Monthly Archives: December 2012
Working mothers remains a hot debate. Whether you stay home and raise your children, or work outside the home while you partner with your spouse, motherhood and work when spoken in the same breath seems to touch a nerve. Why? Is it because the “sisterhood” is breaking down? Are we turning on one another? Eating our own?
Perhaps we’ve simply lost touch with our common purpose, motherhood. No one can be a mother, but a woman. People can “mother” and “nurture,” but there is no replacement for women. There is also no replacement for feeding our families, and feeding our souls. Should we be forced to give up our professional dreams as we raise our children? Should we be criticized for pursuing our passion if it takes us outside of the home when our children are young?
It’s a question I’ve lived with for many years. I began my life as a career-minded young woman. I secured a good position with a medical sales company and worked for ten years before facing the question. Should I give up my position to stay home and raise my children?
Fortunately for me, I also discovered my passion for writing. It was an easy overlap as I progressed through my second childbirth. 🙂
That’s when I stayed home for good. I stayed home because I wanted to be with my children. I wanted to be the one who cared for them, laughed with them, enjoyed each and every moment with them. But I never lost my desire to work and produce. In fact, it’s one of the best things about my garden! Kids don’t hand out awards, financial or otherwise, when Mom does a great job. They don’t recognize your achievements with promotions or bonuses. They simply smile, give you a hug and draw you a picture.
And sometimes that’s enough. For a while. But when they grow older and begin to live their own lives, you find yourself with time on your hands. For me, I filled it with writing. But not everyone has the flexibility that I did. Not everyone made the choices I made. Does that make them wrong?
Condemn Me Not is my latest release and explores this very topic. Veering from my romantic fiction, this one is all about the mothers and daughters. While I adore romance, women’s issues are near and dear to my heart, as is fleshing them out!
Would love to hear your opinions…;)
I have to admit, when it comes to Christmas, I’m kind of a Grinch.
Beyond a potted poinsettia and a few strategically placed red candles, I can’t be bothered to decorate the house. Hauling all the crap up from the basement. Untangling the gnarl of lights. Vacuuming the endless supply of dried-up needles I will find scattered throughout the house until mid June. It just all seems so meh.
And don’t even get me started on the mall. That place is so not filled with yuletide cheer. Screaming children, yeah, as well as a bunch of slow walkers and long lines of cranky women in Christmas sweaters. I prefer my shopping to be of the cyber variety, where I can lounge on the couch in my pajamas, sip peppermint martinis, and find everything I could ever need in one spot: Amazon.com.
This Christmas, however, was different. This Christmas I draped every door with a wreath, tied every railing with a red bow, covered every horizontal surface in greenery. I had not one, but two lit-up, glitzed up trees which could barely be seen for all the mall-bought gifts. There were so many twinkling lights on my house, it lit up all of Atlanta.
Why? Some of the people I love most in the world came to my house for Christmas, and I am a classic overachiever. But as it turns out, I didn’t need all the decorations.
Because when my family walked through the door, my heart grew three sizes, all on its own.
Can you believe it? We’re just days from 2013 and all it holds in store.
I’ve put no thought into resolutions, or what my goals should be for the coming year. But as 2012 winds down, I realize that in the months ahead I want more of what was mine in those most recently lived.
2012 has been the first full year since my divorce. It’s been a year of processes, renewal, emergence. And I’m so proud to attribute those terms to the life I’ve been living.
In what’s ahead I seek more self-discovery and strength. More letting go of the past, and believing in my future. Stretching to do more of the things I’ve never done, while learning to embrace the parts of me that can’t be changed. Being true to myself. Being a solid, constant source of support and understanding for my growing daughters, and my friends. I want to manifest creativity. I seek courage and inner peace. I seek love.
2013? I seek you. Bring it.
What’s in the year ahead for you?
photo credit localfirstaz.com
It’s hard to believe that my kids were little at one time, but they were. During the holidays, they got so amped up they drove me crazy in a fun, I-know-this-shall–pass-but-all-too-quickly kind of way. If I was smart, I would have worn them out with chores or exercise. Ten thousand Christmas jumpings jacks would have probably worked, especially when they couldn’t count that high and would have to start over again. Still those times with my kids growing up were the best, a wonderfully odd mix of white knuckled anticipation, fear, and exhaustion.
Which reminds me of the first time I was pregnant, (and no, that’s not me in the photo) it was a la la land of wonder and delight. Even when I was three weeks late, I was huge but happy, excited about being a mom, prepared to the nth. Fast forward three years. I’m about to pop with my son, instead of craving brown rice and vegetables like I did with the first pregnancy, I was heavy into Big Macs and fries, and, instead of reveling in anticipation, I was so tired of being pregnant I was doing jumping jacks to get the baby out.
Okay, fast forward again 23 years. We’re 75 days away from the March 5 pub date of THE WISDOM OF HAIR and I feel like I’m 23 years pregnant. The immense gratitude I have for being in this long awaited position is being swamped by a ticking clock that refuses to fast forward through the holidays, my birthday, my husband’s birthday, my son’s birthday to get to March 5, which is the day before my daughter’s birthday.
I am a walking Christmas disaster. I did not spend hours shopping, trying to find the perfect gift for those oh-so-hard- to-buy-for loved ones. EVERYONE IS GETTING A GIFT CERTIFICATE! And you know what? That feels pretty good. What doesn’t feel good is waking up in the middle of the night all the time. At first I thought it was because I have to pee, but I’m sure it’s the jumping jack anxiety stirring me awake, and I get up and go because it beats lying there in the dark on spiky pins and needles.
Don’t get me wrong 2012 has been a phenomenal year, but in so many ways it’s been gut wrenchingly hard. Aside from the tragedies this year both foreign and domestic, we’ve lost dear friends who went all too soon. Losing someone, especially those with big personalities like Bryan Buske and Christie Rosen, makes you look at things a little differently. It makes you realize how fleeting life really is. I know that’s supposed to make me want to slow things down and cherish every possible moment, but it doesn’t. I just want to get to March 5.
So, happy holidays my friends. May yours be filled with peace and contentment. As for me, let the jumping jacks begin.