ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you)
I am 35 years old.
I am happily married to a great husband who wasn’t always a great husband but who I always loved.
I have 2 children. Here are their ages/genders: son, 7; daughter, 9.
I work sporadically. I’m currently in school alternating with co-op work.
I am probably lower middle. We are struggling right now, but I know it always won’t be this way.
I live suburban.
I completed college. Got a degree. Decided I didn’t like my career after 10 years and am now back in college for another degree.
I am straight. Although, I’ve always said should something go amiss in this marriage (#2 for me) I’ll definitely switch teams.
Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: very average white.
- The most significant aspect of my upbringing. It was not always easy mostly through my own fault, but it has shaped the person I am today in mostly good ways.
- My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing. It’s the toughest job I’ve ever had. Very rewarding when you step back from the daily struggles and look at the amazing people you have created and are doing your best to raise.
- Something that concerns me about my children. Having suffered through being bipolar for most of my life, I worry about passing that on to my children either genetically or through memories of my low moments.
- My absolute worst mothering moment (so far). Being the cause of the first set of stitches/staples needed by one of my children. I was angry and decided to head out to the front porch for some air. I thought my bulldog was trying to nose her way out the door to follow me and I reached back and slammed the door. It was my daughter coming out to apologize. The storm door hit her just right and she needed 4 staples to her scalp.
- What annoys me most about other mothers. Motherhood is not a contest to show how smart your kid is or how many activities he/she is involved in or how overly involved you are in your kids lives. Do your best, let your kids live and learn at their pace and give other mothers who are struggling a break.
- I am happiest when I’m in the kitchen. I love experimenting with new recipes and seeing if it’s a hit with the family.
- I am saddest when I have to explain the hard parts of life to my kids. Their reactions are almost always sadness at realizing that some things don’t always work out the way you want.
- My biggest fear. I’m afraid of everything. It’s a product of anxiety driven by my bipolar. I’m most scared that my son who has social/emotional issues on the autism spectrum will have a more difficult time in life.
- I am ashamed of yelling. I’m a screamer and it scares my kids particularly my son. I’ve managed to tone it down a lot in the last several years but it remains a lasting legacy from being raised by my mother (also a screamer).
- Something I need to forgive. Myself. I have struggled for years with the ups and downs of bipolar. I have given up even on a few occasions and have done many things I am not proud of. I need to forgive those past transgressions and concentrate on how far I have come as a mother, a daughter, a friend, and a wife.
- Something I wish I could say to someone. I’m scared, I’m not strong, I need help…I struggle with appearing vulnerable to people and accepting help, even from those closest to me.
- Something I have never told anyone. I can’t think of not one thing I haven’t told at least one person.
- Something I am trying to change about myself. My level of self-confidence, my weight, my level of patience with others. I long to be calm and secure in myself.
- My biggest accomplishment. Saving my marriage. It was rough for a time and I’m extremely thankful I hung in there and it wasn’t too late for us to change.
- I wish there was a way I could succeed at all the things I’m involved with (my education, homeschooling, my marriage, etc) without sacrificing not one little thing.
- Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. Your best is all you can do in raising your children. Try hard and in the end however things turn out they will realize you did your best with the tools you were given (financial, emotional, and otherwise).
- Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting. My father was absent, in fact he didn’t even acknowledge my birth or claim to be my father. It taught me that though a girl can grow to be a woman without a father that there is something to be said for a man who has a good relationship with his daughter. There is no better person to teach a girl how women should be treated by men, that your worth is not wholly wrapped up in how men treat or perceive you, and what to expect and how to deal with relationships.
- How I would describe my faith life. Evolving. The same way I hope my children’s does.
- Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year. Continuing to better my marriage and my relationship with my children. Slimmer and healthier would also be a plus. I’ll add financially more stable as well for good measure.
- Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above. I’m a wealth of mostly useless trivia. I grew up in the city but long to live a life on a farm complete with cows and chickens. I love butter and believe it is not as bad as most everyone else thinks it is. I love Halloween but dislike scary movies.