Thursday, July 25, 2013

Truly Grateful

I have so many things to be grateful for.  I truly, truly do.  If I started to list them all, well, we would be here for a very long time.  This past year has taught me a lot and I have learned so much in the last 365 days.  So what have I done that I am most grateful for?

I learned to stop listening to other people criticize or judge my parenting decisions.  Hoo, boy.  This one has been tough.  As Superboy gets older and I meet more parents (and in most cases, moms), I find that people tend to ask some leading questions to weed out people who they may be different from.  Did I nurse or not?  Did I have a natural labor?  At what hospital did I deliver?  How do I feel about the princess culture that surrounds little girls?  I find these questions unsurprising but I am shocked at the things people say and the judgments they make based on my answers!  The biggies for me have been nursing and bedtimes.  I find this insane and I have had to bite my tongue more than once to avoid saying something I will regret.  I have to know that I made (and am making!) the right decisions for myself, my son and my family and then I get to move on.  Judgmental people are jerks and I can choose whether or not I want to spend a lot of time with them.  So, there is that.  It has helped me feel empowered as a mom and as an advocate for myself and Superboy.

I learned to stop listening to other people criticize or judge my decisions about being a stay at home mom.  I have actually been really surprised at this judgment.  I live in a neighborhood nearly full of SAHMs and most of them are on the level.  Several women I have come into contact inside and outside my community have made fairly rude comments about my staying at home.  Things like how I am wasting my college degree.  Things like how I am teaching my son that women cannot do anything but be homemakers.  Things like how I am putting feminism back hundreds of years.  That last one actually made me laugh out loud because the very first thing that came to my mind was that I was singlehandedly setting feminism back hundreds of years?  ME.  ALL ON MY OWN.  RAWR.  Sadly, I had to just recognize that some people are idiots and that I have to get away from them as quickly as possible.

I had to learn to doing things for myself.  Now, I am not talking about doing my own laundry here.  I learned that during college!  I mean that I had to realize that getting myself out of the house for even an hour here and there does wonders for my brain.  Getting myself a hair cut and enjoying an ice cream cone out in the sunshine makes me a happier person.  Being away from my adorable almost two year old allows me to talk to adults and to miss him a little bit.  Going for a run every Saturday makes me feel strong and helps to remind me that my body is mine to make strong.  Watching a beloved t.v. show when it is actually on t.v. allows me to hear adult humor and to laugh out loud at inappropriate things.    You know, the normal things to remind myself that while I am always someone's mom, that I am also Wicked M.

I had to learn to stop and enjoy the little moments.  Being a stay at home can sometimes seem like drudgery.  Mondays are cleaning days, Tuesdays are swimming days, Wednesdays are play get the idea.  Living with an almost two year old (how did that even happen??  Wasn't he just born yesterday??) can also make you want to pull your hair out.  It is true that I came to motherhood later in life and there are some pros and cons to that.  Obviously.  One of the biggest pros for me is knowing that this is fleeting and that I should appreciate the littlest moments.  Once Superboy was past infancy and the fog of sleeplessness exhaustion passed, I started to get my bearings.  Superboy started saying adorable things.  He did adorable things.  I was rested enough to truly appreciate them.  I find that at least five times every day I am stopping  to just appreciate the beauty that is all around me.  How precious it is when he reads to himself.  How sweet he is when I read his bedtime story to him.  How snuggly he is all the time.  How much he needs me.  How I am always the first person he runs to when he is upset, or needs something, or wants a hug?  I mean, it does not get better than that.  For that I am truly grateful.

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