A few days (weeks?) ago, my new friend Amy over at Amy's World, did an interview and I had such fun reading the responses that I wanted to participate as well, so she sent me the following questions to answer.
Ok, girls' naptime has begun, I have a fresh cup of coffee (pumpkin spice), and I have a candle burning...I am ready to tackle these questions. Here goes!
1) What is the single greatest challenge you face being a single mom of four children? Ok, that is a tough one. I guess my greatest challenge lies in making sure I combine the tenderness with the firm hand in equal balanced doseages. Too much of either throws things out of whack and the results can be tragic and long-term (no stress there, right?) By that I mean with issues like discipline as this one is often tough for me. I have to play two roles simultaneously--mom and dad--and by nature, usually, women tend to be more nurturing than strict or firm. Children need Mommy's lap and a tender hand, but they also need and must have strict firm approach to discipline in order to learn respect, obedience and all that 'other stuff'. I have had to learn, especially with my boys, to kind of set that soft touch aside when they are in need of some 'guidance' and be more assertive in my expectations of them, as well as following through with any consequences I dole out for transgressions. I have had to learn to not let my emotions get the better of me in situations where a man would have undoubtedly commanded more instant respect and diffused the problem a lot more quickly than I mangaged to. Obviously, I can't use the old "Just wait until your father gets home" trick. Unfortunately, I yell more than I would like and we are really targeting that right now in our home. Whew! I kinda rambled on with that one...
2)What is your favorite guilty pleasure? Oh, this is a fun one. I don't get a lot of 'me time' obviously. So, after 9 p.m. when the kids are long asleep and I am able to sit down for a few moments, I allow myself to have a small delectable treat and unwind a bit. Whatever my heart desires. Chocolate, in one form or another, usually wins hands down (I know, boring and typical but what can I say), as I am not much of a cake/pastry eater. I give that to myself, feeling that I have earned it (damn skippy!). Although I should feel guilty because I know it is bad to eat sweets at night, too much sugar will pack on the pounds, heart diesease, blah blah blah., but I don't give a hoot. I enjoy every bite. Guiltlessly!
3)If money were no object and you could spend a week anywhere in the world ~ where would you go?Somewhere you have been before or someplace new? Why would you go there?
Lets see. Having spent some time overseas in Germany (as an exchange student) and France and Italy, I would more than likely go back there for a week. I adore it over there ~ the people, the food, the culture...and I would love to go back and visit some new cities that I didn't get to see before.
4)Looking back on your life, do you have any regrets? If you could go back and tell your younger self something, is there one thing you would change, knowing what you know now about life? Hmmm. As I see it my life is a culmination of choices I have made. A collaboration, if you will between good choices and well, not so good ones. I feel like, if I could go back and whisper something in my 18-year-old self's ear, I would say, "be less gullible and trusting and pay attention, for things and people are not always what/who they appear to be". I learned some lessons in my life the hard way, but I guess most of us do and that actually makes us who we are. Taking those times of tribulation away would diminish character and the ability to perservere through tough times. I do hope that my children grow up strong enough to weather what the world will inevitably throw at them and of course, I will want to protect them from pain and suffering. I have only one regret and that is the fact that the first time I went to college, at age 19, I stopped after a couple of semesters 'to work awhile'. If I could go back, I would finish college while I was young and without children b/c going to school amidst raising children, and having another baby in the middle of a semester, working and generally just participating in life was hard.
5)Your post where you spoke about your decision to have your youngest child rather than an abortion: do you think you will ever share that with your daughter?
This is often something I wonder myself. I think that in the run of things, probably not. If the cirucmstance arises where I feel it is pertinent to discuss ~ say if she one day finds herself struggling with such a decision (God forbid) or if she ever asks me anything about my feelings toward abortion in a personal way, I will tell her the truth. It is such an integral part of her birth story so I feel like someday, she will ask. She will feel led to know the answers to some of life's bigger, more difficult questions, and the opportunity will present itself. I do hope that when I speak of it, I remain non-judgemental, for if she is at that time struggling, she may not make the same decision as I and she deserves (every woman deserves) that freedom, the real freedom, of true choice.
SO, thanks Amy, I enjoyed answering your questions. You came up with some good ones!