now is the time…

This winter has been long and lonely 
It has left me listless
A bit numb
+
A tad empty
In the past {almost} three years I have been either pregnant or nursing without reprieve.
Except for that one afternoon Mike and I left Poppy with “Dam” and” Baba” so we could go to our favourite Indian restaurant we have had zero breaks.
I love being a mama.
Why do I feel the constant need to defend that fact?
I would give my last breath to my children.  They have taken love to another level.
They take me to the edge and break me down yet they are still what make me gather my bones to center and rise again.
I love being a mama.  I do.
But in my love and whole-hearted parenting, I have managed to isolate myself completely and deny the girl inside me.  The girl who loves to dance and twirl her hips to bad dance music and wear pretty scarves and big earrings.
My sanity is hanging by a thread.
The last couple of weeks have been bad.
Teething, a wicked cold, and sleepless nights have moved through our house like a wicked wave.  
By the end of the day I am covered in dried snot and tripping over the bags under my eyes.
I am a zombie and yet I don’t want to escape my children and responsibilities, but yearn to find a community to share the burdens and joys of being a woman, wife and mama.
I have been thinking a lot about the kind, strong, and inspiring people scattered throughout my life {both online and in the real world}and have been wanting to form a sort of circle by connecting them all together somehow.  I am having a hard time defining this so bear with me.
For the Local Folks:
Many of the women I am thinking of have small children, are, like us, planning on homeschooling and are in need of a non-judgmental playgroup for the children to get more socialization and group playtime.  We could meet at different kid friendly locations or homes for this.  This, of course wouldn’t be limited to just homeschoolers, or just parents for that matter, but for anyone looking for a playgroup where the parents have a little more in common than just being a parent.
I also thought it would be great to do a workshop or structured activity together on a regular basis {perhaps one of Rae’s many offerings}.  Other ideas include, but are not limited to drumming circles, mass preserving and baking bees, building bees, bonfires, potlucks, yoga, belly dancing, field trips, the list could go on
For the Online Folks:
Many of us are bloggers.  
I am at a bit of a loss as to how we would form a blog circle, but I am thinking it may be interesting to have a communal blog to which the group could post ideas, issues, thoughts and projects they are working on.
Ideas include, but are not limited to online workshops, tutorials, diptych pairings, photo/craft swaps, bartering systems etc.
I guess what I am saying is that I am trying to create a community of mamas, papas, men, women and children.  Artists, craftspeople, musicians, teachers and runners.  A group of ‘salt of the earth’ people to rally around those in need.  A group to celebrate with, find comfort in, listen to and learn from.
It feels a bit awkward to “start” a community as it is something I always felt should and would happen organically, but in a way it has in the form of a rather disorganized smattering of wonderful people sprouting up and into our lives for years now.
If you are interested in being a part of this or have ideas for structuring etc, please leave a comment or write to me at applesforpoppyanne@hotmail.com with “now is the time” in the subject line.
go gently + be wonderful
e.
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20 Comments

  1. Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:10 am by Jamie Cafissi | Permalink

    You have put it out there and I will come.
    We have a circle/community here. It is amazing.
    Someone gets ill, has a baby, has troubles. We all pitch in. We make food, care for children etc.
    we gather, we nourish, we revive, and we savour.
    it al started with a weekly gathering of women to what we call Red Tent. It was started by an amazing woman named Piper Martin.
    Someone with strength and vision to start it, it will grow on its own after that.
    I am jumping in with you with both feet!

  2. Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm by Nutmeg | Permalink

    Mememememememememe. Pick me, pick me!!!!!

    You so love your kids. You love them so much it's inspiring. That couldn't be more obvious.

    I always wished for a kindred community for you. More and more I am so of the mind that interdependence is the way to go, especially with raising kids. You are TRULY AMAZING, strong and incredible for doing it all on your own for so long, and I am sending out strong prayers on your behalf that supportive, fun people who are as incredible as you come flooding into your life!

    Meanwhile, let me always be an online (and phone/Skype…seriously, if you ever need me) support, for what it's worth. xoxo

  3. Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm by Mycelium Forest | Permalink

    I'm so feeling this!

  4. Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm by Kelly | Permalink

    This is a wonderful idea, I'd love to be involved. Here we started an unschooling collective of 18 families and everyone hosts 1-2 events a month, so there are lots of things to choose from and stuff is going on almost every day. Each event is limited to a few families though, first come first served (we do all the organizing through meetup.com), so it isn't overwhelming. The kids and I usually attend 1-2 events a week. That way they/I can see their/my friends and do fun things regularly, and each of the families have different strengths and areas of knowledge to share. And of course it doesn't cost anything to go, you just provide the supplies when you host. We just started it in February and so far it has been a great success. I am hosting a craft/ice cream making day here tomorrow. Other families do more science-y things, one dad has some kind of degree in astronomy, another dad has a music degree, etc. Next week Judith is going to a friend's house for the day and with a few other 5 year-olds they are going to write and act out a screen play, then the mom will film it and then edit it, and in a few weeks the parents will be invited to view it. We also try to gather the whole group once a month or so, last month a mom rented a community hall and had a family dance/fundraiser for a local women's shelter. When the weather gets better we will go on hikes and play at parks and stuff as a big group. It is really awesome and exciting!

  5. Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm by Amy | Permalink

    This is such an amazing idea!!! I think having a community for like minded mama's would be refreshing and much needed. Both me and my boys would love it.

  6. Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm by wheresmomsmoney | Permalink

    I always find your posts so beautiful and inspiring (long time lurker). Thank you for being honest about your experiences in parenting. I'm a soon-to-be first time mom to a baby girl (due in early August) and recently started blogging my experiences about parenting and money (I'm trying to get better at being on a budget) – I'm thrilled to be a mom but afraid of the life transitions and of losing myself. I'd love to be part of an online community of other like minded moms.

  7. Posted March 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm by Desiree Fawn | Permalink

    Yes, yes and yes! I'm so glad you wrote up a post like this <3 And I'll be messaging you right away!

  8. Posted March 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm by Kory | Permalink

    I would never for a minute doubt your love for your children in any of your posts! That being said we need adult connections to! I definitely wish I was local to be able to participate in your soon-to-be activities, but since I'm not I'd love to hear about any ideas you come up for 'grouping' online!

  9. Posted March 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm by Sara Savel | Permalink

    I love reading your blog because, along with the charm and beauty of your home, your crafting, and your lovely little ones comes some gritty hard worn honesty about your experiences as a mother.

    Babies are cute. Baby vomit isn't. But I think it is good to read about the not so pretty side of parenting. And to know that it is perfectly normal and human to have a grown up woman side, along with our mama/spouse selves!

    Otherwise we risk becoming like the woman in "The Yellow Wallpaper."

    I've been thinking about the same thing…we are in the process of getting ready to trade apt. for house…and when we do and settle in I want to start a group of mamas and papas and other like minded folks. Parents who appreciate the value of a knitted wool sweater, Waldorf toys, secondhand china, and have good taste in handcrafted IPAs. Those are my people.

    My idea is to post flyers at our local crunchy grocery store, the co ops, and maybe the cloth diaper store.

    I like your online idea as well…keep us posted!

  10. Posted March 23, 2011 at 7:33 pm by erica | Permalink

    as i wait for my second little one to arrive in just ten short weeks, and as i anticipate getting to stay home each day with both of my children, i wish so much you were my neighbor. much luck to you in creating the community you are dreaming of.

  11. Posted March 24, 2011 at 7:17 am by angelina | Permalink

    hi. i can feel you deeply as i read this, as i am feeling just the same over here. living with children in another country other than your own, isolated, it hurts when your children ask " why dont you have any friends mommy!" well….i dont know! maybe , you! no. i am just as you. my children light my life. but i do miss the girl. the one who played tori amos and drank wine and put on a sexy silk dress and stared too long at herself in the mirror. alone. the silence. the thoughts. the dreams of what ifs to come. i dont really have what ifs anymore. and when i do look in the mirror, i dont see the same person. . . x

  12. Posted March 24, 2011 at 8:06 pm by Anonymous | Permalink

    your words were beautiful, truthful, and vary brave. I LOVE reading your blog and am inspired by your thoughts and feelings.
    Thank you for inviting us all in. My children are now 15 and 13 but you did transfer me back to when they where wee like your lovely children, and I remember all of those feelings well. you are a great mom.
    I think it's vary important not to louse sight of our selves at any stage of this sweet gift of life that we have been given, I have learned so much already as I have moved through some of the different stages of my life.
    I would love to be apart of some creative fun stuff you would like to do!!!
    Thank you.

    Amy Holbrough

  13. Posted March 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm by Leanne | Permalink

    A communal blog. That's a nice idea, so long as we can leave the babies at home 😉 I kid, I kid. I would be in for this, lady… I'll email you, though I have no real solid ideas, just a big, fat YES!

  14. Posted March 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm by Danielle | Permalink

    I'm in!

  15. Posted March 27, 2011 at 11:03 pm by Jenn | Permalink

    What a great idea!! I wish we lived closer to Lindsay because there is no one around here who has any interest in homeschooling (which we would LOVE to do, but I was under the impression it was almost impossible to do in Canada now, perhaps I need to investigate this further…) or homesteading or anything. I read your blog and feel like I found someone who has the same values and interests which is hard to come by!!! So glad you sent me your blog :)

    Jenn

  16. Posted March 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm by Elle | Permalink

    I am looking for the same thing Erin. Wish we lived closer to Lindsay too. We will be spending lots of time in Bobcaygeon this summer so maybe we could set-up something to get together and have our kids play.

    Elle

  17. Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:55 am by Andrea | Permalink

    I may end up having the oldest kids in your group (10 and 14). But I remember those shut in days. Now that both my kids are moving on to independence, I'm searching for a new purpose for my own life. There are new frustrations and possibilities. I could be the voice that reminds you, the intense baby and preschool days are short. Actually ages 5-7 have probably been my favorite so far. The kids are still sweet, doing more things on their own, and amazing you every day with all the new things they learn.

  18. Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:19 am by January | Permalink

    Erin, I just read your post on ROTH and I feel like we have been living parallel lives (only an ocean away from each other). I have also been pregnant and nursing for the past 3+ years. Neither of my children think that sleep occurs independent of my arms. And to top it off I am trying to find my first babysitter so I can go to a wedding with my husband, alone, for the first time in forever! I would love to join your online community. I only wish I could join you locally! Thank you for writing this blog and being truthful about the joys and challenges of parenting such young children! I have thought of joining the blogging scene, but I need to run a home daycare to finance my ability to stay home with my kids. Wishing you love and light from Maryland!

  19. Posted April 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm by Kataroo | Permalink

    just happened upon your blog and I am enjoying a good read, thank-you :)

  20. Posted April 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm by NotABlogger | Permalink

    Too tired to write more than – YES! You're so right.

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