was making!
I’m having a good day. Here are just 5 of the little things that I’m loving right at this moment.
Avery was so happy when I picked her up from daycare. She and her daycare best friend were caught in an adorable loop of “bye”s and hugs when we were about to leave, and she sang to herself all the way home.
After nursing her to sleep for her nap, I took about 20 minutes to just stare at her and kiss her forehead.
I played with fresh playdough before it got sticky, snotty, slobbery toddler hands all over it.
I baked a successful loaf of white sourdough bread – the white flour has been giving me trouble with rising lately, but this time I nailed it.
It feels like spring outside. The air is warming, it’s rainy and dreary, and the earth smells fecund. My favourite kind of weather.
I’ve posted the ocassional blog entry here that relates to my backyard chickens, my sustainable living goals, my garden, and my sourdough baking. All of this material (and more related topics) will now be posted over at my other blog, The Hobby Homestead. I’m waiting on a domain transfer to get rid of the .WordPress part of the URL, but while I wait, I figured I’d start spreading the news that I’m splitting up my blog into two distinct interest areas.
If you’d just like to keep seeing my posts about mom-life, do nothing.
If you’d like to read more about my urban hobby homesteading endeavours, check out my new blog and consider following me there, too! I’ll be posting less content there (about one post a week), but content will always include pictures and a walk in my shoes as I learn new ways of being self-sufficient as a wannabe urban homesteader. It’s pretty much all food related for now, with topics ranging from growing vegetables to brewing beer.
My blogging challenge has come to a close. I’ve loved writing for 30 days straight, and I’ve learned a lot about what’s most important/pressing to me in life by what I’ve chosen to recount. Lots about sleep and breastfeeding, not surprisingly. That’s mostly what you get from me if you follow my blog! That, and a spattering of chicken talk and pics of homemade bread.
Tonight I’m going to write about something we haven’t been plagued with in quite a while – teething. Avery has started teething her 2-year molars. Last night she woke up at 1:30am crying (which she hasn’t been doing for the past couple of weeks – she wakes and asks calmly for me to come in and give her milk). This time she was inconsolable. I tried offering milk, I tried cuddling her, I tried bringing her back to our bed, but she wasn’t having any of it. I tried taking her downstairs to watch tv but we have a basement tenant and she was still crying downstairs, so I figured that wasn’t a sustainable option. Finally at 2:15am we put on Moana in our bedroom. She fell asleep cuddled into me watching her favourite movie. It was so adorable.
This morning she felt hot to touch, but didn’t have a fever. Her cheeks were red. She wouldn’t take her fingers out of the back of her mouth. She barely touched breakfast, snack, or lunch. Advil was a game changer – clearly she was feeling pain.
Although we can’t see swelling at the gums, it’s hard to see back there, and the teeth could be moving down but not at the edges of the gums yet. I’m 99% sure that teething is on the table. I hope they come soon, but I’ve heard that the 2-year molars can take a long time to work their way down. It’s also kind of shocking to think that my little baby is working on the last baby teeth she will ever grow…
I got some kind of flu-ish bug. I woke up at 5am from the stomach cramps, and I was so thankful to have my wife around to help out. She got Avery ready in the morning, took her to daycare, picked her up from daycare, and spent the afternoon working from home as a second set of hands.
When these things happen I’m always keenly aware of how different life would be as a single parent. Hats off to those who work and parent all by themselves. I commend you. Before I met my wife, I actually anticipated that I’d become a single parent by choice. But now that I’ve been a parent for a mere 17 months, I don’t know how you do it.