Friday, October 26, 2012

Wake Up Call

When I first became a mother,  I had nooooo idea how different my life would be. Of course it made my life better, richer, fuller.  But that's not the part I'm writing about today. There is also a very difficult side to motherhood. But thanks to a very old lady (sorry to use that term but I love old ladies!!) my whole perspective on motherhood CHANGED FOREVER!

So I'm not going to go into the details of my early motherhood days. Your first newborn baby is undescribable anyway, so I'll just get to the point.

One day I packed up the stroller, the diaper bag, the pack and play, the emergency kit, the binky and all the bottles I needed for a single outing to my local used bookstore. It was a rough morning getting out the door but I made it to the bookstore.  While in the store I couldn't pick out books, I was busy caring for my infant who wouldn't stop crying. I tried the pacifier, didn't work. Bottle, didn't work.
So finally I grabbed a few vintage cookbooks and headed to the checkout desk where there sat the sweetest looking little old lady.

I wanted to talk to her, learn her wisdom. Let her comfort me in my struggles of mother hood.  I began to tell her how hard it was to be a new Mom. How fussy my baby was and I couldn't just come and go as I pleased any more. How I had nobdoy to help me. My family all lived in another state. I was struggling.  I waited for her response. I needed some kind and inspiring words from a sweet person who has been through it herself.
After listening to me patiently, she spoke. She said 2 words to me that I'll never forget. She said ..........."You'll live!"

At first I thought...what the?! Then it hit a ton of bricks. I was a dip. I mean, here I was a modern mother. Caring for my baby in a modern home with electric appliances, indoor heating and plumbing. Fresh running water. Cable TV! Movies, Dvd's. Modern bottles and formula that were simple to prepare. Modern vehicle and most of all, a husband who works hard to support his family!

I tell you, from that moment on my life CHANGED and a new obsession was born in me. That obsession was learning how women before me did it. I went to the library and checked out every book I could on pioneer women and homesteads. Then books about the homelife during the Great Depression. Then the 50-'s through 70's...You name it I wanted to learn how they did it. How my Grandmothers raised a family with so much less than I had. They literally could not come and go as they pleased. I was not as tied down as I thought I was, especially compared to women of the past.

It has been years now since I began collecting my vintage cookbooks. I no longer collect them simply to collect. I collect them because I want to know how the women before me cared for their families with usually so little. I'm obsessed with learning the daily lives of women in history.

To me, all the women before me are pioneers!

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