moms

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For Mom, The Best Life Lessons You Taught Me!

Published May 9, 2015 by Maryanne

vintage-mothers-day-01Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Mom,

It means the world to me that you follow my blog! So I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you, and my fellow bloggers and readers, the top three things you taught me in life. These lessons are incredibly wise and made me who I am today. And to think, you were a very young mother when you led by example, which is incredibly impressive. I highly doubt I could have done what you did!

You’ve told me before that you’re not a “huggy/kissy” mom, but this Mother’s Day weekend is to honor you — and you’ll just have to accept this “huggy/kissy” tribute to YOU!

Lesson #1

You told me this when I was a little girl. “If someone has something you want, don’t be jealous of them, be happy for them.” That is the greatest thing any mom can embed in the brain of a child. Because it worked! In a stressful world, I can say it’s a big relief that “jealousy” isn’t one of my problems. I’m always happy for people who have nice things, whether they achieved them through hard work or were simply blessed. Being happy for others is good karma that always comes back to me. Life can be hard sometimes, but I feel very fortunate with all I have. Plus, it’s just not cool to begrudge.

Thank you for setting a very important ground rule for me early on; it gets me through the tough times.

Lesson #2

“Wait until your 30s or 40s to get married and you’ll have a marriage that lasts forever.” You told me this when I was a teenager crying over some stupid guy. Ever since then I never wasted much time on someone who wasn’t worth it. Though it seemed to others (even Grandma) that I was being “too picky” I’m glad I waited so long for the right one to come along. Dennis is more than a dream, he’s my heart and soulmate. And he loves having you as a mother-in-law!

Lesson #3

ANIMALS! Thanks for being the kind of mom that always had animals in the house! From what I can remember, the kind, loving German Shepherd, Misty, was the first dog I knew. She was a very patient dog with me. I’ll never forget her big brown marble eyes. I was so fascinated with those eyes I liked to poke at them. Then you taught me, “Don’t do that to Misty, you’ll blind her.” This is when I learned animals are not toys and you should be gentle with them.

We also had Peanuts, a pretty cat who once had three kittens. At a young age I was able to see the miracle of a mother cat tending to her young. I still remember the one white kitten that I favored and how sad I was when the last person came and took her away. A very good lesson for a child — that you can’t always get what you want. But hey, I know both of us would keep all the animals in the world if we could, right?!

Being brought up with animals taught me that animals are a lot more than just “pets.” They are FAMILY. I’ve experienced this first hand with my Billy Cat and Derick. It blows peoples’ minds when I tell them that Billy lived to 19. And now, at 19 Derick is still going strong, bless his little heart and soul!

Other than Dennis, you are definitely my “go to” person when I want to talk about a cute animal show or movie. Or share something funny that Derick did, that many others just won’t “get.”

Animal lovers have that special bond that no one else does!

I LOVE you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!

Much love,

Maryanne 

P.S. (Don’t roll your eyes over all this MUSH, I’m still your little pain-in-the-ass! SMOOCH!) xox

DonkeyMe and Mommy

Having Kids is a Blessing, But So is Not Having Kids

Published June 15, 2012 by Maryanne

vintage children

When I was a child, I played with toy animals, not baby dolls. Becoming a mother was never on my “to do” list, and the thought of becoming pregnant repulsed me. While many women worry about their biological clock, I can’t wait until mine ticks out!

Does that make me a bad person? Absolutely not!

But some people have tried to make me feel like a bad person for my personal choices. I’ve heard ignorant negative comments like, “People who don’t have children are selfish.”

However, it’s the opposite. I’ve heard many childless women say they feel they can give more to society by not having kids. I feel the same way, as I am a giver in every sense of the word.

Some people implied that I “hate” kids. That is not true either. I love kids.

Some people implied that I’m not interested in having kids because I’d be a bad mom. People who really know me say that I’d be a good mom. I may have to disagree with this one, because I’m too much like a kid myself — it would take a lot out of me, emotionally, to discipline a kid. Seeing a child cry breaks my heart, it’s something I just can’t see myself living with.

But then my husband always points out that our cats are so good because I raised them from birth — and imagine what I could do if I raised a child from birth? I could have been the mom of a kid that grew up to move mountains!

Mind you, this article is not meant to be a competition of moms versus non-moms, but that women who choose not to have children should be equally celebrated and honored — not disrespected with ill comments from strangers and acquaintances. Because we all have so much to give to society. Non-moms are not sitting around in bed all day eating bon-bons!

On a positive note, when Mother’s Day comes around and strangers wish me a “Happy Mother’s Day” I kindly accept the compliment because I do feel like I am a mom in so many ways.

I’m a mom to two beautiful cats who — at ages 16 and 18 — have lived a lot longer than most cats. People who have children tend to “give up” on their animals, giving them away when the going gets rough. I’ve yet to know a non-mom who has done this. I have non-mom friends who should get a medal for their love for animals — going above and beyond the call of duty.

I may not have children, but I have articles — hundreds of them — that are informative and inspirational to society. (And trumping my own accomplishments, I know another woman who once said, “I don’t have children. I have albums.” You go girl!)

I may not have children, but I’ve influenced the lives of children. I used to baby sit a young girl named Claire (who is now of college age and still keeps in touch with me). When she was a little girl, she had to write a paper on someone who inspired her. She said that everyone was writing about their moms, but she wanted to write about me! So she interviewed me. A few weeks later, she asked if I could come to her class and give a lecture of journalism. With permission from my editor at the time, I gave a lecture to a class of fourth grade students. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life. After the class each kid lined up to shake my hand. One boy even asked me if I’d babysit him too! LOL!

Children always gravitate to me at parties and I’ve had parents thank me for playing with their kids when it was truly my pleasure. My husband’s niece has the cutest little boy named Brennan. When they come to visit, he always wants me to sit next to him. He knows he can count of me to play with him, something I really look forward too.

By not having the responsibility of children, I can be the best friend in the world! I’m the one who always answers phone calls and emails — at any time of the day no matter how busy I am (yes, childless women are very busy too!)

I pride myself on how emotionally giving I am to everyone. I’ll always be there to listen and go that extra mile that someone who has children just can’t do — and rightfully so because if you have kids, damn straight those kids should come first!

I get extremely defensive when children are being mistreated in public. I used to work part-time at Bath & Body Works. One day a mom was shopping and her little boy accidentally sprayed perfume in his eyes. I immediately ran to the sink to get a paper towel and water to help rinse his eyes.

To my horror, the mom said, “Don’t help him! Let him suffer! This way he’ll learn!”

I said, “No! It’s his eyes!” And I helped the little boy, disobeying the mother’s wishes!

I’m not looking for kudos here, I’m just illustrating how a non-mom can be extremely loving, regardless of what moms think of us.

And that while people tell others that their kids are a “blessing” — don’t forget about us who don’t have kids, because that is a blessing too!