In these motherhood series I endeavor to share perspectives from mothers of various ages, at various stages in their lives, and parenting. Anna is a driven, hard-working, and loving mother of an amazing boy. She is easy-going, honest, passionate, and most of all, incredibly loyal.
Tell us about yourself
I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, and an aunt. My son Alex is eleven years old and is an amazing child. I love reading, traveling, a good chocolate desert, and do not mind when all three are combined together. I love to learn, laugh, knit, cross stitch, watch the Olympics and Soccer World Cup. Traveling to new places with my husband and my son is something I look forward to and our adventures have formed great memories. Software Engineering is my passion and I’m proud to be working in an exciting and ever-changing industry that is predominately dominated by men. Balancing a full time career and being a parent is not an easy task but I’m grateful to have a truly equal partner in David and for all of the help I get from our family.
Tell us about your mom, your childhood
I grew up in a loving and close-knit family. My father was in the military and so we moved around more often than other families. My mom always eased my adjustment to a new place by instilling the importance of family and time spent together. As a child, I have spent many hours with my mom in the kitchen baking, making jams, and helping with everyday kitchen chores. I can still vividly recall the fragrant smells of freshly made cherry jams or her famous strudel fresh from the oven. The aromas of freshly baked goods filled our flats and made each one instantly feel like home.
My mom took on the lion’s share of childrearing and it was she who taught me to read when I was 5. She also instilled in me a passion for the arts by taking me to the theater. She passed on to me her love for needle arts, something she learned from her own mother, and we continue this passion through the years.
Watching my mom pen letters to her parents is one of my earliest and most beloved memories from my early childhood. Reading news from our family and sharing details and highlights of our own life made us feel closer to our loved ones and to look forward to family reunions and vacations.
What is Alex like? What was he like as an infant?
As an infant, Alex was a very easy going child. He brought nothing but joy and contentedness into my life. As a pre-teen, Alex is smart, caring, curious, funny, passionate and relentless. His pursuit of excellence in all areas makes him a hard worker at school, and a good team player. And while he showed an interest, and an aptitude, in science and technology at a young age, Alex is able to strike a balance with his interest in art, history and mythology.
What is one thing that Alex has said, something that surprised, amused or impressed you that sticks out in your mind?
Alex’s positive outlook and an unstoppable desire to bring joy to people touches me. I remember discussing with Alex, when he was 6, the appropriateness of making jokes during class and his reply was so innocent: “But Mama, I want to make people happy”.
Growing up, Alex has managed to say and do his own share of amusing and interesting things. It is normal for all kids and all parents enjoy and cherish those moments. But there is one thing that does stick out in my mind — kindness and respect he has shown towards the elderly. He always makes sure, without being prompted to do so, that his great-grandmother is comfortable and goes the extra mile to help her.
What has given you the most joy as a mother?
My biggest joy is seeing the world through my son’s eyes and sharing experiences with him. It is incredibly refreshing and, I think, makes me a better person too.
“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”
Is motherhood different than you imagined it? If yes, describe how so.
I can’t say motherhood was different than what I imagined it to be. I helped my Mom to raise my sister (who is 10 years younger) and I think I was prepared for challenges and sacrifices all parents make. As a matter of fact, my sister has often had to remind me that I was not her mother. I guess I was acting like one 😉
Any advice or comments for women who are soon to become new moms?
Cherish every single day. Don’t rush time – enjoy today and make it matter.