Tag: mother’s day perspectives

In these motherhood series I endeavor to share perspectives from mothers of various ages, at various stages in their lives, and parenting. Judi is a strong and passionate mother of two and grandmother of two. She is outspoken, engaging, caring, and fun. Judi’s zest for adventure and values have passed along to her children.

Tell us about yourself

I am a wife, daughter, sister, mom, aunt, and grammy.  I have always mothered my dolls, younger brother, other’s children (babysitting, camp counselor, teacher), our children, nieces, dogs, and grandchildren.  I have always had a love for early childhood education and pursued degrees through the masters level.

Tell us about your mom, your childhood

As an infant, I am told, I was very active, so much so, that I needed to be pinned into my crib so that I would not climb out. I was apparently a good problem solver.

My childhood was filled with doll play, creative crafts, and lots of outdoor imaginative play.  Dinnertime was family time.  My mom would prepare iced tea, salad, a vegetable, starch, and protein. When we got hurt there was lots of TLC and bandaides.  When we came home from school there was a snack of a big glass of milk with a Hershey’s kiss at the bottom.  Our maternal grandparents were always visiting or we visited them.  My paternal Grandmother Elizabeth, from Miami Beach, would stay with us for the summer.

What are Evan and Sara like?  

Evan has grown into a wonderful, knowledgeable, caring, and responsible son, husband, grandson, brother, and father.  Sara has matured into a beautiful, knowledgeable, self-sufficient, responsible, outspoken, daughter, wife, granddaughter, and sister.

What were they like as infants?

As an infant, Evan was alert from the second he was born.  He would immediately cry if his dad or I were not the ones holding him. Evan was not the best sleeper, colicky, not requiring much sleep, and needing to be close to me away from his crib.  Evan was a very happy, focused baby.  He was content and curious about the world around him.  At 6 months, Evan started saying simple words like hi and ball.  He loved going in the car and seeing everything.  He was the fastest crawler and walked at 12 months old.  Evan was not a big eater, picking at food here and there and enjoyed nursing.

Sara was a happy, content, and easy baby.  She would go-with-the-flow as long as she was with me.  Sara would sit, and be very content, at 6 months, enjoying talking to her toys.  She had a full vocabulary in sentences by 12 months and she would singing entire songs. Sara loved her crib and sleeping in it.  Sara was very focused in her play and could sit with her dolls engaging them in play.  Sara was not very advanced in her gross motor skills, preferring to sit, to talk, and play.  She walked when it was demanded of her at 15 months.  Eating solids was fine for Sara though she also preferred to nurse.

What is one thing that your kids have said, something that surprised, amused or impressed you that sticks out in your mind?

Too many surprising, amusing stories.  Both children had imaginary friends that kept us busy.  Evan had Stucka & Nancy who lived in Oil Town, and Sara had Sally Rislan & the Patoota.

What has given you the most joy as a mother?

Seeing both children evolve into happy, caring, and self-sufficient individuals.

Is motherhood different than you imagined it? If yes, describe how so.

Not really!  I had spent so much time babysitting and reading about child development that there were no surprises.  The biggest challenge was overcoming the media-driven perception that all infants sleep all day and the mothers chat and sit around drinking coffee.  Evan was born in December and it was very isolating having to stay inside, by ourselves, when it was cold.

Do you think it’s easier or more difficult to be a mother now than when you were raising your children?

I think that it is much more difficult for moms now with social media.  Everyone knows what everyone else is doing or how “advanced” someone elses child is.  The world is more accessible and there are more stranger dangers.

It is also easier in many ways. There are many external support groups for moms and parent/child programs.  Back when I was a new mother, the supermarkets and stores were not open early in the morning or on Sundays. There were no parks with nice playgrounds, so all we could do was walk around our neighborhoods.

What is it like to be a grandmother vs. mother?  

Being a mother and a grandmother is a joy!  Being a mother is constant “being on high alert” and constantly tired.  Being a grandmom is much more relaxing and the grandchildren grow up faster!

Any advice or comments for women who are soon to become new moms?

Get a lot of sleep now and try to relax!  Join parenting groups so that you can see that other parents are going through the same things that you are.

Motherhood

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.

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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.”

Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match

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.

Motherhood

In these motherhood series I endeavor to share perspectives from mothers of various ages, at various stages in their lives, and parenting. Luba is a loving mother of two energetic kids. She is spirited, passionate, and caring. Luba has been kissed by wanderlust and is instilling a sense of adventure into her little girl and boy.

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Tell us about yourself

I am a former teacher, turned stay-at-home mom of two children. Raising my children has been my full-time job for nearly nine years.  Each day is filled with trials and challenges, but also coupled with joys. I consider raising my children the most difficult, yet the most important, job I will ever have.

Tell us about your mom, your childhood

My own mother raised my sister and me with traditional values.  She believed in the importance of raising hard working, well-mannered, respectful children.  My mother and father immigrated to America in their early 30-ies with a three year old and two month old in tow. Looking back, now that I am also a mother of two, on what this stage of life must have been like for her, I am in awe thinking about how difficult it must have been.  Both my parents worked hard to continue their education, grow in the corporate world, and most importantly, raise my sister and me.  My mother balanced all of this while instilling strong, respectable values in my sister and me.  These very core principles form the core of who I am as a person, and undergird the values my husband and I work to instill in our own children .

What are Ethan and Rachel like?

In a word, wonderful!  In another word, impossible!

What were they like as infants?

I’ve blocked many of those memories, at least for now ….  But in all seriousness, Ethan was a difficult infant who ate under protest and slept against his will.  When he did sleep and eat, he was a precocious bundle of joy who kept us laughing and made us marvel at his abilities. Rachel, on the other hand, was a trouble-free infant — she slept well, ate well, and always had a smile on her face. Her fun-loving personality appeared quickly showing a happy mix of adventure and “give me what I want or else.”

What is one thing that your kids have said, something that surprised, amused, or impressed you that sticks out in your mind?

This is an impossibly difficult question to answer because both of my kids have impressed and surprised me every day of their lives.  For example, Ethan has a memory like no one I’ve ever met, and even as a very small child would remember small details others forsake. Rachel is amazingly street-smart with a personality that lights up a room.

What has given you the most joy as a mother?

Watching the discovery of the world through my children’s eyes is by far the biggest joy I continue to experience as a mother.

Is motherhood different that you imagined it? If yes, describe how so.

Motherhood is different because it is much more difficult than I imagined.  I’m embarrassed to admit now that I used to believe that rambunctious children were a direct result of poor parenting and well behaved children were a result of good parenting.  After having my own, I understood that children are just born with their personalities and there’s only so much shaping that we can do.  That said, what we sometimes see as challenging traits will serve them quite well later in life, only to be labeled as a positive quality.

Any advice or comments for women who are soon to become new moms?

If you haven’t already done so, discover wine…to help you endure the whining!

Motherhood

In these motherhood series I endeavor to share perspectives from mothers of various ages, at various stages in their lives, and parenting. Florina is a caring, loving mother of two amazing boys. She is driven, athletic, and most of all, incredibly empathetic. She has a big heart and has instilled beautiful values in her amazing boys.

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Tell us about yourself

I’m a suburban, working mom of two young, active boys, transplanted from an urban lifestyle and carefree Jersey shore summer days in my 20’s.  I’m married to a big-hearted, loving, hard-working man that never stops giving and doing for his family.  I enjoy an active lifestyle and have a love/hate relationship with running. I have always been goal oriented and still feel my best when I check things off my list. I love photography and received my most favorite (material) gift to date, my Canon DSLR camera, right before my first son was born. I love how pictures can capture a simple moment and transform it into a timeless, priceless documented memory. I am gender-wise outnumbered in my house and loving life as a mom of boys, trying to “enjoy this time while they’re little,” as everyone tells a mother to do.

Tell us about your mom, your childhood

My parents brought our family to this country when my mom was at an age younger than I am now, leaving most of her family behind in the former Soviet Union.  I still cannot fathom the strength and will it took to leave everything she knew behind for so many unknowns with a mere $400 in her pocket (not to mention a painful case of pancreatitis with subsequent emergency surgery).  She has always believed in hard work and dedication, and with an additional year of school in this country, became a licensed pharmacist.  My mom is loyal by nature and worked in the same hospital for over 25 years until her retirement a couple years ago.  She is very loving and worries to a fault about everyone she loves.

My childhood was full of countless weekend games of hide and seek, open-ended lego building, neighborhood Super Soaker water fights, Nintendo 8-bit Super Mario Bros., and endless summers running through sprinklers and homemade slip ’n slides.  My sister and I went to overnight summer camp for many memorable years, traveled overseas and spent countless summers with our beloved grandmother in Brooklyn. I still joke today that I only had 6 toys, which is somewhat true, however, I never felt deprived. My imagination probably flourished more than it ever could have with countless battery-operated Fisher Price and Little Tikes tchotchkes.  I think it was good for me to want many, many things but only get a few.  I worry that supplying our kids with much more than we had will be detrimental in the long run.  I hope the life skills we provide them and their natural temperament will keep them grounded; not entitled as many Millennials are today.

What are Jaxon and Dylan like? What were they like as infants?

Jaxon (4) and Dylan (2) are opposites with a splash of core similarities.  Jaxon is incredibly sweet, sensitive, thoughtful, silly, bright, loving, and quite adaptable. Dylan is a strong, smart, assertive, warm, playful, stubborn, and animated goofball.  Their friendship is growing before our eyes and is so warming to our hearts.  I hope they are best friends for life.

As infants, Jaxon was a fairly easy baby minus the crazy vomiting the first year.  His sleep was beautiful as he started sleeping through the night conveniently as soon as I went back to work; his first proof of his amazing thoughtfulness. Dylan was a shell shock to our unit his first 6 weeks on our team.  His cry was piercing and he was just louder than Jaxon ever was at his peak, as if Dylan knew the second child needed to be heard.  I went back to work and he still woke up once or twice at night.  But, similar to his brother, he was sleeping through the night soon after.  Now I’m just holding on to the fading dimpled hands of my youngest and taking all the hugs and kisses they will give and take!

What is one thing that your kids have said, something that surprised, amused or impressed you that sticks out in your mind?

This is a tough one. There have been countless funny “Jaxonisms” and newly found “Dylanisms” — each day there is something new they do or say that amuses or amazes me.  Just today, Dylan took the toy abacus for the first time and counted to 26, counting each single bead.  He hammed it up, too.  He loves the spotlight. Jaxon has peaked (I hope) with the potty humor so I’ll keep this “G” rated.  But here’s one story that was told to me that impressed me: Jaxon and Dylan both slept over my parent’s house the other weekend; Jaxon’s only time sleeping over there since he was 7 months old.  Jaxon woke up bright and early before anyone else and quietly went downstairs by himself.  When my mom found him a short time later, she asked why he didn’t come wake them.  He answered that he didn’t want to wake Zeyda because his back hurt (he threw out his back the day before).  That was a proud mom moment.  In general, child development amazes me.

What has given you the most joy as a mother?

I get the most joy seeing my children learn and grow into their unique selves and in turn teach me more about myself.  I see specks of myself and my husband in each of our sons, which is consequently a blessing and a curse.  Sometimes I look at them in awe thinking “wow…we made that.”  It is still hard to grasp the miracle of them and their existence.  Of course, the spontaneous “I love you, Mommy” with endless kisses and hugs galore are tough to top.  My boys are cuddle bugs and it makes the hard days more soft!

Is motherhood different than you imagined it? If yes, describe how so.

Yes and No.  I expected it to be the most difficult, thankless, 24 hours/7 days a week job I would ever have full of worry, trial and error and lack of sleep and privacy.  What I didn’t account for was how it would change ME completely as a person.  Completely.  I can’t watch the news involving a child without breaking down with total empathy for the mother and child as if I knew them personally.  I hear stories of gun violence, child abuse and drugs and although it always affected me, it now gets me to the core.  Any story involving a child, I immediately think, “what if that were my child. I can’t imagine what that mother is going through.”  I think of our world and the future differently than I used to, wanting to help change things for the better and believing every small part will help.  When I became a mother, I became a better person.

Any advice or comments for women who are soon to become new moms?

Let go of any judgements you hold of other moms for then you will not be so hard on yourself.  When the time comes (and it will), let go of the guilt.  It will come hard some days…it doesn’t matter if you work full-time or stay at home, breastfeed or formula feed, use cloth diapers or generic brand diapers, buy organic food or what’s on sale, co-sleep until they’re in elementary school or put them in a crib from day one, attachment parent or helicopter parent or don’t know what either one means.  You will know what works best for you and your family.  The rest is just noise.  The Beatles said it best…all you need is love.  Of course, extra “me-time” would be awesome, too. (Note: If you picked a good partner, you get almost enough of this.)

Motherhood

In these motherhood series I endeavor to share perspectives from mothers of various ages, at various stages in their lives, and parenting. Brandi is a thirty-something mom with a master’s in special education. She is energetic, passionate, caring, committed, and a great friend. One of the things that she and I have is our common love of family. Her little boy Ethan is a joy.
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Tell us about yourself

While verbosity has never been an issue, I struggle immensely when trying to write about myself. I was born and raised in Philadelphia and was lucky to have an amazing childhood.  My parents worked hard to provide for my younger brother and me while instilling their morals and teaching us the importance of loved ones.

After college, graduate school, and a few career paths, I landed myself the perfect teaching job – I was a special education teacher in an affluent private school.  Although I had taken a salary cut for this job, my husband reassured me that this position was worth it and I couldn’t agree more.  My goal at the time was to spend sometime as a classroom teacher then work my way into a leadership position, either at a school or in a consultative position.

While 8 months pregnant with my son, Ethan, I learned that due to budgetary cuts I would not have a job the following school year.  I never envisioned myself a stay-at-home mom.  While I was not a 9 to 5 career woman, I had worked very hard to put myself through graduate school and find a job that I truly loved.  As I begin to enter my third year in my stay-at-home mom position I’ve learned to embrace this career.

Tell us about your mom, your childhood

My mom is an amazing woman, and one of my best friends.  It took me into adulthood to truly appreciate my mom and look past a lot of our differences.  Anyone who has met my parents will be quick to say that I have my father’s personality – outgoing, assertive, passionate, and stubborn.  While my mom shares some of these traits she is extremely non-confrontational, a pushover, and incredibly sensitive.  Those differences have caused us to butt heads for decades.  Even in my mid 30’s I still tend to hurt my mom’s feelings more often than I probably should but I have learned to be more patient with her, and apologize (even when not necessary) just to appease her.  In the end, she’s my mom, my confidant, my teacher, my cheerleader and my friend.

What is Ethan like? What was he like as an infant?

Anyone that meets my 3 year old son is quick to comment on both how personable he is and how much of a handful.  Ethan is now just like he was as an infant — curious and busy.  He is an incredibly vivacious child, lighting up any room he is in.  He is quick to make friends, and small talk with anyone around.  With the flip of a switch Ethan is also rapidly exploring the world around him.  He has very few fears and spends much of his time testing limits and experiencing all that life has to offer (regardless of how dirty or dangerous it may be).

What is one thing that Ethan has said, something that surprised, amused or impressed you that sticks out in your mind?

As I already mentioned, Ethan’s personality and happiness are quite infectious.  He constantly surprises me with how much he pays attention and takes in everything he sees, feels, and hears.  The biggest shocker was after just nine days at preschool camp he came home reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” — my husband, Andrew, and I were amazed.

What has given you the most joy as a mother?

Seeing how happy Ethan is, always.  I am lucky to have a child who is (almost) always happy!

Is motherhood different than you imagined it? If yes, describe how so.

Not really.  I’ve embraced every minute of it so far and look forward to what joys it will continue to bring me.

Any advice or comments for women who are soon to become new moms?

Accept chaos.  I am very type A; I like order, control and become anxious when I lose either.  Since becoming a mother I’ve learned to let go. New moms need to know that no one expects you, or your life to be perfect.  Most days will not go as planned.  Germs are okay.  Kids will get hurt.  Just remember that as long as you, your child(ren), & your partner/spouse have made it through the day, that no one is in imminent danger, and you haven’t broken any laws, consider it a good day.  Let go of any expectations you had of parenthood and embrace these new amazing adventures!

Motherhood