Saturday, September 26, 2009
My mom died when my first daughter, Juliana was eight months old. She barely got a chance to be a grandma. When she passed I was just learning to be a mom myself and suddenly I felt set adrift. A mom without a mom. I was 23, we lived in Chicago, and had no other family in town. While my husband was at work it was just me and my baby girl every day, and though I loved being home with her, I felt like I didn't have anyone ask to questions to about all the little things that come up when you're a new mom. My best friend had a baby girl too and she was also struggling, but she was over two hours away in a different state. What I needed was someone who had been through it before- someone who had experienced what I was experiencing and had come out ok. I needed my mom.
Now that my kids are older that feeling has intensified in some ways. Babies are difficult but oh, it's so much harder once they develop their own opinions and feelings about everything! What I would give to be able to ask someone how I was at this age and how they dealt with me. My dad can shed a little bit of light on this at times but he doesn't have the best memory when it comes to recalling my brother and I as kids. Plus, there's just something about a mom's perspective, right? Especially when it comes to raising girls. I feel like I should have paid more attention back then, but obviously I was too busy being a kid and not taking notes on my mom's mothering style. There are questions I will never have answered but I have to be okay with that since I don't have a choice.
The week after my mom died I remember being at Target with Juli and seeing a mom shopping with her teenage daughter. I got really upset right there in the store and came home crying to my husband about how jealous I was of how that girl and her mom could go out shopping at Target together. I remember he said to me, "But YOU were a mom out shopping with YOUR daughter." It sounded so strange to me at the time. Of course, I knew I had a baby but I hadn't begun to think of myself as being in the same category as my own mom yet. I identified more with the teenage girl.
It's taken me a long time to feel completely like an adult but that was definitely a jumping point for me. I feel now as if I have made the transition from fumbling kid with a baby to full-fledged, confident mom. (Well, most of the time.) I also feel like the best thing I can do to honor my mom's memory is to be the best mom I can be to my own daughters. I still have days where I feel a bit lost and yes, jealous, but I keep trying to focus on the role I have now. Sometimes I feel like I am free-styling it out there, but I'm trying my hardest and I think she would be proud.
*This entry was originally posted on MilwaukeeMoms.com.
Monday, September 14, 2009
This summer as I’ve been out racking up the miles along the lakefront I’ve realized what a positive effect all this running has had on my mind in addition to my body. I know all about endorphins and the fabled “runners high” but what I’ve experienced is more of a calming effect. When my girls were home all day for summer vacation I relished the evenings when I could lace up my running shoes and head down to the bike path for some quality time just for ME. Now that school has started again I find myself putting off washing those breakfast dishes in order to go jog along the lake. The laundry can wait another hour or two before being tucked back into everyone’s drawers. Sometimes I use this time to plan out what I need to take care of for the day. Sometimes I think about long term goals and things I want to accomplish in the future. And sometimes I just zone out and don’t think about anything at all.
I often hear moms talk about how important it is for us to make time for ourselves. To stop saying “yes” to everything that comes down that line and learn to be a little bit selfish now and then. I can remember nodding my head in agreement with this sentiment but I don’t think I’ve ever really taken those words to heart enough to put it into action. I think I’m finally beginning to understand how those couple of hours early on a Saturday morning can leave me more refreshed and ready to deal with the rest of the weekend. Even though my family kind of thinks I’m nuts when I head out for another 10 miler I also know that they wouldn’t like to have a frazzled, stressed out mom at home. I’m not saying that mom doesn’t make her occasional appearances but overall I think her visits are fewer and far between.
This post is also up at MilwaukeeMoms.com
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Behold: Own Thing #1
My blog at MilwaukeeMoms.com! I should be posting there once a week.
I'm currently working on OTs #2 and #3 and will elaborate soon. One involves a fitness website for our country's drunkest city and the other is a finally-to-be launched etsy store that I've thought about for what seems to be forever and is almost ready to launch. Yes indeedily, goodness will soon be abound.
And now I leave you with the Efron: