ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you)
I am 31 years old.
I am happily married to a great husband who I have trained quite well.
I have 2 children. Here are their ages/genders: The baby girl is 1 and my big girl is six. They are the reason I get up in the morning.
I work full-time. I would give my left eyeball to be able to stay home with my babies.
I am middle. We live modestly, but we always manage to have all our bills paid on time and indulge in the occasional splurge.
I live suburban.
I completed high school with four and a half years of college as an English major. Thanks to my great dedication to partying and refusal to go to class, I managed to escape without a degree.
I am straight. Although, my baby’s nanny is a lesbian and is so awesome I’ve been tempted to change my ways for her. Best person EVER!
Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: The only thing of note about my background is that it’s not notable. European ancestry with some Native American thrown in there that only manifests itself in my cheekbones and nose. As southern as they come, but free from all the southern stereotypes except the accent.
NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU
- The most significant aspect of my upbringing.
I was brought up to be true to myself, to think for myself, and to not judge others. Plus, my parents are ex-hippie nudists.
- My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through.
Remember that for every phase your kids are in that is driving you crazy, it will be over before you even have a chance to adjust to it and figure out how to deal with it. Then -they’ll enter a new phase that will drive you crazy. Cherish every moment ‘cause before you know it, the moment’s over and you won’t get another chance to watch your kids grow up. And they won’t get another chance to do it.
- Something that concerns me about my child(ren).
Nothing! My children are perfect. Kidding, but really, I have been blessed with extraordinarily healthy, happy children. My only concern, as someone who has suffered from depression and other issues, is that they grow up to be happy, well-adjusted adults. That’s harder to do than one might think.
- My absolute worst mothering moment (so far).
If only I could pick just one. My worst mothering moments are when I lose my temper, which happens more than I would like. I strive daily to be more pleasant, kinder and less overall grumpy and to not let my personal unhappiness bleed over into my children’s lives.
- What annoys me most about other mothers.
It annoys me when other mothers foster dissent and judge one another. This gig is hard enough on its own. We don’t need to make it harder on one another. Mothers should band together and support one another, not take one another down.
- I am happiest when.
I am home with my kids.
- I am saddest when.
I have to leave them to go to work. This is not a joke or an exaggeration. Leaving my kids, especially the baby, actually makes me physically ill. My stomach hurts all day when I’m away from them.
- My biggest fear.
I’m afraid of everything. I walk around all day every day with a constant ball of anxiety in my gut. I don’t know why but I wish it would go away.
- I am ashamed of.
I am kind of ashamed of how much I have to be ashamed of. I had a very self-destructive period in my early twenties that ended the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I’ve never looked back. I wish I’d taken more advantage of all the assistance and opportunities offered to me.
- Something I need to forgive.
I need to forgive myself for being human. I’ve come a long way and strive every day to be a better person and a better mother. A wise woman once told me that the most important thing for our children to see is that we are striving. Striving to be better, to do better, doing the best we can do.
- Something I wish I could say to someone.
“I love you.” I can tell my husband and my children, but anyone else, and I get all choked up and can’t get it out. I express myself better on paper.
- Something I have never told anyone.
- Something I am trying to change about myself.
Everything. My goal is to be one of those amazingly centered, serene people. I want to have a sense of calmness that radiates from my core and infuses everyone around me. I’m a wannabe yogi. I dream to have a daily practice where I get up at five every morning and do an hour of yoga before starting my day. I’m nowhere this goal. But it’s a goal.
- My biggest accomplishment.
My kids. Absolutely the best thing I’ve ever done. Not the giving birth, that part was easy. But the raising of them. Although I don’t really feel like I can take a lot of credit for them. I think they just are totally awesome little people. My biggest part and blessing is that I’m able to (try to) offer guidance and bear witness.
- I wish.
I didn’t have to work. Or I could work from home. Really, I wish for more time to do what I am called to do in my soul. I want to be the one to raise my children.
- Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting.
Boundaries are important. Too rigid boundaries will foster rebellion. Having no boundaries, however, will not provide the structure and security children and, later, young adults, need as they reach their way toward adulthood. Don’t be afraid to piss someone off or create conflict if you feel a child is endangering herself. Conflict can be resolved. There is other damage that can’t be healed.
- Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting.
Parenting is an active job. You can’t be passive and expect to have a great impact. My father was a provider and a disciplinarian, but his job ended there. It’s not enough. My husband and I share an equal role in the providing for, daily chores, and discipline of our family. It’s a much more equal, balanced home life, that is, in many ways, better than what I grew up with. Also, my children aren’t terrified of their father. Fear is not a great motivator.
- How I would describe my faith life.
Very personal. I don’t believe in organized religion. I believe spirituality is a deeply personal, individual thing. I’m always happy to discuss my beliefs in an open setting, free from judgment and closed-minded-ness. I like to describe myself as a transcendentalist/buddhist/pagan. One of the great things that my parents did for me was to leave me free to choose my own path. I was never told what to believe. I fully intend to do the same for my children.
- Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year.
I hope to work less and have more time to be home with my children and husband. I also want a dishwasher and a new vacuum cleaner.
- Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above.
I’m funny, fun and interesting. I have some great friends, the greatest of which is my husband. I have a sister who is eight years older than me. She’s one of my favorite people even though I’m still mad at her for moving to Florida to marry a Navy Man nine years ago. Also, I’m a great writer and would love to make some kind of career out of it. From home.
- BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the comments.
Put in something fun, i.e., What are your hobbies? (I like to read and paint and ride my big green lawnmower); How do you like to unwind? (read, write, play with my kids, drink margaritas, and in my mind I do yoga and exercise); Something creative you’ve done in the last six months (painted bugs and flowers on the walls in the baby’s room); favorite holiday (Halloween); favorite family holiday tradition (hors de oeuvre night on Christmas Eve); best book you’ve read lately (too many to name. Love funny, trashy books, Rarely get into deep, philosophical literature. I read for escape and entertainment).
I’m a new blogger, (about two-and-a-half months). Please visit me at The Real McFamily. It’s good stuff.