Ruby is sleeping. Several choices are on the table. A nap sounds heavenly. I could zone out in front of TV with some Olympic hockey. Or I could finally compose my first blog post. Clearly writing won out, but only by a hair.
Just about three years ago, P.J. and I decided it was time to expand our family. I really hate the phrase “start a family.” The implication is that a family doesn’t exist without children. That’s bullshit. But we did want children to be a part of OUR family so we started trying to make that happen. It was a much longer journey than we anticipated, one that I will share eventually, but it was during that journey that I realized I might actually have something to contribute to the world through writing.
The fear of possible infertility, the joy of pregnancy and birth planning, the beautifully primal nature of childbirth, the exhaustion of the first days of parenthood, there were so many incredible experiences to share but it never seemed like a convenient time. Self-doubt and fear held me back for a long time. How many projects have I failed to see through to the end? Who really wants to hear what I have to say? The topic of parenthood, and all the personal choices it entails, is so very polarizing and to be honest, the idea of putting myself out there for the world to troll was inconceivable. Until it wasn’t.
A few months ago, a new book came out that changed it all for me. The Good Mother Myth contains a few dozen essays by some truly inspirational writers who happen to also be moms. I had been following two of them on their personal blogs for a couple of years (linked below). From institutionalized sexism to popular culture to our consumerist society, there are so many influences trying to convince us that motherhood is a competition and if we just purchase the right book or toy or cleaning product, we’ll win the contest. This book breaks down that myth for what it is. We all make different choices throughout our parenting journey, from family planning to birth location to parenting styles, but in the end, we are all trying to make the best choices for our family. We are good enough.
I share my experiences not to convince you to make the same decisions as me but to further the idea that there is no “right” way to mother. Should you choose to stick with me, expect to read about our attempts to navigate raising a feminist daughter in a male-privileged society, our long road to becoming parents, our occasional parenting fails, our somewhat unique path to Ruby’s birth, our breastfeeding struggles and successes, and various other feminist ramblings. Note my use of the word “our” rather than “my.” Yes, I hope to provide a realistic picture of motherhood, but raising Ruby Jane is a team effort. If he feels so inclined or inspired, maybe my dear partner will grace us with his presence via a guest post or two.
Aaaand, queue the grumping. Baby’s up so it’s time to say goodbye for now. Stay tuned.
*I have no financial interest in The Good Mother Myth. Just a fan!