Thursday, November 15, 2012

In Memory of an Amazing Woman, My Grandma

As I sit here in the aftermath of the passing of my Grandma I feel sad and guilty but also hopeful. I feel sad because the world has lost a truly amazing woman. The kind of woman who went to college and earned her teaching degree in a time when the world didn't value a woman with an education. The kind of woman who can raise seven children and raise them well. The kind of woman who was funny, caring, wise, loving and did it all while looking flawless! The kind of mom that I try to be. The kind of Grandma that I hope to be someday. 

I feel guilty because I hadn't seen my Grandma in two years. We lived so far away for so long, but since we moved closer 5 months ago I've been saying I really need to make the trip to see her. I didn't make the trip and now I won't get the chance. This is weighing heavily on my heart. I wish I would have tried harder to go see her. I wish she would have got the chance to meet Cooper. I hope she knew how much I love her and how much she means to me, I think she did.

I feel hopeful because her and Grandpa are finally together again. They are now in a place where there is no Alzheimer's, no pain, no surgery. They can just happily watch their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, hand in hand, side by side. I hope that the thought of being with grandpa again brought her peace in her final days. They had the kind of love that everyone yearns for, but not everyone is lucky enough to get. The kind of love that I'm fortunate enough to have with Eric. I think that I know so certainly that Eric and I have that kind of love from watching my grandparents interact with each other.

I have so many great memories from my childhood flooding my brain right now. I wonder if pecan sandies really were my Grandma's favorite type of cookie, or over the years she just came to realize that was the only kind of cookie that would last more than five minutes in a house full of grand kids. I know the oreo's in Grandpa's cookie jar didn't last long. I remember her laugh, she had a great laugh. Every Sunday Grandpa would drive Grandma into town so she could get her hair done. I always thought it was so crazy she didn't have her drivers licence. She was the only adult I knew who couldn't drive. I still have her two pink fish that hung in her bathroom for years. I always loved those fish when I was a kid and was so happy when they were given to me. Those fish have hung in every bathroom of every place I have lived since I moved out of my parents house (which has been A LOT of places!). Even all the scuzzy, run down, mice infested apartments I lived in during college. The fish always make it feel like home and that's because those fish remind me of my childhood and of my Grandma. That's what it's all about, the memories. Gone but never forgotten. I love you Grandma!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Happy Mom = A Good Mom

Clicking on new post felt good, it felt really good. It has been so long since I have done any kind of writing and it feels good to be back. I've missed it! I just didn't realize how much until now. Since Cooper has been born (so for 11 months now) I haven't had the chance to do much writing at all. Well that's not entirely true, the truth is since Cooper's been born I haven't made much time for writing. It's actually one of my pet peeves when people use not having the time as an excuse not to do something. If it's something you really want to do it, then make the time.

My family has gone through a big change, a huge change actually, we moved from Pittsburgh PA to Rock Springs WY going on five months ago. As any of you who have ever moved before know, moving is hard! When we (we being just me and Eric back then) first moved to Pittsburgh from Butte, MT I thought we had made a big mistake. As it turns out I think moving to PA was the best thing we could have done at that time in our lives, it is my hope that I will soon feel that way about moving to Rock Springs.

One thing moving has done, well either moving or the fact that Cooper is getting a little older, is to rekindle my desire to start writing again. Writing makes me happy, it's my thing. Here is something that I've learned, it may seem obvious and simple but that's not always the case, to be the best mom you can be YOU have to be happy. A happy mom equals a good mom!

This means different things for different people. Some moms could stay at home if they wanted too, but don't because they wouldn't like it, and that's OK! It's better to sped less time with your kid if that means more "quality" time. I mean if you're home all day and miserable and cranky, sure you're around your kids more, but EVERYONE is unhappy! Are you going to be happy all day everyday? Of course not! Don't be ridiculous! There will be time when working moms feel guilty about leaving their children and there will be times when stay at home moms feel like they are literally going to go bat-shit-crazy! Trust me, this fact (the bat-shit-crazy part) I know all to well.

But it's not just if you are a working mom or a SAHM. It's much more than that, you are much more than that. It's so easy for us moms to get in the mind set that we are ONLY moms. Being a mom  is wonderful and the number one priority, but being a mom is only part of you, probably the bigest part sure, but you are still you.  It's OK to take time for yourself. It's OK to have hobbies and interests that don't involve your children. I know I know you don't have the time or the money or the energy or the whatever you excuse may be. But you need to make the time, budget in the money, drink a damn cup of coffee or whatever, it's important! It's important because it might make you feel guilty or like you're being a bad mom if you don't devote 100%  of your time to your kids, but ultimately it will make you a BETTER mom! And don't tell me spending time with your kids does make you happy, OF COURSE that makes you happy, but everyone needs some variety of one kind or another. We want our children to grow up to be well rounded people, right!?! So we need to model for them how to be well round, by being well rounded ourselves.

Another thing I also know from personal experience is this, it's easier said than done. But I'm working on it and you should too! Get out there momma and find something, other than your kids, that makes you happy!