ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).
I am 34 years old.
I am married.
I have 1 child. He is 5.
I work full-time outside the home, and full-time in the home too.
I am lower-middle, or maybe just lower (who defines these?), but I used to be upper-middle, before the recession.
I live urban.
I rent, but I used to own. I can’t imagine going through the stress and terror that buying another house would be, even if we could get a mortgage (and I’m sure we couldn’t). That makes me really sad.
I completed graduate. But I should have stopped at bachelors.
I am straight but am also a friend.
Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: white American; British/German ancestry.
NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU
- The most significant aspect of my upbringing. My parents, who believed I could do anything. That kind of support and enthusiasm has been both wonderful, and treacherous, because it has made failing inevitably worse (emotionally anyway) than it might otherwise have been.
- My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through. Soak it in, the preschool years are so awesome. Sleep will come later. Everyone learns how to use a toilet eventually.
- Something that concerns me about my child. That he won’t have good (or good enough) friends during the school years. (My own childhood!)
- My absolute worst mothering moment (so far). Every time I yell at him for some stupid small thing, when the real reason is my own tiredness.
- What annoys me most about other mothers. When they treat kids like they’re unintelligent or hip-mothering like a status symbol.
- I am happiest when playing with my kid – far away from the house, where I can relax better. Like camping or day trips somewhere.
- I am saddest when I think about how we still don’t have child #2 and it’s already been five years. Why isn’t my damn body pregnant yet??? Also when I think about how much regret I carry around, all the time. I feel like there’s a huge rain cloud following me around, even when I’m super happy.
- My biggest fear. I am terrified of him dying in some freak accident.
- I am ashamed of my past – trying to be successful in the traditional sense (lawyer, house) and failing (combo of laid off/quit career, foreclosure). My current – spending too much time gaming (after my son is in bed) and not enough time working on other interests.
- Something I need to forgive. My old bosses, the partners at the firm, for throwing me under the bus. I’m not sure I ever will forgive them, I pretty much hate their guts and want to throw up every time I think about them.
- Something I wish I could say to someone. DIAF, old bosses!
- Something I have never told anyone. How I thought about suicide a lot while I was still a lawyer.
- Something I am trying to change about myself. My weight.
- My biggest accomplishment. Being a pretty damn awesome mom, so far.
- I wish that I had been more clear about my deepest values and priorities when I was 20 instead of pursuing goals that were sexy and exciting at the time but which got me nowhere.
- Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. Life is all about learning, and forgiveness is important.
- Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting. It’s really important to work hard (like my dad does) but it’s also really important to stop and relax (like my dad does not do).
- How I would describe my faith life. Latecomer to spirituality, but it is a sweet and precious thing to be part of a faith community in which you truly feel at home.
- Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year. So many things – stable employment for husband; pregnant; better garden; more on top of things. Hopefully will have moved on literally and emotionally from all the career/finance drama of the past several years.
- Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above. I recently read that stating your goals/dreams out loud makes it less likely you will accomplish them. But at the risk of that, I really want to share this: I have a big dream of following in my dad’s footsteps and being a full-time farmer. I really hope I can make it come true. It would be such a great accomplishment and legacy to pass on to my child(ren!).
- BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the comments. What is your dream? What do you believe success is?