Thursday, January 1, 2009

I'm Baaaccck!: Relevant Return

Farewell to 2008, readers, and welcome to 2009! Did 2008 seem very very long to you? It actually was, in fact, one second longer, as decreed by the keepers of the atomic clock, adjusting for some earth's rotation adjustments. And, well, there's that other slate of issues, financial meltdowns, incredibly long presidential campaigns, fluctuating gas prices, the whole Brittney Spears saga, you name it, it hit the fan this year.

But, for me, it's bittersweet, the passing of the old year and the conclusion of the holiday festivities. I watched my husband strip our home of all our Christmas "flair" and felt simultaneous relief and sadness to see it all dutifully packed away and stored for the next year. My son entered the family room with a plaintive, "teeeeeee?!?!," and I agreed that the void left by our Christmas tree was indeed palatable.

But then, remembering the uncomfortable war of body image as I tried on some clothing on my appointed afternoon of kid-free-me shopping, I thought, well let's get on with it, we've got work to do. I assume that much the same thought pattern (less the loathsome body image issues) is occurring to millions across the country (alright, a few million probably share the body image thing), not the least of which is President-elect Barack Obama (he definitely doesn't have to worry about the body image thing, if you've followed his moves, as the paparazzi has, in Hawaii.)
My list of news to cover is long, and so my little seasonal vacation is at an end, and the news will continue in the days to come.
Apparently, the Middle East is in meltdown, again, and web moms are flexing their power, again, this time in protest of Facebook and MySpace's policy that categorizes photos of nursing babies as "obscene." (Disclosure, I'm one of the moms that has joined this particular cause, because c'mom, have you seen the pictures people put up on Facebook and MySpace? A nursing baby is the least of their obnoxiousness, in fact, not even on the same planet!)

So stay tuned, and in the meantime, I thought in the resolute spirit of new beginnings, I thought I would post a piece I originally published in a newsletter for fellow moms about motherhood resolutions. I look forward to hearing from you, and keeping you relevant!
Happy New Year,
Aphra


This month we asked our MOMs for their New Year Motherhood Resolutions, and perhaps owing to the fact that everyone is pretty busy, the response was a resounding zero.

But then I got to thinking. (I know, dangerous, brace yourselves) and thought that perhaps we avoid resolutions, or at least telling other people about our resolutions, because we fear that inevitably we won’t be able to follow through. The ramifications of not dropping that extra few pounds of baby weight, not throwing out the vegetables we failed to use before they spoiled, again, and not virtually mainlining caffeine to get through our day, are relatively minor. But, not follow through with our kids? Painful, guilt inspiring and a sure fire prescription for self-loathing.

Fact is that we make resolutions from day to day, difficult tantrum to spirited chorus of “but Mom, I waaaannnt it!” Long range plans seem so final, so daunting, so rigged for failure. Our resolutions as mothers go something more like this:

· Hold it together just one more day, hour and minute.
· Don’t do it the way my (insert parent) did it.
· Do it exactly the way my (insert parent) did it, and accept nothing less.
· Remember how achingly adorable they were just a few minutes ago, even though right now you’re about to lose your mind.
· Allow them to be curious and adventurous, although you’ve packed away all your loved items, and lost a few in the effort.
· Keep telling yourself that tomorrow you will just feed them in the bathtub and be done with it to comfort yourself as you scrape a meal off the floor, wall, etc.
· View it as a sign of intelligence and engagement when you’ve heard “why” for the countless time.
· Remain true to your motherhood values, even though everyone has an opinion to offer you.

Don’t be afraid to make resolutions, and remember that they aren’t reformations. It’s how we handle ourselves when we don’t succeed that sometimes make the biggest impression on our children.

Happy New Year!
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images and Fitsugar.com

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