Dharma Momma

I’m a Buddhist and a Mother. This is what I do.

November 4, 2008

Filed under: family — mandora @ 1:53 am

I’ve started nesting. Already. Normally it’s a sign that the baby is on the way. What do you think, is there any more room in there?

bellywshirt

Today I tackled our bedroom. Something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but just couldn’t work up the energy for. With the Chicken crawling and cruising all over the place and getting into literally everything that isn’t nailed down, I really couldn’t put it off any longer. I took the opportunity to not only babyproof the space, but also to make it more functional for what I’m going to need in the upcoming months. We lowered the bed so that Chicken can get on and off easily, moved some furniture to the basement to make room for the baby’s bassinet, and created a surface to put books and papers on for when I start school in January. Also, I tried to make it a little more ‘cozy’ feeling, since I anticipate spending quite a lot of time in here (hopefully) very soon while in labour. I think it looks pretty awesome. 🙂room1

And, just because she learned to play the soup-pot drums like a champ this week:

chicken

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On being a wife and mother October 27, 2008

Filed under: family,parenting,reflection — mandora @ 4:20 pm

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection lately about what the titles of ‘wife’ and ‘mother’ entail.  When I think about my ideal in both cases, I have to return to my grandmothers.  One, my moms mom, exemplifies everything that both these words mean.  She, in everything she does, puts her family ahead of herself.  She demanded to stay home and raise children and run the household when she married my grandfather, and saw it as her duty and privilege as a woman to do so. I’ve never heard her speak ill of anyone, and would offer a warm bed and a hot meal to anyone in need without a second thought.  Today she is in her 80’s and very sick, but still insists on entertaining the extended family every Sunday, even if it’s just for ordered-in pizza.  She is the true definition of the word ‘nurturer’, which I think defines the role of both wife and mother.

My dads mom on the other hand, although an equally committed mother, was led down a different path.  A working mother of five, my nana is the absolute toughest lady you will ever meet.  You do NOT cross her, unless you want a good backhand to the head.  Once, she fell while crossing the railroad tracks at 70 years old, sliced her leg open to the bone, and took 2 buses and walked 5 blocks to the hospital to get it stitched while holding the two pieces of torn flesh together. She has set the example for me that I want to achieve in being an unflinching, strong and capable woman.  Whereas in my first pregnancy, I did a lot of complaining and feeling sorry for myself, this time around I am determined to follow her example and ‘suck it up’.

When I think about the months and years ahead of me, and the many challenges that our family is sure to face, these two women are constant inspiration.  I want to be the best wife I can to my husband; to support him while he’s home, and to be a good representative of our family while he is away.  I want to be the best mother I can to his children – to be strong and capable and unflinching in the face of hardship, but also nurturing and warm – someone they can always come to when they need a place to fall.

And while I’ve always admired both of my grandmothers, it wasn’t until I had a family of my own that I truly understood the strength that both these women posses.  I only hope that one day, when I have grandchildren of my own, that they’ll look at me with the same admiration that I hold for these two women.  THEN I will feel like I’ve done my job, and led a good life.

 

September 21, 2008

Filed under: family,parenting — mandora @ 12:03 am

Why is the family so forgotten now days? It seems to me, that in times such as the ones we are experiencing right now – tumultuous times, if you will – we all NEED a safety net to fall back on. Should we not be valuing the family even more than before? Should we not be investing in this very basic human need? For some reason we are not.

As a woman, I’m so struck by the fact that I feel the NEED to provide the groundwork for this family unit. I feel a real drive to take care of my husband and my children. To make sure that they are fed and happy and safe. I love my husband unconditionally and with my whole being. Fifty years ago these things were EXPECTED. Today, I’m likely to be branded anti-feminist for voicing these things here. However, I feel it is because of my feminist spirit that I feel so strongly about these things.

We as women have given up over the years, all those things which make us different and unique beings. Instead of embracing our ability to give life to babies, and to nurture our families and to provide a safe spot for our loved ones to come home to, we saw it as a weakness…something that needed to be avoided. We were told be to behave more like ‘men’. And in doing so, all of humanity has become a sort of asexual, homogeneous personage and no one knows where they fit. Just look at the incidence of depression!! As I sit at the midpoint of my twenties, I don’t know where to go from here, because the strong yearning that I have to be a wife and a mother and a leader of the homelife of my family isn’t a viable option for women of my generation.

Well, I am taking this back for my generation. The women of my mother’s time fought to free themselves of the home, but I think they lost something integral. They lost what makes us, as women, unique. I am PROUD to be the child-bearer, the nurturer and the one who fixes my family’s problems. I am content to let my husband go out each day and ‘hunt’ our necessities. My strength comes from my connection to countless generations of women before me, and I hope that my daughter after me will feel this strength, and take up this cause. And yes, I am proud that I have the option to go to work, the real sense of equality that I feel… but in pretending the differences do not exist, we’ve lost a major source of our strength as women. And I, for one, will embrace that strength!