Easy as pie? Is pie really easy? It's easy to eat, but not always easy to make. Excellence is easy to appreciate and enjoy, but getting there takes a while. Join me in my Pursuit In Excellence. It won't be quick , but it will be worth it!
For me excellence revolves around motherhood and grandmahood. It is central to my many interests which I use to help my children develop their talents and have fun.
I share my journey here, The Homemaking Cottage and Arizona Mama. Be sure to see what else is cooking!
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Category Archives: Motherhood
Discovering 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 every 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.
February 2016 was longer than most Februarys, so it’s taking me an extra long time to sum it up. Or I got overwhelmed with test preparations. Either way, it’s in the books so let’s get it wrapped up!
1 – Book read, I enjoyed a second Brene Brown book
2 – Social events, one of which was a delicious dinner at Abuelo’s with a few friends from work
2.2 – Pounds gained, can I blame it on too much studying? I did come up with a new strategy. I’ll let you know next month how it worked
3 – Blog posts
4 – New recipes tried, my favorite was the Gouda Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
16 – Projects completed, including apply to go back to college for my Bachelor’s degree and a makeover for my coffee table
21 – Photos on Instagram
41 – Sealed with a Kiss Muffins baked, and I love how the photo turned out
92 – Words added to my book
100 – Reasons why I love my sweetie from the Dating Divas
391 – Just Wanna Be Me page views
37815 – Pinterest views
Top Posts of February 2016
- Native American Blue and Gold
- Beatitudes Family Home Evening
- Book Theme Party
- Pizza Nachos
- Simple Blue and Gold
There you have it, and March isn’t even over yet! How did the shortest month of the year go for you? Let me know in the comments, on Facebook, or Twitter.
I’ve shared on my blog my challenge adjusting to my kiddos getting older and “leaving the nest” and reconnecting to my sense of self. I know it is the way life progresses. I know it’s a good thing I raised them to be independent and responsible; I am proud of their successes. I wouldn’t want anything less for them. Despite all the upsides, I know I’m not the first woman to struggle with the transition.
I recently finished reading I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brown and found a quote that clicked my feelings into place. She is actually quoting another book called The Healing Connection by Jean Baker Miller and Irene Stiver, “…women’s sense of self and of worth is most often grounded in the ability to make and maintain relationships.”
For 25 years, the concept of who I am has been centered on my children. I will always be their mother and have a connection with them, it’s no longer a daily connection. Despite the fact that my idea of successful parenting is kids who move out and manage their own lives, I still feel like the ground beneath me is shifting. I have a hard time holding onto my identity independent of being a mom.
It’s interesting how having the words to describe my feelings helps me feel more in control. Understanding the why behind my feelings gives me control. I suddenly have the urge to flashback to my childhood and start singing “Knowledge is power”!
As the book’s title suggests, lacking the understanding is isolating. By being part of the conversation, even if it’s a one-sided conversation through a book, we build connection to others who have similar experiences. These connections help us reach out to others who have been through or are going through similar experiences.
Brene mentions several times that we are wired for connection. We need to know we’re normal. We need to know who we can turn to help us cope with life’s challenges. And when we get to the other side, helping others can give us meaning and perspective.