Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.


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37 1/2 Questions

Recently, while searching for a new exercise video on YouTube, I stumbled upon a video series called 73 Questions.  73 Questions are videos, filmed in a single shot, of personalities (mainly celebrities), asking 73 questions about what they like, hate, and know.  They make the videos appear random, like someone happened to stop by and do an impromptu interview, and ask a few questions.  However, the videos are obviously scripted and practiced.  They are still fun to watch.  I started with Nicole Kidman (her Australian house is amazing), and ended with James Corden.  Check them out for yourself here.

I thought it would be fun for me do something similar for my blog.  However, I have no interest in doing the video portion of the interview or for 73 questions.  I decided to create a list of 37 1/2  questions I’ve been asked regarding my upcoming move to Italy.   Since announcing my decision to move with the family, I have been bombarded with tons  of questions.

Here we go.

1) How did this happen?

I’m not sure I understand the question.  How did what happen?

2) How did you decide to move to Italy?

Oh.  I accepted a job to work over there.

3) No.  I mean…how did you even think of applying for a job in Italy?

Well, 20 plus years ago I worked overseas in London, England.  It was a great experience,and I’ve always wanted to live overseas again.

4)  Did you talk about applying for the job with your family?

Of course.

5)  How did they respond?

Indifferent at first.  They knew it was my dream to live overseas, but didn’t think it wouldn’t really happen.

6) Were they surprised to hear you got the job?

Yes and no.  I’d been talking about applying for jobs for a while, but the fact I got a job offer was a surprise.

7)  How did your family react?

Mixed.  Husband was proud, excited, but nervous.  Older boys were fine, as long as they could stay at their current schools.  Little Boy cried.

8)  Was it hard to have Little Boy cry?

Yes.  Before I accepted the job, we had several family discussions.  There were a lot of questions, and emotions during those conversations.

9)  Is Little Boy still sad?

I’m sure he is, but he also is excited.  We all are.  

10)  What’s the hardest part about making decision to live overseas?

Making sure everyone needs are being met.  Years ago, when I lived overseas I was a single person. Now I am married, with three kids, own a home, and have aging parents.  Making sure we had a plan how to make it work was crucial prior to accepting the job.

11)  What work will you be doing?

I will be the Director of Child Youth programs on an US Military base.

12)  Will you live on the US base?

No.

13)  Do you speak Italian?

No.

14)  Have you been to Italy?

No.

15)  Is everyone moving to Italy with you?

No.  My husband and youngest son are coming with me, but two older boys will remain in the United States.  They want to finish high school and college in the US.

16)  Did you offer for them to come with you to Italy?

Of course.  The older boys have friends, and connections in the US.  They are also ages 18 and 20. They are old enough to decide what they want to do for the future.

17)  Are you sad to leave them?

Yes.  It’s hard to think about,  but they will visit and they will stay with us during vacations and summer.  We are a close family.  We will make sure to stay connected.

18)  How long will you live overseas?

Three years.

19)  Can you stay longer?

Possibly.  It depends on a lot of factors.

20)  Is your husband supportive?

Yes, very.

21)  Was he always supportive?

Yes and no.  At first, we didn’t have all the details worked out.  It was a complex process to see how we could support three boys, three schools, own a home, and two careers.  I’m the dreamer in the family.  He’s the practical one.  His practical side needed to be fulfilled, prior to accepting the job.

22)  What has been the response from family and friends?

Mixed.  Sad, excited, shocked, and happy.  We feel all the same emotions.

23)  What has been the most unusual response to the move?

Silence.  

23)  What will you miss the most when you move?

The people.

24)  What will you miss the least?

Nothing.  I love where I live, my family and my friends. 

25)  Why leave then?

Five years ago my husband and I talked about our future.  We both love to travel, and both want meaningful careers.  This job opportunity offers us both things.  Leaving doesn’t always mean you are unhappy.  Sometimes we leave to experience something more.

26)  What will happen to your house?

We will rent it out.

27)  What about all your belongings?

We will take most of our things with us, and store the rest.

28)  Are you scared?

No.

29)  Really?

Yes, really.  I have concerns, but scared…no.

30)  I’ve never heard of someone taking a job overseas.  Isn’t it unusual?

Not really.  Military families move overseas all the time.  This experience has given me great appreciation for US military families who move frequently and to overseas locations. The process is daunting when you have a family.  

31)  Do you like Italian food?

Is this a real question?

32)  Do you worry about crime in Italy?

Not more than I do in the US.

33)  What happens if you get homesick?

It will happen.  We will get homesick, but we will support each other.  This move is different from my previous one.  There are many more ways to stay connected.  We will also travel back to the US at least once a year.

34)  What would you say to someone considering working overseas or following a dream?

Do the research.  It was not an easy process for this to happen.  Take time to research how it can happen, and begin the process.  If you really see something in your future, you have to take the steps to make if happen.  

35)  Anything else?

Stay positive.  Many times I’ve been discouraged because things didn’t go as quickly, or as smoothly as I wanted.  Surround yourself with positive people who support you.  You will need their encouragement.

36)  Regrets?

No, not yet.

37)  Final words?

I’m grateful for this opportunity.  It’s happening because of many people who believe in and support me.  Timing and luck had a lot to do with it too.  I get to do valuable, meaningful work, see the world, and be with my family.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

371/2 )  And?

Ciao.  We’re done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Mom Says It Again

The other night at dinner Tall Boy sprung the news to my husband and I his school had an open house the next night.  My reaction wasn’t one of joy.

“Mom, open house for school is tomorrow.” – Tall Boy

“Really? I don’t remember seeing the email.  That’s too bad.” – Mother

“You always say that, Mom.” – Tall Boy

“Say what?” – Mother

“Say, that’s too bad”.  – Tall Boy

“No, I don’t”. –  Mother

“Yes you do”. – Tall Boy

“You do, Mom”. – Little Boy

“You have a bunch of things you say all the time.  You repeat the same sayings over and over.” – Old Boy

“What are you talking about?  What do I say over and over?” – Mother

For the next half hour at dinner the family proceeded tell me quotes I use on a daily basis.  Every mother has a few quotes to be remembered by, but apparently I have more than the average mom.  This morning when I woke up my husband kindly (or not so kindly) left a list of my quotes for my on the counter.  Ten quotes isn’t too many is it?

That’s too bad.

I say this one a lot.  It’s used when I’m not happy.

“Mom, Dad said to tell you the washing machine is broken.”

Stop talking.

This quote is used when my boys won’t stop talking.  It’s self explanatory.

Stay calm.

When I feel frazzled I use the quote to remind myself what I need to do.  I used this excessively teaching the teenagers to drive.

Unfortunately.

This is another quote to show my unhappiness for a situation.

“The guys will be over soon for a sleepover, Mom.”

Stop bothering those people.

This wonderful quote isn’t an original of mine.  My husband overheard a mother saying it to her annoying son while waiting in line at LEGOLAND.  I use it to remind my boys to be good in public.  Not sure who “those people” are though.

The thing is…

Here’s another stolen quote.  This one comes from my older sister.  She says this all the time to explain a situation.  I use it to explain things too.

“The thing is…money doesn’t grow on trees.  Dad and I don’t have money to hand out when you waste your money on new muscle shirts.”

Focus.

All mothers say this quote.  This one is used mainly for my little son.  I remind him to stay on task and get the job done.

Hubble up.

A morning routine saying.  This one means, “Hurry up people or we’ll be late again.”

What’s happening in the land of ___________ grade?

I like this quote.  I say it instead of the usual, “How was your day at school?”  It has a fill in the blank section that makes it easy to say for multiple children.

Don’t forget about trash and recycling.

This quote is said everyday to Old Boy.  It’s his job to take out the trash and recycling and he never remembers.  I do a daily reminder for him.  He hates this quote, but if he did his job I wouldn’t need to remind him.

I’m sorry to hear about that.

Another one of my “I’m not happy to hear that” quotes.

“Mom, we are out of toilet paper again.”

Mom’s are supposed to have famous quotes.  Years from now when I am gone they’ll have happy memories of their mother’s sayings.  At least I hope they’re happy memories.  If they don’t that’s too bad.


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Guy Talk

A conversation between a mother and a little boy.

Mother and little boy are sitting on carpet.  Little boy is putting on his shoes.

I can’t get my shoes on.  It hurts.” – Little Boy

Mother looks at shoes.

“They’re too small.  We’ll need to pick up some new ones this weekend.” – Mother

“We need to get some new underwear too.  I want to start wearing boxers.”- Little Boy

“Excuse me?  Boxers?  You mean boxer briefs?” – Mother

“Yeah.  I don’t want to wear underwear anymore.  I want to wear boxers.” – Little Boy

“Really?  Why?” – Mother

“I’m big now.  I’m the only one who lives here and still wears underwear.” – Little Boy

“I wear underwear.  I live here.” – Mother

“You’re a girl, Mom.  Girls wear underwear and men wear boxers.  I’m not a baby anymore.  It’s time.” – Little Boy

“You will always be my baby”.  – Mother

Mother kisses little boy on the head.

You mean no cartoon characters on your underwear anymore?” – Mother

“Well… maybe we can find some boxers with superheros on them.  That would still be cool, right? – Little Boy

“Yeah, it’s cool.  Maybe I could get some too?” – Mother

“Mom, don’t talk about wearing boxers.  It’s guy talk.” – Little Boy


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Leave it at That

A conversation between a mother and a teenage son.

Boy is sitting at computer.  Boy calls to mother to come near him.

Mom.  Mom, can you come here?” – Tall Boy

“I’m cooking dinner right now.  Can you wait?” – Mother

“No.  It’s important.  I want to show you something.” – Tall Boy

“How important?  If it’s one of those motorized car videos I will pass.”  – Mother

“No, it’s something else.  Come on, Mom.” – Mother

“Okay.  Jeez. ” – Mother

Mother walks over to son.  Mother looks at son.

Well?” – Mother

“Look.” – Tall Boy

Son points to computer screen.  Mother looks at computer screen.

Are those your grades?” – Mother

Yes.” – Tall Boy

“Wow. That’s amazing.  Good for you.”- Mother

“Thanks, Mom.” – Tall Boy

I want you to know your Dad and I are very proud of you.  You’ve come a long way.  Things weren’t always easy for you or for us, but now look at you.  We support you 100%.  Well, almost 100%.  I guess it’s more like 95%, because if you get arrested and go to jail we won’t support you.  We expect you to stay out of jail and be an honorable citizen. So, don’t screw up.  Stay the path you’re on now and things will be fine.  Better than fine.  They’ll be great.  Super great.  College is coming soon, so do your best.  Do you understand what I’m trying to say?” – Mother

Mother kisses son on the head.

“Um…thanks, Mom.  I think.  Next time I show you my grades could you just say well done and leave it at that?” – Tall Boy


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The Center of The Universe

A conversation between a mother and a little boy.

Mother is cleaning the kitchen.  Mother looks at the kitchen table.

“Hey, who made the big mess on the kitchen table?” – Mother

Silence.  Mother glances in living room and sees little boy.

“Did you make the mess on the table?” – Mother

“Maybe.” – Little Boy

“What do you mean maybe?” – Mother

Mother walks over to kitchen table.

“These look like your pens and markers.  Someone has been drawing.” – Mother

Mother looks a one of the drawings.

“This has your name on it.  Did you draw it?” – Mother

“Maybe.” – Little Boy

Mother looks closely at the drawing.

“What is the drawing about?” – Mother

“It’s about our family.  First there was you and then daddy.  Then came my big brothers and then came me.” – Little Boy

“Oh.” – Mother

“You are the center of the universe.  You are beginning of it all.” – Little Boy

Mother smiles.

“I’m the center of the universe?  I’ll clean up the mess on the table.” – Mother

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The Power of One Little Word

A conversation between a mother and a teenage son.

Mother and son engage in a conversation.  Mother discusses conversation held with son earlier in the day.

I’m disappointed in the way you handled my simple request this morning.  Your response was very self-centered.” – Mother

“I was in a hurry.  I didn’t have time to help you out.” – Tall Boy

“Yes, you did.  You had time.  I asked you help me with something that was important to me.  I was emotional and needed to know I could count on you.” – Mother

” I know.” – Tall Boy

“Remember to think of others as often as you think of yourself.  Your feelings are important, but so are other people’s.  Hearing how ill my dad is very hard.  I need to know you will support me when times are tough.  I need to know you will be the loving son I’ve raised you to be.” – Mother

“I’m sorry, Mom.  I know things have been hard for you lately.  I love you SO much.” – Tall Boy

Teenage son walks over to mother and gives her a hug.

“I’ve never heard you say that to me before.” – Mother

“Never say what?” – Tall Boy

“Say you love me SO much.” – Mother

“I tell you I love you all the time.” – Tall Boy

“You tell me you love me, but I’ve never heard you say you love me SO much.” – Mother

“I say it everyday I guess just not out loud.” – Tall Boy

Mother smiles.

“I love you SO much too.” – Mother

One little word can change everything.

 

 


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Crazy Sort of Brave

In celebration of my 50th birthday my oldest son and I decided to do something different. Not your ordinary kind of different. But something so unique that most of my friends and family were shocked that we did it.

We jumped out of an airplane. Not alone of course. We were tandem to an instructor and jumped from an airplane at 13,000 square feet. For one minute we were in a free fall and then the parachute sail went up and we glided for 7 minutes to the ground.

When I posted our video adventure on Facebook for friends and family to view I was surprised how everyone response was the same. They all told me how ‘brave’ I was. During the entire experience I never thouht for once how brave I was. In my mind I was crazy for doing such a thing.

Brave is a special word reserved for people who do heroic things. Jumping from an airplane wasn’t really brave. It wasn’t heroic. It was just something most people who never do and a little bit crazy.

After hearing how many people thought I was brave I started to think what the word really meant. Does being brave mean doing something other people would never do? Does it mean doing something that involves a risk? Or does mean doing something that requires courage?

I know some very brave people. They have endured far greater fears and uncertainty than jumping out of a plane.

Here are examples brave people I know.

The people who must continue to live after a child they loved has died.

The spouse who is told they are no longer loved and is being left alone to raise the children.

The person diagnosed with cancer and is told they are terminal with only a few months to live.

A child who is being bullied and has no support from the school or community they live in.

The service men and women who are stationed in hostile environments protecting the freedom of people who don’t ever know who they are.

The child who removes a parent from life support because it’s their parent’s wish, but isn’t ready to let their parent go.

The child who must go home to an abusive household never knowing what may happen on any given day.

Being brave doesn’t always mean risking your life. Often it means continuing to live even when doing so seems difficult or impossible.

Jumping wasn’t the scariest part of the event. It was the fear of the unknown on the plane ride up that made me feel most afraid. The fall itself was thrilling. It’s the thrill of doing something so unusual I will remember most, not the fear.

We are all brave. Not because we risk our lives, but because we continue to live despite its’difficulties.