OUTLAW: (n.) A person who refuses to be governed by the established rules or practices of a group; rebel; nonconformist.
OUT OF LAW: (n.) A person who has left the practice of law; one who no longer practices law for her profession. See also unemployed person; happier person; no-longer-reviewing-thousands-of-pages-of-documents for a living.
When I think about an outlaw, images of rogue characters from wind-swept plain states like Oklahoma come to mind. I am not from a rural, sage-brush-dotted region, and I am not very rogue. I live in a large urban area with public transportation, famous skyscrapers, and virtually no cowboy hats. Here, outlaw literally means out of the law. Having left the practice of law, I am now facing the great blank page that is my professional life.
How can I build on my former legal life?
How can I find balance between my old self and my new, emerging self?
How can I find a professional self when I am also caring for two children who, until 4 days ago, were both in diapers?
I also like the outlaw theme for my motherhood. So much of motherhood has become about beating ourselves up for not being good enough: we beat ourselves up for going back to work, for not going back to work, for breastfeeding too long or not long enough, for losing our tempers, for wanting something more or something different, for wanting a night out or for never wanting to wear real jeans again. Dozens of times each day I am tempted to grab the bat and beat myself up for being impatient or wanting to eat my lunch without having to share the extra cheesy parts with my daughter or for wanting to pee by myself. With the door shut. All the way.
There are so many angles to cut ourselves on.
I want to round out the angles with a little bit of humor. Or a lot of humor. Why can’t this all be funny? Isn’t it funny when my 2-year-old is trying to tell me how to drive when she doesn’t know anything or when I find myself offering her $400 NOT to take her shoes off before we get to the playdate? Isn’t it funny that I wipe my son’s boogers on my husband’s pillow when I am mad at him for being out of town or when I use my husband’s socks when I run out of wipes?
So, what exactly will I be blogging about in these pages? It’s a good question, and I have given it a great deal of thought.
I will definitely be blogging about my daughter’s hair. I love her hair– unfurled in all it’s follicular glory. I love it, envy it, covet it, and have no idea what in the world to do with it. It has been kindly suggested that I cut it (or trim it, or for the love of all that is sacred, BRUSH & WASH it). I am considering getting it trimmed, but then again, I am also considering getting a real job. Who knows which will happen first?
I will also write about my son, whose hair has less volume, but not so his cheeks. My son has unenviable position of being the second-born child, just like his mother. You know what they say– If your mother was second-born and so are you, get ready to watch your mother go berserk trying to keep everything equal and to make up for the fact that you didn’t get to do everything FIRST when really it’s all about her own “issues” and how she always felt less than her brother.
Do you know that saying? Maybe it’s a Midwest thing.
This probably won’t be your go-to-for-style blog, unless of course, you want to hear about all the winning ensembles I put together from clothes I bought at the Gap Outlet. Last year.
Also, these pages probably won’t enlighten you to mind-blowing new music that you HAVE TO SEE LIVE, because my idea of mind-blowing music is the Fame Soundtrack (the original Fame, not that hideous remake) listened to from the comfort of my modular couch in my living room.
My photography is getting better everyday, so I can capture an image well enough to enhance my stories. I don’t, however, really have any tips on taking pictures, unless you count taking your finger off the lens as a tip.
I won’t be telling you how to cook wonderful, family-friendly meals that can be ready in minutes. I do, however, watch my fair share of Food Network and can do a startlingly accurate imitation of the Chairman from Iron Chef. If you want a good food blog, check out my friend Kelly’s blog: http://dinnerdujour.org/ (Kelly has serious cooking chops (get it?) and she can get you on the path of deliciousness.)
For better or worse, I will not be chronicling a bunch of stories about my perfect homemaking skills and my well-behaved children. It’s a little secret that I think it’s more fun to have energetic, creative, pain-in-the-ass kids, which is a good thing, because that’s what I have! I won’t be perseverating all the bleeping time about how I am not a perfect mom– I will from time to time, but I mostly want to laugh, celebrate and take it all less seriously.
I had a big plan to start this blog tomorrow (February 29, 2012), but I am pushing up the production date to right now. Both kids are napping and who knows when that will happen again. I was excited to wax eloquently about the symbolism of starting on Leap Year, but you know what, I am just that kind of outlaw: one that starts her blog one day early. Dangerous stuff.
Outlaw Mama would like to thank her muses for napping well today and for giving me lots of material to practice the whole “let’s have a sense of humor” philosphy.