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’.

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 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 Stores Open on Thanksgiving Have Ruined Tradition

Verse-Picture-1-Thessalonians-5_18It all started back when my sister and I were teenagers. We decided we wanted to ‘check out’ what kind of deals the stores had the day after Thanksgiving. We split our parents gifts so why not save a few extra bucks and maybe also buy something extra for ourselves (that was of course, always my thinking!)?

For you young kids, there was a store called Mervyn’s that ran this hilarious commercial with a woman waiting for the store to open. She was up against the door window saying ‘Open, open, open’. It still makes me laugh to think about. It’s amazing the things people will (and will not) wait for.

And so the tradition began! Bright and early after each Thanksgiving, my sister and I would get up and go shopping. The tradition never changed. I made breakfast that consisted of toast with butter and jelly as well as packing along waters, apples and the my aunt’s famous pumpkin bread for the long day ahead. We both wore sweatpants and I would have to wake my sister up (a few times!) to keep with our schedule. Schedule? Oh yes, we had a schedule. We mapped out our stores along with times we had at each store and coupons/deals. We each had a copy we guarded with our life (I can’t tell you how many times we were pushed in stores!).

We’d start at Kohl’s (it always opened the earliest) then head off to Sears for my dad, then JC Penney for the free ornament (yep, you get a free ornament for being an ‘early bird’ which we were every year!) and then Panera for food around 8:30AM to which we’re quite delirious and then from there it was the usual, Victoria’s Secret, Express, Limited, Macy’s, etc. Our store choices have changed over the years and our needs (bye bye clothes for ourselves hello housewares) but still…it was tradition, it was our tradition.

But now, that is gone. That is gone because Kohl’s, Target, Macy’s and all you other A-HOLE stores decided you weren’t making enough money that you needed to be open on Thanksgiving Day. Really? No, really?

My sister and I refuse to go out on Thanksgiving. This is a day to give thanks and spend with family and friends. The fact that these stores are now open is a mockery to the holiday. To make your employees work is truly a shame and it has ruined the tradition of Thanksgiving.

It has ruined a day devoted to giving thanks with family and friends all for some added revenue in the books. I’d like to see the CEO of Kohl’s or Macy’s in one of their stores on Thanksgiving Day. You want your stores to be open? Then you should be working! Sure, people may argue with me and say that I went out in the madness and I did. It was fun as hell and my sister and I have some memories and moments we will never forget, but it wasn’t on Thanksgiving Day. Was it at 5AM the following day? You bet! But it wasn’t on Thanksgiving.

What is wrong with our society? Since when did we think it was okay to put materialistic things before values? Since when did the latest ‘toy’ that every child wants or the biggest flat screen you can get become priority over spending time with family and friends? Is that what we’re teaching our children? Money triumphs all? I sure hope not.

We don’t exchange Christmas presents in my family of origin anymore (we stopped a while back). Each year, one of the couples (my parents, my sister and her husband or me and my husband) plan an outing or event we all pay our own way and go to. Instead of buying gifts, we value the time spent together as a family so that is what we do. Many of you might be thinking, so what did my sister and I go out to get? Well, we both got engaged, got married and moved so let’s just say there were a lot of things each year we found we needed (or didn’t need and bought anyways!).

I’m not here to judge by any means, this is just the tradition we’ve developed and continue. Here is what I would like to say though: If you choose to go out on Thanksgiving day to buy presents for yourself and others, then that’s up to you, I just know that I cannot support it. I cannot support making people work on a day they deserve to be home with their families. Maybe this year we can all focus on the simple things. The blessings we’ve been given, the priceless gifts we have and the family members surrounding us…because you never truly know when that can all be taken away from you…and it can be, in an instance! Wishing all of you a happy, healthy and blessed Thanksgiving!

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 :).