Monday, January 13, 2014

Anxiety Abounds

Really not having a good day today. Anxiety abounds.  I've been off work for 10 days, if you count the weekends.  I slept poorly last night, waking roughly every hour.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Thoughts on Motherhood

A very lovely friend of mine recently posted an article about motherhood.  ("Why Being a Mother is Enough', found on finding  I have to say, this article made me feel claustrophobic, restricted, trapped.  I get that the little things are great, and yes, I really enjoyed doing things with my kids, (like my poor husband, who came home one day to all three of us covered in mud from having a mud fight in the yard after a heavy rain), but overall, the whole concept, I just don't understand how motherhood is the be-all and end-all of everything.  I'm not knocking it, by no means, and my hats are off to women who feel motherhood is their calling, but personally, for me I just don't get it.  I couldn't wait till I could get them both in school and be able to breathe, to have some freedom, to go to work and have a least some semblance of independence.  I was very much a fish out of water.
I'm too much of a free spirit I guess.  Motherhood to me was rewarding but also something to be endured.  I suppose it's also due to the fact that I was an only child, and that I grew up a tomboy on a farm, spending my time out of school doing farm chores, riding or roaming the woods.  Of course, I didn't just stay on our 76 acres.  I roamed about 200 (it was a very rural area in the 70's). My dad was an O-T-R trucker, my mom took care of the house, I did what I felt like doing after chores.  Fish, hike, wander the creeks catching minnows and finding cool rocks and fossils, ride my horse, pick berries, hunt mushrooms, or just lay in a pasture and watch the clouds by day or the moon and stars by night...
It was very, very hard for me to lose that freedom and become a stuck in the house, tied down mother.  I didn't have to work back then, so I had the time to take them to museums and parks and such.  Nothing even remotely close to the same freedom I had, but better than being cooped up in a house all the time, like a bird in a cage, yearning to be free and fly, which is what I felt like most of the time.  I'm still the same way.  I hate being responsible for anyone but myself, and I've never had a problem being alone, solitude is a wonderful thing, a creative Muse, my inner twin, my dark moon side. 
Looking at old family papers and photos,  I see that I come from a long line of strong minded, independent, forward thinking women on my mother's side of the family.  (I know nothing of my bio-dad's family and history).  My great-great-great-great grandparents immigrated to Nova Scotia in Canada and then in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in America throughout the 1700's and 1800's, They all lived in rugged places, grew their own food, sewed their own clothes.  And they passed down that independence and love of Nature.
And yes, they raised children, too. Back in the 1800's and early 1900's, what else could a woman do but marry and have children?  But still, you can see and feel that rebel soul shine through society's shackles.  I have a picture of my grandmother in pants, airman's bomber jacket, jack boots, and a wool cap, posing for a pic with students from the college before a hike. Most pics are of her in very proper dresses, low heels, gloves, typical 1930's women's clothes, so to see her real soul makes this one of my favorite pics of her.  So, I come by my rebellious free spirit honestly, and I love that. I wouldn't change that for anything.  How could you change your soul, anyway?

My grandmother, front row on the right.

As the only child, I didn't have time for girlie things.  I had chores.  There were cattle, horses, chickens, ducks, pigeons, geese, dogs and cats to be fed. Eggs to be gathered, fence lines to be checked.  I raised and broke to ride my own horse.  I helped put up cross fencing, helped my dad cut, split and stack wood, helped in the garden and the orchard.  I learned and did things that made me strong, physically and mentally, and I learned to value those things.  Mom did the housework, I took care of the farm chores when dad was on the road, which was most of the time, from the time I was about 8 until they divorced when I was 16.  It's no wonder then, that I simply cannot understand how being a mom is somehow "enough".  Why I don't get how wonderful and fulfilling it is.  It just feels so damn restrictive and unsatisfying to me, who had absolute freedom growing up.
I don't think I'm abnormal, or selfish.  It's who I am.  Something that cannot be changed.  I'm not saying I don't like kids.  Babies are OK in my book, I just don't get all mushy and goofy over them.  (Puppies?  That'll get me every time, especially puppy breath.  Babies?  I don't smell what everyone else does.  Again, just don't get it).  Older toddlers are fun to be around, especially outdoors, because they really start to have an imagination and a desire to learn about the world around them.  I like to show kids how things work and to point out things they don't notice and tell them about them.  Like ants working together to carry something.  Or a hawk swooping down to catch dinner.  Or how fish will hide up under tree roots along the bank.  Or animal tracks.   Outdoor stuff.  Seeing them look at something in a new and interested way, get excited about a fossil or awesome rock gives me hope that perhaps they will see how interconnected all creatures are, and maybe, just maybe, carry that with them and pass that on to the next generation. 

These fields, these forests, these oceans and mountains and rivers and quiet woodland streams, the hawk on the wing, the deer silently, gracefully, slipping back into the shadows of the trees...all this and more is Beauty and Love and Truth to me.  It is more than enough.


Morning breaking through the trees.

Sunset on a Winter Creek

Sunset at my childhood farm.
Summer Fields for roaming.

And I still see shapes in the clouds, like this Phoenix Rising.

Some women look at babies and feel such love, see such beauty. For me, seeing the sweep of a sun drenched green field towards the impossible blue of and uncluttered sky is Beauty and Love. Green corn fields, golden hay fields, fog-shrouded fields and forests, sun dappled wooded hillsides, the songs of birds, a music of the wind in pine trees or it's roar on stormy days, the gentle whisper of midnight snow...these things move me to awe, to see Beauty beyond words, and to feel such a swell of love and oneness with all. I can't explain it, won't ever apologize for it.

It is simply who I am, and that is how I am supposed to be.