Today is an important day to me; it's my husband's 30th birthday! In our house, we have two grown-up birthday traditions. The first is to say, "I'm so glad you were born" because that's the honest-to-goodness truth. Without my husband being born, my life would be drastically different and inevitably not as good as it is with him in it. I am so, so happy and grateful he was born.
The second is a thank our Mum; considering she was in fact the one that did all the work on that very first birthday. So it is my great honor to bring our Mom Next Door Interview to all of you today from my Mum-in-Law; Marianne- the woman I regularly thank, but especially today. Thanks Gigi for raising Brandon to be such a great man. Thanks for supporting, laughing, and being up for crazy adventures with your son's wacky wife. And thank you for being such a loving, invested, and hands-on grandma to our babies. You undoubtedly worked hard on this day 30 years ago today - and because of that (and all the work you did in the following 30 years and will continue to do); MY own life - and the lives of so many people in Brandon's life -have been blessed.
Who are you? I am a 55 years young wife, mother, and grandmother from Johnstown, Pa.
Who is in your family? At home, it's me, my husband, Rudy and our furbaby Rosie. I was blessed with one son, Brandon, who is married to the lovely and talented Tabitha. And now we have our three amazing grandbabies; Greyson, Gemma and our newest addition, Violet!
What do you do for work? I am a full time TSS at Highmark,
What would your pre-mom self be surprised to know about motherhood? Before I was a Mom, my life certainly was all about me. The come and go as I pleased; do whatever, whenever. However, the moment I held my son in my arms for the very first time...heard his first cry and touched his small fingers and toes - something inside of me changed instantly. I fell deeply in love with this gift from God.
That moment was 30 years ago today and somehow it still feels like yesterday.
What was the most difficult Mom moment you've had (so far)? I lost both of my parents before my son was born. I also misscarried my first child. There are times in early motherhood that you just need your own mom's advice. There were many times, (daily!), that I wish I could have spoken to my mom; to get advice, complain, or just laugh about motherhood.
We obviously didn't have the internet to google back then, so even the smallest things like a rash, or him not eating something, felt like a crisis to me. I read lots of books, and reached out for advice from my mother-in law and friends. I am sure I made my share of mistakes, but he seemed to have turned out just fine! (Although he claims I pulled his hair to discipline him; I have no such memory! Haha). And even though I lost my mom before I became a mother myself, there are times still today that I remember things she said or advice she had mentioned and it is nice to be able to share those memories with my 'kids' (Brandon, Tab, and the grandkids).
What keeps you up at night? I am fully aware that my son is 30 years old and that he is a wonderful, responsible adult with a beautiful family of his own...but let me tell you young moms out there, that the worrying doesn't stop just because they grow up! I still drive my son crazy asking him to text when he gets home. Just ask Tabitha! She smiles at me and makes sure he does, she's a mom too - so she gets it - hah!
Which chore is your least favorite? Laundry. Even though its just Big Rude and I, somehow those clothes/towels impossibly multiply daily.
How do you unwind or re-charge? I am faithful to keeping my Sunday afternoon alone time to relax and get ready for the coming work week. I take an hour or two to lay across the bed and zone out to HGTV or nap. Moms are notoriously guilty of forgetting to take care of themselves, but my Sunday afternoons of taking care of myself really help me be better at taking care of everything else.
What is the one "Mom Tip or Trick" that you can share that has made your life easier somehow? Even though I have worked outside the home, my 'Mom job' was my top priority. I chose to work part time 2-3 days a week when Brandon was growing up. I always told him that my job would never come before him. I enjoyed years of being a PTO mom, field trips, school concerts/plays and attended EVERY sporting event including even his college years! (Not an easy task when you have a child that plays every sport, hah). I have never regretted that decision - not even for a second. I may have been passed up for promotions, but I don't regret the quality of time I spent with my son.
Now that he is grown, I have somewhat moved up the corporate ladder, and I can tell you that you will feel more gratification from watching your child evolve than anything the business world has to offer you.
What do you miss most from Mom days already gone by? The snuggles, "the hold me." I know everyone tells young moms to enjoy every minute of it because it goes by fast - but that's because it really does go by in what feels like a blink. I can only say - try not to sweat the dirty bedrooms, the overflowing laundry of grass stained knees, the house with finger printed windows - because someday it will be clean, quiet, and empty. But if you're lucky - like I am! - you'll get it all back again with grandkids.
I have three beautiful grandbabies to love and love them we do! My son laughs now that his kids smudge up all of our windows and their toys are strewn all over the place when they visit. Now on the grandmother side of motherhood - I know none of that stuff matters; it's all about spending time together and loving them. That's the best part of being a grandma - I don't have to raise them, I just get to enjoy them!
What are the small joys of being a Mom that you treasure most right now? My small joys are watching my son now being a DAD. He is just like his dad; hands on. I am so proud to see him changing diapers, playing with his kids, teaching them the things he loves like sports, hunting, and fishing. I am so proud of him; the man, husband, and dad he's become. It is just amazing to be able to sit back and watch now.