Thursday, February 11th, 2010 • No Comments on Momma Zen
A fabulous friend, who happens to also be a new mom, sent me Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by mother and Zen priest Karen Maezen Miller. (I just Googled her and found her delightfully named blog, Cheerio Road.)
I got Momma Zen in the mail yesterday and have already started reading it. (FYI: I never start reading a book as soon as I get it. This is momentous.) I knew I’d keep reading—and probably love—this thoughtful memoir on Zen and motherhood when I read this part:
And then, in a magic moment of old-fashioned fertility, I conceived. I was forty-two. Looking back, I saw that doing nothing to prevent pregnancy was not quite the same as doing something to get there. What I did was simply take my basal body temperature and have sex on cue, but even that required that I discard the ambivalence that I’d long carried about the issue. If it happens, it happens, I had been telling myself with a comfortable dose of confidence that it wouldn’t.
I can totally identify with this. Not only the age at which I conceived (twice, actually) and became a mother, but also the realization that “doing nothing to prevent pregnancy was not quite the same as doing something to get there.” Oh, and the ambivalence. I’m a forty-two year old new mom in large part because of ambivalence, not infertility.
I never really knew whether I wanted to have a child or not—pretty much up until oh, a few weeks ago. I had more or less talked myself out of having children—thinking it wouldn’t/couldn’t happen. (And had a couple of people suggest it shouldn’t happen.) The fact that I could so easily envision a life without children made it easy to be ambivalent. (Just for the record: I’m happy with the choice I made to be proactive in trying to get pregnant and the very adorable, if currently exhausting, end result.)
I am far from feeling “Zen-like” about motherhood, but I like Maezen Miller’s voice of experience. It gives me a sense of calm—something I could really use right about now.
P.S. to Nikki: You’re awesome. Thank you!