Like every major decision in my life — choosing my college major, graduate school, getting married, having children, etc. — starting this blog was an impulsive decision. Not impulsive in the sense that I jump in with complete abandon, to any idea that pops into my head the moment it registers within my mental synapses without thinking it through, but in the sense that once I make a decision to do something, I want results … IMMEDIATELY.
My husband constantly refers to me as “a kid at Christmas” because I can’t wait for anything. I get an idea to redecorate my son’s bedroom, I want the contractors at my house “yesterday!” I have a great idea for a present for my in-laws’ anniversary, I buy the necessary items for the elaborate scrapbooking project the next day, even though their anniversary is nearly a year away (and usually those items remain unseen and untouched in a closet of my house until my next decluttering extravaganza. My camera breaks (and I can’t live without that), so I buy a new one (after a few short days worth of research) within the week. I mark express ship when ordering items so I can revel in a new purchase immediately. I see an infomercial for a new exercise program guarantee to help me shed those extra 15 pounds, I call the 800 number or log onto the company’s website before the 30-minute segment is over so I can receive the “Deal of the Day”: the shipping upgrade that gets the new program to my door within the next two business days. And this excessive decision-making impulsivity not only applies to my shopping splurges.
In the earlier days of my parenting journey I’d hear of a new parenting book that was sure to solve my twin two-year-olds’ new compulsion to paint each other with any malleable, easily-spreadable, sure-to-leave-them-shining type of substance and sure enough hours later I would not only have purchased said book, but I’d also already have read a good chunk of it, digested its contents and implemented some of the strategies by that afternoon. My husband would come home from work to find a copy of the latest “family bible” on his nightstand and one of the kids happily taking a time-out in the new fluffy, pillow-filled Chill Out Zone in the hallway. For weeks I would hail the praises of the book’s author — “He’s genius!” I would tell friends — and encourage them to try the foolproof parenting techniques that had made my life “sooooo much easier,” until the kids got sick of the pillows and chilling out and began getting time-outs for the pillow fights they were having in time-out. Then, I’d move on to the next parenting guru.
Even in my career choices I’ve been somewhat quick with my decisions. The pre-med option didn’t work for obvious reasons, so I moved onto major in psychology, with an English creative writing major. After all, I had received decent grades in those classes so this made sense and it was a quick and easy decision made. After graduation I thought about going to grad school for teaching or to be a psychologist or to study writing, but a decision was made to study social work after a friend of my mother’s said it was the easiest, quickest way to get a degree that would let me counsel children. I got married only six months after my husband proposed because we didn’t want a long engagement. A few months after the wedding, when my husband finally decided he was ready to have children, I couldn’t wait to get started trying. (This was one of the only times my husband has never mocked my “I want it now” enthusiasm. Can you blame him?) And then there is my decision to stay-at-home with the twins when we lost our daycare provider (made in about a day), to start and then leave my psychotherapy practice, and then to go back to work when my youngest went back to kindergarten, but this time to pursue a career in writing. The examples go on and on.
The difference with this blog is that though the final product was developed with a bit of haste (I researched blog names and bought the domain name renaissance-mom.com within an hour), the thinking that went into its development had been going on for years.
Ever since I became a first-time mom in 1999 I’ve wanted to write about it, but what aspects did I want to include? Raising twins? Nah, the anecdotes about raising them weren’t as funny once they stopped “washing” the dog with fluffernutter and painting each other with butter and vaseline. Maybe I could blog about my poor neglected third child, who has been a constant source of love, laughter, anxiety and absolute bewilderment at times.
A spontaneous decision to start a Green Mama blog about our family’s experimentation with eating healthier and living a greener life came after I answered a call for writers in my area to write for an online parenting network. That lasted for all of maybe five posts?? Then I had the brilliant idea to start a blog chronicling my families struggles living with an overactive, creative, extremely high-energy, fun-loving, often exasperating and annoying, but much-loved ADHD child. Those four posts exist at adhdandthefamily.blogspot.com. I haven’t canceled that blog yet because I’m still convinced I’ll continue with it someday.
But this blog “Renaissance Mom” is the product of three years of soul-searching, prioritizing, therapy sessions, mommy meltdowns, relationship questioning, career changing, self-doubt, reframing, rephrasing, revamping, etc. etc. etc. It is a blog about figuring out who I really am and what I want from my life both as a parent, a writer and as a woman. It is about discovering happiness — thank you Oprah, Gretchen Rubin, Jodi Picoult, dozens of children’s writers, my good and true friends and Celexa — and loving myself, my family and friends for who we all were.
It’s a blog that I intend to serve as my writing inspiration and means of work discipline. It’s a concrete way to keep track of my goals, passions and dreams for the future, while providing a diary for the process. It is a place where I plan to share stories of the mom I was and the mom I have now become. There will be days where, hopefully, this blog will make you laugh, others where you might cry, and them some where you just might stop reading it altogether. But this blog is going to hold me accountable as a writer (I plan to post at least once a week, hopefully more, but I wanted to make it a reasonable goal). It will hold me accountable as a parent (if I’m making this journey public then I better do a damn good job at living the life I aspire to write about). And it will also serve as a constant reminder that I am human: I will make mistakes and bad choices, but there will be successes and excellent choice-making along the way. I will fall down, but I promise to get back up. I probably will disappoint and at times I hope to inspire. And hopefully, I will come out the other end a better parent, a better writer and a better human being.
Here goes nothing! Or maybe … really something!