When I think about what I am full time every day all day, I am a mom. I may not be the best mom in the world, but it is the one constant in my life and it’s one big part of who I am. When I think about my health, my vision, my life and where I’m going to put my energy, it is always with the kids in mind - whether those rug rats know it or not. And, believe me, they will doubt you. If you're a parent, you know what I mean.
How can I stay balanced? How can I encourage them? How can I give them space? How can I be strong for them? All of these questions float about in the background while my body does my day to day life activities.
The thing about this job is that it is forever, so the pacing of it is different and sometimes it’s challenging to look at the big picture of it all. And the learning curve, well, especially when they're little the learning curve is pretty steep. Fear not, you learn and adapt and figure out what to do. For me, the one who could not even hold a baby before I had my own, believe it is as instinctual as it is confusing.
I have always been interested in health and nutrition and adventure in one way or another for as far back as I can remember. Some of my fondest memories are peeking over the countertop watching my mom cook. My favorite was apple pie with the apples that we picked from a giant, peaceful farm in Michigan.
Now one of my favorite things to do is cook - and I still love to visit farms too! I love to cook healthy and creative meals for or with my family. Some times we buy a new cookbook or look up something online, but mostly it’s Jambalaya - or, in other words, what ever we can dig out of the refrigerator. This is why shopping is so important. I made it a habit not to buy a lot of snack foods - I just don’t keep it in the house that way we don't accidentally turn to it whenever we have the impulse. It doesn’t mean we don’t indulge every now and again.
Finding an identity as a mom and wearing the “MOM” label is a challenge. There’s a lot of pressure on parents to get it all right with an over abundance of moving parts swaying around in the breeze. Besides, we aren’t JUST moms, we are women and furthermore we are individuals.
One of my favorite movies is The Darjeeling Limited. There are so many scenes that are great, but one that stands out to me right now is when Anjelica Huston’s character, Patricia, says,
“You’re talking to her? You're talking to someone else. You're not talking to me. I don't know the answers to these questions and I don’t see myself this way.” In this, to me she is pointing out that we are often two people, or more depending because of our roles which are often difficult to divide, but they are not solely us. To those boys, she was mom. “What about us?” they simply asked. But to her, she was an intellectual, a nun, a leader, a servant - she was so much more than just one thing and she had already managed to escape the role that pigeon holed her singly as “wife”.
So, the question is, how to we remain ourselves (some of us are cursing, sexy, drinking, opinionated women!) and yet find comfort in the role called “Mom”?
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