All the moms on Mother’s Day

As Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself thinking more often about how much I appreciate all the moms in my life. They have each given me so much, and Mother’s Day offers an opportunity to give back – if I could think of something fitting to give them.

My mom doesn’t much care for gifts – never has. As a mom myself, I can understand. There’s nothing – no products or gift certificates or even hand-made keepsakes – I’d rather have than the things I get every day from being with my kiddos: playtime in the sunshine, bouquets of dandelions, observations about the world from a new perspective.

My mother-in-law is a cherished friend, someone who has always offered love and support and pictures of her latest creative projects. Although she lives 2,500 miles away in Alaska, I feel like we grow closer all the time.

My son’s birth mom already gave me the greatest gift a mom can give by supporting our adoption. It was the most brave, selfless act I have ever witnessed in my life, and a source of inspiration for me every day. It just so happens that Mother’s Day arrives shortly before my son’s birthday. Where would I be without these two people? How much emptier would my life be without my son – his mother’s gift?

No, I don’t really need anything more for Mother’s Day.

Well, a nap would be nice.

 

No Comments »

Advertisement

Happy Mother’s Day!

As I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed, I see picture after picture of smiling babies and children.

That is not the picture I have to post. Instead, it is of an 8-month-old screaming so vehemently that we left church early and scurried home.

Normally, I would have fed her at church and she would have calmed down and I would have had a chance to hear part of the sermon.

At the risk of sounding petulant, today, a day to celebrate me, I wore a dress I can’t breastfeed in just because it makes me feel pretty. I knew I was taking a chance, but I fed her before we left and church is only an hour and a half.

Baby Girl missed nap, too.

Hence, the combination of factors that led to a hysterically upset child and me, alternately laughing and crying, walking home as quickly as possible as people out and about curiously watched the spectacle that was us.

As soon as we walked into our house, the tears stopped. She ate and fell asleep cradled in my arms. Peaceful and beautiful.

THIS is motherhood.

Hectic, demanding, frustrating, emotionally and physically exhausting.

And then a moment of tranquility as she sleeps. And then a moment when her smile makes my heart burst. And then a moment of determination when I think I can’t give any more of myself and I do and am rewarded with another of her smiles that gives a piece back to me.

THIS is motherhood.

No Comments »

Calling all kids, young and old

Sunday is Mother’s Day and we need your help celebrating.

We’re compiling a photo album of readers’ favorite pictures of mom, either by herself or with her kiddos.

Email your photos to anne.cruikshank@lee.net, along with names and any other information you would like to share about when and where the photo was snapped.

Photos will go up online this week!

No Comments »

New Mother’s Day

This blog was born on Mother’s Day 2009. That was before both my kids started “real” school – heck, before I even had two kids. Over the years it’s featured the occasional guest post – most notably from Sherry Devlin (who’s now a grandmother!) at the Missoulian and Kathleen Clary Miller (also a grandmother!) out in Ninemile.

Just a few weeks back, Missoulian reporter Alice Miller switched beats and started covering childhood and K-12 education for the newspaper. So she would already have been a perfect addition to this blog – but then one day she brought a bunch of baby-themed cookies to the newsroom meeting and confirmed that she is preggers. And that clinched it.

A good thing, too, because I’m enjoying Alice’s posts just as much as Missoula Mom readers probably are – maybe even more. I so look forward to following along on her journey toward becoming a mom, and everything that follows.

So, Alice:

Thank you for joining Missoula Mom. I’m so happy you’re blogging with me!

Congratulations on your little bundle. It’s going to be amazing.

And happy Mother’s Day!

No Comments »

Mothers = survival (and adventure buddies)

Mothers, Greg Tollefson writes in this week’s column, are responsible for our survival, which can be uncertain at times in the Montana wilderness. His mom often reminded him of safety and made sure he was always well prepared before heading off.

And it was Mom who tended the blisters and sprains, poured salve on the sunburns and scrapes, and mended and replaced the tattered clothing.

His mom was adventurous herself, but turned in her compass after having children.

To be sure, there was a time when her wanderings were farther, wider and more adventurous. … Somehow though, after the war, and with the coming of family, she left that behind her and did her adventuring vicariously through her children. It was expected in those days.

Now, moms have different expectations.

Today’s children get to share the exhilaration of the wild with their mothers. These days, when a mom exhorts her children to tie on their life jackets, as often as not, she ties her own on, too. Then she takes the oars.

Greg’s musing made me think back on all the times my mom shared in adventure with us. Some of my fondest memories are from the canoe or inner tubes on the New River, or while avoiding fiberglass splinters on the crab boat as we dangled weighted lines into White Point Creek.

Even though I’ve moved 2,000 miles away, the confidence she instilled in me to try new things and chase the horizon is the same and has enabled me to whole-heartedly embrace Montana and all the adventure it provides.

Sometimes, we still have adventures together and I love sharing this Big Sky with her, whether it’s in the snow …

MomAndMeLoloPeak

… or sunshine …

MomAndMeYellowstone

I only wish we got to venture off together more often.

Make sure to read Greg’s full column here.

No Comments »

Mother’s Day laughter and tears

First, the laughter – an editorial cartoon – then the tears – from the latest column by syndicated columnist Connie Schultz.

Mother's Day 2011

Hey, Mom: When Will I Stop Missing You?

By CONNIE SCHULTZ

If I could snap my fingers and travel back in time, I’d be 11-year-old me standing on third base in the field behind our house, cupping my hands around my mouth and yelling for Mom to hit me home.

My mother, like most mothers, was all about coming through for her kids.

Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments »

Certain politicians get thanks from moms for Mother’s Day

A group of about 20 moms and their kids – a stroller brigade – strolled along the street between Missoula’s Public Library and Montana Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus’ Missoula offices earlier today.

Stroller brigadeHere’s why: They were showing their support for strong federal clean air protections, and wanted to thank the senators for their support of stronger Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The full news release on the event is available below.

But as they say: Wait, there’s more!

Montana Women Vote is also encouraging folks to thank their favorite state politicians now that the 2011 legislative session has come to a close.

“As this challenging Montana legislative session has come to an end, we can all be grateful to the brave and tireless legislators who stood and advocated for issues important to women and families,” says the notice sent out by Montana Women Vote.

The note includes a link to a Mother’s Day card you can print out, write on and send to an elected official of your choice. It reads, “Thank you from all the mothers, fathers, children and grandchildren for your hard work for the future of Montana. Your mama would be proud.”

The folks at Montana Women Vote, thorough people that they are, also include handy links to a complete list of Montana legislator addresses, and a list of other statewide elected officials’ addresses.

If one of your favorite state legislators happens to be Missoula Democrat Carol Williams, the first female Senate Majority Leader in Montana history, then you will be delighted with this coming Sunday’s guest column. It’s also about certain congressional delegates and the Clean Air Act.

But, dear readers, I won’t make you wait to read the opinion piece by Williams, a mother of three and grandmother of three. Here’s a special sneak peek for your reading pleasure, following the news release about the stroller brigade.

Read the rest of this entry »

11 Comments »

Start your Mother’s Day early at the annual Mother’s Day Eve Bash in Missoula!

Sick of Mother’s Day stuff yet? Nah, neither am I.

I continue to dip my attention into the constant stream of Mother’s Day retail trends, and come back dripping with information like this:

How do consumers show their love and appreciation for mom? Typically it’s a nice brunch, some flowers or maybe a homemade meal shared with the family. This year, mom is getting an iPad. Maybe even a diamond necklace.  NRF’s latest Mother’s Day survey found that the average person will spend $140 on mom, with the biggest chunk of that going to luxurious items such as jewelry and consumer electronics. Those looking for more creative ways to spoil mom will seek out gardening tools, kitchenware and even spa treatments.

Well. What to say to that.

Missoula gives something even better than diamonds and electronics to its moms each year on the night before Mother’s Day: The Mother’s Day Eve Bash. The brainchild of Missoula mom Elke Govertsen, the bash has undeniably grown over the years.

Moms who show up at Peak Heath & Wellness this Saturday between the hours of 7 and 11 p.m. can expect to be greeted at the door with a goody bag before moving on to enjoy “Yoga, pampering, wine, and celebrating another year of mothering,” according to the Mamalode website.

Mamalode? Oh, that’s just Elke Govertsen’s OTHER hugely successful brainchild. It’s this magazine and website “for the whole mother.” And it, of course, has a ton more information about the Mother’s Day Eve Bash. Check out that info here.

And I’ll see you there!

No Comments »

Many moms to spend Mother’s Day reading at a restaurant?

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, there’s a ton of Mother’s Day trend stories out there. I came across one that says Mother’s Day is THE most popular day of the year to dine out – even ahead of Valentine’s Day.

And I came across another that predicts more people will be buying their moms a Mother’s Day gadget such as a smartphone or e-reader.

What do you get when you put these two trends together? I suspect more moms will be fiddling with their techno gadgets under the dinner table this Sunday.

1 Comment »

Mother’s Day by the numbers

Another Mother’s Day, another scintillating slew of facts from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The bureau notes that this Mother’s Day will honor an estimated 85.4 million moms in the United States. It also includes this short history of the holiday:

The driving force behind Mother’s Day was Anna Jarvis, who organized observances in Grafton, W.Va., and Philadelphia on May 10, 1908. As the annual celebration became popular around the country, Jarvis asked members of Congress to set aside a day to honor mothers. She finally succeeded in 1914, when Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Fertility rates have decreased steadily in the U.S. over the last century or so. Just from 2008 to 2009, the number of births per woman dropped from about 4 percent to 2 percent.

Likewise, the number of women who have children has decreased. These days, only slightly over half – or 54 percent, to be more exact – of women between the ages of 15 and 44 are mothers. Meanwhile, 82 percent of women ages 40 to 44 have given birth; the number for this age group back in 1976 was 90 percent.

Of the 37.8 million moms who live with children age 18 or younger, 94 percent live with their biological children only.  “In addition,” according to the Census Bureau, “3 percent lived with stepchildren, 2 percent with any adopted children and less than 1 percent with any foster children.”

Some more random, interesting tidbits:

More children are born in July than any other month of the year. In 2008, July saw 375,384 births.

More twins are being born than ever before, with exactly 32.6 twin births recorded for every 1,000 total births.

Fewer triplets, quadruplets and other multiple births are being counted, giving the U.S. the lowest reported number of “higher-order births” in more than a decade. Only 6,268 triplet births took place in 2008; there were also 345 quadruplets and 46 quintuplets and higher order multiples.

No Comments »