Growing up a tomboy

I was recently inspired by a post on Facebook about beautiful daughters.  What do tomboys and beautiful daughters have in common?  Well, I have no beautiful daughters (I do have three handsome sons and a brand new beautiful daughter-in-law though) and if you asked my mother she would say it is because I was a tomboy growing up.  She actually told me this when I had my second son. Although she had passed away before my third son was born, I am almost positive she had a good laugh then too, convinced of her theory more than ever.

I grew up in a family of six children; my poor mother gave birth to all of us within 8 years, with no multiple births either!  As the youngest girl with three brothers closer in age to me than my two sisters, it is no wonder I was a tomboy. It seemed too that most of the neighbourhood children were boys.  We always had lots of fun playing road hockey, flag football, tennis, hide and seek and more.

The fact that I was a tomboy was annoying to my mother who tried hard to get me interested in dolls, pretty dresses, jewelry, etc.  I remember being very ticked off one Christmas because my brothers got walkie-talkies and I received a ring.  I probably pouted about it for days.  I also ticked my mother off when I gave away all of my Barbie paraphernalia to the little girl down the street.  I thought it was very generous of me.

I like to think growing up a tomboy prepared me for my most important role, mother of three (very active) boys….

 

 

 

Proud momma bear

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Nothing makes a momma bear prouder than compliments about her children.  This past weekend as my eldest son got married, I was honored and humbled by the number of people that commented on how handsome, polite, respectful,  charming and well-rounded all three of my sons are.

I have always believed that a mother’s most important job is raising her children, so it was very rewarding to hear that others recognize that I (we, as I must give credit to my husband too) have done a decent job.

This momma bear could not be prouder!

 

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pictures from Pixabay

 

 

 

Breast or bottle feeding

Is it better or easier to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby?  Over the years I don’t think it has ever been disputed that breastfeeding is far healthier, but bottles are certainly very convenient, especially for fathers wanting (or needing) to feed their babies.

The health advantages of breast milk include:

  • contains antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria
  • contains all the essential minerals and vitamins needed in the first 6 months
  • lowers the risk of asthma and allergies in children
  • lowers the chance of diarrhea and ear infections
  • breastfeeding helps moms get back to pre-pregnancy weight faster

When my mother was feeding me and my siblings, (in the late 50’s and early 60’s) breastfeeding was not as popular as it is today.  Why that was I am not sure.  Moms were still predominantly “stay at home” and breastfeeding was (and still is) certainly the more economical way to go.  Maybe because of the larger families and the time commitment involved in breastfeeding.  It would be hard to concentrate on breastfeeding with a few other munchkins running around.  I have heard too that breastfeeding was considered to be an uncultured or low-class practice, an opinion that started in the early 20th century and extended almost to the 21st century.

When I was feeding my own babies (in the 90’s) breastfeeding was the thing to do.  I found it very convenient and relaxing, with no complications.  No sterilizing bottles and no filling bottles in the middle of the night.  I do know several women that had difficulties though, with low milk production or trouble with babies latching on properly.  I always said that was the advantage I had in having large babies; (my first was 10 pounds!) they had no trouble latching on and draining me every feeding.

Today, there appears to be mixed feelings about breastfeeding.  It has been making a comeback due to the increased interest in pursuing healthy, more natural lifestyles.   However, although no one can really dispute the health advantages, some modern women still feel tied down and men feel left out when choosing to breastfeed their babies.

The smart choice (in my opinion) is to do both.  Reap the health benefits for mom and baby, but make it more convenient.  Modern technology has produced very efficient (although the electric ones are costly) breast pumps and bottles with colic reducing nipples shaped like breast nipples so baby does not get confused with different sucking procedures going back and forth.

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I have seen my daughter-in-law pump two 5 ounce bottles in ten minutes, something that would have taken me hours to do by hand years ago.  Below are a few of the newest products out there for breastfeeding moms on the go; they are all greatly admired by this grandma…

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Daughter from another mother

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I am devastated this week after hearing of the sudden and unexpected death of a dear friend.  The initial shock is fading, but I am still having difficulty believing that she is gone from my life.

Although she started out as a client in my gardening business, ….. Continue reading

I’m not losing a son, I’m gaining a daughter!

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This past weekend, my eldest son proposed to his girlfriend.  As the mother of three sons, I am thrilled to welcome my first daughter!

It is difficult for a mother to remain objective when her son is dating, just as (so I have heard) it is difficult for fathers to approve of their daughters’ dating choices.  You have to learn to bite your tongue when you do not approve and only offer advice when it is requested.  You have to hope your children listen when you try to teach them that beauty is only skin deep, but what lies within is much more important.  They have to learn to follow their instincts telling them if a relationship does not feel right, it is not right, and will not last.  You can only hope and pray that your children make the right choice when choosing a mate, and celebrate when they do!

This happy couple have known each other for years, having curled together since they were “little rockers”, close to twenty years ago.  Even though they both dated other people over the years, their friendship, love of curling and the ever-popular social media have kept them connected.  We have no doubt they are ideally matched and are very excited to encourage them in this next step of their lives.

Experts agree that boys that are close to, respectful of, and good to their mothers will make great husbands.  I am fortunate to have three kind, considerate, respectful, compassionate, not to mention handsome, sons that will make great husbands and fathers.  Of course, I am a bit biased…

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To My Mother-in-law

Today, February 3rd, would have been my Mother-in-law’s 93rd birthday.  She, like my own mother, left us much too early many years ago now.

I have heard many mother-in-law jokes and disparaging comments over the years, but I must admit none applied to my mother-in-law.  She was kind, considerate, funny, fun to be with, a wonderful mother, and best of all, she liked and appreciated me, her only daughter-in-law.

I had a lot in common with her; we were both raised in large families by parents struggling to make ends meet financially.  Although she was raised in the great depression and I was not, we both grew up at the bottom of the pecking order amongst siblings, (I was second last of six, she was last of seven) fiercely independent, earning our way in the world.  Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with breast cancer the year I married her son and died twelve years later, shortly before her 75th birthday.

My mother-in-law had a great relationship with her only son, my husband.  She taught him to be respectful of women,  frugal yet generous with his money, appreciative of nature, kind to animals and loyal to his loved ones.  She would be so proud of the husband and father he has become.

My two oldest sons, her only grandchildren,  were the lights of her life, only six and four years old when she died.  They barely remember her now, but my husband and I have many fond memories of her enjoying the greatest gift we ever gave her.   My heart aches knowing she was unable to watch them grow up and share all of their athletic and scholastic accomplishments.  I know she would be so proud of the men that they, and the younger brother she never got to meet, have become.

If any of our sons had been girls, they would have been named Isabella after their Nana, my esteemed mother-in-law.

The Mother of all Jobs

As I am perusing the brochures arriving in the mail from the universities my third and youngest son has applied to, I cannot help but feel that my job as a mother is very quickly becoming obsolete. I have been committed to this job for over 25 years now, and although the interview process was slow and stressful, (check out my book about this subject G9P3A3) once I knew the job was mine, there was no looking back.  The years have truly flown by, with the high points and low points all blended together in my memory, representing an amazing opportunity I am extremely grateful for.

I believe that the job of being a mother is the most important as well as the most difficult job a woman can ever have.  This may seem like an old-fashioned, anti-feminist, and sexist statement, but it is one made in genuine respect for all mothers, including those within the animal kingdom.  Mothers, like the offspring they bear, come in all shapes, sizes, colors and species.  A pregnant female takes on the mental and physical responsibility to nurture, grow, love, provide for and protect her children, an important job for many years.

Of course, some mothers have a much easier job than others. Things like age, IQ, location, financial and marital status, as well as level of education can all influence their individual job descriptions and performance levels.  The best part is that although being a mother can be a difficult job, it can also be the most rewarding job.  Fortunately, the conditions mentioned that make the job easier or more difficult do not necessarily have any affect on the level of success achieved.  Introducing a happy, content, respectful, emotionally and socially stable adult to the world is a reward beyond comparison, one that all the money in the world cannot purchase.

Despite an expected reduction in my job’s responsibilities coming soon, I hope to stay on as a senior consultant and advisor for many years to come.