Monthly Archives: May 2015

Touchy Subjects; Or Books Not To Read While Rocking Your Daughter To Sleep

Emma Donoghue’s name sounded familiar. It was only after I borrowed the book, Touchy Subjects, and started reading it that my mother reminded me that she was the author of Room, a terrifying story about a boy and his mother being held captive in a small room (I have not read this book. I have simply heard my mother weep as she made her way through parts of the book). Fortunately, this book wasn’t quite as depressing. That being said, Donoghue covers the supposed touchy subjects — the sections are Babies, Domesticity, Strangers, Desire and Death. The stories range from boring, to touching to humourous. And then there is the Desire section. I tell you, there are just some things that a mother shouldn’t read when rocking a baby and that is a sex story.

Book: Touchy Subjects
Author: Emma Donoghue
Rating: 2.5/5
Features: A variety of short stories about the more sensitive parts of the human experience
Who should read: Anyone who likes reading about the more vulnerable moments of life.

Categories: The new identity | Leave a comment

On Mothering

Nothing anyone could have said, even if I was willing to listen, could have ever prepared me for life as a mother. Even concepts that I thought I grasped beforehand, I really didn’t. But the one that I want to shout from the roof tops to anyone considering becoming a mother (even though I know they won’t listen or fully understand it until they’re in the role) is that you are never NOT a mother.

You’re the one getting up at 2 am. And 3 am. And 4 am. And 4:15am. And 5am, and then actually starting the day as if you’ve had a full night of sleep at 6:15 am. Yes, in some cases there is a father or someone to help with the middle-of-the-nights but, let’s face it, if the wee one is crying, you’re awake regardless of how hard you try to sleep through it.

You’re the one doing the mental checklist of your purse before dashing out the door to run quick errands, because you know the one time you don’t bring a change of pants for her will be the time she blows out everywhere in the middle of Target, or the one time she is teething in the middle of Home Depot and Sophie the Giraffe is on the counter at home, or the one time you muster up the courage to buy a new pair of jeans for “your new body,” your wallet will be in the other diaper bag.

You’re the one obsessively checking your phone when you’re having a night out, even though you know your child would have to be bleeding profusely in the back of an ambulance before your parents who are graciously babysitting would contact you. You’re the one trying to limit yourself to showing ONE picture to your hairdresser when you finally schedule that haircut. You’re the one trying your hardest to not be the first to mention the baby on date night even if it means talking in vague references.

You’re a mom when you just want to finish reading that article, when you want to go to the bathroom alone, when you want to sleep for 5 more minutes, when you just want to eat supper without someone yelling, crying, or touching you. You’re a mom who still needs to cook, clean and rake the yard. Life does not stop just because you became a mom.

But life does change. It’s only on the bad days when your father-in-law calls to say he is stopping by with your husband’s uncle to see the house that you weren’t planning on cleaning until tomorrow, especially since the baby’s morning nap was a disaster and she won’t let you hold her but she also won’t let you put her down and you only got bits and pieces of sleep the night before and you can’t remember where you put your coffee down, but it’s probably with your cell phone, that other sock and… wait… what was I saying? Oh right… it’s only on the bad days that you find yourself not wanting to be in the mom role for just one hour, whether it’s to nap, leave the house, or sit quietly in a corner and just pretend you’re not a mom. But even then you know you can’t turn the “mom” off.

It turns out being a mom isn’t a role you can play, or pause. It’s part of who you are, and you can’t just step away from yourself. You are always a mom. You may be many other things as well, which are just as important and just as valuable, but you are always a mom.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Categories: The new identity | 3 Comments

Currently: In May

Designing: My front garden. I am not a big gardener, but after last year’s embarrassment of a garden, I’m tearing out everything I didn’t plant, and don’t love, and doing what I can to make it something I can be proud of.

Enjoying: Crocheting. I was a knitter, but I find crocheting easier to do with a little one in tow. We were gifted a grey crocheted blanket that C loves, so I tracked down the yarn and am making her a second one. It’s a very basic stitch pattern, and I’m finding it a very good way to relax at the end of the day.

Ordering: A screen tent for C. We spend so much time outside that lugging the playpen in and out gets wearisome. I have no problem giving her free run of the backyard, but I like keeping her contained in the front yard. It’s a duck shaped pop up tent.

Celebrating: My first real Mother’s Day. I don’t know if Scott has any plans for us for the day, but we’re having my family over for a barbecue that evening (hoping that the forecast improves!).

Tasting: New recipes. We were in a recipe rut, so now we’re trying lots of new recipes. Tonight we had Gorgonzola hamburgers.

Thanks to Anne (In Residence) and Jenna (Gold + Bloom) for organizing this!

Categories: Currently, The new identity | 4 Comments

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