Tag Archive | mommylife

The Talk

Wife. Mother. Author. Seeker of the Extraordinary.

I adore being a mom.

I was never even sure that I wanted that honor but when those boys came into my life, so much finally made sense. The missing pieces came together and I was complete.

They gave me purpose.

They also taught me the value of laughter and forgiveness. I’ve learned to laugh at myself which I’ve always struggled to do and I’ve learned to forgive myself too.

With boys, nothing is sacred and the fact that they find humor in anything, has been good for my soul. They also forgive fast and love hard and they’ve given me far more than they can imagine.

Before them, my serious nature prevented me from seeing opportunities for joy but because of them, I seek it out every day. I’ve learned to laugh at the ridiculous and inappropriate and I’m so thankful for everything they’ve taught and continue to teach me.

How could you not smile at the cuteness? Throwback 2011

But, being a mom has always carried so much responsibility and as they grow older, I’ll admit that I’m freaking out. I see the window of our daily time together quickly closing and I don’t know if I’ve taught or given them enough. There are still years left but it’s going fast.

Recently, I told my youngest that we were going to have The Talk which unexpectedly weirded him out. Inquisitive by nature, I didn’t anticipate how icked out he would be about our conversation. He insisted his older brother be there for “support”, so we had it where we have many of our important talks.

In the car.

Driving home from sports.

When I had the talk with the oldest son a couple of years ago, we were in the grocery store. I vividly remember walking through the freezer section and telling him that STDs can make it burn when you pee and a few other gross details.

He responded with the appropriate amount of disgust, then I had him hand me a box of Uncrustables and asked him if he wanted any frozen waffles.

It was an easy, albeit awkward, conversation and afterwards I realized it wasn’t as embarrassing as I thought it would be. Nothing exploded and a veil of knowledge wasn’t lifted, instantly changing him from a boy to a man. He was still my kid, with a little more knowledge and hopefully enough fear to keep him safe.

But with the youngest son, I expected questions.

So many questions.

He usually has questions for his questions and then even more after that!

We’ve always indulged his curious nature expecting that it will be serve him well in the future. We’ve covered too many topics to count but this one made him squirrelly and he didn’t attempt to disguise it.

His older brother’s presence did give him comfort which made my heart so happy. When I dove into the talk I asked what he already knew, which were the basics. Then we had an open conversation about sex, STDs, babies, condoms, the sacredness of sex, and the peer pressure that they’ll face. I used clinical words which he didn’t like and I talked to him like sex is the most natural thing in the world, because it is.

Even though neither son wanted to talk about it with me, I told them it was better than talking to their dumb friends who wouldn’t know any more than they do. I don’t know if they believed me but since I had a captive audience, I just went with it.

I’d always imagined that the conversation might result in one of us rocking back and forth in a corner but I was relieved when it was over, because it was truly very unspectacular. Just like when I had the talk with his brother.

It took about ten minutes to cover the important points and then I reminded them both that I’m always there, for everything and anything. Good, bad, ugly, and uncomfortable; that’s what a mom is for.

At least, that’s what I plan to be there for.

Even though they didn’t want to have these conversations they were necessary and important and I think they understood that.

While they may think they know enough, they’ve never considered the shame of an STD, or a broken condom, or raising a baby as a teen parent, They don’t know that when their friends start having sex it’s okay for them not to, or that kissing doesn’t have to end in intimacy, or that “no” means no. We didn’t dwell long on the actual act because experience is the best teacher and they understand enough. But we did talk about everything else that they don’t teach you in sex education.

The things you only learn from screwing up life or from someone older who will tell you all the ways you don’t want to mess up. I hope that at least some of what we talked about will sink in.

Especially, how crucial it is to choose wisely, even when hormones are telling you otherwise. Even more importantly, sex isn’t random, it’s meaningful.

It’s important.

And it can be life-changing.

In a culture where hooking up is the norm and girls move just as fast as boys, I don’t know how else they’ll learn these things if they don’t learn them from us.

The parents.

There will be more in-depth conversations about when girls say No, and the importance of respecting women and yourself. There will be follow-up conversations about falling in love and heartbreak, but I think these conversations are ongoing and not necessarily wrapped up in one event.

While being a mom has given me so much, it’s also taught me the importance of preparing them to live in a world where choosing well is the most important thing, and relationships between men and women are complicated at best.

I’ll admit I was nervous about having The Talk with both of them. While my husband certainly could’ve done it, I chose to because I wanted them to feel comfortable talking to a woman about something so personal, even if it was their gross mom.

There will be many important conversations in our future and I feel fortunate to get to have them. Being a mom of boys has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I can’t imagine having these talks with anyone else.

No matter how uncomfortable it can be, it’s always worth it.

Always.

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30 Day Writing Challenge-Things I Miss

Before I begin, I have to say that I have such mad respect for my fellow writers, JC Wing and AK Lawrence who tackled a very difficult topic yesterday about a family member they dislike. To lay it all out, with so much raw emotion is what beautiful writing is all about. I wimped out and that’s all I’ll say about that, but some serious mad props to both of them for their beauty, strength, and honesty. (Both posts are linked to their names).

Today’s post is about things I miss. 

I don’t miss much in my life. I’m a live-in-the-now kind of girl. I try and enjoy the path that I’m currently on so that it doesn’t pass me by. 

But if I had to choose a few things I would say that I miss the following:

  • My grandmother’s hands. They were soft and pretty. When I was little I used to play with her rings, twirling them around her fingers, enjoying her closeness. I used to straighten them up so that they all lined up perfectly, and then would have to re-do it when they turned again. I wear her original wedding band, now. And every morning when I put it on I think of her,  her soft hands, her good heart, and how much I miss having her in my life. 
  • The unbridled happiness of my children when they were toddlers. They found joy in everything and had tears for nothing. They had no need to be sad, lonely, or worried. As they grow, I know that fear and unhappiness becomes a part of life, but I miss the days when they had no concerns, upsets, or worries.
  • Silence and solitude. My youngest is a lot like me in this way. He likes to be alone for hours on end and always has. I believe that I could go days in silence if I could, without speaking or sound. I miss the quietness that comes with solitude, which may come as a great surprise to many. I do tend to be an extrovert and I also love social interaction. But I also need to recharge and be alone with my thoughts, which doesn’t happen nearly as often as I would like, but I also understand that being needed is a good thing, and I’m not complaining. 

Those would be the three things I miss the most in life. I could also say that I miss being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. 😆😆😆

For all of the things I miss, I’ve found many other things that fulfill me. But I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing my Grandma’s hands. 

30 Day Writing Challenge-Five Fears

This challenge freaks me out because it’s personal. Five fears … the challenge is about your greatest fears but I don’t know if I can dig quite that deep. We’ll see how far I can go. 

  1. I’m with AK Lawrence on two of hers. The first one is snakes. Snakes, rats, mice; basically anything creepy crawly. Even though I live a little rural, I’m a city girl at heart!
  2. The second one is the fear that nobody will ever read my books, which is silly because I have wonderful readers. I think this is every author’s fear and that I would’ve be a normal writer if I wasn’t plagued by self-doubt. 
  3. My children will hate me. They love me now, but I haven’t made any major mistakes yet. I know that as they get older, I’ll have more opportunities to really mess up and it scares the crap out of me. The what-ifs plague me every day and I worry that one day they won’t let me know them anymore. I remind myself to do my best, love them with my whole heart, and not allow my fear to paralyze me.
  4.  Heights. I’m afraid of climbing up and down tall ladders. I don’t mind airplanes or elevators or looking out of windows from tall buildings, but you’ll never catch me sky diving or standing untethered from great heights. 
  5. Vulnerability. This is the only deep fear I’ll share here. My writing makes me vulnerable which can be terrifying, but I share it because it’s good for me. I write because it’s healthy, less expensive than therapy, and more effective. I know that sharing my words opens me up and pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but I know that I need to.

I have many other things I’m afraid of but can’t bring myself to share for fear that they’ll come true. This is about as deep as I can get … the question is, what are you afraid of? 

30 Day Writing Challenge-Ageism

Not too long ago, one of my employees thought that I was the mother of a twenty-something year -old fellow employee of hers. Of course, I balked at the idea until I realized that I AM old enough to be her mother. Gaaaaaah!

In my mind,that twenty-something year-old employee is still me. Then reality sets in and I realize that twenty years have gone by in the blink of an eye. One marriage, two children, two houses, two dogs, and one long and successful career have flown by like a hurricane and I’m twenty years older than when it all began. 

It’s true that I no longer party until the wee hours of the night and that most nights I’m asleep before the evening news has concluded. I can no longer eat whatever I want or lose weight just by thinking about it. I have aches and pains that make me wonder what the hell happened to my body, and I no longer get carded at the bar, on the rare occasion that I’m in one. I’m now the old person at work, the experienced one, and am the senior person in most cases. My kids think that it I’m old and uncool because I don’t know who Fetty Wap is, and I agree with them most days.

I would be lying if I said that getting older didn’t suck sometimes, but I realize that it’s just part of life and I have no choice but to accept it. Fighting it is futile so I embrace my older self, appreciate the wisdom I’ve obtained, and accept that I’m going to have to visit my elliptical a whole helluva lot more than I’ve been. 

Now that I’m no longer the young kid who is up-and-coming, do I ever worry about my place in this world? 

No. 

In many ways, I think think that age is a state of mind. I’ve known seventy year-olds that are like forty-year olds and I’ve known thirty year-olds that remind me of eighty year-olds. When you choose to stop adapting, growing, and learning then you become less useful, less sought-after, and less valuable, no matter how old you are. I think that age matters less than state-of-mind. Does ageism exist in the world? Absolutely! It happens to those who are younger and those who are older and to say it doesn’t exist would be naive. Both think that they know more than the other, but each has something to teach the other. I now know who Fetty Wap is, and my kids learn from their old mom every day. I learn from my younger managers and employees and hopefully in turn, they learn from me. Because we co-exist and appreciate each other, the world is fuller and richer.

I’ve never felt less valuable because of my  age, whether it was to my family, my job, or the world. In many ways, I have so much more to contribute now. I’m wiser, smarter, better organized, more patient, and more intuitive than I’ve ever been. I’m also kinder and better able to let go of things that have hindered me in the past, like toxic people and unnecessary anger. While I no longer have the body of a twenty year old, I am more comfortable in my own skin, yet still willing to improve myself. As with anything in life, age is about perspective and the willingness to have an open heart and an open mind. 

There are times when I wish that I still got carded, but I wouldn’t trade my life now, for any of it. Even though I’m older, I wouldn’t want to learn all of those difficult lessons all over again or struggle through the growing pains. I’ve earned every laugh line and worry line that’s on my face, and I’m stronger for every trial and tribulation that I’ve endured. So, I say to Hell with ageism. Mine will never stop me or define me completely, and if I decide to write another book, get a tattoo, or dye my hair pink when I’m 70, then so be it. The world will just have to be prepared and deal with me! 😊😊😊