Monday, June 17, 2013

Not as easy as I thought it would be.

While on my third or fourth trip to Target last week, I responded to the siren’s call of a box of Swiss Cake Rolls and brought them home with me. End-cap specials are the WORST. And the best.

“I’ll serve them to guests on a fancy tray, and we’ll chuckle at the delicious trashiness of it all, but I won’t actually eat any.” That’s what I told myself. Since then, no one has come over except the FedEx guy, and I’ve eaten half the box all by myself. Hiding them in the back of the refrigerator has just made them more appealing. My only justification is that I will never let it happen again.

Here she is eating a donut
The point of this morality tale about dangerous Target addictions and general impulsiveness is that I would rather ramble about snack cakes than write about my daughter. I bet you didn’t see that coming.

When I found out I was pregnant, I’d been blogging regularly* for about four years. It was actually a very important part of my life. Comforting and fun. Something I genuinely looked forward to. I loved the challenge of stringing stories together to create some sort of tenuous (but funny? Maybe? Sometimes?) link between inane events and big life lessons. My blog followed me to Chicago and saw me through a lot of painful stuff. And then so many joyful things. So I assumed that, as my joy was about to reach its fever pitch, my blog would come along for the ride.

And I envisioned myself as the great scribe of my child’s life, snagging every funny story or poignant moment and saving it for posterity. But I didn’t really feel like writing about my pregnancy, save for a few mentions here and there. And, when Emilia was born, aside from a recap of her birth, I really didn’t feel like writing about her.

That sounds so horrible, but my intentions were and are good. I was initially inclined to attribute this dry spell, this Emilia-induced writer’s block, to the fact that I’ve become maniacally possessive of my time. It’s flying by so quickly, and she is getting so big, and she can almost say “belly button” now, and I’m afraid that if I take time to type, I’ll miss actually seeing things. And that is true, but it’s not really THE reason. After all, I could stand to put down my phone more often and just take. her. in.  

And here she is playing with keg cups
More so than that, I’ve found myself slipping into that place that I think other moms have found themselves in at one point or another. I’ve become paralyzingly self-conscious of my abilities, my style, my decisions, my story as a mother. I have a funny little thing I’d like to share about how in love I am with Emilia’s devotion to Elmo that I’m willing to buy any Elmo item** she covets – even if it means blowing the grocery budget – just to hear her say, “Melmo!” and smile like she’s just won an Oscar. But then I worry that it will make me sound like I can’t tell my child no. And then I scrap the whole plan and look at your Facebook page instead.

I’m self-conscious of what she eats, and how frequently we wash her hair, and how much time I spend with her during the day, and how she behaves in public, and how often we read to her, and how many episodes of Game of Thrones*** she’s seen from the corner of her tiny bat-winged eyes. And when you write about your life, you open yourself up to the internet's side eye. That’s just how it works.

When I started this new blog, I prematurely promised to make it a regular thing. And I’d genuinely like that to happen. But first, I have to carve out the time between Melmo-watching and snack-cake-eating, and secondly, I have to accept that my version of motherhood is imperfectly acceptable and, on occasion, worth reading about.



*Once every two months
**$7 and under
 ***This is probably not ok