So today I was part of a virtual discussion for HuffPost Live about fat-shaming during pregnancy and the recent hateful headlines about the pregnant Kim Kardashian. Whenever I have live interviews whether via the Internet or on the radio, I worry a child might interrupt, but my dad distracted the kids and enjoyed their company. Too bad my needy dog started going crazy because I put her in the backyard after hearing her bark at every passing pedestrian or squirrel outside of our window. She’s still hyperventilating, and she’s on Prozac. Really. Then my Internet went down not once but three times. I tried to join the conversation when I could, but I missed parts of it, and it all felt a little disjointed. It was yet another humbling experience where I find myself frustrated that I can’t do more, and I have to just let things go.
From what I was able to hear, the conversation focused largely on the fact that pregnancy is something to be celebrated and that women should not feel shame or see it as a time for body-bashing. Some people don’t care that Kim Kardashian is being scrutinized. I don’t know all that much about her and don’t follow reality television, but I don’t care whether you’re a public figure or not. No one deserves that kind of vitriol. In an Internet meme, Kim is shown in a black and white dressed juxtaposed with an orca whale. That’s just wrong.
But seeing that kind of “news” story, while it makes me sick, isn’t likely to force me to collapse into a heap of self-doubt (or turn down that chocolate egg my daughter just offered me). I’m a big girl. I’ve recovered from an eating disorder. I have tough days, body image blues, but for the most part I’ve arrived at a healthy place. I’ve also carried four babies to full-term. I’ve dealt with all the “joys” of pregnancy – the hemorrhoids, the weight gain, the varicose veins. I’ve had my share of struggles given my past eating disorders, but pregnancy and especially labor have also helped me like nothing else to see my body more as an instrument than an object that needs to be tweaked and fixed.
So I can handle the media’s hate and fat-shaming of pregnant women. I don’t like it, and I still feel sorry for the women whose pregnant forms are constantly examined and talked about. I know it’s part of the deal as a public figure, but it seems women celebrities can’t win. If Kim wasn’t gaining enough weight, they’d be attacking her for jeopardizing her baby’s health and being more concerned with her status as a sex symbol.
Still, what bothers me more than how these kinds of headlines impact me personally or the celebrities they showcase is what kind of messages are being delivered to my daughters and all young girls (and young boys, too). We can monitor our children’s media diets, but we can’t keep their wandering eyes from noticing the word “FAT” next to a pregnant woman who still looks lovely while we’re checking out at the grocery store.
We can tell pregnant women to focus on health during pregnancy and to celebrate those miraculous nine months, and many will. Some won’t though. Some will struggle with their changing body and their postpartum mushiness. We’ll see those headlines either of the supermodel who lost her baby weight a mere eight weeks after giving birth or the ones pointing fingers at the “fat” preggo celeb. Yes, big girls like me sometimes find it difficult to resist the siren song of beauty and thinness frequently portrayed in media. How can we expect our young children, then, to not turn to the mirror for affirmation?
“Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” they ask, and they’re not playing pretend. Our children are exposed to air-brushed and sexualized images of beautiful people everywhere—from billboards to magazines in the pediatrician’s office. And now they’re being exposed to pregnant women being called whales.
“Diet Secrets of the Stars,” “Lose Ten Pounds in a Week,” “Miracle Wrinkle Cream Erases Crow’s-Feet.” The headlines rotate, but the theme remains the same: If you lose those last five, ten, fifteen, or twenty-plus pounds, embrace a starlet’s measurements and beauty routine, stop aging in its tracks, and don’t gain much weight during pregnancy, you’ll be happier. You’ll be better.
And so the brainwashing begins young. The mirror becomes distorted. By the time we reach adulthood and often much earlier, we no longer see our bodies for what they can do but only for how they look.
That’s the problem here. It’s not about your opinion of Kim or how you personally feel during pregnancy or how much weight you gain. It’s about the young girls in our lives equating their worth with how sexy they are or how much they weigh.
The young, impressionable girls in our lives don’t know Kim snaked her way into the spotlight with a sex tape (I hope). They won’t read between the lines or connect the imaginary dots that people are just eager to shame Kim for anything. Kim might not be every woman; HuffPost Live was criticized for suggesting this with the title of our discussion. But she does represent something to our daughters. She’s a pretty woman who is being called fat – when she’s pregnant. The young women in our lives, no matter whether they know who the reality star is or not, will likely see a pretty woman who is pregnant and is being lambasted for gaining too much weight. Is her worth only tied to her sex appeal or the number on the scale? Is this how we measure a woman’s value? Is the only path to receiving positive feedback to be beautiful and thin?
The author of the blog post that spurred the HuffPost Live discussion wrote: “When will we acknowledge that all of us, even Kim Kardashian, deserve to spend our lives thinking less about how we look and more about what we can do — and that the former definitely gets in the way of the latter?”
I’d take it a step further. Not only do we need to stop seeing women as a number on a scale or an object, but we need to pay more attention to the person the woman is – not what her figure looks like or her professional accolades. We are human beings – not human bodies or human doings. We are more than the sum of our body parts or our career. There’s an incredible amount of pressure being piled on our girls to do it all – and at the same time, too! – all while maintaining their girlish figures.
The hyper-focus on Kim and other pregnant celebrities’ changing bodies isn’t only denigrating to all women, but it’s also a subtle way of undermining motherhood and suggesting pregnancy and being a mom is more of a burden than a blessing. This is another message our girls are going to pick up on: That being a mother robs you of a lot of things – including your attractiveness and figure.
Being a mom – whether you work outside of the home or not (we all work) – is undervalued in society. Sure, we give motherhood plenty of lip service – how it’s the most important job in the world – yet, the role of mothers is often reduced to a string of tedious, mindless tasks like laundry, diaper changes, chauffeuring children, and serving meals. There’s the whole mommy brain cliche, too. Women, particularly those who stay home to care for young children, don’t partake in stimulating conversations. Their brains turn to mush from all those Barney songs. While everyone else is out in the world making things happen, they’re stuck at home leading dull lives devoid of intellectual stimulation.
Now headlines calling women who were once the media’s delicious eye-candy are suggesting something else: Motherhood and attractiveness are mutually exclusive. As soon as you pee on a stick and get that positive pregnancy test, get ready to say good-bye to your life, identity, and your body as you know it. Motherhood brings little soul-sucking, fat-adding beasties into your life who will hijack your flat abs and change you into a yeti since you’ll never have time to shave or shower anymore.
I say shame on the media. Shame on them for being cruel to a pregnant woman and again, I don’t care what she stands for or who she is; she doesn’t deserve that kind of hateful scrutiny. Shame on them for perpetuating the idea that women only have as much value as the amount of positive attention her body and looks grab for her. And shame on them for distorting motherhood as something that takes more than it gives. This is the message I’d like to send to all young girls: Being sexy is not the same as being beautiful. You may think your worth hinges upon how attractive you are. You’re sexy. Men (and women, too) notice. Therefore, you must be beautiful and valuable. Nope. It’s the other way around. As a woman, you need to believe in your value and your worth. When you do embrace your femininity and dignity, it’s beautiful, and this beauty can’t help but attract.
As for pregnancy and motherhood, yes, it does change your life and shift things around physically and in other ways, too. But it’s not for the worse. Becoming a mom doesn’t mean you transform into an unattractive, unthinking lump, but anything worth creating bids a price from its creator. There will be sacrifices and changes ahead, but there will be joy, too, and sticky kisses and spontaneous hugs and yes, even power. Motherhood is the ultimate form of girl power. The laborious processes of growing a human and nurturing aren’t always easy to recognize or even to assign value to, but they are what is building the future. There’s nothing quite like raising a child to make you feel strong.
No matter her age, a woman’s worth is tied to whom she is – not how she looks and not even what she does. And if a woman becomes a mother, this is a gift, not a burden. This is the critical message we need to be delivering to our society, to our daughters.
Two springs ago one of my daughters took a creative movement class. Her teacher had a gift for working with children and was really good with the tiny dancers. My little girl looked forward to her class all week and would sometimes tell me that when she grew up, she was going to be a real ballerina (and a real gardener, a real horseback rider, and a real mommy as opposed to a poser in all of the jobs). But there were some other girls in her class who didn’t seem to have such happy feet. There was one child in particular who cried before every single class. For six weeks.
On a particularly rough day, she started screaming and clinging to her mom. Her mother kept urging her to go in because she “had to practice if she wanted to wear a pretty dress at the recital.” However, the child would not be consoled. The mom finally pushed her into the class while the child’s red, tear-stained faced peered through the glass in the direction of her mom who refused to make eye contact knowing “it would just make it worse.”
Her child grew more hysterical. And then the poor thing peed all over the floor.
“I knew that was going to happen,” the mom said, sighing. “She always does that when she’s really upset.”
I felt sorry for the mom and the little girl.
The mom said it had been a terrible day and that she hated to push her like that, but she knew that if she gave in to her cries it would just get worse next time. I get that. At bedtime, my oldest use to bring up all the woes of the world. A typically happy child, her vespertine mood was very morose. I was sensitive to her emotions (usually), but I also didn’t give in to her plaintive cries. Instead, on a good night I’d say something like, “Once you settle down, I’ll be happy to come spend more time with you. I know you’re sad, but you can’t cry and scream every night when it’s time to go to bed.” Instantly, the wailing stopped. I’m no fool. I knew her sad, little show was mostly a ploy to keep me from leaving, but it was also as sign that going to bed and unwinding was tough for this high-energy buzz of a child. But sleep was non-negotiable. She needed to go to bed at a reasonable hour for her mental, emotional, and physical health.
So, yes, I understand this mom completely when she said that if she rescued her child from the tortures of creative movement class this time, then the child would likely cry the next time since crying “worked” and got her what she wanted. But here’s what I don’t get: Why did there need to be a next time? A creative movement class is not a need for toddler or preschooler. The mom also mentioned in passing that the child was in some form of school for a few hours every day.
My daughter, at the age of almost 4, was one of the older children in the class; this child was closer to 2.
When the creative movement class’s recital finally arrived, the crying, little girl was no longer as tearful. But she still didn’t appear to be overjoyed about the whole experience. Of course I don’t know the whims of this particular child. One of my kids is very mercurial, but I know how to read her. Others don’t, and I could have been over-analyzing this whole situation just to make my own decision to not do too many activities seem better. When I’m scrubbing poop off the walls or sweeping up crushed Cheerios all daylong, I may start to get self-righteous about this life I’m living as a form of self-preservation. I also know that sometimes we need outside activities more for ourselves than our children, especially if we are extroverted and craving community. It’s good to sit with other moms while our little ones dance and have fun.
Still, what I observed from watching this loving mom keep her child in dance class was this: She forked out a wad of cash for a fancy costume, she cajoled and consoled and pushed, and for what? A huge spotlight zeroing in on a child who just stood on stage, stone-still, and immovable? Her sweet daughter surely dances with more vigor and enthusiasm in her living room. I enjoyed watching my own daughter, who was definitely more eager to dance than this child, but I still remember wondering why so many of us had our little, little girls in a dance recital. It made for a cute photo-op, sure, but I partly signed her up because that’s just what we do as moms these days. We sign our kids up for dance class…and Spanish class…and Mommy & Me gymnastics…and soccer…and…
We live in a society of gunners. Parenting sometimes starts to feel like a cutthroat competition. We’re starting activities younger and younger. We want to give our children an advantage. Sometimes we honestly just want to offer them an outlet of fun, or we need an outlet. When we sign our kids up for things and they balk, we sometimes push because we don’t want to be the parent of the kid who’s a quitter. And this is often a good thing. If my 7-year-old has a bad soccer practice one day and says she doesn’t want to go to her next game or practice, I’d have a talk about being a team player and how others are depending on her, and I’d probably use a few cliches such as when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Blah, blah, blah.
But when this same child was 2 1/2, I remember taking her to a dance class. She cried the first class, but I encouraged her to give it one more try. The next day she talked about how she really didn’t want to go. She didn’t want to be away from mommy (even though Mommy was right there watching her). She cried more and even said something about how her body didn’t work like the other girls’. I remember thinking that this was a prime example of a mom choosing her battles, and a battle over ballet class for a not-even-3-year-old was not worth the tears of my child or my own stress feeling like I had to push my child to keep her commitment. So she quit. We’ve never looked back.
Now she’s taking piano lessons, and she complains about practicing. However, this is something I’m willing to push for – not because I expect her to be a celebrated virtuoso but because I want her to be exposed to music and because at this age it’s good for her to learn the value of discipline and hard work. Plus, she beams when she plays a song well. She just wants to be able to do that instantly without any practice. I’m having to teach her that hard work bears fruits. She’s almost 8. This is a valuable lesson for a child her age.
I’m not saying that pushing our kids a bit isn’t ever good for them. Nor am I suggesting that I am immune to the pressure to fill my children’s schedules with activities or opportunities to shine, learn, or develop a new skill. Right now I am confused about what to do about soccer next year. My oldest continues to play in the recreational league, but she does love it and we’ve been approached about giving her the opportunity to play at a more competitive level. Next fall she would be close to being 9. Do I challenge her then, or do I just allow her to be a kid for a little longer and have fun? The more elite teams practice twice a week and have games that require travel. That seems a little much, but this daughter sometimes laments that she doesn’t get to play more and thrives on activity. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a busy day or two; however, I don’t want to fall in the trap of filling my kids’ schedules so that we all end up feeling stressed. When all of us start to feel frazzled, something has to give.
I don’t want to push any of my children too soon or for the wrong reasons. I understand why there’s a temptation to push and enrich our children’s lives with extracurricular activities. It’s all out of love. We want to enrich their lives. Maybe that recalcitrant, tearful non-dancer told her mom it was fun. Maybe she’s a dancing fool right now. I’m careful to judge other moms’ decisions because I know some choices I’ve made might seem confusing or wrong to the outside world or my parenting peers. Yet, I found myself wanting to hug that mama – or any mama like her – and tell her it was okay if her little girl didn’t like dance class. You don’t have to push you or your child so hard. Certainly not when your child is only 2. If it’s bringing you joy, then, yes, do it. But if not, it’s okay to quit or to never even start some new activity every other parent you know is pursuing with their children. We’re afraid our kids will miss out if we don’t expose them to everything. What if my oldest has the talent to be an amazing ballerina, and I sabotaged it by not keeping her in the Family Y ballet class when she was 2 1/2? Well, the way I look at it, if a child’s purpose in life really is to bring a great talent to the world, then it will happen in spite of us parents. Or maybe it won’t, but if we raise happy children who are good, caring people, who cares?
I like our simple life. Even with limiting my kids’ activities and not having them in school-school, we keep very busy. I do try to make sure we have a few lazy days a week, though. I don’t like it when we’re running full throttle every day. Neither do my children. Even if they tell me they want to do more stuff, their behavior and moods say something different. Yet, when I hear about what so many other kids are doing, it’s tempting to think I’m short-changing my kids by having so many unstructured hours to our day. But then I see what unfolds during those “boring” and “un-enriched” hours. Children doodle dog mermaids or spend a beautiful afternoon outside reading books. A 7-year-old builds a village out of Lincoln Logs. Together the children and I make homemade dough, and my preschooler molds oodles of snakes out of it. A 5-year-old draws two garden scenes while an older child sketches Star Wars characters as I read Anne of Green Gables aloud. We are happy (on a good day, but please remember I have plenty of bad days where my children drive me absolutely crazy, and I want to ship them out). We aren’t rushed. And somehow I still see my children learning, cultivating talent, and nurturing creativity.
My child who enjoyed the creative movement class sometimes asks about taking dance again. I tell her she’s welcome to do it again, but she can’t play soccer, too. She’s also interested in tennis and may give that a swing in the spring. But we have a rule: One organized activity outside of the home per season per child. When this child first started playing soccer, she seemed lost on the soccer field; she was so small. Yet, there were no battles about practicing or going the game. Despite her seriousness on the field and confusion, she couldn’t stop talking about how fun it was to play. The next season things started clicking. She started looking like a soccer player rather than a girl just running and spinning around on a field. This season she’s really coming into her own, and she’s still having a blast. That’s what I really want for my children right now. I want them to stretch their limbs and move and play. I want them to have time to be outdoors with little friends. I want to be sensitive to their talents and temperaments. Like a wise gardener, I hope I can learn to keep my eyes on my own field and not worry about how the others are growing, tenderly nurture my children, and allow them to grow according to their own natural inclinations.
It doesn’t matter what every other family is doing. I don’t have to worry so much that I’m putting my children at a disadvantage by not having them signed up in several enrichment activities by the time they’re four. Our children don’t need every hour of their day structured and organized with fun, educational activities. They don’t need inflatable slides or pony rides on their birthday either. What they really want is us, our time, our encouragement, our hugs. They want simplicity, too. Simple schedules. Simple rituals like a story at bedtime or a family stroll together around the neighborhood on Sundays. There’s a lifetime for achievement and learning new skills. Let your littles be little. Give them time to play, dream, chase fireflies, and laugh. Your children don’t ever need to step foot in a studio to dance. They don’t need playdates to play. Give them time to do nothing. Give them time to be children. Don’t let every day’s schedule to be so tight that there’s never anytime to dawdle. Keep life simple and sweet while your children are young, simple, and sweet.
“Since childhood has become a ‘thing’ (preparation for adulthood) and parenting has become a ‘thing’ (what we do to not do things like our parents), we seek to control one with the other. Surely we can improve these ‘things.’ Surely we can add more choices. And there must be ways to increase productivity. (Handstands abandoned, [your child's now] lying down, splitting a blade of glass and blowing like a kazoo.) This time – this afternoon, this childhood, this child, could be enriched! That’s it! Enrichment. As parents, we’ve discovered fertilizer. And we’re applying it by the ton to childhood…
Why? Why do our kids need to be busy all of the time? Why does our son, at age 12, need to explore the possibility of space travel? Why do we feel we must offer everything? Why must it happen now? Why does tomorrow always seem a bit late? Why would we rather squeeze more things into our schedules than to see what happens over time? What happens when we stop, when we have free time?”
What happens, I hope, is a beautiful, simple, and happy childhood that paves the way for a fulfilling adulthood.
A good friend of mine and I recently got together with our kids. She asked if I missed blogging. Several people have asked me the same question. My response surprises me. I don’t miss it at all. I did at first, but after about 10 days I felt more at peace than I had in a long time. And it’s not because my baby boy started sleeping through the night (he didn’t). Or my reluctant potty-training preschooler stopped peeing on my floor (she didn’t). Or my mom stopped hurting (she hasn’t). Or I started easily squeezing in daily showers (I haven’t). Or life got less messy (it didn’t; my nana passed away, my little man tore his frenulum in his mouth, and I still step on Cheerios and/or Legos every day). But within days of not blogging I no longer felt as fragmented like a chunk of me was over there, another part was over here, and my body (I think) was with my kids. I had become so entrenched in the online life that I was missing out on the real one right in front of me. Far too frequently my mind was elsewhere, and my heart was pulled in too many directions. This still happens sometimes. Most busy moms – whether they engage in social media or not – are going to sometimes feel like they’re overleveraged, overextended, and on the verge of a total freak-out. For some women, blogging or popping in on Facebook might offer them a sense of calm. For me, taking a step away from the online chatter has done that.
When I was studying for my journalism degree, I took a media ethics class. One day we had a discussion about how as a journalist you had to report a story without becoming a part of it. This didn’t sit well with me then. It still doesn’t. At the time, I was a broadcast news major, and I couldn’t imagine playing the role of a talking head while amidst wreckage from some natural disaster or some human tragedy like what recently happened in Aurora, Colorado. How could I not become a part of the story? How could I not reach out to others? I could not just show their wounds and report on how they were feeling; I would want to help heal those wounds or at least give someone a hug or a reassuring smile. I’ve always hated it when a journalist – even if it’s only after a heartbreaking loss in a sporting event – asks the person standing before him or her, “How do you feel?” How do you think they feel? Sad. Shattered. Empty. Devastated.
As I’ve taken a step back from blogging and my entire online life, I realized the same to be true now. I don’t always want to be a critical observer of life; I want to be living it. I started blogging partly because I longed to document these precious years with my young children, but somehow along the way it just became too big for me. Documenting our days, my children’s milestones, my myriad emotions as a mother, and keeping it all as authentic as I possibly could had become a full-time job. Even when my computer was nowhere in sight, every minute became fraught with my attempt to capture these moments and share them with others. My motivations were noble. I wanted to give my children the gift of stories of their childhood when they were older and had forgotten. Our memories aren’t very reliable. My mom will tell a story from when I was little that I remember very differently. My husband recalls a vivid day from his childhood that apparently never happened. My children always want me to tell what they refer to as “childhood stories” – glimpses into my life when I was a little girl – and I’ve already depleted my well of memories. I thought they’d appreciate having detailed accounts of our days together and the silly things they did. I wanted to be a memory keeper in the same way a mom who scrapbooks might try to do by artfully arranging photos and embellishments.
I also wanted to give my fellow moms, sometimes dads, and others, too, encouragement. Yes, life is hard. Yes, sacrificial love cuts deeply. But life is beautiful, too. Giving, emptying yourself is what will fill you up. That sort of thing. And wouldn’t it be nice to show one of my daughters a post from a day when I was really being pushed in the trenches of motherhood and then survived and maybe even, on a really profound day, thrived once they became a mom and were wondering, “How in the world am I going to manage all of this?”
Yet, when my children, who are far from being parents themselves, and I would have a beautiful day together, I’d think, “Well, that was a blog-worthy moment!” Or, “This might help some other mom get through a rough day!” Or, when a child said something hilarious yet somehow profound at the same time like, “Being homeschooled is like being in captivity because you’re free to be a geek,” (I couldn’t help but share that), I’d want to post it right away. Or when I felt like the biggest mommy loser or I was lonely and feeling burned out, I not only wanted to use writing as catharsis, but I really and truly felt called to expose my humanness and brokenness to let others (including my children’s future adult selves) know, “Hey, you’re not alone in your feelings of hopelessness or being overwhelmed.”
But it wasn’t until I took a step away from writing about my life that I realized yes, I was there with my kids, but there was often something dividing us like a scrim. I was so intent on preserving memories that I wasn’t always a fully present part of making them. Mothers are first and foremost called to be memory makers, not memory keepers. My children are keepers of their own memories, but how I engage with them can influence how they remember things.
Not only did I often feel disjointed, caught between real life and blogging life, I started to become consumed by getting it right. I’m no photographer, but I wanted to capture the perfect image of an imperfect life with my words. After I posted something, I’d wonder if I’d chosen the right words. Did I convey the moment accurately? Was I honest and real and true to life? Did I make any sleep-deprived-induced typos? Would what I write lift up others or make them feel discouraged? Was I getting positive feedback – little hugs that came in the form of comments, emails, or Facebook Shares or Likes, or Retweets?
Meanwhile, my children were growing up. There were too many days when I felt frazzled because I was doing something that I thought had to be done when it didn’t. The connection between mother and child that I have written so passionately about in the past just wasn’t there, or it wasn’t as strong as it could be. So I decided after my husband’s urging to take a break – a blogging sabbatical, I called it. But it was more than that. I drastically reduced the amount of time I spent in front of the computer or with my eyes glued to my iPhone.
While I expected this time to make me feel relaxed and refreshed, I didn’t expect to feel so free. Not being tethered to technology has made me more awake to all the joys that surround me. It’s made me see things clearly, vividly. I haven’t completely abandoned jotting down memories. I’ve still been journaling a bit here and there, and my husband and I capture everyday moments and some of the bigger events with the camera. But I also know the secret to happiness isn’t looking back on life in retrospect. Life is fleeting whether you document it or not.
Even moms who don’t blog or journal often, especially in this digital age, feel like they’ve got to memorialize every precious moment and do it perfectly since you can take as many digital photos as you want. You can click away until you get it just right. Yet, the number of photos I have archived on my computer does not correlate with my love. It’s cliche, but we have thousands of photos of our firstborn. How many photos of a sleeping baby can you take? Hundreds, I say! As for our fourth baby, my lactation consultant mother-in-law recently needed a photo of me nursing him for her upcoming World Breasteeding Week display, and I could not find a single one where it was obvious that I was nursing, partly because his siblings were always piled close to me like puppies and it looked like I was not a nursing mother but a big couch for little bums. So on this weekend’s to-do list is: “Get photo of me nursing Thomas.” Because I don’t want to forget this beautiful, simple relationship we have. But I also don’t want to feel like my life with my littles is one big blog or photo-op.
I am living an imperfect life – a dearth of blog posts won’t change that. But there are plenty of perfect moments, too – ephemeral flashes of pure joy when I experience feelings of contentment that transcend my ordinary surroundings. A child dramatically recounts a book she’s just finished as I tackle the dirty dishes. Forgiveness and reconciliation in the wake of irrational tantrums from both my children and me. Witnessing a child scale a mountain of soiled laundry and giggle when she collapses in the stinkiness. These are the important details of my life story that for far too long I wasn’t fully enjoying because I was too busy looking the other way or too intent on dissecting the moment and thus losing its heart. A sense of well-being, purpose, and joy are not found online or in my own endless navel-gazing. They are right here in front of me.
I want to be a part of this story. This lovely, messy, thrilling, exhausting, challenging, suspenseful, heartbreaking, enchanting, joyful story of motherhood.
That’s all for now.