*as far as I know there’s no such thing as the slow-parenting movement, but I made it up last night when i couldn’t sleep.

There’s a lot of “slow” movements these days, and while it’s true I’m a card-carrying member of a local farm share, cook my food more often than unwrap it, wash out my plastic bags, and am secretly proud of the occasional crafty project I manage to complete, none of that has any real bearing on “slow parenting.”

So what do I mean? I mean slow to figure it out. I mean hello! you’re not alone anymore. No more month-long sojourns at artist colonies where they bring your lunch to your door in a basket, and then tiptoe away, lest they disturb your tender creativity. I mean no more late nights with the wine bottle, late mornings of just you, a cup of coffee, and the blank page. I mean you staring you in the face in the form of your sobbing/defiant/contrite/ demanding/ impossible/amazing child, you up against the wall with every button pushed, slow to realize: it’s too late to run away and join the circus.

By now you’ve probably figured out that if you’re in search of parenting advice: look elsewhere. I’m no one’s role model. What I am is in search of a new way to be, a new paradigm for the frustrated artist/writer/mother I grew up with and felt myself becoming. For so long, almost everything I read or saw said: you can’t do it. You can’t be a successful artist and be a parent, too. Not if you’re a woman. Women artists end up poor, alone, crazy, head in the oven. And while it’s affirming to know that I’m not alone in my struggle, it’s also kind of debilitating. Does that have to be true? And what does “successful” mean, anyway? Who decides?

This blog is the place where I’m going to bring those parts of myself together that have not been so comfortable. Let’s see if they can co-exist. First and foremost, I want to share my experience as a woman trying to be a mother trying to be an artist/poet.  My children are now 11 and 8, but I think we need to begin at the beginning, that is, with conception. So each week I’ll post an installment of my slow parenting odyssey, along with an occasional image from a series I like to call “The Fertility Comix” that describes my harrowing journey into conception, and eventually, birth. Once we get that out of the way we’ll move on to the rest of the story—how Pokey Mama came to be.

Are you a member of the SPM? Tell me about it.

12 thoughts on “*as far as I know there’s no such thing as the slow-parenting movement, but I made it up last night when i couldn’t sleep.

  1. vicki elson says:

    You can “have it all” — you just can’t have it all at the same time. Time with growing kids is irreplaceable and precious. Enjoy!

    Love, Vicki
    http://www.birth-media.com

    • pokey mama says:

      Yes, that’s what i keep telling myself, and part of the time that’s enough for me and part of the time it’s not. That’s key to what I’ll be writing about here.
      BTW, congrats on the awesome film! Wish I’d seen it before I wrote my “birth plan”– an oxymoron if ever there was one!

  2. annie boutelle says:

    what a delicious surprise waiting for me on the computer this morning!

    I love the art work, and I am sure it will really take off–there must be a huge audience for this.

    love, Annie

  3. Nicole says:

    Go, Amy! (Yes, breakfast in bed, organic everything and umm, beautifully plated. flowers. calgon bath. the right, inspired words at the most irritating moments …) : )

  4. pokey mama says:

    Reading your comments and feeling your suppport for me and this project–what a great way to spend Mother’s Day–thanks everyone! And stay tuned for the next installment…

  5. Markie says:

    …will follow the path of pokey mama all the way from Colorado…slowly, of course…congratulations on this blog birth! Love, Markie

  6. Ilene says:

    Beautifully written and rivetting… Looking forward to the next post… Happy Mother’s Day! Yes you can do both 🙂

  7. Pam says:

    Love this, Amy! Happy Slow Mother’s Day. Can’t wait for the next installmaent. (Maybe this will inspire me to write a “No Mamma” blog!)

  8. katrocada says:

    No more late nights with the wine bottle? Oh gosh, this is something I kind of need, here and there, as part of my game plan, my balancing act as a mom/wife/teacher/athlete/writer (did I just say writer?). Please tell me you’re not giving that up. If you do, I’ll tell you that I love that you’ve created this space. I really look forward to reading more about your modern day, slo-mo juggling act. You sure seem to be doing something right.

  9. I just this minute interrupted my reading of your post to rescue the new issue of Poetry from Aidan’s gnawing mouth.

    Love this, Amy — can’t wait to read more!

  10. Maya says:

    Happy Blog launch & Happy Mamma’s Day. I look forward to following the slow-mo of Pokey Mama. (As a perennial slow bloomer I fully endorse slowness.) And I think I may end every sentence today with: “I made it up last night when I couldn’t sleep.”

  11. EDW says:

    Amula! I’m impressed but not surprised! This looks & feels like you – smart and dark and artsy and funny! And I’m here to say that it’s apparently possible to feel nostalgia for one’s slow parenting years. (But hey, keep in mind that the significant number of years I have on you disqualifies any envy on that score.) So, mazel tov, and keep these coming!

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