Friday, March 1, 2013

The Mama Sisterhood

MOTHERHOOD is a Club....

and you have to respect the Mama Sisterhood! 

Noah at the Drumline Performance.
There is a good reason why I'm inclined to identify myself as a mother, but I don't often reference being a wife - in many ways they are intertwined.  If you read my posts, you'll know that I have often talked about my wife reality, from Domestic Sexy to things I just don't understand, like the Fear of Laundry completion.  None of those things defines life overall, but I think the reality of being a mother and being a wife are in my life elements of the same story.  I couldn't be the mother that I am without having a husband.  I grew up with a mother who encouraged excellence, set an extremely high bar, did everything she could to give me the advantages of my peers, and instructed me that education was a tool for moving beyond what I could see around me.  She also did everything, in essence, by herself.  In a conversation earlier this week I was reminded of her struggles to navigate a rocky landscape for my brother and I, and the many differences that exist in our lives, and our life choices.  The reality is even in my earliest of days, she was teaching me lessons for the future.


Music man exploring options.
I love to SMASH - no not just eat good food, but Smash my memories in scrapbooks, journals and the latest of my obsessions, SMASH Books that allow for a more impromptu collection of experiences.  What I have realized, largely because I take pictures on the fly, (and I have yet to start a KickStarter campaign to fund a new camera) photos don't tell the full story.  I look at our changing landscape and I fight against this notion of "it takes a village," because I believe you have to be responsible for YOUR own village, before the village can help.  I know that sounds unclear.  Before I realized the need for additional help, and the benefit of quality support, I recognized that it took two to make a thing go right - at least in our household.  I'm not as strong as my mother, as independent as my mother, as well paid as my mother (who had 1 degree less and a wealth more natural talent) or as selfless as my mother. I thought from day 1 - I need long term help, as in the kind that means you are there every day, in every way.   God then blessed us with Aunties, Godparents, Grandma's, Granny's, Women of the Church, Neighbors, Parents of the Kids friends, 2nd Family Members, etc., to round out that support network that allows so much more than I every realized.  You can read my Ms. Eva post to learn more about my circle. 


This is not a dad high 5 post - although fatherhood is a topic that matters to me dearly.  Sometimes it keeps me up at night.  It is a personal reality check, however.  I can sponsor a Jack and Jill event for 2 age groups to see Drumline, because my husband supports the endeavor and has only a minor cringe when I communicate the cost.  I can be there for the track meet events, because I wasn't there in the morning seeing that everyone made the bus and had breakfast, many mornings he does that.  I can take a kidlet to explore the arts, because the other kidlet is at Basketball practice with his father.  When I was growing up, the equation wasn't so simple.  Heck, this is our life and it isn't simple.  We have gone from man-to-man to zone, and we've been working for 13 years to figure it out.  This Mama Hustle is absolutely no joke, but I am able to be a better mother because I have permanent assistance, in the kind that comes with having a full-time father in the home.


The days I hope I remember always.
It has been an emotional week.  If ever I could have a therapy fund this might have been a good time to use it.  I reflected on the things that I wanted to do, wanted to try, aspired to experience....and I thought of my mother, my aunts, my grandmother doing all that they could to make it so.  I used to be so much more critical of the choices of others - because I just had not lived long enough.  I get it. I get it. I get it.  We all make choices, we all do the best that we can, we all dance the dance of life and navigate the circumstances as they change.  In pursuit of joy, and in an effort to find my joy, today I celebrate children, motherhood and the support network - yes the village - that makes a difference.  I wanted to scream this morning when I had a small self-reflection about how people don't realize what you've done in trying to make a difference in the lives of others....and then I looked more deeply in that mirror myself.  We could all do a better job of recognizing how we, "Make it Do what It Do!"  Motherhood is not a silo experience, not in my world, not in the way my children have experienced life.

So - Willy Wonka has a local premier tonight - got a kid in that.  Divisionals for swimming - got a kid in that.  Studying fractions and echoing short answer questions - got a kid who doesn't even realize he'll be doing that, or no football this season.  More importantly, however - I think I'll hug a little deeper, snuggle a little more intently, smile as I taxi, and say a prayer of thanks - this life of motherhood, I wouldn't have it any other way.  Well, funding that life should be done differently....but that is indeed another post!  How do you make it work?  How do you perfect your mama schedule?  What lessons have you carried from childhood?  How do you do life differently for the sake of your children?  Who would you thank for helping you become the mother that you are?  or are you one of those life altering anchors that makes some mother thankful to have that unyielding support?  If she hasn't said it lately, THANK YOU.

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