A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire
My story to tell
A dozen journals rest on the top shelf of my closet. Their entries date back to my teenage years and are appropriately filled with angst, questions, and deep, though simultaneously shallow, introspection. Occasionally, I read those pages and reflect on a life that now feels like a lifetime ago.
And, of course, it was.
In the years leading up to my daughter’s birth, I tucked those journals away. Feeling like I had finally settled into myself, I didn’t need to ramble on about my feelings. I rarely encountered an experience that needed to be worked out through words on a page.
I stopped writing altogether.
Then she came. The weight of her seven-pound body rocked my world. Suddenly, I was a teenager again, filled with angst and questions and deep, though simultaneously shallow, introspection. But this time, the angst was more real and more tangible. And it cried and screamed and giggled and coo’d.
And so, I started writing again.
But this time, writing was different. This wasn’t a moment for “Dear Diary, today was so rough. Motherhood is hard.” It wasn’t enough to just put the words on the page because those words never told the whole story. They didn’t convey the overwhelming crush of responsibility that is holding another’s life in your hands. They didn’t convey that I felt lost and alone and overwhelmed. They didn’t convey that every one of those early tantrums brought me swiftly and easily to my breaking point – or that from those breaking points, I grew stronger and more resilient. They didn’t convey that motherhood is hard because motherhood is growth–public, tangible, incredibly important growth–and growing is hard.
I wanted to share my story. I wanted to say to every other mother: “Yes, I know what you’re going through – the nights of lost sleep, the tantrums, the goodbyes at daycare, the growing. It’s painful and it’s beautiful and it’s motherhood.”
So, now, I write.
Still, writing is harder now. With babies who need and want, time is short. So I compose stories in my head while I shower or as I shuttle kids back and forth. Then I race to extract the words before the baby wakes or while waiting to order my coffee. I don’t always extract them all. The dark corners of my mind are filled with perfect words and phrases that will never see the light of day. I often dream about how much time I had during those angst-filled, teenage days. Oh the hours I could have spent getting the words just right.
But then, of course, I didn’t have these heart-tugs and soul pulls and cry-till-you-laugh moments. I didn’t have this particular angst that needs to be written.
In motherhood, I have found my story to tell. My children are the reason I write, even when my words are not about them. They are the constant push that keeps me running to capture this painfully beautiful and ever changing experience. Motherhood is my story.
Join our After Page One series. We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio at the bottom of your post so readers can learn more about you and your projects.