somemother

part forum. part confession. part celebration.

51. Anger is a Genetic Disease March 18, 2012

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 10:32 pm
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ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).

 

I am 32 years old.

I am married.

I have 2 children. Here are their ages/genders: 34 months-girl and 6 months-girl.

stay home.

I have caviar taste on a Wal-Mart budget.

I live suburban.

just bought our first home.

I completed high school then took 10 years to “find myself” and complete a college degree that put me so far into debt that I’ll never be able to repay in my lifetime and am now armed with skills in an industry that is not needed in a depression… excuse me “recession”.

I am straight.

Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: I’m as mutty as they come, but consider my cultural background to be “West Coast”.

 

NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU

  1. The most significant aspect of my upbringing.

I’m the eldest and only girl with 4 younger half brothers.  Spent my time moving back and forth 3,000 miles between parents.  It’s not my fault I’ve lived in the most beautiful places in America, so I try very hard every day to lower my expectations of… everything and everyone. 

  1. My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through.

Do not take for granted your babies.  Sure, they can’t wipe their ass, but they are the fuel for your soul.

  1. Something that concerns me about my child(ren).

I worry intensely about raising girls as I have not conquered my demons as of yet.  I feel like I should have done that before I had children, but I’m not even sure I know how.  I worry about passing on my food issues, my anxiety, and my people pleasing, my persistent negative self-talk. 

  1. My absolute worst mothering moment (so far).

I am still mortified at how I yelled at my daughter and spanked her one time when she would quit getting out of bed at night.  I didn’t seem to have a lick of common sense in my head that day.  It haunts me now and I hope she never remembers it. 

  1. What annoys me most about other mothers.

Moms who are constantly competitive—oh your child can do this?  Mine was doing that weeks ago!!!  Moms who don’t discipline their children in public (I don’t mean spanking, I mean consistent parenting no matter where you are). 

  1. I am happiest when.

My daughter comes up to me and tells me she loves me and snuggles me tightly.  There is no where else in the universe I’d rather be.

  1. I am saddest when.

I feel out of control, like a bad mom, bad wife, bad friend, etc., etc.,  I can get myself down pretty easily.

  1. My biggest fear.

My biggest fear is losing my family.  I am constantly thinking about “what if…” because I feel so lucky and I always worry that it can be taken away at any moment.

  1. I am ashamed of.

There is nothing I am ashamed of but myself.  My body probably.  It disgusts me.

  1. Something I need to forgive.

Hahahahaha.  One thing?  Well, my therapist and I have started by trying to forgive my parents.  Work in progress. 

  1. Something I wish I could say to someone.

Are you a moron or what?

  1. Something I have never told anyone.

I’m pretty open, pretty extroverted, and make friends easily so I’m not sure there is anything I haven’t told anyone. 

  1. Something I am trying to change about myself.

I am trying to change my lifestyle, my eating, my thoughts about my body.

  1. My biggest accomplishment.

I guess successfully raising a little human being this far has been my biggest accomplishment.  The icing on the cake:  she’s sweet, smart, kind, and hilarious.  I have to give that up to her, but I’ll take credit for nudging her along that path.

  1. I wish.

I wish I was perfect and never made bad decisions.

  1. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting.

Anger is a genetic disease.

  1. Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting.

Physical affection is more important than things.

  1. How I would describe my faith life.

Spirituality can be found, cultivated, and celebrated from within.

  1. Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year.

I’d like to be working for the first time in 3 years.

  1. Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above.

You haven’t figured out that I’m extremely hard on myself and others yet?  Idiot…

  1. BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the comments.
 

50. Wonderful, and Treacherous March 4, 2012

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 11:12 pm
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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

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. Something that concerns me about my child. That he won’t have good (or good enough) friends during the school years. (My own childhood!)
  4. 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.
  5. What annoys me most about other mothers. When they treat kids like they’re unintelligent or hip-mothering like a status symbol. 
  6. I am happiest when playing with my kid – far away from the house, where I can relax better. Like camping or day trips somewhere.
  7. 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. 
  8. My biggest fear. I am terrified of him dying in some freak accident.
  9. 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.
  10. 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. 
  11. Something I wish I could say to someone. DIAF, old bosses! 
  12. Something I have never told anyone. How I thought about suicide a lot while I was still a lawyer. 
  13. Something I am trying to change about myself. My weight. 
  14. My biggest accomplishment. Being a pretty damn awesome mom, so far. 
  15. 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.
  16. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. Life is all about learning, and forgiveness is important. 
  17. 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).
  18. 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.
  19. 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. 
  20. 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!).
  21. 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?
 

49. I Am Grateful Almost Every Day For It All February 4, 2012

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 12:19 am
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ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you)

I am 29 years old.
I am married.
I have 1 child. Here are their ages/genders: 4/F
I work part-time.
I am lower middle (in my area, but I guess some geographical regions might consider us upper middle).
I live suburban.
I own.
I completed undergrad.
I am straight-ish.
Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: white.
 
NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU
    1. The most significant aspect of my upbringing.  Independence, DIY ethos.
    2. My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through.  Be patient, give YOURSELF a time out if you must but try to be understanding to your child instead of just insisting on a certain behavior.
    3. Something that concerns me about my child.  Cavities.
    4. My absolute worst mothering moment (so far).  Spanking and yelling.
    5. What annoys me most about other mothers.  Putting infants in daycare.
    6. I am happiest when I have a little work but can get it done and hang out peacefully with my kid and have had some time to work out, too.
    7. I am saddest when I have no office work, my kid is acting up and I am feeling the ennui.
    8. My biggest fear.  My emotional weirdness will affect my kid more than my love and positive attention.
    9. I am ashamed of having hit my kid.
    10. Something I need to forgive.  I have already forgiven being hit by dad and ex-husband, neglected emotionally by parents at critical times and cheated on by husband (with other men, so it wasn’t that bad).
    11. Something I wish I could say to someone.  I am often so lonely and not as together as I seem (I do a really good job of keeping it together on the outside.)
    12. Something I have never told anyone.  Nothing, I have confessed or told one thing or another to someone.
    13. Something I am trying to change about myself.  Being calm and more stoic.
    14. My biggest accomplishment.  Marathons and giving birth with no drugs? Making it through college living on my own, paying my own way after marriage at 18, abuse and divorce? Doing my own legal work for my divorce at age 20?
    15. I wish I had more answers.
    16. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting.  It’s OK to be a nosy, butting in mom. Better than being hands off and having the kid be adrift. Stick up for your kid.
    17. Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting.  Don’t hit your kid.
    18. How I would describe my faith life.  Meh.
    19. Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year.  Kid’s cavities will be filled and she won’t have more, I’ll weigh 10 lbs less and have my emotions under control.
    20. Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above.  I am grateful almost every day for it all.
    21. BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the comments. How on earth do people manage to have happy lives, with time for themselves and all there is to do, when they have more than one kid?
 

48. I’m Scared, I’m Not Strong, I Need Help January 15, 2012

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 3:35 pm
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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 own.

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.

NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Something I have never told anyone.   I can’t think of not one thing I haven’t told at least one person.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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).
  17. 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.
  18. How I would describe my faith life.  Evolving. The same way I hope my children’s does.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
 

44. Even When It’s Awful It’s Pretty Wonderful October 30, 2011

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 11:05 pm
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ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).

I am 36 years old.

I am married.

I have 1 child. Here are their ages/genders: 2/F We are also trying to conceive a 2nd child.

I work full-time.

I am upper-middle.

I live urban.

I own.

I completed undergrad.

I am straight but not narrow.

Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: I don’t think it’s important, but I’m Caucasian.

 

NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU

  1. The most significant aspect of my upbringing. My dad abandoned me when I was really young. It’s only as an adult that I realize how much of an effect that has had on my life.
  2. My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through. If today was a bad day, it’s only one day over the course of a lifetime. You’re not likely to inflict lasting damage in a single day.
  3. Something that concerns me about my child. I worry that I’m spending so much time avoiding turning into my mother that I’m going to f**k her up in new and interesting ways, ways I did not imagine possible.
  4. My absolute worst mothering moment (so far). She was going through the 8-month sleep regression. I yelled at her to go the f**k to sleep, long before the book made it cool.
  5. What annoys me most about other mothers. Why the mom-on-mom hate? We’re all just doing the best we can with what we’ve got, hoping our kids don’t end up on the news for all the wrong reasons.
  6. I am happiest when it’s the weekend and we’re all lolling about in our bed as a family, cuddling and giggling.
  7. I am saddest when the weekday starts and it’s a whole lot more sleeps until we can loll about in our bed as a family, cuddling and giggling.
  8. My biggest fear. I have nightmares about something terrible happening to my daughter as a small child. I can’t shake it.
  9. I am ashamed of how hard I am on my husband sometimes. He’s a good man and a good dad, it’s not HIS fault I feel tired and stretched too thin. He really does pull his weight around here, I just always feel put upon because there’s SO MUCH to do.
  10. Something I need to forgive. My dad. Not because he deserves it, but because the anger isn’t doing me any favours.
  11. Something I wish I could say to someone. I wish I could tell my mom to back the hell off without her taking it as an attack on her very soul.
  12. Something I have never told anyone.
  13. Something I am trying to change about myself.
  14. My biggest accomplishment. Being happy. Most of the time.
  15. I wish I had unlimited resources so I could work part-time and spend more time on myself and my family. I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I really love being a mother. I wish I could do it more than part-time.
  16. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. Don’t lie. All it teaches your children is not to trust you.
  17. Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting. It gets better. You’re responsible for bringing this person here, be there for them you selfish bastard.
  18. How I would describe my faith life. I’m agnostic, leaning towards atheism. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing happening when we’re done in this life, but I can’t explain why it all happened so I’m not completely discounting the possibility that a divine, celestial being set off the Big Bang. But I’m certain the rest of it happened as the scientists say it did.
  19. Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year. I hope I’ll be holding or at least very far along with our next baby.
  20. Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above. I was going to be a single career woman. That was my plan. Then I met a man whose baby I wanted to have. And then I had that baby and fell more in love than I ever imagined possible. Even when it’s awful it’s pretty wonderful.
  21. BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the comments. “What has motherhood changed about you?”
 

41. Being Selfish October 10, 2011

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 10:23 pm
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ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).

I am 37 years old.

I am married.

I have 4 children. Here are their ages/genders: Two girls, 2 and 9, and two boys, 5 and 7.

I stay home.

I am middle class.

I live suburban.

I own.

I completed undergrad.

I am straight.

Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: my dad is Jewish & my mom is catholic. 

 

NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU

  1. The most significant aspect of my upbringing.  I had a happy childhood as the oldest of four children and we are all still very close.
  2. My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through.  Try to see the humor in everything. Things that are frustrating now will make funny stories one day. And they will learn to sleep, eventually, I promise.
  3. Something that concerns me about my children.  I worry too much about who their friends are and about them hanging out with the “wrong crowd.”
  4. My absolute worst mothering moment (so far).  I was on an important phone call and my kids were screaming and carrying on in the background, making it hard to hear. I hung up the phone and turned to them and screamed at them. I mean, literally screamed. I completely lost it. They looked at me like I was a monster about to hurt them. I stopped my tirade and then very faintly, from the phone in my hand, I heard, “um, Hello…?” There was someone on the line the whole time, and they heard everything!
  5. What annoys me most about other mothers.  When their children misbehave in public and they don’t try to stop it.
  6. I am happiest when.  I’m with my family (and everyone is getting along).
  7. I am saddest when.  I read a sad book. I get absorbed into the books I read and if the book is sad, I tend to let the sadness overcome me for days.
  8. My biggest fear.  Oh, I can’t say, because then it might happen.
  9. I am ashamed of.  Being selfish. Sometimes I’m so worried about my own life that I forget to ask a friend or family member about something important that they’re going through.
  10. Something I need to forgive.  I need to forgive myself for not going to the prom in high school with a nice (but nerdy) guy I knew, because I was worried about what people would say if they saw us together. 
  11. Something I wish I could say to someone.  “I’m not rude. I’m just shy and it’s hard for me to speak up.”
  12. Something I have never told anyone.  Once I bought a bag of Halloween candy (Reese’s peanut butter cups) and I ate the whole thing. In two days. Okay, not just once.
  13. Something I am trying to change about myself.  I am trying to learn to relax, to eat better, and take better care of my body.
  14. My biggest accomplishment.  My children.
  15. I wish.  I had more money and less debt.  Or at least that I didn’t worry so much about money.
  16. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting.  Relax, everything is going to be okay. 
  17. Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting.  Relax, everything is going to be okay (and Daddy will fix it).
  18. How I would describe my faith life.  I’m a Christian and I attend a very conservative Anglican church.
  19. Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year.  Well, the health thing I mentioned- I hope next year I’m able to comfortably run 3 miles without wishing for death. And I hope I can get through one day without thinking about junk food.
  20. Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above.
  21. BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the comments
 

35. NYC Special: This Kind of Freedom is Invaluable September 10, 2011

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 10:43 pm
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ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).
I am 42 years old.
I am married.
I have 2 children. Here are their ages/genders: M/9, F/3
I stay home.
I am middle (upper-middle anywhere other than where I live, NYC).
I live urban.
I co-own.
I completed undergrad.
I am straight.
Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background: Nada. Just white.
 
NOW, TWENTY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Something that concerns me about my children. My son worries a lot. My daughter needs constant entertainment.
    4. 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.
    5. What annoys me most about other mothers. Competitive parenting. Ugh!
    6. I am happiest when my kids are happy.
    7. I am saddest when I don’t make time for myself.
    8. My biggest fear is losing one or both of my children.
    9. I am ashamed of my tendency to procrastinate.
    10. 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.
    11. Something I wish I could say to someone. I’m playing the lead in a Broadway play!
    12. 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. 
    13. Something I am trying to change about myself. My tendency toward excess. Looking for moderation and balance.
    14. My biggest accomplishment (outside of hopefully raising healthy, well-adjusted children) will be finishing my play about motherhood.
    15. 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.
    16. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting. You never stop learning.
    17. Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting. You can’t always fix things, however much you wish you could.
    18. How I would describe my faith life. Non-existent.
    19. 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.
    20. 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!!
    21. 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?