This post comes from Stephanie. This is the first post she’s ever written and I think it’s beautifully done. Everyone say hello to Stephanie! If you’d like to do a “your mommyhood” post or a guest post about anything, email me at elle dot mommyhood at gmail dot com.
“I couldn’t do what you do.” The most frustrating and aggravating words I’ve ever heard as a mom. They even beat out the woman who berated me for not putting socks on my baby (he wouldn’t wear them) in 90+ degree July heat because “he might be cold”. But back to those words. See, I was born with one arm. And to a lot of moms who raised their kids with two arms they can’t imagine doing it with “limitations”. But I was born that way so I do everything the only way I know how.
It’s not hard; it’s just different than the way others do it. And after a life of doing it my own way, I don’t even notice anymore. I changed diapers on the floor, one foot in each of my son’s (and later my daughter’s) armpits. He was going nowhere! My kids help haul in the groceries because Mommy’s not going to take all day doing it and they want to eat, right?
And really, those words are so frustrating because they make me feel like I should think I’m special, and I’m not. I’m a mom raising my kids to be helpful, productive members of society and not have them annoy the heck out of everyone as they do it. I firmly believe that every mom raises their kids differently because…gasp…all our kids are different!
This has allowed me to relax so much. I pick my battles. My daughter wants to wear her favorite pants and favorite shirt to Thanksgiving dinner and they don’t match? Oh well! She’s happy and we get to dinner on time. I’m saving my energy for insisting she wear boots and not sandals when there’s a foot of snow outside. I still have to help my son tie his shoes in kindergarten? Oh well! He’ll get it eventually. Heaping stress on him is not going to help.
What do I love to hear? I love to hear about the little kindnesses they do that I don’t see. I love it when my kids stop running along the mall sidewalk to let the UPS driver move his large dolly full of packages and catching their “excuse us” as they pass him by. More and more I hear unprompted “please” and “thank you”. I must being doing something right, and that is what every mom wants to hear.
My son, Logan, is six. He loves kindergarten and once cried because he was going to miss fun stuff (math) when I had to pick him up early one day. So far he hasn’t shown an big interest in sports, though he likes swimming and thanks to the recent Olympics he wants to play beach volleyball. He loves playing Lego Star Wars and Marble Mania on our Wii.
My daughter, Rachael, is four. She is in preschool and is adjusting to her big brother no longer being at the same school with her. She is the girly girl I never was. Everything must be pink, pink, and more pink, with an occasional purple thrown in. She is strong-willed and opinionated, which I love most days and struggle through on others.
I am a scientist by training, but have fallen in to database design and management, which I find that I love. For my part time job at a not-for-profit agency I also do web design and maintenance. I also teach database design at the local community college where my husband works. And because I’m not geeky enough, I hope to get into data mining one day soon.