motherhood

On being nostalgic for my former life

Motherhood wasn't something I'd ever written down on my list of goals, especially in the last few years of my life. But here I am, tapping away at a quick blog post while my tiny human naps. Becoming a mother is the most ________ thing I've ever done. I leave that space blank because I'm still trying to figure out how to describe this. My heart is bursting with love for that kid.

But there's still a part of me that looks over my shoulder at my old life. More so recently, as it's now been a year since I left a full-time job in journalism.

Recently, Redbook published a very cool story package called The Mom Gig. In it, the writers explore what it means to be a stay-at-home mom. I guess that's my life right now. I haven't actually said those words out loud yet--"I'm a stay-at-home mom"--because they feel like pants that don't quite hug my curves snugly enough. But it's technically true.

Predators like Brock Turner make me afraid for my own daughter

After I finished reading the statement of the woman assaulted by 20-year-old Brock Turner at Stanford University in 2015, I cried. I scooped up my 4-month-old daughter, who was lying on her playmat talking baby gibberish, held her tight and cried into her tiny neck.

I cried for the woman who woke up in the hospital to find her underwear missing and pine needles in her hair. I cried for the victim's younger sister, who will unfortunately live with the guilt of leaving her older sister alone at a frat party--a burden she shouldn't have to carry, a precaution women shouldn't have to take. 

And I cried for my own little girl, who could, God forbid, one day be in a similar situation as this young woman.

Emotions have been running high recently because Turner was finally sentenced on Thursday after being convicted of three felony charges (assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object) in late March. Judge Aaron Perksy gave this predator six months in jail. Six MONTHS. His reasoning was Turner's age and lack of criminal history. “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him," Perksy opined. "I think he will not be a danger to others.” 

The message this preposterously short sentence sends is gut-wrenchingly clear: a woman's body has far less value than a young white man's future.

Sometimes, I find myself holding onto my daughter tightly when I carry her. One hand squeezes her chunky leg a little too hard, and when I notice, I immediately loosen my grip. Maybe subconsciously I'm scared to death of accidentally dropping her or hurting her in some way. She's the most precious thing in my life. I want nothing more than to love and protect her.

But how can I do that when people like Brock Turner and his father exist--both who have refused to own up to the seriousness of the younger Turner's actions. 

How can I send my precious, sweet girl, who will one day grow up to be a beautiful, young woman of color, into this world knowing it doesn't assign her half the value it does a young white man with a "promising" future? 

 

An update from Motherland

As I tap this out, my baby girl is sleeping in the next room. Occasionally, she grunts or cries out, but I've finally learned to resist the urge to run to her until she's fully awake and hollering like a ...

And there lies the reason for why I've been absent from my personal writing. Since Kalina Gi Hee Holmes made her debut Feb. 3, 2016--three weeks before her due date--I've been struggling to find my words. Whatever eloquent or thought-provoking messages I thought I had to share with the world have been tucked away in some chest I've lost the key to.