No, I did not misspell it. [grin] How many times a day when little ones are in a home do you hear, “Moooommmmmm!!! Mommmmmmmm!!!?” Even now with teenagers I hear it often. [smile] When I signed up as an AOL Community Leader in the Academic Assistance Center, back in 1995, I had to choose a screen name. Hence, ProfMomm, Professional Mom was born. This is how I sign my notes to my children.
I am proud to be Mom. However, when my first two children were babies, I had a hard time grasping what I was supposed to do all day. I sometimes cried from the loneliness being home all day with my first baby. She was a doll and I enjoyed every moment with her. But when the house was clean and we were done eating, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Oh we’d take walks and go to the park. But there were usually two or more moms talking in their groups. They all had something together and I lived just a couple blocks away too many to be included.
There’s only SO much play you can do in a day with a baby . Next my son came along and I had to learn to manage two of them all day. Things were still about the same except for the sleepless nights because of my son’s colic. Moving on, our third child was born and her ears were always infected so she lived on my hip and the sleepless nights continued.
I couldn’t blame the children for my sleepless nights. For my sanity, at about 12 noon each day, I’d tell the children that it was time for everyone to have quiet time. They would complain because they wanted to be outside or in front of TV, etc…
One day I was so tired and worn out, I was having trouble maintaining. It hit me that when I lose it, I feel like a monster and I came up with this, “We all need quiet time. Even mommies need quiet time. Do you know what happens to your mommy when she doesn’t get her quiet time?” Their eyes would open big and they’d say, “Uh ohhhhh.” I’d go on, “Mommy turns into ‘Mommy Monster’!” I’d snarl and make faces and chase them into their bedrooms. They’d run laughing all the way down the hall. Of course I was carrying the baby and gave her certain toys she only played with at that time, each day, in her crib.
I didn’t require them to sleep. They could do anything they wanted as long as it was relaxing and quiet. But instead of yelling and screaming, I explained to them that if I didn’t get MY needed rest I would turn into a monster.
The point is that it took a LOT of thinking and ingenuity to come up with things to help me stay sane and still be a good mom. We had a rigid schedule because I home schooled. But that proved to be wonderful because we would schedule in 3-5 hours of “Free Time” per day! I did this by setting up the house so that there was a place for everything and everything had a place. It took about a month or so to get it that way, but it is well worth the effort.
Now, 20 years of marriage and three teenagers later, there have been a lot of changes and hard lessons learned and it’s time to begin celebrating momm. We all say we are going to do better than our parents. And in some things we do. But I’ll never forget my mom telling me that one day I’ll understand this and one day I’ll understand that…
The past 4 months or so have been my awakening. On my way home from a recent trip I felt the need to stop in and tell my parents how much I appreciate and love them. I must have said it 10 times. I now understand what mom meant all those years. And oh how I appreciate them, the things they sacrificed, the things they did for us. When I came home from school as a child my mom would greet me with a smile and hug and say, “Hi Honey! How was your day?” I can still hear her.
My mom’s not perfect and was not always gentle. She had her cranky days just like the rest of us. However, I can see things more clearly now because I had so many of the same “Mommy Monster” days with my children as she did with me. As a child though, you don’t quite understand the reality of the situation.
Somehow I don’t remember the difficult times as vividly as I did before. I mostly remember all the gentle quiet times she shared with me. When I was in preschool, she helped out in the classroom and at one point was my preschool teacher for a short time.
Then during the days I was home, I remember her teaching me how to play cards. Her favorite at that time was Gin Rummy and you know what, my mom never let me win. That was a big deal! She would beat me fair and square. But on the off chance I would actually win, I KNEW that I had really won! I seem to recall many games of gin rummy, go fish, crazy eights, war, and slap jack.
I also remember; watching TV with her, getting to sneak some of the yummy food before her guests came for her Pan game, and gentle rocking when I hurt or was sad (This one I remember most!). I remember that she went on all but two field trips with me throughout my elementary school years and the ones she missed were only because she had surgery during one and was sick for the other. But she had the teacher sit with me on the bus to make sure I didn’t get sick. [smile]
This is a tribute to MY Momm and Yours for all of their diligent service as Moms, their hard work, unconditional love, sacrifices and most of all, warm hugs. Seems as though when we get older, the good memories replace the bad and we can then see who our moms really are. I hope that happens to you sooner than it did me. Thank you Mom!!!
Don’t forget to remember Mom on Mother’s Day! She doesn’t need anything expensive…just something from your heart.
©2002 Susie Glennan
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