Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I remember when I named this blog. It was a joke on a self-address I used to make on behalf of my daughter. An script for shakey know-nothing moments where I could look into the dark eyes of my newborn and repeat the mantra.

"Yeah. Right. Whatever you want to tell yourself Mother-Woman."

That is what I thought she was thinking as I fussed over breastfeeding or acted like I could arrange a perfect learning environment or in those hours I chased ideal work-life arrangements. She is my child, her snarky humour was destined; I am glad she either had it or helped me create a theatre of it.

When I published that I was Mother-Woman it was important to me. I see now it was my public progress to an identity not of growth but of attachments. Till now I was always stepping up on goals, I was a very typical modern American in that way. Motherhood changed that. Now I am more or less a splat. A SPLAT. Everyday I am a messy tornado of identities, responsibilities, successes and failures not quite successes. I might liken my future, my self [sic] as splat. Splat or splodge -- sticky and stuck. A woman yes at the core, but a hyphenated woman. Fully formed into woman think of me a potato head, jam in this hole CAREER-mother! over here COMMUNITY-mother! the smile on my face MOTHER-woman! in the earhole mother-FRIEND! the weight of my ass parent-CONSUMER! The appendages are endless. Her Bad mother wrote recently about a grafting. Her appendages different from mine but perhaps not disparate.

My life has been pretty linear. I stand in awe of the sage nonlinear. I wonder if I ever could become more comfortably random, multifaceted and/or dynamic. Motherhood has made me try it on but maybe it didn't take? Me is a simpleton. I wuz a zygote once and then I grew. Gaining and growing out, on, up; dems the marching orders. Modernity. Linear.

As my work life has swollen in prominence there has been some return to the woman I was four years ago. Revisiting the straight and narrow, right in there -- the rat race. I wander the halls forward. I connect the dots, complete steps, fill in blanks. The halls are narrow and with each step a small piece seems to nap off of the mother-woman. I feel a bit naked. Damaged and, well, snappy. Mother-woman, a biplane down the sewer pipe.

What is it that could keep all the stuff glued on? What??? Is it creativity? Perseverance? The 7 habits of highly effective mothers? What?????

Tell me!!!!

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Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Splat is right.

And it's the goo that keeps everything stuck together. You know, the mush. The love-junk that runs, thickly, through our veins. That.

5:26 p.m.  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

I love that potato-head image. We are all like that I think. Seems the trick is to both know what is core (potato?) and what are truly appendages. I doubt you would say that mother is a shedable appendage, and maybe you are also realizing neither is working woman. There is more meat to your potato than you think. (Now I will stop before I start extending this metaphor any further)

9:34 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tattoos of your childrens' names?

Sorry. I have no idea. Great post though.

1:41 p.m.  

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