When Did I become a Loser?

I’ve never been one of those majorly popular girls but I did get chosen for the Homecoming Junior class princess in High School. I had a few really awesome close friends and a large group of kids I felt were good acquaintances back then. Once I got married I made friends pretty easily at church, with my children’s parents and with those I met at school functions. I’ve never really suffered from terribly low self-esteem even though I know my limitations, both physically and socially. At least until my two youngest girls became young adults.

What is up with the whole eye-rolling thing anyway? Why is it that anything I say now is either socially inept, boring, or only marginally factual? At what point did I get foot-in-mouth and OMG-Mom disease without knowing I even had the symptoms? Is it contagious? Did I get it from my own mother? Will it ever go away? Does it have any direct relation to my sudden realization that I’m suddenly gross sexually, can’t be trusted with secrets and can’t pull off anything that remotely hints at cleavage anymore?

I’m not in the least bit concerned that my own mom says things like “that’s cool” as she hits 78 but I remember being slightly embarrassed by it when she was 38 so I’m assuming this is their problem and not mine. Still I do find myself teary after a tongue-lashing of “Puh…leazzz…mom” and “Do you always have to talk for me?” (I talk for everyone, why should they be any different?) I try to chalk it up to peri-menopause but it’s really just a realization that I’m that loser mom that all teens create at some point in their lives.
The younger of these two girls turns 22 soon. Thank God my oldest is now 37. She’s no longer seeing me this way (as often) and is experiencing her own grief-stricken rejection as she kisses her boys in public. I wonder how my mother ever put up with us growing up.

Recently I bemoaned the fact to my mother that I couldn’t believe I had a child who was 37. She said, “You know what’s worse than having a daughter that’s 37?”
“No, Mom. What?”
“…Being the mother of a daughter who has a child that’s 37.”

Got me there.

Are You a Mom or a Club Sandwich?

Motherhood can cause either dread or anticipation and sometimes both at once. It is all-consuming, for sure. Your brain knows this truth but I’ll say it anyway, being a mom doesn’t end when your children turn eighteen.

 

My children are between the ages of 21 and 36 as I write this and I am still the one flying to see them, helping with college expenses, and sometimes feeding them when the paycheck doesn’t stretch far enough.  My grandchildren are between the ages of 1 and 14 now but live in another state and my own parents are still alive but not able to travel so I’m still flying and checking in there also.

Sandwich Generation

I am now part of the “Sandwich Generation” and more specifically, a Club Sandwich. But even if we’ve felt the pinch of living between the slices and are just bone weary, it is warming, in a way, to know you are dedicated to your family in all it’s forms.


What’s the Sandwich Generation?
The Sandwich Generation is people (usually in their 30s or 40s) who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children.
Traditional: those sandwiched between aging parents who need care and/or help and their own children.
Club Sandwich: those in their 50s or 60s sandwiched between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren, or those in their 30s and 40s, with young children, aging parents and grandparents.
Open Faced: anyone else involved in elder care.
–Wikipedia.com

We are all parents, at some stage of life, who teeter-totter through life. We want to be patient but also can’t wait to see our children grow up to become amazing adult contributors to society. We wistfully dream of where we want to go and what we want to do when we are not as necessary to everyone’s world so we can concentrate on our own.

So, as we barely have enough time to catch our breath between babies and the day our parents become the focus of our worry, we reach out.  We take care of our families willingly and lovingly because we care so much but we become tired, discouraged and sometimes depressed. But we feel you! You are welcome here!!! We can all come here for support. Other moms; sisters of substance and full of experiences.

Whether you are a young mom or are part of the Sandwich Generation I hope you will find many ways to engage, find friends, learn new things that apply to all moms, and generally feel at home in your corner of the world. Thank you for spending time here!

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Mary’s Mother’s Day

(c)2012 Waltzingon Photography

From my journal 1993:    In a few days I will be bringing forth yet another child into this already crowded world.  Does anyone really care?  Does it matter that it’s me or that it will be a boy or whether or not he will ever make a difference in this world?  Probably not very many people.  Other than those who love us and care about our day to day lives, we are just another pair.  In another room someone else will be having a child also, a boy.  Will he be a great and important man someday?  Who’s to say?  But I’ll bet everyone who knows and loves him thinks so too.

 And so my mind drifts to the mother of yet another baby boy; only born so long ago, when the world was not quite so crowded, but busy none-the-less.  At the moment that Mary first laid eyes on that beautiful baby boy of hers I’ll bet that there were many too busy that night to ever wonder if he would ever be something great either.  But he was.  And Mary knew it.

Mary, in all her innocence, was just a young woman.  Not older and wiser like those who are having their fifth child, like me.  Just a sweet first time Mom who would eventually unwrap her baby’s blankets and count his fingers and his toes like we all did with our first baby.

Even knowing who he was I know she felt the same protective feelings we all have toward our babies.  She must have thought, “He’s so young, so vulnerable, how could he be so important?”

My heart bleeds for her as she realizes what he must endure for his mission in life.  Oh how hard it must have been not to want to cry out in anguish to save the life of her child!  To spare him from the pain that must surely come.

I cry too; to save the lives of each of my beautiful children.  To spare them from the agony of the lessons they must eventually learn in time.  I, too, know the ache of wishing that I could protect them from everything harmful and painful in life.

Mary, Jesus’ mother, she was the woman who taught him to walk, and to speak.  Could it have been her who first taught Jesus the art of loving others without judgment?  Could it have been his own mother who instilled in him the desire to serve God so willingly and completely?  Mary taught him to share and play.  Mary hugged and kissed away his bruises and tears.  Mary helped him learn obedience and taught him about rules and laws.  Who else but his own mother?  Aren’t these the things that every mother should teach their own children?  Could Mary have been a part of God’s wonderful plan to make Jesus into what he was and who he would become?

 And so as I gather my children around me this day and looking from face to face, I think of Mary.  And I pray that I can be such a wonderful mother to my children.  I pray that I can teach them everything that God wants them to know; everything that I can give them to fulfill the purposes that they have been placed here for.  I may have a rocket scientist, a veterinarian, a famous singer or just a great real estate agent in my family.  I may even have a President of the United States in my home.  Or maybe I’ll just have a great mother or father who will pass on family values and love to their own children.  Every child represents the potential for the beginning link in a chain of greatness.  All I do know is that how they are prepared today, and how much I can let them know they are loved, will greatly influence who they will become.

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            It’s true that many people in this huge world were too busy to care what each of my children would become when they were born, or to wonder if they would be anyone significant, but they are.  I know it.

            So from across the span of time and motherhood I wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day; and a wish that you find as much delight in your own children, as much potential, as much awe for their future and your part in it as Mary did holding her own bundle of joy so many years ago and as I find in my own today.

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