Her Bad Mother

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I wrote the other day that babies are hard on a marriage. I also said that babies bring couples closer together, that they create a new space of love in which a couple can really plumb the depths of intimacy and attachment and feeling. I said that my husband and I love our lives as parents, that we would not trade this for anything - but that got lost, a little, under the weight of my worry and my strain.

I hope that I did not frighten anyone who wonders what it will be like to have children, or more children. (I say that I hope, but I know, because I was told, that some were made afraid. I'm sorry for this, a little.) I hope that none of my posts cause such fear, or that if they cause fear, it is only momentary, and reflective. I've only ever intended that my writing be honest, that it tell a true story. And the true story of motherhood is that it is hard, very hard, sometimes almost too hard.


Almost, but not quite. It is never - for me - too hard, because there is always this: the saving power of the love that I feel for my children, my joy in their beauty and their brilliance, my passion and my affection for my husband who is now so much more than husband, so much more man, so much more human, than I ever imagined he could be (and yet, at the same time, so exactly how I imagined.)

So: if the stories that I tell here are sometimes sad or dark or wistful or fearful or filled with anxiety, well, that's because that's the truth of many of my stories. But I hope that it is also clear that there is happiness here. That although I am tired (so tired) and I am fitful, I am also happy.

(Doubt it? I have this. Have no doubt that there is much happiness, much laughter, in my life.)

Most of you who are parents, you understand this. Those of you who are not parents, you might understand this, too. If you understand that all things related to love can be complicated, and difficult, you understand this. Or you will. I hope that you will.