Tag Archives: love

WarriorMama_holdinghands

The Power In A Name

Job and Lizze

My whole life I wanted to be a mother. I cared for my one baby doll as if it were a child. My desire for mothering was intense. After the formalities of getting a college education and a husband were precluded I set my sights on the biggest longing of my heart… a child.

After years of infertility, my husband and I struggled with how we would grow our family. The choices of more infertility treatments and adoption were both viable and expensive. It was during this time that the question was posed to me, Continue reading

amyl_mothersonhug

Kids Will Tell You How You’re Doing as a Parent

The Mercenary hugged me today. In fact, he’s done it twice in the past few days.

I don’t mean the expected hugs like the ones we get at bedtime. He actually walked over to me and put his arms around my shoulders and hung on me for a few minutes. When I reached around and squeezed his middle, he squeezed me back. How cool is that??

He’s 12, by the way.

He hasn’t been volunteering hugs much lately. Even the bedtime hugs have been rather perfunctory.

I’ve been working super hard lately at being more positive, especially with the boys. The concept is simple really: listen to chatter and respond, praise successes, and handle problems with an calm exterior.

If it’s just a case of correcting a mistake or even dealing with actual disobedience, maintaining my desired parental behavior is pretty easy. When things get heated between the boys and arguments swell up and tempers flare faster than I can get anyone’s attention, then it’s a lot harder to not get frustrated.

The realization that it’s easier to switch from a correcting tone to a praising one with the dog than the boys was a sobering moment. In my defense, I can talk to the dog the way I would with a two-year-old child. If I did that with the boys they’d be offended. And yes, I know this after performing an experiment to find out, purely for scientific research; no humor was involved ;)

Both Hubby and I have been trying to show the boys that we’re treating them with the respect we want to see in return. As the older ones move closer and closer to adulthood I think they’re starting to see how much we truly do enjoy them. It’s nice to feel like we’re on the right track for now.

by AmyL


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Photo graciously provided by horizontal.integration , through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved

I Love Them. That Is All.

birthday candles in a small cakeAs I write this essay, my birthday has come to a close. My husband is playing a few minutes on a hand held videogame. My children are fast asleep. The cat is doing things that cats do late at night. The day was nothing extraordinary, which made it wonderful. It was probably the best day ever, because it was so simple and in that simplicity, so very perfect.

Tonight, I held my daughter’s hand as she drifted off to sleep. I could almost feel how quickly her childhood is passing by. She’s five years old already. I remember when she was born as though it were last week. My own mother probably feels the same about the 40 “something” years I’ve be around. Sitting there, beside my daughter’s bed, I made myself commit that moment to memory and tuck it away to remember on the day she turns 18 and moves off to college.

Long ago, when I would look forward to my future, I didn’t necessarily see children as a part of it. Thankfully, the universe knew me far better than I knew myself. I have been blessed and honored to share my life with two such wonderful human beings that I lack the words to even begin to describe how much they mean to me. They are not perfect (who is?), but they are my babies.

So, I come here to gush, but not about anything in particular. I gush just that they are. I love my son and I love my daughter; differently, equally. I am so very happy that the universe is so very wise.

Best. Birthday. Ever.


by Rocket Science Mom


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Photo graciously provided by ThaRainbow., through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved

Miscarriage…

Some studies claim that up to 35% of pregnancies may end in miscarriage, usually so early that women assume they are having a normal period or one a few days late. For thousands of women who do know when they are miscarrying, it can be an emotional time.

Our bodies, it seems, does trial runs. Most miscarriages occur in the first three months, and in more than half of those chomosomal abnormalities have been found in the embryo.

But telling someone who has just had a miscarriage that “It was probably for the best,” or “Maybe something was wrong,” is not terribly helpful, even if it is true. Realising that you are pregnant, even if it was an accident, even if it was not really wanted, can be life changing. Suddenly you are responsible for a life, a person.

It can make you think long and hard about your own life. The hormonal changes alone, that weird feeling of love for someone who does not quite exist yet but for a few cells stuck together; the biological thing. It does stuff to normal, logical women, makes us feel ancient urges and whispers “Mama?” in our ear.

My first pregnancy was unplanned, and my initial feelings were “Well, this will complicate things.” My husband and I were not yet married, and I was not yet ready. Being pregnant, though, changed everything. I suddenly saw myself as a mother. When I lost my baby at three months, I was only just coming to terms with it. I was devastated. My doctor gave me lousy advice: “Forget all about it. Move on, it was never a viable pregnancy.” I wondered how there could have been a foetus, an actual boy, if there had never been a viable pregnancy. But I took his advice to heart. I moved on, stoically. Sean and I did not discuss our loss. We should have felt happy. We had everything we wanted, a wedding to plan, our future looked bright.

When we decided to go ahead and begin our family, I conceived quickly and had a dream: I dreamed that I went back to the hospital where I had gone when I had my miscarriage, and asked the nurses for my baby. I was ashamed: what kind of mother forgets her baby at the hospital? But the staff there had no idea what I was talking about. I became more and more frantic, searching the rooms and calling for help, and finally woke up sobbing for the baby that I had abandoned. I finally grieved for the real baby boy that I had carried in my heart all that time. I had been feeling guilty for so long… had I lost my baby because I didn’t want him? Just walked away from the hospital and left him there? What has happened to him? Had they thrown him away? What kind of a mother was I?

It is difficult to know what to say to someone who has suffered a similar loss. But one day, someone told me something so beautiful: “There are some souls, who have a very difficult journey. Their past lives have been filled with suffering of the worst kind, and they have more ahead. Sometimes, it becomes too much, and they need to be held for a while; warm, nourished and loved; before they can move on. Your baby knew no pain, no anger, no fear, no sadness, no hunger, no cold. You were chosen for this job… that baby chose you, and you chose him, because you could give love to a possibility, a dream, under any conditions. We special women who are chosen this way have been blessed, and those little souls thank us as they leave us.”

Another wise woman told me that even when we miscarry in the midst of feeling negative about becoming a mother, or have to make the decision to terminate a pregnancy, the soul who has chosen that journey understands our decision and helps us to learn from the experience. It is a two-way gift.

I choose to believe all of this, and the medical community can stuff it. It makes me feel better. It makes me feel that there is a purpose, beyond the negative “something was wrong in the chromosomes.” It isn’t logical, but perhaps there is a reason to love every possibility, and embrace our dream babies. They are important.

I love my baby boy, who came into my life so briefly and made me a better mother to my subsequent babies, and even a better friend to myself. But I can let him go. I wish him well, wherever he is, and thank him for sending me a searching dream, so that I could grieve a really real loss.

by Nan Sheppard


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Are We Happier With Or Without Children?

a mother bathing her child in a washtubA couple of weeks ago, New York Magazine published a story entitled “All Joy and No Fun.” In it, the author looks at the theory that parents are made less happy for having had children. She starts with her own life experience and goes through several different studies conducted by various universities and government organizations. All of the evidence showed parents who preferred any number of activities, including housework, to some of the messier sides of parenting. The studies all pointed to people who became parents are consistently less happy then their friends who did not choose parenthood. Further, mothers are less happy than fathers and single mothers are the least happy of all.

What does this all mean, and could these results possibly be right?

As a parent, I don’t want them to be. Having children makes us miserable? Being a parent is less fun than doing the laundry? Well, yes, if I am truthful with myself, I have to admit that sometimes it is. I can remember telling my husband that splitting the care of our children by doing the dishes for me when he got home from work wasn’t really helpful at all. I’d spent the day home from work with the kids, and was looking forward to taking care of something that wasn’t going to whine or talk back to me. All I wanted to do was turn the kids over to him and mindlessly wash the dishes or do the laundry, or clean the toilet. Anything for a bit of a break.

Did that mean I was less happy than before I had my two little angels?

Thinking back on those days when I was single and then a newlywed, I must say that I was happy and I definitely had more time to myself. Now adays, the hours spent reading, painting, drawing, watching mindless TV are hard to come by at best. Does that mean I am less happy?

I guess it all depends on happiness and its definition to you. Do you need things to “make” you happy? Or do you understand that, in truth, happiness is all about choice. I believe that your point of view makes all the difference in happiness versus sadness. You can choose to be happy or choose to be sad. You can choose to look at how things aren’t or how things are. I don’t mean to trivialize things like clinical depression or anxiety or a host of other things that lead to overwhelming sadness. I am meaning simply this. You have something bad happen, what do you do? Do you look at that bad thing and focus only on it, or do you look at how much brighter the good things you have shine in contrast to that bad thing?

The closing of the article even pointed out that, in the end, it is the things we didn’t do that we regret, not the things we did.

For me, I went into motherhood with eyes wide open. I traveled overseas with my husband, took art classes at the local community college, read, drew, learned many things I had always wanted to before having my children. When I was ready for children, I didn’t go into motherhood thinking that babies would always smell wonderful and grow into smiling, easy-going children. Actually, it was all quite the opposite. For most of my life, I didn’t really think having children was for me. I saw how very much work it was to be a mother and wasn’t sure that was for me. My poor mother used to hand babies to me in the hopes that some hormone would go off somewhere making me *have* to have children. It never worked. I knew kids were a heck of a lot of work, and I knew there were things I wanted to do with my life, for me, before giving it all up for children. Wanting to have children came much later.

I do not resent my children. I was mentally and emotionally prepared for them. I truly consider it to be my honor to bring them into the world and share with them what I know and what I’ve yet to learn. I also know that by giving up a large part of the me time I used to have, I am run down from time to time, and that can frame one’s mood. So, I am trying to find the little bits of time for me as well as time for them.

I can’t imagine my life without my son or my daughter. The moments with them have been much more meaningful and filled with more joy than anything that came before. Just like marriage and going to college and really anything of value, raising children takes a lot of hard work. Does having them in my life make me happy?

Definitely.


by Rocket Science Mom


Photo graciously provided by Britt-Marie Sohlström, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved