“Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.” – C. G. Jung
I stumbled upon this Jung quote early on into my parenting adventure and it arrested me. It speaks to a subtle anxiety I have — that I’ll burden my baby with too much of my own goals and aspirations that I have not yet achieved. This notion has found some traction in how transformative and positive I’ve felt the experience of mamahood has been — while truly wonderful, a small part of brain harbors suspicion that my happiness and fulfillment at being a mom is a sign I’m relying on the whole motherhood thing too much for my own self worth and satisfaction.
(Pause here to acknowledge the obvious no-win, paranoid thought process going on here).
Thankfully such cynicism commands very small real estate in my brain which is far more dominated by Baby O’s needs and growth and cuteness, my relationship with and love for my wife, my job, my friends and family, movies, deciding what I’m going to wear tomorrow and at least 23% of my brain power devoted to scouring the internet for new recipes. And now of course this blog.
Still, this quote is a reminder that I’ve always been someone with varied interests and aspirations and I best keep pursuing them. One such pursuit is writing. Having a kid does bring a certain sense of prioritization. Those evergreen dreams of one-days and perhaps-maybes that lived in my head before O came into the world suddenly have become more tangible yes’ or nos. Will I make time to write or not? And if yes, when exactly?
So through this blog I am putting that hope to the test. Publishing it has raised the stakes. Don’t just navel gaze about writing – put it in a public place where people can read it. And commit to writing regularly.
Today I’m 2 months in. Over that time, I’ve not only discovered that I indeed like writing – and that the more I write, the more I have to say (the wife was right, of course). Through this writing, I’ve been better understanding who I want to be as a mom, what this family-growing business means to me, and honed a few new opinions along the way.
And I have stumbled upon another ambition. I actually like this blog – and now I want it to become something even more than my experiment in putting thoughts on the page. So in keeping with the words of Jung, this space for me is about exploring and living the life as a parent, as an adult separate from being a parent, as a writer, and, I hope, with other writers, parents and non-parents alike.