Monday, September 22, 2008

To All Those Sometimes-Hurting Moms Out There...

Occasionally, I have a rough time. Contrary to popular social thought (according to Ari's playmate's mothers), Ari is not the mellow, easy-going child you'd think when you see him playing calmly at the park. The minute we get home, sometimes, all hell breaks loose unless I have a solid Ari-accepted activity with which to woo him. Play by himself? No, not really.

Also, contrary to popular grandparent thought, I am not what you'd call a "natural mom". I did not take to this. No duck in water, am I. Nope. This chick flounders. But she also tries really hard.

Take Monday night, for instance. Dinner was a flop. Ari, although starving, refused to eat the intended-to-be delicious and nutritious meal that was lovingly placed in front of him. After trying it myself, I had to agree. It sucked. So, thoroughly heartbroken and amidst a chorus of whining and drama coming from the general direction of the booster seat, I toasted a Gardenburger and doused it with Ranch dressing. And then had to leave the table when His Highness refused to eat that as well. Judging from the conversation downstairs (as I hid out upstairs), Sascha got him to eat most of it. God bless him. He also cleaned up the husband can be a saint at times.

And so, Monday night sent me spinning to the safety of my laptop. My first action was to email a group of girlfriends, just to connect with some kindred souls. My second action sent me to the Hearts At Home website for a little inspiration and a little direction in this swirling madness known as stay-at-home motherhood.

Which brings me to the title of this blog...for the hurting moms...

When Ari was born, my best friend told me about Hearts At Home, an organization for the professionalizing and emotional support of stay-at-home motherhood. I was skeptical. And then...we moved away from my entire support system, Ari started his tantrum-phase and I was going through a substantial depression. I needed all the help I could get. At about this time, Hearts At Home came to San Diego for a motherhood conference and I jumped on board immediately. Let me tell you. I get a lump in my throat when I think of how understood I felt that day. Hundreds of ladies were present and we all laughed and cried together. I didn't make any bosom friends that day but thanks to the wonderful speakers and workshops, I did start to forgive myself for my failures as a mother; cut myself some slack and allowed my frustration to show at times; learned a trick or two in organizing our lives; and began the realization that I needed to put Sascha's and my marriage first, not our parenthood...something that had been lacking since we moved here. We're still working on that but at least we're aware of it.

And so, when I need inspiration or a little nudge to keep on keeping on, I frequently turn to Hearts At Home...either my notes from the conference, a book by one of their speakers or their website. Thanks Jolyn, for the recommendation. I owe you one.


Upcoming conferences dates:

October 3-4, 2008 Grand Rapids, Michigan
November 7-8, 2008 Rochester, Minnesota
March 13-14, 2009 Bloomington, Illinois

If you don’t live close enough to drive to a conference, and hopping on a plane isn’t an option, you can also order a Home Conference Packet which gives you the conference via CD.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Random Thoughts

Seems everyone is having babies. I just posted another "congratulations" in the announcements section and it gave me a moment's pause to count how many of those I've posted in the past year...


When you get right down to it, I guess not that many (at first it seemed that all my friends were procreating like rabbits). One new baby boy, two sets of twins, one new baby girl, one new baby boy. I think that's it. That's seven new kids since November (God help me if I missed someone). Well, I guess, given the stage that we're at in life, this is pretty typical. In 15-20 years I'll probably be posting graduation announcements.

Deep thoughts...Jack Handy (remember him?)