Hello, dear reader. It’s been such a long time, hasn’t it? How have you been?
Over here is – a lot. Good, bad, ecstatic, miserable, exciting, boring – it seems that we’ve run the gamut in our little corner of the world. Motherhood is such a constellation of emotions, feelings, healing – not to mention isolation, confusion, joy, chaos, and peace.
You don’t realize when you are pregnant that once your little one is ready to come into the world as a new life and they separate from your body that you aren’t the same person.
I read that birth and motherhood causes visual changes to the structure of the brain. After over a year of experiencing motherhood – yes, I can feel it. Not just the changes but the push and pull of the different expectations of it all.
It feels like a puzzle. That you have components of your previous self and new pieces to add. You have been shattered from the previous picture and you now have to reassemble yourself with the new pieces to create a new picture.
And – there isn’t always a lot of help.
Giving birth is such a profound, momentous, amazing, and dangerous experience. While I won’t say that giving birth was the greatest experience of my life I will say that it was one of the most empowering – one that required a lot of strength and endurance since I gave birth without the physical support of my husband, family, or friends.
And to add, I feel it must be the case for everyone who gives birth – both vaginally AND cesarean. I don’t imply that I am in any way special because of my circumstances, they were what they were and not the choice I would have made. But sometimes we aren’t always given choices for life, are we? I digress. Anyways – to those who have given birth you deserve medals and also free housework and food for a least the first couple of years and heck, to those who haven’t or won’t give birth you deserve lots of things too. I really need to get this post back on track.
I truly find it amazing that women are still considered “inferior” and that there aren’t more women in leadership roles when we are essentially the force that brings all human life into the world. How utterly confusing when all the process leading up to and after (because once you have a baby your body is STILL changing!) is so much WORK. It’s not always a beautiful, effortless, “natural” event. In fact, I had to get induced! I have friends who were sick almost their entire pregnancies. Friends who carried multiple babies. How strange – to bring forth from our bodies the entire human race but to be considered worth less than about half of it. (Disclaimer – not everyone, not all cultures, not everywhere but PLENTY enough.)
As you can see, I’ve had time – sometimes I feel TOO much time – to be with my thoughts. I made the choice to be the stay at home caretaker for our child during the first few years of their life – something I decided I would do if I ever had children. (And side note – I feel that it’s a huge privilege I was able to choose because not everyone can). It brings a lot of joy but it’s basically a 24/7 job with no set meal breaks, no salary, and sometimes (it feels) limited respect. It’s also much more difficult when you don’t have a local physical support system and a language barrier.
I chose to stay home because I want my child to be bilingual and to understand both English and Japanese at a fluent level. Being physically with my little one and talking to her and interacting and playing with her will help with her English fluency. That’s super important to me because she will most likely go to a Japanese nursery school. She’ll be immersed with other children and will pick up Japanese rapidly. In a way, I feel like my job is part mother and teacher (and chef, and cleaner, and entertainer, and dancer, and…)
There’s so much sorting and piecing myself back together to do. I don’t think it will truly be completed. And – I am okay with that. We all learn and continue to grow throughout our whole lives, adjusting to the new. It’s always changing isn’t it?
So, that’s about where I am right now. I think maybe I’ve put a few more pieces together just writing and accomplishing a new blog. Opening up about my life a little – hopefully giving a little picture of the good, bad, complicated, and interesting chaos that motherhood is. That even though it’s a lot and I’m being honest it’s not all sunshine and roses, neither is it misery and dirty diapers. I’m pretty content with it all. And I am pretty flipping proud of that.
I will continue to try to update here. Even if it’s just sharing some personal thoughts, although I really hope to post something mildly educational/interesting in the near future!
Please send me good vibes as I try to work on some new projects! I’ll send some back for you as well.