Why Growing Up is Hard as a Mom

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Today my daughter went to my girlfriend’s house to play with her twins and be watched by their nanny. She hadn’t gone in a while due to scheduling conflicts so I was worried she would cry pretty hard this time. I prepped her that I would be leaving and she would reply with ‘bye mommy’ and I said ‘yes, but I always come back to get you, right?’ to which she would sweetly say ‘yes’. I braced myself for today because leaving my crying child, even if it’s just for a few hours, breaks my heart. I know she’s okay, not in any danger and completely safe but it’s still tough.

When I told her it was time for me to go she said ‘bye mommy’ and blew me kisses. She didn’t cry or pitch a fit. She was okay, in fact, she was more than okay! I turned around and walked out so fast because the tears were streaming down my face. As I drove home crying a smile hit my face and I realized with great joy and some sadness that my baby girl is growing up. She’s growing up so fast while at times I feel like I’m standing still (even though the grays in my hair and stiff muscles in my body tell me otherwise!).

I never thought being a mom would actually be so emotional. I didn’t realize the incredible love and joy I would have for this little person. I still feel like I can’t fully put it into words. But what I do know watching her growing up is hard as a mom. I am proud yet fearful, excited yet nervous, happy yet sad and with every joy comes a little sadness as I see how independent and amazing she is becoming. God gave us the beautiful gift of life and we get to watch and help mold our children to become something incredible all the while knowing one day we’ll have to let them go. One day we’ll have to set them free and hope everything we ever taught them sticks.

Every other night I read my daughter ‘On the Night You Were Born’ and try my hardest not to cry. She’s too young to understand these feelings I’m having and I don’t think ever will until she has children of her own. I finally get all the things my mom had told me for so long now that I have a little one (I love you mom!). I have visions of the future and think about my daughter getting married and how at some point during that special time I will read again to her or somehow incorporate ‘On the Night You Were Born’ so that she knows heaven truly ‘blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born’.

I love every moment I get to spend with my baby girl and wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. She is happy, she is safe and she is SO VERY LOVED. Growing up may be hard for me as a mom, but watching her is one of the most incredible gifts I will ever be given.

Slow Down…

I heard this song the other day on the radio and lost it. Ironically, I was driving to pick up my daughter from my mom’s and couldn’t help but cry. I would say it’s the pregnancy hormones but I cry a lot so I don’t even think I can use that excuse!

My baby is two. I can’t even believe it. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by. It’s amazing to reflect upon how much she’s grown and changed and now seeing her as this ‘little person’. But as the song says…

“It’s all too fast…..let’s make it last a little while, I pointed to the sky and now you want to fly….I am your biggest fan, I hope you know I am, but do you think that you could slow down…”

I realize only two years have gone by but as a new mom it seems like it’s flying too fast for me to keep up. And a part of me doesn’t want to keep up…I want to hold onto these moments forever. I want to keep her tiny and in my arms for as long as I can. I want it all to slow down…

Life is fast. It’s more fast paced than we know what to do with it. Think about how impatient you get when your browser doesn’t load quick enough or someone doesn’t answer your call after the first or second ring? We are so impatient! I think back to the moments in my life when I wanted everything right then and there. I wanted to go to this school or be married at that age or live in that house…I wanted all these things for myself and I just couldn’t slow down.

I am blessed and grateful for this life that I do easily take for granted at times. And now, as I wake up tiny voice of my daughter saying ‘mommy’ each morning, I realize why patience is everything. I can’t slow life down, but I can definitely stop to enjoy the moments. There’s so many things in life to worry and wonder about, but sometimes you have to just let go and enjoy the precious gifts right in front of you. I can’t tell you what tomorrow holds or what the future will bring, but I can say that it’s nice to slow down and enjoy ‘the now’.

It’s Just Not the Same…

cartoon-wedding-couple-doodle-card_23-2147493884I vividly remember the day I got married. I can close my eyes and relive all the moments that I cherished from that incredible day. I see myself walking towards my husband-to-be with tears in his eyes, jumping up and down in church when I reached him because I was so excited, being introduced into our reception as we danced to Coldplay and all the little intimate moments that we shared which makes it STILL the best day in my life (followed closely by the birth of our daughter and the day he proposed).

Now…it’s just not the same. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just different. Our marriage, our lives…everything. I’ll be honest in saying I have moments of sadness. I don’t feel like we still look at each other the way we once did. The love isn’t gone, but maybe some of the passion is. We’re busy, we’re older, we’re tired, we’re stressed and we have a baby that consumes every ounce of us!

We lost the right to be selfish because we decided to have a family and maybe we lost a little bit of ourselves. We disagree at times about our daughter, not the way we want to raise her but how each of us does it. We shouldn’t, but we do. I’m quite controlling and particular so I know that isn’t easy for him. However, he’s more laid back and that isn’t always easy for me. We’ve adjusted to being a family, but I think sometimes we forget how to be a ‘couple’.

I wouldn’t say we’ve changed because we haven’t. Things just aren’t the same and there isn’t any other way I can put it. The other night as we went up to bed we kissed goodnight then turned to opposing sides and both went to our phones. And it’s not that we don’t communicate anymore, it just made me sad to think about it. And there’s nothing wrong with what we were doing, it’s just that some days we’re so busy we don’t always take time for ‘us’. Technology has changed our world and a lot of times I don’t think for the better. Sure, we have our nights of cuddling on the couch and watching our shows or a movie but it’s not with the ease and energy we once had.

It’s not the same for a lot of reasons and selfishly, sometimes I want it to be. Sometimes I want to have it all. I want the way we were and I want Emma but I realize that’s not possible…it’s just not. For so long I wanted to get married, I wanted to find that perfect person for me. It was in God’s hands to meet my husband when I did and I couldn’t be happier, I really couldn’t. I knew I wanted a family but I was okay on waiting for that. I wanted time with my husband. I wanted to be selfish because I knew once that baby was there, it would no longer ever be about me. But there is a part of me, a small part, that will yearn for the days when it was easier. And I’m not trying to say that life before Emma was easy and now it’s not. There are always challenges and struggles when it comes to marriage, but choosing to start a family is a true commitment and adjustment to everything you do. Your life will never be the same and for so many reasons that’s a good thing. However, there are those moments back in the beginning when we first started our relationship that I miss…

I read something great the other day that I want to share here: “The easiest part of marriage is falling in love and walking down the aisle. The most difficult part of marriage is 10 years later when the problems have ensued and issues have come about and you still find love. Marriage is not about the beginning, marriage is about the process and still being able to love through all things.”

So while it’s just not the same, I don’t think it was ever meant to be. We will love and grow old and do our best to keep at this thing called marriage. Our lives will only continue to become more busy and our ability to keep up might be overwhelming at times (that’s pretty much how I feel daily!), but at the end of the day, it’s us. It’s him and me. We haven’t changed. And while we may have taken each other for granted, frustrated one another and argued until we were blue in the face, we still have love. We have our love…and that’s the one thing that will always stay the same :).

No One’s Life Looks Like it Does on Facebook

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Alright, let’s get real here for a minute (or two). Facebook is not real. It’s an illusion. An illusion of people you know or don’t really know (yet somehow you are “friends”). There is nothing real about Facebook. Heck, some people don’t even use their real names (gotta love those ‘first and middle name only’ individuals…I get it, keepin’ it private, because you know, Facebook is all about that, WINK)! Facebook, or as I like to call it Stalkbook, wasn’t designed to keep you ‘in touch’ with your friends/acquaintances/ex-lovers/etc. No, no my friends, it was not. Facebook was designed so that you can literally stalk what any one of your 800+ “friends” and see their incredible lives. Did I say incredible? I’m sorry, I meant ridiculously fake.

First, I am an avid user of Facebook. My husband and I constantly argue over it. He finds it to be incredibly pointless…kind of like the way I find the video game on his phone to be! So, we agree to disagree. But nonetheless, I use Facebook often. My blog has its own page, I post lots of updates and share things I find to be interesting or important (DUH, like my blog!) but I also share how incredible my life is. Yes, there is some sarcasm in that last sentence. My life is great, it is. Not everyday is a fairytale but I’m very blessed and that I don’t BS about. I adore my daughter and enjoy showing off her sweetness as well so most of my posts are now consumed my her. Still, I do promote the ‘incredible’ because it’s better then the latter. When you see the same people posting the same drama filled status updates, don’t you kind of want to punch them in the face? Please stop airing your dirty laundry on Facebook. Please. Take that shit to People’s Court or something (at least you can filter your news feed now!). But again, in the reverse, people could say the same about all those my-life-is-so-amazing posts. Thank you for showing us what we can never have, a-hole.

Because I’m a frequent Facebooker, I can say that no one’s life looks like it does on Facebook. No one. The pictures? Edited/cropped/enhanced/filtered….. The lovey-dovey marriage/anniversary posts? Not as ‘happily ever after’ as it seems. The sales pitches to join some period scheming pay structure job because it’s ‘the most incredible opportunity ever’? BEYOND ANNOYING! Facebook has crafted a beautiful bubble where people go to see other people’s lives and get depressed about their own.

If you haven’t seen my post ‘Dear Victoria’s Secret‘, please check it out. Photos are edited ALL THE TIME! Models are edited ALL THE TIME! It’s a fun little program called Photoshop. So when you look at these ‘pictures’ on Facebook, just remember that. As for the relationship posts? I knew a girl who was posting thanks to her ‘hubby’ on Facebook for her birthday present (a romantic vacation for two!) when they were in the process of getting a divorce. A divorce. Again, an illusion. And the ‘who wants to join my team’ crap for all those products out there nowadays sorry, but stop. Stop with your fourteen paragraph status updates. I’m happy you have the most incredible job ever (really though?), I am, but I don’t need your amazing job shoved in my face every other day. I’m not here to judge either, I’m really not, but the amount of BS posting is astronomical.

Wait, there’s more! Facebook isn’t just to for stalking, but it’s also magical. Yes, this magical site will tell you where people are and what they’re doing even though you can’t see them (ooooooooooh) and even provides visual pictures (aaaaaaaaaah). Selfie anyone? Don’t forget your duck face!

Honestly, I don’t mind Facebook, but the more I find myself ‘stalking’ the site, the more I realize…what am I doing? Why am I on here? To compare? To see pictures of vacations I wish I was on? Am I really that bored? Or worse…have we as a society become so consumed my technology and social media that we have to ‘show’ our lives instead of ‘live’ them?

The other day my daughter cuddled up with me on the couch. It was sporadic and so wonderful. I quickly took a photo and shared it. Then I thought to myself, why did I do that? Can’t I just enjoy the moment without having to make it a public affair? On the other hand, what’s so wrong with sharing it? I guess I see both sides. This is an eye-opening article from Parents Magazine, it’s called ‘How Social Media is Affecting Your Parenting,’ I suggest you read it.

I have a lot of friends that have left Facebook or ‘deactivated’ their account for a bit (I have this feeling you’ll never really be able to delete your Facebook account). When I ask them why all the answers were quite similar…’I was sick of the things I was seeing on there’, ‘I was wasting time just reading about what other people are doing all the time’, ‘I just didn’t want to be on there anymore’. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is a great avenue to connect with old friends, colleagues, etc. As I’ve stated before, I use it frequently. I’m just starting to wonder what kind of impact it will have on us and future generations in the long term. Will my daughter one day ask me what people said about a photo of her I shared? Will I be forced to let her have an account because I do? What if she is being bullied on there? How will I handle that?

Sometimes I wish life wasn’t so technology driven. It wasn’t all about the internet and texting and immediacy. No one’s life looks like it does on Facebook, sometimes not even mine! But many will never admit that (yep, I just did!)…and I guess that’s just all part of the illusion 😉

Conformity.

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conformity
noun con·for·mi·ty \kən-ˈfr-mə-tē\

: behavior that is the same as the behavior of most other people in a society, group, etc.

: the fact or state of agreeing with or obeying something

I am having some difficulty with the way our world is today. We live in a society where everyone just conforms to the majority. Everyone else is doing it so why not fall in line and follow the crowd? Why would you consider speaking up for what you truly believe in or have feelings about because that might put you….on the outskirts? Cause ridicule? Expose your true feelings? or Eek! Make you an individual?!

As American sociobiologist Rebecca Costa states in her book, The Watchman’s Rattle:

“Conforming to society and its pressures is much easier than making conscious decisions about every issue. The more complex life becomes, the more difficult it is to acquire the knowledge we need to make a correct decision. Not only are the decisions we face more complex, we also have to make many more of them and make them faster. From this standpoint, it’s no wonder that group behavior and groupthink are so seductive. The alternative is to become paralyzed by too much information, too many choices, and too much difficulty.

When conditions become chaotic and incomprehensible, we naturally align with the majority. We let the group decide because we believe there is special wisdom in the group’s decision. The results of “groupthink” can be hisoric and disturbing, as in the cases of Nazi Germany, Mi Lai, and the Abu Ghraib prison. But groupthink is by no means limited to human atrocities; it also explains the lines around the block on Black Friday, the spread of Disco in the seventies, and the 2008 stampede to buy rice when news of a possible shortage leaked out.

Experts who study human behavior speculate the drive towards uniform behavior may be a natural instinct inherited from our ancient ancestors. They suggest that survival opportunities increased when we acted as a unified group rather than as individuals. Working together enabled us to capture larger prey and to efficiently defend against more powerful predators. So, similar to the jackals and wolves, our ancestors relied on the strength of the pack for their well being. If this is true, it implies that we may be biologically predisposed to conform to the wishes and behavior of the group.

Regardless of whether our desire to conform to society is motivated by comfort, is biologically inherited, or is simply a natural inclination to take the path of least resistance, one this is certain: When it comes to survival, groupthink may be less complex than diversity, but it is also dangerous.” -The Watchman’s Rattle, Rebecca Costa

Why do we do this? Why? We live in America, the land of the free. If you don’t agree with something you don’t have to! That’s your RIGHT! And you know what else is your right? Speaking up about it! So what if others don’t agree with you, at least you’re staying true to what you believe in.

I’m sorry, but on certain topics, I will not fall in line with the majority. I will stay true to my feelings and beliefs. And I’m not hear to say I’m better than anyone, I’m saying I’m different. I am unique. We are all different and unique. We have been given the freedoms we have to make choices and decisions we feel are best.

When we stop thinking for ourselves and let society deem what is right and wrong we are doing two fundamentally things wrong. First, we are saying that society knows best. If everyone else is doing it then it must be right. Second, we are giving up our individual freedoms. We are letting others decide for us. We are conforming to the ideals of the majority because we are too scared/lazy/undecided/fickle/confused/overwhelmed or whatever other excuse we use to prevent us from going against the grain.

I am Catholic. I understand that not everyone is. However, my decisions/choices/actions and beliefs follow the catechism teachings of the Catholic church. People do and can criticize some or even all of these beliefs.They have the freedom to do that. But it isn’t going to chance the way I feel. Even if I don’t support something that everyone else does, I won’t conform. This doesn’t make me stubborn or ignorant. This makes me, ME.

There is a different between conformity and evolution. The world and people have evolved and continue to, but that doesn’t mean society’s way of evolving should equate to the conformity of everyone else. I don’t believe in casual sex. I don’t like how it’s displayed on TV shows (really ABC family? You seriously disappoint me), talked about on the radio (yeah, I’m talking to you Channel 95.5) and basically splashed everywhere as ‘a part of life’. Why isn’t anything left to be sacred anymore? Sex was meant to be between a husband and wife to procreate. It wasn’t meant for high schoolers who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground (PARDON MY FRENCH)! But again, this me and this is how I feel. It’s evident that casual sex is considered fine in our society. Well, it’s not fine for me and I will gladly stay in the minority on this one.

I believe that everyone has the right to feel the way that they do. I will not invalidate your personal feelings…but I also ask that you not invalidate mine. If I don’t believe in something you do the way that you don’t believe is something that I do that’s okay! It makes us co-existing human beings with separate ideals. And we can each stand up for what we believe in. We have that right. But it’s how we do it. It’s how we differentiate ourselves. Our world is too entitled. We believe we deserve to ‘have it all’. We are sadly mistaken. Life is a GIFT. And whether or not you agree with me, it’s a gift from God. At any instance, your life can be taken from you. And that, you have NO control over. So when people act and live their lives as if the world owes them something, it makes me sad…very, very sad. Because I wake up each day thanking God for my life and my blessings. Maybe I don’t always act that way and that’s something I’m working on internally, but it’s my goal.

I hope more people stand up for what they believe in. I hope they don’t just conform because the rest of the world is. BE YOURSELF…everyone else is already taken.