Mom Of The Month : Sarah Russell

I came across Sarah's blog a while ago and I just love her honesty.  I feel like so many people feel like they can't be real and it is a breath of fresh air reading her blog and being able to relate to her.   On the top of her blog it says

Mamahood is better when you are surrounded by Mamas.

I couldn't agree more with that statement.  I asked Sarah to send me some pictures of her with her cute boys and to answer a few questions.... here they are:  

Tell me about your family?

Our 143 year-old farm house is home sweet home to five humans and two kittens, each with their own set of neurotic tendencies.  I have three wonderful boys ages eight, five and two and a half.  Cub is my oldest and he is every bit the Type A my husband and I are.  He is logical, quizzical, thoughtful and a wicked smart-aleck.  My Mooch just turned five and he’s an old soul; kind and affectionate, knows intuitively how to make someone feel better.  Astute to the fine art of capitalizing on his older brother’s mistakes, Mooch picks up on his bro’s offenses and moves in for the kill, offering kisses, hugs and warmth to he who doles out the punishment to his brother.  Pretty effective.  This child embodies the essence of innocence and kindness- with a sprinkling of manipulation.  The third little dude is a terror.  I’m not just saying that because he kicks, hits, throws and holds the world record for tantrums in the time trials… Oh wait.  He’s completely insane.  And I adore him.  Despite his uncontrollable fits of two-year-old rage, this child is loving and adorable enough to wipe away the insanity.  But guard your teeth if he comes at you with a Matchbox.  Just sayin’.  My husband of 10 years is a little OCD, a little bit of a yeller and a lot hilarious.  Most of the time, we are a well-oiled machine, knowing when the other needs a break.  Or a beer.  My husband is my best friend, truly.

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What's the hardest thing for you about being a mom?

Guilt.  Don’t we all have it?  The gnawing, ugly feelings that push their way to the surface when I am weakest, making me question how I am raising my boys, forcing me to pick apart our exchanges and judge myself far more harshly than anyone else.  I have guilt about the time I spend with them (or don’t), the impact my emotions and actions have on them.  I dissect my interactions, put immense pressure on myself to be everything to them.  To be the Mama to them that they deserve, the Mama to them that my Mama was to me.  And you know the kicker?  I think my Mama was just about as perfect as perfect can be.  And she probably felt that same Mama Guilt.  The cure for Mama Guilt: Wine.  Works every time.

What's the all time best thing about being a mom?

My favorite thing about being a Mama is getting to know my kids.  I love to learn about what they like, what they hate, what they are good at and how I can help them to become confident.  I simply adore being an expert, know-it-all about my children. 

What are some of your favorite pastimes?

Being spontaneous with my kids.  Surprising them.  Sometimes, I think about being a kid and how I would have loved to be picked up early from school to get an ice cream.  So I do it.  I also think about how I would love to wake up in the morning to be told we are going to an amusement park.  So we do it.  We go to the park, the beach, the backyard.  All the time.  And sometimes we veg out and watch movies.  Sometime we collect rocks and paint them.  My favorite pastimes are letting my kids plan out special days and throwing some surprises in of my own.

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What do you wish you were better at?

Not yelling.  I wish I was better at not yelling.  But alas, I am a yeller.  I pick myself back up and throw myself on the No Yell Wagon nightly.  Another pastime… J

What are you most proud of? 

At those times of Mama Guilt when I worry about the kind of impression I am having on my kids, usually something will come out of them that affirms my faith in myself as a parent.  One of those times came after Cub and I had a conversation about slavery and the civil rights movement.  Cub asked me why white people would think they were better than black people.  I said I couldn’t imagine a reason that would make anyone think it was okay to treat someone as less than a human.  Cub was quiet for a minute and then said, I know we aren’t allowed to hate people but sometimes, when I think about how people were treated for having dark skin, it makes me want to hate white people.  Me too, buddy.  Me too.  I am proud that to raise my children to believe that people deserve fairness regardless of their skin shade, their annual income or its source, their language, family composition or beliefs.  I am proud of the amazing humans they are becoming.  It’s totally minimalizing a very complex issue here but I often think that if every parent raised his/her child without a sense of ‘hate’ that in 50 years, the world would be a changed place.  I like to think that a little bit of that change can start with me and my children.

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What are the most important things that you stress to your kids?  

Everyone has their hang-ups.  Mine are table manners.  We use utensils, napkins, please and thank yous, at all times.  I don’t consider myself a very proper person (truthfully, had to curb my potty mouth for this piece) but no child of mine leaves a dinner table without asking to be excused.  We eat meals together every single evening and it’s a time where we talk about our day, share our favorite parts and the bits that weren’t so great.  The rest of our lives are carried out so far from civilized and in a pretty steady state of chaos that I guess I think the connection we share (the meal, the time together) should be respected.  It’s my favorite part of every day and I don’t want to spend it correcting behavior.  Or with rice in my hair.   

See I told you she was fun to read.  Thank you so much Sarah!!!  Please check out her fun blog here and see what she's up to.