What I wanted as a new mom

I look through the photo albums with my oldest of when she was a baby, showing her what she looked like tiny. With all family and friends that were around in the pictures, she loves the thought that she used to be that small. My youngest pops up beside us on the couch and the three of us continue to look through both baby books.
With a pang in my heart, I would never want to go back to those days. Days that were filled with domestic duties set in isolation. There was no one to rescue me so I could nap while my husband was at work. There was no mom to come bring me lunch, nor a grandmother to spoil my daughter.
If I had a chance to offer ideas to people wondering what to get a motherless mom it would be the following:
Time, Meals or Coffee. When you pop by (always make sure she is expecting you, never surprise her.), a meal that she can pop in the oven for dinner is a huge relief and time-saver so she can rest or play with the newborn. Also, offering to watch the baby so she can nap or shower is very kind. A take-out coffee is very popular and can be such a treat for a mom who may not have left the house for the day.
Housekeeping. If budget permits, send a housekeeper even just once would be a treat. Or, without asking, wash some dishes or bottles. It takes ten minutes of your time without a baby in your arms to accomplish most domestic tasks. I know from personal experience that one task with baby in tow can take hours some days.
Books. There are great books from Hope Edleman on being a Motherless Daughter and Mother. I wish I knew of them in the early days with my oldest. Granted there is not much time to read, however the books can be flipped around to read testimonials from fellow motherless moms.
Play dates. If there is a second (or more) newborn in the house, a play date for the older kid is a wonderful gift. The exhausting weeks spent with a newborn and an older child can add to an exhausted mom’s day. Taking the older child out to the park or play in the play room is a win-win for all.
Reflecting on these points that I had wished for, my kids scamper off and race each other around the living room. I watch with a smile. After surviving new motherhood and a second baby, I do love the present time with them. They turned out okay- I think. I guess you can say, so did I.

Friendships Redesigned

As appeared on Wonder MomsGrowing up I had many friends. There were friends from school and friends from ice skating. When my mom died those friends faded away. They didn’t know how to handle the motherless kid. Slowly I made friends in secondary school who didn’t know my mom. Nonetheless making friends was not my strong suit. A coping and survival tool is to be self-reliant.

Through my various jobs I made work friends. They were there for work rants and coffee breaks. At Christmas parties we were comrades. As they moved on to other jobs, or I did, those friendships faded to an occasional email or a Facebook post.

From party friends to work friends the glue was a common bond. When that bond became unglued the friendship faded into the past. I could count on one hand how many unconditional friends I do have.

When I became a mom it changed again. From mommy groups to park dates a whole new world opened up. Everywhere we went a familiar sense of belonging abounded. Once maternity leaves were over and I stayed home, some friends became weekend and birthday party mates. The isolation set in. I began to go online. Then I met Twitter.

Many times a day I would log in. In the wee hours rocking my baby I would hold my smartphone and tweet others. I connected with many moms who were doing the exact same thing. We conversed over many things. Some were local whom I never would have met otherwise. Across the world I have many online friends. There are friends that I never have met in real life yet they have earned my trust and respect. Some I now have met in person.

I tweet a lot with fellow motherless moms. That common bond has meant the world to me. For years I felt alone. Twitter connections have made my daily life a little brighter and a lot less lonely.

Is it possible to have hundreds of friends online? I say yes.

Happy Blogaversary to me…

Where has the time gone? I began this blog after a few months taking an online class with The Momoir Project back on January 4th,2010.  I used pieces that I worked on in class and I was off. I was impressed with myself that I could even start an essay. I was shy to start as an adult after an English Teacher put a negative cloud on my writing. There is where my writing and grammar lessons stopped. It is a flaw that you will see today and I don’t care.

Writing all year has saved me from the isolating world of being a stay-at-home mom. The motivation fueled by the fear that I will not be here to tell my daughters stories like my mom is not here. Being a motherless mother used to be my private shame. I saw everyone around me enjoy their moms gushing over their grandchildren. So I dared to write and hit publish. The overwhelming response came through the comments was the hug and validation I craved.

A blog is many things to many people: a journal, a rant or a portfolio for a future career. Mine became all of the above. I wrote from the heart which led to writing jobs with The Momoir Project, Women’s Post, Oh Baby Magazine, Wonder Moms and guest blogged on The Yummy Mummy Club. When I ranted about how unfair that my sister’s cancer has returned, people responded. I adore this blog. It is an unconditional friend that I typed as if no one was reading. Now I have many readers that I never would have met if not for my beginning. Now, I read their blogs of tribulations and triumphs.

A special place in my writing has been passionately derived from Twitter. The relationships that I have made through the social media ‘water cooler’ have been amazing. Yes there have been the negative people. The positive has shined so bright. Quite a few of those relationships have spilled into real life. I could not be happier.

I still fear for turning the age my mom was when she died. By allowing myself free to say it out loud has freed me to live in the moment now.

Thank you for the laughs, the cries and the good times. I raise my glass to you in thanks.

Cheers to all of you.

I can’t wait to see what is to come.

 Yes, there could be more grammar mistakes. One of my goals is to work on that this year.