This has been coming for a while. I saw it coming in the not so far off future last year when my youngest began reading sentences and realized ‘my mommy’s picture is in the paper.’
“Mommy Musings” has had a healthy and good 10-year long run and while I don’t foresee changing the name on this space, my topics may need to go a bit more global. Cute stories and anecdotes with my duo as the column focus may need to now change. At minimum we’ll now discuss it as a family, prior to going on paper. They are deserving of privacy and should not be penalized for having a mommy who happens to ‘overshare’ regarding life and its lessons.
I knew it was finally time, last month when my daughter shared on our way to school that she liked one of my front page stories. Admittedly this caught me off guard. I don’t typically have a newspaper lying around in our home; it’s work. This particular week I did and being a curious child, she read what mommy wrote.
I do learn valuable lessons from both my children and this journey of parenthood. Whenever appropriate I do intend on sharing. I know we’re all in this together. I love reading and listening to the words of others who have stumbled their way through and I do appreciate the 12 readers who fancy reading mine as well. I also happen to love living the advice I offer so freely to my children.
Most recently it came in the way of Bucket Lists. Yes, at the ages of seven and 10, my duo has their own little version of a ‘Bucket List.’ This was something they came upon all on their own, yet I’m sure it’s a mimicked behavior as they watch their mom chase dreams so big that some think she has totally lost her mind.
As we discussed this I shared a favorite quote with them by Robert H. Schuller, “What great thing would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”
It’s a big question and can easily take on a big life and jut out in a million different directions. So we started with me. They wanted to know what I would do. My answer while seemingly simple and seemingly obvious was what I intend to now do with this space.
Live honestly and continue sharing, was what I said.
A bit of that ‘openness’ and sharing is currently featured in our newest publication family member 209 Magazine. The magazine business has proven to be fun, yet a bit more challenging in the way of creative process. The personal piece I shared was restricted to a word count of 800. Covering the span of a four-year journey in 800 words in a way which is effective and helpful is challenging. Apparently magazines are big on pictures. This too was unnerving for me (as subject matter), yet exciting for my duo as they took pride in what ‘mommy has done.’
Admittedly, seeing my image in print in such a way is still a bit unnerving and overwhelming. We are journalists. Our job is to feature stories of others. We are story tellers of the positive, reporters or community informants.
Gratefully, I had the voice of a few friends reminding me why I agreed to share so publicly. Why I would allow myself to be in such a vulnerable place. Life will always serve us critics, haters and those who are uninformed and choose gossip over conversation. My motivation and purpose was and remains simple. If just one person benefits from that small magazine piece, it’s a win. Fear put aside, no longer concerned with critics or what others may ‘perceive’ as my intention.
I’ve been blessed by strong, encouraging, selfless people who helped me find my way on what seemed to be a daunting task. It’s a constant and challenging journey, I quite simply choose to call life.
I will never claim to have all the answers, heck I’m still processing half the questions. What I know is because of the bravery of others, friends and public figures who live honest and true to their own being I have benefitted greatly.
So that’s where we head now, with the magazine and column space. Fearless sharing challenges we find ourselves in on a day to day basis be it in motherhood, friendship, relationship or life in general.
I’ll always be a ‘mommy musing,’ just now I may need to muse a bit less about the two entitled to call me that and broaden my bravery. Should be interesting, either way.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.