13 June 2017

Maternal Separation Anxiety

I'm volunteering for my church's VBS. Jane is in the "levelers" crew for The Maker Fun Factory. It's a pretty cute curriculum, and Jane is very happy and loves being so busy. Livia stays in the nursery, and yesterday, day one, was pretty hard. But only for me!

Livia loves all the toys and probably the attention from the workers. There are only 3-4 kids at any given time and plenty of things to check out and do.

Yesterday I was kind of a wreck, and I hated being away from her. I couldn't just go check on her/get a quick hug because I knew that would mess her up. As soon as I went into the nursery she started saying "BYE! BYE!" to everyone, ready to go. And today she cried a little and handed me her water bottle ready to go. Both days I sat and hung out for a bit before we left for the closing VBS songs.

I know it's normal, and she's exhibiting age appropriate attachment. I am sure I felt this way when I was leaving Jane for the first times. So I'm probably normal too. Today was actually much better, and I didn't feel quite as anxious. Maybe it will get progressively better as the week goes on.

As an aside, I'm the photographer for this event. So I'm just floating around the VBS and taking pictures of kids doing this and that. Both days I've taken nearly 300 photos (yikes!), with about 70-80 being usable. But I feel like it's not a very good contribution. Everyone there has cell phones and could easily take (and are taking) plenty of photos. (Who really needs 70+ photos each day?!)

So that adds to the "why am I even here if I'm not needed?" aspect of things and I could be looking after my own baby. BUT she needs the practice so I can get in a better gym rhythm, although the YMCA child care is a different story and Livia cries when I drop her off, even when Jane is there with her. There are more kids, more stuff and I guess it's just less familiar or something.

Still finding our way... And I guess I'll keep shooting the VBS event. It beats cleaning toilets (which another volunteer did because we have a surplus of volunteers and our custodian is out with lung issues)...

08 June 2017

Book Notes: Selfish, Shallow, And Self-Absorbed

I read a book of sixteen essays on the choice to not have children. It was pretty interesting, although some of the voices kind of blended together. I obviously made the opposite choice, and I'd bristle at the identity of "breeder" or that having a family is my way of perpetuating the white race (!!). It's a biological imprint and a social construct that really works for me. But man, I'm so tired and some of the arguments laid out for why these writers chose to remain child-free had me nodding my head. (But never doubting my decision for a second of course!)

Anyway, here are few things I highlighted in the Kindle book -- getting them out before I return the e-book to the library.

Perhaps I was kind of a human geode: sparkly and hollow. - Courtney Hodell, "Babes in the Woods" (I just liked this.)

There is nothing more boring for an intelligent woman than to spend endless amounts of time with small children. -Sigrid Nunez, "The Most Important Thing" (I think it might be more boring to spend endless amounts of time with mansplainers, but I certainly get the point!)

I suspect that my commitment to and delight in parenting would be so formidable that it would take precedence over anything and everything else in my life; that my mastery of motherhood would eclipse my need for -- or ability to achieve -- success in any other arena. Basically, I'm afraid of my own competence. -Anna Holmes, "Mommy Fearest" (I've copied down previous Anna Holmes quotes -- she founded Jezebel -- and I think this is true for my approach to motherhood. It's all consuming, and I'm not ALWAYS sure that's a good thing.)

...while life may not have a purpose, it certainly has consequences, one of which is the accumulation of a vast, coastal shelf of uncut, 100-percent-pure regret. -Geoff Dyer, "Over and Out" (a super valid response to the idea that "you'll regret it later" if you don't have kids now/when you're young/whatever)