Life in the Atypical Zone

37

December 2, 2013 by Katia

How do I describe the madness that is motherhood without repeating myself? Parenting is when what you consider atypical becomes your typical. Like 5am wake ups alternating with headbutt awakenings. Like finding yourself going out of your way to reassure an inconsolably crying Four Year Old that you’re not the least bit offended and actually are very happy that he just prayed to God out loud and asked God to please not make HIS nose look like a beak when he grows up but he still loves his mommy. How do you maintain sanity when waking up is synonymous with “on your marks, get set, GO!!!!!!” and the stakes are really high and you’re there to ensure that no one falls on their head or chokes despite their best efforts.

October 2013 056

And then in between dealing with mommy stuff you’re also expected to deal with person stuff. Last week I job searched and watched the website that I love die (R.I.P, MamaPop). What do you do to stay sane? What do you do to stay you?

So yeah last week I’ve job searched, was called Beak Nose and pulled my toddler off the couch/chair/table/washer dryer countless times but I’ve also met up with some friends not once, not twice but three times. Meeting with my non parent and parent friends reminded me of what I sound and think like. Meeting with my mommy group friends reminded me that I shouldn’t compare other people’s externals with my internals. That the mom that you compare yourself to and secretly wish that you had it all together like her is also still trying to figure it all out. It gave me great reassurance to hear questions that start with “does your son still…” or end with “does your son do it too?” and of course the eternal “does it ever get better?” Regardless of what “it” actually is the answer is yes. It gets better, then worse, then better again. There’s a strange comfort not in knowing the answer but in hearing the actual question being asked by someone else.

***

The book “The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain and Power of Female Friendship” which I am a proud contributor to is being launched today and a large portion of it is dedicated to the exploration of the topic – dynamics of female friendships and how motherhood affects those. The book includes 50 essays by female bloggers and an introduction by bestselling author, Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy.

herstories

If you haven’t yet met the two ladies behind this initiative, I strongly recommend visiting their insightful, thought-provoking and entertaining blogs, I give you two of my favourite bloggers and friends:

Stephanie at Mommy, For Real

and

Jessica at School of Smock

To buy the book click here. 

37 thoughts on “Life in the Atypical Zone

  1. Wahooo! So excited for you. Congratulations on the publication! As I read your post so many, many memories came flooding back. There is utterly nothing like the bliss of hearing from other moms that they are dealing with exactly the same issues as you. I like to call that “Normal-land.”

  2. Hearing the questions that reflect my own thoughts and questions from other Moms truly saves my sanity. Being Mom is tough and one of my worst faults is self doubt, which I know is a pretty popular one with other Moms. Thank God I found my way in to the blogging world and am finding other Moms that can relate to this insane gig. I have a four yr old and a one yr old so reading your blog is always relatable. I’m excited to learn you are one of the contributors of the book you talked about. I learned about it this morning and am planning to ask Santa for my very own copy.

    • Katia says:

      Oh, absolutely- self doubt and guilt to name but a few crappy features that come with the territory. So you have a four-year-old and one-year-old? That’s so awesome? I hope Santa grants your wish and if not I can pull some strings (heard of a giveaway happening today at Mother of the Year)🙂

      • That’s so sweet, thanks. I love the “awesome?” I feel like my kids are both at such fun, magical stages but also at a point that makes you want inhale Xanax all day. I spend most days saving my son (1yo) from his own demise and just trying to keep up with my daughter’s (4yo) energy and never ending questions. Good times. (=

      • Katia says:

        You’ve summarized the experience perfectly. Xanax. Or patience pills.

  3. Stephanie Sprenger says:

    I love this post, Katia. Always so validating to connect with others who are in the atypical zone. My real life and online friends are my lifeline; sometimes I think they are the only thing keeping my heart open, my sanity intact, and my feet on the ground. I’m getting a little teary reading these posts today, and my gratitude to have your friendship and your essay in the book is tremendous. Much love to you!

  4. bethteliho says:

    I WISH I had blogged when I was having babies and when the kids were itty bitties – GAWD – It would have saved me, seriously! But at least I have it now, and it does give me so much solidarity and friendship I can’t even begin to put it into words. More than I could have ever imagined. Can’t fathom life without it! I know this book is going to be wonderful….I keep learning of more and more authors in it that are bloggers I know so I’m super excited to read it! Thanks!

    • Katia says:

      Oh, that’s such a wonderful comment, I agree with every word, Beth. I couldn’t imagine blogging would give me SO much more than I expected including some real human connections and very real and essential support. I’m so glad you’ll be reading the book, I can’t wait to read mine!

  5. Galit Breen says:

    Oh my, how I laughed and related to all of the above! Friendships really do ground us — always, but especially during this crazy new motherhood time!

    Congrats an happy pub day to you! This is truly wonderful news!

  6. Katia, this is beautiful. There is so much I love in this, like having time with friends reminds us what we sound and think like. And dealing with mommy stuff and person stuff. And not comparing. You packed a great punch in a few short paragraphs! So excited to be in another book with you! xoxo

  7. I totally agree with you, having friends to see you through the ups and downs of life is really a blessing. As for my mom friends, I would never have enjoyed being a stay-at-home-mom as much was it not for my friends. Congratulations!

    • Katia says:

      Thanks so much, Kathy! After a loooong maternity leave I kind of feel like a stay-at-home mom myself and I completely understand how female friendship would be key in sanity preservation.

  8. Sorry you had a rough week Katia, but congrats not he book!

  9. Jean says:

    Oh GAWD yes and I agree. Seeing someone searching for an answer can be such a comfort.

  10. Nina Badzin says:

    It’s been an exciting day! I’m so glad to be in the book and the blogging world with you. Sorry about MamaPop.😦

    • Katia says:

      SO exciting! I’m really loving the company I keep in this book (present company obviously included…). I LOVE sharing the blogging world with you, friend, and fantasize about meeting you at the next BlogHer, fingers crossed!

  11. I love how you put it–meeting with friends reminds you how you sound and how you think. So true. And the stories–always the stories–that make us feel we’re not alone.

  12. What a lovely post. Thank you for describing perfectly the atypical becoming typical in motherhood! I love the balance you talk about trying to achieve, it’s something I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever reach, so it’s always a relief to find I’m not alone!

    • Katia says:

      Thank you so much! I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a balance, as sadly it only happens once in a blue moon but I completely agree with you that this is something one (and by one I mean mom…) should strive for on a more regular basis🙂 I’m so glad you’ve felt supported by this. That’s the best possible compliment.

  13. Rough week, honey. It happens. But you are wise. Atypical becoming the typical. That should be the name of a book to all parents (says the Moo Cow who was thrown up all over twice last night).

  14. I read this on my phone earlier and couldn’t comment. I love that you said it gets better, then worse, then better again. So true. I am so honored to be in this book with you.

  15. juleseff says:

    Hilarious and as a mother to a 2.5 year old (going on 25), I totally get it. You’re doing good – keep doing it.

    • Katia says:

      Thank you!!! Some days I wonder if doing good is enough (don’t we all try to be perfect?) but you’re right, good is good. We have to take it and run with it🙂

  16. Allison C says:

    So much of this is so true. I can not tell you how many times I spent job hunting…then one day, oops, I applied and got one.🙂 But it is ok. Life changes, seasons change, and we write & record things to remember, share, and find a way to “normal” (whatever that is). So thrilled to be in a book alongside you, and congrats!

    • Katia says:

      Thank you SO much for stopping by and commenting and for your kind and comforting words, Allison! I look forward to reading your post and congratulations too!

  17. Wilma Jones says:

    Nice post. I have two sons, now 21 and 16. This post brought back a few memories. I remember those days fondly, but I don’t miss them one bit! http://www.LivingHappierAfter.com

    • Katia says:

      I think you’ve made such a great distinction between remembering fondly and not missing. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Wilma!🙂

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Tired. Going from 10 months of staying at home with the kids to full time work is disorienting.  I have to redefine what my involvement in their lives looks like. I have to go dig for my creativity, it's not readily available. I have to make room for friendships that were already pushed to the outskirts of my mommy life. What was previously inaccessible, existing in the "so near yet so far" category - books, blazers and heels - became a staple in this old new reality in a matter of days. Tired and disoriented but also content, supported and appreciative. #momsofinstagram #random #randomthoughts #changes #workingmom #tired #tgif
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