postmodyrn Transitions

Jaime Tollas

This summer, Jill & I participated in a nationwide bloggers' project called coLAB. A collaborative project between three communities -- Latina Bloggers Connect (that’s the L), Alt Summit (that’s the A) and Blogalicious, (you guessed it, that’s the B) -- coLAB paired up bloggers in teams to come up with projects that unite our different communities.

Jill and I were teamed up with Michelle at Divas with a Purpose.  Michelle is a women's empowerment expert and speaker who helps women craft plans of action to realize their full potential.  Heady stuff, and resonant with us here at postmodyrn, as we find that the 4th Trimester is a time when so many women find themselves re-evaluating their personal and professional priorities as they tap into the fountain of energy and love that accompanies new motherhood.

After some discussion over the summer, Jill and Michelle landed on the concept of Transitions as being central to our communities: in our case, the transition to motherhood; in hers, the transition to a new professional or personal chapter that is more aligned with your true self.  This week, we will be sharing stories of Transition on our blogs and social media outlets, and we encourage you to share your stories as well -- either in the comments or on social media with the hashtags #coLAB #postmodtransitions.  As Michelle wrote last night on her blog, there are endless ways we transition as women: as friends, mothers, children, wives, lovers, workers, creators...We can't wait to hear your stories.

My first child turns seven today (how did this happen??), and I reflect, as I always do on his birthday, on what a milestone September 1st is for me too: it's my birthday, in some strange way...

It's the Day I Became a Mother.  

In all that fell to the floor that evening in 2008 amid the chaos of birth, there was the last vestige of my footloose, child-free self.  In a loud, breathless instant my entire world shifted to accommodate the most important responsibility I would ever take on: the life of another human being.  In those first, blurry days I didn't realize the magnitude of what had happened.  That I was a mother was obvious -- I had the baby (and the stretch marks) to prove it -- but the transition was so much more profound, so much more holistic than I gave it credit for.  I didn't anticipate that over the next ten months my career would be rocked down to its foundations.  I couldn't foresee that we would move house, that our friends would start to leave the city, that I would slowly shed my impractical-yet-prized collection of high heels.  I didn't know that I would soon take up writing again, couldn't imagine that somewhere between the sleeplessness and the blind faith that I was doing my best, creativity would bubble to the surface in a way it hadn't for the better part of a decade.

It wasn't until my child had his first birthday that I fully realized how much had changed in one short year...and I continue to marvel each year at the subtle ways my children continue to shape me.  

Tonight, when I tuck my lanky seven-year-old son into bed, when I rub his back and encourage him to quiet his restless limbs, I will whisper: "Happy Birthday, my boy.  On this day, you made me the mother that I am.  You are mine and I am yours and that will never, ever change."

Happy September to all our mamas in transition.

xo Jaime & Jill