We all know I’m a sucker for information. My Google Reader shares are always in the 1000+ range, I buy way too many books because I think I want to or should read them, I clip recipe after recipe from magazines even though I rarely cook, I feel guilty when I haven’t read my whole Twitter feed, I feel compelled to read Twilight or see Avatar just because I think I should know what’s out there (thankfully I’m not alone in this). It’s not exactly that I seek these things out, I just find them and can’t resist the allure. Give me something to read and I will, I can’t help it.
Recently, though, I realized that my gluttony for more information truly knows no bounds. My boyfriend’s sister’s friend Inder, who I have met exactly twice in real life (but only once actually had a conversation with), has a blog. She posts it to Facebook, so I tend to click through, because, well, if you give me a blog that belongs to someone I have met 1+ times I will probably read it, at least a couple of times, and more if it’s interesting. Well. Turns out Inder’s blog is interesting, and so I’ve been semi-guiltily reading it for a while despite my tenuous connection to the author. Because here’s the thing: Inder is also a new (9+ months) mom, and most of her posts could probably be described as (if you were the type to use this phrase) “mommy-blogging.” (Of the best kind, I suspect — sharp and funny and… informative. But I’m getting to that.)
Plenty of people would, and probably do, think I’m weird for reading a blog that frequently features posts like this one (“Cloth diapering for busy, tired people”). And yeah, I probably am. But I can’t help it. It just seems so useful. To the point where, midway through the diaper post, I found myself wondering, should I be bookmarking this? I even clicked through on the instructions on relanolizing wool, and though about bookmarking that. (Apparently, it’s not as hard as it sounds.)
I resisted, but the impulse nevertheless surprised me a bit and made me think. Why would a girl with no baby plans, even one who had an tendency to overdesire info, find this so compelling?
My interest in Inder’s posts, like my recipe clipping, stems in large part from my ongoing aspiration toward a lifestyle that’s totally foreign to me, both at the moment and (maybe) for the forseeable future. Inder seems, based on her blog, like one of those legendary women who “does it all.” Baby, books, dogs, gardening, fresh baked scones, husband-grilled chicken with beer on the back porch, real job lawyering and plenty of time to dick around on Facebook and write articulate blog posts about all of the above? Hello? I want to go to there. Or, as they say, how does she do it? And how can I replicate that?
More importantly, and forgive me in advance for making wild projections about other people’s lives: is this the kind of thing that will come to me eventually, with time, with aging or growing or whatever you want to call it? My friend Bethany is similarly a superwoman — cooking, marathon-training, mothering and totally able, it seems, to take on any number of other random tasks like buy gifts for a bachelorette party at the drop of a hat and with gusto. And Peattie’s sister (hi Anne) seems to get an awful lot of adventurous baking and cooking done, job, baby or no. Setting aside the argument that blogs, like appearances, are deceiving and no one is actually as superheroic as they seem — I never said these people never admitted to being flustered or sleep-deprived or what have you; they still manage to do all these things — will I come into this? Is it a side effect of flipping the mommy switch? Like how Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes fame asked his parents (paraphrasing here, people) how they were certified to be parents, and did they have to take some kind of class? When I eventually have kids will I find myself able not only to grow my own food but to puree it for the little ones?
Or is it innate? I have this belief that Bethany was always sort of a superwoman and that this is nothing new, which may be rooted in my admiration of her rad patterned stretch pants in fourth grade (and her bossiness in 6th-10th) and therefore may not be accurate. Or, worst, is this something I have to actually apply myself to, in which case I fear that the kind of feminine superachievement to which I aspire is out of my reach as long as I have the kind of life where I have just a few too many beers in a week and so many (wonderful) friends that I have to question myself every time I craft an email about whether I left one crucial person of many off the distribution list for the next riotous (albeit increasingly less so) affair? (And who would want to give up any of these things for any other? How could you choose?)
In other words, what if the problem is actually me? What if the issue is that I spend too much time consuming and not enough time creating? (Subquestion: what if I really just want to do too many things, in general, and consumption is easier?) In the course of unpacking over the past couple of days I found things like a full plastic Sterilite container’s worth of yarn (I am my mother’s daughter, after all) and at least four bags/containers of flour. “I need to pick up baking,” I said to Peattie, as though this was a totally novel idea that occurred to me just now instead of something I secretly had wanted to do for ages, to beef up my female multitasking skillz. But like, I do need to pick it up, because I want to, and because until I do (or until I do any other number of things I aspire to do), I’ll just keep writing irritating, navel-gazing, arguably extremely naive blog posts that drag on for too long.
I’d love to have the answer, or the time or clarity of mind to find it, or better yet, the time or clarity of mind to just forget the answer and whip up a batch of breakfast muffins or catalogue my recipes or something to make myself feel a step closer to mastering my domestic domain, but all this wondering while seriously congested from my previous house (of mold) has tired me out. So… instead I will return to my neglected work email and maybe in a week or so I’ll let you know if I get around to using up some of that flour I’ve got lying around. I know I intend to.