Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When you become a woman

"When you become a woman is when people come out of your vagina and step on your dreams" - Louis CK
My friend tweeted this earlier today.  I'm not sure exactly why.  He is not a woman, and he does not have kids.  Maybe he just thought it was a funny quote and wanted to share.  Or maybe he wanted to celebrate his childlessness.  This tweet came the same day as I read an article in Brain Child magazine that made me cry.  The article, about a med student with four children, is in direct defiance of the quote by Louis CK, but it does talk about the struggles of following your dreams after having kids.  Especially when we live in a society that does not easily lend itself to  going to school after you have had children.  Although I'm not sure if there is any society in the world that does.  Maybe it is an utterly un-natural thing to divide your attention between your dreams and your children?  Maybe once we have children, we are meant to drop everything about ourselves and totally focus on growing them?  Isn't that the meaning of becoming 'selfless'  and isn't having children a selfless act?  
Right after Kaio was born a friend of mine with a girl 9 months older than Kaio came over to see him and congratulate us.  The first thing she did was hand me a bottle of Johnson and Johnson baby gear and said, "Here this is for Kaio, you will never be you again, you will from now on always be Kaio's mom and everything in your life will revolve around him."  I know it sounds a little extreme in retrospect, but at the time it sounded cute.  Give up on having any notion of time for yourself or doing something for yourself, because now it is all about him.  And, for a long time I think that it was, and maybe it really still is but I have found ways to work in a few splashes of my desires into Kaio's life.  I mean, I used to love taking long showers.  Well, for over a year I could not/did not take them anymore, there was just no time.  But then I learned to bring Kaio in the shower with me, so my long shower was Kaio's bathtime and our quality time.  
I've also realized that I can't be a good mom without taking care of myself.  The article really touched me.  I related to this woman's desire to pursue her dream of being a doctor despite having children.  And that she thinks they may have even helped her cope with some of the difficulties in understanding life and death and growing up.  In the end of the article I think I cried because she made me think that maybe I should be doing things differently.  The article brought my own life insecurities out of the wood work again.  This will be something that I am always working through, but I need to be comfortable with my path in life and more self confident in general.

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