And no, I don’t mean my love of beads this time. I mean my love for my two children, although beads do (obviously) play into it. You see, I’m a bit of a sucker for beads that have anything to do with motherhood. I knew that I would love my kids, but I never expected to identify so strongly as a mother and to want to reflect that through things like my bracelets.
One of the first Trollbeads that I purchased (and, in fact, my first Trollbeads silver) was the Baby bead. Although it’s probably not one of the most popular beads, I love it completely! Sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do to soothe a young child and I think this bead reflects those moments and that feeling of frustration and helplessness. I’m not sure if this bead best represents the baby or the parent in those moments! It’s a bit larger than my other silvers and since I like balance, I don’t tend to incorporate it into many bracelets and instead wear it on its own, particularly after a rough night with one of the kids ;) I look at it as a humorous way to represent my kids and it always brings a smile to my face.
One of my next purchases was the Cherub, which I think of as the Yin to the Baby‘s Yang: the screaming child transformed into an angelic sprite. I wanted this bead because it really reminded me of the expression that my youngest gave me when she was up for hours on end in the middle of the night, happy as a lark, but as awake as an owl. I prefer beads that are upright on a bracelet so this was bought for and has only ever been used on a necklace, but it is well suited for that purpose and gets quite a bit of wear.
The Maternity bead was also an early purchase and is a regular staple on my bracelets, both for its meaning and also because it is a good size and shape to balance some of my other beads. My only complaint would be that it tends to roll so that you more often see the back rather than the front, but since I’m often adjusting my bracelets anyway as they twist on my wrist, one more adjustment doesn’t bother me that much.
The Transition Woman bead I bought because of its association with motherhood, but I more often use it because on first glance it has a vague shape and can blend into a bracelet. I haven’t actually figured out all five stages that are supposed to be represented in this bead! More than once I’ve worn a combination for a full day, and then realized that the Transition Woman bead is upside down on the chain.
The Transformation bead, although not specifically targeting motherhood, is one that I bought with motherhood in mind and it has the bonus of having filled many roles in my bracelets. I was a bit put off by the slightly larger size when the bead first arrived, thinking that it would be hard to find beads that would echo the shape and size, but it has turned out to be very versatile and not as hard to match as I had feared.
I have others that I wouldn’t have immediately pegged as related to family, but that have an association according to Trollbeads. For example, the Mushrooms Family bead from the World Tour Baltic States represents family and having someone to lean on, but I bought it because it went well with my Woodland-themed bracelet.
There are also several beads that I’ve considered purchasing as nods to motherhood, but that I haven’t for one reason or another. The Gemini bead, with its two figural representations, has crossed my mind several times since I have two children, but I have yet to see it in person so other beads seem to always creep ahead of it on my list. And although it is a strange association, I have considered getting the silver Pumpkin bead because that is one of the nicknames that I have for my children. The fact that it is a jack-o-lantern, and not an unadorned pumpkin, is one of the reason that I haven’t gotten it yet. If I could find a variation with more red in it, I think I would get the retired glass Pumpkin bead though. Since that one has been retired for two years now, I may have to search a bit harder to find the shade that I want.
Of course, there are many others that represent family or kids, but that don’t resonate with me personally and so they are not part of my collection. I enjoy the Three Siblings bead, but as I only have two children its meaning doesn’t quite fit. I’m past needing the Expectation bead and I’m still many, many years away from the Grandma bead (and both I find a bit too similar to the Motherhood bead). The Family bead and Baby Buggy (and the somewhat similar retired Baby Carriage) don’t appeal to my personal taste, nor do the Penguin & Baby, Polar Bear & Baby, and Kangaroo with Joey.
What I particularly enjoy about the beads that I have is that they allow me to express all aspects of being a mother, good and bad (with an emphasis on the good, of course ;)) and in ways that aren’t always in-your-face.