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Apr 13Liked by Jen Glantz


If it's true that our lives are different is superficial ways but the same in the ways that matter most, say around the big stuff, like parenting and being a mother, then I'm writing as a future you, 34 years on.

When my first son was born, the first thing I struggled to say to him was, I am so sorry. I didn't know anything about being a mum and nothing at all about babies. I was starting from a baseline of negative something or other on the experience scale.

This baby is now 34 and is finding joy in life and love too. This seem utterly miraculous and it is.

We don't know how any of this will turn out, just like all of life.

It's down to us a mothers to do the best job we can, but also we get a lot of help. There are so many ways this help shows up too, a comment here, a chance meeting with another mother whose figured out something that you haven't just yet, an apartment that comes available that just happens to be beside a good park and within walking distance to an even better school. Miracles all and all outside of our own very best efforts. Expect that you are being helped in countless ways, even if you can't see it, expect it and be thankful.

So here's what I meant to write re your last post about feeling like a total failure: Inexperience is not failure it's just a starting point and most of us have been right where you are standing, two weeks in, exhausted and bewildered, lost to our selves, or at least to the selves we used to be.

Because the new world you find yourself in is so totally new and so so different from anything you've even lived, it makes perfect sense that you would not recognize yourself in all of the various ways you point out in your writing- all the roles you felt comfortable in, were good at and made you feel like you.

Here's a hard truth: None of that matters because it was all a facade from the beginning. Not that you were fake you by identifying with these roles, but the you that is being called on right this second to feed that baby or change her or whatever, is still you core you, and has always been right there- at the ready.

You will mother with all of the ways you have always been you, with all the knowledge you've gained and with the wisdom you've gained from the depths you've plumbed as a wife or writer or friend. All the good stuff you pulled out in these roles, will now be put to use as a mother. This is in addition, of course, to who you are at your core. This is something you can not lose.

The more you can trust that you will not lose yourself to this life as a mother, the more you can lean into it. This is good for you and your baby.

I feel like this is hard though because we we taught that embracing mothering wholesale like this would be the kiss of death to hard won gains of our foremothers of the past 70 or so years.

34 years on, Jen, I'm writing to say it isn't.

As cliche as this is, you standing here at 60 in the blink of an eye and I would wager that you will continue to be you whether you go all in as a mum or try to do everything.

You will not be giving up anything, just gaining all there is to gain from being with you baby and letting go of the rest, especially that identity bit- just for now.

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