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There doesn’t have to be any evidence that God exists. He’s just there, and if you don’t take that seriously and pretend nothing of it, your own arrogance and stupidity are going to take you straight to Satan. Your choice, though.

This was my niece’s Facebook status today. She’s fifteen.

On one level it annoys me, but mostly it saddens me. Not only does it reveal a misguided belief, it also smacks of arrogance and a worrisome lack of compassion. There’s something cruel lurking underneath what it’s saying. I have not commented and likely won’t, but man, I really want to.

I suspect it’s in response to my angry status update about our motherfucking governor here in Texas, Rick Perry, holding a day of fasting and prayer for the state. I regularly post commentary and links that reveal my belief system. I am sure she has heard from her dad (my brother) something about my belief system (very certainly wrongly presented). I imagine, on some level, I scare her.

Here’s the thing. She’s not stupid. She wants to go to Princeton. But as her small town friends weighed in on this particular update, it became even more clear how mired she is in bad education and small-mindedness. I see the influence of her being churched at a young age. In further comments she scoffs at evolution, using creationist rhetoric to attempt to discredit evolutionary theory. (And she wants to go to Princeton? geez.)

I have been distressed ever since it was clear that my brother’s girls were being taken to a fundamentalist church (he has three). No one seemed to want to hear any of my opinions even though I am a female who was raised in a conservative religious environment. Even though I’ve personally experienced the isolation and angst it produces, as well as the damage it does to self worth, no one wants to hear it.

I vowed that as a mother I’d never ever subject my girls to being told they were less than boys (yes, that still happens – just look at the male hierarchy) but I also didn’t want them exposed to this bullshit way of thinking. In watching the sad parade of religiously-themed status updates from this remote area of Texas, I see an indoctrination at work, one that will leave my niece ill-prepared and ill-equipped and possibly unable to engage in any true learning environment, no matter how much smartness she may have been born with the potential to grow.

I know what it’s like to believe in god at 15 and to feel so sure of it. Looking back, I desperately wish I’d had more diverse influences around me. I like to think I’d have blossomed under the influence of someone who didn’t sound like everyone else around me, perhaps a crazy liberal and irreverent aunt of my own.

Ideas have always set me on fire – at fifteen, with the right sort of exposure, who’s to say I wouldn’t have burst out of the gates of my upbringing much earlier? The first exposure I got to real scholarship, to deep and important ideas being discussed, to real beauty in knowing something is true even if it brings pain along with it – I reveled in this space like a cat attempting to maintain contact with the hand offering affection. Education and knowledge stoked my internal fire – I only wish I’d been encouraged to discover this much earlier and to not have had to unpack so much baggage to get to it.

I’d like to think that this girl has the same potential within her. If she could set aside her biases and apply some real critical thinking, what could she do?

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An old college friend and I got into a discussion the other day on Facebook about a new progressive wave in the Christian church. I have a hard time not commenting, even when Christians are talking amongst themselves and suffice it to say we ended up having a conversation wherein she stated her belief that people were inherently sinful and that we needed Christ both as savior and example.

This is where I seriously disembark from Christianity’s train of thought. I find this mindset so deeply troubling that it can keep me up at night if I allow myself to think about it too much.

Quite simply, I don’t believe I am sinful. I don’t like the use of the word sin. It is a Christian word and to apply it to humanity with a broad stroke is an attempt to suffuse the world in a Christian light (which is what most Christians do on a regular basis). Apart from the cultural fault here, I also disagree with the fundamental concept.

I don’t believe that humans are born with a sinful nature – no matter the language you use. I also don’t believe they are all born good. They are simply born. We are a mishmash of biological desires, psychological drives and our environment. As a race, we have an astounding capacity for cruelty but we are also remarkably capable of deep compassion and empathy. That these exist together does not surprise me. It also does not make me think that a higher being, a sky god, has anything to do with it.

I thought of trying to tell my friend how my belief system is structured, ultimately to explain my belief in why/how I think people can be good without religion. Because that’s what our disagreeing came down to – she believes we are sinful and need saving. I believe that we can be good on our own. But Facebook is a poor vehicle for these kinds of conversations. So I took my thoughts over here and I still want to try to capture them.

How can we be good without religion?

I would say that I am informed by the Buddhist view of looking at our interconnection with life around us. If we are deeply connected to everything that is living, if we can understand the truth of this, then that is a strong guide for our actions. What I do impacts other people, animals, the earth and it comes back to me in kind. This drives me to be honest in my dealings with others, to aim for kindness and compassion, and to hold an intentionality in my actions that looks beyond my own needs. This is powerful stuff – to realize that our actions have an impact. And negative consequences as the result of a selfish action? Even far removed, reaping what we sow can be a decidedly effective way to curb wrong action.

Some folks take this view further, into the realm of karma. Personally, I don’t want to go too far down that road but I have found insight in the concept. It is not necessarily some ethereal and magical force at work in the universe and my nerves are set on edge when folks start getting all mystical in discussions about it. In its simplest translation, the word karma means action. The world is governed and guided by our actions. And that old adage about there being a reaction for every action? There’s truth there as well. Simply walking about in the world has an impact. Dealing with others, eating food, living day to day impacts the world around us. Recognizing the impact we have on others and they on us, as well as recognizing the deep symbiotic relationship we have with the natural world is, in my mind, what can drive humans to be a force for good in the world. Sure, we get it wrong a lot of the time, but we get it right sometimes too. Without god.

Another Buddhist concept that has informed me is viewing the nature of reality. Learning to live with, sit with the way things are is an incredibly powerful practice, one that can ultimately transform us. We live so much of our lives looking ahead – planning and calculating and daydreaming – that we miss what’s right here in front of us, the good and the bad. We are avoidant by nature (don’t think about death!) and terribly self-involved (survival run amok). But I have had brief glimpses into letting go of my ego in a moment, of taking off my perspective (and all its myopic distortion) and facing the truth of what’s in front of me. It’s not easy but it’s doable. And it gets easier with practice. Our ability to step away from our “self” allows us to connect with a deeper sense of understanding and to gain a wider perspective on what is transpiring around us. “Giving it up to god” or convincing yourself that “god has a plan” in no way compares to what I’m talking about. I’m talking about periodically unpacking that carefully constructed self we work so hard to create and taking note that we are a collection of human processes, a buzzing of energy in space and time. The ability to shuck off our very self importance can help us center and regroup in the moment. We are in turn sadness and joy, together and alone, living and dying. Doing this on a regular basis helps us a) not get so caught up in our perceptions and b) frees us to experience each moment as it happens.

When I suffered a miscarriage in 2005, this hit home in a big way. There is a natural human response to find reasoning, as well as to deflect grieving. But for once, I was able to face the experience head on. I knew deep down that if I spent too much time trying to find a meaning for what happened and if I did not allow myself to truly grieve, that I would miss something big. So I did nothing apart from feeling my emotions. There is no inherent meaning in such an event. I let that go. I grieved and I opened myself up to sadness and the powerful feeling of loss. Stepping away from all the scaffolding I could have put in place around the experience, stripping myself bare in a way and remaining open-hearted and open-minded allowed the loss to ultimately have greater meaning. It remains to this day a foundation of my perspective around death and loss.

And this is the ultimate tool we have at our disposal, an ability to transcend suffering. Not by spiritual salvation but simply in living moment by moment with care and grace. Noticing how we are connected to others, noticing how we bring so much suffering on ourselves, noticing how we can step away from our perspective – this is true transcendence, the kind that gives us a window on a much larger perspective outside of ourselves, one that does not rely on god but on the very essence of what it means to be human. If we can step away from our limited perspectives, we can be good people. And what’s more, we can experience life to the fullest – we can truly know our joy and our sadness, we can make the most of our time here because it is so important to notice how fleeting it is and how some of these big heavy things we might be tempted to carry around with us (such as our sinful nature) really don’t matter in the end.

Personally, I am glad to be rid of the weight of religion and of the concept of my sinful nature. And I firmly believe that this is one of the most damaging lies our culture tells to children. Instead of telling them you can make a difference just by being human, just by opening your eyes to what’s around you and learning to be still and observant about what’s going on inside and outside, this culture tells them they are sinful, that there is something wrong with them, that they are beyond help save the intercession of a mythical being whose ultimate perfection they will never have any hope of achieving.

Bollocks to that.

First off, I’m loving Band of Horses these days. I kind of create soundtracks for my days – songs that transport me to spaces I want to be in for a little while, whether it’s daydreaming or serious thinking. Mostly, lately, it’s daydreaming. sigh. I’m not sure why I told you that. I think I’m just trying to explain why sometimes I will listen to “Poker Face” 15 times in a row. You know, in case you catch me doing that.

Second, this was all over FB yesterday even though it’s, like, 2 years old:

It’s cute. Yeah…

It’s just that, about halfway through, I was, well, bored. Maybe it hit a little too close to home. I love my daughter’s imagination but sometimes – sometimes – it’s tiring. Sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to sit and drool and stare off into space and say “uh huh” over and over as you listen to the longwinded and perfectly-adorable-to-an-outside-party tale who hasn’t heard the litany for the 50 gazillionth time. That’s acceptable, right? God, I hope so. I hope I’m not crushing any spirits here. Don’t think so. Because I’m sneaky about my boredom. A good parent has to be.

See, kids learn things by repeating them. I don’t mean rote memorization like they’ll someday encounter in school. I mean they try out ideas by using them again and again and again until their mothers lose their fucking minds. Cute wears thin sometimes. That’s all I’m saying. Call me a stick in the mud.

Of course, another part of me thought hot damn! I’m going to videotape the elder and let it go viral on youtube! Already my posts about her on FB elicit crazy laughs and all kinds of adoring praise (I do, btw, try to limit these b/c you know what’s annoying as shit? Someone whose every status update is my kids did blah blah blah, something cute/sassy/noteworthy/that definitively proves they are gifted and smarter than your offspring).

Thirdly, I can’t even comment on the fucking house repealing the health care bill or my head will explode. Americans, you just don’t get it, goddammit.

Okay, off to listen to “No One’s Gonna Love You” one more time. Promise.

Update! Thought #4: some goddamn girl scout is going to knock me off my vegan high horse and make me shove wads of thin mints and trefoils in my mouth. Dang. I’ll never get into Vegan Academy now.

I’ve been talking with some local writing friends about what the heck I’m doing with this blog, all the while not sharing it with them. And I apologize to anyone reading this for the continued gaze at “what I’m doing here.” It will take me a while to figure it out.

As an anonymous writer, I am writing privately but also publicly. No one is reading yet so I am even writing more privately for now. The blogging world is strange. And frankly? I’m sick of the word blog. Gah. I am of the mind that it’s been misused and misapplied – a “web log” is not what this is.

It may be a journal.

Or a platform.

Or a soapbox.

Or just a place to whine and kick and complain.

It could be many things. Do I want to write about the throttle of religion in the states? Yes. Do I want to write about parenting? Kind of, as in, I am a parent so I will undoubtedly reference it. I don’t want this to be a “parenting blog” or a “mommy blog” (ick, shiver, much dramatic fake fainting). Perish the thought. Then again, I did name this space HereticMama. So, I won’t be taking the mama out of the equation. Certainly, being a parent shapes my perspective.

Why do I resist the parenting/mommy label? I suppose it’s because it flattens me, it negates me too. This is, of course, why I’m in therapy – to stay focused and aware of me (me! me! me! all the time, me!) and to not be consumed by the parenting experience. I’m often thinking, how have all the other people in the world managed this? Has parenting always been so draining? No doubt we are over-obsessed with the self today, in the west especially, but I can’t imagine that anyone with a child doesn’t explore on some level the togetherness/separateness question. But that’s a topic for another post I suppose…

Back to the task at hand – figuring this out.

Once again, I’m saying, bear with me. It will get better, more clear.

I could just write stories about what I think about my life so far, but I want to make room for what is happening right now, in this very moment.

I could lambast my culture, which no doubt I’ll indulge in some.

I could practice being funny.

I could, ala Allie Brosh, draw pictures of bears. Seeing as how she’s a lot better at that than me, I’ll leave the bears to her.

So, if that last one had you worried – relax, you can cross it off your list.

Note: This was an assignment in a writing workshop I attended. We were supposed to write a hate and a love letter. I wrote two but this one turned out to be the more interesting.

Dear Karen G,

You always seemed like a sweet girl. I loved your red hair, by the way, and that braying, snorty laugh you had, as if no one was listening in when you found something funny. And I’m really glad we didn’t shoot you with my dad’s antique rifle that time you startled us when we’d been making prank phone calls in the back bedroom. We thought you were a burglar, or worse. Good thing we didn’t have the sense to know how to use that gun. I mean, no hard feelings, and anyway, that’s beside the point of this letter.

You see, Karen G, I have a bone to pick with you. Yes, even after all these years. It was really nice that you got that fancy laserdisc machine after you and what’s-his-name got married and were living out in some god-forsaken backwoods hamlet in Texas. And don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Xanadu and just knew that roller skates were indeed the answer to everything. But – and let me remind you that I was only twelve – I hold you personally responsible for letting me watch Friday the 13th Part I that same night.

Did you not realize I was a kid with an overactive imagination? Did you not think about how this was going to scar me? Did you not ever pause to contemplate the fact that I was going to have to walk 300 yards or so home alone in the dark that very night from your parents’ house to mine? Perhaps you had confused me thoroughly with your kid sister. You know, the one as bold as brass? We may have been best friends that spring, but I did not have her courage, her ability to sleep soundly, or her bladder.

I assume, also, that you were not aware that R-rated movies were completely off limits in my house. Hell, even Xanadu was a little questionable. There was no fucking way I could tell my parents that I had seen what I remember as a bloody, horrible gore fest. It would have meant that I was never ever allowed at your house again. Although, in retrospect, maybe that wouldn’t have been so bad. I would have at least been spared any chance of watching anything like that again.

Since I was not able to share this experience with my parents, I compensated for my abject and petrifying fear by sleeping for three months in an upright position with about eighteen lights on.

I hope you realize, Karen, that I am still pissed at you over this.

You are forever linked in my mind with Jason and ski masks and bloody teenagers who should not have been having sex in a deserted bunk house. You are linked with lonely dark country roads, our foray back home that evening, and the fear that an old pickup with too many miles on it will break down most any second (as it invariably does in any horror film worth its salt). You are linked with an innocence lost that can never be recovered, as I became, suddenly, acutely aware that the world was peopled with serial killers and crazed madmen who might be waiting around any corner to spring their menacing, slashing selves on me in a fit of rage and destruction.

I think you deserve no less.

So, while I once remembered you most for the sea of kolaches at that raucous German Catholic wedding of yours that went into the wee hours of the morning, the one where I got to stay up later than I ever had before in my whole life – not anymore. And I just wanted you to know that I still hold a grudge.

In closing, I just want you to know that I hope to someday have the opportunity to sneak up behind you at the end of a scary movie and frighten you so badly that you wet your pants too.

So, watch your back, girlie.

Yours Truly,

me

We just came off one of our worst parenting weeks ever. Comedy of errors, tragedy of errors, whatever you want to call it, the week was filled with parenting chaos. Kids with runny noses and hacking coughs, domestic disasters, flat tires, children who wouldn’t sleep, broken bones, sagging bank accounts, you name it, we experienced it.

Sometimes I wonder about parenting two young children while in my forties. What, I ask myself, were you thinking? Funny. I don’t blink an eye at the thought of other herculean feats in my forties (running a marathon? pish posh. Training for an ironman? no big deal. Switching careers? easy peasy). But the children. Oh, the children. God knows, I love them, but this is truly the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Some of it is the crazy-making behavior (tantrums, pulling absolutely everything within reach down for inspection, the sea of toys underfoot, the refusal to eat yummy food I cooked especially for tepid appetites). And some of it is just sheer monotony. Oh god, oh god, oh god, I can’t take it sometimes.

I willfully grab moments of calm where I can – like when I washed the dishes last night to give myself a sense of satisfaction in having a clean sink while the girls played past their bedtimes. I had the classical music station on, the older was engrossed in books and the younger was clinking on something, I don’t know what, but it didn’t seem dangerous. They were just – occupied. For a moment. This was soon after the segment where they were playing underfoot while I cooked in the kitchen with five or six baby dolls spread out over the kitchen floor.  I felt like I should have, I don’t know, engaged more. Should I have been that mom that ignored the meal I was cooking to crawl around on the kitchen floor with baby dolls? Should I have most definitely not concentrated on dishes after they had moved out of the kitchen but followed them to see what pursuits they were undertaking? I just sort of left them to their own devices. The baby gate was up so they couldn’t wander too far. And I could hear them, mostly. And I was just so tired and somehow doing the dishes seemed so incredibly important at that moment.

Funny that last part. My domicile has received one of the hardest hits in this parenting gig. It is in constant disarray. Piles of stuff on tables as I try to keep things out of the kids’ grasp. Really. I don’t think you’d believe it if I showed you pictures. You’d think I faked such clutter. It’s real. And I live in it. And I am slowly dying inside because of it. I never thought I was the kind of person that wanted neatness and order until I had children. Now I crave it, desperately.

And there’s the constant fatigue. Picking up children, picking up their toys, not getting sleep. Even an everyday mundane task like going to the grocery store becomes a physically taxing feat when you have to tote two children with you. Both of them still in diapers. Because we are failing at potty training. Failing, I say. Older expresses no interest whatsoever in peeing anywhere but in her diaper while at home. Unless it’s on the floor.

I just didn’t honestly think it would be THIS hard. Really, I didn’t. And I hate that I feel it’s so hard. It feels, I don’t know, wasteful. I feel like I should be singing about rainbows and letting the house go to shit and telling the girls, let’s make cookies, with happy faces, and licorice hair. I think about being that mom who was so crazy and spontaneous and maybe we had a messy house, but goshdarnit, we had such fun. Only, in my girls’ situation, they just have a messy house and a crazy grumbly lady for a mother who wore the same tank top for the entire weekend – yes, into bed and out of bed all weekend long, from Friday night to Monday morning.They have a mom who collapses into a chair in the backyard and checks email on her iPhone while they drag themselves in and out of the sandbox, who keeps an eye on them while multitasking on twitter until they wander just too far out of sight.

I do engage with them some of course. But I also feel like I’m biding my time. Will we reach a point where engagement seems more natural because, oh I don’t know, they can hold up their end of a conversation with more than the endlessly-repeated word “why”? Or, because I am not literally wiping shit off their butt two or three times a day? I know there are wonderfully happy moms who adore these ages (1 and 3). And there’s a lot to adore. In small doses. With a waiting back-up in the wings in case you need to run away quickly.

I can’t watch a movie. I can’t sit on the sofa and eat take-out Chinese. I can’t have complete conversations with old friends on the phone without being interrupted by squawking. I certainly can’t take a little nap. Ever. Getting out of the house is tantamount to embarking on a trek up Everest. We have so much damn gear and then there’s the potty/diaper situation (is everyone in a fresh diaper, just how much water has older consumed in the last half hour?) and then we have the “pick me up” pleas and children who are perfectly capable of doing so who won’t walk their own asses to the car. Then we have issues over carseats and straps and just who is touching which toy that suddenly becomes so important that someone is going to dissolve into tears if she doesn’t have it in her hands. right. this. very. instant. And if I try to leave the kids behind, we have to deal with separation anxiety AND I have to take out a loan to pay the babysitter.

I knew my life would change. Sure, the kids will become the priority. Of course, I wouldn’t want it any other way. That was the easy part, those big changes. What I didn’t know was how much it would change on such a mundane level. Like bathroom time (it’s absolutely insane how much/how long I put off going to the bathroom b/c I am either knee deep in kids or can’t afford to stop somewhere and go b/c I’d have to drag two kids out of the car and into a likely filthy restroom where they will be apt to touch everything/sit on the floor). Every little thing is hard. I did not know this. <blink blink gulp> And I am struggling.

And I don’t know how to end this post. It seems disingenuous to wrap it up by saying something like, but golly, they’re so cute and charming sometimes and we have these moments when they make my heart melt and suddenly everything seems worth it. phhhhhhhht. Hallmark bullshit, I say. Of course I have nice moments. Most of them are in retrospect. Currently, I have at least as many equally terrifying moments, probably more – terror in the moment (oh god, someone’s going to poke their eye out with that), terror of the future (is that really our checking account balance? Didn’t the man get paid this week?) or a vaguely existential terror (why am I having kids right now in this world? what will they do about the debt? the earthquakes? the Road-like scenario that’s constantly just at bay?).

So, no wrapping this crap up in a big pretty bow. Parenting: it really might kill me. I shit you not.

Update: After writing this last night, we experienced night/morning from hell. No sleep, messes all over the house (carrot juice, coffee), flat tire, the list goes on. I totally should blog about that, but not today. Today I’m going to stay under my rock. As you were.

A battle I face daily is how to get domestic crap done around the house. I seem to spend the majority of my time a) at work b) keeping children safe while they play or c) sacked out on the sofa with the computer. I realize that the latter is a bit indulgent. (It’s what I’m doing now, by the way.) But it also connects me – to the world, to friends (via FB and Twitter and email) and it’s the kind of time-wasting that one needs pretty regularly to relax.

So, when do I bake or sew or knit or clean? At the risk of sounding a wee bit old-fashioned, I actually like these  domestic activities. Well, except for cleaning. I don’t like cleaning. Even so, I agree that it’s a necessary evil and many times my house is a bit, er, filthier than even relaxed me is comfortable with.

I like to think of myself as a somewhat-inspired baker, though. I have long had big plans for sewing (and remember fondly putting my costuming skills to practical use as a theater major eons ago). I am a half-assed knitter and I’d love the chance to get better at it. I want to make homemade gifts for family members, bake my own bread, sew the girls Halloween costumes and at least put one project on Ravelry. I just can’t get the motivation to do these things, though, amid my current state of affairs. And I haven’t even touched on the cleaning. As much as I don’t like to clean, a clean house makes me feel calm. I imagine it will make the girls feel calm too – I certainly remember how the disarray and disorder of my childhood home (and the subsequent Mommy Dearest-inspired cleaning marathons) made things feel, well, churned up, if you will.

I just wonder if this will change. If so, how? Everyone tells me I’m in the thick of it, with a one year old and a nearly three year old. I’m in the thick of something, that’s for sure, but it’s hard to come up for air and imagine a life where I’ll have both time and energy for activities that seem like a far far distant dream right now. I just. can’t. see. it. Not right now.

I am so needed right now, by everyone. I shrug off official work because it is the only one I can shrug off. Yet, I desperately need the money it brings in. Egads. This is my current existential bane.

We can’t afford for me to stay home all the time and if Spring Break was any indication, that would simply leave me in a pool of drool anyway. Because I get that mamas need downtime. And if you could barely eke out an existence with one parent not working, how in the hell could you afford any downtime? No MDO, no babysitters – we’re talking bleak. If I could stay home while the kids were in daycare, I’d get loads of stuff done, but then I’d feel selfish and wasteful. And that kind of financial picture doesn’t exist for us right now, not while the man’s in school.

(Have I veered into whiny here? Forgive me. It happens. Far quicker than I intend. I start to hear this little annoying buzz in the back of my head and realize it’s me, whinging on. Again.)

So, buck up, right? Either let the house fall into hovel-status and forget any apron-clad dreams of making your own jelly or ignore the kids and bake and craft in blessed oblivion, assuming they wouldn’t make off with necessary supplies like yarn and feed your new bamboo knitting needles to the dog.

I want a reality in between. I want to feel like a person with a normal domestic life. Somehow, in the case of me, I feel that this helps me with the non-domestic stuff. I feel, I don’t know, fuller? Like somehow having the time to bake a pie satisfies a creative need in me that is not entirely unrelated to the novel I write in my head on a daily basis (the one that is slightly existent on google docs).

Let’s face it. One person can only take so much pretend play. Day after day of acting out the eating of invisible cupcakes coupled with my uninspiring career-ish worklife begins to make little streams of my brain leak out of my ears. I’m sure of it. I just want to make a goddamned loaf of homemade bread once in a while. Is that too much to ask?

Welcome to my corner of the web.

The What

Perhaps you are wondering what this is all about. Actually, I am too.  As far as I can tell at this point, it’s a journey I’ll uncover through writing it. It is, for now, an anonymous blog about raising my kids in a crazy, sometimes crappy, sometimes utterly sublime world. It’s about raising them in the United States, in Texas, as an atheist, far-left-of-the-dial, irreverent, working-away-from-home mama. A mama still hoping to realize some of her own adventures while supporting two feisty and independent girls and also supporting a working husband who’s currently mired in a full-time job and a candidacy for a doctoral degree.

So, why is it anonymous?

Because I’m a pussy. I worry about my family reading it, my co-workers, even some friends. What will I confess to here? My sexual escapades? The way motherhood empties me out sometimes? My on-the-job slackitude? Texting while driving? Who knows. For now, it feels safer to be anonymous. It feels freer to remain so as a writer. Let’s not get into the neuroses evident in this; for now, let’s let sleeping dogs lie.

What Do I Do for a Living?

Goooooood question. Right now, I hate my job. I’m supposed to be a computer programmer. Currently, I spend a lot of time on Facebook and write documentation. You’d think that in today’s economy I’d put more effort in. Really, you would. But let’s face it, being a mama is tiring me out. I’ll put my ugly truth out there. I don’t have enough in me to go around. I’d rather slack at work than slack with my kids. Er, sometimes I slack with my kids too, though. I guess I’d rather regularly slack at my job than with my kids. And truthfully, I’m just uninspired at work. I wonder about women who seem to love their jobs so much and still be mothers. I’m currently working 30 hours a week and am set to go back to fulltime soon. Honestly, I don’t know how it’s going to work out. I can’t imagine it will work well. I fear the slacking will continue.

The Girls

I have two girls – an older and a younger. They are 22 months apart and they are both toddlers. I am worn. the fuck. out. I am in my early 40s. One (the older) has sleep issues. I am at a sleep deficit most all the time. Some of this has to do with the older’s wonky sleep habits, the rest has to do with my addiction to my iPhone and my willful and perverse drive to extract a few hours for myself after the girls are abed. Our lives are busy, hours extracted out of pretty rigid schedules of work time, daycare and the man’s demanding class schedule.

Heretical

Why the Heretic label? Because Apostate Mama doesn’t have the same ring.

I was raised Southern Baptist, spent a little time with Disciples of Christ-ers (as well as in a bad marriage), became an Episcopalian (and met current man, much better), embraced Agnosticism, then apathy, then agnosticism, and finally admitted (quietly) that I don’t believe in god. I’m admitting it a little louder now, a little more publicly, but it’s a hard brand to feel comfortable with in our culture. Still, despite what some religion-heads want me to believe, having kids doesn’t make me more inclined to believe. If anything, I have become more outspoken and firm in my own convictions.

And let’s face it, I just have a bone to pick with religion. I think it’s bad juju and does us no good for the most part. I live in the South, so this comes up as a continual sore spot in my life. Whether it’s the well-meaning stranger who speaks of my children as a gift from god or the not-so-well-meaning scorn of the churched who surround us, it’s a lonelier path than believing to be sure. It’s a particularly thorny path to be on as a parent.

So,

There you have it. My reasoning behind writing. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment. It gets lonely out there on the web.