So I’m honored to have an old essay of mine up on Brain, Child‘s website today. It’s an amazing magazine that helps me process my journey through motherhood with wit, insight, and just the tiniest bit of irony.
First off, go subscribe NOW. This magazine is such an antidote to our culture’s narrative of parenthood. Not a mom? I don’t really care. You won’t either once you start reading.
I’m still incredibly proud of the essay (I WAS PUBLISHED IN BRAIN CHILD OMG) but honestly, I have mixed feelings when I read it.
1. I was in a dark place when I wrote it. And a darker place when I was living the me it describes. I didn’t realize I had PPD until several years after my daughter was born. The anxiety, the fixation, the sense of isolation? Well, that all looks different to me now. It makes me sad for that me. I don’t wish I had done better, because, well, that attitude was the whole problem. But I do wish I had known what grace was back then.
2. I don’t write so directly about my kids any more. I wish I had given my child more privacy about something so, well, private (not including her name would have been a start). And I wish I had known how fixating on method and ideas could distract me so painfully from the person I was tasked to love. Dear one, I’m sorry.
4. I wish I had never heard of EC. Sure, it’s a fabulous way to connect with your kids and develop a more natural sense of our bodily needs. But for OTHER PEOPLE For me, it was a one-way ticket to crazytown.
Homeschooling is another wing-nut idea I went for. But its role in my life is simply a different story. It is life-giving to me and to–I think–my children.
This essay reminds me of why I don’t tell people they MUST homeschool. I know all the research. I believe passionately in home education. I think it’s a great idea But you know what? A great idea can still be ugly if you don’t live it out in freedom. (Cough: Christianity) If you feel trapped, if you feel like you must, like you should, like a Good Person would figure it out—
Run screaming the other way.
So to you, I say this: you do your own weird things, for your own weird reasons, in freedom and joy. I salute you if they don’t look like mine. Even if I don’t understand your choices, I raise a glass to the shocking freedom it is to make them, one crazy decision at a time.