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the mlog

A few truths of Motherhood

Mothers use their bodies to grow humans. NBD

Motherhood is one of the most undervalued and underpaid roles on the planet. Remember this video?

At every turn there is someone telling a Mother how she could do a better job.

A few truths about my Mom

There’s an old family photo of my Mother and I at the beach from when I was about 2 years old. She is holding me looking ready to smile for the camera with her youngest baby girl. The camera flashes and I am caught throwing sand in her face. Innocence of a young toddler? The beginning signs of my tenure as the piece of work middle child? Maybe both.

I threw temper tantrums OFTEN after my little brother was born. Further dividing attention was not something I signed up for and I was hell bent on standing that ground. When placed in time outs my Mom would almost always need to hold my bedroom door shut because of attempts to escape. I would scream and cry in dramatic fashions until I tuckered out. Hearing the safety of silence she would open the door and embrace me in a big hug while I said “sorry.” How she was not knocking down martinis in those days is unclear.

On my 10th birthday my parents took a handful of my friends to the beach for a weekend. My Mom drove us home in the family SUV. Ace of Base “I Saw The Sign” had recently debuted. My friends and I were mad about that song. We played the cassette on repeat the whole drive home. The. Whole. Drive. More impressive was the smile on her face laughing at our karaoke-d pre-teen excitement.

“I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes…” Rewind. “No one’s going to drag you up to get into the life where you belong…” Rewind.

It still boggles me how she didn’t take this as a sign to dump us on the side of the highway and take off for something more.

In high school my friends loved coming over to my house. They used to say that whenever they needed a pick-me-up or a confidence boost my Mom was the best. I owe a lot of my self-esteem to my Mother. Growing up I could walk down the stairs in unwashed sweatpants, have the flu, and a giant frown on my face and my Mom would look at me impressed and say something like, "Did you just get a haircut? It looks great! Are those new sweatpants? I love them. Too cute.” She was and still is never short on compliments and highlighting the positive. I’m pretty sure that if I ended up destroying my life and living on the streets she would stop by to bring soup and marvel over the lovely block where I lay my head. “Really, Jennifer, you couldn’t have chosen a better location.” She’d add on “Are you working out? You look great!”

When I brought my first boyfriend home in college my Mom was so excited to meet him it was embarrassing. He came in and sat on the couch and my Mom kneeled beside him on the floor just agape with wonder. This sounds like I seemed highly unlikely to date and my Mom was simply floored I was able to find someone to put up with me. True or not, my Mom is like this with everyone she meets - utterly impressed with their being and too excited to focus. After that first meeting I recall my then boyfriend saying, “Your Mom is like a circus!” Truer words have never been spoken.

After my first blog my Mom text me saying, “You should be a novelist.” One blog post.

Thank you Mom! Your patience, forgiveness, encouragement, support, and enthusiasm knows no bounds and I humbly, would be nothing without you. Happy Mother’s Day today and every day. I love you Mommadukes!

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