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Monday, July 18, 2011

What's a smart woman like you doing at home?

I used to wonder if that's what people thought...when we made our decision to stay home with our kids, we didn't take it lightly.  It meant giving up a lot of things...A LOT of things.  It also meant taking in a few things.  I love every second of it - well not every second but for the most part, it's my life's work and I am proud.  For some they have no choice - for those who have a choice and choose to work, my hats off to you and I give my love and support to my working sisters.  For those of us who live in regret - both working and at home moms...I salute you.  We all do.  But...that being said...an open comment to a family member who took a few stay at home shots at me, if you live in regret because you work, let's talk about it...do not belittle my work.  I take it very seriously.

There's an interesting tug of war between working and at home moms.  Most of my working friends don't feel it - some do but most are very happy with their choices.  Many of my at home friends miss the office and commeraderie (and money) but all in all, are very happy at home.  Then there are the few that can't shake it off.  The ones at home because they feel they have to but are miserable and the ones at work because they need the money or the status and miss their kids.  I remember...I remember heading to work, as exciting news was, and getting the call that Maddie took her first steps...in daycare.  It made me physically sick.  Four years later, there I am, covering 911 and putting in 14 hour days - temporary yes but 9/11 was the grandmama of all news stories for producers...and hearing Ava on the phone at two telling me about her toys...or books...never could tell but it was her voice that I still hear in my head. 

I put in 15 hour days...I invest in my kids, I am truly present...I feel that volunteering in their schools and book clubs, reading and playing and being with them is my job.  I am proud of my work.  I am also sad when I watch the news and wonder if the team producing the Casey Anthony trial was as riled up as I was...I kept wishing I was back in the newsroom peeling myself up off the floor and figuring out how to headline it while keeping the gasping out of the anchor's voice. 

So my sisters in motherhood...we all work, we all bust our ass and we all live in some kind of regret because we can't do it all...the key is going to sleep at night with peace in our head and in our heart and if not, figure out how to get it and opening up with the truth is far more effective than firing a shot.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Origin or Choice?

I heard it said a long time ago we have two families.  Our family of origin and our family of choice.  Clearly my family of origin has some significance in my life but we hardly see them and my younger kids couldn't spot them out in a line up.  Then we have our family of choice - the amazing friends who have come into my life and my home and my spirit; helped me raise my kids, feed my soul, borrow my car, shop, live and laugh with us.  Every major decision has me asking them what they think - the sisters in my life who don't share DNA.  It's a great feeling to have this.  It's a connection I have craved since I was a little girl.  Growing up in my childhood home had its moments but connection wasn't among them.  We were actually quite disconnected - a blood line but no life line.  To feel safe to sob, laugh, be silly, make mistakes and grow out loud is a place I am at today.  I called it arrival before and it really is but when you arrive, isn't it fabulous to have someone waiting?  Isn't a finish line only exciting when there is cheering? 

I have sisters and brothers that I invite into my home and my life who adore me, love my kids, remember important things and say delicious things about wanting to see me.  There is so much self introspection that comes from growing up and part of it is realizing you want to be wanted and I do.  I spent a friend's 40th birthday celebration with women I not only admire, I truly adore.  Strong, loving, smart moms who took care of me when I was sick and celebrated with me in recovery.  It's a deeply rooted feeling of security to have that.  It's nice to be wanted.  It's nice to have someone just happy you are here.  I have a friend whose parents fight - seriously fight - about who gets to spend more time with their grandchildren.  I have no idea what that's like but I do know that may be me one day.  My poor children will be begging me to leave.  Maddie just said she sees herself with her children one day, coming to a family vacation home on all the holidays with her siblings and their kids.  I see that too but I am most happy she sees it.  I want her to feel wanted and to feel desired by her family. 

I feel success as a mom when I see that her family of origin may also be her family of choice.  Then I realize I have done it and she can leave realizing whoever said, you can't go home again, never had me as a mother.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not Guilty...

Seriously?  Everytime I find myself very proud of our judicial system, a sucker punch of a verdict comes flying in from the back.  Not guilty.  With over whelming evidence, a long list of witnesses and a truck load of lies, Casey Anthony walks free as early as this Thursday.  I suppose this nation found the only 12 people who think duct tape over a child's mouth wasn't convincing enough?  That all mothers who lose their children have hot body contests and lie to police?  I'm not a lawyer, I'm not a witness, I'm not even a resident of their town yet I found myself drawn to the child whose murder will never be resolved. 

I just add it to my long list of "WTF's" when I die I have to pass over on a memo.  I think judgement day for a lot people will be an interesting experience but for me, like a CNN reporter, I will be doing the interviewing.  I have a lot of questions and certainly more comments.  When Gd and I meet, I will be asking him to get some coffee...this may take a while.

I hear karma can be a real bitch and I hope she's Casey's new roommate.  On second thought, I hear OJ is still single...there's a match made in hell.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Calling...

I used to think callings were what nuns got.  A call from Gd on the bat phone that means you need to move but I think I have one.  I think I've had it for a very long time.  Foster parenting.  Child advocasy.  Timely now?  Not even a little bit but how can you refuse a pull you have had for over 20 years.  I can't.  If Cancer gave me anything it's a new set of lenses.  One where I can weed out the toxic, bring in the good and realign myself with what I need.  I'm not a fantastic parent.  I can't impart the best advice on younglings - I can barely take care of my own at times but there is something about a child in need that puts it all in perspective.  I can love them.  I can feed them.  I can help them heal themselves.  I can give them family and tradition and support or at the very least, a warm, safe bed and hot meals until they are ready for more.  I can show my children the world is huge and sometimes unkind but we, not only as Jews, but as people can help.  Will it be crazy at times?  Chaotic?  Busy?  Not fun???  Well yeah...of course...so is life.

The kids are on board (more kids!  more fun!  more noise! ) but what we do know is we have a lot of love to give and a bed and that's all we need.  Time will come, space will avail itself, life will open up, our hearts will soar.

I do believe if we do the right action, the right thought will follow so here goes...it will be hard, gut wrenching, heart breaking, life filling and likely fun too...it's giving the gift of love and family and how can that ever be wrong?