In this week's blog blag Parent Bloggers Network is joining up with Microsoft to spread the word about Portrait's of Mom. I've spent a lot of time thinking about my Mom, my mother-in-law, my grandmother's and what it means to be a Mom.
I come from a long line of strong opinionated women who tend to live a long, long time. I am so fortunate not to just have relationships with my grandmothers (who are both alive and reasonably well at 80 & 81) but I was also privileged to know my great grandmothers (who lives to 96, 98 & 101) and even for a time to have had a great-great grandmother and pictures to prove it. Its now that I am a mother to understand what an amazing legacy it is to have known these women, not just known about them. I know where annoying habits and great recipes come from. I was there to hear the stories straight from their mouths and now its my chance to pass those stories down to my girls.
Being Moms has brought my sister and I closer together. We are 4 years apart and were never in school together, didn't have the same friends or interests. Now that we are both Moms our worlds are a whole lot more alike than ever before. She was always the urban hip one--now she lives on 3 acres in the middle of nowhere. I was the less worldly and now I live in the Baltimore/Washington suburbs. We both have 2 kids, two girls for me, two boys for her. We each had our first just before our 32nd birthdays and our second at 34. We've developed a deeper bond telling stories about our mother, exchanging sleeping tips, discussing breast feeding and pumping, and just generally sharing the trials and tribulations of motherhood. We share so much more now that we both have the title of mom. I hope that my girls can find that same closeness when they grow up and are Moms (they are both planning for that day already!).
My mother worked when many women didn't, certainly none of my friend's mom's did. I think that experience has made it easier for me to be a working Mom today. I know she understands how hard it is. I also remember that her job as a nurse didn't allow her to run out to my school for special events which sticks with me today. I know its one of those things that makes me obsessive about making it to school for every special day at both girl's schools. I don't want them to remember that I wasn't there for (insert day here). I am sure there will be plenty of other things that will come up as they progress through school and I'll have to make tough decisions, I feel very lucky to have had someone pave that path for me. Life is easier when you have examples that you can choose to follow--or not. One of the few things that stops me cold is the thought of her not being there. Two years ago my best friend's mother died. I'd known her since I was 6 and it was hard for me, I couldn't imagine what it was like for my friend. I spent a lot of time imagining what my life would be like without my mother and it incredibly hard to face.