Then and Now?

THEN

I chose not to go back to work as a special ed teacher after my first daughter was born in November, 1977.

At the height of the women’s lib movement, that choice felt sort of radical. Also, old-fashioned and embarrassing. No young woman (I was 25) wanted to turn into her mother.

I was breastfeeding and co-sleeping. A hippie mom, my kids say now. A good and trusted friend offered to keep my baby (for pay) while I worked. My husband was running a delivery route for Dolley Madison cakes (remember Zingers?), so we were far from rich.

In the end, we made the right choice for us, with the understanding we could change our minds if necessary. We didn’t.

My daughters went to school with and were friends with kids who were the first generation to grow up in daycare. I remember thinking, “It will be interesting to watch these kids grow up.”

NOW

This summer an article appeared in our local newspaper titled, “Need a Hug? It’ll Cost You” about a young woman who opened a busness called NC Cuddles (nccuddles.com). She offers platonic cuddling services–

Hugs, Cuddles, Snuggles and Handholding. We want you to feel loved, accepted, and that you matter to someone without feeling guilty, obligated or ashamed. (quote from their website)

The frequently asked questions section describes services for children–

We offer fully clothed, mothering cuddle sessions. We will hold, nurture, work with your child or children to give the physical contact that they need to become well rounded, happy adults. We will gladly work with children with disabilities to include autism. If you are not a touchy, feely, parent but want your child to feel that warmth, we will gladly love, cuddle, snuggle and hold them till their hearts content! (quote from website)

A connection between then and now? Maybe.

My knee-jerk reaction to NC Cuddles was “You’ve got to be kidding.” Then compassion kicked in. I thought about how appealing this might be to a lonely man or woman.

The walls around my physical space are too high to consider a stranger hugging me or even holding my hands. A woman I know says some of us were raised by and turned into “The Frozen People.” I learned to hug non-family people in my 30’s in 12-step rooms.

The kid services at NC Cuddles feel especially icky to me. We worked so hard to teach our kids about not letting strangers touch them. We talked about good touch and bad touch and the uh-oh feeling in your tummy that lets you know something is wrong. How do you explain to kids that these strangers are ok, but others are not?

New on the NC Cuddles website–

Sadly, NCCUDDLES, LLC will be closed indefinitely. Effective 10-14-15

It is unfortunate and we recommend that if you have family that need someone to visit with them, please consider http://www.visitingangels.com

If you are single, alone, or lonely seek out others!

There are local events placed on meetup.com regularly.

I guess I wasn’t the only one to get the uh-oh feeling.

Published in: on October 16, 2015 at 9:09 am  Comments (7)  
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Life Is Good?

My daughter had a baby–Margaret Jane–on January 11.  We call her Maggie.  The day after she was born, her parents were told she has a (fixable) heart problem.

We were stunned into stupidity.

And then prayer.

Maggie had surgery at 7 weeks and will need another surgery sometime this year.

I call her Baby Badass (sorry, Aunt Nadine).  She is a champion nurser and is growing well.  She sleeps as well as any other baby (so her parents are just starting to come out of the no-sleep fog).

I call my daughter Mommy Badass.  She has handled the fear and stress of the last few months beautifully.  Her husband is a magnificent dad.

Maggie is our 2nd grandchild.  Another is due April 2.  My daughters are good mothers and very different from each other.  They need different things from me each day right now.  My challenge is to listen more than I talk and not offer advice unless asked.

My mother was never really available emotionally.  I don’t think her mother was, either.  And Mom was 500 miles away when my girls were small.

I was determined to mother a different way.  Today it is called “attachment parenting” (click here for more about that).  We just did what felt right.  We ended up with independent, compassionate citizens of the world.

I will be 60 years old on March 15.  Sometime in the next few months, I want to have a party.  I have much to celebrate.

As I look back over the years I am grateful.  I have learned lessons, some the hard way, and known interesting, fun people.  I have some regrets (of course).  I am proud of the family we have created and I delight in watching my grandchildren.

Life can be hard.

Life is good.