Daily Archives: July 3, 2009

Feeling Small

I remember holding him minutes after he was born. He was so tiny, except for his head. (Oy that head!!) He was scrawny and mad, having been pulled kicking and screaming into this world not too long before.

I loved snuggling with his warm little self, rocking him to sleep at night, watching his sweet little hands curl into fists as he slept blissfully, his mouth open and emitting cute little baby snores.

He was little and needed me to protect him and nurture him and help him grow up right. I was his everything. I fulfilled his every wish.

Now I look at him across the room and am proud of the big teen he now is. He is bigger than me, heavier and taller, his head is still big, but it’s now in proportion, thankfully. But that’s when he is across the room.

When he stands next to me, especially lately, he towers over me. I am not a big person, only 5ft 5 in my bare feet, and am a skinny little thing. I feel tiny and fragile next to him. But I am still the mom. I can still pull my weight – and for now, he listens.

How is it that this baby I used to rock endlessly to sleep, will, in such a few short years become a man? How can I reconcile, personally, that my oldest baby is no longer a child, not yet a man, but soon will be? How do other mothers deal with this?

I know it’s the right way of the world, that kids grow up. I have no issue with that. I love the intelligent conversations we have, I love the way he thinks and I love his sensitivity and his respect for me. I love the endless talks we have about how to fix the world. I love his independence and need for personal space. But as he grows he needs me less and less.

Yet I cannot help but be overwhelmed by the thought that he is growing up way too fast. The physical manifestation is just a small part. Soon he will be grown up enough to find his own way in the world. And I pray that all the life lessons I have taught him will have given him enough of a foundation so he enters that world confidently and ably.

I know eventually all my boys will be taller and bigger than me, and I will be the little old yiddishe momma pointing my arthritic finger in their faces. But by then hopefully I will have baby grandchildren to snuggle with and feel pivotal to their world.

Mothers of grown men – how did you adjust?

Guest Blogger – The Daily Blonde

When Hadassah asked me to write a guest post for her, the first thing that came to mind was, “Ack. She’s spectacular and I might disappoint her”. Mostly because I have been going in forty directions over the past few weeks. I’m very unfocused. Maybe I’ve always been that way but it’s more apparent now.

Then I figured she’d understand. She’s a Mom. She had to get the unfocused part. You know, the times when you put two different flip flops on because it’s just too much trouble to look for the matching pair? I’m organized but there’s something about summer. Kids everywhere, cooking more, cleaning constantly… and the fact that I barely survive on three or four hours of sleep every night just kicks my butt. We do have a blast though, despite the pandemonium.

So, Hadassah, you lovely woman, here is how I balance single mommy-hood and daily life. Can’t promise it will inspire anyone, but all I can say is I surprise myself sometimes. I’ve survived eight years as a single Mom and I’ve only worn a straight jacket in my dreams.

  • I’m a creature of habit. As much as I’m a true Gemini, I also like life to be somewhat the same every day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner: just about the same time every day. Kids set the table and clear it. I cook and do the dishes (I hate taking kids to the hospital for puncture wounds, so I take care of cleaning sharp objects). We’re fairly organized, too. Shoes go in the back hall, clothes go in the hamper. The floor is not a hamper. Even my thirteen year old son knows that.
  • We don’t watch a heck of a lot of TV. The kids are outside playing far more than they are sitting down doing nothing. I’ve taught them to journal when they are mad and draw when they have “nothing to do” (or they’ll have to clean).
  • I am SO not perfect and make sure everyone knows that. Of course, my ex still thinks I have a huge ego because I write a blog, but he probably just misses my sense of humor. If you raise people’s expectations, it causes a lot of undue stress. I just do the best I can and screw it if people don’t like it. I also do not allow toys or junk in my room…it’s my sanctuary.
  • I have a laptop. It’s the secret to my parenting success. Kidding. Well, not really…but I can be wherever my kids are and do a little writing, socializing or just read an online newspaper and still be with them. My alone time is important, but I get enough of that when they are asleep.
  • I play Monopoly with my children. I hate Monopoly and they know it. I play because it’s WAY more important to spend an hour playing a game than checking emails. I try to lose so I can get out of it early but that never works.
  • Writing a blog takes time and energy. I write a lot outside of my blog as well, so I’m never without a self-imposed to-do list. The upside is I love to write and I would rather make $10 writing an article that made someone’s day than pretend I really, really like wearing a suit and acting like I love corporate bullshit. I hate it and I do not like pretentious people. Was it OK to say bullshit, Hadassah?
  • I take risks. I’m forty-six years old and two years ago when I got in a car accident, I made it my plan to make sure that when I healed, I would do what I loved. If that meant using store brand cheese instead of Kraft, then so be it. Going back to a real job would mean daycare, after school care and summer camp. Not really a travesty, but my youngest three have been through (a mild) hell and back with divorce, my surgeries and eighteen months on crutches. I was also a bit of a crab-apple during that time. They deserve to have me home bugging them about home work, chores and playing a bad game of Monopoly.
  • As far as the risks (see how I get off track? That’s me…), I think not having a secure job is a huge risk. However, I am passionate about writing and it’s starting to come together. I’ve been working hard on my blog for two years and it’s branched out to so many other (great) things. Somehow I’m surviving. Spotty child support, a knee that has never fully recovered from the accident and three surgeries (I’m slow as a turtle and have chronic pain)….and I’m making it. I don’t live in a mansion. We have a home that could use a few more rooms to make it a little more spacious but why? It’s working and who needs to clean more rooms? I have a nice car…and it’s paid for. That’s called advanced planning…or luck.
  • This isn’t really a how-to is it? That’s because single Moms are innovative and know how to make it work. I can’t teach anyone how to make single parenting any easier because it’s never easy. I worry, I cry, I laugh and I get stressed out. Mostly, I laugh. It really does help. Single parenting is rewarding. Sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small ones.
  • As far as the Mommy moment that makes it all worth it? There have been quite a few. Most recently it was when my thirteen year old son was in post-operative recovery after surgery. He said, “Hi Mom. It’s OK, you can hug me, you know. Thanks for being here. I love you.”

He wasn’t under anesthesia when he said that…and he remembers saying it. It was one of those moments that makes all the worries just seem really small.

blondieCheryl Phillips is a single Mom of five and freelance writer who realized that Twitter was created so that she would stop being so long-winded. On her blog, The Daily Blonde, Cheryl posts her commentary on daily life and says what we’re all thinking without the sugar coating. Cheryl is also the Rhode Island Social Media Examiner on Examiner.com.