Welcome Back, Self?


November 3, 2011 by themommahen

After a long month of battling a virus–despite McAfee’s best attempts at protection–my laptop threw in the towel, I waved the white flag and put the family laptop in the shop. I got it back today, which means I missed the first three days of National Blog Posting Month, aka in self-important blogger-ese, NaBloPoMo. (I’m not sure I am enough of a blogger to use that shortcut, and if I ever was to become blogger enough, I’m still not sure I could talk like that with a straight face.)

Anyway, point is that you’re supposed to challenge yourself to post to your blog every day for the month of November. Scary, considering my recent absence, but I’ll give it the old college try. Which should be even more challenging than usual since I’ve been suffering from social media overload, as one of my friends recently wrote about. Don’t get me wrong, I love to capture moments here at The Momma Hen, but lately, I’ve struggled with all things media. The Husband will tell you that I have an addiction to my phone and Facebook, and I’m not in a great position to argue with him. But lately, I just feel so…narrow. Like there’s not enough of me to go around, what with three hatchlings, The Husband, my 20-year high school reunion, Halloween costumes, school field trips, a parent who was in the hospital (past-tense — out now and on the mend, thanks for asking) and all the other miscellaneous things that make up our lives. Between all that, I just haven’t quite had the stamina, drive or energy to tweet, update, link, post, stream, cut, paste, message or anything that might somewhat resemble communication in the 21st century. Which, funnily enough, hasn’t stopped my followers from increasing, although they mostly have recognizable but misspelled company names with zero tweets, followers and no bio, but I’m one of the gazillion they’re spamming…I mean following — winning!

Back to my narrowness, I have a friend who talks a lot about how being a mom means “dying to self.” And how with each addition to the brood, the self dies a bit more. Now, the first time she said it, I was a bit turned off, but 13 months after welcoming the third hatchling, I get it, or at least my interpretation of it. It doesn’t mean that I, myself, dies. That’s not possible when you have such gifts entrusted to you — I, myself, grow every day because of the hatchlings. But it does mean, for me, myself, that when I have to choose between snuggles at the end of the day or updating my status somewhere in the social mediasphere, I, myself, choose the snuggles every time. As most parents would, I think, since that’s kind of a no-brainer. But it’s the smaller things I struggle with, like right now where I’m trying to write my first post in however long and all three hatchlings want me and my attention and I’m tempted to just abandon this effort and I haven’t even made it through Day 1 (for me) of this NoMoBloPo or whatever the heck it’s called and then I realize how in the WORLD will I even entertain the thought of trying to post every day for a month and this is exactly why I’ve been MIA lately and maybe I should just maintain the status quo? And then I take a breath, think about another very talented friend and her awe-inspiring commitment, do a quick spell check and hit “post.” We’ll see what happens.

4 thoughts on “Welcome Back, Self?

  1. Anonymous says:

    SOOO happy to see you back in this space, and thanks for the link love. Here’s one thing I would say in response: my “awe-inspiring commitment” is no more and no less than a defense against the “dying to self” your friend describes. In some ways it is a supremely selfish act. Ez doesn’t get the short end of the stick (usually) but ask Will when the last time I snuggled up to him on the couch and watch TV with him was? Or better yet, don’t ask him. But if you have a mental image of me at the dining room table alone, sucked into my laptop after the dinner plates are cleared, you’re right on the money.

    I write because it makes me real to myself. I write because I would lose me in the duties of motherhood and work and marriage if I didn’t. I write because it makes me happy. And because lately I’m noticing that it is my form of prayer. I never knew how to pray before but that’s what it feels like now.

    Anyway, all that is to encourage you to write too, if it feels right and if it feeds you. I’ll always love reading you and I know I’m not the only one, but the key is to do it if it’s about an awe-inspiring commitment to yourself.

    Much love, dear.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So…I may inhabit a special niche in your group of followers, knowing you on an interpersonal level as well as through a mediated forum. A;;owing for that. I enjoy reading your blog and have missed it.

    Now, I can’t get with the “dying to self” notion, however. I can agree that having children makes one more committed to others, and in that way, more self-centered…a very worthy thing. I am reminded of a quotation whose attribution escapes me and therefore I’m pretty sure that I’m paraphrasing: “To teach is to learn twice.” Without stretching it too far out of shape, Isee an implication for parenting and the growth of self through the enterprise. I’ve watched you become one of the most conscientious, thoughtful, caring, and least self-centered people I know as I’ve watched you become a committed parent.

    Just my thoughts on this early November day.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m trying to type this with my four-year-old’s head on my arm. I know. It’s a balance thing, one that we, as women and mothers, struggle with every day. Good luck with the daily posts. I know it’s keeping me thinking all day long. I look forward to reading more of what you have to say.

  4. Larisa Spillman says:

    Corinna, Thanks for the encouragement. I owe you a call now (and the link love was 100% genuine!)

    DocR, I always appreciate your thoughts. Always.

    JewelsD, thanks for stopping by — I look forward to reading more of you too!

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