Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beautiful Bountiful Books

I love books. I like they way they feel when you fan your finger along the pages. I love the way they smell when they are new or old. I like how comforting it is to make myself a little nest out of pillows and blankets and crack open a good book....sigh. Most of all what I like about books is the boundless knowledge contained in them. Whether they are fiction or non-fiction the possibilities contained in books are endless. I know you need to set your foot on the road and actually walk the path to learn the big lessons but there are so many new roads that can appear when you open a book. I am always trying to improve myself and there is plenty of room for it so when I come across a subject that looks like it could be interesting and helpful for improving my physical or spiritual well being I can't wait to get to the library and see what books are there!(my city has 3 count 'em 3 libraries!) It is like Toys'R'Us to me! I am always very open minded on my subjects so I get a total view and usually one subject will lead me to another that can lead me to a third until I find the one thing that really resonates with me. It really is like a journey. So, hurray for books! Geeks everywhere rejoice :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why I Am Not A Perfect Mother

I have been praised for my mothering skills as have most mothers at one time or another. The person that says how perfect of a mother you are and how lucky your kids are or the lady behind you at the supermarket who praises your children's behavior and says you must have "raised em right". I often feel like laughing at these times. Yes, I am not great at taking a compliment but more so because I inevitably flash back to that morning where I threatened them with grounding for all eternity if they didn't stop fighting or the night before when I told Dan "OK, I am done. Good luck." and locked myself in my room with the t.v. up loud enough to drown out their sweet little voices. I have a secret philosophy to parenting and it is ...don't be the perfect mother. I have this philosophy for a few reasons and here they are...

No one likes the perfect Mom...including her own children. We all probably know a Mom who just thinks she knows it all. She uses the "latest" child rearing techniques, keeps an immaculate house, has her day wrestled and scheduled within an inch of it's life, her kids take lessons on the lessons they take, she tablescapes for every meal, her kids wear only name brands as does she, her husband jumps into action when she gives an order, she is probably head of the P.T.A....well you get it. Someone like this is more of a chore than a friend and as her children you would have a hard time ever measuring up or realizing she is actually a human being. It is all surface and no depth. I think the deep dirty depths is where all the good stuff is.

Also, I am not perfect and trying to outwardly project that I am would take up too much time and energy. I have flaws. I can be impatient. I am often single minded. I swear like a drunken sailor when I am super angry. I sometimes get super angry. I am human and trying to be perfect would drain all the spunk, creativity, realness right out of me. I can't imagine how much time it would take out of my life to keep the house "company ready" constantly or make sure I was brushed up on the next trendy parenting book,device, etc.... I mean I have a 3 year old people! He is like the perfect storm just plowing his way through my house everyday. Right now I hear him upstairs moving the stool around to reach something he shouldn't...be right back.

The most important reason of all is I am not the role "Mom". I perform acts of mothering because I care about and love these little beings I brought into the world. Just as I do not belong to the role of wife...I do not identify myself with the role "mother" I don't do things because it is what is expected or because the role is who I am. I just Am. There is no role, no word, no dictionary definition that could define me. I like things that have nothing to do with mothering. I don't believe that mothering is the "whole reason I am here" "the most important thing I will ever do" and all those other little phrases that are used to rope and guilt us women into thinking that our kids have to be every part of our existence and if we aren't doing it all with style and grace we failed. I believe that following my passions and showing my children my flaws and how to overcome them and that there is always room to learn and improve is a wonderful thing for them to see. The truth is that there isn't one single thing you do that is that important in the big scheme of things. The bigger truth of it is that your kids will grow up and move away and if all you ever were was "Mom" than a.) your kids never really got to know you b.) you never really got to know you and c.) you are gonna have a really tough time when they leave.

I believe my objective in this life is to improve and learn all the lessons that are brought before me. Mothering teaches a lot of lessons and being blessed enough to share some time ,love and knowledge with the children you are gifted with is awesome. So, I offer an alternative to perfect parenting. Throw the shallow surface scraping perfect parenting out the window. Just be yourself ; face each present moment really experiencing your children and let them experience you and how you improve, love, laugh, fail and learn. Today I will probably get immersed in my own world for awhile, might skip the dishes, heck I might even drop an "F" bomb if I stub my toe and that is O.K with me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Whew, O.K here this goes... My Mom passed away a few years ago from a sudden stroke and at the same time I found out I was pregnant with Carter , my ex ran into financial problems and couldn't pay child support, I lost my health insurance while pregnant and so on and so on. What I am trying to say was it was a very rollercoaster kind of time. With all those distractions I don't think I ever really got to mourn or process what happened so I am going to take this moment to organize and express some thoughts and tell you guys a bit about my Mom

My Mom's name was Carol. We had a rocky relationship to say the least. I didn't appreciate how much she did and she didn't appreciate my uniqueness. She wanted me to be thin, perky, impeccably dressed and on the road to college. I wanted to find what made my heart soar and make me feel complete. I rebelled and figured out how to get around her. She yelled and picked up all the pieces when my plans tanked. We continued on this path for 10 long, painful years. I crushed most if not all of her dreams for me. She never got to see me graduate high school, let alone college. She watched me marry (and divorce) the wrong guy. She watched me put on weight. She watched me suffer. Although she never turned her back on me she did stop trying to tell me what to do and instead just listened and most importantly started talking to me, not at me. Now I don't know if my Mom ever really understood where I was trying to take my life or not but we certainly started to have some good times.She really became my best friend, who woulda thunk it. I liked going scrapbooking with my Mom and our pow wow cleaning days. I liked how we shared that same dark sense of humor. I liked making her laugh till she almost peed her pants. I liked how she told me things about herself that she didn't even tell her friends. I liked how sometimes she would completely surprise me and do something so kind and thoughtful it could bring a tear to your eye.
I am sad to say I never really appreciated all of her wisdom, time and energy until I really was doing it all on my own and she wasn't there with me anymore, but I realize that a lot of good still comes from her even though she is gone. I think I try a lot harder to reach all of my goals and do my best because she deserves that. I may not be all of the things she envisioned I would be but if I am all the things I hoped I would be I think she will be proud and happy all the same.
It wasn't just me either. She was a huge part of many people's lives. We really depended on her for so much. If you needed food ,money ,clothes ,a room painted ,a push, a shoulder,a fundraiser,a holiday planned organized and executed, anything at all she would give it or do it. Yea, she was controlling,opinionated and sometimes hot-tempered but the woman got things done and it was always for someone else's benefit never for her own. She rarely thought about herself. Toward the end of her life she went on a trip to Hawaii with her best friend Nancy. Mom was retired and living on a fixed income and knew eventually she may have to get another small job to make up the money but she went anyway because she said "you never know what could happen tomorrow". I am forever grateful to Nancy for throwing caution and money to the wind and agreeing to go with her. It was one of only a few things she ever did just for herself and she was right. You never do know what could happen tomorrow.
I love you Mom

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Gratitude

I just wanted to give a shout out to my friends and family. I get so very much from you all. Sometimes I live way too much inside my own head and contemplations and when I talk to you I laugh and stop taking myself so seriously. I love to hear your stories and learn about what you like, don't like and how you think. I really love this. I am completely fascinated by how different people are and what goes on with people who live different than I do (that is a fancy way of saying I am nosy ).
I learn so much. Learning is one of my absolute favorite things. My friends and family teach me new skills that really improve my quality of life. I also learn virtues : patience, charity, joyfulness, flexibility, just to name a very few. I can not tell you how many times I have been in bed at night thinking about something one of you taught me just by our interactions on that day. My life would be so empty and I would be so shallow without those lessons.
We live very much pay check to pay check and so many of you give us your gently used stuff and overages or impulse buys. I have to say I absolutely love this. First off it goes to good use. Second we get some things we never would have bought ourselves but completely enjoy and third it is earth friendly because it is passed down.
So, hats off to you! Take a few minutes to pat yourselves on your backs. Know that the little things you do without even thinking about it have changed some one's life and made them a better person. If you like me than take credit cause each and every one of you have helped to make me who I am today. Love you!