LATE BLOOMIN’ MOM: Dana M. Spincola, Our Newest Blogger, Squashes the Notion of Perfection
I hated my twenties. It was a decade of lost dreams, loosing a father and what I believed to be loosing my mind. My thirties was a turn around of miraculous beginnings with finding myself, getting married, and becoming pregnant; and today, as I begin a new decade, I can only imagine what it will bring. What it has brought thus far is the blessing of the birth of our son, a new life that has purity, innocence and true wonder at its core. I look into my son’s eyes and I know that I was not meant to have him in my twenties…I knew too little about myself; I know that my thirties was my coming of age story and now, as I enter forty, I am ready to accept my greatest challenge and deepest joy…raising a child.
It’s ironic that I write this on my fortieth birthday. Writing is a passion I have had since fourth grade, and up until now, I have written all professional documents being sent to superintendents of schools, staffs and parents. For the past two decades, I have dedicated my love of the innocence of children to my fulltime job, first as a grade-one teacher, then as an elementary school principal. I would embarrassingly smile as a parent asked, “Do you have children?” “No,” I’d shake my head. “Then you have no idea how I feel,” a parent would respond. A preposterous statement I often thought to myself. If they knew how much I empathized with them, with their children, they would feel differently. Now, only four months into motherhood, I realize that no matter how much I empathized, I could never truly understand the ultimate unconditional desire one has to protect their child…from everything. I put my heart and soul into my job, each moment of every day for every child. But it could never be what a mother’s feelings and needs entail.
Even my own mother would say, “You’ll never truly understand until you’re a mother.” That statement brought rolling eyes and thoughts of ‘whatever,’ but never a truer statement. The worry, the wonders, and the what-ifs…sometimes it feels too much to truly unwrap or to understand. I would never understand unless I was given this precious gift to learn from, and I do believe that I will learn more from my son than he could ever learn from me.
Despite the past two decades bringing fast paced, unnerving rides, the past four months have trumped those days. I’m remarkably blessed to now be a stay at home mom. I continually remind myself that there is a difference between perfection and excellence. Perfection is driven from fear, but excellence is driven from passion. I don’t want to be a perfect mom, and I don’t want a perfect son. I believe that I wouldn’t have known that ten or twenty years ago. I would have wanted to be perfect.
Dana M. Spincola became a mom later in life following a later in life marriage. At 39, she and her husband welcomed their first son into their lives. She immediately knew that she would become a SAHM, a job she has looked forward to for a lifetime. After a few weeks of being home, she resigned her tenure position as an elementary school principal and is loving her new full-time job as a mom. Dana began teaching almost two decades ago as a first grade teacher and has been a school administrator for the past ten years as both an Assistant principal, and most recently as a principal in a K-2 building. Her greatest passion (besides her new son) is writing. She holds a BA in English/Writing; an MA in Community Health Education (Family Life, Marriage and Human Sexuality); and a MS in Elementary Education. She looks forward to dedicating more time to writing now that she is home, and feels quite blessed to be able to be a SAHM. She currently resides on Long Island with her husband and son.
Dana is looking forward to writing weekly for the MotherhoodLater.com blog to share her own life lessons with school aged children from a principal perspective; as well as sharing her own journey in becoming pregnant, and dedicating time to the adoption process. She hopes to write a coming of age story for young adults, loosely based on her own life’s experiences.