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).

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.

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.

 

The Minute My Heart Stopped…

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It was a beautiful August day in Michigan. There was a slight breeze as the sun warmed the air. It wasn’t humid or too hot…the weather was just right. We have family in town so it was decided to go to the Troy Aquatic Center for the kiddos. Emma loves the water and I was excited to take her.

We got there and she was pretty fussy and unwilling to leave my arms. After a while she got more comfortable and soon she was splashing by the fountain pads and laughing. I took her into the water with me and we played. She takes swim classes and loves being in the water so there wasn’t much concern for me there. However, there were a lot of kids swimming and splashing around so I decided to take her out, maybe grab a snack and just sit for a bit.

I placed her on one of the lounge chairs as her uncle and cousin were saying hello and engaging with her. Here’s where the mistakes start…

I didn’t ask them to watch her for a second. I didn’t even see if they were completely interacting with her. I didn’t take her down so she wouldn’t fall. I turned away. I TURNED AWAY! I hear a scream and see her face down on the cement. My heart stopped. I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to cry, scream, throw up and pass out all at once. I grabbed her. She was hysterical. I was hysterical. The blood wouldn’t stop coming from her mouth. I was a wreck, I still am.

Per our pediatrician, we took her to the ER. She was admitted, examined and released within one hour (great job Royal Oak, Beaumont!). No stitches, no CT scan. She is okay. That’s what my husband had to keep reminding me, “She is okay.” Her lips is pretty cut up and swollen and her chin is scratched up but other than that, she is okay. Thank you God, she is okay. I know it could have been worse. I know. But I can’t help myself. I can’t help but blame my stupid self for turning away. Why did I think that would be okay? What is wrong with me?!

I know she’s going to get injured. I know this won’t be the last time, but I could have prevented it and I can’t help but feel like the worst mom in the world. I close my eyes and see that image of her laying there. I cringe. My heart breaks. It makes me sick to my stomach. I want to permanently erase it from my mind.

While I realize it was an accident, I can’t help but feel angry at myself. It seems like she is continuously having these issues too. Her tooth incident at my mom’s house when she was only 8 months old, her chipping her front tooth with me in the bathtub (a week ago) and now this (by the way, her front teeth are a complete, chippy mess)! I wish I could just fix it all. I could just take a magic wand and eliminate the pain and the scars (these poor teeth!). But I can’t. This is a part of life. And as her mother, it’s important for me to stay strong which so far I have not been able to do…

The love of a parent is so amazing. It’s like my heart just jumps out of my chest for her. She has truly completed my life and if I never have another I will be okay because I have her. And that’s why I think it’s so hard for us as parents. We have this love that cannot be described until you actually experience it. And with that love comes this innate responsibility to protect. This responsibility is so strong that we would become superhuman if needed, we would do anything to protect them from all harm…but we can’t. It’s just not possible. Even if I bubble wrapped my child (I definitely considered it after yesterday), she would still get hurt. There comes a point when you need to have faith it will all be okay…whatever your faith may be. This is where I must learn to ‘let go and let God’.

Emma is okay. She’s alive and healthy with a few cuts and some chippy teeth (luckily these ones fall out!). I am very lucky it wasn’t any worse. It can always be worse…

So while I work on trying not to lose my mind when she gets injured, I think about how blessed I am that she’s okay. My advice for anyone going through something similar is this: Keep calm and ‘mom’ on 🙂 You’re a great parent. Be thankful for the blessings you have and continue to pray for all those suffering, it could always be worse!

Setting the Right Example.

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I found myself reflecting back on some of my recent posts…

And it got me to thinking…am I setting the right example? Sure, we all can get ‘fired up’ about certain topics. We can all state our ‘opinions’ (which we know, are like blank and everybody’s got one). But I guess it’s how we deliver those messages that really set or don’t set the right example…

Recently there was a trending topic about the owner of a restaurant (a woman) who yelled at a toddler who was crying in her restaurant. Since there are two sides to every story, the argument seems to revolve around the woman owner yelling at the toddler vs. the parents not removing their child from the restaurant. As a mom, I do not feel it is appropriate for another adult to yell at my child, no matter what the circumstances. However, there are others who felt were happy she yelled at the toddler as one individual commented, “Kudos to the managers for setting that mom in place. So sick of parents not parenting.”

Now here’s where I get fired up. Parents not parenting? First, you weren’t there, so let’s just hold the phone on that one. Second of all, what makes you think they weren’t parenting? And who are you to judge? Have you ever taken a toddler to a restaurant? It’s not the easiest thing to do but that shouldn’t mean those with toddlers can’t go out to eat! This is where I believe everyone starting jumping on one bandwagon or another and the media went crazy with its exploitation of the situation (are you surprised?).

I guess my point is that we need to set the right example in life, especially those of us that have children/watch children/are children caretakers/etc. And sometimes its hard to figure out what those examples are. My baby doesn’t have the capacity to understand ‘no’ yet or how to reason. Here’s a great article explaining this if you don’t believe me. So if we’re in a restaurant and I tell her to stop yelling and she doesn’t, I’m not a bad parent and she’s not a bad kid, she’s just at the age (12-18 months) where she’s learning to express herself through her voice. I do tell her ‘no’ in a quiet tone or we don’t talk like that in a restaurant to encourage her to stop or distract her with something if needed, but I don’t yell at her. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments where she makes me so angry and I do yell (then of course I see that scared look on her face and immediately apologize and hug her!), but does that make it right? Do I want her to learn that every time she is upset or frustrated she can yell? No.

There are things in life we all have issues with. I don’t think there should be websites for married people to have affairs. I don’t think Victoria’s Secret should target teenagers to buy their ‘lingerie’. I don’t think Facebook is an accurate representation of people’s lives. These are my opinions. And maybe I haven’t gone about them in the right way, but it’s how I feel. Our feelings are what drives us. They make us passionate, crazy, angry, excited, fearful…the list goes on. We live through our feelings. But just because you feel a certain way doesn’t give you the right to act a certain way either. If I feel mad at a co-worker I can’t just go and punch them. I mean, I can, but I would most likely lose my job and be facing a lawsuit in the process.

I want to be a better example…and my example starts from Jesus and my faith. Here’s a man who was ridiculed, betrayed by one of his own and persecuted. He died for me and my sins…for the sins of the world. That is the ultimate example. And no, I’m not saying you need to die, but I’m saying that sometimes setting the right example isn’t easy, but there is a reason for it. I want to be someone my daughter looks up to. My love for her is like Jesus’s love for the world. I would die for her. If I had to, I would without hesitation so that she could live. Sometimes while I believe my intentions are good, I don’t always say things in the right way to get my point across. The point becomes lost in my rants. I think the same goes for most people.

So as I reflect upon the example I want to set, I know one thing is for sure. I want the best for my daughter. I want to give her the best of me, so that requires more patience, more practice and more understanding to those around me. There are lots of situations completely out of my control, but how I behave as an individual is not. If I can’t respect myself, how can I expect anyone else to? It’s time for me to start setting the right example not only for my daughter (and God willing any future children), but myself.