Can We Just Stop?

Did you ever stop to think about how much you complain? Maybe you’re one of those people who thinks you don’t complain but let’s be honest, you do. We all do. Silently or vocally…we complain. We complain about little things and we complain about big things. Maybe we complain because it’s raining which has ruined our plans for the day or because our kids aren’t listening for the hundredth time today or how frustrated we are in traffic or angry we are with a spouse or a friend. We complain about politics, religion, finances, jobs and pretty much everything under the sun! We complain to friends, to co-workers, to siblings, to friends, to our significant other, to our kids and sometimes even to strangers! I found myself in line at Target one day as I said out loud ‘what is taking so long in this returns line’ which got three other people in line complaining as well.

We should be ashamed. I know I am. And do you know why we should be ashamed? Because complaining does nothing. It’s an instant gratification that fixes nothing. For that second, it feels good, maybe it even feels validated, but in the long run, it does nothing. We can’t change people, who they are or their opinions and we definitely can’t change circumstances. We can try, but that’s about it. And eventually everything works out, doesn’t it? Yes, not always the way we want it to, but it does. And that’s part of life. That’s part of accepting there is a greater plan for us that we have no control over.

I think we need to be more grateful than we are. I say that as a society, not just an individual (but I definitely need to check myself at times). We need to embrace the gifts and blessings we have. We need to hold on to them. We need to cherish them. And this task isn’t easy. This is the hard one. Complaining is the easy one. But once we free ourselves from the negativity, I think we’ll find the little joys. The joys we had as children. The way I watch my son play with pots and pans full of excitement or how happy my daughter is when I lay in bed with her every night as we giggle doing our silly ‘bedtime routines’ or even just falling asleep next to each other. I may not have the perfect life, but I have a lot to be thankful for. My kids are healthy. Sure, they get bumps and bruises more often than I would like, but overall there are no grave issues with regards to their health. That is a HUGE blessing because it can change in the blink of an eye. Ever complain when you’re sick about how miserable you are? I know I have. But eventually you get over the sickness, right? You don’t have cancer. You had a cold. And sometimes we need that over-the-top comparison to realize what we have instead of what we don’t.

So can we just stop? Can we just stop complaining? Probably not. We have too many opinions. We have too many feelings. We have too many outlets and too many platforms to tell everyone how we feel about everything. And maybe we also have too much time. We have too much time to complain and too little time to care, to love, to accept and to enjoy.

Being a mom isn’t easy. I complain daily. I complain multiple times a day. Some days, I have complete meltdowns. I won’t deny this. But I’m trying. Oh I’m trying so dang hard. My mom told me something wonderful today as I complained about being a mom. She said to me, “You are doing a great job. If you keep trying to be the perfect mom you will just exhaust yourself. Then everyone suffers. Trust me.” She is so right! There is no perfect when it comes to parenting. And yes, we can complain about it. We can talk about all the reasons being a mom is so unbelievably difficult. Sometimes, that support is needed. Sometimes we just need to vent it out, cry it out, scream and shout it out and even complain it out. Complaining is natural as imperfect humans, but it doesn’t have to be constant. Let’s try supporting each other the best ways we can. Let’s show compassion and love, forgiveness and acceptance, kindness and goodness. We can make this negative world better, we have to.

 

 

Moms: Let’s Stop Apologizing

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As moms, it’s in our nature to apologize. We apologize for our children’s behavior. We apologize to family, to friends and even to strangers. We are constantly apologizing for what our children are doing. Why? Why are we apologizing? Because our kids are misbehaving? Because we’re embarrassed? Because we feel like it’s the ‘right thing to do’?

Well I say it’s enough! Moms, let’s stop apologizing. I went to Target solo the other day and had a mom apologize to me on the way out. She was with her four children all under the age of 6 and they were taking some time getting out of the store. “I’m sorry,” she said looking exhausted as she tried to hustle them along. “Please, don’t apologize,” I told her and smiled as I waited for them to get through the automatic doors. I know she felt the need to apologize but she didn’t have to, she shouldn’t have to.

We shouldn’t need to constantly apologize for our kids behavior because guess what, they’re kids! They’re going to dawdle, whine, cry, yell, throw fits, run where they shouldn’t, touch things they’re not supposed to and do a lot of things that we can’t always control but THEY ARE KIDS! Don’t get me wrong, I will never condone behavior that warrants apologies because certain behaviors are unacceptable and do require reprimanding (purposely hitting, smacking, biting, etc.). But let’s just stop apologizing for everything else, okay? Let’s stop feeling like we as moms have to be sorry for how our kids act at times because face it, we’ve all been there. Those of us who have children understand. We UNDERSTAND and we ACCEPT. We accept because that’s what we do as moms. We don’t judge. We don’t condemn. And if we do, then shame on us because one day we might be there!

Prior to kids, I was the ‘please don’t be a screaming kid on this flight’, eye roll to the child crying in the restaurant followed quickly with a ‘when will that kid stop crying’ comment, person turning around to see the yelling child in church and scoffer at the kids melting down in any store. Yep, that was me. I was completely unaware of what it took to be a parent and how difficult it can be to travel and do something as simple as going out to eat (especially with a toddler!). I am embarrassed to say I was judgmental. I didn’t understand why kids acted up or why their parents couldn’t get them ‘under control’. Fast forward to life as a parent and now I know. I cringe for my previous ways of thinking. I am a mom now, and I get it. I get how hard it is to keep your children entertained with public places. I get how hard it is when you’re trying to grocery shop and your children are completely losing it because they want to goooooooo, can’t touch anything and are wiggling (and sometimes physically trying!) to get out of the shopping cart! Kids at a young age are not easy, but they are also incredible to watch with their inquisitive minds, constantly learning and exploring this new world.

So moms, let’s unite together and take a stand. Let’s stop apologizing for our kids being kids. Let’s stop apologizing when we feel embarrassed. Let’s stop apologizing when we feel judged or as if everyone is looking at us and our kids. And let’s especially stop apologizing to other moms who get your struggle. We are not perfect. Our kids are not perfect. And it’s OKAY!

Maybe if we all worked a little harder to live in a more accepting and understanding world, it would be easier as parents not to feel like failures so often. We wouldn’t feel so judged and insecure. We wouldn’t get little or large amounts of anxiety going into public places. And for individuals without kids, please know we realize our children may be an inconvenience or even annoyance to you. We get the looks…but we’re just asking to maybe consider a more empathetic approach to our parenting struggles. Because no matter who we are (parents or not), we are all facing our own personal battles each and every day. Spread the love, find the patience and give the acceptance.

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).img_1620

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.

One More Hug

My sister was talking with me the other day about when I go into labor and the plan for her to stay with my daughter Emma. I couldn’t even think about it without almost bursting into tears. I know it sounds silly but I’m not ready to leave her because I know in doing so everything changes. Of course this change is wonderful and a gift from God but I’m still having a difficult time.

It sounds so selfish to say that, it really does. But it’s as honest as I can get. I have so many emotions about another baby coming along and so much love for my baby girl that it’s all becoming a little too much for me (and too real with today being September 1st!).

So, I wrote this poem sobbing imagining that day not to far away when I will hug her one last time. I love you my sweet baby girl!

One more hug

I want to give you one more hug,
Before I say good bye.
Because this is the last hug,
Where it will be just you and I.

I’m going now but will be back soon,
And with me I’ll have someone new.
A baby that will live with us,
A brother just for you!

But as I look at you so grown,
With tears in my eyes.
I know this will be harder for me than you,
Having to say this kind of good bye.

So my darling sweet first daughter,
I give you one last hug good bye.
Our family is growing and that means some changes,
But I still promise moments of just you and I.

I will always cherish,
These first two years we shared together.
From you saying mama to I love you,
My heart is full forever.

And now we’ll make new memories,
With our growing family of four.
And it will be just as special,
If not, even more!

So here I go with one last hug,
I squeeze you tighter than you know.
A part of me doesn’t want to leave,
Or ever let you go.

God has blessed us abundantly,
And I’ll be back to hug you again.
I hope you know how much I love you,
And my love for you will never end.

Why I’m Leaving

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After months of praying, discussing and mostly stressing over, I have made the decision to leave my job. I won’t use the word ‘quit’ because I’m not a quitter. I’ll never be a quitter. It isn’t in my bones to just ‘give up’ on things. I will attribute that to God and my faith. HE keeps me strong when it’s not always easy for me to be. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of ‘I’m quitting, I’m giving up, screw this, forget that (PG version)’ moments. I think we all have…but we’re only human.

So, the decision to leave wasn’t an easy one and of course when telling others that I would be leaving the response that always followed was ‘why?’. It’s such a loaded question that I honestly still don’t know where to begin, but I will try my best to explain it.

I feel very blessed with the life I have. I’m married to an incredible man with whom I share a beautiful daughter that we love and adore. We have a lovely home which I feel happy to come home to no matter where I am. I have a wonderful family who is so supportive and loving and great friends I enjoy spending time with. I am rich in things that money cannot buy and for me, that is enough.

When you’re a mom, at least for me, it’s hard to be away from your child. Even with my child having the best care possible (her Mema!), I missed her so. I still can’t believe how fast this time is going by and my baby will be 2 years old in June. My decision started there. Her. I want to spend time with her. I want to be there for her. I want to be home with her. It was then that I knew despite the amazing flexibility my job had given me and a one-in-a-million boss, nothing was worth my time away from her.

Then came the second…a hobby. A hobby to create, something I’ve always loved doing since I was little. The hobby turned into a little business and over time I hope will be a big one! I had to pursue it. Now was the time. Yes, I’m leaving a steady paycheck for something as inconsistent as the weather, but I had to do it. I had to take that leap. I made  Let’s Get Chalky a business and now my goal is to pursue it passionately!

A baby and a business and a decision to run full force as a mom and small business owner 🙂 It wasn’t an easy decision, not at all, but there are a lot of decisions in life that aren’t. I put my faith in God that HE will handle the rest and I know HE will, however everything is supposed to work out.

So here I am, on my last day of work, reflecting upon my four years spent here and I leave with a smile. I leave knowing that this is the best decision for me and my family. I leave knowing that the future is exciting, unknown and I look forward to all that is to come. I want to thank my amazing family for all of their support and especially all of their help with Emma during this transition period. I want to thank my husband for working so hard each and every day for our family that has allowed for this opportunity to even be possible. But most of all, I want to thank God for blessing me with Emma Grace and showing me my real purpose in life…to be someone’s mom.

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