You declared for months, after our oldest Ryan was born, that you are a Dad, someone’s Dad! You came to parenting reluctantly, as you do so much in life. For my whole pregnancy, you would say over and over, I don’t get why people have kids and I am not sure I can do this. Now, over a decade in, I am here to say, you are an incredible father. [Read More…]
It doesn’t matter who your father was; it matters who I remember he was – Anne Sexton
What or rather who is a father? If you grew up in a Norman Rockwell painting, a father is depicted as someone who is there for you – supportive and attentive in every way; the “rule setter” – the stern but loving man who helped guide you into adulthood. The man who would give you away on your wedding day to the person you love.
For me, I grew up in a single-parent household with my mother and sisters. The person I knew to be my father was unsupportive – a staunch alcoholic rule-breaker in every sense of the word. Still, to this day, he has no idea when my birthday is. Yet, as a child he was my father. I grew up learning that I should love him and respect him, regardless. [Read More…]
On my first date with Mr H, we sat drinking elaborate virgin cocktails, in the lounge of the swanky Fitzwilliam Bar on Stephens Green, Dublin. The cocktails had more fruit in them than a Carmen Miranda hat!
As we shyly shared details of our lives, I began to think that this guy could be special.
But then we had a little speed wobble. As in the wheels nearly came off the bus. As I airily declared that I wanted a man with no baggage, his face paled a little.
Feck (translation: oh, no!).
He quickly reassured me that his particular baggage didn’t include a wife, ex or otherwise, (good times), but he did have a three-year old daughter, from a previous relationship (bad times).
I hope you don’t have one, but if you do, I’m guessing your court order looks something like mine: the child will spend Mother’s Day with Mom and Father’s Day with Dad, even if it is “supposed” to be the other parent’s weekend. That was all good and fine…. until I got remarried… and now my husband – the “step-dad” – never gets to have Father’s Day with his step-daughter. It’s heart-wrenching.
When my second husband and I were dating, my little girl told me, “When my dad goes to heaven, I want Biggie to be my daddy.” We called him “Biggie” because, as God’s humor would have it, he and my daughter have the same name, just spelled differently. Little did she know then that it wouldn’t be long before she’d get her wish. I remarried soon after my daughter’s 6th birthday. She delighted in being the flower girl for our wedding.
Now my forever-husband and my daughter are “like this” (picture fingers wound together tightly!) And, even though her birth father is still alive, my daughter calls her step-dad “Daddy” (much to her biological father’s chagrin.) I’m not about to forbid my daughter from calling him whatever endearment she feels comfortable. Honestly, if her dad got remarried, and she wanted to call his wife “Mom” I’d let her, without complaint, because I’m confident in my role as her mother… but I digress. [Read More…]
Dear Readers: In her first US interview, we are so pleased to welcome Mothering writer, mother, author, breastfeeding advocate, UK-based Ellie Stoneley, featuring her newly-released book, Milky Moments (published worldwide by Pinter & Martin Publishers) – a children’s book about breastfeeding.
Thank you Cyma … a very exciting and busy time for this mother of one (and I’m talking about my daughter as opposed to my first book!)
Q: Milky Moments features a variety of different mothers breastfeeding in a variety of social situations. It’s not only a beautiful book, but it stresses the importance of individuality and of making such a natural occurrence….well, natural! Was that your intent?
A: Absolutely that was my aim! When my daughter was first born, for her baptism, and for her first birthday, she was given a great many books. Often they depicted babies being fed … and all of those babies were being fed by either mother or father, sibling or grandparent, using a bottle, or feeding was simply signified via the image of a bottle. Not one of the books depicted the act, the normal, instinctive, natural act that is breastfeeding. [Read More…]
When I was a busy professional, juggling multiple responsibilities on top of keeping up with my friends, my boyfriends, my social gatherings and my travels, I remember thinking what a good multi-tasker I was, to somehow keep all of this in order.
Those are now the days I look back on with envy for having so much “me” time. The days where I could focus on balancing work with so many other enjoyable activities. (You know what I am talking about here, right, Mothers?)
Yet, with this envy of my mostly unrestricted past, I would never substitute my life, now, as a single mother of five precious children (who I endearingly call, my “Tribe”). First and foremost, I get to enjoy unconditional love on steroids here! And so, with this impulse, I have so much more to share with the world than just my personal wants, needs and pleasures. [Read More…]
Honoring her life, we traveled back to her hometown. This little dot on the map, reminiscent of “Mayberry,” N.C , was established in the eighteenth century by her ancestors.
Mom died almost four years ago. At the time of her passing, my sweet daughter was only ten. Losing her grandmother led to a profound questioning of her own heritage. I will never forget the moment when she spilled her guts out in pain. Grief unleashed the deep sorrow of loss and awareness that she was not of my blood.
In that rare moment of emotional release, crying and in between gasp for air, she asked, “Why? Why wasn’t I wanted?” And, added the sentence, “You don’t know MY PAIN.” [Read More…]
I woke up these past several mornings seriously feeling like a truck had run over me. To make things worse my kids must have felt the same way too, but they can’t articulate what they are feeling. So what their runny noses didn’t say, their screaming did.
It’s one thing to have twins with colds. It is another, I think, to have toddler-twins with colds. Because trust me – the terrible twos don’t get better when they are sick – they just get worse and it is hard to deal with.
What will the world think of me? After all, aren’t I the woman that went thru tremendous trials to even have these twins; who cried tears of longing for the day I could even say, “My kids are sick.” [Read More…]
I adored my university experience; it is where I met my lifelines, my Rat Pack. Nine of us met freshman year and eventually all lived together, crammed into a five bedroom house on North Henry Street. We ruled the world back then with our Discmans and fake ID’s. We had youth and hairspray on our side. We were unstoppable.
We have experienced so much since those beer soaked days of college 20 years ago. We have rallied around each other through divorce, miscarriage, infertility, and aging. There have been cancer scares, pregnancy scares (back when all of us combined couldn’t have changed a diaper), and a million everyday dramas. [Read More…]