I suppose its fitting that I make this first post on the day and date (Monday 8th) that my daughter was born, but just three months short of her first birthday in November. It’s taken me nine months to begin to get enough time and energy for myself, just enough to sit and write in the little time i have before my girl wakes for her 11 o’clock feed.
For a very long time, since before she was born, I wanted to start writing about what feminists would call the ‘momentous triviality’ of life as a woman, worker and (then soon-to-be) mother. i love that phrase. it takes the quiet, small and everyday, and recognises its political, economic, emotional and intellectual implications.
i had started my video blog a few months before getting pregnant in February 2010, each episode – well researched, lyrically scripted, in-house edited, soundtracked and uploaded – taking about 25 hours. i got three done before i hit my first trimester (well, first i hit December’s marking of 100 exams for my first year women’s studies class and then, well, there was spending January cutting and glueing in a San Fernando mas camp for my yearly jaunt south for Carnival). But, seriously, that first trimester, everything slowed down and often sheer fell off to sleep. More on that in another post. Still, that was the last video blog I did and, although there are more to come, with the work-family demand, I’m not sure what their release date will be.
So, here I am. Back to my first love, words, for all that they enable: self-expression, self-reflection, self-knowledge, self-love, self-preservation, self-community building. like images and dance, words are the rabbit hole to one’s inner creativity. i guess i feel like academia has already sapped so much of it, i have to make an intervention before both the productive and reproductive sphere chew up and spit out the rest like sugar cane drawn of all its juice. its easy to disappear if you dont make what is inside count (or sing, chant, rapso or storytell).
I’m hoping that although i dont yet get the time to exercise and certainly not to sleep, words will make me make the time to look at and around me, to appreciate motherhood for its wonders and its demands, to reckon with work for its fulfillment and its challenges, and to think about that thing that women do everyday when, with all their complexities, they combine the two.
and there is so much to tell!
more soon on that trip to london. hooo boy…travelling as a breast-feeding, breast pumping mother was new.
more on getting up at 11pm, 1.30am, 4.30am and then around 6.30am for 9 months and being back at work for the last four of those, up all day and all night.
more on knowing that the first year of a child’s life should ideally be her time, but also getting that ‘you are up for tenure next year’ letter. waaaay. apparantly, many academic women come up for tenure just as babies are coming into their lives. it would have to be like that, right?
more on the sharing of domestic responsibilities which, all nods to good partners (and i have one) is almost never equal – even in feminist households…i’m still working this one out as well…
more on my continual questioning: have one child , have enough money, publish a bit and be able to stay sane or have two, be really really broke, go a bit mad and watch my career nosedive for about four years before it plateaus? i’m looking for advice too and still deciding what to do
mostly, more on the never ending struggle to value reproductive work and the care economy and mothering amidst the contingencies of life….
i’ve passed my 500 word limit, passed my baby’s time to wake up by 12 minutes and passed the time i told myself i’d go express milk (oh yeah, more about pumping later on fuh sure) so that my husband could have enough to feed the baby at the 2am-ish shift. my mama, worker, feminist, non-sleeping, academic, activist, lyricist self has gotta go.