These are photos of my thesis, Motherhood — The New Frontier. It has been a bear. I am so over it. I want to give it space to breathe and maybe, only maybe, expand it into a book. Right now, I want to douse it with gasoline and light it on fire. I have had to condense it to fifty pages. I have had to listen to my advisor tell me what is wrong with it. I have had to grow. But I feel like carrots in the ground. I may have grown, but just keep me below the soil. It’s warm there.
I don’t like the cold of criticism. I get it. It’s part of the process… yadda yadda yadda.
Here is one of the excerpts from my thesis that didn’t make it in. It is a journal entry.
3/9/11 Journal Entry
I don’t even know what date it is (I have to look at my phone to see).
I’m so exhausted. My mind is mush. It is mush from sheer exhaustion. And I really haven’t done that much. Well actually, I have – I swept and mopped the kitchen, Ben’s room, and the parlor room. I walked ½ mile with my mother-in-law and ran, jogged, walked another ½ mile with the baby in the baby carriage. I cooked dinner and I cared for a busy, crawling 9 ½ month old.
Ben is playing fetch with himself. I’m seated in the oak chair in the kitchen now, puke green color on the walls, the shade of lemon and lime sherbet linoleum under my chair. Ben is sliding across the floor like a crab. He crawls with his left knee tucked under him and his right is raised in a crab walk position. He is stationary for this moment, enthralled with a baby blue ribbon with white polka dots.
I’m waiting for Rich to come home from work.
This feeling is a mix of hopelessness, desperation, and utter exhaustion. I’d run out the door if I had somewhere to go – but I really feel so brain dead. I feel more exhausted than I did at the end of the day when I taught twenty-seven fourth graders, including five students on ADD medicine and one, rather large, curly haired, line backeresque girl who had autism.
Motherhood is kicking my ass.
I’ve decided to write in my own voice and turn my motherhood project into a journal.
The theme of my thesis seems to be the kicking of my ass. Also, the wonderful moments and that space in-between. My thesis ended being a collection of essays and journal entries on motherhood. I thought it would be easier to document the many emotions of motherhood. I found it is like trying to stuff the ocean into a sandbag.
I will walk with my classmates on December 16 and graduate with a Master’s in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. I will defend my thesis in January and then when it passes or gets accepted, then I will technically graduate. But I have a Phd in Motherhood just by doing it.