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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday was my mom's 60th birthday. We kept it low key as per her wishes and only celebrated with pizza, cake and coffee. She had a wonderful time with her daughters and grand kids sister and I decided that a ladies night was also in order. So today we went out to dinner and left the kids with their fathers (except Riley since I'm exclusively breast feeding). We all gathered together afterwards including aunts and cousins but, it has been a while since we've done the mother-daughters thing.

Years ago, spending quality time with my mom was not something I thought I'd look forward to. We didn't have the best relationship and our views on life were very different. Now that I'm older, wiser and have children of my own, it's something I cherish and very much appreciate. I love seeing her happy and right now her grand kids put the biggest smile on her face. It's priceless to see her eyes light up when all five kids are together at her house, playing and causing a ruckus.

I wouldn't be fooling anyone if I said my life was perfect. But when you have a mother who looks past your mistakes, forgives your stubbornness, and is always willing to put her life on hold in order to make yours a little easier, those rough patches don't seem so bad anymore. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful role model and I hope that one day my children will think of me in the same way.

I love you mom and happy birthday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Joys of Motherhood

As many mom's know, there's so much joy in raising children. The dynamic between children and their parents vary depending on wether you're the father or mother. Things like how attached children are to a specific parent and what kind of caregiver you are varies during a child's life. On those extremely chaotic days I sometimes find myself thinking about fatherhood and how much easier it seems to be at the other end of the spectrum. I wouldn't want to change places permanently but, is the grass really greener on the other side? I can't answer that question but here are some things I would never give up in order to find out.

1. I will always know each of my children nine months longer than anyone. During this time I will experience their first kicks and hiccups. I will know when they are restless and when they are resting. And until they are born, they will be safe within me.

2. Only I can birth my children. Fathers are very much involved but let's face it, a mother does all the hard work. And even though labour and delivery is no walk in the park, when you are the first to hold a child you've been growing for so long, it's worth every agonizing moment.

3. Hormones. Oxytocin is a powerful thing. It can reek havoc with your emotions but in the end, it's responsible for that feeling of pure unconditional love.

4. Knowing exactly what my children need. It took a little practice but over time I have come to know the personalities of my children. I know when it's time to eat, nap or just cuddle with mommy.

And finally...
5. The bond created between a newborn and mom is definitely not worth giving up. I sometimes watch as my husband struggles to calm and sooth Riley and I realize how important it is for me to be there for her. When she seems unconsolable in the arms of someone, and all it takes is mommy's arms and a short lullaby to calm her I know I couldn't want anything else out of life. Don't get me wrong, when she is fed, changed and doesn't need a nap, she is very happy spending time with dad and I love watching them together but, motherhood is the absolute joy of life.

So I'll end this post with one of my favourtite quotes:

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed, but the mother, never.
A mother is something absolutely new.”
-Bhagwan Rajneesh