Being a Mom

When I was 4, I decided that I wanted to become a nun. I also wanted 12 cats, dogs, children and to marry my Uncle Harold. My mom told me that I couldn’t marry my uncle, and nuns are usually grade school teachers, at least the Franciscans were. I decided to keep the cats, dogs and kids, but scrap being a nun. I had to give up something…When I turned 5, I decided to study Marine Biology in the Galapagos Islands, and I kept that dream until 7th grade. That’s when I learned about Jane Goodall and her work with chimps. I wanted nothing more than to go to Tanzania and study with Jane, but my mom reminded me that I excelled in basketball, weight lifting, cheerleading, band and history and barely passed all the actual subjects required to graduate. She would have been happy if I put half the effort into school, and a lot less effort in extracurricular activities. My first college experience felt more like a death sentence, so I dropped out and had a bunch of kids. I had Shannon, Keri Ann, Mark Allan, Brandon William, and Margaret Mary (Maggie). She wasn’t with us long, but she’s still a part of us. Once I had my 4 I became a stay at home mom and loved every minute of it. I took care of my own and countless other little ones who belonged to mostly single moms. I only charged enough to cover food and made sure the moms and babies stayed for a home cooked meal at the end of each day. I was the block mom with Kool Aid and cookies! I devoted myself to teaching Sunday school and was ordained a Eucharistic Minister, giving my daughter her first communion. I led Daisies, Brownies, coached T-ball, softball, and earned the coveted “Room Mom” spot several years in a row. I learned how to sew and started making my kids clothes, branching out to American Girl dresses and nighties with matching outfits for my girls. I even created a little business called “One Stitch at a Time” altering many of the neighbors’ clothes after cutting a deal with Pam the owner of “The Corner Store” on Maple St in Blue Island. My children were growing, but I was still all about the babies and little ones. For a time, I even worked with Markham Animal Control, taking in all the furry or sparsely feathered babies, raising them into adulthood. Soon the neighborhood kids started bringing me the injured critters found in need of healing or a little TLC before moving back into nature. Being a nurturer is my dharma. It’s a role that changes and evolves.
I look back now and realize how lucky I’ve been to have had the opportunity to stay home with my kids. It really sucks that many moms must work now in order to keep food on the table and a place to call home. My hat goes off to all the mothers (including fur babies) that are balancing work and family. I know it’s not easy, but you’re doing it and you’re doing it well!

Dedicated to Libby, a working mom that does what she needs to do every day without complaint. PS Thank you for letting me babysit!! Xoxo

Namaste
Rita

When I was 4, I decided that I wanted to become a nun. I also wanted 12 cats, dogs, children and to marry my Uncle Harold. My mom told me that I couldn’t marry my uncle, and nuns are usually grade school teachers, at least the Franciscans were. I decided to keep the cats, dogs and kids, but scrap being a nun. I had to give up something…When I turned 5, I decided to study Marine Biology in the Galapagos Islands, and I kept that dream until 7th grade. That’s when I learned about Jane Goodall and her work with chimps. I wanted nothing more than to go to Tanzania and study with Jane, but my mom reminded me that I excelled in basketball, weight lifting, cheerleading, band and history and barely passed all the actual subjects required to graduate. She would have been happy if I put half the effort into school, and a lot less effort in extracurricular activities. My first college experience felt more like a death sentence, so I dropped out and had a bunch of kids. I had Shannon, Keri Ann, Mark Allan, Brandon William, and Margaret Mary (Maggie). She wasn’t with us long, but she’s still a part of us. Once I had my 4 I became a stay at home mom and loved every minute of it. I took care of my own and countless other little ones who belonged to mostly single moms. I only charged enough to cover food and made sure the moms and babies stayed for a home cooked meal at the end of each day. I was the block mom with Kool Aid and cookies! I devoted myself to teaching Sunday school and was ordained a Eucharistic Minister, giving my daughter her first communion. I led Daisies, Brownies, coached T-ball, softball, and earned the coveted “Room Mom” spot several years in a row. I learned how to sew and started making my kids clothes, branching out to American Girl dresses and nighties with matching outfits for my girls. I even created a little business called “One Stitch at a Time” altering many of the neighbors’ clothes after cutting a deal with Pam the owner of “The Corner Store” on Maple St in Blue Island. My children were growing, but I was still all about the babies and little ones. For a time, I even worked with Markham Animal Control, taking in all the furry or sparsely feathered babies, raising them into adulthood. Soon the neighborhood kids started bringing me the injured critters found in need of healing or a little TLC before moving back into nature. Being a nurturer is my dharma. It’s a role that changes and evolves.
I look back now and realize how lucky I’ve been to have had the opportunity to stay home with my kids. It really sucks that many moms must work now in order to keep food on the table and a place to call home. My hat goes off to all the mothers (including fur babies) that are balancing work and family. I know it’s not easy, but you’re doing it and you’re doing it well!

Dedicated to Libby, a working mom that does what she needs to do every day without complaint. PS Thank you for letting me babysit!! Xoxo

Namaste
Rita

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