NEW YORK, USA:  Becoming a mother

NEW YORK, USA: Becoming a mother

This Saturday Sidebar Question had me thinking about and reliving my birthing experiences.

When my son was born, I had been having contractions for several months.  I knew they were Braxton Hicks, but they were so regular for so long, even my doctor was concerned.  I had a scheduled date for my c-section (I have a bad back, so was told from the onset that I would have to have a Caesarian), but my son didn’t want to have anything to do with my schedule – much like he has been ever since that amazing November day.   So about a week before we were scheduled to go in, my contractions increased, while I was working at home, and on the phone with a client. I remember telling her “ask me whatever else you need to know about, since I am going into labor now and you won’t be talking to me for the next 3 months”. 🙂 (more…)

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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NEW YORK, USA: Olympic Hopefuls? Probably Not…and That’s OK!

NEW YORK, USA: Olympic Hopefuls? Probably Not…and That’s OK!

As I sit here watching the U.S. Olympic team trials, I am thinking about all the work these hopefuls have put into getting to this amazing place. They are all so young; the gymnasts are 16…mere children! Two of the swimmers competing for the “women’s” 50-free are 14 and 15. Michael Phelps is considered mature – he’s 27!

I smile as a swimmer jumps out of the pool and runs over to hug her mother as she makes the U.S. team. I choke up as the camera pans to a very proud mom who watches her daughter do an amazing floor routine, which seals her fate as a competitor to represent the U.S. in London. As the commercial says, none of them could have gotten to this place without their mothers. It was probably their mom who ran them to the early morning and after school practices, who hugged them when they didn’t win and encouraged them to just do their best. It was their mom who celebrated their victories (I’m sure there were many) as they progressed to get to this amazing point in their career.

I sit here wondering if I would be able to do that for my children. How do you even start your child on the road to be an Olympic hopeful? In New York City, there are so many sports available to children starting at such a young age. My son, who is 5, has already tried  soccer, gymnastics, t-ball, and swimming. He has taken guitar and language lessons, art and music. When he starts Kindergarden in September, he will add martial arts to the list. I keep asking him if he wants to keep doing a certain sport, or try a new one, and inevitably his answer (for the most part) is to try a new one.

They showed some videos of the gymnasts doing routines as 5- and 6-year-olds, which means at my son’s age they were already on the road to the Olympics. I’m not capable of being a mom that “pushes” her children, but how else could they become the best in the world?

Don’t get me wrong. I would be that mom who takes her children to all of the practices, early morning and in the evenings. I would be the one who would console a loss and praise a win, who would mend an injury and be the biggest cheerleader on the sidelines. I just don’t know if I would be able to identify that my child was so gifted in a specific sport that they should seriously compete.

When my son was 3, we joked that he would be the next Michael Phelps. He loved his swim classes, and had a long and lean body. But being in New York, with cold winters, we did not continue his lessons once it got cold out. One thing led to another, and we haven’t really started them up again. I now ask myself, did we miss his chance to realize his full potential?

Now, I’m not expecting my children to make it to the Olympics. What I am asking, is what if there is a sport or activity (dance, a musical instrument, chess club, etc) that they are naturally gifted at, and, as a mother I don’t come across it? How do we, as parents, nurture our children to their full potential if we don’t figure it out?

I know enough to realize that I don’t have the answer.  I want to be able to help my children find their natural abilities; I want them to try everything until they find something that they really love.  And then I hope that I will be able to keep sending them to lessons/practice/rehearsals.  I hope that I can help them be the best that they can be, and help them reach for the stars…if that’s what they want to do.

Have you noticed a natural ability/talent in your child?  How have you nourished and supported them?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Maman Aya of New York City, USA.

Photo credit to Andrew Evans. This photo holds a Flickr Creative Commons attribution license.

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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NEW YORK, USA: Love and Marriage

This topic may be taboo in some cultures, but I’m part French, and nothing is more important to the French then l’amour (although food and wine are very close contenders)!

I recently read an article somewhere that said many moms polled were having sex (I should say moms who are married or in a committed relationship) about 4 times a year… and they were ok with that, as were their partners.  Once a quarter?  Really!?  I know we are all exhausted by the time we get to bed, but isn’t it important for your and your partner’s happiness?  Isn’t it important for the health and well-being of your relationship with your significant other to be intimate? (more…)

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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NEW YORK, USA: Business Travel (With Children)

On Monday I am told, “you need to go to Paris for 3 days next week.”  I say “OK”, but think, “How can I pull that one-off?  I am still nursing!”.

So I go into action, first calling my mother (who happens to be French, has a large family that live in Paris…and who is the primary caregiver during the day while I am at work), and then I start looking up plane tickets and hotels.   The only way for me to be able to go on this business trip is to take the baby, and therefore, I need to take my mother to care for her while I am at work.

In turn, I need to take my 4-year-old son as well, since he would be otherwise left without a caretaker while we are away. Tickets are bought, hotel reservations made (which is a process on its own, since I need is a place with a kitchen, so that we can prepare food for the kids and are not forced to eat every meal out), bags are packed, and we are off! (more…)

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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NEW YORK, USA: My Healthier Muffins!

I should preface this by saying I am not usually a baker. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook almost everything, but I didn’t grow up in a home that always had baked goods, so I was just not accustomed to it.

Then, a few years ago, I decided to try to bake muffins as a rainy day activity for my 2-year old son and I. They were super easy, healthy and delicious. I found that most of the recipes were similar, just substituting different fruit from one to the other.

My son went apple picking with his class a few months ago. What a wonderful fun, fall activity and a great way to spend a day, but I found myself holding a rather large bag of apples.

“What do you want to do with all of these apples?” I asked. “You can only use them in my apple cinnamon oatmeal, Maman”. Somehow, we were supposed to manage to keep these apples from going bad, and only use one a day….that’s not what I had on my mind. So we made muffins 🙂 (more…)

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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