Some family stuff is just plain hard. Like now. My mother is 84, lives 2,700 miles away, has been in and out of the hospital due to illness, and is now in a rehabilitation center. I've flown from New Jersey to Nevada to relieve my brother, who lives down the block from her. I'm now navigating conversations with doctors, figuring out what isn't being said and working out what happens next. I'm staying for several weeks and, since I've done this a few times, I know the terrain. I'm not complaining. But I am keenly aware of what such separations and circumstances do to my own family, to my marriage and to me as a mother.
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My husband and I once visited all 33 New Jersey wineries registered through the NJ Wine Growers' Association. We did it in three, frenetic months. We spent every single weekend together over the course of those three months, immersed in this shared interest of ours, and it revitalized our marriage. Nowadays, we still enjoy the occasional tasting and, most weeks, we pour each other some wine and cook together. It's a way to keep connected, even though we're still hopeless workaholics. This will all end once I get pregnant.
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I know that as a mom, I have had a hard time accepting my mom body. There are days and times when I look in the mirror and say, "Damn girl, you are lookin' HAWT!" and there are still other days when I look in the mirror and think, "what in the world happened to my body?"
My wife has encouraged me from the very beginning to be as involved with our babies as she is—time off work, babywearing, co-sleeping and the like. But we've still had our rocky baby moments, and most of them have revolved around gatekeeping.
My husband and I, and our two sons, ages 12 and 16, eat dinner together every night. As a family. At the table. TV, computers and texting not allowed. We talk, argue, laugh, and plan trivial and important stuff. We look one another directly in the eye and speak out loud, often in full sentences. When you sit across the table from your spouse every single night, and you ask about one another's day, and sometimes even put your hand in his, locking eyes and silently smiling over something your kid just said, that's a powerful message. We eat, there's love and, when Aunt Cathy visits, we even pray.
Here at LoveMom, we bring you the love. Our weekly Baby Bytes bring you everything else. Here are this week's 4 must-click mom links.
In these days when everything is rushed and money is tight and date night is a pipe dream because we don't have the time or the money, a little note written with a broken crayon by the microwave light at midnight does me just fine.
I didn't daydream about weddings or marriage when I was growing up. Instead, I looked at my mother and thought: That's what I want to do. I want to be a mom. Now that I'm married, I wonder, will he really be a good father? And by the way, am I gonna suck, too?