A Travellerspoint blog

May 2012

My Worst Mom Moment

37 °F

Today I had a real mom moment...one unlike any I have had in recent weeks, a total lapse of concentration. I set up a play date reunion in Seattle for one week before I got there. Everyone was there to see us today, and we don't arrive in Seattle until NEXT Friday. Oops. Apparently I cannot be trusted with planning, which is why I have officially passed over all confirmations of airline reservations, car rentals and the like to my husband, who although he doesn't get much more sleep than I do,apparently is more evolutionarily capable of handling it.

I was giving myself such a hard time over this mishap today...
until I realized, hello, I have so many things to juggle: work, family, groceries, food, writings, schedules, money, house, projects...

I find myself making a list, checking everything twice. I was actually feeling pretty good about keeping it all together until my husband reminded me of my OTHER worst mom moment, which came this week. We were rushing from Tahoe down to Reno to bring our son to the Children's Discovery Museum there. It is a great museum, full of art, education, nature, science, discoveries! So Bodhi climbs back into his seat, gets his video player, and his snacks I packed, and off we go. Several miles down the road I look back to discover that he was never snapped into his car seat. Instead of panicking, I lean back from the passenger seat and snap and tighten him into his seat. I can't believe I forgot. Even more surprising was that I took it in stride. Oops, my mistake. I recalled the only other time I did not strap him into his car seat. He was about 3 months old then, and we were on our way to my mommy's group (yes, the very same as above for mommy mistake #1) He was asleep, so I strapped him in but didn't tighten him completely. I was waiting until I turned on the car, to keep him asleep, but then I forgot. I noticed about three blocks from our house on a neighborhood road, and quickly pulled over, tightened him up, and sobbed for ten minutes. I couldn't believe I could forget something so essential. For someone so precious.

It seems as our babies grow up, we become a little more relaxed about making mistakes, and give them a bit more room to explore. I have been talking with my good friend Amy who just had a little girl, three weeks old today. I remember those first weeks, wanting to protect them from everything, Not wanting them out of your sight. Every peep was attended to, every second you want to be by their side. As Bodhi has grown, I find I take a step back. At first, I followed him as he crawled and climbed on the playground. Now I watch from a bit further away. I let him work things out, pick things up, try things on his own. But it's been a slow and steady process of letting go, of understanding that he is less fragile, more capable, and of giving myself a little more room for mistakes. When you have a baby, you feel you have to be perfect: meet every need right away, know exactly what your baby wants at all times, be ready to nurse at any hour, day or night. Now I realize that accepting my own flaws and mistakes will make it easier for my son to accept his own. Being your very best, and trying your best, is enough...you don't have to be perfect to be the best mom.

Posted by globalmomma 05:19 Archived in USA Tagged best baby tahoe perfect mom reno motherhood perfection Comments (0)

Mother's Day

sunny 80 °F

...the one day in the world when we are formally acknowledged for the toughest, most demanding job there is. I don't think there is any other job that requires this much of your soul, mind, and your heart...at least, I hope not.

This is my own third Mother's Day, and I remember each one, like a badge of congratulations for all I have done for that year. This year takes us from the middle of Italy last May (where I spent last year's Festa Della Momma), through our summer traveling throughout Europe. Mostly full of adventures and new experiences, but also filled with some difficult times trying to figure out where we would end up next, where our next footsteps would take us, and how I would continue to convey consistency and security to my son who was sleeping in a new place every week.

This experience of traveling on the road with a one year old taught me, or I should say reinforced in me, that home is where you are. That life is wherever you are. That the journey is taken day by day. And that doesn't make it insecure or scary. It makes it present. Many people think it's necessary to build a stable foundation of a home, a place, a routine that helps a child feel safe. I thought this too, perhaps from something I had read. I thought it was best to be in the same place day after day. But what I realized from last year of travel is that what is most important to feeling safe and secure the people around you. We found friendships all around us. We found community from town to town, place to place. But wherever we went, we went as a family. The safety and the trust that I was worried about interrupting in my son last year, I actually reinforced and strengthened with our roaming. You know why? I helped him see that where he laid his head did not make his home; wherever we were as a family, that was home. Home is where the people around you, they support you, they surround you with love.

So this year on Mother's Day, I am thankful that I can spend it in such a beautiful place, on Hawaii Island; but more importantly, I am thankful that I can spend it in the comfort of my home, which is my family.

Posted by globalmomma 01:43 Archived in USA Tagged home travel italy family day security hawaii heart safety festa mother's della momma Comments (0)

Helicopter Mom

sunny 80 °F

I find this whole thing baffling: on one side we are supposed to puree, and steam, and stamp little sandwiches into cute shapes, and make our own party invitations; but on the other side, don't be too hands-on, mom. I read an article in a parenting magazine entitled 'micromanaging helicopter moms'. She stated that moms can be too quick to rush in and fix a problem for their kids, or stay too close while they are interacting in playgroups. She stated we moms can be too overprotective of our kids. OK, I confess that according to the article, I fall into this category. I am that mom who climbs the jungle gym after her toddler, to make sure he doesn't fall off. And who helps to fix his train set when he asks me to, even if it is before I have had my morning coffee. I admit it, I hover. But where is the line between 'attentive' and 'overprotective'?

The way I see it, I answer to myself as a parent. It annoys me when anyone else, my husband included, chimes in on my parenting style. I do what I intuitively feel to be best, with regard to park play, sleep habits, even vaccinations. We are our children's advocates and we are their guardians. If I choose to leave the park when a child is there that seems troublesome and throws rocks, that is my choice. Maybe it's overprotective, maybe neurotic, maybe it's instinctual, maybe sensible. I am the one that has to live with my parenting choices, not anyone else. And so is every other parent. Not their doctor, not your friends. I figure, I am the one (or my husband is the one!) who is up at 3 AM consoling our son if he can't sleep due to our travel plans. I am the one dealing with the consequences of my actions as a parent. We are the ones teaching him life lessons and how to feel about the world around him. We are the ones helping him to feel safe, to trust, to be compassionate, to communicate his feelings. When we focus on the attributes we want to reinforce, and we are thoughtful about how we support and display those qualities in our own life, we can easily pattern these attributes of character in everyday life for our children to see. It is important to trust ourselves as parents, to be aware of our own attitudes and behaviors, and to be present in the moment to do the best we can for our kids. If that makes me a little bit of a helicopter mom to someone else, so be it.

Posted by globalmomma 05:30 Archived in USA Tagged quality style helicopter trust parenting protective clingy nurture boundaries compassion Comments (1)

Those people...

sunny 82 °F

Utoh, honey...don't look now but we have turned into those people that we slightly sidestepped while we were a couple without children. Those people who gushed about how their child was a genius, and spent the first half hour of dinner babbling on about the latest news of their child's life...how he is being potty trained, and how amazing it is to watch him swim. Not that we weren't interested in kids, it's just that... Let's be honest - our kids are the most interesting part of our world, but not necessarily in everyone else's lives.

I remember what it was like before I had a child, to not understand why they became the center of a mother's or a father's universe. Yet now here I am knowing this, and meeting up with a couple friend of ours last night, I still could not keep myself from going on and on with stories and revelations about my son. I had no idea how much I would love my son, and I also had no idea how all-consuming it would be for me, even though I saw it become that for so many other women before me. I thought I was different, thought I could relate, thought I would still be trendy and talk about my own interests and ideas like book clubs and running marathons. Little did I know that most moms are just trying to button their jeans properly after a rough night without sleep, or are spending the better part of their days at the park watching their child conquer something new. They ARE the best part of our days, they are the most interesting thing in our lives - THIS is our new frontier, our new hobby, our new obsession: our children.

Posted by globalmomma 15:53 Archived in USA Tagged children park work obsession hobbies conversation Comments (0)

A few small words...

rain 75 °F

Everyday a few small words. Another sound, another light turning on. Our toddler's mind is expanding so quickly, I feel like I can see it moving, like the tectonic plates or water boiling on the stove, it takes on this kinetic energy all its own.

He has taken to now repeating every word I say (Repeat = danger). I say, Bodhi, lets go home. He says, "go home". I say, come here, let's paint. He: "Here" "Paint". You get the picture. The other day I was cooking something on the stove, and forgot it. I said, "shoot!" loudly, and he said, shoot! shoot! Now he regularly says, "no, no, no." just like that, in a sequence of three. I thought that was the oddest thing, until I heard MYSELF yesterday. No, no, no Bodhi, don't touch that. Ohhhh, so that's where he gets that. I also realized an annoying habit I have of saying, "how about?" before I ask him anything. Because the little parrot has been asking me, how bout? how bout?

How about a trip to the park? How 'bout we go to the store? Or if we are out, I ask him, how many steps are there Bodhi? So now, he says, on his own, "how many? One, two, three...how many?"

The point is that they mimic back our own habits, our phrases, our mannerisms. This can be good, or it can be bad, but it is always, definitely, enlightening. My awareness has been raised just by his constant mirroring of my actions. I try not to judge myself, or others, too harshly for this. He doesn't, he just calls it like it is. I am amazed by his perceptiveness and his desire to know the world. I am also humbled by my ever-striving desire to do everything right, and to say all of the right things. Impossible, yes, but a goal I cannot help but strive for. It is difficult not to want to be perfect parenting, when it is the most important job you will ever have.

Posted by globalmomma 14:59 Archived in USA Tagged education child perfect repeat learning parent growth words Comments (0)

the thought luau

Ahh, it's been a long time since I wrote anything, and I apologize. I have been hibernating thoughts, slow roasting them like an imu pit, in preparation for the feast that is some enlightened moment of writing.

Pardon me, I just had to pause from my thoughts and have a hissy fit, as a cockroach just tried to climb up my toe. ew. There is really no more despicable creature to me than a cockroach. They make my mind squirm. In fact, they just might be the sole impetus that drives me from the Hawaiian islands someday. They are that horrifying! well, them and the damn bird that whistles me awake at five in the morning...before my own alarm clock two year old sings me awake. I usually love hearing the sound of bird song...but not before the sun is up...and not THIS bird that chirps his little lungs out literally half a centimeter from our windowsill. Him I cannot really stand - in fact, I hear myself mumbling thoughts of violent nastiness while I toss and turn and throw a pillow over my ears. OK, enough about the wild critters that draw me back into my home each night. Back to my thoughts...

Soft rain is falling tonight, as it has for the past seven nights. It is a very comforting and soothing friend, the rain. I haven't really been near her for months. I haven't seen steady rain since leaving Seattle in April, and I am now able to see her strengths. Rain helps us to go inside, to get internal, to get real with facing your life. It is easy to be sunny in the summer, and easy to be outside yourself, enjoying time with other people, lavishing the outdoors, being open and exposed. But when the rain comes, there is no place to hide. We retreat indoors, to ourselves, to our core. So now, I turn to write. And I realize how much of my life is becoming full, with the busy efforts of chasing a toddler filled with energy to the endless attempts to establish myself and my practice here in Kona. I am feeling more and more scheduled, having to check my calendar and make plans weeks in advance. I am starting to live a life that is at least somewhat playing into the future, with a forward momentum that is both intoxicating and exhausting.

I try to stay in the here and now, but there are events and ideas causing me to push my brain ahead in time. It is a nice feeling, nonetheless to have a life rich in possibilities, as long as I continue to keep a portion of those plans in the optional category. It is when they become obligatory that life begins to feel constrained and forced, without the spontaneity of choice and discovery. I choose. Optional, functional, open. I enjoy the rhythm of my days lately, spent with park, pools, and playdates, work in between, and the small moment to ourselves whenever we can.

Posted by globalmomma 08:30 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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