Friday, May 1, 2009

Do You Know What I Mean?

Pics of my wee ones taken
4 1/2 years ago by
Photos by Trish


Liss from a Memory Forever has tagged me (way too long ago) and asked what are the 5 things that you love about being a mum. Well honestly I had to stop and think about this. Not because I don't love being a mum and not because I don't appreciate the gifts I have been given. Rather because it is all too easy to get caught up in the "swing of things" lost in the momentum" (If I can double quote?)

You know what I mean? The day to day grind continues and I am a busy mom and I forget. I am however very good at taking snap shots - where I actually stop and tell my brain to take a shot of this and remember, if only for that moment.
However, those are little moments - not the big picture of it all.

So, I will make #1 - the little moments- the ones that make you stop and laugh or cry or stare in wonderment. The moments where what they say, do, think, etc make you laugh out loud. The ones that make you realize you have done something right, or that they have their own personality, or how much their physical and mental capabilities have changed. Those fleeting almost- missed them- moments.....

Now here's the deal.
This whole mothering thing is not what I expected. I don't mean - the work, the emotion involved, the extreme loss of self, or the grind of it all. I mean - I didn't think I would have kids on my own.
Let me explain:
I was told when I was 19 that unless I got pregnant right then I would most likely not have a child later. In fact I remember it as clear as if it was yesterday. A very young (dark haired attractive) doctor type asks me point blank if I had a boyfriend (I was wondering if he was flirting? that was a strange question) I told him that no, he had just broke up with me over the whole medical issue thing- I had just undergone extensive laporoscopic surgery for endometiosis
ok, he ventured on, how about a really good male friend?
When asked where he was going with this he told me that with extreme cases like mine and given my young age the chance of me to have a baby much less more then one did not look very good, in fact it probably would not be possibility.

So, I will there fore make #2 - the fact that I had children at all. Don't get me wrong - I truly believe families can come in many different forms. I had it in my mind that we would adopt and preferably from an Asian country - probably a girl or two. But, the fact that knowing I couldn't have children and then defying the odds - makes it worthy of #2 reason I love being a mum

Now, as the daily grind goes on it is easy to get lost in it. All the time things take. Just the daily care of clothes, food, and the house... you all know... I already said that I do appreciate the little things however fleeting moments do not make up for the hours, weeks, and months which does little to sustain my outlook... so what else is there? I closed my eyes. I ran through the day. I saw it - when I thought about homework (uggg, trust me kids this hurts me as much as it hurts you ;) It struck what the next one should be

#3 - Learning/Relearning with my children. From the "new" math that my smart little son is learning (in his accelerated math class - glad someone received the math gene from their dad) to life cycle of monarch butterflies. As a child and young adult we do not appreciate the education and lessons we are learning. I guess it is part survival, part youthfulness. But, now that I am older - I am interested in a different way. I have the capabilities to understand the "why?" better I suppose. Plus, their excitement, wonder, and enthusiasm can at times be contagious.

As I continue on I am finding that making this list is harder and harder. Because on an average day I don't feel like I am a good mom. I even go through periods when I run through my head worse moms trying to make myself feel better - the crack moms who pass out for days leaving their babies on their own, the alcoholic, abusive, or negligent folks out there - but those are extremes and it is not comparing apples to apples. How does one be a mom and a person at the same time. How do you not forget yourself while you help your kids figure out who they are. It is incredibly hard to become that selfless and not forget who you are. However, once in awhile there is a glimpse, a notion where I can see what I am doing might be working.

#4 is then - seeing my children become the people I want them to be.
Dearest and I do not often let our guard down when it comes to parenting. For one simple reason - we want to have fabulous adults. They are not going to stay kids forever, and we try to enjoy what we can of their childhood - but in the long run these guys need to be functioning adults. There are some things, moral, standards, call it what you want that are very important to us. When I see a glimpse of success it makes it all worth it.

Ok, I am an example (and visual) person - so let me give you an example. I get up 10 minutes after my two oldest children (per their request) they set their own alarm clocks (we are talking about a second and third grader) get themselves up and get their breakfasts started. I then get up and wake our kindergartner and help them all get out the door. As I came out this morning it made me smile to see my kids sitting at the table eating their bagels and "chatting" with each other - fabulous! patpat mom...good job, you learned them well!

Now, I might be putting too much thought and effort into this thing. Plus, lists are really dearest's thing (I think I have mentioned this before here long before most of you were here) But, I am pretty hard on myself. Plus, I rely on validation too much at times and really, there isn't a lot of immediate validation in parenting. Saying this sparked


#5 -
Having adults compliment my children in public. (This probably goes along with #4, but I just stated that I rely on validation too much) We have spoken to our children in a manner that would allow them to converse with adults. We have taken all four of our children places and tried to teach them how to behave in public. I do not let my children run around crazy and act all a fool in public. I do not feel it is necessary. They may have fun and they may enjoy the moment - but you can't tell me that as an adult it doesn't bother you to have four or more kids running up and down the bleachers at a basketball game a dozen times, or that you want kids bouncing around and kicking the back of your seat at the movie theater. So, it is very rewarding to hear adults appreciate this and have them say so. I also think this is important for the kids to realize why we are being so "mean".

Wow! I did it. I listed 5. Anyone that wants to undergo this challenge/tag I encourage you to do so. It was helpful in appreciating what I have. It helped me to see the good along with the mundane. Thank you Liss, and thank you bloggy friends if you are still reading this - for reading all the way to the end! This was a long one.

13 comments:

Missy said...

Great post and great pics!

Vicky said...

I really enjoyed this post too :) Thoughtful parenting, knowing why you parent the way you do, is huge in my book. And I have loved re-learning things with my kids that I didn't get the first time around, or have just learned more about them.

Thanks for sharing!

Hit 40 said...

Nice post! This one took you a while!! Lots of work.

My favorite pic is of your family on the rock. Nice

I also like the little moments with my kids the best.

Liss said...

Jules,

These are great reasons, you have answered so well. I think all mothers can relate to what you have said. All to often we feel judged by others, we often place unrealistic expatiations on ourselves too. It’s not until we step back that we realize the good and hard work we have put into this job. I m glad I played as it is something we often don’t stop to think about.

Nice photos to complement your post to.
PS: I also hate homework but learning can be fun.

Sandra said...

I'm glad you were able to have children. It is interesting to read about you thinking of them as the adults they will become.

TheChicGeek said...

Awwww, you have a beautiful family. Being a mom and maintaining one's self is a difficult task for sure. I think the very fact that you question if you are a good mom shows what a fabulous mom you are :D

When they are little I think we just have to make the sacrifice and we are rewarded later in life with amazing young adults and the freedom to rediscover ourselves.

Keep up the good work! Your family is beautiful and so are you :D
Have a Happy Day, Julie!

Rambler said...

Great Post :)

There are times i feel I've lost myself since I'm a stay at home mom... and i feel really selfish thinking that... and sometimes you want sometime for yourself... your post really wez wonderful... and it made me feel guilty for i dont think i'm as good a mom as u :-/

Southern Sage said...

great list. Excellent pics, pretty babies you have there!

Pattern and Perspective said...

So, here's a question regarding #1. Did having the kids make the endo thing go away/make it better? I didn't realize I had this problem (and interstitial cystisis) until 7 years ago (about the time I moved up here). Underwent a laparoscopy a few weeks ago, it's like the 5th one in seven years. I don't like being rushed into anything, but I'm 33 and my bf is 41. I don't want to be in pain anymore, but I wonder if kids would help or not. I am not sure (after dealing with the kind of pain I've been through) if I want any...I know that is horrible to say, but if others only knew how awful this can be.

Kacie said...

OMG your kids are sooo cute! I didn't have time to read the whole blog entry at this time, but I'll be back. Just had to compliment you quick on the great looking family!! :)

tangobaby said...

What a wonderful post. I love the photos! And I think your answers show what a great mom you are.

And thank you for my beautiful gift! I love my necklace!!!

xoxo

bearer of three said...

great post! beautiful pics! you are trully blesses

Untitled said...

Great photos but can children really become what parents "want" them to be? Let those beautiful children be, please. They could be the ones helping see the world in a more precise view.