I try so hard to be a good mother. I try. So hard. I breastfeed. I birthed naturally. I didn’t drink caffeine. I co-slept. I wore her. I still wear her.
I stayed home. I stay home. Nearly every day. I stay home.
I work at home. I run a tea business. I set up a tent and a booth at the farmer’s market with a 5 month old strapped to my chest. If I was going to work, my baby was going to come with me. These days, I mix tea while she destroys the house.
Then there’s my art, my passion. The written word. I write because I need to write. For me, writing is intuitive and unavoidable, like the urge to push when you’re giving birth. I write novels, blogs, poems, short stories, letters, journals, text messages…I can’t stop writing. Or reading. I usually have one book going on the kindle and one or two paper books. Different books for different places and moods. Literary fiction, memoirs, health and spiritual non-fiction. There is always a book or three close at hand.
I have a body, two children, a husband, a house, family, friends, a passion and a business to care for. Sometimes I feel like I’m strapped to a machine that’s stretching me in every direction, from every limb, my core on the verge of combusting, leaving nothing but dust.
It sounds dramatic because it is. I’m exhausted. I’m energized. I’m stressed. I’m blissful. I’m high then low. I know the patterns in my sub-conscious create this reality. But how to get past it? How do I let go of the blocks? How do I flow and dance with life?
I want balance and fluidity. I want joy when I receive a big tea order. When I publish my first novel, I want to have a platform. A built-in audience. (You.) I want my daughter to sleep easily and soundly. I want to sleep easily and soundly, too. I want to feed my family the best food I know exists. I want to stretch. I want healthy, happy relationships. I want to write every day.
Isn’t this many people’s problem? We expect so much of ourselves and one another. If you’re a first-time novelist, you need to write a blog. If you blog, you need to tweet. If you start a business, it’s not worth it until it becomes global and makes millions. If you have one kid, you should have another as soon as possible. If you get married, your wedding must be a show of lavish detail. If you work for someone, you must give them your nights as well as your days.
Why do we pay attention to the expectations of others? Or maybe I should ask, why do we hold expectations for others? Why do we listen to indoctrinated belief systems instead of our own hearts? Why do we think we know what’s best for anyone but ourselves? When we’re overwhelmed, why don’t we step back and let go of that which is making us overwhelmed?
Personally, I don’t know what I could possibly cut out of my life.
Except for this blog. This is the one thing I’ve known, for a while, that I could leave behind. I think I started writing this post with the intention of quitting.
But I can’t. I keep coming back here for some reason. Actually, the reason is easy. The reason is you. The people who come to read what I have to say. The people who comment, the people who email, the people who send Facebook messages, the people who say nothing at all. The people who listen.