Why, Hello There


Yes, I am still here. I’ve been deep in my studio for weeks, cranking out pots in a mad dash. My Man leaves in a few days for three weeks, and I needed to get all my throwing done. Next week, after this three month hiatus, I will just be mama again.

It has been quite a whirlwind. For those of you who’ve not done it, the working mama business is hard in it’s own way. Not harder, but different hard. Life in general is harder when you work 40 hours a weeks and play mama in your off hours– cleaning the house and getting supper on become nearly impossible, let alone finding a moment for anything extra like time to write. But, for me at least, in the context of our family, my psychological/emotional life as a mama is easier. Working away from home gave me the personal space that I have so missed and needed as a full time mama, the previously coveted opportunity to simply complete tasks, to go about my job without anyone hanging on my leg or yelling at me.

The work itself….? You know, it was a taco bus. But oh, these past few weeks in my studio– joy! I get to do quiet, contemplative, creative, satisfying and productive work! I feel blessed. And yet, at the same time, getting in a full 40 hours a week at home is a unique challenge. Which resulted in no days off, furthering that stretched tight feeling even more.

So, even though I know I am a fool, I am looking forward to next week when I’ll just be able to ‘relax with the kids’ and get my house in order, no other job tugging at me.

Important things have happened during my absence here. My mind is full of big posts. My boy turned three, started (finally!) sleeping through the night on a regular if not reliable basis, and weaned. Not in that order. My girl started kindergarten. My Man still doesn’t know if he passed the Bar (10 more days…) We secured ourselves the title of ‘real Alaskans’ by acquiring a chest freezer, another load of ten fish, a $350 pick-up truck, and consequently 4 cords of firewood. It snowed. Followed by frenzied attempts to get all the outdoor shit done that we still hadn’t finished. I began seriously investigating permaculture in the wee hours of morning.

Of course, mothers of toddlers will know that the rest of that paragraph hardly matters after the first pivotal point. Sleep! Has finally come to me. There was an adjustment period, after he started sleeping through the night, in which I suffered from some infuriating insomnia, but all appears to be smoothed out now. Which is why I can manage to rouse myself at 7 am, in the pitch black still-night of an Alaskan October, to read about permaculture.

And why there is some hope that I will soon take back up with regular writing. I do miss it.

14 thoughts on “Why, Hello There

  1. Knowing how crazy it’s been here-starting a new job, chopping firewood, processing plums, planting garlic, cleaning up the garden- I can only imagine adding kiddos to the equation. But I have been anxiously awaiting your post and a little glimpse of Alaska in autumn…Please tell me you’ll be selling your wares online, love the mug we have and it needs a companion in the cupboard…

  2. CJ: Love the pottery! You’re quite talented! I wish I could be there to watch you. Glad you finally got some creative time in—very, very important for mama’s everywhere. Glad to hear how y’all are doing!

  3. Great news on the sleep… but a warning, it knocks us around more now when the kids have unsettled nights, because we are used to more sleep!

    You could look into doing a Permaculture Design Certificate online… when you have time!! I am hoping to do my PDC through Milkwood Permaculture next year, but that might be a pipedream! I quite like this site: http://permacultureprinciples.com/index.php

    Love your pottery, wow!

    1. oh, honey. if only i could afford one of those online PDC programs, i’d do it in a heartbeat! how fun! but the cheapest (and probably therefore not worth doing) is $550, and the really good looking interactive one is $1200!!!! for an online course! jesus.
      but i have been hatching a self-made permaculture class plan. i ordered the manual from my library. i’m even considering opening it up to other folks online as a sort of learning group. whatdya think? i know you always have too much on your plate, but wanna join me?

  4. Yay for sleep! I know it will still be many years before it comes back to me, but alas that is the phase I’m in. You pottery is gorgeous – make sure you post us a finished picture, I want to see where this goes.
    Also – did your man make good on his promises of keeping up with the domestic stuff?

    1. he did a pretty decent job, considering. it took me three years of parenting to learn how to buckle down for the hours of cleaning every day that it really takes, and i still only sometimes make it. he did at least as well as i did before my big breakthrough. i mean he was cleaning, every day, but you know it just takes SO MUCH not to be slipping ever further downward. that much he did not do. in his defense, he was also working in his “spare” time, 10-15 hours a week.

  5. congratulations on the sleep! isn’t it a most beautiful thing to have morning time? glad to see you on here again.

  6. I like your pottery. That looks like a real, honest-to-God studio. Impressive. I hope you’ll consider doing a pottery tour and/or talking about throwing. I’d love to learn, even at the theoretical level, what’s involved. Congrats on little Mister. :) The sleep part of the paragraph didn’t hang me, the weaning did….I need some of that secret “get my boobs back” sauce right now for my own little barracuda. xo.

    1. there was no secret really, unless it was working full time. that did help. other than that, it was just lots of proactive distraction and occassional crying. bedtime was our rough one, a couple nights in a row of full bore screaming and kicking and even biting me, for a full hour and a half until he fell asleep exhausted. even after the screaming bedtimes ceased, it still takes WAY longer to put him to sleep than it was while we were nursing.
      honestly, i’m not entirely confident weaned is better. i think i probably don’t regret it, but i’m not certain. nothing takes the place of nursing for calming them when they’re upset/frustrated/sad/tired. i nursed for so long out of laziness more than anything else. it’s just harder once they’re weaned.
      but, i was pretty tired of it. it’s been 5 1/2 years of nearly contiinuous nursing, just a break of 4 months between kiddos.
      good luck.

  7. I’m not sure how I missed this post – it’s probably buried somewhere in my email! yay for FB as a backup plan :)

    Congrats on the sleep. What a joy it is when they start sleeping through, even for some of the time!

    I was interested to read your comment on weaning too. My littlest one will be three in February, and it just dawned on me that at some time in the next year or so I suppose I will be thinking about weaning. My other two both nursed until I was pregnant and then stopped when the milk ran out (they were both three). So it will be a whole new experience weaning without a pregnancy.

    And after 10+ years of breastfeeding (except for the few months of milk-free pregnancy), I can definitely see some advantages to weaning – for one thing I’m interested to see how my body reacts to not having those hormones- will it make a difference to the pubic symphasis issues I had during pregnancy, which have never quite gone away? – but I am realising it will be sad too.

    And yeah, there just is nothing like nursing for calming the upsets is there?

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