MaMoMeMo
May is motherhood memoir month

writing

Growing Pains

Mothering is difficult. And then it gets better. Here’s poetic evidence for Mother’s Day: Yesterday I wrote about Daughter #2, the poet. At the Central Oregon Writer’s Guild this last year she read her award winning poem, and then she read this: Growing Pains Thank you for teaching me to fold things I am still not good at it when it comes to cloth but when it comes to feelings I can sort by color, texture, pattern, And put them to bed in the right drawers Sorted and named and placed All because of you And for dusting the blinds in my room I know you hated it (and so did I) but now I am so good at letting in the light growing towards its warmth even when I’m not sure how clean I am myself I am lighter because of you And for letting me ruin your horsehair…

What it Means to Dream

Dream is a multi-faceted word that takes us from sleeping to the most wide awake knowledge of ourselves and our purpose here on earth- what are our deepest longings? These are our dreams, the things we might pursue if only… If only we had the time, or the resources, or the support. Or the belief that our dreams could reach fulfillment, become our every day reality. And then time goes by and we realize we need to be about our dreams, before the time is past. The word DREAM, cut from wood, sits above the kitchen cabinets, a reminder. I need reminders. Lots of them. A pewter pin I sometimes wear reminds me to “Dream Big.” I have this dream of writing, writing as my job, as my my past time, as my priority after the people in my life, but it keeps getting bumped by other things. Right now…

Whose Pants Are Those?

My friend thinks I wear the ‘pants’ in my family, but she says it’s okay since the man-of-the-family is not angry. But I see her trying to get at a bigger question, or underlying issue: Who’s in charge? So much comes down to that, the underpants. So I’m thinking about these pants and how they fit– what kind of ‘pants’ are they anyway? Are they Spanx, an undergarment so elastic they suck you svelte, but then slap you silly when peeled off? Or are they more like sweats– loose and accommodating, good for a Saturday stroll or Sunday lounging? Or are they work pants– chino style, somewhat serious, yet unassuming, in traditional khaki-tan so they don’t show spills? Personally, my style is more of a pedal pusher– you can dress them up or down, great in the garden or the classroom, very versatile. I like mine with some stretch to accommodate shape-shifting–…

Self-Regulating Children

Isn’t that the dream? Children who just do what they need to do when it needs doing, and we just get to enjoy them? We’re on child #6 and I have to say, this is as good as it gets. She turned 11 on May 1, and she’s fairly self-regulating, other than the fact that she hasn’t mastered picking up after herself. She makes up for this with a willing cheerfulness most of the time. And by #6, let’s just say we’ve gotten less picky. In fact, according to some of the children who came before, a whole lot less picky. I guess that’s what happens when you get the chance to learn from your mistakes over a 25 year period (#1 & #6 are separated by a quarter century, but same father…). We’ve run the gamut of parenting styles during the last 35 years, but one thing has emerged…

Impostor Mom

Do you ever feel like you’re making it up as you go? On a good day, I like to think I’m throwing myself out in front, then seeing if I can catch up. But sometimes I just end up stressed. Maybe I’m throwing myself in too many directions. Things look ok on paper–the to do list–but so many items we do as parents, and just plain people, never actually show up on the list. And then there are all those distractions, like putting away stuff so we can actually get to the stuff that really needs doing. So when something fun comes up, I often feel as though I should just say No. Get the work done, especially if there is a deadline. And yet… we all need breaks. So I went to mountain bike camp. For the past 5 years I’ve worked for REI, the outdoor co-op. But, can…

Journal for Your Child

After I wrote The Power of Journaling I got this response (see http://www.motivation.com/posts/48/the-power-of-the-journal) Hi Lori, I read your blog on motivation.com regarding keeping a journal for your children. I absolutely this idea so much! I have a few questions though: How often do you find that you have time to write in it? Sometimes only a few times a year. Other times daily, maybe even more than once a day- not because I have the time, but because something pressing needs to be said and I can’t trust myself and my voice to say it in a way that will be well received. Ideally, if you wrote twice per month and didn’t even start until they were almost 3, by the time they turn 18 you could have 365 entries. As they leave for college you could hand them their own personally written devotional of sorts. I feel so stumped at…

May Day- another birthday

Two years ago today I wrote: My youngest turned 9 today. Halfway to 18… all she wanted for her birthday was a kitten. We have not had good luck with cats for this little girl who loves cats more than anything in the whole world, and she loves a lot of things, mostly animals. She was offered the chance to go back to Wizarding World in Orlando (since we’d bought year long passes last year when we went). “That would be #2 on my list,” she said. No.1 was visiting a vet. Could she see what a vet does and just hang out with him or her for the day? My friend arranged a trip to a llama farm where there are new baby llamas. That will have to do for now. And a kitten. I drove 2 1/2 hours each way to get this kitten. I would do almost…

Where You Begin

May is Motherhood Memoir Month–You don’t have to be a mother to write motherhood: it’s where you begin. You had a mother, or someone who gave birth to you (or are you an alien?)… Write about that. Ideas for getting started: Download your thoughts onto paper or a screen- Ask yourself a question or simply record a thought you have on motherhood, mothering or being a daughter, or child of your mother. Or the absence of a mother. Or abandonment. Or Joy- what is the best memory you have of or with her? Or the earliest? Any or all of these can take you to a place where your story starts, or continues. Enjoy.

Welcome

May is Motherhood Memoir Month, a time to celebrate motherhood by writing about it. Or maybe you don’t feel like celebrating- write about that. Maybe you’d just like to read some tall but true tales until you get inspired, or yarns for commiseration. You’re welcome to read mine. With six kids, I’ve got some tales to tell. Writing is cathartic- it helps us figure out what we think, making abstract thoughts into black and white words on the page. Words are editable. When you move them around and change them, or even erase them, you may find you’ve changed or defined how you feel. Writing helps create new paths, or new ways to walk down old ones. Writing is a gift- one you can give yourself and another person. During this Mother’s Day month, consider writing out stories from your past, present, or future even, then share them with your mother or…

How This Began

I’ve done NaNoWriMo for several years- I was introduced to it by my sons in their early teens, both of whom finished novels- quite inspiring. I was in grad school then, and had a toddler, the youngest of our six kids. I wanted to write a novel but didn’t feel like it was feasible. The irony of getting a Masters in writing while watching my young teen sons each write a novel was not lost on me. I did NaNoWriMo for several years, but instead of writing novels I was really writing memoir. And then it occurred to me that memoir, especially memoir that focuses on the stories around motherhood, where we begin- even if we’re not mothers- is where I wanted to head. So hear it is: MAMOMEMO- May is Motherhood Memoir Month. Last May (2017) was a crazy month– we put our house up for sale to move…

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