Well hello, blogthecat. I have been both missing you and avoiding you over the past couple of years because I didn’t know how to treat you since becoming a mom April 30, 2008. This was because I didn’t know how to treat becoming a mom—didn’t know which feelings were allowed and not allowed (yes, I could put quote marks around “allowed”), which ones were strictly private and which were okay for public consumption, which ones I’d love to voice but would regret having shared later, etc. I didn’t know how to write about my life—its moments, frustrations, and revelations—and my take on things without including Oliver, who is in every fibre of my being and who influences such a scarily huge proportion of my experience. At the same time, I didn’t want blogthecat to become all about momhood and Oliver. It was starting to go that way, and it made me feel kind of queasy and swallowed up. Like I wasn’t a person outside of him, and like I would be forever trapped in a focus on nurturing, capturing special moments, and solving quirky baby/toddler behavioural conundrums.
Blogthecat had been eclectic before Oliver, and all of a sudden it was single-focused and superficial in how I spoke of motherhood and how I felt about it. The truth is, that first year was HARD, as much as I loved Oliver and how much support I got from Craig. But I felt too guilty, as if I were a "bad" mother, to write about the tougher aspects ... like wondering resentfully if I would ever get off the couch again without a baby locked on to me like a great alien sucker-fish, and cursing silently and not-so-silently as that baby refused for more than a year to go in the stroller without screaming and kicking the entire time, thwarting my sweet dream of somehow dropping the 50+ pounds I had put on in pregnancy and resulting in all sorts of damage to my back. I thought these less thrilling aspects were verboten to speak out loud ... that they were simply the price you paid willingly, gratefully, and quietly for the gift of your wee one.
I thought and thought about what to do … didn’t want to say goodbye forever to blogthecat, wanted to resume writing about things I would find interesting whether or not I had Oliver in my life, yet wanted to respect and express that massive part of me that is now and for all time touched by Oliver (and soon, his baby sister).
My solution … the one I am trying out for now … is to move Oliver and mommish posts to a new blog, The Bam Bam Blog, and to make blogthecat a place where I write about the rest of my life.
I am a little daunted by this separation. I’m pretty sure, especially given baby girl’s being expected in early March, that I’m going to have quite some bit to say on The Bam Bam Blog. It will doubtlessly be addled by sleep deprivation and the chaos of two rather than one, but it will be easier to write given its ever-presentness and intensity.
Will there be enough “rest of my life” to write about on blogthecat? I'll have to see, and maybe force it when it doesn’t come naturally. As much as I want to be a doting and involved mom for my kids when they’re this small, I also want to retain my sense of self so that when they get older, I won’t look up and go, “Yes, now what exactly am I meant to do now?” We all do this to some degree sometimes I think, but I don’t want to exacerbate it by losing touch with the rest of the world outside my family. And I’ll bet that if I remain interested and even interesting, there’s a better chance my kids will turn out that way, too.
These are the sorts of things I imagine will be fodder for the revamped blogthecat:
- Excellent achievements of my friends and people I admire
- Food I cook on the rare occasion I cook, recipes I ogle but will never actually get the time to try out, and restaurants/cookbooks/brands that make me quiver
- Raves about books/movies I love and want you to love too
- Notes about daily life—the good and the bad
- Interviews with people who are doing cool things, or on why they love something they do
- Stuff out there in the world that amazes me or that I feel strongly about
- Reflections/moments in my family life (not every day, but sometimes).
It seems a hopeful list for a hopeful day of the year. I look forward to using it as a guide to keep me oriented during what will likely be a crazy few months ahead. All the best in 2011 to everyone who reads this; come back and visit as often as you can.