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Happy Birthday, Tanner!

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I actually got the perfect picture this morning of our birthday boy! Tanner is TWO! He says: “I’m two!” He speaks in 2-3 word sentences and adds words every day. He can basically say anything. He loves tools and fixing stuff and “working” with mom and dad. He watches closely enough that he even blows on the tops of the heads of tiny goddesses when he sits down with them and tries to work on the tops of their heads. He likes cars and trucks. He is the first kid to run to help when someone says, “help,” including trying to be the other side of furniture moving. Loves swings and big boots and running fast. Is observant and attentive and clever. Likes knives (too much!).

Falls asleep in my arms each night, just like he did the day he was born.

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His birth video is here and his birth story is here

We having his birthday party tonight and going to a Halloween party. He has a dinosaur costume as well as a karate kid t-shirt so he can be Johnny, the blond kid from the Karate Kid movie (he was Draco Malfoy last year. Apparently, I can only think of blond-hair-related costumes and bad kids in movies are blond?!) I have made a non-professional-looking pumpkin cake with super yummy pumpkin cream cheese icing.october-2016-076

I can’t image a world without a Tanner in it! He is a powerhouse, a dynamo, and an inextricable part of our family.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

26717489411_9d767fc783_o…See your worth
hear your value
sing your body’s power
and potency
dance your dreams
recognize within yourself
that which you do so well
so invisibly
and with such love…

(via: A Prayer for Mothers)

As I consider mothers, women, and women’s power this weekend, I have some resources and thoughts to share with you:

May you celebrate yourself this week and in the year to come.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Eighteenmonthababy!

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The serious little face. The fishing pole. The lactivist-baby t. The tiny Crocs. The blond hair.

This is what an eighteenmonthababy looks like.

I feel inspired to share a quick update post about our little Tan Tan and his adventures in becoming March 2016 012Boy instead of Baby. He is adding new words constantly. I cannot keep up with them all. We’ve skipped right past the stage at which I can keep a list of the words he knows how to say, because he can say anything (albeit with limited range of enunciation. So, most words are not clear, but you can ask him to say anything or repeat anything and he will do it. He will also follow instructions like, “go find a dinosaur and bring it to me.”) He is also starting to do a few two word combinations: “big car,” “yes, dog,” “Daddy, outside.” We are lucky in that he’s been able to shake his head for yes and no for many months now, which eliminates lots of frustration and confusion in communicating with someone with limited vocabulary. This month he has begun verbally saying, “yeah” as well though.

He adores going outside and would live outside all day long, in whatever weather, if he could. He April 2016 043loves playing on the trampoline and runs around on it in impossibly fast circles with blond hair sticking straight up all around his head. He also runs very fast inside and there his hair flops up and down in an adorable fashion. He has begun using the potty with some regularity on his own accord. Often wakes up with a dry diaper and will even pull at his pants saying, “pee pee, potty,” sometimes.

He has to do a lot of keeping up with everyone in the house and has a tendency to run after me/get left behind while I’m doing whatever it is that needs my attention. Falls asleep for nap each day in Ergo and sleeps by my leg in the bed, waking instantly if I try to get up without him.

Fascinated by the cats and enjoys the fact that we have baby kitties right now for him to study. Stares with delight. Says, “wow!” and “yay!” and “uh oh” liberally and has a most indescribable twinkle in his eye + the most impish grins and expressions of any toddler I’ve ever seen. Climbs on stuff. Jumps off stuff. Uses my body as jungle gym. Is a wrestling act to even keep him in the air while holding him, as he writhes and twists and climbs my body instead of just sitting on my him. Wants to be on counters and tables March 2016 007constantly. Desperate to “help” with all business elements like packing orders and attaching jump rings. It is hard to take good pictures of him because he is constantly in motion. I’m not sure if it is the fact that I’m older than I used to be, or that I have four kids now, or that I have a business to run, but it is extraordinarily tiring to parent this small delightful whirlwind of a person. I feel literally worn out and worn down by him at the end of every day. It is physically exhausting just to hold him. And, even exhausting and a physical strain on my body just to nurse him while wrestling his other hand around from my other nipple and holding myself up as he flops from side to side, kicks and twists his legs, stands up, etc. while also nursing. He has a huge presence in life and in our family. He is good at “rolling with it” in terms of noise and chaos and people suddenly swinging him up into the air. He is funny and clever and a tiny problem solver and “engineer.”

He also loves his shovel.

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I can hardly believe he is one and half already and yet, he is so here with who and how he is, I forgot that he hasn’t always been in our family.

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Cousin Power!

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”

–Diane Mariechild

One of the fun and unexpected benefits of adding Tanner to our family is that he actually gets to have a close in age cousin. My nephew was born in July and it is exciting to imagine what good cousin-friends these two little boys are going to be! It was also super fun to be pregnant at the same time as my sister-in-law. I didn’t know what a fun connection that would be! My mom, Tanner, and I drove to Kansas to visit them over the weekend. We went with some trepidation as it is an almost five-hour drive and Tanner had been in a car seat exactly two other times before! (One that was a horrible experience with desperate red-faced screaming inducing maternal trauma.) The trip went well, however, with only one real stop on the way (also one short side of the road one just a few miles before our safe Dollar General haven was reached) and even better on the way home.

When we pulled into their driveway, I felt a real sense of having come “full circle.” It was taking cousin-belly pictures together at their house that I first announced my pregnancy on this blog: New Baby! We then returned to wait with anticipation to wait for the birth of Ronan and we took lots of pictures together: Cousin Bellies! When Ronan went two weeks past his due date, we experienced the Lento Tempo of being “ladies in waiting” together. I had to leave to come home to give a final exam (and check in with my family!) and cried as I drove away, worried I would miss the birth and also feeling reluctant to leave the timeless, liminal quality of being at their house full of anticipation. However, I did not miss the birth, but instead was honored to witness my sister-in-law Jenny dig deep into her own strength and resources to bring their baby into the world in a powerful home waterbirth, that then informed my own decision to welcome Tanner into my arms in my own first water birth three months later. After Tanner’s birth, Jenny and Ronan came to stay with us to help provide excellent postpartum care. So, making another trip to see them and bring Tanner to visit them, felt like another round of the circle that began with our overlapping pregnancies.

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While there, we joked about the Cousin Power all around us, because both babies experienced developmental leaps with Tanner smiling huge big smiles and “ah-gooing” clearly for the first time (previous smiles were single episode events and not ongoing spurts of interaction and communication) and Ronan rolling over for the first time.
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Another feature of the trip was Tanner riding around exhibiting serious head control, pumping legs action, and solemn eyes of observation.IMG_9649


As fun as it was to be pregnant together, it was even more fun to put our babies side by side and watch them kick and smile and look around together!

I do love me some continuity, so I asked my mom to take some more “cousin belly” pictures of Jenny and me together, but now with cousins on the outside instead!

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And, then we had to get some nursing cousins pictures too!

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 “Birth should not be a celebration of separation, but rather a reuniting of mother and baby, who joins her for an external connection.”

–Barbara Latterner, in New Lives

 

Onemonthababy!

Unbelievably, Tanner is one month old already! He has already changed so much. Version 3WO included these upgrades:

…now with limited smiling action, wakey-eyes action, head control action, and 10.5lbs. Oh, and no longer restrained by any hair.

Now, even more upgraded one month version exhibits ability to ride around perched on hip facing outward. Head turning to look at all the things. Nursing while also tipping head back to peek over side of arm. Leg pumping action when seeing the mama or sitting on knee to watch siblings play. Tiny attempts to say, “ah goo!” and one surreal episode of saying, “Hi” to Lann in clear, tiny voice that I would have thought I’d imagined except for Lann then staring at me with startled eyes and then we both laughed hysterically.

Likes looking at ceiling fans and Christmas lights. Seems to seriously dislike car, though has only been on two outings in entire life so far. Has very specific spot on my chest on which he likes to nestle: head right on heart, body curved against my left arm. Kicks, twists, grunts and unches to reach specific spot and then conks out. Sleeps great (not alone ever). Has chubby legs and double chin. Weighs a tiny bit less than eleven pounds already. Has small amount of returning blonde fuzz hair. Also has blond eyelashes! Spends lots of time in the Boba and it is working good. Time is passing very quickly. He already bears little resemblance to the baby I gathered into my arms just one month ago. I cannot believe how fleeting the tiny newborn days are. There is no way to capture it, the only thing to do is live it.

I am doing well too. Went for walk on nice day today. Feel pretty good stamina wise and body-healing wise. Very happy. Grateful not to have clock ticking on Mark going back to work! (Feel a little ticky myself about teaching face to face again in January.) Has been interesting to actually watch myself “come back” from having my world be the size of my bed. It is like I really could see myself “returning” gradually. Thanks to excellent postpartum care, The Return has been easy, really.

I worried I might have to work hard to love this baby. Shouldn’t have worried! I love him muchly! Feels like my Best Baby Ever. I’ve mentioned several times that I am surprised by how normal and unsurprising it feels to have another baby…

I am surprised by how unsurprising it is to have a baby again. I know it is weird to talk about myself in the third person (is it a writer thing? Or, a person who collects dolls thing?!) but I told Mark the other day, “I’d put away the Molly with a Baby. But, after Tanner was born, I got her back out again and I still like her.”

He is here, where he belongs. The easiest thing about having a new baby has been the actual new baby! He is a precious treasure and I feel lucky to have him. And, I feel just as happy and excited to have him as I felt to have Alaina. I didn’t know if that would be true or not and I’m really glad that it is!

Zander theorizes that Tanner’s first word will be “brodacious.”

In non-Tanner news, the kids made cracker houses with friends yesterday and we enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner with our work party.

And, I’ve accepted that if I’m going to keep blogging at all during the upcoming year (which includes lots of writing projects already, like my dissertation, book revisions, and new book ideas), I have to learn how to do short-ish posts using my phone instead of counting on having any computer time to do so. This one, except for picture gallery formatting, was completed on my phone. Hence, the staccato tone!

Releasing Our Butterflies

This post is part of the Carnival of Creative Mothers celebrating the launch of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood by Lucy H. Pearce

The topic was Nurturing a Culture of Creativity at Home

**********November 2012 109“This book is an attempt to put language to the reality of being the most fabulous, and misunderstood of creatures: a creative mother. One who answers the callings of her child – and also her creativity. A woman who says: I cannot, I will not choose. I must mother. I must create.

–Lucy Pearce, The Rainbow Way

I feel as if I have a long and creative dance as well as a long and creative struggle to balance mothering with my other work. I recently decided that I’m done apologizing—to myself, to others, or in writing—about my twin desires to care for my children and to pursue my own work. I’ve been parenting for ten years. Though I’ve tried for what feels like forever to “surrender” to motherhood during these ten years, I just cannot stop creating other projects, birthing other ideas, and participating in other work while at the same time engaged in the deep carework, motherwork required by children. I do both and I’m done apologizing. My life includes my children and my AND. That’s okay with me. As I’ve been reading Lucy’s book The Rainbow Way, reflecting on my own work, and looking around my home, I’ve had a realization: While I have struggled and cried and planned, while I have given up, and begun again, and surrendered, and refused to quit; While I have been present and been distracted, created and been “denied” the opportunity to create, while I have nursed babies and “written” in my head the whole time; While I have been filled with joy and filled with despair and while I have given myself permission and berated myself and then berated myself for self-beratement, my husband and I have created a home and family life together that is full of creativity. I told him as I prepared my thoughts for this post: if we are doing anything right as parents, it is this–our home is a rich, creative portal all the time. Within the last month, I’ve heard myself say, “get your painting shirt” to Alaina more times than I can count, and paused to appreciate, finally appreciate the fact that in our house there are painting shirts by the table that are never put away. I gripe about clutter and I struggle to be Zen, but my kids always have the opportunity to put on a painting shirt. It is at the ready and it is saying YES.

In 2008, when my second son was two, I dissolved into the nursing chair in one of those moments of surrender and self-beratement and a spontaneous vision filled my mind: I was walking to the top of a hill. At the top, I opened my hands and beautiful butterflies spread their wings and flew away from me. Then, a matching vision—instead of opening my hands, I folded their wings up and put them into a box. I wrote then as he nursed to sleep and I slowed my breathing to match his:

So, which is it? Open my hands and let my unique butterflies fly into the world. Or, fold their wings and shut them into a box in my heart to get out later when the time is right? Do I have to quit or just know when to stop and when to go? When to pause and when to resume?

What are the ways in which my children can climb the hill with me? To be a part of my growth and development at the same time that I am a part of theirs? How do we blend the rhythms of our lives and days into a seamless whole? How do we live harmoniously and meet the needs of all family members? To all learn and grow and reach and change together? Can we all walk up the hill together, joyfully hold up our open hands with our butterflies and greet the sun as it rises and the rain as it falls? Arm in arm?

via Surrender? | Talk Birth.

Some time ago, in the days in which I had a totally different blog, I re-read a book called Big Purple Mommy by Colleen Hubbard. The subtitle of this book is nurturing our creative work, our children, and ourselves. It was in the reading of this book that I realized that being a writer is my primary means of creative expression and is my creative work. She talks about how painters “see” paintings as they go about their days, dancers choreograph, and musicians compose. I know my own very creatively gifted mother “sees” patterns in nature or life and imagines them as felted pictures or woven pieces (or whatever her current area of focus is at the time). Me—I write essays in my head. Just about every day I compose some sort of essay or article in my head as I’m going about my life. Probably only about 10 percent of those actually make it onto the page even as notes and even less than that actually are fully born. In the past I have acknowledged that this process of words being born within me and dying before they make it to the page can feel like it literally hurts.

From the book I saved this quoted quote from Emily Dickinson: “To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.

And, one from Naomi Ruth Lowinsky: “Women who become mothers find that it is often in the crucible of that experiences in what is in so many ways a sacrifice of self, that she touches the deepest experiences of the female self and wrestles with an angel that at once wounds and blesses her.”

As I wrote in my Surrender post, I guess rather than balance per se, it comes back to mindfulness, attention, and discernment—knowing when to hold and when to fold. Just as I continue to return to my image of grinding corn, I continue to return to this inner vision of joyfully releasing our butterflies together.

As I considered the theme of this week of the blog carnival (nurturing a culture of creativity at home), a picture I took a couple of months ago kept coming to mind: in it Alaina is at the table painting with two paintbrushes at the same time. I couldn’t find the actual picture, but I did find an endless stream of other pictures that, irrespective of my own moments of guilt and endless mental machinations about how and why and am I doing a good job at this mothering thing, clearly show me a family successfully releasing its butterflies together. The majority of the photos in this gallery were taken on just one day. And, in taking them, I purposely didn’t get anything out to take a picture of. I just took pictures of what was already out, what was already on the wall, and what was already happening around me... (In my search for the two-paintbrush picture I did go back into my saved pictures and find some others included below that were taken on different days as well.)

This is a large gallery—click on an image to see the caption and to go through the pictures as a slideshow. Or, skim through them to the bottom of the post because at the end is my grand finale, concluding-thought picture! 😉

As I set down Lucy’s book and the cauldron of my mind bubbled with ideas and the pictures I’d just taken of our home and how we nurture a culture of creativity within it, I started talking to my husband. Getting ready for bed, I excitedly explained to him about how we are getting something right here with our kids. Really right. And, as I took off my shirt to put on my pajamas, he started to laugh. I said, excuse meI’m all serious here with my deep insights. Then, I looked down and I laughed too, because this is what I saw on my belly…

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“Womb of Creation” art installation by Alaina. 😉

I see butterflies.

Related past posts:

Rebirth: What We Don’t Say

Birthing the Mother-Writer

What to tell a mother-to-be about the realities of mothering…

**********

ORDER YOUR SIGNED COPY of 

Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble

or order it from your local bookshop!

Other posts in the carnival:

  • Carnival host and author of The Rainbow Way, Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares an extract from the chapter Nurturing a Family Culture of Creativity.
  • Lilly Higgins is a passionate food writer. Now a mother of two boys, she’s discovered a new calling: to instil in them a love of food and creativity in the kitchen.
  • DeAnna L’am shares how visioning the New Year with your child is an invitation to be inspired: use creativity and resolutions to create a fun road map for the year ahead.
  • Molly at Talk Birth on Releasing Our Butterflies – balancing motherhood with creativity.
  • Laura shares some of the creativity happening at Nestled Under Rainbows and a few thoughts about creativity.
  • Georgie at Visual Toast celebrates her own unique culture of creativity at home.
  • Esther at Nurtureworkshop spreads the love of the ordinary, the delights of everyday things that can be an adventure of the imagination.
  • For Dawn at The Barefoot Home creativity is always a free form expression to be shared by all in a supportive environment where anything can be an art material.
  • Naomi at Poetic Aperture is a mother, artist and photographer who tries to keep her daughter away from the expensive pens and paints.
  • Aimee at Creativeflutters writes about keeping your sanity and creativity intact with small kids in the house in her post: Mother + Creativity – They Must Coexist.
  • Amelia at My Grandest Adventure embarks on a 30 Days of Creativity challenge…you can too!
  • Becky at Raising Loveliness explores creating with her smaller family members.
  • Jennifer at Let Your Soul Shine reveals how children help us connect to our souls, through music and movement.
  • Mary at The Turquoise Paintbrush shares her experiences of creating with kids.
  • Joanna at Musings of a Hostage Mother explains why creativity at home is important to her in her post “I nurture a creative culture.”
  • It took until Amy at Mama Dynamite was pregnant aged 35 to discover her dormant creative
    streak – she has found lovely ways of tuning into it every since.
  • Emily at The Nest explores how creativity runs through her family’s life together.
  • Jennifer at OurMuddyBoots sees that encouraging creativity in children is as simple as appreciating them for who they are: it just means overriding everything we know!
  • Lisa from Mama.ie has discovered that a combination of writing and traditional crafts can provide a creative outlet during those busy early years of new motherhood.
  • Anna at Biromums shares what nurturing a culture of creativity means to her.
  • Zoie at TouchstoneZ argues that the less they are interfered with, the more creative children become as they grow up.
  • Darcel at The Mahogany Way celebrates creating with her kids.
  • Sally (aka The Ginger Ninja) of The Ginger Chronicles is continually inspired by her own mum and grandmother.
  • Just being creative is enough, says Nicki at Just Like Play, as she ponders her journey of nurturing a creative family.
  • Allurynn shares her creative family’s musings in her post “Creativity… at the Heart of it” on Moonlight Muse.
  • Laura at Authentic Parenting explores how being creative saves her sanity.
  • Mama is Inspired talks about how she puts an emphasis on the handmade in her home, especially in the holiday season.
  • Kirstin at Listen to the Squeak Inside shares with you several easy ways for busy mamas and dads to encourage their children to be creative every day.
  • Mila at Art Play Day always lived in her dreams, sleepwalking through life … now she is finding out what creativity is all about…. her inner child!
  • Sadhbh at Where Wishes Come From describes how picture books can nurture creativity in young children.
  • On womansart blog this week – nurturing a creative culture at home.
 

Chain of Mothers

20131105-164320.jpg“I know myself linked by chains of fires,
to every woman who has kept a hearth.
In the resinous smoke
I smell hut, castle, cave,
mansion and hovel,
See in the shifting flame
my mother and grandmothers
out over the world.”
–Elsa Gidlo

“If we don’t take care of mothers, they can’t take care of their babies.” –Jeanne Driscoll

At our La Leche League meeting this month we started out talking about breastfeeding and intimacy. This led into a discussion about breastfeeding and fertility and moved on to decisions about family size as well as feelings about motherhood in general. We talked about postpartum adjustment, about the frustrations of parenting, and about the seemingly endless struggle between being with our babies and “getting things done.”

At the beginning of the week a mysterious box arrived in the mail and I opened it to discover a gigantic pile of vintage LLL publications that I had told another Leader several months ago that I would take off of her hands. When I opened it, my first 20131105-164327.jpgreaction was to feel slightly horrified—I’m in a declutter mode lately and have been thinking about getting rid of some of my own old papers and magazines, so taking on someone else’s stash seems like an ill-considered idea. However, then I started looking through the box and while I’m still shaking my head over my own tendency to hoard information, it is really a treasure. There are issues of the old LLL News (with headlines like: “Can La Leche League really be 20 years old?” [it is now pushing 60]) and New Beginnings and Missouri’s En Face newsletter, as well as old editions of the Leader journal, Leaven. While the formatting and style were very different and clearly read “vintage,” most of the content is remarkably timeless. The questions raised in the few issues I paged through could have come from my meetings today. The articles about mothers’ struggle to balance baby-raising and their own creative pursuits could have been written by the mothers who were at my local meeting just this month. This chain of mothers is timeless. I was amused by this “quiz” and read it aloud during the meeting:

20131105-164336.jpgAnd, the realistic answers…

20131105-164618.jpgAnd, my heart twinged at the cover images and the knowledge that my own nursing days will all too soon be a faded memory:

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I felt a little bit like crying, looking at this stack and the voices of women represented. The moments now passed. The babies now grown. The stories now boxed up and forgotten. The chain of mothers with their chain of timeless stories and timeless voices have reached off many pages to me many times in my ten years as a parent though. They reached out at my LLL meeting this week and they reach out from blogs and online articles every day. When I shared the link to Noah’s miscarriage-birth story on Facebook on his birthday, I was touched to receive many comments about how our story had helped others and thanking me for my openness in writing and sharing it. I was in turn helped by reading the reflections of a mother’s reflections on the stillbirth journey she experienced:

Because something helped me hear the muffled words that sometimes bounced off the sheer rock cliffs of my pain. I began to hear the voices in the cemeteries I visited—voices of mothers who murmured that if I could just keep breathing long enough the tunneled darkness might begin to lift. I began to see the anguish of my cancer patients in terms of cells defying death. I began to connect myself to a humanity bound up with suffering—plague victims, war dead, road kill, religious martyrs, and most of all a long line of women who had keened over children in caskets.

via Hope Floating | Full Grown People.

I returned to a saved article from Birthing Beautiful Ideas:

Sometimes, boys, my motherhood is all too human.

All too imperfect. All too messy. All too flawed, terribly flawed.

All too unlike that specter of motherhood, that perfect, inhuman motherhood, that haunts the very concept of what it means to be a mother.

I, my children, am all too human.

Mother, all too mother.

Sometimes I try to look back on our journeys together, and my mind yearns to create a revisionary history of us, mother and children.

Erase the loud, the frenzied, the desperate. Amplify the sweet, the tender, the beautifully organized and attentive and calm.

But I know this is not me. I know this is not us. I know this is not what we have always been, or what we will always be.

I know that my motherhood has been indicative of a human, all too human person.

I know our intertwined histories betray any such revisionism.

Sometimes I’ve tuned you out when I could have, perhaps should have, been paying more attention to you. Sometimes I’ve played dumb games on my phone when I could have been playing engaging games with you. Sometimes I’ve encouraged an hour of glazed-eyed television watching just so that I could do something wholly unproductive and time-wasteful and selfish. Sometimes I’ve taken you to the playground so that you could play away from me: not with me.

Sometimes I’ve even begged, “Please, please, no one say ‘Mommy’ for ten whole minutes. Please.”

But do you know that there are times where I think that my whole body and soul are attuned to each of you?

I’ve raced out the front door to save you from running into the street, outpacing everyone who was fifty steps closer to you. I’ve jumped into a pool, clothes on, and pulled you out of the deep water, even though two people were already in the pool, moving to rescue you. I’ve plumbed the depths of my empathy, seen straight into what moves and shakes you, and quieted your inner beast just by understanding you…

via Mother, All Too Mother.

I also returned to one of my own past articles after having shared a story about it during my meeting:

At one point when my first son was a baby, I was trying to explain my “trapped” or bound feelings to my mother and she said something like, “well what would you rather be doing instead?” And, that was exactly it. I DIDN’T want to be doing something instead, I wanted to be doing something AND. I wanted to grind my corn with my baby. Before he was born I had work that I loved very much and that, to me, felt deeply important to the world. Motherhood required a radically re-defining of my sense of my self, my purpose on earth, and my reason for being. While I had been told I could bring my baby with me while continuing to teach volunteer trainings, I quickly found that it was incompatible for me—I felt like I was doing neither job well while bringing my baby with me and I had to “vote” for my baby and quit my work. While I felt like this was the right choice for my family, it felt like a tremendous personal sacrifice and I felt very restricted and “denied” in having to make it. With my first baby, I had to give up just about everything of my “old life” and it was a difficult and painful transition. When my second baby was born, it was much easier because I was already in “kid mode.” I’d already re-defined my identity to include motherhood and while I still chafed sometimes at the bounds of being bonded, they were now familiar to me…

via I just want to grind my corn! | Talk Birth.

One of my new pewter pendant sculptures is of a yoga tree pose. I describe her like this: My sculptures were created as a 3-D “journal” of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood and were created to communicate the deep experience of the childbearing year. I view Tree Pose as a fitting metaphor for motherhood—you must find your center to stay in balance (and balance can look lopsided, but still be rooted and strong). The Tree Pose metaphor is explained in more depth in this past post:

I also thought it might be of interest to the other mothers out there who continually teeter on the edge of finding that elusive and possibly-not-actually necessary “balance” in their work tasks and mothering tasks. I have a friend who describes balance not as making things “equal,” but as being like tree pose in yoga—you want one leg to be firm underneath you so you can stay standing up, but your two sides do not have to actually be “equal” in order to be balanced. Today, my balance is weighted towards the work-at-home tasks, but it will shift again and I’ll still be standing. Find your center. That is the mental reminder that instantly pulls my own literal tree pose into balance for me during my (formerly daily, now erratic) morning yoga. Find your center…

via The tensions and triumphs of work at home mothering | Talk Birth.

I took Alaina down to the woods with me for my daily spiritual practice and while there, I took this picture:

November 2013 023“I feel deeply connected with mothers everywhere. A million stand behind me, having birthed and raised their babies before I had my own. That current of Motherhood feels palpable. It’s a kind of ancestor work that makes sense: I want to honor them and ask for their wisdom. I want their energy to be a part of my life, not something that I access only when the veils are thin.” -Kira at Earth Mama Prime (via Pagan Families)