Stay at home Mom …

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By definition;

A housewife is a woman whose main occupation is running or managing the family’s home—caring for and educating her children, cooking and storing food, buying goods the family needs in day to day life, cleaning and maintaining the home,  etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stay_at_home_mom

This definition a bit outdated, but still the basis of what people think a stay at home mom is. On the other hand there is the comic picture I included which is how I think a lot of people envision the day of a stay at home mom…so not true!

There was a time that I was a career girl and I liked my jobs in the Fashion/Retail industry.  I worked for over 20 years in different capacities in the field.  Finally during our family building trials and tribulations I quit my job to focus on starting a family. That was over 10 years ago. People know me now as my girl’s mom.  They don’t necessarily know I lived and worked in New York City and that I lived and worked in San Francisco for many years.  I traveled a lot for work to a lot of cities and states even some I might not necessarily have visited had it not been for business.  I even had travel overseas for one of my jobs.

My current job description is Boo boo kisser, referee, menu planner, cook, chauffeur, homework helper, nurse, friend, wife, mommy, dog walker, recreational planner, vacation planner, food shopper, laundress, house cleaner, flower gardener, late night soother, CEO & President of our family Enterprise!

This is the first year both of my girls are in a full day of school.  This is the first year I have almost 6 hours in a weekday to fill.  With that I am at our girls’ school many days and there I’m known to help out in their classrooms, for field trips, special projects and PTA. I am also chairing the largest fund-raiser for our school ~ the Spring Gala.   Then there are their extra curricular activities.  I am a girl scout leader for each of my girls’ troops.  I am their taxi to and from ballet lessons and to and from play dates..  I put in much time and effort in doing all of these things for my girls, for their school and for their friends.

I consider myself lucky that I have been able to stay at home all these years.  It’s not been easy. We are on a strict budget (that I always go over, thank you amazon.com).  Both my husband and I grew up with each of our mom’s being at home and it was important to us that we try to give our girls this too.  There are days that I wonder was I cut out for this or should I be working again now that our youngest is in first grade.  There are times I hear my girls excitement that their Daddy is off of work and that is extra special time to spend together.  I feel pains when I hear them so excited for their Daddy and when I ask aren’t they excited for me too? they tell me we see you all the time! I wonder do my girls take for granted that I am always there for them?

Then there are the times I do feel the difference of not working at an office or for a company. This is usually when I am together with friends who do work and have that part of their lives. Yet I am lucky that there are a group of moms who too are stay at home and we can complain together and share the stressors of our days.  Other times someone slips and says something about being a working mom and passively putting down a stay at home mom.  Maybe it’s jealousy or maybe they don’t know how busy my day really is and think of the woman in the comic above?

In the end this was a choice we made and one I am happy to do on most days.  Don’t get me wrong it’s not always easy but I think in the end it’s worth it.  I say to those who can’t see the value in all that we stay at home moms contribute to our community, we do and that’s what matters!

 

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6 years old …

cake 6

Six? how did this happen? J turns six today! She is so excited for her birthday as are all of us! Our girl who is always full of energy, full of love, full of life! It’s hard to believe she will be starting 1st grade on Monday, it feels like yesterday when you were born!

As with your sister, it is not lost on us that our dreams came true on this day because of others and the decisions they made in choosing us to be parents. Everyday we realize how blessed we are to have you as our daughter.

Your arrival to our family was without planning having met your birth mother just 14 days before you were born.  When we first met S having been introduced by our adoption professional, we felt an instant connection. She with us as well and also falling in love with our then 2 year old A.  We so easily blended into a family it was amazing!  But that was only the beginning and here we are six years later.  This weekend it was your family that came together to celebrate you and your sister with each of your birth mothers.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful princess! May your year ahead be as happy as your first 6 have been!

We love you to the Moon and back a Gazillion Times!! xxoo

 

Mother’s Day for me is bittersweet …

I want to wish all the REAL Moms I know a Happy Mother’s Day, each of you inspire me and to each of our girls’ birth moms I want to send my love to you for making my dreams come true and am so happy to share this day with you and our love for our daughters! ♥

Merriam-Webster definition

Bittersweet adj

1. :being at once bitter and sweet; especially : pleasant but including or marked by elements of suffering or regret

We began our journey to parenthood through adoption in 2005, and by some miracle we became parents in 2006 and again in 2008! It was a challenging experience to get from those days to today. The whole time while I wondered, when would it hit me that we were picked, that this baby was born, that we took her home, that we adopted her and were parents? Guess that day decided to show up… Bigger than Christmas and more meaningful than my birthday… and it happened twice! but I realize as my dreams came true there was another who made the choices and sacrificies to fulfill my dream and it was not something they had originally dreamed for themselves.

So it is on this day, Mother’s Day, that I have very mixed feelings … our girls have relationships with two mothers, the one who loved and cared for them for nine months and the one who loves and is raising them…and together we share the love of our daughters everyday!

I realized how blessed we all are, to first be a family and to call our girls’ birth families our family. I am thankful everyday that C and then S chose me to be the mother of their daughters.

Yes this is a pleasant day to be remembered as my daughters’ mother, but I know there are others who feel elements of suffering or unhappiness that they are not with their children everyday …

And here we are a family which means being there for each other during the fun and happy times, and the sad and unhappy so for that I wish all the REAL mothers I know a good day and hope they are feeling good about themselves!

when adding a dog is like an open adoption …

hanging with Cody in our yard

Our family recently lost a dog to canine cancer. We didn’t have plans to add back a second dog right away but somehow a week later I found a dog “Pepper”on a rescue website that seemed like the right fit for us. Her story is that her first family felt they weren’t giving her the attention and such she needed. Her “mom” worked 12-13 hour days and her children were grown and no one else was home for the dog when she worked. So on this site she was trying to find her dog a family that could give her more attention with children and another dog for her to have.

We emailed and talked on the phone explaining who we were, what our family was like and why we wanted a second dog. Also explaining that we have two daughters through open adoption and if she would like we could keep her updated on the dogs life with us. She agreed that that would help her.

For our girls, we explained that the first family wasn’t able to give this dog everything they wanted for her. We talked about how we had some of these things that they were looking for and that we would like to adopt their dog if they chose us. I also explained like we have an ongoing relationship with their families, we would keep in touch with “Pepper’s” first family through pictures and updates. They really understood that and were happy to know that we would be sharing that information.

Our girls ages 7-1/2 & 5-1/2 years old understood the concept of adopting the dog and keeping in touch with her first family since we were getting our new dog from her first family and not a shelter. It only demonstrated IMHO a story not unlike theirs that they know all too well and having ongoing relationships with their families keeping in touch with our new dog’s family felt right to them and all of us.

We were chosen to be Pepper’s family and as promised we have started sharing photos and updates as she settles into our family with our other dog, our girls and us. We have an open adoption for our dog now too!