Thursday, March 21, 2013

Our guest blogger speaks to us about The Village known as Sisterhood.

Motherhood Through the Eyes of a Sister

I am in the fortunate situation of having close, indispensable, lifelong, female relationships with women who can’t get rid of me—my sisters.

First born toddler awaking from her nap.
As a mother I am filled with love: raw, real, vulnerable, smiling, busy, excited, frustrated, sleep-deprived, laughing, endless love.   

Right now my sick 2 year old is sleeping well past her normal waking hour, throwing routine out the window and with it any semblance of predictability to my day.  In the course of writing the last two sentences I spoke with two of my three sisters about whether I should allow her to sleep peacefully until 10 am or try to wake her up.

I am in the fortunate situation of having close, indispensable, lifelong, female relationships with women who can’t get rid of me—my sisters.  My immediate family consists of three sisters, three brothers, two wonderful parents who have been married for over 40 years, 9 nephews, three nieces, three brothers through marriage, two sisters through marriage, and of course my husband, daughter, and son (on the way).  If we all lived in close proximity, we would be the very best kind of village, if only dreams could be reality.  Still, my sisters and I are like village women.  We chat almost daily, we share intricate details of our lives, and we welcome input and opinions.

While we span only 12 years in age, our children range from 21 years old to 9 months gestation.  As a result, I have one sister who is going through all the toddler struggles and joys a little over a year ahead of me, one who is currently grappling with the onset of puberty, and a third who will soon be an empty-nester.  The younger two sisters were babysitters extraordinaire for years, and now the older sisters get to be fun aunties who help out when the little ones are around and we new moms deserve a little break.

But all of this abstract talk does not do justice to these relationships that are so crucial, so amazing, so empowering in my life.

We surround our children with unconditional love, all of them, and we are not afraid to be real about the challenges that motherhood inevitably brings.

We cherish each mommy-to-be, not worrying about difficult circumstances, timing, fear, bliss, or hope.  Those emotions are included, understood, and enveloped.

We answer the “it’s time” call, and make an effort to be a part of each journey from the very start, sometimes driving for hours or jumping through hoops to make this new life a priority.

Then we remember to take some time to ourselves, to nourish our relationship, to be adult women together, in addition to being mothers.  

We laugh, cry, dance, sleep, drink, and generally have the time of our lives together.

My daughter benefits in so many ways from my sisterhood.  Not only does she have a better, more relaxed, more confident mommy, but she sees the value of loving women relying on one another for support and advice.  She witnesses the power of empathy and the ability to listen.  

For this I thank my mother, who relied on female friends for this network despite the fact that she has sisters.  She showed us that we make our own village by maintaining and nourishing our relationships.  Leading by example, she knew the importance of listening and really seeing those around you, in order to live a valuable life.  And she still plays that indispensable role for the women of her inner circle.   

Thanks, Mom, for helping us to become what sisters are meant to be…more than just friends -- lifelines.

Today's blog was brought to you by Guest Blogger, Danielle Katrine Wiener, daughter of Seasons Within Doula Group owner, Kathie Neff, and sister of Michele Dare, Denise Terrazas, and Debi Menard -- aka, The Neff Women.

Thanks for this wonderful post, Danielle!