Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Power of the Yenta (Mother's Day Edition)

I have a big mouth, by which I mean that I am prone to sharing, perhaps even over-sharing personal thoughts and experiences with friends and strangers alike.

And over the 50-plus years of my life, I have found that this penchant is it opens the door for others to share and share alike.

As a writer, I have been compelled to share my truth. Sometimes loudly.

The reward is that it empowers others to share theirs back.

You see, my hunch is that often, the upsetting thought or experience I am going through is not uniquely my own. The insight I have just gained, or even, the hunch that I have, might just be universal.

So, I put it out there...and reap the results.

This year has been a significant year in the Urban Bungalow. Little Babe left for college, which means that HOBB and I are now officially Empty Nesters.

Aside from one maudlin weekend before we drove him to Muhlenberg College and I could not stop crying thinking that my youngest was now ready for college, I have celebrated this transition as I have loved the immersive, holistic and sometimes overwhelming fact of my motherhood and felt prepared for the next phase.

I have no regrets. I cannot separate the experience of raising my three kids -- now nearly 30, 26 and 19 -- from the person I am today. Becoming a mom at 23, my entire adult life was intertwined with my mommyhood. It was bumpy and it was messy and we did not prepare for this financially, but what an adventure, watching three remarkable people unfold, become themselves, because of me and despite of me, because of us and despite us.

There has been also the promise of the Empty Nest, an opportunity to reclaim that which I have put on hold. There are my deferred dreams, twinkling tantalizingly on the horizon. There has been the delicious prospect of dating HOBB, reclaiming or even discovering anew the power of our partnership. There has been the promise of creative collaboration.

I have had a lot invested in this moment.

So, when I was overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and rage lately, I was surprised.

The year began with such promise. I was soaring. Why did I crash?

So, I put on my Yenta lenses. I began sharing. I began hearing.

I started realizing I was onto something.

I realized I was hardly alone.

Here is my Huffington Post column for Mother's Day, written for every working mother married to a wonderful man who finds herself crashing just about now, at the end of the first "semester" of the Empty Nest.

I think I nailed a nugget of truth for women such as myself.

So, return the Yenta favor. Write and share your feelings.

And if you disagree with what I wrote, let me know as well.

Happy Mother's Day!

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