ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).
I am soon to be 36 years old.
I am married.
I have 1 child. Here are their ages/genders: 3 month old daughter. And a dog.
I work full-time. Part of me wishes that I didn’t have to work, that I could stay home with my daughter. The other part of me is very glad to escape to the grown-up world every day, where people drink coffee and complain about the weather.
I am middle.
I live in a subdivision with lots of sidewalks, dogs and kids.
I have an associates degree that I don’t use for my role in corporate America.
I am mostly heterosexual, according to Dan Savage.
Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: I hope that if I always respond to the “what race are you” query by answering HUMAN, that stupid, immaterial question will go away one day.
NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU
- The most significant aspect of my upbringing. I went to six different grade schools because my family moved every year. My parents weren’t military; they were just gypsies, trying to find the right spot, the right job and the right situation for our family. It taught me how to adapt to almost any situation.
- My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through. Be patient! Cluster feedings and sleepless nights will pass. You’ll wonder where the time went and start to understand what your parents meant when they said that you grew up too fast. My three-month old doesn’t stay put on the floor where I put her anymore. She doesn’t crawl, and she doesn’t roll…she just hitches her way across the carpet on her back. No one told me someone so young would be able to do that.
- Something that concerns me about my child. I worry that I’m not worrying enough. She’s had a cough since Mother’s Day. I have too. I figure that if mine hasn’t gone away, why should hers? It’s terrible. I should just call the pediatrician but every other parent I know has told me not to worry about this little cough. They tell me day care kids have coughs all the time.
- My absolute worst mothering moment (so far). The moment that I realized I would have to do the mothering all by myself. I didn’t do nearly enough reading or research. My mother was a nurse for 20 + years and I assumed that I would just call her with any questions or problems I had. Unfortunately, she had an AVM three days after the baby was born. Mum lived, but she had to have brain surgery and is largely incapacitated at the moment. She can’t help me and I really can’t help her. I start to cry every time I think about it.
- What annoys me most about other mothers. Some mothers seem to pay more attention to their cell phones than their children. Put down the phone, pick up the kid.
- I am happiest when my daughter smiles at me. My heart did flip-flops the first time she smiled – for real – because I was talking to her.
- I am saddest when I think about my mom missing all of this.
- My biggest fear is that I’ll do something wrong and emotionally or physically scar my daughter for life.
- I am ashamed of how hard I am on my husband. The poor guy works six days a week and yet I want him to do more. Tonight, he ran the dishwasher. Half the dishes and none of the bottles were in it. I was irritated that it made more work for me rather than being grateful that he even tried at all. I really need to start appreciating him more.
- Something I need to forgive. My husband for not getting it right the first time. It’s just stupid stuff and I need to relax.
- Something I wish I could say to someone. Thank you for being patient with me. I’ll try to be more patient with you.
- Something I have never told anyone. I had an abortion five years ago and I don’t regret it.
- Something I am trying to change about myself. I’m trying to stop being an anal-retentive witch. Maybe some little thing isn’t being done to my standards, but it is being done. I need to just let it go.
- My biggest accomplishment. I’ve made it this far. Everyone in my house is healthy, fed, and clean…at least for the moment.
- I wish my daughter a long, healthy, happy life full of joy and wonder.
- Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. You learn a great many things just by listening and sometimes, listening is all that someone needs from you.
- Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting. Children are not fragile and can go anywhere you go (within reason).
- How I would describe my faith life. A journey, full of grace, that can’t be contained by one religion or relegated to one day each week.
- Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year. I hope that my mum and my kid will both be walking.
- Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above. My mom told me the day after the baby was born that my priorities should be God, myself, and my family, in that order. God will see you through a great many things but if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be of any use to anyone.