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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

celebrates Mother’s Day as you might. Not every woman is a mother. Not every woman has a good relationship with her mother.

Some women have been abandoned by their mothers; yes, even if it happens as a grown up, it stings.

Some women have lost children, and may feel the sting of grief.

Every woman can celebrate the day as they choose. Some just may not be as excited by it as you. And that’s ok. Celebrate. Enjoy. And respect the other woman’s choice not to.

Be well.

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It was when I was 43 that I realized my obsession with Sex and the City had lasted for 15 years.  I began watching this show during my first marriage.  That was long over.  The show lasted far longer than that and spawned two movies.  Now Carrie and the girls had become my eternal contact to single life and adventure that would never be achieved in my life.

Now I never wanted to live in New York City.  Really.  I’m not just saying that because I could never afford it.  Also I am way too scared to love there, though I did live in Philly during college.  I also feel like I could live in Boston, but NYC, never.  Too small.  Too crowded.  And I don’t have the wardrobe for it.  I suppose if you are independently wealthy or have your grandmother’s rent controlled apartment, you could have a nice life in NYC.

I love the life I live.  My husband is wonderful.  He makes me laugh, and he’s my best friend.  We have amazing sons.  They crack me up.  We do have adventures.  Just a dinner with my husband’s baked beans proves to be an adventure.

Still, the escapism Sex and the City offers is too tempting to ignore.  What if I could spend hundreds of dollars on shoes?  What if Miranda and Charlotte didn’t insult me in the second movie with the throw away line about admiring women who manage it without full time help?  Sometimes the shit they complain about is ridiculous and even more first world problems than I complain about, but I love the escapism.  It’s riskier than I would ever be in my life and so it’s like a giant fantasy world.  It’s a cartoon for grown ups.

Still, when did I become so obsessed?  I’m overly fixated on Sex and the City and the “clean” version, Friends.  Man, was that an incestuous group.  Phoebe is my favorite.  I feel I am a kindred spirit to her.  Definitely as ditzy as her at times-though I think she may have been the true brains of that group when you think about it.

Watching these shows helps me to escape the crappy commercials that target me.  Really, juice pouch commercials pitching women against each other as to who is the cool mom?  Fuck you.  Isn’t it hard enough to be a good mom and raise good kids without a fucking juice pouch making me feel like crap if I don’t chaperone every field trip?  Sadly, the commercial is spot on.  I see those women all the time when I’m chaperoning the field trip…oh shit.

So I escape with Carrie and the gals.  Their ladies night out is racier than mine but I do have one coming up.  PTA fundraiser, biggest of the year…oh shit.  Damn you, juice pouch commercial.

How does it happen that this PTA stuff and juice box phenomenon take over?  It seeps into the brain and becomes the mentality.  This is what I wanted in life–I wanted the happy marriage, kids, dog, six cats, four fish, and two bearded dragons.  No picket fence.  We’re a corner property and the zoning makes it really difficult to have a nice fence, so we didn’t bother.  I’m trying to work on the yard this year.  A bit more landscapy-ish than it is, but the backyard is still a lost cause. The boys are digging for a fossil.  Somewhere along the line I became a mom.  Everything shifted.

It just slips in there.  When you are least expecting it, your whole focus becomes your kids.  Your family.  And somehow I got swept up in the “keeping up with the Jones’” mentality.  That’s got to end.  Our house is very cluttered.  My one friend calls it the house of chaos.  It is.  My husband’s practice is in the bottom of the house, so during the day the door is constantly opening and closing, lots of random voices, people using the restroom.  Someone once asked the boys if it was weird for them and they said no.  Why would it be?  It’s the normal childhood they’ve grown up with.

Cluttered house…not as neat and tidy as some would have a house be.  We LIVE in our house and it is a home.  I’d love to not have to step on Legos, pick up socks every day, and remind the boys not to pee on the toilet seat, but this is our house.  At least for another decade or so.  Then it will seem quiet and empty once the boys are grown.  So I need to savor it now.

But then I watch SATC or Friends and see the people with their tidy homes, organized days, and calm and breezy approach to life.  I want that too.  Am i just lazy beyond all belief?  Am I spending too much time watching those shows?  Would my house be less cluttered if I got off of my ass, turned off the television, and cleaned?  Yes…but after working all day, I just want to hang with my family, throw in a load of laundry, and chill out.

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Am I a good mom? Just never know. I do the best I can but some days I question myself more than other days. Today was one of those days. Seems my sons move too much, are too disrespectful, and their behavior is disappointing. Hmmm…that all reflects back on parenting, doesn’t it? The funny thing is they were moving when they were supposed to, and while some choices today were disrespectful, today wouldn’t have happened without two very giving choices they made, and those same choices demonstrated behavior that helped the greater good even if it meant the boys were out of their comfort zones.

We did a skit at church today. That should explain the moving. The children were using masks in a style inspired by a combination of Greek theater and Kabuki for the skit. They moved them and rotated them at specific times. But my sons were the only ones commented about for moving too much. While they didn’t follow directions perfectly throughout the morning (disrespectful and disappointing behavior), if my two sons hadn’t stepped up and taken the two roles they played, the skit would have been a lot shorter. No one else wanted to have a speaking part. Not my sons’ first choices either, but they went out of their comfort zones to help their mom while she was directing yet another skit at church.

What did I learn from today? I know my sons have interests that are not mine and I know they try to support me in my interests. But I won’t make them be in any more skits at church. They’ll have to be jumping up and down, begging to be in it before I’ll think they really want to be in it. I also learned that my sons talk to me about everything and share how they are feeling and that will make a big difference in their lives. Just as I finally realized that they need help remembering to keep their rooms clean, and that cleaning the room when it gets totally out of hand is too big of a job for them alone, I need to not spend as much time on my interests yet. I spent at least 15 hours outside of church working on the skit. That’s 15 hours on lots of wonderful children, but not 15 hours spent in depth with the two children most wonderful to me. While I enjoy keeping a toe in theater, in any capacity, much like when I did Mame, it’s just not quite a good fit yet. Next skit would have to remain self-contained in the time at church. Or maybe someone will volunteer to direct the next one. Okay, and back to reality. I’ll do the first idea-completely self-contained in church!

I didn’t get offered a spring class at the university-cut backs, but the extra time gained from not grading papers has been great. I like finding the silver lining in that. Spending four or five weeks on a skit and on the performance day having my sons leave crying, not the silver lining I was looking for. They helped with the stuff at home so we did spend time together while doing the work, but it was something for my interest, not their interest. I feel like a parent should be supporting their kids more than the other way around. I know kids support their parents–I get that should be there too-but shouldn’t more support being going from parent to child? I’m being selfish if I force them to be dragged to my interests, sacrificing their interests in the process. And being in a skit isn’t really their thing, it’s a “let’s help out Mom in her thing” thing.

It was a day full of ups and downs. I will not remember the skit, not my sons crying about what they were told, but instead remember the deep belly-laughs as we returned home from 7-11 with nachos and Slurpees. I’ll remember how we laughed during our discussion about what to have autographed by David Bowie. I’ll remember that we watched Labyrinth cuddled up on the couch, staying up a little past bedtime in the process.

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