I am 34 years old.
I am common-law.
I have 1 son who is 12 weeks and 4 days old as I write this.
I currently stay home on maternity leave, but will return to my full-time job in March 2012.
I am middle.
I live rural.
I completed high school, and have gone to university (but didn’t graduate).
I am straight.
Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: My maternal grandfather was born in Germany, moved to Canada as a young boy and fought as a Canadian soldier in WWII. My maternal grandmother’s family is Irish. Everything about the paternal side is English/Scottish as far as I know.
NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU
- The most significant aspect of my upbringing. My parents raised me to make my own decisions from an early age and to not tolerate lying, cheating or stealing.
- My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through. It’s not as easy as other people make it look. Follow your instincts and don’t let other people dictate what you do in regards to your child. You’re the mother, you what’s best for you and your child.
- Something that concerns me about my child is nothing. My son is awesome. He’s been sleeping through the night since about seven or eight weeks, he’s happy and growing like a weed. In fact if I’m concerned about anything it’s that he’s outgrowing everything, including his cradle. I don’t really want him to sleep in his own room yet…
- My absolute worst mothering moment (so far). When my son was about four or five weeks old, I yelled and swore at him because he woke me up at 3 am and flatly refused to go back to sleep for the rest of the night. I was so tired and frustrated that I lost it on him and woke up my partner with my yelling/cursing. I felt so bad afterwards that I promised my son I would never do that again no matter how tired and frustrated I got because he had really done nothing to deserve that kind of treatment from his mommy.
- What annoys me most about other mothers. When they let their kids walk all over them. I’m sorry, but when I was a kid, if I treated or talked to my mother the way I’ve seen kids (especially teenagers) treat/talk to their mothers these days, I would have been in the biggest trouble ever. What happened to respect? The mother is the parent and should not be letting her kids get away with disrespecting her.
- I am happiest when my son smiles at me. He has the most awesome smile. My partner says it’s made of unicorns and rainbows, and I think he’s right.
- I am saddest when my son cries and pouts. It completely breaks my heart when he gets upset like that and pouts at me like he’s just the saddest person on the planet and I can’t figure out why. I know he’s not that sad, he’s got a really happy disposition, but the pouts just get me.
- My biggest fear is that I will do something that will screw my son up for life in some way. I don’t think I will, but I’m not perfect, so you never know.
- I am ashamed of the fact that I yelled and cursed at my son.
- Something I need to forgive is the fact that I yelled and cursed at my son. Yes, I’m hung up on that, but it was a big moment for me. It helped me realize that I need to chill out. I haven’t forgiven myself for it even though I have chilled out significantly since then.
- Something I wish I could say to someone is “I hope that when you visit this summer that you actually make time for us and we don’t have to go to you for that to happen.”
- Something I have never told anyone. I’m afraid of somehow failing as a mother and not doing everything I can for my son to prepare him for life in this world.
- Something I am trying to change about myself. I’ve been trying to stop being so hard on myself.
- My biggest accomplishment. Bringing my son into this world. I had a rough labor that ended in a c-section because I instinctively knew if we kept going, my son would die. The next day, a nurse told me not to feel bad that it ended in a c-section instead of a vaginal birth. My response was “It never crossed my mind…why would I feel bad? I made the decision for my son and myself…it was the right one, and I would never feel bad for that.”
- I wish that my son’s grandparents will all be around for a long time and that he will ask them anything he wants to know before they’re gone and it’s too late.
- Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. Listen and don’t judge what my child says. My mother has always listened to what I had to say, and because of that I consider her to be one of my best friends…even when I was a teenager (a time when most kids hate their mother).
- Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting. Don’t fall into gender role traps. My father nurtured my love of cars, hunting and fishing when I was a kid, even though those are things more likely to be enjoyed by a boy.
- How I would describe my faith life. Complex.
- Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year. I hope we have less debt.
- Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above is that I overcame a past abusive relationship. In spite of the trauma that was for me, I am strong, healthy and happy now. It helped shape who I am today, and while I would never wish a situation like that on anyone, it was an experience I would not want to change because of what it taught me.