Tag Archives: Mom

“If your mom was a super hero, what would her super power be?”

This year our bloggers wanted to know what their children’s responses would be to “If your mom was a super hero, what would her super power be?” Here are some of the responses:

Crystal

So, asking your kid “if I was a super hero, what would my super powers be?” opens up a dialogue I think every parent should have with their kid(s). My 9 year old son’s answers were both, by turns, eyebrow raising, laughter-inducing, and tear-jerking when I realized how impressed he is by the simple things I do every day. I think we both came away from our chat with an even bigger appreciation for each other.

Also, as a note, should people think this was easy, it took my kid 3 days to bother thinking about the question, and then the threat being unable to continue his video game should he not throw me a bone. So no, he isn’t quite as perfect as these answers are going to make him sound.

My super powers were:

1) Super strength-because when he comes home every day he lauches himself at me and I can still catch him with one arm.

2) Super human computer abilites-because I “know how to do everything on a laptop”

3) The ability to fix ANYTHING- I put a memory card in his smart watch and was sewing something at the time.

And my favourite:

4) The ability to stare down a villain until they tell the truth. Oh God that one made me laugh. Pretty self explanatory that one.

Laura

My daughter says: “Teleportation, because she’s never late.”

My son says: “The super power of infinite hugs.”

Holly

My four year old said that my super power would be, “Moana”. I don’t even know what that means… Lol!

Roxy

3 1/2 year-old Kayla says, “Elsa. You need to be Elsa!!! Elsa got powers. Blue powers that froze Anna’s heart.”

Brande

“My moms super power is knowing what I’ve done, from the things I don’t say.”

Autumn

My 9 year-old son Jesse says “To give people lots more health and to have more health for you too. To give health whenever you touch somebody.” My 6 yr old Savannah says ” To stick on the wall and lazer eyes and other thing too..let me fink…electrocute hands and one more thing o.k…o.k…ummm Speedy.” lololol I am sure going to be busy as a super hero!! I better go get some sleep! hahahaa

Happy Mother’s Day

A Million Little Yeses

Have you heard of Harambe? If you haven’t, you may be one of the few who has resisted Facebook or internet sensationalism in general this past week. Harambe is the 400lb gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo who was killed after a child “fell” into his enclosure. What has stirred such controversy is that “the internet” is looking for someone to blame: the zookeepers for being too hasty in their shot? The zoo for not having a proper enclosure? Or the mom of the boy, Michelle Gregg, for not keeping an eye on him. Continue reading

The Evil Stepmother

Once upon a time…

…we had proper families. Ones that have a mother, a father and many children -at least two – ideally a boy and a girl. Our society, though full of all kinds of
patchwork families, still very much promotes the idea  that that is how it should be done. Many churches still preach it, Hollywood still makes movies that bring already separated parents back together at the end and everybody lives happily ever after.

Mother’s Day is an annual reminder for me that our family does not live up to this expectation, it does not fit the bill, we are not a cookie cutter family.
I am the one who ruins the perfect fairy tale: the evil stepmother.

Before I tell you my side of the story, a few things need to be clarified:

Here is what I CANNOT talk about:

  1. Being a stepmom when the birth mom has passed away – this would be a whole different challenge
  2. Being a stepmom who was the reason for mom and dad to break up in the first place – again, probably something that comes with its own set of obstacles

What I CAN talk about is being the classic, average stepparent. The one who walked into a situation where everything was said, done, and signed; a situation where somebody is ready to move on.

Having said that, here is what you should know about us not-actually-all-that-evil stepparents (dads included!):

  1. We fell in love. When you ask a little girl how she envisions her future, she would probably not answer: I will fall for a divorced guy and he will have two children and we will share custody with their mother and we will all live happily ever after. There is only one reason why anybody would choose to be in this scenario – the brain-fogging, all-consuming proverbial power of love. So you can judge us all you want for seemingly making an already complicated story even more complicated, but you know… it happens.
  2. We walked into a mess. Yes sure, I always hear that a friend has a friend whose cousin still gets along great with his ex and the sharing of the time with the kids is a real breeze but I think we might be back in fairy tale land there. The majority of us walks into some kind of more or less messy situation, or a sad situation or an angry situation. We are not an evil bunch but a resilient one.

When I told my daughter (stepdaughter to be precise) that I was going to write about being a stepmom compared to being a birth mom, she shrugged and said: “It’s pretty much the same thing.”
I smiled, somewhat flattered but also knowing that she knows better, that we both know that it is the same but as she said, only “pretty much” the same.

So what is it that makes you a mother?

The Oxford dictionary gives a clear answer. A mother is:

“A woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth.”

There goes my illusion, I have not given birth to our two monsters, therefore I am not their mother. But then I kept reading. This is how the dictionary defines the verb “to mother”:

1. Bring up (a child) with care and affection
1.1. Look after kindly and protectively, sometimes excessively so.
I know that my boy eats the best thing on his plate first and leaves the salad for last, frowning and complaining all the way as he finishes it. Our daughter does it the othe
r way around. She fights her way through the greens and saves the juicy steak to finish off her meal. I know when their swimming lessons are, their volleyball, their band practices. When I fold their socks, I fold them in pairs, because I know that they will leave the house wearing two different socks if the matching one is not right there. I think of them when I hear the word “wasabi” because we had a silly joke about wasabi years ago.
Our kids were nine and seven when I entered their lives. They didn’t put frogs into my purse or hid my keys or were secretly evil when dad was not looking. Our girl welcomed me to their family with open arms and the kind of innocent warmth only kids seem to have. Our boy tried to ignore and not like me for about a year. He was not unkind, just reserved. He felt as though liking me would be betraying his mother. I waited and let him figure it out, let him work through it. One day he turned to my husband and said: “I am embarrassed. I think I like her.” That is the day when it all changed and he allowed himself to let me into his life.
“How about ‘mom’?”
About one year into our new family setup, our daughter asked if she could give me a nickname: “Franziska is really long, we need something shorter.” “Sure” I said, “what did you have in mind?” She thought for a second and then said: “How about ‘mom’?” She looked at me with her big eyes and I had a split second to make a choice. “I don’t think your mom would like me having that nickname” I answered. “How about Fran?”
I may only be a stepmom, not a “real” mom, but I have enough imagination to know that that would be a mother’s worst nightmare – hearing your daughter call somebody else “mom”.

 

It is situations like that that remind me constantly that I am not a birth mom and that it is a hard role to define – for the kids, their birth parents, myself. Like the time our boy came home and proudly presented a family tree that had a branch just for me. He also still claims sometimes that he is half-German because of my background. I think he understands the blood line concept but I don’t think he cares.

The truth is that I am not a mother. I am a stepmother. I am not evil and it is a daily challenge to find my place in the story because evil is the only attribute stepparents ever seem to get in centuries of storytelling.

I did not get flowers for Mother’s Day. I still get asked all the time when I will have children even though people are well aware that I already have two. When people ask me if I have children, I can’t ever just answer “yes” without feeling like I should add an explanation.

There are two children in my life whom I love and care about. I think about them every day, I worry for them, I hope for them. They drive me nuts some days and make me the happiest person in the world on other days. I don’t fit the dictionary’s definition but that doesn’t matter because the definition is missing an important part. To be a parent, any kind of parent (fur parents included ;-)), is an incredible privilege.

And they lived happily ever after… 😉

Motherhood

Mother’s Day has got me thinking about being a mother and the meaning of motherhood. What it means to me to be a mother. What it means to me.

My daughter, my firstborn, just celebrated her 30th birthday. Thirty years? Thirty YEARS! Wow, how can that be? One minute I was 15 and now I’m almost 50. One minute I was a 5 year old kid and now I’m a grandmother! What? That can’t be true, I’ve only just begun! Sometimes it feels like I’ve just completed a 30 year tour with the military. That’s not to minimize the importance and sacrifices of the military in any way; it’s just that sometimes I feel like I’ve just crawled out of the trenches after 30 years to find myself broken and beat up. I have the scars of raising children on my own. My heart has been broken, and my body is battered from years of working really hard. But, I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. The life experience I gained from raising two human beings is incomparable to anything else I’ve done.
Motherhood taught me way more than any career I’ve ever worked at. Being a mother taught me to be patient, kind and loving. I learned how to negotiate issues into a peaceful resolve. I learned to multi-task before it became a catchphrase for employers to overwork their employees. I learned to prioritize my time to achieve optimal results. I learned how to be flexible and change my plans without getting too upset. I was amazed to watch these little people with their own unique personalities learn about the world around them. They showed me how to take delight in the simple things in life. I quickly realized the greatest gift I could give my children was my time. As much as they loved presents and being surprised, our best times were spent at the beach or watching movies together. We share an unbreakable bond because I invested the time needed to help them realize their potential and encouraged them to do magical things with their lives. I hope that I have given them the right tools to deal with life when it gets complicated. I hope I have shown them how to weather the inevitable storms that come their way. I hope they remember their childhood fondly and forgive me for mistakes I’ve made along the way. I hope one day they will look back at all the events I took them to and realize that I tried to expose them to many different cultures in order to expand their minds.

My heart goes out to all the people who don’t have their mother with them anymore. My favourite aunt died in March. I spent the last few weeks of her life at her bedside. She was like a mother to me, and the loss I feel is deep. She was my confidante, I could tell her anything and she always listened with understanding and compassion. She never judged me or ever said a harsh word. Instead, she would listen intently to what I said, never interrupting, always focusing on what I was trying to tell her. Only after I was completely finished would she offer her opinion and advice. She never came down on me or made me feel bad about myself. We would talk it through and I would leave with a hug and a feeling of peace in my heart. She was the type of person who made you feel better about yourself and gave you hope for the future. I wish I could call her and talk about how great this weather is. I wish she was here to enjoy the warmth and sunshine.

I am so thankful that I have two wonderful adult kids who call me on a regular basis. I’m thankful that I gave as much time to my kids as I did when they were younger. They are still an integral part of my life. This weekend I have been invited to a brunch by my son-in-law. It feels wonderful to be appreciated for the things I do. My grandbabies give my life new meaning and my house comes to life when it is filled with their laughter and innocence.mother-daughter-dancing-voice-of-finland-background I am able to release my inner child when my grandbabies come over for a visit. We go upstairs and put a CD on and dance and sing along to the music. They are especially fond of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks music. We dress up in costumes, get out our tambourines and rock out together. I hope I leave them with fond memories of our time spent together.

Lastly, I’d like to wish my own mother a very Happy Mother’s Day. We have always had a complicated relationship and we don’t always agree on everything, but she is still my mother and I only want her to be happy in life. I hope she realizes before it’s too late that it’s okay that we disagree on many things. It’s taken me a long time and years of therapy to realize that it’s okay that we are different from each other. It doesn’t make me a bad person because we have different beliefs. It doesn’t mean I love her any less. It just means that we are all unique individuals and should accept each other. I will always be thankful for the time and energy she put into raising us. I will always cherish my memories of the good times spent together. I will forever be grateful that my mother kept a clean house, and took great pride in our appearance. I’m thankful that she taught me how to read at an early age and always had music playing in the house. I’m happy she taught me how to cook and clean and be independent. I’m glad she was a good grandmother to my children and has always been generous with them. Things might not be perfect, but they are okay. Life is beautiful!