Finding your voice

I started this little blog in the hope of finding my voice. My supermom voice.

How could I have known that something so profound would happen, that it would make that voice clear and block out all the background noise. When I started writing, I knew there were more supermoms in the world than would admit it. No one thinks of themselves in that light.

In our perception that we could always improve, we obtain that supermom status. As they say, the only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing. As parents, and mothers, we are constantly trying to improve. We want to be better people for our children. That’s why people take night classes and second jobs. It’s why I have a pair of mom jeans that are my go to outfit, because the money I’m saving by not having the latest jeans, goes into my kids’ college fund.

So why are we unable to recognize our efforts. Maybe not label ourselves supermom, but pat ourselves on the back once in a while?

Last week, I had a missed miscarriage. On Saturday, I went into the E.R. dehydrated from all the morning sickness. I got some I.V. fluids, the ER doctor checked the baby and everything was right on track. The baby was bouncing around in there, and sucking his thumb. On Thursday, I went in to my Ob’s office for a pre-natal visit. I was 12 weeks today and my doctor and I were having pleasant conversation, and chuckling at things the other had said, and then her face changed. She couldn’t find a heartbeat on the Doppler. No worries, she said, we’ll go across that hall and look at the ultrasound. We had seen the heartbeat prior, so it should be no problem. I nervously mentioned that the baby was just fine Saturday in the ER, I’m sure everything was fine. It wasn’t. She couldn’t see a heartbeat, and called in one of the other doctors. She couldn’t see it either. They were able to get me in right away for the high risk doctor, who in their view, had much better equipment, that could see with more depth. In that ultrasound, I stared at my baby’s chest, and it was so still.

It was finally hitting me what they were trying to tell me. My baby had passed away. I immediately blamed myself.

Since Thursday, everyone has told me it isn’t my fault. The doctors, my husband, my family and friends, even my support from my online baby board. These things happen, there was nothing I could do. I was not to blame. I’ll probably need to hear this a thousand more times before I truly believe there was nothing I could do.

As mothers, we always find more to do, with our ultimate goal being that we protect our children. When you are unable to do that, you can’t help but feel that you’ve failed. This is why I believe there are so many out there, that are unable to recognize their role as supermom. Because we always feel that we can stretch a little further, do a little more and accomplish more, we forever remain, not yet supermom.

This blog will be the voice of all those women, constantly striving for more for our children.

“It’s sad when the little ones go back to school”

My mother said this to me today. I quickly reminded her how ecstatic she was when we, as children, would return to school at the end of the summer. My mom stayed at home with us, while my dad worked full-time. She had a part-time cleaning job on Wednesday evenings and Sundays to give us the extra cash on hand needed for vacations, and the things beyond necessities.

I remember the lead up to summer vacation, and how my mother made it clear to us there was to be no lazy days of summer in her house. Our first day of summer, we were given a daily chore list. This list had to be completed each day before we were to do anything else. These tactics are required when you have four children, as my mother did. Of course, each year, we’d protest our lists, always more challenging than the list given to us in prior years, because as we grew, so did our abilities. With all the activities we had and plans with friends, we quickly moved past our whining and would get straight to work in the morning. My older sister and I, the closest in age of the four of us, would have competitions, who would finish first.

Once we were released from service, we left the house. It didn’t take long to understand that if you hung around my mom too long, she’d find something for you to do. “I’m bored.” is not a thing to say to my mother.

But even with my mother’s brilliant strategy, at the end of every summer, she was ready for us to get back into our school routine, where she was left in peace by herself to do the work in which she took such pride. No more screaming kids, yelling because we were arguing, or excited, or just plain obnoxious.

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This same woman just told me “It’s sad when the little ones go back to school.”

Really? I couldn’t help myself, but needed to point out that this was not her view as a mother, and obviously were the rantings of a grandmother. Of course, she’s not silly, she can recognize that her stance on the subject has changed. I can understand how unsettling it is that her baby (my younger sister) is now 30 years old, and not only that, but her grandchildren are growing so tall that it can be difficult to reconcile that they are the same little cherubs that were underfoot, not that long ago. They grow up fast.

I’m sure we are all glad to see the return of the usual routine. But she does have a small point. I have 4 children, all boys, ages 16, 13, 10 and 1-year-old. We are expecting another child next year in March. Where does the time go? It’s hard to imagine that my babies are getting so big, and with the start of a new school year, they are passing another milestone.

It is easier for me to share my mother’s new viewpoint, because unlike her, I’m not home with them all day. I go office to my nice (quiet) air-conditioned office, and my husband stays with them. Maybe I should ask my husband if he’s sad to see the kids go back to school?

Not Yet Supermom

As it seems, the pressure is indeed on us moms to be more than moms, we must be supermoms. I don’t have any moms in my life that would call themselves a supermom, but I know supermoms. Funny how that works, huh?

When I was little, I wanted to be a mom, but not like my mother. I was going to be way cooler, more worldly and obviously, better dressed. I was going to have my babies in Africa, while doing research on African Lions, like Dr. Anne Pusey. Now, when I look at my mother, she is the original supermom to me, and a lot of the motivation I have to be a better parent comes from her example. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still strive to “have it all” – the career, the nice home life, the happy family.

There is only so much one person can do. When you begin to feel as though everyone’s happiness is dependent on you, you can crack. But supermoms don’t crack.

I think of Jessica Parker in I Don’t Know How She Does It – on the outside, people see you as that complete package. What they can’t know is the internal strife caused by putting so much pressure on yourself.

I plan to share my ups and down on this blog. I hope I’ll learn more about myself, maybe see patterns that I can’t currently. Maybe you can share your wins and losses too. We’ll grow, together!