Momma Zen

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!

Posted by Kristina in Books and Reading

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.