Mom

There is a lot of discussion right now about the mom title and it makes me quite curious.

For some reason, people struggle with the title and are looking for a new term to describe stay at home moms.

My favorite title is just mom or mama.

We are all mamas – whether paid or unpaid, working inside the home or working outside the home. We are all working moms and we are all full time moms. We are all the same. We are loving moms.

We are all homemakers or domestic goddesses and we do our best and are so lucky when we get to choose how best to support our families. Some of us are maybe more efficient than others. Some of us have more free time. Some of us have more meaningful experiences. Some of us do our shopping and cleaning during the day and some in the evenings or on weekends. We are all working and we all love our kids.

Whether you stay home and work or go to an offsite workplace, we are both the same and I like you, mama! xoxo

Namaste

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Working mama! 🙂

Day 102: Slowing Down

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Every day I play cards with my mom, while she’s here.  We can just sit, chat, joke, laugh, reminisce, and drink something hot or cold, and JUST BE together – playing cards.

 

How often do you slow down and just relax? I’m not that good at this. I feel like I’m always in a state of movement and have a really hard time sitting still. I have a hard time reading a book, because that means I have to sit and focus and do only ONE thing, and that feels like a luxury, and usually I get distracted or feel like I should be doing something else!! I think I have ADD!!

But the good thing about writing this blog, is that every night I stop and focus and think about what I’m thankful for or what I’ve learned or experienced that had meaning to me. I never plan what I’m going to write. Usually around 11:30 pm or 12:30 am (or last night it was 2:30 am!) I finally sit and think and rest and write. Sometimes I reflect on what my friends and family are experiencing and spend a moment thinking about their journey and say a prayer for them, or I think of ways I could help or offer support/love.  I guess stopping to reflect is a form of meditation and grace. It gives me time to be thankful and mindful for all that IS. (I was going to say good, but sometimes things are bad, or funny or sad, and they just ARE, and that’s ok, too.) I’m learning that life just IS, and it’s how I react and adapt to life that matters. And stopping to be really present is a gift that I kinda like. And for some reason I’m sharing this publicly, which I don’t quite understand why, but I do love that you read my story and share along with me, and sometimes even smile.   Namaste.

p.s. Something to share about Holland – stores are typically closed on Sundays, except for the first Sunday of the month and then it’s shopping Sunday and the stores are open. So today we went shopping for warm clothes, especially for a warm, winter coat for Charlie. There are few choices and stores to choose from, and we only had to visit a couple until finding the right one at the right price!  We went to the Makro, Perry and The Decathlon, and chose just the right coat at Perry. Lucky me, the one I chose was on sale with an extra 20% off. I still love bargains!!  Afterwards, we walked into the Woon Mall – a large, indoor, mainly furniture and home wares mall, that also has the best ice cream in Holland. If you’re looking for good, premium ice cream (that isn’t gelato), then go try Australian ice cream. I know we’ll be back!!  It was creamy and smooth and delicious, with the most fresh, crisp, cones!  Mmm….

Oh, and while we were at the Makro, we bought food stuff to make a Boerenkool Stamppot for dinner. Basically, it’s a dutch comfort stew/mash with potatoes, kale, onions, bacon and something like kielbasa sausage. It’s very delicious and warms you up on a cold night. This is so Dutch, too!  Mom made some brown gravy to put on top and we put spicy mustard on the sausage. Mmmm… I’m starting to feel hungry again!!  It hit the spot!  It’s nice having mom here to cook.  😉

Day 77: Enjoying the Kids

Yesterday I enjoyed a girls night out in Amsterdam and left the kids at home alone. They are old enough and we’ve done it several times, and yet I still carry some of that mommy guilt and fear. Not that fear and guilt change my choices or decisions, but those feelings do creep in and take away a small bit of the fun factor. At the same time, it makes me appreciate the time by myself to be more than a wife and mother, which sounds so cliche, but true. I am happy when I do things for myself and I think these choices make me a better mother and wife because I get reenergized and refreshed and ready to give again. Agreed?

Charlie asked me before I left, why I had to go and didn’t I love him and his siblings? Good question and I turned it around and asked him when he spent the entire day and dinner with his friend whether he loved me. And of course he then understood and explained his and my answer for himself. He was content again.

They are such good kids and when I came home, they were happy and enjoyed a night out of their normal routine too. I wanted to reward them for cooperating with each other, and for taking care of one another while I was away. So today I had a couple ideas about what to do after school to surprise them and reward them. I believe in positive parenting and rewarding the behaviors I want repeated But I was also open to what they might want to do that could possibly different than my idea of fun. And it was slightly, and was even better. The little ones invited their friends to come home with us for a snack, to do homework and to play. And instead of bike riding to dinner, as I had planned, we all went together to this magical and fun place – called Farm Lake or Boerderij Meerzicht in Dutch. There is an animal farm, playground, beautiful garden area and a restaurant. Here they serve savory as well as sweet pancakes for dinner and they were delicious and fun to experience, and a much different flavor and texture than American pancakes.Thanks to Sally for telling me about this little gem. Check out the photos.

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I loved today and playing with my monkeys! Just missed the big one who had homework! Life is good. xo

Day 74 – I Want You to Know What Love Is

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(picture taken at Savvy Cellar in Mountain View tonight – great little place to hang out with friends and the weather was gorgeous!)

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Good women are the epitome of love. They give love not only to their own children but to all children (and pets in some cases, and their own parents and friends and partners) and they are nurturing and giving and loving and make this world a better place. They support one another and take care of each other and they create community and build relationships. This is peace. This is love.

The new Time Magazine with the young woman breastfeeding her 4 year old child on the cover has a lot of people talking and stirring. The main problem I have with the cover is the question they pose which pits women against one another. “Are you Mom Enough?” – All women are enough because they have a choice – and the choice should be theirs and no one else’s. Whether we choose to work or stay at home, to have kids or not, to breastfeed or not or for how long, to dress up or dress down, to wear makeup or to go natural, to be skinny or not. Just be who YOU want to be. We shouldn’t judge one another by our choices and we should let each other just be happy. We don’t have to approve of each other’s choices but we also don’t have to make others feel insecure or judged by us. Let them be. And be ok being you. That’s love and that’s peace. To me.

So here’s to all the women in my life – that inspire me and love me and challenge me and support me. I love you – thank you for making this world a better place. Happy Mother’s Day to my Sisters, my Wife, my Friends, my Aunts and Cousins, Grandmothers, my Role Models, and my Neighbors and especially to my Beautiful Mama.  Enjoy your day tomorrow and celebrate YOU!  

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My mom and sister are in town to celebrate Mother’s Day together with me tomorrow. So happy they are here, just wish Kimmy was here too!  Happy Mother’s Day!! xo

My Mama

My mama leaves today, after being with us for two weeks. She flew up from Southern California so I could go to Holland for a week and she could be me, watching the kids and getting them to all their various appointments. She is the most industrious, loving and giving person I have ever met, and she never seems to tire. She gives from the heart and expects nothing in return except love. It’s amazing how many lives she touches. I love you mama and am so thankful for you. Thank you for loving me and my family and for taking care of us and playing with us. I am going to miss you and your spaghetti sauce. Hurry back so I can beat you at Suduko! xoxo