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.