October 18, 2012
Now that my little ones are older -- my youngest is five, and all of my three boys are in school -- I sometimes forget what it's like to be a new mom. That's one reason I love the writing playgroups I've started with Stealing Time and my long-time "home school MFA" classmate Mara Collins; at once I'm doing something I love (talking about writing and reading) and connecting with, mostly, mothers whose children are very young. Even though it's distant for me, remembering what it was like to be a new mother without a lot of community and validation was really hard. It was about that time, though, that I met a mom's group, and then soon after the lovely ladies of urbanMamas.
So I could relate when I asked our new member Tuesday why she had come. She didn't have a writing project specifically in mind. "I just want to get out of the house," she said. That's as good a reason as any!
It brought me back to the feelings of my young mama days, how I wanted to somehow stay relevant to the world and yet still honor my new role as a mother; how hard it was to get to know the new mother self while at the same time learning how to deal with a small very needy being; how little was left at the end of all that and yet how much I needed to use what little was left in an altruistic way.
We're planning to start rolling out the writing playgroups to other neighborhoods and cities starting in the winter, to give more people this chance to "get out of the house" in a way that engages your brain and still honors your motherhood (or, if you're an at-home dad, your fatherhood). If you're a new mom, how do you connect with all the other selves that sometimes get muffled in motherhood? If you're not so new any more, how did you do it back then?