Saturday, March 30, 2013

Writing Prompt: The New Yorker for Mothers

I responded to a writing prompt on but it wasn't chosen so I thought I'd share it on here. It's in response to this essay, The New Yorker for Mothers by Becki Melchione.

I was a journalism major and an English minor. My last semester of college I took 22 hours and three of my classes were literature classes. I was reading all the time and I actually loved it. It was insane, but I read some of the best books that I had ever read that year.  I realize now, that those were the best reading years of my life: pre-marriage and pre-children.

Five years after graduating with my undergraduate degree I was getting married while in my first year of graduate school. This time I had chosen an MA in Communication and the reading, although interesting, was not as much fun. This is actually where I saw my reading decline. Between being newly married, a full-time job, and graduate school reading, there was little time for fun reading.

Enter into the picture children and technology when I was 31 and my life was about to change forever. Yes, I definitely saw a change in the amount that I read and what I read. Instead of the wonderful long novels I was now just grasping at whatever I could read online in between breast feeding and changing diapers. 

So I read the internet like crazy, whenever I could. Like the author of “The New Yorker for Mothers,” Becki Melchione, I too found a new favorite read. First I read baby websites all the time . I’d read magazine articles online, short stories, literary sites, and more. Then I started blogging when my son was seven months old and still nursing. Blogging was my outlet and a way that I could read more online as “research” for my blog.

All of this online reading, then social media reading and the years passed me by. Soon I realized that I wasn’t reading the way I used to and I made a conscious effort to start reading again. Honestly I don’t think I really started reading books again until the baby was potty trained and doing more on his own and my daughter was six.

Those babies are twelve and nine now. My daughter is a voracious reader like me. She can go through a good sized chapter book in a matter of two days. She reminds me of me at her age.

My life has changed immensely. The children are older, I’m single again, and I can read whatever I want whenever I want. Well, at least I can when I’m not working or driving my daughter to lacrosse games and my son to football games.

At least now I can read in the car during their practices. I can read in the evenings after they’ve done their homework and they are playing their games or watching TV. I can read on my sacred weekends alone when I can do whatever I want and for just two days I’m not a mom. Yes, I missed reading and I am so glad to have it back.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thoughts on Aging and How THESE Are the Best Years of My Life

I was at the beach these past two days with kids. As I sat there looking at the family next to me with small children I realized how I am at the perfect age and at the best time in my life right now.

From my Pinterest Board "Great Quotes."

This is the time to really live in the moment. Of course I do believe the quotes that say that every moment of our life should be cherished and we should always live in the moment. That is very true. But let's be honest... some moments in our lives are even better than others and we don't realize it until those years have passed. Like the period between 21-25. I wish I'd appreciated that time more.

But right now my kids aren't babies anymore. They can use the restroom by themselves, wash themselves, dress themselves and pretty much entertain themselves. They are also funny as hell and make me laugh out loud on many occasions. At the same time they aren't in their terrible teens yet either. My daughter just turned twelve and she's on the threshold of puberty, but not there yet. Thank goodness I haven't had to deal with her mood swings when she realizes what is happening to her body. My son is only nine and still years away from that madness.

I'm not an old woman yet either. I'm still young enough that a young man in his twenties would tell me that I look much better in person than on my Facebook picture and that I look younger than his uncle, who is probably around my same age. (That was a great compliment.)

The other great part is that I'm not very young. I'm not a young silly girl that doesn't know any better. I know better now (most of the time) and what I do at this age is my own doing that can't be blamed on age or inexperience.

Of course when I am an old woman and the kids are grown and gone and I'm all by myself again in my house, all quiet and peaceful, I will probably think that that is the best time in my life. We will see then.

Right now is almost perfect. I feel like I have finally embraced my new life and I'm so ready to move on to do the things that I want to do. It is so liberating to pretty much do whatever I want whenever I want, within reason of course. I am still a mom.

Just today I wrote a writing prompt for Literary Mama about how my reading changed after I had children and how I can finally read again now that they are older and I'm single. It's a glorious feeling. Funny how being single frees up so much of your time!

I feel like now in my 40s I am finally ridding myself of burdens in my life that I don't want to carry any more, slowly very slowly. I still have a long way to go but I'm moving in the right direction one goal at a time. Meanwhile I will carpe the hell out of this diem!