I was unprepared for being a mom. I mean, isn’t everyone?
I figured it’d be new, but I’d adjust.
After all, I was used to being busy (I was director of a school! and in a band!)
I was able to live with no sleep (Um, I thought late nights and finals week were “no sleep.” HA.)
I figured I had handled unexpected situations with aplomb (I had TRAVELED!) and was, above all, experienced with kids.
Figured it’d be a bit hard, but do-able.
In spring 2008, caring for a newborn Alden — I realized— oh, I realized– it wasn’t do-able, it was MUST-Do-able. And it was more than a bit hard, it was a kind of hard I had never experienced before.
Busy? Try nursing every two hours, for a half an hour at a time, for four solid months, 24 hours a day.
No sleep? Try 90 minutes of sleep at a time for going on 10 months.
Unexpected situations? Try looking for a job, because the savings are gone, 10 months later, and landing one — and not just a job, but an opportunity, a vote of confidence– and the last thing you want to be doing?
In spring 2009, I was struggling to find room for everything– working, mothering, playing music in bands, running, writing, making a home. And this magazine started appearing on free distribution racks at all the cool and kid-friendly spots downtown.
This magazine. Mamalode.
“Hey, wait…. I know that gal on the cover.”
Flip, flip, flip. “And, hey, I know that mom who wrote that piece. And that one…”
I devoured it. Cover to cover, articles, ads, photos. The entire thing was ME, was my life. Only between those pages, it felt like US…like my town, my community, OUR life.
I longed for each new issue. Read each one greedily, voraciously– feeding a hunger for feeling normal and connected and real that I hadn’t even known was there. And then, tentatively, I began to write. Little tightly edited snippets of my truth, my world, that I would send in….and sometimes, to my joy and amazement, these little snippets would be accepted, and published. This…was amazing to me; very validating and inspiring.
I started this blog, about two years ago, in no small part because of those snippets, and because of the other Missoula mama writers who had been featured in Mamalode, and whose posts had slayed me with their genuineness, openness, and gutsy writing. And in reading their voices, in feeling connected, I felt so in love with my town, my (local) community.
But I started to realize that wasn’t really accurate, fair, or true. Mamalode’s space wasn’t, isn’t, about Missoula. It’s about honesty, searching, kindness, imperfection, ambition, generosity, fun, introspection, enthusiasm, and connection.
I really love being in this space, and feel really lucky both that Mamalode has been part of my community, and that I am part of the Mamalode community.
If you want to spend some time in the Mamalode space.
If you want to subscribe.
If you want to order a back issue.
(Ahem) I have very short pieces in these issues: Humor, Faith, Home, Work, Village, Capacity, Space, Perfection