Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I left a comment on SouleMama's blog yesterday. She blogged about her humanity and how she did not like to write abut the "dark underbelly of parenting" and how her blog has made people feel inadequate and that was not what she intended but that she simply chose to see the positive all the time.
This brought up many thoughts for me, for I find it interesting that any parent on any blog can keep up such a consistently Pollyanna appearance. I have indeed reminded myself that it is a sales job, and simply just that-keeping up appearances, and I can go read the blogs where the writing celebrates other aspects of parenting. While it CAN be comforting, to see others having such a seemingly easy time of things, I want to be a person who constantly examines my relationship with the dark underbelly of parenting, because I would be lying to myself if I pretended it didn't exist.
We live in times where as a society we do not want to deal with traumas, addictions, emotions, the "ugly". We want to smooth it over...sugar coat it...give it a pretty sales job.
Take our emotions, for instance. How many times do we, collectively, rush to help someone who is sad and "cheer them up"? What if we just sat and witnessed and named it and said "I know...I see your sadness"? What if we told someone we understood their anger and assured them they could move through it rather than shying far away from it? Their is always this push to less passionate, more compliant...
This is a very patriarchal way of dealing with things. The matriarchal side would delve deeper...see the necessity of life/death/life....find the beauty in the entire process.
One could see it as an "either-or" proposition- that you are either a positive or negative person. I don't see it that way. I see life as a struggle and there is beauty in the struggle. We are the sum of what is positive and negative.What if that's it-that life and marriage and parenting is not about seeing beauty in spite of the chaos, but seeing the beauty of the chaos...within the chaos...that the struggle is beautiful too. Gosh, we all have our dark underbellies and we are so much more than that. The people I relate to on a day to day basis acknowledge and grapple their demons. They get angry and bitter. They say things they don't mean. They hold grudges. They make mistakes. They also do wonderful things. They hug their children. They forgive and forget.They laugh and smile. They spontaneously say "I love you". They have brilliant ideas. They flow in and out of these very human states of being. This is life,beautiful life!
We can and often do gain comfort from the fact that we can usually rely on someone else having some of the same problems we do, and we learn from how they deal with these problems. Looking at our dark underbellies grows us as people.
I just felt like writing about that. I am sure others can do a better, more coherent job, because I am right now crawling along the dark underbelly of something since I have not gotten any sleep. But is is interesting, no? To see the loveliness in the whole burrito and not just the cheese on top?


  1. Mmmmmm.... burrito with cheese on top...

  2. To answer your question, I am a HUGE prog rock nerd! Pink Floyd, Rush, Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Marillion, Porcupine Tree,'s what I grew up with, and it's my musical passion!

  3. Ah...into any local prog rock bands...French TV?

  4. I totally agree. It is an amazing thing to be going through the hardest stage of my life, but yet the one I feel is the most joyful and important at the same time. Parenting is not a can of peaches. It is hard and often stressful work. I too choose to right about what is real whatever that is at the time.

  5. I've been accused of something similar - only focusing on the joy or blessings and making my friends feel inadequate...but I definitely write about the underbelly too. There has to be a balance, like you said: an aknowledgment that both sides exist. I really loved reading this, especially since it came from you. :)


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