You Made Me a Mom

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Three years ago you made me a mom. I never thought time could go by so fast. There was a time when you were so dependent on me. I cradled you in my arms, you fell asleep on my chest, you cooed and gave me that first smile. You began walking ten days before your first birthday and now here you are, little miss independent, running and jumping, peeing in the potty and telling me, ‘look mom, I did it all by myself and I didn’t even need you’ which while I was so proud, I also felt my heart break a little.

You are doing so much on your own. You are so incredibly smart that you amaze your father and I each and every day. You make us laugh. Your little personality and gentle sweetness make you such a special little girl. I never thought your birthdays would be so hard on me, but they just remind me that you’re getting older, you’re constantly growing and changes will only continue. You’ll eventually go to school, make friends, maybe play sports or an instrument or dance or all…you’ll come across great challenges and great accomplishments, your first crush and first heartbreak and all the things that make growing up so exciting but also a little scary.

But one thing that will never change is that you made me a mom. I will forever be your mother and I will love you with every ounce of me. I love you into the depths of my soul. I love you with a love that only a mother understands. So as you turn another year older, I will try not to cry too hard as I remember the little one you used to be. You will always be my baby girl and you will always be the reason I am so blessed that God made you my daughter and me your mom. This song says it all and every year as your birthday draws near, I listen to it and smile (but mostly cry). You made me a mom and for that, I am forever grateful.

Why Kids Are Mean

Let’s face it, we hear the saying all the time “kids are mean” or “kids are cruel”. But why is that? Has anyone ever stopped to think about it? We say it like we condone it, like it’s okay. But it’s not…it’s not okay. And it’s time someone spoke up. 

Why are kids mean? Because their parents are mean. Because their siblings are mean (who also got it from their parents). This shouldn’t be shocking to anyone. It’s just never talked about. Ever seen Mean Girls? Well they grow up and eventually become mean adults and mean parents. And it’s not just women. Men are mean too.

I know, I get it. Parenting is tough. I struggle daily with it. But our children are sponges and if we don’t stop to think how we’re acting or what we’re saying then we shouldn’t be surprised when we see them doing it. A month or so ago my husband asked my daughter to come help him change her brother’s diaper. She told him no so he asked her again trying to coax her a little this time. She looked at him and said, “Daddy, I can’t do everything”. I couldn’t even keep it together. I thought it was the funniest thing ever. Later I sat and thought about it. She’s heard me say this to my husband and she’s picked up on it. At that point, it no longer was funny but actually frightening. 

If we yell at our children they are going to learn that yelling is okay. Maybe I’m getting an eye roll now but hear me out. I’ve yelled. And now I watch my daughter yell. She yells when she’s mad because she’s seen me do the same thing. It breaks my heart. Because I didn’t and don’t always have self control in some moments, my daughter has now learned when she’s mad she can yell because I have. 

What are we teaching our children? Are we really thinking about the things we say in front of them? Do we know when we think they’re not listening or can’t understand they actually are and really do? 

Bullies don’t create themselves. Mean girls don’t just wake up mean. It’s behavioral. It’s a learned behavior. And it starts at home. 

I’m tired of the excuses or the lies. “Oh my child isn’t mean.” Denial. Get out of denial! You don’t think your child is mean because you yourself don’t know you’re mean! Self awareness is crucial.

Don’t confuse me here, I understand about discipline but I also understand there are better ways to do it. I’ll be the first to admit my flaws, but that doesn’t mean I’m not trying like crazy to be better. We all must be better. We must be better parents for our children. We must be better for our future. 

I want to stop the vicious cycle. I want to stop the mean parents and the mean kids. ‘Love thy neighbor’ is one of the Commandments for a reason.

If you’re a parent, I hope you really stop and think how you act in front of your children and the things you say. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes, but let’s try to teach our children to love and never hate, to accept and never judge, to speak kindly and respect one another. But most of all, let’s show them. To see change, we need to be the change. 

For My Son…

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It’s crazy how much I love you. Every ounce of me just bursts for you. I cried so hard the day we found out you were you. I had a feeling…that mama feeling…and I just knew you were going to be a boy. That, and well God told me, but that’s a whole other conversation:).

You came into this world just perfect and my heart will never be the same. There is something about having a son that no one can really explain to you. It’s so much different from having a daughter. Both are equally joyous, exciting and sometimes terrifying, but the raising of two different genders will definitely be…different.

Yes, I will raise you with faith. I will raise you to honor and praise God above all things. I will raise you to not just know Him, but truly love Him. ‘It’s much easier for a woman to express these feelings than a man’ some would argue, but I don’t believe that, and I’m not going to teach you that either. I’m going to teach you that it’s okay to have feelings and to share them. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be vulnerable. And it’s okay to carry these feelings with you throughout your life.

I will teach you how to respect a woman. I hope you will see that from how your father respects me. We will both teach you about love. Although we cannot teach you how to love, we will show you. And one day, when you find a woman you want to marry, you will love and respect her just the same, if not more.

I will tell you about how the world has changed since I was little. I will tell you that morals haven’t. I will tell you how hard that will be to understand in such a casual and ‘socially acceptable’ society.

I pray for a better world for you and your sister. I pray that bullying comes to a halt and parents take responsibility for their kids and their actions. I pray that teachers get the respect they deserve and used to once have when I was young. I pray that morals make their way back into society and onto television versus what we have now. I pray that prayer continues to keep us together. I pray that you and your sister stay strong in your faith and never get mad at God for things that will happen in your lives because it’s not God’s fault. God does not cause pain and hurt, evil does. So many people will never understand that.

Your smile and laugh light up a room. You are truly such an incredible joy and blessing in my life. Seven months has flown by faster than I could have ever imagined. You have already taught me so much about myself. I hope our bond only continues to grow as you get older. I know God has great plans for you my son. I love you more than words could ever say. IMG_2818

It’s Not ‘Just a Helmet’

When I found out my son needed a helmet for his flat head I was devastated. Sounds silly but I was. Wait, what? Yeah ok I see it, but doesn’t that usually correct itself? I guess in some cases they do, but not my son’s. I developed a lot of mom guilt. What if I held him more? What if I never used the rock n’ sleep (information has now come out that this particular product is not good for children to sleep in)? What if, what if, what if?! The questions swirled my mind as I would cry and blame myself for the inevitable: a helmet. 

But it’s just a helmet right? It’s just temporary? Yes and yes. However, no one prepares you for it being more than just that. No one tells you how miserable your child will be in the beginning, how his or her demeanor will change and the adjustment period (which we are still in). No one can explain to you the sadness you feel seeing your child wearing it and knowing they are uncomfortable. No one mentions naps and nighttime sleep with be completely affected.  No one tells you that people will stare. They will look with curiosity or judgement or ‘I feel sorry for you’. No one tells you for a while cuddles will be different, kisses on the head will be extremely limited and your adjustment to it more than your child’s will be challenging and even emotional. No one, unless they have gone through this, can share it and there isn’t much information or research that really provides you with any comfort. 

Yes, it could be so much worse, I understand that. I am thankful this is something that can and will be fixed. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t be hurting. It doesn’t mean that it’s easy. And it definitely doesn’t mean it’s ‘just a helmet’. 

I am thankful we are able to correct this problem now. I am thankful there is something to correct this type of thing. But I also can’t wait for it to be over! If you’ve been here, I’d love to hear your story and ask you some questions 🙂 Thank you (and hugs!) to the few people who have shared their story with me and helped make this transition a little easier for me!

I’m Not Ready


For some much of my life I felt like time stood still. I couldn’t get through situations or circumstances fast enough. I couldn’t move on quick enough. I couldn’t let go fast enough. I couldn’t fast forward to get to all the things I wanted, or at least thought I did.

Now all I want to do is stop time. I want to freeze moments so I can hold on to them a little longer (like this photo of me and my daughter who loved to laugh and hold my face close as a baby).

I want to hold on to these moments because I’m not ready. I’m not ready for my daughter to grow up. I’m not ready to have to tell her all the things of the world and why things are the way that they are. I’m not ready to explain to her that the Internet is a powerful yet very dangerous tool. I’m not ready for her to be exposed to things that she doesn’t need to be, and definitely not at such a young age. I’m not ready for the cyber bullying or bullying in general. I’m not ready to explain to her that she controls her own body and no one is allowed to tell her otherwise. I’m not ready to tell her how she doesn’t need to ‘sext’ a boy, take inappropriate selfies or engage in intercourse before marriage just because society has now deemed them acceptable actions and part of the norm when I know in my heart that they are not. I’m not ready for the arguments about why she needs a phone before she is 16 because times are different from when I was young.

I’m just not ready. I’m not ready for her to see the world as I see it now knowing that as she’s growing up it will be even worse. I’m not ready to explain to her that the morals and values I have much of the world no longer has. I’m not ready to wipe away the tears from the first boy that breaks her heart or friends that hurt her feelings. I’m not ready to watch the innocence fade from her eyes when she realizes the world is not what she had thought or hoped it would be. I’m not ready to tell her that people will intentionally hurt her, disappoint her, let her down and try to break her spirit.

I’m not ready to let her grow up. I’m not ready to lose my little girl. So for now, I will enjoy every moment and as much as I can. I wish time could stand still but it can’t. I just hope as she grows up she will know as I now know (thank you mom) that I’m only doing and saying the things that I will because I love her and want to protect her (even though I know I won’t always be able to). I hope she knows I will always be there for her even when she doesn’t think I am or she doesn’t like the answer I’m giving her. But for now, I’m not ready and thankfully I don’t have to be.

I pray that as she continues to get older, the world changes. I pray that my generation is the change. I pray that we go back to simpler times before phones monopolized all of our time and all of the technology that now consumes every one of us and continues to start earlier and earlier in age. I pray we get back to being able to enjoy the little things in life like nature and family dinners or having a REAL conversation that isn’t over text message. I pray that we restore morals and values in this world and instill them feverishly in our children. I pray we teach kindness and have zero tolerance for bullying, abuse of any form or lack of respect. I pray that the world becomes a place where I look forward to the future and not fear it. I’m not ready for what’s to come, but God I pray it’s better than what we have now.