Thursday, November 4, 2010
Do as I say, Not as I did...
I am the official EMG, aka: Earth Monkey’s Gma. I’ve earned this title more by default than performance. I am a 55 year old mother of 5 and gramma to 9 and my greatest achievements are my kids. We are a blended family kind of like the Brady Bunch… if you can picture the Bradys with knives. While I am far too quick with the unsolicited advice, I’m a fairly good example of “Do as I say, not as I did.”
I acquired a pregnant Mediterranean Burro recently. The only information that came with her was: ” I have no idea when she’s due…” I was so excited to be bringing her home I couldn’t sleep. Seriously, I could not sleep. I was in the process of building a chicken house and Mama donkey, as we resorted to calling her, upset the whole process. I was sure she was going to pop any minute and I vowed to not leave her side. I actually got my friend to “sit” with her when I attended a baby shower. By day 3 I was ‘over it.’ I wanted my life back. I whined, I complained. It made me remember back, way way back, to my own pregnancies. I remember looking at the “sell by” dates on milk and smoked turkey thinking: “By the time this is rotten, my baby will be here!” Okay so it isn’t a flowery analogy, I’m a little off the beaten path so to speak, but you get my drift.
Life as we knew it tries to resume a level of normalcy but a lot of the time our ducks refuse to line up. I’ve heard plenty of pregnant women recite: “Oh this baby is not going to change our lifestyle!”
I’ve learned to bite my tongue until it bleeds while silently thinking, “Let me know how that works for you.” It’s interesting to read the Facebook status of new moms. First the build up to birth, then the announcement of the birth, and sorry but I like the pun; the AFTER birth. With this last part comes the complaining about everything from exhaustion to the non invested husband/daddy.
I think sometimes we lose sight of the big picture. It’s like focussing on the wedding and the honeymoon and forgetting that we vowed a lifetime in this relationship. When we bring these little people into the world we are committing to raising responsible adults who will one day be an integral part of his or her community. Rather than fitting them in to our lives we have to reinvent ourselves to create our family environment. I hear statements referring to life before kids as “Back when I had a life.” It kind of breaks my heart.
I read a great book years ago called Calm My Anxious Heart- a woman’s guide to finding contentment (by Linda Dillow). It quoted from the diary of a woman who had been a missionary in Africa for many years. She listed 5 points as her prescription for contentment. It is my hope to live long enough to achieve just the first point: ”Never allow yourself to complain about anything—not even the weather.” This from a woman living in primitive conditions in scorching heat. Some days she would have to bring the thermometer inside because it couldn’t register past 120 degrees without breaking.
This dirty messy place where we reach the end of our ropes is life. The secret to surviving is to stop trying to live the old life and embrace the snot, poop, puke, endless tears, heart break, disappointment, rage, sticky hugs, slobbery kisses, bed time stories, building forts, and lets not forget that very first unprovoked “Mommy I very love you.” For just one day I challenge you as I challenge myself: Complain about nothing… not even your husband :o)
P.S. I don’t have anything fancy like a bracelet to give away like Jamie did last week, but because I am often lovingly referred to as the coffee Nazi, I will send a pound of Good Bean Coffee (AKA HEAVEN!!) to one lucky Earth Monkeys Facebook Friend... remember you have to comment (on facebook) to win!!
Do as I say, Not as I did...
Gena..Silver Nest Designs