Sunday, October 12, 2008

Roles

I think I have figured out what my problem is. I don't value my roles anymore, and yet I am over identified with them.

For example, when Madam was small, I was still reeling from this newfound role as her mother, A mother. So I was fascinated by motherhood itself, reading all sorts of books about the politics of motherhood, the price of motherhood, staying at home vs working outside, how to shape the young baby mind. It was a familiar way for me to be, studying for some exam in the hazy future.

Perhaps I thought that if I crammed hard enough and passed the final, I would move up to the next grade. Where, presumably, someone would take on the actual, well, WORK of parenting, and I could remain on board as a sort of educated consultant.

You can stop laughing now.

It's actually become harder, for me, rather than easier—and I am far less fascinated by the whole thing. Maybe because she's become so much less of a baby, and so much more...all-encompassing. Her opinions are often and loudly stated. I can't just babble to her about everything anymore, unless I want it parroted back to me with frightening accuracy. Maybe I'm just really tired of hearing imperious little demands all day.

But now I feel like I've lost that deep commitment to be Mother, and have just become another mommy.

The same with writing—I feel disconnected from the creative blogging community (totally my own fault—I have all but stopped blogging and reading blogs), and the voices that fed my little vignettes and short short stories have stopped crooning in my ears.

So. Not a writer. Not particularly invested in being a stay at home mother. I feel like I have no more value if I can't find a niche to inhabit—some way to say “this is me.” I cling to my old names—mother, writer, feminist, Latina. I try to poke my former self awake with insults, treats, punishments. But it remains frustratingly, frightening, asleep.

But maybe that's not the point at all. Maybe the point is to remember that I am so much more than any labels I can hang around my neck. That I still have value as a human being, beyond my various roles. That I can learn to hold them lightly, with a sense of humor, even as I wait for the next consuming inspiration to give shape to my days once again.

That's what I am trying to do, anyway.

6 Comments:

Anonymous bella said...

Maybe those aren't roles. Maybe they are big, beautiful pieces that are part of you ~ maybe ~ long neglected.. because that kinda happens when we have babies. I neglected a huge portion of my make-up when I was mama to a young one... and here I am, 7 years later.. just starting to embrace those sides of me again. It's what we do best, as women, as moms. We brush ourselves to the side for what we think will be a short while - in the meantime, losing our identity.
Don't under estimate yourself, chickie.. you are all of those beautiful roles. You'll see.

6:48 AM, October 13, 2008  
Blogger Frida said...

I like the idea of being an educated consultant on mothering. Can I be that on working - I get to stop working to save the fricken planet and instead just consult on how other folks could do a grand job of it? Truth is, without my "role" as human rights and environmental advocate I'd be lost for a decent role myself.

3:43 AM, October 15, 2008  
Blogger Amber said...

I know.

But you are still there. You are in the place you are in right now...But look at all the women who went before us, raised kids, and have crazy full lives... I am just sitting with the idea that I have so many years to become all of who I am.

Why do we think we have to be it all right now in this moment? All that planning and wanting...it keeps me from BEing. I am trying to give it over.

:)

10:51 PM, October 19, 2008  
Blogger Jessie said...

I think that this is why I sometimes work myself like a maniac. It's the fear of not existing. Or something like that. I find it infinitely interesting the way some of us feel so inclined to mark our passage through this life--someway, somehow. And yet it is good to remember who beautiful we are--no matter what we do or what we call ourselves.

Love you, beautiful friend.
j.

11:20 AM, October 23, 2008  
Blogger kate hopper said...

Mardougrrl, I've missed you. I'm sorry I haven't been reading recently--I've been caught up in all the little and big things of life. But I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to read your writing again. I so admire the way you are able to articulate your feelings.

I'm wondering..is it time to think more about MFA programs? Time to really nurture those voices in your head? Please call me!

6:50 AM, November 15, 2008  
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