Why Every Girl Deserves a Sister…

frozen
I love my sister more than anything. I don’t think I could even put into words that amazing relationship that we have. In my eyes, she can do no wrong. I will never judge her. I am very protective of her (she is younger than me). I see all the beauty (inside and out), grace, faith and love that she possesses. I am constantly in awe of her. I admire the person that she is and sometimes wish I could be more like her. She has the ability to look for the positive in every situation (and person). She rarely complains and never gossips. She is one of the most patient people I have ever met. Her faith is so devout, inspiring and beautiful. She is charitable, honorable, trustworthy, beyond generous and my best friend in the whole world.

I truly feel blessed because I know not everyone has a ‘blood sister’. They have best friends that are their sisters. They have cousins that are their sisters. They have co-workers that are their sisters. There’s is a sisterly bond that often exists without a blood relation. Whichever your relationship is, you (hopefully) have a sister (or sisters!) because I believe that every girl deserves one.

Our sisters are our best friends. They are our confidants. They are the ones we go to for advice, to vent to, to cry to, to cry with, to laugh with, to share with, to grow with and to experience life with. They are the ones we tell our innermost secrets to and the ones we know will never judge us, no matter what. They take us as we are. They love us unconditionally…the same way we love them. We may fight, argue, disagree and at times even say hurtful things, but we forgive, we forget, we move on and we let it go.

They’ve seen us at our best and at our worst. They’ve stood by us in some of the most joyful and difficult times in our lives. No matter if we were born with a sister or met at any point in our lives, we have shared in experiences and created memories that will last forever. No distance could ever come between the relationship you have. No amount of time could pass that could alter your communication. At times, you know exactly what one another is thinking. You laugh at inside jokes only the two of your could ever understand. You never worry about being anything other than yourself when you’re together. You always ‘tell it how it is’. With sisters, you are always there for one another…always.

As I think about the future and one day, God willing, having more children I hope that Emma will have a sister. I hope that she will experience the pure love and joy of such a special bond the way that I do. If she doesn’t, I hope that she finds a friend to call her sister, one that she can rely on, trust and love like she is family. Every girl deserves a sister. ***Thank you Steph for being not only the incredible sister that you are but my very best friend.

The Juggling Game

juggling
Whether you decide or must go back to work after maternity leave, it is never easy. You become a juggler. You are figuring out how to work and how to be a mom at the same time along with doing all the other everyday things in your life. The first three months home is an adjustment period filled with no sleep (which truly tests your sanity), figuring out what to do with this new life you’re now responsible for, how to ‘be’ a parent with your spouse or significant other, how to still be a wife/husband/partner with your newly added family member and really just trying to survive each day while the time to return to work adds on a new weighted ball to throw up into the mix.

I had a relatively great pregnancy and despite my long labor, it was all worth it when I heard the doctor say ‘it’s a girl’ (we left the sex to be a surprise!). The first week home felt like the most exhausting and difficult time in my life. I’m a mom, now what the heck do I do and how the heck do I do it? I never felt more insecure and questioned my ability to anything and everything. It’s like someone dropping you off in the middle of the ocean and you trying to find your way to shore with your eyes closed. You don’t know what you’re doing but all you know is that you need to keep your head above water and swim and eventually you’ll get there. Eventually, I will get how to be a parent, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself!

So when it was time for me to return to work (I was lucky enough that my husband and I made the decision I would return part time), I wasn’t ready. How could I leave my three month old? How could I be apart from her for 9 hours a day when she hasn’t left my side since she was born? How could I focus at work when all I’ll be thinking about is how much I miss her, how is she doing, what is she doing, is she adjusting and will she be okay? It became an internal battle filled with guilt for leaving but also a little bit of relief to get a break from motherhood and back into the working world.

My first week back was awful. I cried at least once a day in the office. When someone would ask me about her my eyes would immediately well up and I found myself apologizing and feeling completely silly. However, I feel most people, parents or not, are sympathetic to the situation and understand that it’s hard to leave your child. I was eventually able to focus on work and it did feel good to be back, but a part of me still felt guilty as if I was abandoning my baby. I had to tell myself though that this is life and not many people have the ability to be a stay-at-home mom which I feel is just as difficult (if not more) than a working (at an office) mom. So, I checked in often (probably a little too much!) and told myself it will get easier (along with a lot of supportive mom friends who said the same thing).

And it did, it got easier. Now, I enjoy my time away from my daughter but can’t wait to see her when the day ends. Although my time with her on those days is short lived by the time I get home to when her bedtime routine starts, I cherish each moment. Of course I am completely exhausted starting those days at 5:30am and ending around 10pm when all the clean up is done, diaper bag is packed for the next day and bottles are washed and made but it’s worth it. She is worth it. And even though I still don’t feel like I completely have a grasp on this juggling game, I know time and experience will help me to get there or I’ll just fly by the seat of my pants and hope for the best!

Being a Mom…I Get It.

blogger-image-415620000
I love being a mom, I really, really do. I love watching my daughter grow and I simply adore her…but being a mom is so different than not being one. I didn’t really begin to comprehend it until I had my daughter. In that moment, everything changed forever.

When I was single, I didn’t really ‘relate’ to my friends with kids. When I got married, I didn’t ‘understand’ my friends with kids. It was almost like they lived in a different world. A world of play dates, babbles, baby voices, bath time, birthday parties, Disney, Dora the Explorer, kid friendly trips and so many things I couldn’t wrap my brain around. Maybe it was because I wasn’t ready for kids, or maybe it was because I didn’t have them. We’d catch up (because sometimes we wouldn’t talk for a while), but our conversations would be the craziness in my life (relationships, break ups, new relationships, going out, going on vacation, etc.) vs. the craziness in theirs (having kids, taking care of kids, lack of sleep, more kid stuff). I love them all dearly, always will, but I didn’t understand it.

Well, now I get it. I get how your life completely becomes about your children, and not because there’s nothing else for you to discuss, but because it’s what your lives start to revolve around. People ask about your kids, you share stories, you talk about what they’re doing, how they’re growing, you share pictures, videos and you can’t stop smiling. You’re proud, thankful, grateful, over the moon and madly in love but sometimes you’re also overly tired, stressed out, clueless, paranoid, out of patience and just plain frustrated.

To all my single friends, or even my married friends without kids, I love you, I really, really do. But I don’t think you understand my life now. I don’t think you get it. Maybe you think you do, but honestly, I don’t think you can. I don’t think you can because kids change everything. Kids change your views on the world, how you see yourself, your husband and others with children. You ‘get’ your friends with kids, in fact, you rely on them so much you’d be lost without them. Again, this isn’t to offend any of my friends sans kids, it’s just that I was once there, I was once you and it wasn’t until I wasn’t you that I really saw, understood and felt what all my friends with kids were talking about. I still had great relationships with my friends with kids when I didn’t have them, but now I feel like I have even greater ones.

There are those that will never have kids. Whether it’s by choice or not by choice. And we will still be friends with those individuals because friendships aren’t based on your family status (married, single, married with kids or married without). But those friendships might change, and not intentionally but simply because of where you are in your lives.

Some days I miss my life without Emma. I miss my selfish time, not having someone rely on me 24/7, the ability to sleep in and essentially ‘have a life’. But then I think about her sweet little face and know that she is my life, she’s the light of my life. She’s the second best thing that’s ever happened to me (husband is first!) and I thank God for her every day. Right now, I am a mom, I will always be a mom, and finally, I get it.

Yes, I’m a Working Mom…We All Are.

what-is-a-working-mom-worth
I’ve read a lot of articles/blogs/posts/comments regarding ‘working moms’ vs. ‘stay-at-home moms’. There seems to be this distinction and disconnect of one vs. the other. I understand the separation because there is a difference between going to a place of work and working at home, but there no difference in working. You are working mother no matter what you choose to do.

I work in an office, but I no longer do this full time. I miss my daughter like crazy on those days and can’t wait to pick her up. My working days start at 5AM and don’t end until I go to bed (9-10PM, if I’m lucky!). I wake up and get ready for work, pack up the car and then get her strapped in the car seat to go. I drop her off, work nine hours (through my lunch) then pick her up. I come home and spend a short amount of quality time before her nighttime routine begins. After she’s in bed and finally asleep (because kids don’t always fall asleep immediately), I pick up around the house, eat dinner (if I’m still even hungry), make her bottles for the following day, sit on the couch for maybe thirty minutes with my husband and then go to bed.

I imagine that most stay-at-home moms experience this type of schedule (minus going to an office to work) on a daily basis. They do not have the luxury to get an eight hour break. Yes, I called it a luxury. Workforce moms (as I will call us) have adult interaction and fulfill a purpose in life whether it be a job you love or a job that simply pays the bills. However, the other side is that someone else is taking care of your child, not you. Someone else is feeding, holding and spending time with your baby/babies. If you are lucky enough, those people are family members/friends/acquaintances you trust. If you are not so fortunate, those people are strangers. While it is their full time job and they are completely qualified to do so, they are not people that know and love your child the way you, your family or your friends do. It is not a luxury. It’s something you need to do (maybe because of finances) or something you choose to do (simply because you need that break). Whatever the reason, it’s never easy.

Stay-at-home moms fulfill a purpose in life by getting all day with their child/children, but their pay is much different. They are rewarded with hugs, I love you’s and the joy of watching their child/children grow in the way they want, on their schedule and with their constant supervision. But there are also days of no rewards, complete chaos, no appreciation or love, constant screaming and whining, the inability to shower, eat, or please and sometimes catch a breath, let alone a break. Nap times are when moms go into overdrive to do laundry, clean the house, make dinner and maybe brush their teeth…maybe. The days seem endless and a break hopefully comes when your husband gets home, but even that break is short lived. At some point in the day you want to cry (or do) as well as wanting an alcoholic beverage of some sort (maybe more than one!) and you begin to wonder if you can even do this anymore (at least when I was home for three months I did!). For those moms that are single parents, God bless you. I can’t even imagine the stress of being a stay-at-home single mother or a working single mother.

Stay-at-home moms deal with stress the way workforce moms do, the stress of raising a child/children and we are all in this together. One is not better than the other. I personally think staying at home full time is a lot more difficult from my experience of having my three months of maternity leave, but that is just me. I still believe both offer rewarding experiences and can still give us the chance to be the best mothers we can be. So for anyone working part time, full time, in an office, at home, just know that you are an amazing working mom! You BIRTHED A CHILD, maybe even more than one, and no one can ever take your place. I feel blessed to be a mom and I hope those of you that are moms do too.