Posts Tagged ‘motherhood

23
Sep
08

Glam Top 10

Welcome to another installment of Glamorous in Real Life, the brainchild of Marcy.

In this episode we examine how one woman’s biggest daily challenge has shifted from: “Should I have Greek, Thai, Mexican or Middle-Eastern food for lunch?” to “What ingredient can I add to this box of mac and cheese to make it stretch?”
Welcome to SAHM life. In a crapola economy. Where the husband is doing quite well but must travel out-of-state to achieve this. Where the toddler and teenage daughters continue to demand excessive amounts of stuff while their MomZombie is ready to employ Scarlett O’Hara’s methods of style and beauty. (Think curtain rods and cheek pinching.)
Consider these recent glamorous observations that make me feel oh-so pretty, happy and grrrr……

1. I spend too much time in my kitchen and not enough time in my bedroom.

2. I get up first, go to bed last, yet everyone else in my house “needs a nap.”

3. I have one child who clings to me like a spider monkey and another who flees the room like a cockroach when the light goes on.

4. I have had one-too-many shower-optional days lately.

5. The longer I stay out of the workplace, the more daunting it seems to go back.

6. The longer I go without a paycheck in my name, the more outdated my wardrobe becomes. (Clinton and Stacey, do you hear me?)

7. And it follows that the less money I have to work with, the more pretty shiny things I want.

8. The more obsessive about cleanliness I get, the more trashed my house becomes.

9. And it follows that when my house is at its very nadir of filth, including cat vomit in the entrance hall, the doorbell rings.

10. And it follows that it will be a hot guy conducting a poll.  I will not have showered. Something most likely will have just been scorched on the stove. I’ll just be happy I have on my “dress” flip flops. 

Be sure to check back with Marcy for more G.I.R.L. stories.

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16
Sep
08

The scent of a stay-at-home woman

EXHIBIT A:

THE BACKSTORY:
A woman fancies an afternoon out with her toddler girl. Rather than weigh herself down with the shabby diaper bag and bulky stroller, she opts for a stylish shoulder bag big enough for her things and a few toddler essentials. She imagines a stroll in the park, a visit to the library, a quick swing through the nearby shopping district before picking up a bottle of wine on the way home.

THE INCIDENT:
 “Mommy, loook!” cries a pigtailed 5-year-old tugging her mother’s shirt and pointing at us. “She’s not wearing pants!”

I force a closed-lip smile at pigtail’s mother, whose gaze follows her daughter’s extended finger directly down to my baby girl’s bare legs, and then slowly shifts up to me. We are waiting for the elevator by the children’s section of the neighborhood library. It can’t come fast enough. Behind us, the wheels of a custodian’s cart screech the arrival of the clean-up crew at the women’s bathroom.

I hoist a clear plastic bag in my right hand up to the mother’s eye level, revealing the missing pants and underwear, both splattered with fresh diarrhea. I hope she got a good whiff. I hope it answers her unasked question about why my child is at the public library in a shirt, pull-up and shoes. Because, you know, I’m not trying to start a new fashion trend.

After a silent elevator ride up to the main floor, pigtails and mother cut a hasty retreat lest any germs latch onto them. I grab Girl from the East’s hand, shift the pile of picture books, above-mentioned bag of defiled clothing and my purse and head for the door.
We both move quickly on our walk of shame down a brick-paved path past gardens and park benches populated with lunchtimers, readers and gawkers.
In the punishing light of high noon all I can think is: I hope I don’t have crap on my clothes.

THE FINDINGS:
There is nothing “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” about realizing that you have only two tissues in your stylish shoulder bag, not nearly enough to combat the very unstylish diarrhea running down your toddler’s leg.
There is nothing glamorous about an unexpected, explosive illness in a bathroom that is a paper-free operation (hand-dryers only).
There is a high level of “Desperate Housewives” in realizing you sacrificed practicality for style by leaving the diaper bag at home, which contained wet wipes, spare clothes, diapers, hand sanitizer and plastic bags. Even more desperate, having to ‘fess up to the library staff and beg for paper towels and a plastic bag.
In the end, you realize there is no sexy way to walk out of a building with a half-naked child and a see-through bag of poopy clothes, both leaving a scent in their wake …
… the scent of a stay-at-home woman.

CONCLUDING REMARKS: Thanks for visiting and reading my 100th post. This has been part of a larger celebration, Girls In Real Life, or G.I.R.L., put together by Marcy at The Glamorous Life. Join the party.

12
Sep
08

Are you a G.I.R.L.?

Are you Glamorous in Real Life?
Forget the Real Housewives of Orange County, ditch the Desperate Housewives, if you want the real scoop on what goes on behind closed doors while the rest of the world is away at work, check back here on Tuesday, Sept. 16, for the first-ever G.I.R.L. Party hosted by Marcy at The Glamorous Life.

Grab a seat, pour a drink, and prepare to weep uncontrollably. See you Tuesday.

13
May
08

Vulnerable mom

My motherhood has always been as vulnerable as a featherless hatchling twitching on the pavement. My introduction to it with Girl from the West came about by surprise, so I was caught off-guard and scrambled for months to embrace the notion that I — rock ‘n’ roll zombie at the time — was going to be a mom.

Following the birthing experience, I became a WORKING MOTHER and often felt the wrath of those who looked down upon moms who paid others to raise their offspring whilst they pursued careers to pay for their fancy shoes and expensive highlights.

Not long after, I was a DIVORCED MOM and a PART-TIME MOM, the former was fact backed up by court records, the latter was a label thrown at me by those who didn’t support my decision to end the marriage and share custody.

Then Girl from the West was old enough to join after-school activities. This is where I learned I was not only SINGLE MOM, but also FAKE MOM because my oldest daughter and I didn’t share the same last name. It didn’t matter that we had the same eyes, nose and laugh. I was a fake for sure according to one Brownie Scout. I suspected a few of the moms in that troop thought the same thing.

Of course, the FAKE MOM label is perpetuated now with the arrival of Girl from the East, who was born to another woman in China and legally became my daughter in 2006. We don’t share the same eyes, nose or laugh, but we certainly have the same last name. We share just as much love as any child born to me.

Still rather new to me is the STAY-AT-HOME MOM label, which is self-imposed since it’s how I answer the cocktail-party question of: What do you do?

Last weekend, Teleflora sponsored a Mother’s Day contest on NBC that asked viewers to nominate women in various categories, including the NON-MOM. I guess this is a more awkward way of saying “fake mom” when referring to an adoptive mother or other non-traditional caregiver. After a barrage of complaints, the sponsor issued a fine-print apology and correction to “adopting mom.”

In defense of all this, I call myself a MOM ZOMBIE. I do this partly because most of the time I’m staggering around in a sleep-deprived stupor. Some of it is my own doing. I stay up too late doing stuff I hate to give up: reading, exercising, making out with the Internet. I also have a big caffeine habit.

I also do it because sometimes I have to numb myself to the negative labels attached to my caregiver/nurturer role. Despite what the world and a few random Brownies wish to call me, I love my children and would do anything for them. They call me “mom” and that’s all that matters.

27
Aug
07

baby steps

This weekend marks the first anniversary of our adoption referral. For those outside the adoption community, this means after a two-year leap of faith we landed on solid ground holding the picture of a gorgeous baby girl born in Jiangxi, China.

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The portrait of our doe-eyed baby motivated everything we did for the next two months until we could travel to China.She motivated us to transform our restful coffee-bean colored TV room into a pink and green girls’ nursery. She motivated me to spread paperwork on every flat surface in my living room and dining room as I filled out travel visa applications, health forms, insurance forms, leave of absence requests and so on. She motivated me to stay up late night after night shopping and packing and planning on what to bring in one small suitcase for a baby we’d never held, didn’t know anything about.When we met baby girl on Oct. 30, 2006, we were strangers for sure, but the unrequited love affair wouldn’t last for long. Over the next 10 months, baby girl would fall in love with us, too, and learn to love all that life with a family had to offer.fountain31.jpgAll this leads to this week, when I watched baby girl in a candid moment. She lay on her back, holding her baby doll “Mei Mei” aloft and softly singing. She rocked Mei Mei over her head, letting her “fly” just as I do with baby girl.They say you can learn a lot about a child’s emotional state by watching her play. What I see is that baby girl has come a long way from the frightened infant who howled when we set her on the floor.The reason why stay-at-home motherhood has been so frustrating for me is that I assumed that by being a woman and a second-time-around mom it would all just come to me. What’s to know? What’s to learn?I soon realized that there’s plenty to know and learn. The hardest part for me was admitting I had a lot to learn. To let go and learn from women who’ve mastered this role was a huge turning point for me.The best piece of advice I received this year was from a mom of four who told me that it took her TWO YEARS to figure out how to do it all and be happy. Two years of trial and error and anti-depressants and near nervous breakdowns and threats of divorce. There is no magical formula for her to pass on to me or for me to share with you. So, I just have to keep that portrait of the wide-eyed wisp in plain view. Even though baby girl has changed greatly from that image, it serves as a strong reminder why I did all this and how far we’ve all traveled.