Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.


37 1/2 Questions

Recently, while searching for a new exercise video on YouTube, I stumbled upon a video series called 73 Questions.  73 Questions are videos, filmed in a single shot, of personalities (mainly celebrities), asking 73 questions about what they like, hate, and know.  They make the videos appear random, like someone happened to stop by and do an impromptu interview, and ask a few questions.  However, the videos are obviously scripted and practiced.  They are still fun to watch.  I started with Nicole Kidman (her Australian house is amazing), and ended with James Corden.  Check them out for yourself here.

I thought it would be fun for me do something similar for my blog.  However, I have no interest in doing the video portion of the interview or for 73 questions.  I decided to create a list of 37 1/2  questions I’ve been asked regarding my upcoming move to Italy.   Since announcing my decision to move with the family, I have been bombarded with tons  of questions.

Here we go.

1) How did this happen?

I’m not sure I understand the question.  How did what happen?

2) How did you decide to move to Italy?

Oh.  I accepted a job to work over there.

3) No.  I mean…how did you even think of applying for a job in Italy?

Well, 20 plus years ago I worked overseas in London, England.  It was a great experience,and I’ve always wanted to live overseas again.

4)  Did you talk about applying for the job with your family?

Of course.

5)  How did they respond?

Indifferent at first.  They knew it was my dream to live overseas, but didn’t think it wouldn’t really happen.

6) Were they surprised to hear you got the job?

Yes and no.  I’d been talking about applying for jobs for a while, but the fact I got a job offer was a surprise.

7)  How did your family react?

Mixed.  Husband was proud, excited, but nervous.  Older boys were fine, as long as they could stay at their current schools.  Little Boy cried.

8)  Was it hard to have Little Boy cry?

Yes.  Before I accepted the job, we had several family discussions.  There were a lot of questions, and emotions during those conversations.

9)  Is Little Boy still sad?

I’m sure he is, but he also is excited.  We all are.  

10)  What’s the hardest part about making decision to live overseas?

Making sure everyone needs are being met.  Years ago, when I lived overseas I was a single person. Now I am married, with three kids, own a home, and have aging parents.  Making sure we had a plan how to make it work was crucial prior to accepting the job.

11)  What work will you be doing?

I will be the Director of Child Youth programs on an US Military base.

12)  Will you live on the US base?


13)  Do you speak Italian?


14)  Have you been to Italy?


15)  Is everyone moving to Italy with you?

No.  My husband and youngest son are coming with me, but two older boys will remain in the United States.  They want to finish high school and college in the US.

16)  Did you offer for them to come with you to Italy?

Of course.  The older boys have friends, and connections in the US.  They are also ages 18 and 20. They are old enough to decide what they want to do for the future.

17)  Are you sad to leave them?

Yes.  It’s hard to think about,  but they will visit and they will stay with us during vacations and summer.  We are a close family.  We will make sure to stay connected.

18)  How long will you live overseas?

Three years.

19)  Can you stay longer?

Possibly.  It depends on a lot of factors.

20)  Is your husband supportive?

Yes, very.

21)  Was he always supportive?

Yes and no.  At first, we didn’t have all the details worked out.  It was a complex process to see how we could support three boys, three schools, own a home, and two careers.  I’m the dreamer in the family.  He’s the practical one.  His practical side needed to be fulfilled, prior to accepting the job.

22)  What has been the response from family and friends?

Mixed.  Sad, excited, shocked, and happy.  We feel all the same emotions.

23)  What has been the most unusual response to the move?


23)  What will you miss the most when you move?

The people.

24)  What will you miss the least?

Nothing.  I love where I live, my family and my friends. 

25)  Why leave then?

Five years ago my husband and I talked about our future.  We both love to travel, and both want meaningful careers.  This job opportunity offers us both things.  Leaving doesn’t always mean you are unhappy.  Sometimes we leave to experience something more.

26)  What will happen to your house?

We will rent it out.

27)  What about all your belongings?

We will take most of our things with us, and store the rest.

28)  Are you scared?


29)  Really?

Yes, really.  I have concerns, but scared…no.

30)  I’ve never heard of someone taking a job overseas.  Isn’t it unusual?

Not really.  Military families move overseas all the time.  This experience has given me great appreciation for US military families who move frequently and to overseas locations. The process is daunting when you have a family.  

31)  Do you like Italian food?

Is this a real question?

32)  Do you worry about crime in Italy?

Not more than I do in the US.

33)  What happens if you get homesick?

It will happen.  We will get homesick, but we will support each other.  This move is different from my previous one.  There are many more ways to stay connected.  We will also travel back to the US at least once a year.

34)  What would you say to someone considering working overseas or following a dream?

Do the research.  It was not an easy process for this to happen.  Take time to research how it can happen, and begin the process.  If you really see something in your future, you have to take the steps to make if happen.  

35)  Anything else?

Stay positive.  Many times I’ve been discouraged because things didn’t go as quickly, or as smoothly as I wanted.  Surround yourself with positive people who support you.  You will need their encouragement.

36)  Regrets?

No, not yet.

37)  Final words?

I’m grateful for this opportunity.  It’s happening because of many people who believe in and support me.  Timing and luck had a lot to do with it too.  I get to do valuable, meaningful work, see the world, and be with my family.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

371/2 )  And?

Ciao.  We’re done.









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Role Reversal

Last week I went home to visit/care for my father while my sister was out-of-town.  I stayed at her home, and cared for her cats, and spent my days visiting my dad.  With the move to Italy less than 8 weeks away, visiting my father was something I wanted to do before I leave.

Almost two years ago my father’s health began to decline.  He developed kidney failure. Instead of dealing with the health issue in its early stages, my father waited until his kidneys began to fail completely before seeking medical attention.  Since the onset of kidney failure, my father has slowly transformed into a different person.

My father has always been strong-willed.  He is the oldest of five children.  When he was 20 years old his father (my grandfather) passed away, leaving my dad as the patriarch of his family.  My father, being the responsible person he is, took the role seriously and helped his mother to care for his younger siblings.  Because he had so much responsibility, at such a young age, my father developed a strong sense of independence.  He has always been the kind of person who liked to do things for himself, and  his own way.

When my father’s health began to decline it was a difficult transition for him.  Kidney failure causes a variety of symptoms, but one that affected my father the most was a lack of energy and strength.  My father has always been active, and when he became ill he no longer was able to walk or stand  for any length of time.

At first my father refused to acknowledge his illness.  He was determined to maintain his independence.  I’m sure he knew how serious his illness was for quite a while before my siblings and I became aware of it.   However, by the time we did become aware, his disease had progressed too far.  There was little left to do except start dialysis to do the work his kidneys no long could.

One thing everyone can relate to is having to deal with aging parents.  Not everyone has children, but everyone has parents.  My mother passed away over 20 years ago suddenly. There was no time for lengthy goodbyes, or closure.  Her death was abrupt and painful. Yet, watching a parent slowly age is also difficult.  To see the person who once guided you with strength, no longer be able to walk or have difficulty eating is also painful.  The tasks your parents once did for you as a young child become the tasks you now do for them as an adult.  In essence, your roles become reversed.

To watch my father’s health, both physically and mentally, decline has been trans-formative for me in many ways.  Although it makes me sad at times, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend with him.  Over time, he has lessened his strong stance on issues, and is kind and gracious.  When I would arrive each day to visit him I would do care taking things. Sometimes I would clean his room or help his with his meals.  They were the kind of things I do for my boys.

Leaving my father at the end of my trip was hard.  Because I will be leaving soon, and moving so far away, there is a chance I won’t see him again.  I told him about my upcoming move with the family, but the next day he had forgotten all about it.  I leave my father in the hands of my loving, devoted sister, who tirelessly oversees his care.  A mix of sadness, and guilt overcomes me when I think about not seeing him again.

On the day of my final visit my father, his wife and I shared a meal in their apartment.  We had planned to go to the dining hall, but my father wasn’t feeling well after dialysis, so decided to eat at home.  During our meal, there were a couple of times his glasses slipped down his nose, and I gently pushed them back up.  I remember thinking how my father would have never allowed my to do something like push his glasses up as  child. He would have pushed my hand away claiming he could do it himself.  But, my father let me help him.  He allowed me the chance to show him love in a way he used to do for me as a child. Our role reversal was okay for him and for me…and we were both grateful.






Hmm…where to begin.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post.  A few months ago when I was asked to renew my blog subscription, I questioned if I wanted to continue.  As I debated in my mind, I realized I did have more things to share and maybe another year of blogging would be a good thing.

Since I began my blog five years ago a lot has happened.  Creating the blog initially was an outlet for me to express my thoughts and feelings regarding midlife, motherhood and my transition from full-time home parent back to the workforce.  Well, I’m happy to say I made it through my “midlife something”, and am now fully immersed in my career.

For the last few years I have gone back to school to update my education, and have worked various jobs to update for resume and job related skills.  My plan worked, as I recently accepted a position that fully utilizes all the information I’ve learned, and has an unexpected bonus.  The job is located overseas in Italy.  It’s hard to believe, but my family and I will be moving over to Italy by the end of the year.

When I think back to where I was five years ago, I realize there were many things I needed to learn before accepting my current employment.  Originally, my blog was created as a result of not getting a job.  After not being selected, I knew I had work to do.  So I got busy. I went to school, started working, and began the process of getting up to speed in my career field.  It wasn’t easy. As a matter of fact, the last few years have been the most challenging times I have ever endured career-wise.  I’ve made many mistakes, but I’ve also taken some amazing risks. I’ve gone out of my comfort zone so many times that I no longer fear things I’ve never done before.  So much so, that I took a chance to apply for jobs that were only dreams for me.

What lies ahead for me is more challenges, but not the fear and doubt I once had.  Years ago I searched for my purpose, my meaning, my contribution to the world outside of being a wife and mother.  It took a while, but I found it.  I hope to use all my life experience to make a difference in children’s lives.

As I embark on an exciting adventure to Italy to live and work, I want to be able to share my experience.  I thought about changing the name of my blog several times to reflect the new direction of my life.  I still may do that in the future.  However, for now my three boys are home for the summer…eating, making messes, and lying around the house making me crazy.  My blog name seems the best fit my life right now.

Arrivederci, my friends.




Win Some. Lose Some.

A conversation between a preschool teacher and preschool students.


Teacher is sitting on floor building blocks with children.

Mrs. M. How old are you?” – Boy Student

“I’m 51 years old.” – Teacher

“Oh.  Okay.” – Boy Student

“Why do you ask?  How old did you think I was?” – Teacher

“Same age as my mom.” – Boy Student

“Oh.  How old is your, Mom?” – Teacher

“She’s 33.  I thought you were younger than she was.” – Boy Student


Teacher sitting at table outdoors coloring with children.  Preschool student is looking at teacher’s photo on name badge.

“Mrs. M. Is that a picture of you?” – Girl Student

“Yes it is.” – Teacher

“Why doesn’t it look like you?” – Girl Student

“Well, maybe the photo has different lighting.  Don’t you think the photo looks like me?” – Teacher

“No.  You have a lot more wrinkles in real life.” – Girl Student

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Mom Says It Again

The other night at dinner Tall Boy sprung the news to my husband and I his school had an open house the next night.  My reaction wasn’t one of joy.

“Mom, open house for school is tomorrow.” – Tall Boy

“Really? I don’t remember seeing the email.  That’s too bad.” – Mother

“You always say that, Mom.” – Tall Boy

“Say what?” – Mother

“Say, that’s too bad”.  – Tall Boy

“No, I don’t”. –  Mother

“Yes you do”. – Tall Boy

“You do, Mom”. – Little Boy

“You have a bunch of things you say all the time.  You repeat the same sayings over and over.” – Old Boy

“What are you talking about?  What do I say over and over?” – Mother

For the next half hour at dinner the family proceeded tell me quotes I use on a daily basis.  Every mother has a few quotes to be remembered by, but apparently I have more than the average mom.  This morning when I woke up my husband kindly (or not so kindly) left a list of my quotes for my on the counter.  Ten quotes isn’t too many is it?

That’s too bad.

I say this one a lot.  It’s used when I’m not happy.

“Mom, Dad said to tell you the washing machine is broken.”

Stop talking.

This quote is used when my boys won’t stop talking.  It’s self explanatory.

Stay calm.

When I feel frazzled I use the quote to remind myself what I need to do.  I used this excessively teaching the teenagers to drive.


This is another quote to show my unhappiness for a situation.

“The guys will be over soon for a sleepover, Mom.”

Stop bothering those people.

This wonderful quote isn’t an original of mine.  My husband overheard a mother saying it to her annoying son while waiting in line at LEGOLAND.  I use it to remind my boys to be good in public.  Not sure who “those people” are though.

The thing is…

Here’s another stolen quote.  This one comes from my older sister.  She says this all the time to explain a situation.  I use it to explain things too.

“The thing is…money doesn’t grow on trees.  Dad and I don’t have money to hand out when you waste your money on new muscle shirts.”


All mothers say this quote.  This one is used mainly for my little son.  I remind him to stay on task and get the job done.

Hubble up.

A morning routine saying.  This one means, “Hurry up people or we’ll be late again.”

What’s happening in the land of ___________ grade?

I like this quote.  I say it instead of the usual, “How was your day at school?”  It has a fill in the blank section that makes it easy to say for multiple children.

Don’t forget about trash and recycling.

This quote is said everyday to Old Boy.  It’s his job to take out the trash and recycling and he never remembers.  I do a daily reminder for him.  He hates this quote, but if he did his job I wouldn’t need to remind him.

I’m sorry to hear about that.

Another one of my “I’m not happy to hear that” quotes.

“Mom, we are out of toilet paper again.”

Mom’s are supposed to have famous quotes.  Years from now when I am gone they’ll have happy memories of their mother’s sayings.  At least I hope they’re happy memories.  If they don’t that’s too bad.


Guy Talk

A conversation between a mother and a little boy.

Mother and little boy are sitting on carpet.  Little boy is putting on his shoes.

I can’t get my shoes on.  It hurts.” – Little Boy

Mother looks at shoes.

“They’re too small.  We’ll need to pick up some new ones this weekend.” – Mother

“We need to get some new underwear too.  I want to start wearing boxers.”- Little Boy

“Excuse me?  Boxers?  You mean boxer briefs?” – Mother

“Yeah.  I don’t want to wear underwear anymore.  I want to wear boxers.” – Little Boy

“Really?  Why?” – Mother

“I’m big now.  I’m the only one who lives here and still wears underwear.” – Little Boy

“I wear underwear.  I live here.” – Mother

“You’re a girl, Mom.  Girls wear underwear and men wear boxers.  I’m not a baby anymore.  It’s time.” – Little Boy

“You will always be my baby”.  – Mother

Mother kisses little boy on the head.

You mean no cartoon characters on your underwear anymore?” – Mother

“Well… maybe we can find some boxers with superheros on them.  That would still be cool, right? – Little Boy

“Yeah, it’s cool.  Maybe I could get some too?” – Mother

“Mom, don’t talk about wearing boxers.  It’s guy talk.” – Little Boy

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A conversation between a teenager and a mother.

Mother walks out of bathroom.  Mother picks up cell phone.  Mother reads text messages from teenage son.

“Hey, Mom.  Can I head to the beach with friends today?” – Tall Boy

“Hello?” – Tall Boy

“Hellloooo?”  Tall Boy

“Yo answer ur phone.  Its not that hard.” – Tall Boy

Mother glares at phone.  Mother types text response.

“Yo.  I was in the bathroom drying my hair and my hearing aids were off.  I couldn’t hear the phone.” – Mother

“Oh. No damage.  Can I go?” – Tall Boy

“Yo, no” – Mother