People have said to me that I’m a good mother. Then there was that one time when someone called me a deadbeat mother. There are the things people say about you and then the things you think about yourself.
I have been a mother for almost 20 years. The role has not always been sunshine and rainbows, but I think that’s the mental weight of what I thought it meant to be a mother.
I know it’s a hard day for a lot of people, so I won’t take up too much space talking about it.But I felt like this was worth putting out there…
As I’m sure many of you can relate, I spent all week looking forward to the weekend. I’ve had a rough go of it recently [as you may recall from my post a few days ago] and I had big plans for some R&R. And then what ends up happening? I GET SICK.
[insert The Bachelor chick “ugh” GIF again] Like, seriously?
Coming to Boise, Collin and I only knew a handful of people who lived in the area. Luckily, we had our kids (and our co-parenting family) as our tribe to lean on for support during this transition.
After some time at my job, I got to know my coworkers pretty well and spent time with them outside of the office. We lunched, shared TMI, went to birthday parties, celebrated divorces, yoga’d, and happy hour’d. This was my “MHD” tribe.
Some tribes you choose; and some you don’t. When we choose the members of our tribe, we usually find people in one of four ways: similar interests, things in common, in close proximity, and/or through referrals or third-party introductions. Or you can be born into one and others can be born into yours.
When my mom married my dad, she already had two kids, a son and daughter, from her first marriage. When I was born, my brother and sister were 11 years old and 15 years old, respectively. Although technically they are my “half” siblings, I never thought of them that way; they were always whole to me. As the baby of this family unit, I loved my people, looked up to them, and was fiercely proud of them. This was my first tribe.
While I was pregnant with Caroline, Collin and I found out that we had to move; the owners of the house we had been renting wanted to sell. Even though the thought of rental hunting at eight months pregnant made me a nervous wreck, it would end up being a cosmic blessing.
Let’s just say that our landlords had not really been interested in being landlords, so to be free of them was a great relief. We also ended up finding a place for a lower monthly rent and in the most perfect location near my older kids’ schools.
The new home was A LOT smaller, though, so it would really force us to start paring down. At the time, I was reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up at the suggestion of a few friends.
The book’s philosophy on decluttering helped us go from shelves upon shelves of books to just the essentials (You’re welcome The Last Bookstore). We figured that if we REALLY wanted to read one of our books again, we could check it out of the library. (Did you know they still have those?!)
Ever since Jillie crossed over into teendom, I’m either shocked, dismayed, angry, sad, impressed, proud, confused, “seriously?” or “wait, what?” For me, this has absolutely been one of the most challenging periods of parenthood thus far.
The mood swings, the attitude, the back talk, the disrespectful language, the terrible decisions, the doing dumb stuff…
And Elliott is only four months shy of entering this stage of life. But I guess this is growing up. (Cue Blink-182)
My older kids have always been described as “sensitive.” This word has been used both as an insult and a compliment at various points in their lives. Having grown up self-conscious of my own quick-to-cry nature, I always thought it was one of my flaws.
It took me a long time to realize that this part of me was actually a superpower. In fact, it wasn’t until long after I had my first two children that I discovered I was an empath.