Category Archives: family

Motherhood is Giving?

If motherhood is about sacrifice and giving, does that make childhood about selfishness and taking?

Obviously babies need everything given to them and done for them. Toddlers can be very demanding, but the rewards are spontaneous hugs, kisses and lots of adorable artwork. School age kids are actually pretty fun with their warped sense of humor and playful conversations.Motherhood Squirrel

Teenagers are a whole different story. Teenagers can be as unpredictable as feeding wild animals.

  • They might snatch food from your hand and run away.
  • Other times they cautiously approach the food while looking for traps, and then run away.
  • Or they might ignore the food all together, even though they haven’t eaten in days.
  • Once in a while, they stand defiantly demanding your food.
  • The worst is when they take your food (and a finger or two) and then throw rocks at you for giving it to them.

But we hang in there for the reward of those joyful meals with love and laughter.

I understand that if I do my job right, my children will become independent and this is part of the process. What I wasn’t prepared for is how lonely it can be not being needed. Apparently I assumed my kids would be independent, contributing members of society who want to spend time with me because they appreciate the sacrifices I made. We all know what they say about assuming.

Maybe motherhood should include a little more giving to ourselves – without feeling guilty!  I usually worked in developing my talents, hobbies and friendships around my kids’ schedules. Not only did I short change myself, I missed the opportunity to teach my kids how to nurture friendships of their own. I have few close friends that have been in my life for more than 3 years. I worry some of my kiddos have the same challenge.

A lady once accused me of hurting my children by not working outside of the home. I’ve heard the argument that stay at home moms aren’t developing themselves, but the concept of having less to offer our children was a new one for me. I must admit I have much more interesting stories about my day now that I work outside of the home, but I can’t say I agree being a stay-at-home mom is a detriment. I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. Putting ourselves as a priority, feeding our interests and friendships not only makes our lives more robust, but gives our children a role model.

Motherhood requires a lot of sacrifice and we want to give our children the world. But I’d like to suggest being more mindful to what we are giving. In the spirit of giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish, let’s teach our children to value their mothers and to cook their own food. Who knows, maybe one day they will start cooking for us.

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Gallery

Lemon Cream Muffins

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Once upon a time I used to share my recipes here. These Lemon Cream Muffins inspired me to start again. On the Sundays my twins are with me, I try to make breakfast for some yummy family time. The recipe … Continue reading

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Leaving Motherhood

MotherhoodDiscovering my sense of self causes me to reflect on my motherhood role. I spent the last 25 years being a mom. I was far from perfect – just ask the kids. But I loved them and my life revolved around them. While my kids were the center of my world, I never felt like one of those moms whose children were her entire universe. I took classes, had different business ventures and served at church and in Cub Scouts. Absolutely my kids were a huge part of my life, but I had plenty of other facets of my life.

When I got divorced, my foundation was upended. So much of what I thought was reality, turned out to be just my reality. I was aware of plenty of loose bricks in that foundation while I struggled through marriage. Afterwards, those bricks and several others crumbled away. I moved, left my network of friends and the comfort of my neighborhood. I was over 40 years old and for the first time I was living on my own.

I started working full time and I tried to do everything I did as a stay at home mom. I am still surprised that I’m still adjusting three years later. I tried to keep as many of the bricks in tack as possible, but only so much can could fit in a day. I now hate the saying “you make time for the important things”. I had to let go of many things that were important and clung to what was vital; work, motherhood (although in a much different form), and learning. I discovered writing isn’t a hobby, it’s the key to my sanity.

As much as I loved planning elaborate theme parties for my kids, I didn’t have the time or energy. The upside is they had outgrown the structure and preferred to hang out and eat. They lost interest in other traditions and often preferred to spend time staring at a screen or with their friends. I was tempted to try to force them to play with me, but I know the whole “You’re going to fun and like it” thing rarely worked. I tried to plan with them things to do. But feeling them cut those apron strings often left me more isolated than my divorce or moving away from my friends did.

Two years into my ‘new life’, I was still struggling to adjust. Then my middle daughter left for college. This is the daughter that cuddled and comforted me since she was little. She started mothering me before she was 10. We’d spent Nestevery day together for several months before school started. When she moved away, I felt so alone. I wandered around the house lost. I knew I’d miss her, but I wasn’t prepared for how much.

It’s a little early to be facing empty nest syndrome since the twins are still home. With the core of my world slipping away, more bricks crumbled and I had no footing. I suppose if things went according to plan, I would be part of a couple and we would handle the change by focusing more attention on each other and rekindling our relationship.

But the realization of how little my kids need me makes me see the importance of figuring out who I am and what makes me happy. I can’t depend on validation from my children, my boss, or a significant other to provide acceptance. I have to do it for myself. I’m the one responsible for building my bridge with bricks of self-love and purpose. I guess the advantage of being alone is I’ll have plenty of time to figure it out.

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March 2016 in the Books

With the end of March, 2016 is a quarter of the way through. I had to pull out my 2016 goals and check my progress. I’m well on my way to 7 of my goals, 2 are a little questionable and 1 I missed but I’m hoping to compensate in another way.

0 – Look Mom, no cavities! I’m not sure she cares as much now that she’s not paying for my dental expenses, but it’s still nice to hear every six months.

March 2016 craft1 – Pound gained in March. I’m really tired of this gaining thing, but I’m glad I slowed down from the last couple of months. I started making myself do 10 seconds of plank for every .1 pound I gained everyday. Assuming that strategy helped me not gain as much weight, I’m upping the anti this month. There are signs of hope so far in April.

1 – Blog post. This is the 2016 goal I missed, at least 2 posts per month. But I’ve posted 8 times so far this year (not counting this one), so that averages to more than 2 posts a month. I need to take it where I can get it.

2 – Books read, including The Good Wife Strikes Back by Elizabeth Buchan.

3 – God’s eyes, we had a throwback to my childhood craft day.

4 – Hours of fun at Main Event, I was brave and tried the ropes coarse! Which was so terrifying one little girl was clinging to the ropes crying, while her family stood on solid ground 20 feet below pressuring her to cross these wobbly ropes. After my son and I coaxed her across through her tears, I had to do it too.

March 2016 Candy8 – Social events, two of the events didn’t completely revolve around food. Of the ones that did revolve around food, one was at an old favorite and another was a new to me.

9 – Projects completed, including everyone’s favorite – taxes.

12 – Different kinds of candy brought by the Easter Bunny.

25 – Workouts this month, one of my goals I’m doing well on.

31 – Photos on Instagram

311 – Words added to my book.

446 – Just Wanna Be Me page views, mostly from Russia.

45310 – Pinterest views.

Top Posts of March 2016

  1. Book Theme Party
  2. Sense of Self
  3. Beatitudes Family Home Evening
  4. Native American Blue and Gold
  5. Palm Sunday Family Home Evening
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