Women in the baby blur
You know that blur that occurs after (most) women have babies? And they don’t have nannies to help, or nearby family stepping in on a regular basis, or maybe they do, but the reality of the days and nights is a growing fuzziness, a stream of sleeplessness and round-the-clock activity?
You know how for (many) women it lasts more than a month or two, and effectively continues for a year, or three, or five – depending on how many kids, how much help, and whether you can “escape” to another self via an outside job, or an occasional few days off?
Women navigating work-life balance
You know how for (some) women juggling parenting and working outside the home, everything except the guts of those two jobs falls away? And I mean everything else – the local news, the national news, even world news, not to mention who’s on the cover of People Magazine, what star had what surgery, purple is in but pink is out, which politician wrote the latest Kiss-Tell-Forgive-Me story, and which Generation XYZ is chillin’ to their particular iTunes?
I call that Fred. My planet. My truest home town. And for some of us, it lasts more than a decade. By the time we blink ourselves into focus, so much life has passed in a blur, it’s roller blades to attempt to catch up, except roller blades have gone the way of skate boards and motorized scooters, passed in a flurry of trends we barely remember, and never really gave a hoot about.
Women, life, and the pop culture hole punch
Oh, I have TV flashing images and projecting voices in the background, the small number of shows on cable that I genuinely love. I know the far-off cities I’ve never seen and want to explore – Florence and Venice, Lisbon and Madrid. I know who runs the country (yes, I vote), and I am aware of breaking news and a handful of issues.
But beyond that, I cannot keep up. It is all about another day, and another day, and another day though pop culture punches its way into my consciousness but only in a peripheral fashion. It isn’t that I don’t give a damn; I run out of hours, done in by the schedules and decisions of everyday life.
This woman’s planet is a set of ever-changing logistical details balanced on the head of pin. That pin doubles as a ubiquitous fastener for the tricky structure of my physical, emotional, and familial territory. Me. Kids. Food in fridge. Responsibilities. Words. Health, too often low (wo)man on the totem pole.
Even my shoes are gathering dust! So must I feel guilty about ignorance of the latest celebrity scoop or pop music group? Am I lost because I never saw LOST? Beyond redemption and without exemption?
- Do you have your own planet?
- Would you rather stay there?
- Guilty about it or too harried to care?
Women and friends, not trends
When I get to (eventually) take a breather from Fred’s atmospheric albeit familiar chemical mix, I have a long list of seemingly simple wants to pursue. There are books I’d like to read, art exhibitions around the world that await (hello, money growing on trees?), my itching desire to discover Italy (si, e vero), to sit in a café again in Paris, to sit anywhere, anytime, a guerrilla writer holding my gaze and my pen. I would take more friends over trends, and four nights of consecutive sleep – on any planet.
Your planet – by any other name?