Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mommy, Esq.

Last night R. and I were sitting on the couch; he was working on our house plans and I was staring mindlessly at the TV screen where Tori and Dean were acting out some not-so-important scene.

R.: “What’s wrong with you tonight, honey?”

Kate: “I don’t know. I’m so bored.”

R.: “Bored?”

Kate: “Yeah, I just feel like my life is in total limbo right now. I’m bored at work but can’t look for anything else because I’m pregnant. I have pregnancy mush brain so I can’t get myself to focus on what I could do to make life more interesting. I come home, play with Eeyore for awhile and put him to bed, then I sit on the couch and watch TV, and there isn’t even anything on, then I go to sleep and repeat.”

I know I’ve said this more than once now, but I can hardly describe the mind-bending nature of my life compared to what it used to be. Having a child is one of the most wonderful things I can imagine, but at the same time the toll it takes on individuality is severe. I know intellectually that this will change in the next few years, when our children are talking and walking and reading and exploring, but right now and for the next 2 or 3 years at least, I think this limited horizon is how it’s got to be.

But that’s too bleak for words, and I know that some of this whining is coming from a lack of energy and ambition on my part – when you only have 2 hours a day to relax, and you’re tired because you’re pregnant with yet another gift to the planet, motivating to do something constructive takes an inner strength that I’ve yet to tap into.

So I decided (as I have decided before and not followed through on) that I will write a column. I don’t have a place for this column to be published, but of course there’s always right here if nobody else wants it. For now, though, I need a goal, and my goal is to write a few pieces, and then submit them to some papers and magazines and see what happens.

Next issue: what the hell should this column be about? Last night I had a ridiculous dream in which Broady and her husband had a column in their city’s newspaper called “Mr. and Mrs. Hollywood,” or something like that that wasn’t ever really clear. They wrote about being parents in their town, and it was a huge success. I was so jealous in my dream, and when I woke up I thought maybe that was a good avenue for me. The more I think about it, though, I can’t see writing a column only about parenthood, because I’m so personally conflicted about it. I’m hardly going to write a blurb in the local rag about the best ice cream shops and playgrounds unless I’m saying something nasty about the other mommies who frequent them.

So what do you think about “Mommy, Esq.”? Does a title like that allow for pretty much any kind of topic, political, cultural or parental, or is it just dorky? Maybe I don’t need a title at all, just an angle. Maureen Dowd certainly isn’t titling her New York Times column “I Think I’m the Greatest,” even if each entry has that particular bent.


Cindy said...

Maybe you need a good book? I know that sounds simple, but how can you not be bored watching what's on tv, especially in the summer.

But seriously, you have my sympathies! It will get better (maybe in a few years)!

Fluffy Windover said...

I think you would be good at a political column. Or anything, really. As for the parenthood thing, there are lots of other women out there who are conflicted about it as well and would probably love to hear your thoughts on the subject from time to time. Me, for example!

Broady said...

I *love* Mommy, Esq. Perfect!

Seriously, your writing and insights are every bit as good as Dowd. Besides, your sharp, yet self-deprecating style is much more fun to read. Her narcissicism overshadows her point way too often.

Anywhoo, I hope dreams come true! Mr. and Mrs. Hollywood are ready for their close up : )