Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How did that happen?

A little hello from the wild west in Prescott, Arizona. My name is Maureen VanWalleghan and Robin invited me to do some blogging here at Motherhood Later Than Sooner... I am a wee bit nervous...even though I am a writer there is something quite amazing to be living in a time when one's words with the push of a button are available to anyone with the internet. Probably my age is showing, like a slip under a too small skirt. I have a feeling that as a blogger and mom this happens quite alot.

A bit about myself. I have a two and half year old daughter (H.) and have been married for three years. I came to the babymaking scene late. I had my daughter at 41 almost 42. I was somewhat surprised to find myself pregnant with my then boyfriend since I didn't actually think I could get pregnant. Since I had always wanted to be a mom I decided to jump into marriage and go for it. Wow...what a shock to the system it has been. Before I met my husband I had been living a single life (for about ten years) in New York City as a graphic designer, then gallerist and finally high school English teacher. I had a dog (my longest relationship to date). When I met my husband I had settled in rural Arizona with a little house I bought on five acres next to my mom's ten acres. I was teaching and I still had my dog.

Take a big breath here...I feel like I went from a power babe to a dish washing slave. Life as a wife and mom is all about cleaning. Who knew? My single life and careers did not prepare me for the reality of homemaking. And I've watched way too many light romantic comedies to have an real sense of marriage. Don't get me wrong, I am, on some particular days, very happy with my life, but the cleaning has reduced me to an invisiblity that has been difficult to overcome emotionally. I think the issue at hand is feeling like my power as a human is nill because I am not a major income earner as I was before marriage and baby. If one considers that for 25 years I have been defined by my work and by proxy my paycheck, not having much of either has been a blow to my ego and myself esteem that I am only now beginning to understand.

Of course, I should qualify myself by saying that a year ago I did finish my MFA in creative writing with the support and help of both my husband and my mom. And I am looking at beginning a year-long certificate program in filmmaking in the fall. Both of which are personal dreams that I have wanted to pursue for sometime. But it's the line "the days are long and the years are short" from the book MoJo Mom that best describes what I feel for the important but totally invisible work of homemaking.

Homemaking, a huge topic, is on the brain and so I'll save that for next time...


Blogger Robin Gorman Newman said...

I know what you mean about the power babe to dish washing slave. I'm not so tied to dishes, but rather the whole suburban mom thing, particularly because I work from home. When did I become a housewife? I love my husband and son, but it is a massive lifestyle change.

Good for you for continuing your education and seeking our your passions! We have to keep on that path, no matter how much household minutia there is to manage.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Mary Ellen Walsh said...

Welcome! I am fellow blogger Mary Ellen Walsh, also a later than sooner monther of three children 9, 8, and almost 6.

I agree. Housework stinks! and I often tell my mom, it's so much harder today to be a woman between PTA stuff and fanning the flames of our creative zest! It's impossible. Keep going...

10:32 AM  
Blogger Faith Joy said...

I can so totally relate to your experience, especially feeling invisible as you face all those dishes (and in my case, laundry). I went from totally supporting myself, paying my own mortgage, responsible only for my dog to being unemployed with a new husband, in a new location and an infant son at age 43. I am still trying to figure out where "I" went. Thanks, Maureen, for reminding me that I'm not alone.

10:33 AM  

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