- The most significant aspect of my upbringing. I remember long summer days spent outside with neighborhood friends far from the watchful eye of an adult. I think this kind of freedom is invaluable. I wish I could give that to my children, but, because of where we live, it’s tricky.
- My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through. I am horrible at giving advice because every situation is different. Every child is different. Trust your instincts, I guess, would be my advice…at any stage of parenting.
- Something that concerns me about my children. My son worries a lot. My daughter needs constant entertainment.
- My absolute worst mothering moment (so far). I’ve had many during this heat wave. Most recently, my daughter fell over in her stroller because she was pushing herself around in it. We were in a store and I was paying and suddenly she was tipped over backward in the stroller, crying – out of surprise more than pain. And what did I do? I yelled at her. In front of the whole store. I had told her repeatedly not to push herself around by her feet for exactly that reason. But I would have liked to have shown a little compassion. She could have hurt herself.
- What annoys me most about other mothers. Competitive parenting. Ugh!
- I am happiest when my kids are happy.
- I am saddest when I don’t make time for myself.
- My biggest fear is losing one or both of my children.
- I am ashamed of my tendency to procrastinate.
- Something I need to forgive. My father and I had a fight years ago. We’ve moved forward but deep down I am harboring a grudge.
- Something I wish I could say to someone. I’m playing the lead in a Broadway play!
- Something I have never told anyone. There is nothing about myself I haven’t told at least one person. And I’m not going to tell about someone else. However, I am pretty sure I have never told someone to f**k off. Maybe kidding around, but not seriously.
- Something I am trying to change about myself. My tendency toward excess. Looking for moderation and balance.
- My biggest accomplishment (outside of hopefully raising healthy, well-adjusted children) will be finishing my play about motherhood.
- I wish parenting counted for more in our society. I wish family and community were a more integrated and valued part of life. I wish we weren’t forced to the sidelines the way we are. I wish it were easier to keep more (or, hell, even all) of yourself engaged while raising your children.
- Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. You never stop learning.
- Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting. You can’t always fix things, however much you wish you could.
- How I would describe my faith life. Non-existent.
- Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year. A lot could be different. Both of my children will be in school full-time this fall. But, most simply, I hope to have a job that pays. I miss a paycheck.
- Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above. I can’t tell you. That’s what my play is about!!
- BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the comments. Are you parenting the way you imagined you would before you had kids?
35. NYC Special: This Kind of Freedom is Invaluable September 10, 2011
30. The Constant Pursuit of Humanity August 23, 2011
ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).
I am 38 years old.
I am common-law.
I have 2 girls, a 5yr old, and 3 month old.
I stay home with our children. Work for money occasionally & volunteer a lot, especially that which benefits community/environment my children grow in.
I am classless (in my mind anyway ;-))
I live urban.
I completed a certificate in arbitration & mediation, some university psych major and have discovered that I really don’t want to deal with other people’s drama. My dream career, after kids, is to work in a library, book store, with literature or some such thing.
I am queer.
Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: European; British, Irish, Scottish, French. I am related to the late Oscar Wilde! This excites me wondrously 🙂
NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU
- The most significant aspect of my upbringing. Several things: a) Living humbly; not being overindulged yet having a perfectly magical childhood. b) Compassion for those less fortunate. c) I always appreciated being given choices. My parents, when I became old enough, often gave me all the information possible and allowed me to make, or help make, the best decision for me. I continue to feel that it is important to include the children in certain aspects of decisions affecting their lives. Learning through experience rather than being told usually sticks better. That being said, I also feel I was given way too much responsibility at times. I seek a balance for my own children.
- My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child-rearing that I just went through. In any stage, keep track of the good moments, write them down if you have to. The ups are worth more than the downs. You can never get that time back so enjoy every bit possible.
- Something that concerns me about my children. Their physical health, especially with regard to genetic immunological disorder. Also, any kind of harm coming to them because of their family situation; discrimination.
- My absolute worst mothering moment (so far). Forgetting that my child is just that, a child who is still learning and knows not what I have a lifetime of experience with. Yelling, losing control just that little bit that is too much for a tiny person (the 5 yr old, not the infant!) and makes her feel or act inadequate. I know every (or just about every) parent can relate. But it’s still yucky. Best mothering moment would be building my child up so that she feels on top of the world and I endeavor to, at least, keep these moments in the majority.
- What annoys me most about other mothers. Ignoring their children, taking them for granted, having a good time/laugh at the expense of the child. Parents who can’t/don’t take responsibility for their children, rather they place importance on superficial things.
- I am happiest when I feel balanced. Getting time with each child & both children, while getting to do some things I enjoy.
- I am saddest when I can’t fix my child’s hurt. The big hurts.
- My biggest fear is harm coming to my children.
- I am ashamed of ever making my child feel unworthy in any way.
- Something I need to forgive is the lack of (intimate) attention I give to my spouse.
- Something I wish I could say to someone is don’t be so gullible.
- Something I have never told anyone is that I get really tired of being environmentally conscientious sometimes too. And have tossed out some valuable recyclables or left the car idling etc simply because I am too tired.
- Something I am trying to change about myself is to judge others less, even though I do not make it known that I am judging. “Never judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.”.
- My biggest accomplishment is achieving inner balance and being satisfied with myself & passing this along to my family. Teaching by example.
- I wish we had just a little bit more money. I wish my partner got to stay home & see our children the way I get to everyday. I wish people would give their head a shake. I wish adults would think before they speak in front of children. I wish I knew everything. I wish I didn’t have asthma. I wish I didn’t pass it along to my child(ren). I wish the world was perfect. I wish my children would never have to experience heart ache … alas, I suppose this would be to deny them part of the experience of life 😦
- Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. My mother, for most of my life, has been able to listen to me. Listening & compassion. Simply listening, without verbal opinions, is such a valuable trait.
- Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting. Creativity is very important to learning & living. Knowledge is power. Compassion.
- How I would describe my faith life. The constant pursuit of humanity.
- Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year. Tighter abs, seriously, I give myself a year.
- Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above. Please don’t ask me about the conception of my children in front of them, as if they aren’t even there. Particularly the older one who can hear every (insensitive) word you utter. She is a real live person, with feelings and who is entitled to privacy. Save your curiosity for a more appropriate time.
- BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the comments. How has becoming a mother added to/taken away from your relationship with your partner/spouse? Becoming a mother, or in our case, becoming mothers has been like a glorious blooming flower. It has made each of us grow immensely, in ways I didn’t expect, delightful little ways. However, it is true what is said about the “strain on the marriage”, though I wouldn’t “blame” it on the children per se, becoming a parent is all-consuming and often it is the spouses who makes sacrifices. Probably because spouses are the only ones who will make sacrifices for our children’s sake and still be with us at the end of it all. At times, it kind of feels like the relationship can wait. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t I guess.