At Home, Arlington, Massachusetts
I'm starting to think about how I'm going to publish this journal on our blog and it's starting to fill me with fear. I don't fear people reading it, and I don't fear the reactions of the people close to me – I fear the backlash I might get from the whole confusing host of "mommydom." It seriously terrifies me to think about how much I might be judged. I could be judged for not embracing my body enough. I could be judged for having a hard time easing into motherhood. I could be judged for my own sinful tendency to judge. I could be judged for my insecurities. I know I could be judged on all of these things because I have witnessed women judge each other on each count.
I'm also afraid to share my rejoicing. Somehow, these days it feels like the good push to acknowledge women's struggles with infertility and miscarriage have made it hard to rejoice when one doesn't struggle with those things. Sometimes I honestly feel guilty about it. I remember having a huge amount of fear that certain friends would shun us as news of our pregnancy spread because they have struggled and we had no problems. I ache for them and I long for their burdens to be shared and carried communally, but I don't know what to do when I know people who actively shun their friends who do have good news. Having to choose between rejoicing and being shunned for it is a terrible thing. I try to mourn with those who mourn, and it really stings when those who mourn openly declare their inability or unwillingness to rejoice with those who rejoice. Scripture admonishes both to live in discomfort - for those who rejoice to take on the discomfort of mourning and for those who mourn to take on the discomfort of rejoicing, all for the sake of Christ's body.
As I think about sharing this journey of mine, what I fear is the inability of people to recognize that this has been precisely that – a journey. I fear being told that my journey is harmful to others. I fear being shunned by people I love because they decide they can't handle my happiness. Those who suffer often claim an inviolable perspective on life, and sometimes the rigidity of that perspective terrifies me.
("Punishment of Eros by Venus.")
About the Project
This is a very personal project. It tracks my growth and development as I journeyed toward motherhood over the recent years. It doesn't document every experience I had, and probably neglects my more joyful and peaceful moments in the frenzy of trying to communicate my fears, anxieties, and doubts. If you are a friend or loved one, please do not let anything you read here overshadow what you know of me personally. If you are a stranger, please remember that a living and flawed person stands behind these words. To all my guests here, please understand these are not political statements and try to extend me grace, even as I share my failures and foibles - I have repented of much of what I share. I don't share this journal as an exemplar, but rather out of the desire to share my hope that entrance to motherhood does not need to be a fearful thing - despite the very real fears I have fought against. Motherhood is simply a part of life and one through which I am discovering more of myself and my God.