Modern Motherhood, Redefined: A Reflection

Obviously, it’s been some time since I’ve published here.

Why? Two primary reasons:

  1. Just like most people across the globe, this year has thrown countless curveballs my way, and I’ve struggled to carve out time to steadily do anything for myself, including (and especially) blog.
  2. Amidst the many crises we’re facing right now — including the coronavirus pandemic, an economic downturn, heightened awareness of racial injustice, and impacts of climate change — blogging about “mom stuff” felt so inauthentic.

And that’s when I asked myself: why am I limiting myself from addressing these things on my blog?

Because, I realized, these crises that we as a society are collectively experiencing — they are directly impacting my identity as a modern mother. Not only because my professional life tasks me with programmatically responding to these different events. But also (and more importantly) because these current events are forcing me to seriously consider:

Am I responding to what’s happening in the world in a way that I’m proud to model for my children?

  • Am I modeling the importance of looking beyond myself and considering how my actions impact those around me?
  • Am I actively fighting social injustice and trying to make the world a more equitable and loving place, both for people now and in the future?
  • Am I exercising my rights — and helping to preserve the rights of those around me?
  • Am I demonstrating the importance of civic engagement?
  • Am I showing what it means to be a steward of the earth?
  • Am I prioritizing what means the most to me (my husband; my children; my family; my physical, spiritual, and mental well-being), and do my everyday actions reflect that these are my priorities?
  • Am I comfortable showing vulnerability to my kids — and sharing that it’s okay (even necessary!) to show when I’m not okay (and that I’m actively working to heal myself)?
  • Am I embodying what it means to be a loving member of our greater community, in my thoughts, words, and actions?

I can’t answer all these questions with a confident and resounding “yes!” — every day, I struggle with near debilitating feelings of inadequacy. I’m constantly plagued with the fear that I’m not doing enough, that I’m not outspoken enough, that I’m hesitating to make the appropriate decisions I can make to make the world better for my children and their children.

But I’m trying. And I’m giving myself the grace to “unlock” this blog as another way for me to process this journey. In dialog with other people (other parents and caregivers, maybe?) who are constantly questioning in this day and age, whether or not they’re doing what’s best for society now and for future generations.

So what does this mean? This means that the content in here is going to a cover a broader spectrum.

I will still share anecdotes of pregnancy, parenting children with severe allergies, being a working mom, managing my own household, etc. But I will also start to share some commentary on current events, modern-day trends in light of our many global crises — topics that some people may deem “too political” for a blog initially framed as one on motherhood.

But, if I’m honest, modern motherhood (parenthood) includes addressing these kinds of topics with our children. Well, at least that’s the case for this modern mother.

So that’s why I plan to do. Hopefully you’re willing to figure this all out alongside me — I definitely welcome the company on this journey.

Bright Spots: New Easter Celebrations

Typically, we spend Easter Sunday in a pleasant frenzy. Getting dressed up.  Coordinating gifts for the boys with the Easter Bunny. Serving at Mass. Cooking up something small to add to the feast we would inevitably share with my extended family, all 30+ of us crammed into some relative’s home to celebrate the holiday.

This year is, obviously, more subdued. I think it’s easy for me to mourn the Easter that could have been — and to feel annoyed with this pandemic and its effects on my life, particularly in light of this holiday’s importance to my faith and to my entire family.

And that emotional weight seems a bit heavier when I take into account:

  1. I haven’t seen my extended family in over a month.
  2. My grandparents wish that they could see my kids and me, since being around their grandchildren and great-grandchildren is one of their highlights of any holiday.
  3. I’m continuing to grapple with my sense of parental failure, particularly since I dropped the ball a bit and completely overlooked compiling an Easter basket for Tadashi and Hiro.

Going into this Easter Sunday — particularly last night, as I prepared to fall asleep — I wrestled with an overall sense of sadness, frustration, and emptiness. How could this day be special when it seems like everything has gone so wrong?

Continue reading “Bright Spots: New Easter Celebrations”

Bright Spots: Birthday Celebrations

Your special day was more subdued than I envisioned.

I suppose “subdued” is what I should have expected, though, in the midst of a global pandemic and a regional directive to shelter in place. There’s only so much you can do when restaurants are closed, nonessential traveling is discouraged, and gatherings of 10 or more people are essentially banned.

Truthfully, I had hoped to throw you a huge shindig. Not necessarily in terms of the guest list (because I know you prefer to keep things intimate). But definitely in terms of energy. A party full of laughter and beer and burgers and donuts and all the people that you like to have in your corner.

I’m saddened that I couldn’t give you that celebration this year, especially since this is a milestone one for you. Amidst all this craziness going on in the world, I recognize that my reaction is selfish, probably a little misplaced. After all, there are bigger things going on in the world, right?

But after yesterday, after our “subdued” birthday celebration at home, I would have to say: no, celebrating you on your day — just the five of us, with the empty takeout boxes piled on the counter, with Henri whining for crumbs or potentially a big bite, with the boys’ chubby faces lighting up to sing you “happy birthday” and devouring their pieces of cake and ice cream — is the biggest thing going on in the world for us right now.

So, happy birthday to you, love. Thank you for being you. Thank you for weathering this storm. Thank you for always thinking about what’s best for me and the boys. On your 30th birthday, I hope we were able to give you the best, too.

My Shelter-in-Place Creative Sprint: How I’m Creatively Dealing with COVID-19

Ah, what an interesting time we live in today…

With the current, constantly escalating situation with COVID-19, my little family and I (just like everyone else in the world) have felt the impact of the pandemic on our home life.

Professionally, my employer decided to temporarily shutter all of our global offices. So I’ve been working from home since last Monday, March 9th. I’ve had different business trips and projects either canceled or postponed until Q3 of the fiscal year – which means that (1) I’ve been tasked with identifying new, virtual ways of getting my job done and (2) a much busier August than I initially anticipated. Plus, I’m grappling with a general sense of uncertainty around how long this temporary remote work situation will last — and when I can expect to return to my work “normal.”

Personally, my home life has been disrupted. I find myself constantly reassessing how I spend my days (What structure can I put into place to make sure I get everything done? How can I make sure that I’m still taking care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally when my daily routines have been upended?). My little family and I are frequently realigning how we coexist within our three-bedroom apartment: how we can capitalize on spending more time with each other, how we can ensure that we carve out crucial times we need to be by ourselves, and how we can ensure that we’re still providing a sense of normalcy to our toddlers who, quite frankly, have no idea what’s going on.

Continue reading “My Shelter-in-Place Creative Sprint: How I’m Creatively Dealing with COVID-19”