One of my surprisingly vivid childhood memories comes from my days as a short and mildly uncoordinated centerfielder for my Little League team. I would spend the majority of the games standing in the outfield eating my baseball glove and counting dandelions. Very little could snap me out of my outfield boredom trance. I would realize that it was our team's turn to bat when a guy in a different colored uniform would be standing next to me in the outfield. Yup, I was oblivious to the world. But I did notice Super Coach. Super Coach, as he was known by all the Little League parents, was a Little League father and coach, as well as a walking advertisement for his son, the Boy Wonder.
By Karen, age 21 Ugggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh is the only thing that comes to mind when I think about my current relationship with my mom. Things just seem to get worse all the time. Everyone says raising teenagers is one of hardest parts of being a parent. But I feel bad for my parents now. For all those moms out there, with daughters in their early twenties, who may be displaying signs of this kind of conflict, please know two things... When I was a teenager, I was allowed to be a pain in the ass.
Turning 30 was a blast, turning 40 was a breeze and as I turned 50, I counted my blessings. Becoming a grandmother was a time of joy and fulfillment. So you see, I have no trouble with transitions. The one transition that troubled me however, was becoming a mother-in-law. What was my problem? My son married a wonderful girl who we love dearly. Clearly, the problem wasn't with the daughter-in-law, but I still felt very uncomfortable with my new role and title. Perhaps it was all the old mother-in-law jokes. I heard plenty of those jokes around the time of my son's wedding from well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning people. But my discomfort outlasted the jokes and I knew the problem ran deeper.
My mother is going into her retirement years with a bang. "Rage, rage against the dying of the light," said Dylan Thomas-- Nobody had to tell my mother. Click For the Full size Image A Martin Holt Original She went on a cruise to Alaska and met a man. Now they are an item. The man is 29. My mother is 59. My mother is never one to let petty things like age stand in her way. She has always had young friends. She has always known how to have a good time.
Upon the birth of my youngest child, my older daughter told me, "She is lucky to be born in this period of your life". There is a 17-year difference between my two daughters. I have often thought about this, and, over the years, have come to the conclusion that each one of our children is mothered according to where we are in our growth process when we give birth to that child. My three children are markers in my life, each representing a different period, and a turning point.
I think I was cleaning a bay window one scorching white July morning when it hit me: an extravagant sense of calm. I hadn't felt this embraced by stillness since early childhood, and it blew hotly into me like the weather outside. True to form, I was unable to accept this cosmic gift without questioning it. Why did peace of mind wash in with today's tide? Who granted me this favor? And did I deserve it? I looked at the calendar: July 31st. An anniversary - the loss of a much wanted almost-baby. I hadn't even thought of it in several weeks: I was busy, having just given birth to my beautiful "do-over." But my inner-calendar was right on schedule.
As a child, I would nestle my head in the nook of my mother's arm and inhale her love. It was the best and safest place in the world. Her smell, concentrated in her fleshy upper arms, was of warm bread, oriental spices, and, now I know, feminine musk. Up to today, and as long as I live, like Proust's Madeleine, I can close my eyes, invoke the smell, and here it is, my mother's gift - unconditional love. - Chantal Danino Holt, Marriage Center Coordinator * * * My mother's gift to me was self-confidence.
My Mom has given me lots of things. But when I look at my life and try to see how my mother has influenced it most, I always think of the same thing: her overriding concern for others. To my Mom, making everyone happy is what counts. The "little" things, like fancy birthday parties and big expensive presents, well, they're nice, but the yardstick she uses to judge an event is always this; did everyone walk away happy? Trying to make everyone happy is rarely easy. As a child, I hated always having to make everyone happy.
From my mother I learned how not to be perfect. Most of the other mothers were perfect. They scoured sinks. They checked the cuffs of their kids' pants so that they didn't bring home sand. They made their kids wash their hands before each time they ate. They prepared three course meals. Then there was my mother. We ate liverwurst sandwiches in her bed while we watched the Million Dollar Movie. My mother painted our fingernails and we opened the windows for wind to blow them dry.
I have been working only part-time (15-25 hrs. a week) since my little boy was born. He is now five years old, and I am going back to a full forty-hour workweek. He is, of course, in kindergarten for a couple of hours in the afternoons. Daddy will be taking care of him during the day--I won't be home until 5:15 PM or so. I have so many fears that he will be missing out on all our great times together (painting, sleigh riding, baking cookies, playing in the leaves, etc.. things I know Daddy is not likely to do with him.) I know I will miss it. Have you any recommendations for both of us on making this transition? A Trying to balance a full-time job and family is a constant challenge.
"I just can't seem to get a handle on things," says Donna, a full-time mother of three and full-time assistant manager at a popular restaurant. "It seems as though every day is harder than the next. My day goes out in all directions, nothing pieces together and every day is a crazy mess. I need help getting it together."Donna is not alone. All across the country, millions of people are trying to juggle parenthood, career and homemaking at the same time. As a personal organizer and full-time mom of three, I am constantly requested for help by busy parents who just can't seem to make everything "click" into place.
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