June 3, 2011

Guest Post: Confessions of a ...

Our next guest blog comes from Zoe.
Zoe and I served together on Westmont's Spring Break in the City core team during our sophomore year.
During that year I was completely intimidated by her.
Zoe, I have never told you this before. I was. You're just that great.
Knowing Zoe is like having your own personal Jane Austen heroine around. 
Thoughtful, witty, put together, wise, creative, a good friend. She's what I would call "an accomplished woman."
(Yes, Mr. Darcy, you scoundral, she even improves her mind with extensive reading.)
And she blogs! Check her out on her regular blog Long Distance Lobsters
Hey. This confession thing is hard (even for the most accomplished among us)-- it's time to love on Zoe for sharing her heart with us!!

{do you have something to confess? email reliasen@gmail.com and get it off your chest}

Confessions of a New Mama

I’m a pretty open book, especially if you can see me face to face. It’s hard for me to hide what I’m really thinking and I have a tendency to over-share. My grandfather says I have “logorrhea” a.k.a.  “diarrhea of the mouth.” (for proof, note the exorbitant length of this post)

For the past several months, I even let my logorrhea spill out into the internet and joined throngs of bloggers, effusing even more of the thoughts filling my head. It was great fun, sharing my life with whichever other three or so readers might be kind enough to care that day. I felt like I even encouraged a few people by being honest about things that challenged me instead of being one more model of flawless perfection making others feel guilty for not living up to impossible standards. Maybe they could see that there were others who struggled with things they struggled with, they were not alone, life isn’t really a cakewalk. My transparency could possibly have been a gift – not just me getting weight off my chest.

Now I am a new mom (my baby Sofia is four months old) and I struggle with so much day-to-day. I want to share confessions and challenges with others so they know they’re not alone. I am certainly encouraged by other mommy bloggers who comfort me with their honesty.  But here is my own “confessions of a new mom”: I’m too afraid to confess.

In all my working years, I have had at least twenty-four different direct supervisors. Too many of those bosses micro-managed to a life-stifling degree. Frankly, its pretty grand having no one supervise me at my “job” right now. Granted, in order to enjoy this luxury a) I’m working at least twice as many hours now [and “on call” for the rest of the “day,” while Sofia sleeps] and b) I get none of the support a supervisor is supposed to supply in exchange for the management. Making public my confessions feels a bit too much like I’d be inviting the nastier supervisors to rain on my parade that is the joy of being Sofia’s mom right now. 

Furthermore, my training is in social work. My emphasis was on childhood mental health. That’s kind of like getting a degree in judging people’s parenting. I know more than the average woman about how important it is to take good care of this fragile little thing that will one day grow up to have an affect on society – be it good or bad – she will for certain shape the world she lives in. I know that basically whatever I do as a mom, there’s someone out there who will disagree with my approach. Shoot. The fact that I even am a mom, that unqualified little me would consciously choose to bear offspring in the first place, probably offends plenty of people.

This whole raising a kid thing is so much more intimate and precious than I ever could have imagined. It’s one thing for people to critique how I write a letter, analyze research, put together a layout, counsel a child, or create an excel spreadsheet [I’m darn good at creating spreadsheets by the way]. It’s something altogether more terrifying for someone to evaluate whether I love my own child correctly. I need grace like I’ve never needed it before.

I have never poured myself into something more fully. I have never felt a force more strongly than when I love my daughter. And I have never felt so incompetent and unsure of how I’m going about the work.

So maybe, hypothetically, there’s tons I need to confess. Maybe another mom out there would feel better knowing things like how, hypothetically, I might not quite do tummy time the “several” times per day that my doctor commands, because a) it hurts my heart to hear my baby girl cry from the discomfort and b) I’m just too worn out and maybe a little bit lazy. At least right this minute, I’m not quite ready to share many of those things that, hypothetically, I might be feeling. But maybe I’m not alone in that, and maybe even the fact that I confess that I’m afraid to confess brings someone else a little comfort?

I hope at least that this can highlight how incredibly strong the women, like Becca, are who can put themselves out there. Courageous are the women who reveal all their struggles with getting their kids to sleep, helping them reach all their developmental milestones, breaking down from public diaper disasters. I am so relieved, entertained, encouraged by the tales they share. When I grow up, I want to be like them. Pray for me that I will get there soon. For now, I’m gonna take a little more time to enjoy this supervisor-free season where I can hide in my ignorance, love my baby girl the best way I know how, and celebrate the mama’s who give me greater goals to strive for.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that amazing introduction Becca! Higher praise than I deserve.


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