Friday, May 01, 2009

Here are the Tag rules:
just write a post of your own (5 things that you love about being a mom) and find someone to link to and tag - someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country (Google is a good resource if you don't know any; google any country name and 'mom' in their blog search function) (be sure to let them know that you've tagged them!) - and link back here to me and also leave a comment to HBM so she knows how close we are getting to the 80 clicks to different mothers.

This tag was started by HBM way back on March 31, 2009. She is hoping to connect blogging Mothers all over the world in 80 clicks. I was Tagged by Hip Grandma on April 12, `09 and am finally finding some time to think about what it was like being a mother, before I became a grandmother and later a great grandmother.

As you have probably guessed, it was a long time ago when I was raising my own children. My youngest is 40 years old and my oldest is now 56 years old. WOW, does that make me feel even older. Funny how 77 didn`t feel old until I saw that 56.

My first daughter was born in September, 1952- just 20 days after my 21st Birthday. But, she was the second daughter as I also was raising a step daughter who was 4 yrs old when her Father and I married. I knew nothing about how to raise a child or how to be a mother with no years raising her to learn from. The sd was very jealous having a new baby in the house. I soon learned that mother hood was not to be an easy job, like I had imagined it would be. I thought "Love could conquer anything".
Boy, was I ever wrong! I tried giving the sd extra love and attention, hoping to make her know she was loved and the new baby wouldn`t change that. Nothing worked and it got so I had to keep a close watch on her whenever she headed for a room where the baby was. I once caught her slapping the baby across the face hard enough to leave her hand print. After that I started keeping the baby in the same room I was in. Was months before she stopped acting out.

The baby grew up to be a very easy child to raise. I could take her anyplace and she never touched anything without permission. I remember a friend who had a coffee table filled with breakable knick knacks and I feared she might break one. The friend went and got an unbreakable object, made room on the coffee table for it and told my 1 year old that she could play with that toy (as she called it) but not to touch any of the others as they were not toys and would break. From that day on, every time we visited there, my little daughter would pick up that one so called toy and never would touch the rest. I felt so proud of her- just turned a year old and obeyed so well. Today she is the mother of 6 and the grandmother of 8. She worked her way through College, holding down a job and raising her school age children at the same time. She has always made me proud to be her mother.

When my first daughter was 2 1/2, we were blessed with twin boys- not identical- one had blond hair, other light brown. My husbands mother and my father were blonds, while my mother and my husbands father had darker hair. One son was larger and soon became like the big boss over the little one. This continued till the day the little one learned to walk , while his brother was still crawling. I remember feeling like a failure when nothing I tried stopped the older one from grabbing every toy the littler one picked up. They were small and in a playpen together when all this kept happening. I used to feel sad watching the little son putting up with what his brother was doing and just crawling over for another toy. He never cried or even whined, just acted like it was ok. When the little one was almost 9 months old he started walking. Every time his brother crawled over and started to take the toy, the little one would get up, run across the playpen and hold the toy outside the playpen. Every time his brother crawled close, he would just run to the other side. Finally I thought I would be able to stop feeling I wasn`t such a good mother. Then, the older one started crying because he could no longer take the toys away from his brother, and I again felt I should have been able to handle things better.
Today the oldest-which was then the smallest- is a great father who raised 3 children alone after their mother left and is a grandfather of 2. The younger twin which was the larger of the two and his wife are the proud parents of two lovely adopted children. They are both hard workers and make me proud to be their mother.

Two years later along came another daughter. I remember again feeling like I wasn`t being the best of mothers as I didn`t have money to waste on the more expensive pretty little dresses. She had a lot of hand-me-down. Beautiful dresses, but I felt I let her down because I couldn`t buy her own nice dresses that no one else had ever worn. Why did I let it bother me? It made no difference to her and I was able to buy them when she started school. Today she is the mother of 2 and the grandmother of 6.

Next- 5 years later, along came the youngest son ( the carpenter)who didn`t have his mother home with him every day like the others did. When he was about 3, it became necessary for me to get a job. I remember how every payday I would buy him a small kids book. Guess I was trying to show him I loved him and I told him if he was good I would buy him another book next week. I used to feel so guilty for leaving him. I had never left the older children, was home with them all day until they were old enough to start school. I used to read the books to him before he went to bed. Many times he would ask me to read the books again and again and his then 8 year old sister loved sitting beside me while I was reading. She also enjoyed the books. Sometimes she would bring home Library books from school for me to read to them. This son is the father of 2 sons. The year he was born we took in the step son who was 14 years old. His mother had kicked him out. I soon learned that he was a lot easier to raise than his sister had been. He was grateful that his father and I took him in and he still calls me mom today.

Last came the youngest daughter - I had been working for a few years and due to problems I had to quit work. So, I was home with her like with the older ones. She was a surprise because we hadn`t planned on having any more. There hadn`t been a baby in the house for a few years since the last one was already 6 years old. It felt like I was starting over as the others were 6, 11, 13, 13, and 15 , 18 (stepson entered the Marines at 17)and the sd was 20 ( already married) when she was born. I was a lot more educated in motherhood by then so I think I was probably a better mother as things didn`t bother me as much and I took everything in stride without letting it upset me. Plus, it was a lot easier by then as I knew better how to handle the little problems that came along with raising so many. The first ones were the hardest because I knew nothing about raising a child and each one taught me something new. I think I learned as much from them as they did from me. I do think all the baby sitting I did while growing up helped some. Today this youngest daughter is a Correctional officer in a prison, the mother of 2 and the grandmother of 1.

Being a mother had many scary times, like when I was told to meet the playground attendant at the Hospital because one son was taken to the Hospital with a Jart ( a very very large dart) stuck in his neck (1/8 " from killing him- Dr said). Another son broke his leg a few years later, at age 14 the smaller twin almost died from fever caused by Arthritis in his ankle, then there was the car accident, we found the car with broken windows, glass all over the car and blood enough to say it could be serious. Ended up with head stitches. Many other scary times and each time it reminded you that motherhood, while wonderful, could also take a lot out of you from fear and worry. Today when I think of my children and their families I feel so proud of all of them and it makes all those many years of motherhood and hardships worth all I went through. I now feel I must have done something right while raising them for them all to have turned out so good. So, I went through times when I felt I was failing them, or letting them down and would wish I knew how to be a better mother. Then I remember the key chain that a daughter-in-law gave me years ago. I still have it today. It has a picture of a car and says "If a mother`s place is in the home, why am I always in the car". I would drive the boys to little league and to Boy Scouts, and the girls to Girl Scouts , plus taking them to friends homes, or bringing their friends to our home. I was a Cub Leader for 15 years and on the Boy Scout Troop Badge counseling committee along with other things. Our yard became the neighborhood hangout for all their friends and the neighbors kids. I always felt it was better to have all the kids here driving me crazy than wondering where my kids were or who they were with. Many baseball and basketball games were held here even though my property then was only 90 feet x 100 feet and that included the house and bike shop areas. Today I own 150 x 100. Wish we had owned it when the kids were teenagers with so many friends hanging here. Then there was the step sons`s band playting in my cellar and people 4 streets away telling me how good they sounded. They got moved to the garage when hubby was home. A wonder I have any hearing left.

Now, for who to Tag:

hillgrandmom from Kerala, India

Sally from USA

starry nights from California, USA

deni from N Carolina, USA

I am having trouble trying to keep the underline below all the names when i paste them in.

So very cute Dotm.Your children could never have been otherwise.You've led by examp;e.hats off to you for the wonderful job you did.I really mean it.
Thanks Hip Grandma. I know I probably made a lot of mistakes over the years, but at least I do have the satisfaction of knowing I did the best I knew how to do at the time.
Great post Dot.
I think you did a great job raising your kids.
A person can only know the basics and grow from there.
I have once again becuse a parent and let me tell you, its a one hell of a learning curve raising teenagers when i was just getting ready to run away
Walker, I can not even imagine what it must be like starting over again.
My youngest daughter age 41 this year has two daughters-
one is 23, with a 3 year old daughter of her own
the second daughter will turn 5 years old this month. So she knows more about starting over than I do. I can not imagine having a 3 year old granddaughter and a 5 year old daughter at the same time, or raising one child and having another child 18 years later. But she is a good mother and a hard worker. I am hoping to make it to the Pre-K Grandmother`s Tea this Friday. This will be my last grandchild to invite me.
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