May 8, 2015

"Mommy-ing since 1985...

...and I STILL don't have all the answers.  I'm now smart enough to realize I never will.  But it won't keep me from trying.  So I guess I'm really not all that smart after all.  Because who doesn't love banging their head repeatedly against a brick wall?  Welcome to Mommy-ing.  And happy Mother's Day to all my fellow head bangers out there!

"In the Beginning"

I got this Mother's Day card in the mail yesterday, from Thing #1 and Thing #1.2...

"My Inner Beverly"

The card references the show "The Goldbergs", which is my FAVORITE show on television right now.  One of the few shows we watch as a family.  It takes place in the 1980s and is the story of the Goldberg family who resides in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania (literally next door to where I grew up).  All the characters are brilliant.  But the most brilliant-est is the mom, Beverly Goldberg.  The original helicopter mom and smother mother.  She knows how to rock a theme sweater and shoulder pads, a Jane Fonda workout, and Farrah Fawcett flipped back hair. She single-handedly keeps Aqua-net in business.  Her love and devotion to her kids borders on fanatical, tempered only by her sheer love for them. She is bat sh*t crazy!  But then again, when it comes to my Things I could probably be sharing a padded room with her at times.

"Are you crying?  Who hurt you?   Tell me and I will hurt them ten-fold!"
-Beverly Goldberg

I showed my Thing #3 the card from her bro and sis-in-law.  She laughed and said "You are NOTHING like Beverly Goldberg."  Except for sharing Philly roots, I'm sure she thinks she is right.  All my Thing #3 can see is a mom who yells when she is angry, points out the good AND the not so good when she sees it, and tries not to always step in when the going gets tough.  What she DOESN'T see is that I'm always beating my freakin' head against a brick wall for the right answers.  It's an eternal struggle for me.  Because truthfully I AM Beverly Goldberg, IF....I don't keep her confined to a padded room.  I need to chain the beast within me.  And I use the term "beast" lovingly because I adore Beverly Goldberg.  It is a constant battle to keep her hidden, just like I keep the old shoulder pads hidden in the back of my closet.

"Honestly, there should be a museum for the two of you.  It'll be called the 'Schmoopy Museum for Cuteness' and I will be the curator.  
People will line up for blocks just to delight in your deliciousness."
-Beverly Goldberg

The lesson I have had the hardest time learning since 1985 is the "backing off" thang.  Because truthfully, when my Things are hurting and/or struggling...I am hurting and/or struggling too.  So I immediately want to fix it.  Initially I believed my motives were totally focused on the betterment of the Things.  But after a few years of Mommy-ing I realized that approach was more about MOI.  Selfish, selfish, selfish.  But you know what?  I was totally cool with that.  

"No, no, no.  This is not about me.  It is about you, feeling better.  So 'I' can feel better."
-Beverly Goldberg

There is a major learning curve to Mommy-ing.  And it's a curve that just keeps on giving.  And since 1985 I have probably learned more about MOI than anything while riding that wave.  A large part of motherhood really is all about knowing when to be there to nurture and protect, and when to back off and allow growth and strength as a result of the struggle.  And that "growth and strength" thing...well that goes for both  my Things AND for moi.  Because taking a back seat and watching my Things struggle AT ALL is the most difficult thing "I" struggle with.  My inner Beverly kicks and screams at me the entire time.  But I AM smart enough to know muzzles and restraints are a good thing every now and then. Don't call Child Protective Services because I am talking about MOI.

"Feel better, but don't stop needing me."
-Beverly Goldberg

"29 Years of Mommy-ing"
(photo credit:  Rebecca Barger Photography)

And in the end, the desire to feel "needed" is what it is all about.  It is the complete irony of the the whole Mommy-ing job description.  We pour our hearts and souls into raising our Things so that they become independent, strong and responsible adults in their own right.  But the truth is, we still want to feel we are needed.  Because it would completely suck to work ourselves right out of a job, right?  I AM smart enough to realize now that "need" takes on an ever-morphing form.  It changes.  I need to change with it.  And so does my inner Beverly.  But in the meantime, let me tell you a bit about my Things...

"I know I am your  their mother but I think I can say this without bias. 
You They are Adonises.  Cut from marble, sent from heaven above to be scrumptious."
-Beverly Goldberg

And that's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me Beverly.

Happy Mother's Day!

Here's where I "link up" today.

(click on image for description of Song-ography)
Next Tuesday's Song-ography title suggestion is "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from Roger & Hammerstein's Oklahoma.
Come back and link up!  (blog, Instagram, Flickr photos welcome).


  1. Love this! Have not seen this show - but it is now a MUST watch! I'm enjoying figuring out this whole mother-of-adults thing. It dawned on me not too long ago that since my relationship with my mom is so odd (read profoundly dysfunctional) I am in uncharted territory. Nothing to really go by in this domain. So I really cherish my friends who are walking through this stage as well...helps so much to learn from/lean on others!! As usual, your vulnerability mixed with humor and your gift of laughing at/with yourself is both refreshing and though provoking! Happy Mother's Day!!

  2. And Bravo to the long-distance things for getting a card to you with time to spare!!

  3. What a beautiful wedding photo! Being a Mom is some seriously hard work!

  4. Brilliant post Kathy. Happy Mothers Day.

  5. You are one gorgeous family!! My husband calls me "Bevvy" a lot these days..we also love the show! My kids don't watch it though, they don't know what they're missing.

  6. Happy mother's day!! I think I need to check this show out!

  7. You do not look like someone who has been mommy-ing for that long. What a beautiful family photo.

  8. What a wonderful post about mothering! Happy mother's day Kathy!

  9. I am also a Goldberg that you devoted some space to it...Happy Mom-anering♪

  10. You're sweet, Kathy :) I have got no idea about that TV serious, but just reading your article makes it come alive.

  11. A great post, all the best to you!
    My latest post at:

  12. Beautiful post, Happy Mother's Day

    Thank you for linking up

  13. Kathy! I love all your posts... Maybe because you´ve been at it since 1985 your words are kinda like the missing piece in a puzzle, they make so much sense! You are not a very sentimental writer, but this post brought tears to my eyes, all ot it so true, specially the part where you say that we need to be needed.... oh my, my 12 year old is starting to ¨think¨she doesn´t need me... it hurts, it aches....
    Hope you had an amazing day!
    Am going to have to see the goldbergs now!

  14. Lovely thoughts and I wholeheartedly feel ya! Looks like you did it right to me! I need to check out the show!

  15. Love this! That show sounds awesome!

  16. What a wonderful touching post. I'm pretty sure it's not going to get easier. I've only been at it for 25 years though.

  17. Aww love her too now! Her words are just wisdom! Lovely post and photo=) #mysundayphoto

  18. We love the Goldbergs, too! My kids laugh when hubby and I point out how close to our lives growing up the show is and the kids accuse me of being a little bit Beverly, too!
    Being a mom is not for sissies but you look like you're doing pretty well!

  19. I have not seen this show but I can totally identify with what you have written here. Happy Mother's Day!