Not “That” Kind of Mother

At the beginning of the year at Bigs’ school all families are encouraged to sign up to “Give 3” (hours of volunteer time to the school.) There is a long list of ways in which you can volunteer, which I didn’t look too closely at as I told myself, “My husband will do that.”

In December a note came home in Bigs’ backpack about volunteering for his class holiday party. I signed up assuming my husband and I would do it together, because he is good at these types of things and, well, I’m not. I have not confirmed the thought process he had, but the outcome was him encouraging me to go on my own. At the time I didn’t think much of it, but as the day arrived I realized something very important. I was petrified of going to volunteer in a kindergarten classroom.

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Summoning Courage

For much of my life, I thought that courage was a one-time event. You came to a moment, mustered the courage, and just did it. Whatever it may be. Perhaps that is true when you are 12, but not so much when you are 37. Challenges are bigger. Life is more complicated. There are others to think about beyond yourself.

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Blazing a New Trail instead of taking the Familiar

One of my greatest fears is that I won’t be the role model that my daughter deserves. This isn’t new. I felt at 21 weeks pregnant in the moment the ultrasound technician said, “It’s a girl!”

I have a mother who couldn’t have done it better. She would be quick to tell you that she was far from perfect, but that is exactly the mother I need. I needed to see that perfection isn’t what motherhood is about. Motherhood is a messy love like a pot of pork ragu that simmers for an entire day. Not made of any special ingreidents, but the preparation creates the ultimate richness and a splattery mess all over your stove.

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Slow Down. Get Quiet. Listen.

One year in my annual review, my boss wrote, “Ruth uses her intuition to perform her job well. I encourage her to continue to listen very carefully to the voice deep inside and to sit quietly as she determines whether her indigestion is nerves or something that isn’t right.” The voice inside me has guided me for a very long time. Sometimes it comes softly saying something isn’t right and other times it screams for me to flee. My inner voice… my intuition.

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