Friday, November 26, 2010
Getting Lost in "Mommy-Land"...
Today, Earth Monkey Moms has the honor of introducing a great friend and amazing mom... Delores Rubino. I met Delores last year through my son's school when she was his autism specialist. Besides being amazingly compassionate and truly phenomenal at work, she is a single mother of 8 kids. She's faced everything from a season of living in a campground with her children to raising and fighting for her son Noah, who lives with down syndrome and autism. She is a "Mother Warrior" on steroids and I am so excited that she is sharing with us today!!!
Unlike many of you who hang out in "EMM" land, I no longer have little, crumb gobbling, mess making, darlings whom I take care of everyday. BUT, I did my time and paid my dues as the mother of 8 monkeys. Feel free to gasp ! And please, allow me to answer some questions which are undoubtedly swirling around in your heads, as you take a breath.
1. YES, I knew what caused that (pregnancy, that is)
2. NO, we were not Mormons (no offense to anyone who is... its just that people asked that ALL the time)
3. YES, I gave birth to all of them (one at a time, over a span of 17 years, and lived to tell the tale)
4. YES, they have the same father (another story, another time)
5. NO, I was NOT trying to repopulate the earth (yes, someone actually asked that)
As I've read the blogs and comments on EMM, I've laughed, sighed, moaned, and smiled as I remembered the years of having my needy young offspring consume my thoughts and energy every day. It was easy to get lost in the ongoing demands of motherhood, particularly in the early years.... of course, in my case, the early years went on, and on, and on, and.... well, you can figure that out for yourselves.
It seemed that life was all about the kids, everyday. YA THINK??? Each decision about everything going on had to be made after careful consideration of numerous factors. Something as ordinary as making a trip to the grocery store had to be strategically planned around nap time, snack time, nursing time, poopy diaper time, who needs to ride in the cart, how many need to ride in the cart, who is available to help push the cart, who can walk alongside, who can't or won't walk alongside, how much food do we need to buy...... UGH, I could go on, but you get the picture. But, you guys all know this and could easily add your own examples. Daily, I managed to attack the issues presented and survived to do it all again the next day. And the next day. For years. Whew.
But, somewhere along the way, I got lost. I mean "me". I morphed into "mama" and lost track of "me". For a long time I didn't realize it was happening because I was so busy working on being a good mom. But there would be times when I felt empty, totally alone, frustrated, impatient, and that I would never be able to do the things that were important just to me, if I could even remember what those things were !
So, I started paying attention to those feelings and tried to find ways to give back... to myself. I love to sing and became part of a trio. We were really good if I do say so myself. And I will because I believe that. I loved every single minute we were rehearsing or performing.
I needed to find avenues for self-expression in order to save myself from being lost forever. Bubble baths were one of my first retreats for self-nurturing.... death threats were issued for anyone daring to interrupt. Hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!
|Delores with daughters Sarah and Heather|
Don't get me wrong, I've loved being a mom, and I'm mostly proud of myself for the job I've done. I gotta be honest about that because some days were UGLY..... and I don't mean the kids !
But, some things I've learned are that remembering who I am and nurturing myself are essential keys to good parenting. The demands of being a mom don't let up for quite a while..... deep breaths everyone, right about now ! The nature of your work will change, but you will always be "mom".... I certainly am, even though my oldest is now 31, my youngest is 14, I have four grandsons and a grandaughter to be born in January.
I'm still learning to pace myself, take care of myself, stay in touch with who I really am, and like myself. I found myself again, and I like the woman I see in the mirror. If I could go back to my days with a house full of young children (of course, I wouldn't), I would remind myself to not get lost in "mommy wilderness". I'd tell myself, "Delores, you aren't being selfish as you take care of yourself. Go do something you have always loved to do. Find a way to make it work"
Ladies, I believe it's essential to take care of yourself in order to give the best to your kids. You're a unique individual, who happens to be female, BEFORE you are "mommy"
Now, go out there and conquer the world !!!!!
|More of Delores' Clan...|