May 15, 2012

It's About Time

Nothing seems to fit.

I'm in that in-between stage and can sense I'm about to get unstuck. But that means I am going to have to land somewhere new.

Years ago I had to search for people like me, really search- I found them in the basement of a church at a La Leche League meeting. I consumed their doctrine, the babywearing, the breastfeeding, their secret Mothering magazine that you either had to borrow back issues or subscribe to or hope to get one of two copies Barnes & Noble stocked every month.

She was nursing her baby in an unbleached muslin ring sling and I had found my way home. This was what I wanted. This was me. Where do I sign.

I didn't do all the babywearing and breastfeeding and non-vaccinating because I thought it made me a good or better mom. I did it because it drew me in and was where I belonged. It fit and it looked good on me.


Those days aren't over- they certainly provided the foundation of how I parent now - but I don't have any more babies and I'm not interested in keeping up with the latest pregnancy- or baby- anything. It's, like, torture. Even in the natural parenting and attachment parenting world. I am bored.


Ivy cuts off the tops of all her crayons with scissors and breaks them in two to make mommies and babies. And I let her. She climbs up the slide at the park the wrong way. And I really do not care. She had a Popsicle before breakfast today. I have a child going into middle school, we are getting ready for puberty and have IEPs and are going in all directions all the time. Where are my people? When I get to where I'm going I look and I don't see them.


I'm glad new moms have the Internet to locate their kind sooner than it took me. But online relationships - even the ones that feel like they couldn't be more your life - are different than the in-the-flesh basement meetings or messy living room coffee play dates. Sadly, though, even those aren't the same now because there's usually a phone to check, we look down at our hands. There's no going back, I know. We look down and I fear we'll no longer remember to look up at the stars.


I'm in-between because being plugged in kind of feels like home to me. But I don't like my neighbors. Or maybe it's just the scenery. Or both.


It's time to start looking again.




This is just write.




37 comments:

  1. I feel that way with my transition from working mom to stay at home mom.

    I have no place yet, I want my place.

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  2. I'm so with you on this! The internet relationships are great, but not the same as "in-the-flesh" friendship. There's a part of me that wants a grown-up BFF!

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  3. I'm so with you on this! The internet relationships are great, but not the same as "in-the-flesh" friendship. There's a part of me that wants a grown-up BFF!

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  4. I've pretty much always felt this way. I seem to be a rare breed, finding my tribe, difficult.

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  5. Sometimes I feel like I'm straddling two parenting worlds. I'm a 28-year-old stepmom of a 12yo and 9yo and a biomom of a 2yo and a baby coming in June.

    It's hard to find and connect with other moms who can relate to my situation. Sometimes the most difficult part for me is jumping between snuggling/nursing/surviving at home with the little one (soon to be "ones") and multiple older kid school events. Having small children at middle school conferences and performances is tiring for all involved.

    Good luck with your search, Steph.

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  6. I'm your people, babe. And I actually loved that the three of us sat at that table for a couple of hours and none of us looked at our phones even once. Yes, I know your battery was dying, but still. It counts. :)

    I get this post completely. xo

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  7. This post hit home for me.

    I just got home from a playdate in which I didn't check my phone or look down and it was lovely.

    Simpler times. They are beautiful and especially needed to remind us of what matters most in our real lives.

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  8. You will find your home. Or it will find you.

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  9. I totally and completely understand. We're moving into a new transition as well and it's becoming slightly overwhelming, but still enjoyable. It's odd, because I moved from 2 out of the house jobs and 2 work at home jobs to 1 outside and the same 2 inside (that are being streamlined so I only do the stuff and work with the people I enjoy) and am finding so much happiness. Mentally though, it's becoming difficult to transition from being so busy all the time with my schedule being planned out to having to schedule my own days is hard. Now that we are in our new house too, we are having someone move in to be a live in nanny which will be amazing. But again, another transition.

    Sometimes I just want to curl into a ball until it passes but know that I can't. So I take a deep breath, pray and keep swimming.

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  10. You looked at Barnes and Noble too?!? HAHA, I thought I was the only one!!! Steph, I know I've only got one baby, and one on the way, and our lives are in completely different corners of the ring...but we'd love to see you again :)

    And, as for finding your 'new home' with friends. It will come. I remember it being hard for my mom as well :)

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  11. So beautiful. The digital age is all I know, and yet I still miss life without cellphones, the internet, distraction.

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  12. yes, exactly this. i wish i could find a real life relationship that was as easy and meaningful as some of my virtual ones.

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  13. I LOVE this post. The awkward, "WheredoIfit?" or "Whofitswithme?" stage is ... hard for me. But I'm so glad after having gone through it because it's then that I figure out (again) who I am (and who I've become) and what I want.

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  14. I have NEVER felt like I exactly "fit" anywhere in my life--that makes me sound like a total social loser. Who knows? Maybe I am. But thanks for this post--was pretty awesome to know I'm not alone in feeling alone :)

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  15. Being plugged in feels so much like home for me, too. I think partly because so freely my fingers peck out words that my mouth could never--would never--form. The screen gives outlet to a part of me that would otherwise risk withering up. Drying out. My la leche group never came to pass, but I've got the next best thing when I plug in.

    All that and also? Selfishly, I close my eyes in eager anticipation of where you land next. I hope it's in my neighborhood because already I relate and I never was a babywearing type. Some days I rely on your posts to lift the corners of my mouth. Or speak for me. Or turn me inside out. True story.

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  16. I was just thinking about how I'm pretty much past the "play date" time of my life. We have other friends now through school and church, etc. and that phase of my life has seemed to pass and well, right now, I kinda miss doling out snacks and juice boxes while a bunch of kids mess up my living room. But then I kinda don't.

    In other words, I can relate to where you are right now.

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  17. Yes. I feel this. I feel this as a parent, as a wife, as a breast cancer survivor. Where do I fit? Where is my tribe?
    I've found a good niche on-line and I use them often. But it's not the same as sitting together in person, as being able to get hugs, and to cry on their shoulder (or to be their shoulder). It's lovely and wonderful and on some days it's just enough. On others, it's not enough and I crave so much more.

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  18. I hope you find what you need. I wish I could invite you over for coffee (and I'd be thinking in my head, pick me! find me!)

    xo

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  19. This is interesting to read. I can definitely relate to having a young child and an older child, even though my oldest in only 10, and how it changes things. I don't need playgroups anymore. I don't really have time for them. I find myself going back to my college relationships, which happily were great and most of the best friends are still local. We just have so little time so finding what is worth our investment is important.

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  20. This post? Speaks to me. Finding people is SO hard.

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  21. I'll take the long road home with you anytime:) xo

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  22. Yes, I feel this too. I struggle to find where I fit in all realms but I really crave a real-life coffee with a real-life human free of any devices.

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  23. I'm with you on the searching part too.

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  24. You are me and I am you. Seriously - I coslept and wore the babies and lived with cloth diapers and slings all around. And now, I'm the mom of elementary and middle and high and college students, worried about drinking and drugs and sex and date rape and so so so far away from attachment parenting. And yet, not. All this to say - I feel you.

    xoxoxoxo

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  25. such a good post, stephanie.

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  26. Remember how I said I didn't have a cell phone because then people would be able to find me? Well, I finally got one. And now? People try to find me! I do like a really neat feature, though: the off button. It's AWESOME.

    Seriously, you can disconnect with the technology a bit and reconnect with real life people and it will work out for you. You can still find your tribe but now it doesn't have to revolve around the kids quite as much. In fact, it's easier (in a way) if your new tribe isn't focused on children, but on the adults. The kids don't have to be friends because it's not about them!

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  27. I totally got this and I REALLY wish we loved near each other. :)

    Britt

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    Replies
    1. For goodness sakes, auto correct fail, LIVED not loved. :)

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  28. I get so very much of this, to my core.

    (And for some reason? It makes me emotional.)

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  29. I just wrote about this. I am looking for where I fit too. And I need to fit in person and not just online. This spoke right to my heart. And yep, I hope if we were sitting together we could pick each other!

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  30. nice post.keep posting good things.

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  31. I can sympathize too. As I look back at the places I used to be, I miss things and people about it, but I know that is not where I belong anymore. I'm at such a different stage now, but haven't felt the comfort of that yet. Still trying to figure all that out...

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  32. I like the way that you write, Steph. So refreshing. So real. So raw.

    You'll find "them" soon enough. And in the meantime? You've got us - your virtual friends standing with you.

    *hugs*

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  33. there are times, even when i find my tribe, that i'm feeling more and more alone than ever. maybe my tribe is a whirlwind of two kids right now. sometimes i think i've forgotten how to do anything else.

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  34. This is so relate-able in so many ways. For so long I felt alone in my attachment parenting because I was surrounded by formula feeding stroller moms. So I became a closeted attachment parent and did not have any mom friends in the first year of my son's life. Now he is nearly three, and although that laid the foundation we are already in a very big boy stage, not a baby stage anymore. I turned online to find support and have been so glad that it is here, but I also worry about the fact that I still lack the come on over and have coffee friendships I once imagined for myself. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  35. Nicely written and so true. It seems so much trickier to find at these later ages because of the pressure of kids choices and wanting to connect with their friends parents as well, who are not always my people. Before I could choose their friends for their parent's values, that is no longer the case.

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  36. I know just what you mean. My kids are older now, and I am looking again for my people. There is this built-in community with school, but the thing is it doesn't feel like home. So I feel like the only one resisting that, or the only one unwilling to simply be carried along by that current, if that makes sense. Thanks for writing so lucidly about something few explore. xox

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