And Then You Were Five…

I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful Sunday and also happened to be Father’s Day. We had just gotten out of church and were headed to my parents for a BBQ when I felt some unexpected leaking. I called the doctor and was told to come into the hospital. I had a feeling that morning you might be born today so we brought our packed bags with us. Your daddy was giddy with joy about the thought of you being born on his first Father’s Day.

My birth plan went out the window when I had to be induced. As much as that pained me, I just wanted to make sure you were okay. We didn’t know if you would be a boy or girl but something in my heart told me you would be my Emma Grace, and you were. Twenty-seven hours later (and unfortunately not on Father’s Day), you came into this world. You were everything I hoped for and more. You were perfect. You are perfect.

I cannot believe how much you’ve grown in these past five years. In the blink of an eye you went from my sweet baby sleeping in my arms to my big girl sleeping in her own bed. You are the joy and sunshine in my life. Your personality is one of a kind and always brings a smile to my face, even when you’re a little bit sassy.

I cannot put into words the love I have for you. All I can say is thank you for making me a mom and I feel so blessed to be yours. Happy birthday my sweet baby girl.

If You Remember One Thing, Remember You Are Resilient

You are loved. Oh my sweet child how you are loved. You are loved beyond words, beyond being and beyond measure. My love for you is limitless, boundless and endless. It’s something I cannot contain and never want to. It gives me purpose. And one day if and when you question love, please look up child, because you are so loved by Him, and it is His love that will carry you through. I hope my love carries you through too.

You are strong. Oh my sweet child how you are strong. You are stronger than you think you are. You have strength you don’t even know yet exists. Your strength makes you a fighter. And not in the physical way, but the mental way. The way that allows you persevere without fists, but with fortitude. And in moments when you don’t believe you have any strength left, you will find it and you will push through.

But if you remember one thing, please remember you are resilient. Oh my sweet child you are so resilient. And because of this, you will not fight adversity, you will embrace it. You will be empowered not enslaved. You will let go of fear and anxiety for trust and acceptance. You will persevere. You will flourish. You will grow in ways you didn’t expect and achieve in ways you never thought possible.

This world can and maybe one day even will break your heart. It will tempt your weaknesses. It will question your morals and try to shake your faith. It will rollercoaster you with ups and downs. It will push and pull you. It will make you feel alone. It will turn its back on you. But you are resilient. Oh my sweet child you are so resilient.

So in times of trouble, do not fear and do not despair. Do not give up and do not give in. Trust in the Lord. Trust in my words. You are loved. You are strong. You are resilient.

This Too Shall Pass

I’m currently laying on my son’s floor. I’m making sure he’s fully asleep before I ninja crawl out of his room and pray he doesn’t wake up and the vicious cycle begins again.

This too shall pass.

My son has regressed with sleep. I’m not sure what happened or why but it did. He went from being the best napper and sleeper to one that now fights naps and can wake up anywhere from 4-5 times a night. Some night it feels like he’s a newborn….11pm, midnight, 2am, 4am and the dreadful up for the day at 5am. Interrupted sleep is something I cannot handle. I don’t believe most people can. Little or no sleep can make any sane person go insane. I’m barely functioning the next day let alone having any patience for my kids who deserve it, because they do, even in their most frustrating moments.

This too shall pass.

I try my best. I try my hardest for them to be a calm, non-yelling mom. I try to give them all of me when I so desperately want a break. I try to manage my son who can’t sit still, only seems to have one volume (LOUD) and likes to hit and bite for no reason (the first one usually out of anger and the second out of excitement). I try to be patient with my daughter and her emotions which can be very exaggerated and at times very draining. I try to give them both attention while refereeing their fights throughout the day. I try to be a great mom. I try.

This too shall pass.

These are the phases I’m in. The days are long. The needs seem endless. They are not perfect. I am so far from it. They are little and learning how to figure out this big world they live in. They get frustrated. So do I. They get upset. So do I. They yell out of anger. So do I. They cry. So do I. There are many emotions in our house throughout the day. We try to work through them the best we can.

This too shall pass.

I question my skills. Am I well equipped to be a mother? Am I making the right choices? Am I doing enough? Heck, am I enough? I read books and articles and whatever I can in the little free time I have. I am giving it my all to give them more and to be more so that one day, they have more. But then there are days that feel like a loss. They feel like a big, fat F. They feel like I’m failing. I can’t get it together. They can’t stop fighting. My husband and I can’t agree on things (parenting and otherwise). I can’t control my own emotions. I feel my parenting skills diving deep down into somewhere between disappointing and disastrous.

This too shall pass.

I tell myself ‘this too shall pass’. I try not to cry as my son wakes up again because I still haven’t been able to fall back asleep. I fight the depression I sometimes fall into as the days blend together, same routine after routine. I dream of going on vacation and winning a million dollars as if those things would make life easier. I practically dream for a full nights rest. I pray for patience. I pray for guidance. I pray for strength. I pray to get me through moments I cannot handle or am too tired to. I pray a lot.

This too shall pass.

Motherhood and staying home as a mom is not easy. It’s wonderful and a blessing but also very challenging. And just like anything in life, there are good days and there are bad. There are great moments and crushing ones. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love my kids more than words can say. But this phase is hard. It’s really hard. However, this too shall pass.

Spread Your Wings Baby Girl

Soon you will be five. And I know what that means. I’ve known it since the day you started three-year-old preschool. You will be going to Kindergarten next year. You won’t be my baby girl anymore. And even though in my heart you’ll always be my baby girl, I know it’s time for you to spread your wings. It’s time for you to fly.

I was blessed to have the time I did with you. The time I got to be home and watch you grow…help you grow. I remember the first time you smiled at me in your swing, the first time you said I love you mommy, the first time you walked, how cute your voice was when you made all your animal sounds and all the other firsts I was blessed to witness. You are such a joy in my life.

My heart is torn thinking about the next year. I’m so proud of you and how incredibly smart you are. I’m proud of your kindness and respect for others. I know you’re going to be amazing. But I will miss you. Oh how I will miss you. I will miss spending my days with you. I will think about all the incredible things you’re doing and learning, but also wishing you were still small and here with me, wishing I could stop time and sometimes wishing I could keep you little forever.

But it’s time. It’s time for you to fly. It’s time for you to begin your journey in this world. It’s time for you to flourish. I only want the best for you. I’ll always only want the best for you, even if at times you don’t see it or maybe even believe it. So for now, I will cherish the months I have left. I will soak up every ounce of you. I will hug you and kiss you and tell you I love you a thousand times. I will hold our time together close to my heart and thank God (and my husband) for the ability to spend the time I did with you. My heart will always prevent me from letting go, but my strength in the incredible person you are, will. I love you baby girl, now spread those wings and fly.

All the Things They Don’t Tell You…

Being a mom is wonderful. It’s the most beautiful part of my life. It has completed me in words I cannot express. It’s a blessing that I get every day…to be a mom. My children are little pieces of me and big pieces of them. They are miracles from God, and they are mine.

Whether pink or blue, you prepare for these little ones. You imagine what they’ll look like and one day what they’ll sound like (not the screaming part). You’ll enjoy pregnancy, or maybe you won’t. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy your first one a little too much and by trimester three you’ll be eating an ice cream cone a day! But either way, the first time you hear your child’s heartbeat or feel that first kick, it changes you. In some ways, it’s a reality check…this is really happening…you’re having a baby. You’ll plan, you’ll read, you’ll nest and you will do everything you can to prepare for your little one, except nothing can really prepare you. You truly don’t understand the love your heart can feel until you hold your baby for the first time.

But what they don’t tell you is how difficult it is. Not just the labor, which if you’re a mom reading this, whoa, the labor. In an instance, you’re a parent. You have to figure out how to take care of this tiny human with a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants mentality (something a type A person like me cannot do easily if at all!). You also have to co-parent. And that is no easy task. If you thought your marriage was tested your first year (we did not live together prior to marriage so ours definitely was!), then times that by 100, and that’s your first year as parents. Your marriage is different. You’re a family now and that inevitably changes things. You’re trying to manage your new roles separately and together. As a new mom, you might feel a little resentful for how much your life changes versus your spouse. You will feel a lot of things. Your emotions may get a little out of whack for a while. You might get postpartum immediately (like I did), later on or not at all. As a couple, you’ll fumble through the first year. You’ll argue. You’ll question your decisions. You’ll struggle. But you’ll get through it together. And by the time you’re ready for a second child (or not), now you’ll know what to expect.

No one can prepare you for breastfeeding. It will either be easy or difficult. Mine was difficult. I cried. My daughter cried. I never made enough milk. I had a ton of mom guilt so I didn’t want to give it up but I had to. I hated it. It gave me so much anxiety and I felt like a failure because it wasn’t working. No one can prepare you for all the failures you’ll feel. And they hurt. They hurt deep. Because the expectations of mothers are insane. They are flat out unattainable. Breastfeed until your child is one, throw the perfect first birthday party, always look put together, get the best family photos, perfectly balance work being a mom and wife, figure out your stance of vaccinations, food and a million other decisions you have to make on a daily basis and of course, don’t screw any of them up, keep up with social media and posting how ‘amazing’ your life is and that’s just the beginning. Then as the kids get older you get to deal with school drama, homework, bullying, sports and extracurricular activities, your child’s clear independence from you, who your kids friends are, will they have cell phones and social media accounts and another slew of decisions you don’t know how to make because again, no one can prepare you for them.

Motherhood is not easy. It’s tested me in ways I never thought possible. It’s challenged me, questioned me, frustrated me, enraged me, on some days defeated me and on most days, taken all of me. But it also has encouraged me, bettered me, enlightened me, strengthened me and shown me what unconditional love really is. And that’s something no one can prepare you for either. That’s the joy of motherhood. There will be ups and there will be downs. There will be little joys and big disappointments. There will tears, lots and lots of tears (kids and you!). But there will be so much love. And that love is what will fuel you. It’s what makes you a compassionate, protective mama bear. That love will never stop. It will never end. And that is the blessing of motherhood no one can prepare you for. A love like no other. The love only given as a mother.