All kidding aside, there’s a reason I decided to start this blog, a reason I’m keeping it light, and a reason my focus is broad. I’m actively working to not sweat the small stuff where this endeavor is concerned (and it ain’t easy for me) because, in the end, I’m doing it for me, not the blogging experts and critics of the world. And if I can make some readers smile or think in the process, well, that’s a happy bonus.
Six months ago I became a mother for the first time. About six months before that I quit my job, took a break from my graduate studies, stepped back from several volunteer commitments, and took some time off to prepare myself and my home for the impending arrival of our little Julian Murphy. I’d spent the better part of the previous decade working full time during the day, and attending classes, study groups, board meetings and networking functions every evening. I was exhausted. And I knew once Murphy arrived on the scene I would have very little time for me for quite a while. It was an incredible blessing to have had that time off to rest, reflect, and refocus my life. It’s a greater blessing still that I’m now able to stay home with him and soak up our precious time together while he’s young.
I love my new role as a mother and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t miss waking up to a digital alarm clock (although some mornings I wish desperately that my human alarm clock had a snooze button). I don’t miss spending upwards of two hours in traffic each work day. I don’t miss all-staff standing meetings, time sheets, project management software, or progress reports. I don’t miss being underpaid and underutilized. And I don’t miss the feeling that my talent, passion, dedication, and commitment to personal and professional development was never quite enough to lift me to the next rung of a ladder leading somewhere I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go.
Clearly I wasn’t always happy and fulfilled by my lifestyle prior to baby. In fact, sometimes I was downright miserable, as jumping the proverbial corporate ship six times in ten years might indicate. But the one thing that kept me going was the opportunity at least once every day – in a discussion forum for an online class, around the coffee pot at work, at a committee meeting for one of the nonprofits I supported – to express myself and to be energized by the ideas and fresh perspectives of people of all ages and persuasions. I miss that.
Sometimes I feel mommy tunnel vision setting in, especially on days when my little man seems to be demanding every. single. minute. of my time and attention (he’s even trying to “help” me write this now). The distance between the here-and-now and my time spent as co-worker, artist, citizen, board member, food-lover, student, world traveler, drinking buddy, and activist feels like it’s growing. But I’m still all of those things. My blog won’t be too narrowly-focused because I don’t want my life to become too narrowly-focused. It’s my forum for self-expression, and I’m not only somebody’s mama – I’m MeMe.