To recap: this year’s resolution is to "mother less, but no less than necessary." Back on Resolution Tuesday #1, I described how hard it was for me to not put Middle to bed even though it was the middle of the night and he was asleep on the garage floor. At the time I wrote, "and so I realized in the middle watches of the night that putting my
children to bed feels like love to me. That is why it was so hard not
But I have realized something else. There is little on this earth that makes me feel safer than having all three of my boys in their beds, Mate breathing deeply next to me in ours, and Mutt curled around herself in the chair she has claimed as her bed in Youngest’s room.
So yes, it feels like love when I put my boys to bed, but it also feels like safety.
As a mother, I sometimes see myself as a swimmer fighting against an undertow of worry. If I act as a mother, do as a mother, I can make myself feel that things are more apt to turn out right.
My shrink makes the excellent point that anxiety and worry are not the same thing. Anxiety is a feeling. Worry is a mental activity. It is in the service of alleviating the feeling of anxiety. It doesn’t work.
When I act as a result of a feeling of compulsion, I think those are actually moments of enacted worry. Though they might feel like love, I don’t think they are love.
Which brings me back to an old New Year’s Resolution of mine. Tolerate uncertainty. Mothering less is an exercise in tolerating uncertainty.
To revisit last year’s resolution: "connect with something larger than myself."
I have been trying to make a daily habit of this (along with yoga and writing). For a couple of months I donated 600 grains of rice per day.
Lately, I have been making calls for Hillary Clinton.
Today, in some quarters, like right here at The End of Motherhood?, is Blog for Choice day.
I am tired of the injustices that accrue, on a daily basis, to women throughout the world. I am tired of a world that "offers women very little public space." I am tired of a world where young girls suffer genital mutilation. I am tired of a world where women in developing countries are often responsible for 60-80% of the production of food staples, and yet they are denied access to the essential tools necessary for their
work, "including land, credit,
information, training and the power to take decisions."
Women desire, deserve, and require the power to take decisions in all spheres of life. That power begins with our own bodies and extends out to the caretaking of our families, communities, countries and our wide, shared earth.
Reproductive rights are at once essential and only the beginning.