Saturday, January 31, 2009

to be completely honest

And honesty is a good thing, right? I received an email from a New Yorker today - a mum, yoga teacher and photographer. She reads this space often and asked me why I never really talk about the tribulations of motherhood. Is everything really so sunny in my part of the world?

Yes, sometimes it is. But sometimes it's damn hard too. Sometimes I'm completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of washing, cleaning, cooking and chores that need to be done. Sometimes I just can't believe how quickly I turned from a single, carefree girl to a fiancee, muma, housewife, domestic goddess. Ha! It all happened really fast and I still feel like I'm catching up. I'm still learning. I'm getting into the habit of doing washing everyday to ensure it doesn't pile up around me. I'm learning how to run a house, to be a partner, and a mother, and to be myself too.

The word "reality" gets thrown around quite a bit here, in our house. Because I'm a dreamer and an idealist, my sense of reality is slightly skewed. D would argue that my reality doesn't exist. My world is a whimsical one - I like to be surrounded by beauty. But even I can accept that that isn't always possible. I still struggle with the age-old question that every mother asks herself...who am I? That little passport photo of me lives in Daniel's wallet. It was taken the first week we met. I was really young, I had graduated from uni, had started studying yoga, I had a fabulous wardrobe, beautiful friends...I lived the life of a carefree 22-year-old. I did ask for someone like D to come into my life and then he turned up and all of a sudden in an utter whirlwind of heady love I moved out of home, fell pregnant, got engaged, gave birth, fell into the beautiful haze of new motherhood. And when Che was about four months old I felt my feet on the ground. And I wondered who I was. Where did my body go? Where did my words go? What am I supposed to do now?

I still wonder how a day can go by so fast, how it can get to 10pm and I haven't read a page of a book. I always think about what I will be when I grow up.

I write here because it is an instant publication. Snippets of my little family to share with relatives and friends. Little did I know that I would connect with women across oceans and create a space to share, inspire and sometimes console. And so it is that this is the world we live in. A rather open one I think.

I could use this space to whinge, moan, complain about how tired I am, how I want just a little more time for me, but I'll leave all that to share with Daniel. Thanks baby. I doubt anyone would read this if I brought all my anguish here.

I wouldn't have all the happiness and joy without the sorrow and the hard work. Without the negatives there are no positives. There is balance in everything. Sure I feel sad that I'm not longer that girl in the photo but I made a child. A beautiful baby boy. And rather than carrying along with the slog of the every day I have chosen to wrap my arms tight around this new role and embrace everything it creates. The contagious giggles and the sleepless nights.

I still struggle with the little things too. I aim to simplify but I can't ignore my desire (translation - obsession) to have a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes. I find joy in a photo, a cup of tea, a sweet yoga practice...and Prada heels that would be oh so perfect for our wedding day. Perhaps it's the contradictions I find hardest to deal with.

Like everyone I long to just be. And one day, perhaps, I'll get there. But for now I write about my life, I dream of a cottage with a wrap-around verandah, I plan to finish a novel, teach more classes, have more babies.

And today I hope to pick up the toys, cook dinner, fold the washing, eat more watermelon, read Che a story, have another cup of tea and give D a kiss. And to be completely honest, I can't complain about that.


  1. I love your honesty, Jodi. I don't have the wee one yet, but I can definitely relate with the whirlwind romance/huge life changes part of it. I think it is really healthy to be honest about this, because there are times when I think 'Hang on, I was meant to be teaching in an Indian village while writing for Rolling Stone at this time in my life', and while I wouldn't change what I have now with R for the world, it is still important to continue to figure out who the heck I am. You do that with such grace and beauty, it is such a pleasure to peek in here and see how you're doing.

  2. Hi Jodi, I'm a newcomer to your beautiful blog. I couldn't have written this post more perfect myself, I appreciate the daily life but long for the horizon of ?????

    I find your writing so honest, not contrived or unrealistic. Thank you for being you right here in this spot. I struggle with losing me too somedays, everyone who's been there before tells me I'll return, the old me. I'm just enjoying this new person and the moment, for now.


  3. you write beautifully and you seem to have a beautiful appreciation for what you've got, and that's something I aspire to every day.

  4. Jodi - do you know what the nicest thing is - there are loads of us reading your blog at home nodding and smiling as you descrive our lives too! I was caught up in a whirlwind romance moving in together VERY quickly, then house and children followed in rapid succession. Sometimes I need to sit down and steady myself and sometimes I mourn for the young, carefree and impulsive person I was, but not for long! So here's to more fun times with our little men and to dreaming about new clothes and shoes!

    beautiful writing, love Emma ;0)

  5. Love that photo and the sweet felt acorns. It's lovely to read positive blogs such as yours. There's no denying that being a mum can be bloody hard. But it's the special moments that are worth recording, sharing and remembering, isn't it?

  6. Jodi,

    A beautifully written post, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us all.

    We do this for many reasons - what we choose to write about is purely up to us.

    Becoming a mother is a difficult transition at any age. I am in my mid 30's and it was just a tricky. I have never planned to be a 'housewife.' I wanted to be a mother but not a housewife - I guess I somehow morphed into one.

    I dreamed of a cottage with a big veranda and views of the sea. And you know, I got one. Sometimes wishes do come true - I just needed to look further from my old nest, further from what I thought was a 'good' area and further from where I someday want to return to.


  7. Have been lurking on your blog for a while now but couldn't help but drop you a line tonight. Thank you for voicing so beautifully what it means to evolve into motherhood. Our old selves still exist but I think the layers of being mother, partner, daughter and domestic goddess create amazing qualities that enrich the girls that came before.

  8. Wow, you must have touched a nerve Jodi - good! Yes, motherhood is complex and difficult and challeneges everything we thought we knew about ourselves and life... But I love reading your blog and being reminded of the sheer joy and beauty and overwhelming love to be found among the washing and sleepnessness and chores etc.
    Keep doing what you do Jodi. It's honest and inspiring and we all need to be reminded of that in our lives.

  9. Your post left me smiling at just how similar so many mommas lives are in throws of motherhood. Such an adjustment on so many levels ... and the beauty that each mother creates out of her experience.
    Great picture too.
    Thanks for sharing your honesty.

  10. jodi ~

    the photographer thanks you. the yogi thanks you and most importantly, the mother thanks you.

    nothing prepares us for the transition into motherhood. the new role is often confusing....especially when it requires us caring for such precious little beings.

    many days I see a photograph...hear a down a road...smell a smell...and I wonder, "who was i? where did she go? is she gone forever?"

    six months into being a mom, i did feel a certain amount of grief...and every once in awhile it creeps up on me.

    i believe in the truth of photography (even more so than words) and your photographs of Che embody the sweet, carefree, whimsical nature you describe in yourself. without a doubt, you are everywhere.

    when i look at Emmett...i see his dad's happy-go-lucky demeanor...and his momma's fierce independence (and defiance!)....

    we are surely never lost.

    thank you again for responding....its the momma connections ~ no matter how far ~ that keep me forging head with my little guy in tow.

    much love and peace ~ jamie

  11. Jodi, that was beautiful. I am a mama too, and I know life is not always as we dreamt it would be, but that's ok. I'd read your blog no matter what you wrote. I think it's good to write of the positive in life, the good, the joy. It's also ok to write of life's hardships or even a combination of both. It's YOUR blog. :)

  12. As I was reading I thought how similarly I have felt. I still think often of who and what I want to be when I grow up...even at 39.

    Thank you for having such a wonderful blog full of beauty in your words and photos. I love visiting you.

  13. I am so glad that you are open, contradictory and writing here so that i get to experience the beauty of your writing and collages (I love this one so much) and photographs before I have to pay for them. You will make money from anything you publish and I will buy lots of it! May you reap lots of prada!

    Also, I too enjoy celebrating the joyful moments on my blog and think that once in a while it is a god thing to include those that are more challenging.

  14. oops. I meant to write "good" thing but "God" thing may be true as well.

  15. Oh, that is so true!.... Thank you :o)

  16. I loved this post. You write so beautifully and I relate to everything you say here. Thank you.

  17. lovely post. I too can relate to these feelings,how suddenly we step into those new shoes and take on extra roles. and sometimes when you're wearing 'sensible' shoes all you want is to put on your dancing shoes:)
    Motherhood is certainly a dichotomy, pleasure and pain, but thinking in terms of "good" or "bad" is really just a frame of mind.
    You have a lovely way of expressing those thoughts many of us share.

  18. What a connectedness there is within Motherhood and Womanhood....we all have our own realities and we all as bloggers follow our own paths with creativity and words here. It's only a keyhole peak at our larger realities isn't it. It is nice however to come together at times united and empowered and perhaps relieved by sharing the imperfect "bits". Peace to all.

  19. so beautiful. i just love the way that you write...i will be back to learn about your sunny part of the's looks so rich and full!

  20. Thank you, thank you! Are lives seem to be startlingly parallel. I appreciate you sharing your on-going journey.
    Thank you again, friend across the ocean.

  21. I read your post earlier and it was in my mind.
    For some reason, it combined with today and made me think--
    do we post who we are,
    or who we want to be?

    (It's my post for today, for whatever it may mean!
    Best wishes,)

  22. Your words are beautiful - so frank yet positive and grounded. Sometimes as you climb the ladder you need a reminder to also enjoy the view on each rung. This was my reminder for today! (But I hope you get those Prada heels.)

  23. Hear hear! A lovely, generous and honest read you have given. We all use this blog medium in different ways. And like all parts of our lives we present and disclose as we chose and for our own reasons.

  24. Hi Jodi,
    I love your blog. Just these last few years I began to find "me" again after dedicating the last 14 years to my beautiful children. My baby started high school last week and I am off to uni next month.
    Sarah :o)

  25. Oh I'm hearing you, particulary that it about obsessions with clothes....Im trying really hard to kick that one but just can't...I love beautiful things, wether it be beautiful books for the kids, beautiful toys, beautiful paintings or a beautiful skirt made of lovely fabric. Ah the aesthetics are important to in our lives...
    You write beautifully.

  26. I just came across your blog for the first time and have to agree with you and all the ladies that have commented. I was so amazed at how quickly my life turned so 1950's all of a sudden after hsving a child and getting married. Having a blog is such a nice space to dream, muck around and think.

  27. Beautifully written! Your words touch on so many sentiments of new motherhood. It is a strange yet beautiful world we have entered into. We might as well embrace the adventure and the beauty of it while it lasts.

  28. I may well be being too brash here, but wanted to ask a favour. I run a Girl Guide unit at Point Clare and will be on leave from it for two terms and want to leave the people running it in an OK position to cope with the 20-odd weeks of program planning they have ahead of them for a very enthusiastic bunch of about 20 girls aged between 10 and 14. Big deep breath. I would like to ask whether you'd run a half hour to 40min yoga session with them. Eek. We meet on Thursday nights at 6.30pm. We can do it at that time, or later in our two-hour meeting so you can settle your little one, or even better, bring him with. Other than he'll leave over-stimulated, he'll have lots of lovely girls who'd like to play with him. Please do think about it. The girls will giggle and be easily distracted. It's a general taste of all the things we do and a broadening of their horizons - and a little self control and manners thrown in too. I took older girls to the retreat at Mangrove Mountain a few years back and they loved it. A real adventure just getting there and a real eye-opener for a couple of them. Anyhoot, have a think and pop by my blog or send an email (link is on my blog) when you have a chance. I'd be thinking some time in term II. Please, feel free to say NO. I am all for the art of saying NO this year. PS: I will be there. I won't leave someone new to face those girls all on their own.

  29. What beautiful, honest words. You made me tear up. I can relate to so much of your words however I am not yet a mother but think about some of the things you've written about. I am working on when to become a mother. I know a part of me is scared I will not be a good one but I guess we are all learning as we go. Thanks so much for sharing.

  30. jodi - i have often commented to friends about this inspiring lady, who has a sweet and beautiful child, a wonderful partner and an incredible home...i often comment that she has it 'all'. that is you! you remind me to take baby steps, look at the big picture and don't obsess over the small things, so i must say thank you. thank you for writing, thank you for sharing and most of all, thank you for being honest and 'coaching' us to be honest too!

  31. The reason I love, and keep reading, your blog is your spirit and your humour and your beautiful prose. I try to keep negativity out of my blog too - there is enough sad stuff happening in the world without me contributing to it!

    Thank you for this post. Really. Thank you. I've wrestled with whether to keep my blog going the last few weeks, and it's mainly the naysayers and those who object to my so-called Pollyanna positive attitude who are putting me off. But that would be letting them win, right?

  32. I have opened this post a few times as I really wanted to comment but not sure what to say. I concur with all the above comments, so perhaps I will stick with - I hope you get your Prada heels because you could kick ass in those babies.

  33. Written so beautifully and honestly.
    This is surely a wonderful blog to read and this post has been written from the heart. Thankyou so much for sharing this piece of you with us all. I am sure we can all relate to it in some way or another, i know i can!
    By the way...i tagged you, feel free to play along if you so wish. x

  34. What a beautifully honest blog and I adore the lovely picture at the top.

  35. i find it simply fascinating & also incredibly comforting how women with no tangible connections can all live such amazingly DIFFERENT lives, in such different parts of the world with such similar threads.

    my husband and i met at my 23 bday party- 8 months later we were married
    10 months later i was pregnant, 5 YEARS later i have two lovely children, a house, anf a life i couldnt have plotted out better/.

    whirlwind whimsical lives.

    are lovely :)

  36. i have to chime in here with everyone else and agree. a beautiful post that seems to have struck a chord. i think its so important to celebrate the little extrordinary things that happen at home during motherhood. as you mentioned the mundane slog gets overwhelming and a blog is a fab place to keep a focus on the little flashes of wonder and beauty that occur and keep our spirits up. there are endless rewards outweighing the hard boaring work but sometimes its tempting to focus on the negative stuff. its uplifting to come here and wallow in those divine moments xx

  37. i love your outlook on life. never change.