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The frenzy of ensuring that I post every.single.day during the month of November is over just as soon as I hit publish! There is certainly some relief just making this statement. Right after relief though, I feel a sense of uncertainty.
Do I want NaBloPoMo to be over? Should I do it again in December, just for the sheer thrill of it? Didn’t I learn anything about myself, about blogging, about writing this go ’round? What in the world will I do if I don’t write a post every day anymore? How shall I continue with blogging? Will I no longer have anything to write about? Can I go back to blogging only a few times a week and feel good about that? Will I ever rest assured that this blogging thing is something good for me if I don’t put myself out there every day somehow?
This last question is the most unanswered. There’s a feeling of loss, if you will, in not having the
worrisome frenzied thoughts about having a post done every.single.day of the month, despite whatever else may be going on (Thanksgiving anyone?). At the same time though, this last week has been a bit difficult. There were at least 2 days I wasn’t sure I’d get a post done. Two days when the stress of my long to-do list was a little overwhelming. Two days where I know I would have berated myself for being a failure, had I not some how eked out a post. Those two days though, right at the end. They would have meant failure. Failure to keep up with the demands of life while also somehow maintaining a space all my own. The threat of this particular failure was enough for me to keep going.
I kept going because doing so meant more to me than I might have thought in the beginning.
I kept going because to fail to maintain the space of this blog as my own, meant that I didn’t value myself and my own endeavors. It would have signified me being only a mother, a wife, and a keeper of the family. Failure with NaBloPoMo this month would have been another time I put myself, my needs, my desires, and my ambition last. It would be an example of de-valuing my own contribution to the family by having a space that is mine. I’d have furthered my own self-doubt about what exactly I’m doing overall, if I’d failed to post every day.
In other words, failing the challenge of NaBloPoMo during a time of busy, would have haunted me in more ways than one.
Failing the challenge of NaBloPoMo, I would have proven to myself the false belief that I’m not good enough, not doing enough, and most importantly a time for me to always look back on as proof that I’m nothing more that a mother.
Let me repeat. Failing the challenge of NabloPoMo, would have been my own personal proof that I am nothing more than a mom and wife.
That’s like saying I have no identity. I’m not me any longer. I’m a person who exists solely to the benefit of others. I didn’t do anything before I became a wife and mother. I don’t have likes/dislikes, thoughts, desires, dreams, goals, plans, wants, needs. I have no substance. I don’t think for myself. I don’t do anything significant. I wasted my time all the years prior filled with personal growth, education, relationship lessons (those intimate and not so intimate), life lessons, and (yes) money.
I realize that I actually do one of the most significant tasks a person could ever do. I parent. I parent a child. I parent a child who will one day grow up to (hopefully) parent a child. And so the cycle continues. By doing so, I effect change both present and future.
In other words, the sheer fact that I am a mother. A mother who participates. A mother who engages. A mother who does the every day seemingly meaningless tasks of caring for a child, being a wife, and helping to ensure a positive, loving, accepting, growing and learning environment for my family. Being a mother is so very important. The opportunity I have been granted to be a mother, far exceeds any professional opportunity that I could have. Being a mother, although very trying at times, is the VERY BEST job I could ever have!
With this being the case, you might wonder how I could question my identity. It may be shocking, but I question my identity most days. I wonder if I made the “right” choice in staying home with Baby. I wonder if I should go back to work, even if only part-time. I wonder about whether I’m an enough mother. I wonder how my life changed so drastically in the matter of minutes. I wonder how it is I have been granted this life I live today. I wonder if I’m deserving of this life. And, most importantly, I wonder what I’m doing as a mother.
I’m sure most would agree with me in this. Becoming a mother doesn’t mean that you automatically know what to do all the time, every second of every day. Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing more days than not. I feed, change, clothe, love, and play with Baby. BUT, am I feeding right, is he warm, is he comfortable, is he developing on target, is he healthy, does he know how much we love him, does he know how much he means to us. The questions go on and on. The list is endless, but it’s not really a list after-all. It’s an experience. Parenting is an experience that you can never fully be prepared for. So, yes, I absolutely question my identity. If I don’t know what I’m doing, then maybe I’m not all that I thought I was.
As strange as that may sound, it’s true I’m not all I thought I was. As a mother, I’m more. This fact. This fact is hard to reconcile. I’m more than I was before. I’m more than all that I was before.
Wait, I’m more!?! Stop. What are you saying? I’m more? How could that be?
This notion is quite the contrast from the false belief I’m not enough. And that, my friends, is quite the conundrum.
So, yes. Completing all of NaBloPoMo was about much more than posting every day. It was about significance, importance, status, identity, and personal affirmation.
So, maybe when the self-doubt becomes strong enough, instead of decreasing my involvement, I’ll submit myself to another NaBloPoMo challenge.