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.

Can I Be Honest?

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Can I be honest for a second? I mean, really honest. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way or maybe I’m not. I’m sure it’s been said before but not from my mouth so now I will just be honest and say it.

Staying home is tough. And not that I never thought it wasn’t. I commend all the women that stay home to take care of their children. This is not an easy task, no way, no how. In fact, I believe being a mom is the hardest job in the world and I will go to battle with anyone on that.

I think in my mind I saw being home as a lot different than it is. I would have more free time, do more fun things, finish more projects and keep a cleaner house. EH, WRONG! I don’t have more free time, in fact, I’m wondering where all my time is going. Between raising my daughter and running a business, I barely have time to take care of myself. That’s one thing I miss about work, it forced me to actually shower and get ready. Not saying now that I don’t shower but there are some days where I say to myself, ‘did I shower today?’ or keep pajamas on the entire day because at 5pm it’s kind of like what’s the point in changing now. I don’t do more fun things because there just isn’t time! I want to, I keep telling myself I’ll take Emma here or do this but it just doesn’t end up working out. Oh, and all those projects I had for myself…yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m lucky if I get a load of laundry down without forgetting I did laundry only to find myself rewashing and rewashing. I think having a cleaner house was more of a ‘goal’ but let’s be honest, kids and clean don’t go together. They’re like water and vinegar. And granted, I only have one, but she’s a tornado when she wants to be with her toys!

So, I’ll be honest in saying I’m struggling a little. Ok, a lot. I’m struggling a lot. Some days are great, they really are. Like today for instance, when my almost two-year-old put on her own shoes on the right feet and velcroed them with no help! That’s kind of a big deal in my book. It was pretty awesome to see. But there are a lot of days where I’m wondering what am I doing with my life, did I make a mistake by staying home, am I meant to be a stay-at-home mom and then I really question…how can I do this with another baby on the way (spoiler if you didn’t already know I was pregnant!) and a business?!

Working wasn’t easy. Staying at home isn’t easy. Staying at home and working isn’t easy. There is no ‘easy’ balance to life.

So for any of you moms struggling out there, I feel you. I feel you when you don’t have time to brush your hair, forget to brush your teeth, go grocery shopping in pajamas, eat you child’s puffs in the car because you’re starving, forget about laundry you started (more than once!), can’t remember what day of the week it is (this one is pretty bad for me lol), cry just because, pour yourself a glass of wine at noon or say ‘f it all’ and take a nap when your child does because it’s just been that kind of day. I FEEL YOU. No one said this job was easy, but it’s pretty awesome to think that you made these tiny little humans you’re raising. You made them and you birthed them. 

I feel blessed because I can stay home and that is something I will never regret. Despite the days where I struggle, I’m lucky I have this time with her. All moms are awesome, never forget that, especially if you’re one! 

 

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.

Interested in my business? Check me out here:

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Why I’m a Damn Good Mom

We_Can_Do_It!.jpgAs a mom, how many times a day do you question what you’re doing? Ten? Fifteen? A million?

I feel like I question everything. I am constantly wondering, worrying and driving myself crazy with concern over my parenting skills. And why wouldn’t I? I’m molding a child that I hope and pray will one day grow up to be a good human being. And it’s hard to be good these days. It really is. 

I mean who can our kids look up to anymore? Miley Cyrus? The Kardashians? Pathetic. No thank you. Well, I guess that leaves us as parents so I pretty much need to have my shit together 24/7, which I don’t. And that’s the thing about being a role model, no one is perfect, however these people we call ‘celebrities’ are so insecure they’re actually vain and completely devoid of being anything real so I’ll gladly step up to the plate. At least I can always teach my child what not to be. Sorry if I sound judgy, it’s just hard for me to take people like that serious.

So back to why I’m a damn good mom. Well, most of the time I feel like I’m not. I don’t know what I’m doing. Heck, I’ve never done this before! There is no manual. There is no barometer or scale to rate me. The only way I’ll know is once my child or God willing, children, are grown up. I’ll know then by the person they turn out to be. So for the next 30 years I get to worry about that!

But seriously, moms don’t give themselves enough credit. We think we aren’t doing enough when we are. We are because we care. We care so much that we would literally do anything for our children and that’s what makes us damn good moms. You read and hear about story after story of child abuse and neglect and just downright bad parenting and it’s a reality check that hey, guess what, you’re an awesome mom! Sadly it shouldn’t be that way, but unfortunately that’s how the world works. Do you know that every 10 seconds a child is abused or raped (and that’s only reported incidents)? Think about that. It’s hard to, I know. It disgusts me. Mostly, it makes me cry so I honestly try not to think about it. There are parents in the world who having a dying child and would do anything to save him/her and we have this shit going on in the world.

I was talking to a girlfriend on New Years Eve about being a good parent and how do I know and she said to me, “You know what? When you go first take your child to Kindergarten or Preschool or any sort of school and you see other moms who don’t care, I mean literally do not give a shit about their kids, you know you’re a good mom and you’re doing a damn good job. And that’s sad to say to make such a comparison but it really opens your eyes to how much you do. ” And she wasn’t saying this to boast about what a great mom she is or how other moms aren’t as great, but went to say that the fact I care and worry so much about being a good mom means I am a good one.

I never knew what a tough job this would be. What a selfless, all-giving, all encompassing job I would be taking on, but you know what, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There is nothing in this world that you could offer me to replace my daughter. There is no greater joy. This is it. This honestly is the most joy I’ve ever had because despite all my days of doubt and fear and stress and anxiety, I get this little bundle of joy. I get her. I get to watch her grow and learn and change and become independent and confident and remarkable! I get to do that! You get to do that! I will quote my favorite book I read to my daughter almost every day:

So whenever you doubt just how special you are
and you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
listen for the geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)

Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)

Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely… it’s whispering your name again!)

If the moon stays up until morning one day,
or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
it’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…

For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
has the world ever known a you, my friend,
and it never will, not ever again…

Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn
on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.

~Nancy Tillman, On The Night You Were Born

This is what we feel for our children. This is what love is. And this is why you are a damn good mom.

 

Why I Will Always Love My Mom

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My mom and I are a lot a like. That goes for the good and the bad. Some of the good: we are passionate, caring and loving. We go out of our way for others. We are faithful, honest and giving. We are creative! We love deeply. We never give up. Some of the bad: we are perfectionists, which can cause us to become our own worst critic, we are controlling, which can be good at times but usually it tends to bite us in the butt and we speak what’s on our mind, sometimes too honestly.

Because we are so similar, we’ve had our share of disagreements over the years. As she is now Emma’s primary caretaker, I feel that’s been the biggest struggle for us. It’s not about how much she loves my daughter (which is immeasurable) or her ability to take care of her (she goes above and beyond), but about me being her mom and wanting things the way I want them. It’s hard for me to let go of control, and I think the same goes for her. But our common ground is how much we truly love Emma.

The other day I stayed at my mom’s after work and we had dinner together. We talked about our relationship and how it’s been different. Our conversations revolve primarily around Emma and we don’t get to talk the way we used to. Sometimes I wonder if someone else watched her would our relationship had never changed. However, I am so blessed to have her do what she does three days a week and the bond between them is incredible. Emma loves her MEMA!

There was a moment when my mom was hugging Emma. She told me she reminds her so much of me when I was little. She said she loves us both so much and she started to cry. She told me that it goes by so fast and one day I’ll know when Emma has a baby and she is no longer around (to me, that world doesn’t exist because my mom is going to live forever!). We hugged and shortly after I took Emma home. I thought about what she said..the fact that she now has two grown daughters and one of them has a baby. The surreal experience she feels holding Emma and recalling the moments she held me. I cried my whole ride home thinking about it…thinking about how she must feel and although its primarily love and joy, the little heartache that is there knowing that I am no longer her little baby anymore.

I never want Emma to grow up. I want her to be little forever. It sounds silly but I do. I love her small and I can’t imagine her as a teenager let alone and adult. So what my mom said really hit me. It really made me stop and think. Sure, we can disagree or even get on each others nerves, but when it comes down to it, I will always love my mom. I will always love her for everything she’s done for me and everything she’s given me. For the endless amounts of unconditional love and support, for never giving up on me in my most difficult moments and for all the things she’s done for me over the years that no thank you could ever even express my gratitude. And now, for the role she’s taken on with her granddaughter. There is no one I trust more to take care of her. There is no one that can ever compare.

When you become a mother, you truly understand everything your own mother has said to you over your lifetime. You get ‘when you’re a mother you’ll understand’ or ‘I’m doing this because I’m your mom and I love you’. You get it. You really, really get it because you have that same love for your child. I will always love my mom for the person she is and the mother I hope to one day become. I can’t thank her enough, but I can sure try. Thanks mom for doing what you do, you mean the world to me.