Little Earthquakes and the Tapestry of Life
“David, turn on my CD for me!” “Mom, put the kettle on for tea.” “Dad, pass me my book!”
That’s me. Barking orders from behind the breastfeeding pillow. I’m Kelly. Well, my name isn’t actually Kelly, but I am most definitely the most like Kelly in the book . She’s the character who, when not doing everything herself, is managing her family and friends with their simple, everyday tasks.
Little Earthquakes is a must-read for any new mom. You are sure to see something of yourself in at least one of the characters, be it the “by-the-book” mom, or the mom who has to deal with the domineering mother-in-law, or the mom who has it somewhat together (they do exist!).
While reading the book, I couldn’t help think about all the quirky characters in my own life.
First, we have Sally. Sally does a lot of research. She thoroughly researched all the credentials of every doctor in the area before making an appointment. Sally reads all the instructions. If the exer-saucer says to put the baby in when they are four months old, on the baby’s four-month birthday, she can go in the exer-saucer. Sally reads a lot of books. If the book says the child is to start cereal at six months, then on the sixth-month day, the baby starts cereal. If you need the latest research on everything from baby acne to a great child photographer, just ask Sally.
Then there is Joanne. Joanne loves her baby Ashley. We all know how much Joanne loves Ashley. In fact, Ashley is all that Joanne talks about. No matter what you talk to Joanne about, somehow Ashley is relevant.
“My Brody now weighs 25 pounds!” “Really? Ashley weighed 25 pounds at about this time, too.”
“My Samantha hates eating peas.” “Really? Ashley liked peas but didn’t like squash.”
“I think I am going to go to Walmart after lunch.” “Ashley and I went to Walmart last week.”
“My Mark went to the moon.” “Really? Ashley went to the moon and back.”
You get the picture.
Don’t forget the Ultra-Clean mom who goes washes her children’s hands each time they touch anything. Or, the Princess-mom who has her daughter perfectly groomed wherever she goes and gets upset if a hair is out of place.
Having said this, I am sure that I am a character in my own right. When my little guy goes down for his 45-minute nap, I hit Kelly-mode. Time to go! By minute 44, I’ve got two loads of laundry on the go, washed the dishes, baked cookies for playgroup, made homemade baby wipes, folded all the cloth diapers, steamed, mashed and frozen three trays of baby food, fed the dog, and called my mother. Nap when the baby naps? Who has time?!
Motherhood can make us quirky and crazy. We might not agree with each other, but that is part of parenting. It takes all types to raise children. Who would want each child to be the same? We need to appreciate our friends’ quirky parenting styles, and embrace one another’s differences.
Why? Well, first, we can learn from one another; even if it’s realizing some of the things that we don’t want to do as parents, but surprisingly often, we learn something that we never would have otherwise tried – and lo and behold, it’s great! We can also value the Sallys of our parenting world too. After all, they do a great deal of research and are always keen to pass on what they’ve learned.
Maybe fellow moms learn from me too – how to monu-multitask, as my husband calls it. The point is that we’re all part of a parenting tapestry, each one of us following our own threads. Sometimes we focus hard on what we do. Then at other times, at playgroup, at tots’ swim, or at a dinner party when parents are sitting round the table (armies of babysitters having been hired), we get a chance to step back and see the marvelous, vibrant, and breathtaking picture called “parenting” that those threads weave together.
*All names have been changed to protect the innocent – or guilty!
What is your mommy personality?