Thursday, February 01, 2007

Mom to Mom: Shelley Krause

It's February, and it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to....

Mom: Shelley
: D, born on 9/3/01
("Five and a third" as I write this)

: NJ

: But Wait, There's More!

1. In what ways has becoming a mother changed you?

As soon as I opened myself up to the possibility of parenting,
I could feel the changes start. I spent the length of my pregnancy
practicing patience, because I knew myself well enough to know
that those muscles were going to need to be in MUCH better shape
once a small someone joined our family. There's still room for
growth, but I've definitely gotten better. Since becoming a mother
I have also become much more politically active. I carry in my
heart this image of my almost-grown son asking me questions like,
"What did you do about the war in Iraq?" or "Did you ever do anything
about AIDS, mom?" Who knows if we'll ever have those conversations,
but I feel this intense responsibility to live into my expressed values
now, to "walk the walk." I am more willing to say "no," and more
aware in general of time as a precious, non-renewable resource.
I don't listen to the radio anymore in the mornings, because I can't predict
when the next utterance of "roadside bomb" or "suicide bomber" might
be, and I don't want those phrases in D's head. I spend much less time
in retail space now than I did in my pre-parenthood years, again because
I don't want that to be a significant part of D's childhood. I am
simultaneously proud and humbled that I gave birth. Sometimes now, for
fun, when a healthcare person is apologizing for a needle stick or some
such, I'll look at them and say, "Please. I gave birth." I love that.

So much has changed. I am more in love with my partner,
and with life in general, because of D's inadvertent role as the
bringer of wonder and goofiness into our lives.
I look at adolescent
boys completely differently (might ours turn
out like that one?). I am
constantly running on two clocks: mine,
and his. I have largely let go
of the concept of sleeping in. My
television-watching has dwindled to
almost nil. I spend more
time at the public library, but less time
reading. I think nothing
of finishing off leftover whatever. Oh
wait... that was true before. :-)

2. What is one tip you would like to share about mothering?

Judge not, lest ye be judged. Seriously, moms are so invested
in their decisions (midwife or doctor, homebirth or hospital,
breastfed or bottle, on-demand or scheduled feedings, cloth
or store-bought or no diapers, co-sleeping or crib sleeping,
uncut or circumcised, TV or no, video games or no, and
the list goes on and on) that the path to holier-than-thou-itude can be
super-short. If you start choosing up sides you'll find out pretty
quickly how lonely life can be. By the same token, I think it's
important to decide early on what things you will not "up with put," as
my father would say, and commit to sticking to them. External
influences can be very hard to resist.

(My non-blogging life partner's answer to this is so fabulous that I
have to share it: "Say 'yes' reflexively, and 'no' selectively.")

3. What is your creative outlet/medium?

I blog, sing, teach high school students, bake, co-write
nonsense songs with my son, whip out my camera at a
moment's notice, and write essays, poetry, and a
teensy bit of fiction.

4. How do you find time for creativity?

Stolen moments, mostly. I ignore the mess that is our house,
and my partner's pre-sleep routine takes longer than mine.
I pathetically eat lunch in my office while hunched
over my laptop (but no crumbs in the keyboard, I swear!).
I've also lately been "swapping out" listening to the news on the
way to work in favor of writing haiku... at least some mornings!

5. Why do you blog/journal?

I started blogging when I was making the shift back to
waged work after spending three years mothering our son
at home. It was a way to keep my friends
au courant with
my search without having to slog through the depressing
(at least at the beginning) details. Then I discovered that blogging
is a great way to chronicle the little things you think you'll remember
but in fact probably won't. Plus, as a natural extrovert and ham,
I like the idea of having an "always on" presence in the world that
enables people to connect with me on their own terms, as their lives
and schedules permit. I love that strangers and I can find each other
and discover that we are actually members of the same tribe.
Finally, I have recently found, with prompts like those at One Deep Breath,
Mama Says Om, and Sunday Scribblings, that blogging has become
a way to reaffirm my sense of myself as a writer. So the list of reasons
is a moving but growing target.

6. Which blogs do you frequent?

Right now, I'm grooving on Sassafras Mama, a wrung sponge,
GenreCookShop, and Beyond the Fields We Know.
I check in on brainhell almost every day to see how he's doing.
And ze frank's daily video blog has become "my
show..." I even helped get the Running Fool across the

7. Who are some bloggers that you would like to meet?

Other than you, Wendy? :-)
I'd actually love to meet everyone who's ever posted a
kind, thoughtful, odd, or funny comment at But Wait, There's More!,
and I'd love to meet just a few of the other people to whom I feel
indebted: Keri Smith of WishJar Journal, Patti Digh of 37days,
Susan and Jennifer of One Deep Breath, Stefan Bucher of DailyMonster,
Dana and Liz Elayne of Poetry Thursday, and all the wonderful people
who are pouring their time and talent out into the deepening ocean of
gifts that the blogosphere has become for me.

Whew. That was fun. Thanks for listening.

* My apologies for the odd line breaks. Blogger seems to have a bit of a bug. Text is correct in preview, but posts wonky. - Wendy


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posted by Wendy at 8:03 AM


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