The Supermom: Casey Mooney
January 15, 2011
My long definition of a Supermom: A mother who does her job well and realizes she’s incredibly blessed despite the lack of support, no money, too much work, guilt, lost career, no partner, fading friendships, depression, unhappy marriage, no sex, exhaustion, illness, daycare is raising my child, and the list goes on and on. Being a good mom is harder than hard, but the Supermom prevails, because she knows every single second of the hard equals a love greater than words.
My short definition of a Supermom: Casey Mooney…
where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born at Camp Pendleton when my dad was in the Marines, but raised just outside of Washington, D.C. in a town called Rockville (of R.E.M.’s “Don’t go back to Rockville” fame). After bouncing between L.A., New York and San Francisco, I have settled in sunny, southern California. For now.
what do you do?
For work, I run the Project Management and Print Services departments of an incredibly creative Advertising Agency.
what is unique about you and your family?
I waited many, many years for Mr. Right and he never showed up. If he actually exists, he has rotten timing. I did not want to give up on my lifelong dream of motherhood just because I hadn’t met the right man, so I decided to go it alone. It took a few years, and the process is definitely not for the faint of heart, but with the help of modern science, I am now a single mother of two beautiful 11-month-old babies.
what’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
Fear. This is an incredibly unique kind of love. I have never been so fully responsible for anyone else’s well being. I’m going to have to teach them to do things like ride bicycles and swim in the ocean when I secretly want to wrap them in bubble wrap and keep them snuggled by my sides. The balance between keeping them safe and encouraging them to fly is a tight rope I will walk for the rest of my life. Fortunately the fear is far outweighed by wonder. I realized very quickly that these little people were born with very distinct personalities. Every day they reveal more of themselves to me. Like today, the Bear (who has already learned how to pull himself up and stand with the help of a couch or a crib rail) started experimenting with letting go with both hands and trying to stay balanced. The look of pride on his face when he’d manage to stand, unassisted, for just a few seconds was one of the best things I’ve ever seen. And things like this happen every day. So the recurring nightmares about things like babies playing with dry cleaning bags are a small price to pay.
did you love pregnancy, or not so much? be honest. why?
I truly loved being pregnant. When the journey started, I was shooting hormones in my ass and thinking “this could go really wrong.” Was I going to expand to enormous proportions? Was I going to be stuck on bed rest? It was lucky. I felt good enough to work until the week of my delivery. At times I was exhausted and I can’t say I loved every single minute but I have people in my life who really wanted to do what I was doing, but couldn’t. I tried to be very mindful of that and to fully appreciate the experience in their honor. Feeling babies move inside you is like having front row seats to a miracle. Pregnancy also changed how I see myself. My body built these two magical creatures. I am so grateful for that gift that I now forgive it for all of its imperfections….even my “man arms.”
if you could have it your way, how would things change?
the sky is the limit. I would be financially set for life, so I wouldn’t have to worry about providing for my family. I would rearrange the country so my friends and family were all in close proximity so my children could experience all of their magic. My children would have a loving father who is a man of great character.
whether you know it, or not, YOU inspire others. who are some mothers who inspire you?
I was blessed with a wonderful mother. She was strong and smart and beautiful and extremely funny. She loved each of her children equally and uniquely and unconditionally. If I can be half the mother she was, I will be doing okay. I am hyperaware of the challenges that will come with raising children without a father. My friend Lisa was a single parent under much different circumstances. Her son Nicholas is in college now and is an incredibly confident, bright, personable young man. Knowing what a good man Lisa raised on her own gives me faith that I can do this. My circle of closest friends is full of great moms. Over the years I have been watching and learning from them. I borrow their wisdom all of the time. I have often said to my closest friends that the best parts of me are things that I learned from them. The same thing can be said about the way I am trying to mother.
what was happening at the dinner table when you were a kid?
We sat down to dinner together every night. We were a family of six. I am the second of four children. We are the embodiment of the land of misfit toys, so dinner was never boring. We’d talk about how our days went and, some nights, Dad would pull out a legal pad and quiz us. One night, we’d name the 50 states and the next night we’d have to name the state capitols. Or we’d name the presidents followed by a night of naming the first ladies. Sometimes it was fun, other times it was like a scene from The Great Santini.
what’s happening at the dinner table these days?
Well, Stink-Eye and Shorty are still in high chairs. There’s quite a lot of spitting, some throwing, and if the food doesn’t come fast enough…a few tears. I look forward to the day that they are able to feed themselves and tell me all about their days.
whether it’s the rude passenger on the plane, or a family member with unsolicited advice, what do have to say to those who judge?
I recognize that there are a lot of people who probably frown upon a single woman in her mid forties using IVF to start a family. I did not make this decision lightly. I have the unwavering support of all of the people who truly matter to me, so I don’t really have any response for those who judge me. I think that trying to please everyone is wasted energy and I prefer to save my energy for the two sparkly new humans in my care. Strangers do often ask me some pretty odd questions and I try to respond with equally odd answers. This amuses me.
you are taking a little “me” time. what will you do?
again, the sky is the limit. I’d get away somewhere with friends and babies. Spending time with my friends is good for my soul. We’ve shared great times in many fabulous places, but are just as happy camping out in a good friend’s backyard, so the place isn’t as important to me as the company.
what is your favorite piece of jewelry?
My mom gave me the tie pin she used to wear in jumping competitions. She was an accomplished equestrienne and it was part of her outfit. I asked for it for Christmas several years ago and she put it in my stocking. It is one of my favorite treasures.
what do you collect?
I collect so many things: mid century pottery, antique, politically themed Jim Beam Whisky decanters, glass hands, vintage cameras, and more. There are too many to have in my house at once, so some are in boxes in the garage, waiting for their turn in the house. My absolute favorite is my collection of carved wooden Madonnas. The Virgin Mary is one of my favorite figures in Catholicism. She has nothing to do with judgement or damnation…she’s all about nurturing and love.