Parenting after infertility
It’s my blogiversary! One year ago today I started Foggy Mommy with this post. As is the case with many aspects of parenting, it doesn’t seem like it’s been a year. I can’t believe LM has gone from being a one-year-old who couldn’t yet walk to a two-year-old who’s in school. One year ago I hadn’t yet ventured in the genre of parenting writing, and since then I’ve been published in The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode, Fit Pregnancy and The Washington Post’s On Parenting. I hope that doesn’t sound boastful, but I’m proud of how far I’ve gone!
Some observations on blogging:
- It’s hard to keep up with social media. I admit I probably don’t have time to tweet and Facebook as much as some of my fellow mommy bloggers. It’s just somehow not built into me — maybe I’m too old. Or maybe I just already feel like I’m too distracted from my son (this is something I’m working on as a mom). I can’t be tweeting every detail of my life. Not that there’s anything wrong with that if you can. I just haven’t yet mastered this — maybe that’s why I still need more Twitter followers. If you haven’t already, please follow me! I’ll try to tweet more in the future.
- I love blogging, and I love freelance writing. I love the flexibility to do it whenever and wherever. But, that flexibility often makes me feel that every available minute I have I should be writing, blogging, tweeting about blogging, etc. It’s not like I just stop working when I come home from the office. I write at midnight. I email during playdates. So I wonder if I just need to turn off sometimes.
- That said, I love that I get to be home with LM. Despite the multitasking, I do feel that I’m able to give more personal attention that I would if I worked outside the home and had to commute. I think our lives would be more harried and hurried. I think LM has benefitted from me being available and around most of the time.
- A note on “oversharing”: After a piece in Slate about the profusion of personal essays, the blogosphere has been abuzz. Are we oversharing? Are we going to regret oversharing? I do try to balance what I say and what I reveal with the repercussions: Is anyone going to be pissed that I wrote this? How will LM feel about this when he’s a teenager? So I do take that into account. But in general, I don’t see what’s wrong with talking publicly about the things one has gone through. I wholeheartedly agree with this comment from XOJane editor Emily McCombs (XOJane is on my writer’s bucket list):
I can’t tell you how often I have encountered the attitude that because these stories are about women’s lives, they are somehow superficial, silly, or unimportant. Women’s lives – our stories – are not unimportant. They often reflect the feminist maxim that the personal is political.
…to suggest that adult women aren’t fully capable of deciding when and where to share information about themselves denies them an awful lot of agency.
I write about my own personal life because I want to lessen shame and encourage connection. If people read a piece I wrote and say: ‘This writer has had this experience, done this thing and felt this way so maybe I don’t have to feel ashamed of who I am,’ it’s worth it.
That pretty much sums up why I write. I want to tell the truth about infertility, miscarriage, breastfeeding, parenting after loss, and just parenting in general. All parents are a work in progress, and this blog helps me (and hopefully helps others) become aware of the things we need to work on. People have said I’m brave to share my story. I don’t think of it that way. I don’t know why I should feel like I can’t share. I’m not ashamed of my story. That’s the point — no one should be.
Give me your feedback on Foggy Mommy, or just drop a note to say happy blogiversary! I look forward to hearing from you.
I’m excited and honored to be published in The Washington Post’s On Parenting blog. My essay “The Other Side of Infertility” explores the scars that infertility leaves behind, even after having a much-wished for child. Please check it out!
I do want to express that I’m so thankful for the mom friends I’ve met who have been such a support for me as I’ve made this transition to the post-infertile world. Even though at first I felt like I didn’t belong in a “mommy club,” thanks to their friendship I’m starting to become more at peace with my past and am feeling like a whole person again, instead of a broken one.
The other day I took LM for a walk around a lake near our house. It was just about a perfect fall day, warm and breezy with the sun sparkling off the water. I had one of those surreal moments when I asked myself, “Is this really my life?” For so many years I wasn’t sure if I would ever be a mom, and now here I was, not only a mom but a mom who is able to stay home with her son and walk him around a perfect lake on a perfect fall day.
Across from the lake is a cemetery, and as I walked by a funeral procession drove in. When I passed around a second time, the mourners were gathered around the coffin, and I wondered if it was somehow a bad omen to see such a sight on this otherwise perfect day. I wondered who the dead person was. Maybe, I reasoned, this is one of those “happy funerals” in which the person is old and has lived a long and fulfilled life, and his funeral becomes sort of a family reunion, and all his relatives end up talking and laughing and it’s actually nice to see everyone again. Maybe this funeral wasn’t a bad omen at all, but a reminder that life goes on, or that there’s a circle of life, or something kind of corny like that. But corny or not, it’s true. And now that I am a mother, I’ve feel like I am a part of it.
Ever since I had LM, these surreal moments, which I’m not sure I would have if I hadn’t had trouble getting pregnant, because then this would just seem to be a normal part of life – you have a baby and then you walk him around a park – creep up on me, and I’m filled with a sense of peace and wonder at the simple things in life, like sun sparkling off water on a perfect fall day.