the delicate art of balancing motherhood and life

Hello world! March 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — chezmonchichi @ 1:55 AM

It was a dark and stormy night…. Any one who blogs must begin the daunting task of the first entry.  Visions of Snoopy typing furiously away on his house, throwing sheets of paper away come to mind.  As you can see, this blog will be one of the bajillions of mommy blogs out there. Unoriginal? Yes. Boring? A good chance of that. Might start a discussion with you? Hopefully.  I do know that it is unlikely that I will say anything earth shattering or new to any of you who may occasionally read this (i.e. my friends).  This blog is simply for myself to keep the brain juices flowing and prevent further loss of my thinning vocabulary.

I am an older, stay-at-home mom of a 2 year old girl. I think that older moms find the “job” of motherhood humbling. At least I do. I initially worked in the entertainment business then went on to be a lawyer.  Both were high stress jobs.  In the biz (entertainment folks call it that), my hours were from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., lunch and dinner on the run, making a paltry sum with high-powered execs screaming at you and yet, ignoring you at the same time.  I remember one executive producer standing in front of my desk, screaming at me like a lunatic, and tearing the leaves off a potted tree because the call from his wife in Europe, got dropped.  ATT’s crappy coverage somehow became my problem.

I then traded one crazy career for another by going to law school. Hours at the law firm were horrendous: 6 a.m.-11 p.m.  There were several months when I worked every single day except one.  When I say every day, I mean Every Day  — Saturday and Sunday too.  I managed to take one day out of an entire month off.  One case was particularly grueling for all the associates working on it.  The day I took a 20 minute nap in the conference room on a Saturday was a low point.

So, now you’re saying, being a stay-at-home mom is total cake-walk, sister!  Nope. The stresses are different and while I may not be dealing with a crumbling corporation or screaming, ego-filled execs, the stakes are higher.  I have a little being whom I responsible for; someone who will be an adult in this world, must handle it all and ultimately succeed.  We’re talking more than ABC’s and potty training.  She has to deftly handle emotions, obstacles, demands, social media, and boys!  Or worse, girls!

There is no specialized education or training for motherhood. You have only 9 months to prepare yourself with what’s to come.  You think you know what to do, because all your friends have already told you everything.  But the baby arrives and you’re just wildly stabbing in the dark mostly because you’re just so freakin’ exhausted.  In law, I could find all the answers in a book, or at least fashion an answer from a book. Yes, parenting advice is also available in books.  As a type-A lawyer, it’s not surprising that I’ve read more parenting books than I would care to admit. When my little munchkin was 4 months old, I desperately read so many sleep training books, convinced that the golden answer would miraculously put her to sleep without screaming or crying. But no. I cobbled some theories and ultimately, she just cried and screamed anyway as she put herself to sleep. I might as well have not read a single book. Raising children is not like practicing law.  There is no right answer.  You can’t study it or acquire training beforehand. You just hope it works.

I’ve also noticed that, unlike finding legal precedent on-line quickly for an agitated partner, parenting advice is often not available at critical moments.  Oh, say, such as being by yourself with a toddler as she melts down on an airplane when your hands are full of stuff, you’re sweaty because you had to carry this 25 pound person through the airport along with everything you could possibly stuff in your carry-on; people are glaring at you and you know they are furiously Facebooking about the nightmare kid on the airplane and you’re doing everything you can to calm her.  Snacks….pacifier…. new toy I bought for the airplane…Sky Mall….air sickness bag… anything dammit!  The shrugs and sheepish smiles you flash to the flight attendants and other passengers feel pathetic.

Motherhood is humbling because it’s so personal and  no one has all the answers.  Especially not me.  Flying by the seat of my pants. Each moment is a teachable moment – either for her or for me.  But I wouldn’t trade this “job” or these moments with her for the world.  For every bump or trial, there’s the warm, sleepy snuggle in the bed before the first light of morning, the giggles, the quiet reading together, dancing around like fools, watching her experience everything for the first time and seeing the wonderment and joy in her face, and last but not least, the “i love you mommy.”


5 Responses to “Hello world!”

  1. Molly Says:

    Thanks, Nana, for this eloquent monologue about the challenges that face us moms who have chosen to transplant themselves into the world of full-time motherhood. Humbling captures the feeling so well. Lonely too. I hope this blog can give you and your circle, and selfishly me, a sense of community in an oftentimes achingly isolating pursuit.

  2. jlinfante Says:

    Great job, can’t wait for the next one

  3. Fabiola Says:

    Loved the first entry. Love your courage and determination to finally do it. I concur with, literally, and that is not to be a Yes-Friend, everything that you said. Is no easy task to do what we are attempting to do, some days with more success, according to our own standards, than others and yet we wake up every morning wanting to be the best mothers that we can be ( Hmm….It almost seems that the “Stay at Home Mom” title should be reassessed as ” Working Stay at Home Mom”…) The reality, is that as much as we are already contributing to society by making a cognizant choice to stay at home with our children, hoping that the short, medium and long term investment and the benefits that unquestionably ( am I being too optimistic? ) will come from this commitment towards our little one(s), will or hope to pay off, it continues to be a daunting, and at times isolating journey. And for that — I say, on this gloomy, stormy Sonoma day — let’s raise our every day pinot noir glass of wine. Cheers to us and for our mission in life to be the best mothers we can conceivably become!

  4. Kristina Says:

    Good for you!!!! I’ve thought about starting a blog, more for me than anything else, kinda like the modern day diary I guess but have never followed through! Look forward to reading your next one and always so happy to be on this crazy journey with you 🙂

  5. So nice to hear from my fabulous cadre of moms who inspire, support and help me feel sane on this roller-coaster! Thank you for indulging and reading my blog. As Molly said, it does create a sense of community, which I hadn’t thought of before. And hear, hear to Fabiola on raising a glass and cheer to us!

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