Some good reads on the web this week. Click on the title to read the whole thing.
When I fall into one of these mom funks, I somehow manage to feel two conflicting emotions simultaneously. I feel anxious, like there’s something I’m supposed to be doing, but I can’t put my finger on just what. At the same time I have a hard time getting moving on any of the things I know I really need or want to do. I feel stuck, paralyzed, and fretful. (The Mom Funk also tends to result in my making poor decisions, like getting embroiled in Twitter drama, going off half-cocked in a blog post or not really thinking that email through before I hit “send.”)
Clothes Minded from Metalia
When J and I were first married, and I was a lot more, uh, spendy, there came a point where he was all, “you do not need more shoes. Please stop buying shoes. Also, we are basically poor now because of the shoes.” So, I swore up and down that I would stop buying shoes, so that we could afford things such as food, and electricity.
I’m frustrated. I’m looking in my rearview mirror at my girls who have just misbehaved in front of a bunch of other moms. We’re driving away from church.
Did I mention I’m frustrated? I’m shaking my head and wondering how I turned out to be such a bad mother.
“I just need us to be HAPPY!” I repeat.
Someone whispers from the back of the van. I glance back. It’s my nine-year-old.
“But YOU’RE not happy, Mama.” Ouch.
Mishandled from All & Sundry
I don’t know how to help him past these fears, and maybe part of what is so maddening is that we can’t help him, we can’t convince him that it’s okay, we can’t calm him down, and that feels like a failure on top of a failure. I don’t know how to pull aside the muddying issue of caring about what other people think, when these things happen in public. I don’t know if it’s better to hold our ground on certain things or back off completely.
My mother’s Type A behavior falls into the “time-conscious” realm. For instance, during my childhood years, if we weren’t at the airport 4-5 hours in advance of our departing flight, the SHIT HIT THE FAN. How I remember those long hours once we arrived at the airport….staring off into space, being asked if I needed to use the potty 3,679 times, eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, writing a lengthy novel, growing an inch or two…those were the days. As for my mother’s day-to-day grind, being on time means arriving 20-30 minutes early and sitting in the parking lot, the possibility of traffic or weather-related delays is hand-wringing, and being 5 minutes late is coronary infarction-inducing. This woman is on a Prompt Mission, and is not to be messed with in any way, shape or form.
The young women at the Harbor House are doing something almost unheard of, they are reaching for bigger and better things for their children. They are refusing to give their babies to an orphanage, an auntie, or a friend. They are breaking cultural norms in many ways and are committing to nurture their children themselves. The bonding between these babies and their mothers is beautiful to see and it gives them (and us) great hope. We’re more than 50% of the way to receiving the 15K matching grant. Will you consider helping us get there by months end?
“Should I go?” I kept asking the teachers. “Are you sure I shouldn’t stay a few minutes more? An hour? Until lunch?”
“If you want to,” they said.
I did want to. But I left.
I left because she didn’t need me to be there. I left because she was fine without me and in the end, that’s what I wanted. That’s what we all want, right? For our kids to sit confidently at the picnic table, suck the juice from their orange slices without looking back. To grow up the kind of people who seldom, if ever, look back. Who move forward through their lives, open and eager to learn and change and be.
After parenting transracially for almost seven years, I can now count on three hands the adult Black and Biracial friends that we see on a very regular basis--to share a meal, a baseball game, or family celebration. This translates to almost every few days that my kids are spending time with an adult or young adult person of color in addition to the children of some of these friends who are also Black or Biracial. In this list I include African American families, African families, Muslim and Christian families, American and foreign born Black families. In addition we meet on a semi regular basis with other transracial adoptive families, which meets many other needs, and will be talked about in future vignettes.