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.

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.

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

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.