Archives For Mom

I am blessed beyond measure to have both of my parents actively engaged in my life. They’ve been that way for as long as I can remember.

It was only through age and experience that I learned not everyone has as rosy of a relationship with their parents as I do with mine. I do not take a single day or moment with them for granted.

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Dad and Mom

Now that my own three kids span elementary school, middle school, and high school, respectively, I thought it would be the perfect time to ask my mom and dad some questions about what they thought I was like growing up.

You never know unless you ask, right? Here are their answers almost exactly as they were typed out for me by my dad. You’ll see he’s a huge fan of unnecessary punctuation…..especially…..ellipsis…..everywhere!

Question 1: What was my most dominant personality trait as far back as you can remember? How would you have described me?

Answer: You have always been a confident individual who can back up your attitude. Also, you were never afraid to experience something new…examples- singing- diving or anything.

Yes, I legitimately gave singing a shot. Anyone who has heard my epic mumbleoke performances on Q98.5’s Pat & JT Show likely just spit out their drink in disbelief.

Question 2: Did I give you the time of day when you wanted to have conversations with me?

Answer: I’d say “yes” or so it appeared so…..we used to have conversations that I thought might be helpful & you would listen…. not get much feedback from you though.

Question 3: Did you like all of my friends? How did you attempt to steer me toward certain friends and away from others?

Answer: You attended (a public school) for a few years & were exposed to some dandys & I convinced your mom that a parochial education would be your best route. There are dandys who attend both types of schools, for the record, but we were overall happy with your friends…most were pretty good kids- so we thought.

I remember being deathly afraid of an older girl who routinely bullied me at my first school. I don’t think my parents have any idea how HUGE of a relief it was for me to go to a new school. It was at the smaller parochial school where I was a fish out of water, but I loved it. I was the non-Catholic, North Omaha transfer who had to learn how to recite the entire Hail Mary and how to shorten the Lord’s Prayer (still remember what it felt like the first time I didn’t stop after the “but deliver us from evil” part).

Question 4: Was I ever scared and, if so, about what?

Answer: After you fell when bike riding & got scraped up, you were leery of trying it again. Sort of like after you fell in one of you first track meets running the hurdles….I truly believe all these years later that could’ve been your best event………..I know you hated it though……….sort of like the high jump. I think as you got older……apprehension – not necessarily ” scared “….occurred more for you. You wanted to please us- teachers- etc.

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Thanks for believing in my potential, dad!

 

First and foremost, I did hate the hurdles and I also had a healthy distrust in my ability to ever figure out proper high jump form. Through CONSTANT encouragement from my dad (and slight badgering), I stuck with high jump and ended up winning a gold medal in all classes my senior year of high school. That singular moment remains to this day one of my most memorable athletic accomplishments. I said “peace out” to hurdles and never regretted a single day. Ha!

Also, my dad’s observation about how I began showing more apprehension as I grew older due to my desire to please authority figures, well that blew me away. How very true. Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda’s are part of every (wo)man’s life I suppose.

Question 5: When did I make you the most happy or proud?

Answer: I could go on forever on this. When you graduated with honors from Creighton University (the first in our family to graduate college since your Aunt Mary). When you brought your first report cards home, when you first started competing in organized sports ( for not only being a great competitor but also a great teammate….I think you understood at an early age how important it is in life to treat others nice & respect what they contribute. ) As a male, I was totally amazed at your athletic ability.

Your induction into the C.U. Athletic Hall of Fame was the icing on the cake as well as the Female Student Athlete of the Year Award you earned your senior year.

All your awards made us so PROUD & I’ll never forget – out of the blue…. you singing the Star Spangle banner – a cappella – before one of your high school basketball games.  As it turns out, your decision to marry Ryan was the right one & I’m proud you chose a good man to spend your life with.Also you two should be commended for having some pretty darn good kids-HA.

Question 6: When did you feel the most disappointed in me?

Answer: I’ll never forget THE LOOK you would give when things didn’t fall your way…you know the pouting when you were called for a foul you didn’t think you committed. A very small disappointing phase you’d have on occasion.

I was disappointed  in myself when your mom talked me into letting you go to that dance when your were 13-? you wanted to go sooo badly & I caved.

Question 7: What advice would you give me as I approach 40 years old?

Answer: Praying to God will help. Trust your instincts when tough decisions need to be made……so far you’ve done one hell of a job.Nobody has all the answers. Continue to enjoy life as much as you can……if you want to see something truly amazing -just stop by anytime to view the new sandstone pavers I put down over the weekend. The crowd has been thinning out so parking shouldn’t be a problem.

My dad: One of the kindest, funniest dudes I know. He worked his butt off this weekend beautifying the back yard while my mom was out of town. My mom: One of the most understanding, determined women to ever grace this earth. Her flower gardens would blow your mind. They are quite the pair together.

Written by Heidi Woodard

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Don’t speak

September 29, 2012

I am a female in my mid-30s. I don’t know if other women my age had the same grand scheme in their minds as I did of how life should unfold.

I knew I wanted to be a mom. Because it’s sweet to be a mom! And playing mommy was always fun, right?!

One of my babies…walking her babies.

You know what else moms are? Bat-sh+t crazy.

After spending all day listening to my three arguing over who’s right, screaming out in delight over the dumbest things, questioning everything I said, ignoring my pleas to hurry up, and tormenting each other because the only thing that’s worse than being together with your siblings is having to spend time apart with (gasp!) no imagination or ability to entertain yourself, I reached my boiling point.

I looked them straight in the eye and said:

“Look at me. Look at me. LOOK AT ME!!”

“I don’t care what you do when we get home, but I don’t want to see or hear you. So find something to do and don’t bother each other.”

They looked up at me and their eyes said what their mouths didn’t. “Ok, mom. You’re mean. Whatever.”

And you know what? Mean mom didn’t feel a tinge of guilt. Because while mean mom was shopping for a new shower curtain earlier in the day, she witnessed the little angel pictured above actually lick the floor of Target because her oldest brother told her to. (No I didn’t! Yes you did. So shut it.)

Off to the second store. Mean mom then visited Nobbies with the same brother in the hopes of finding a scary costume that not only fits his coolness standards, but also isn’t inappropriate for school. Because THAT’S possible.

Did I mention this impossible-to-please-mini-version-of-my-husband expects to walk into a store and have a costume magically appear in front of him within minutes without exerting any effort? So after I made him ask the store clerk (eye roll…followed by exasperated sigh) about whether or not a particular overpriced costume he liked was in stock, we learned it was not. Forty five minutes later, we walked out empty handed and defeated.

That got us through lunch time.

Following our refueling, I thought it would be a grand idea to get them out of my face take them all to the park for some exercise. No less then 20 minutes later, one kid had to poop. Return home. Head out to park number two. New scenery, different kid, same scenario.

(I didn’t HAVE to poop when we got home the first time. Yes you did. So shut it.)

It was during the final trip home when I gave them direct orders to stay far, far away from me if they knew what was good for them.

They obliged, I grabbed a bottled sangria, and plopped myself down to blog it out – spilling my thoughts to you, my online therapists.

No matter how ready you feel you are, no woman is ever adequately prepared to calmly raise children. And that’s ok. Because unlike every other scenario we face in our adult lives, we get a chance to begin anew everyday.

And those floor-licking, eye-rolling, constantly-pooping beings are ready to forgive and forget their mean mom.

So…about that new job. It’s going pretty great actually. I know you’ve all been losing sleep over not knowing whether or not I like it.

I still don’t know everything I need to know (tomorrow will be the start of my fourth week), but I’m not lost like I feared I would be after leaving a place where I knew my role like the back of my hand.

It’s Sunday evening and I’m not feeling any how-many-hours-do-I-have-left-to-my-weekend anxiety. I no longer dread Monday mornings. Strike that…I don’t dread returning to work on Mondays. I always dread mornings, no matter what the day.

Most importantly, I am starting to embrace my professional identity. I am now in a position where my success will be measured by how much better I make other people’s lives. It recently dawned on me that it is a role completely synonymous to what it means to be a mom.

Maybe that’s why I am excited for each new day? Or maybe I’m still simply in the honeymoon phase? Or maaaaybe…I don’t need to try and rationalize why I feel the way I do? I keep telling myself to simply live in the moment and soak up new opportunities as they arise.

I believe I have identified the x-factor when it comes to determining job satisfaction: To be happy with what you do for a living, you must share a personal desire with those who surround you.

Some people want to be known for having the greatest material wealth or influence, so they surround themselves with others who seek out similar status. Some people want to change the world so that it is better for future generations, so they forgo immediate gratification to pursue something bigger than themselves. Some are happy simply existing, knowing they have a support system in place who can remind them of their greatest strengths when they’ve forgotten. Some people want to laugh everyday and see the good in others, so they embrace similar thinkers and doers in the hopes of finding solutions instead of harping on problems.

After all, the world is a beautiful place and we only have but one life to live. It’s not easy to stay positive, but I’m going to embrace this period for as long as possible.

Even Monday mornings are worth celebrating my friends.