“Birth is not merely that which divides women from men; it also divides women from themselves, so that a woman’s understanding of what it is to exist is profoundly changed.” — Rachel Cusk
I found my way to Rachel Cusk via her A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother years ago after I’d become a mother. I’d been reading humor books about motherhood (The Three-Martini Playdate, and such) to keep my sanity so to speak. A Life’s Work fed me on a different level. I loved Cusk’s writing but was at times affronted by her candor, the emotions and thoughts she had that I was somewhat ashamed to admit I related to.
Cusk says, “When we go for a walk I see young women in the street, beautiful and careless, and a pang of mourning for some oblique, lost self makes my heart clench. I look down at my daughter sleeping in her pushchair, the dark fringe of her lashes forming arcs on her pale skin, and a contrary wind of love gusts over me; and for some time this is how I am, blown this way and that, careering around like a crazy, febrile gauge trying to find north.”
She gets it.
Sure, I spent time with other new moms, comparing notes, sharing the ups and downs. But, when I read Cusk I was able to slow down all the emotions and questions and fears. She digs in until she touches on the sharp edge of those feelings and then her words flow from there.
Moms, if you’re interested in something deeper and more profound than what you’re finding in other “parenting” books, this might be a good one to pick up. She helps you feel the feels, and recognize you’re not alone in them.