Moms: Let’s Stop Apologizing

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As moms, it’s in our nature to apologize. We apologize for our children’s behavior. We apologize to family, to friends and even to strangers. We are constantly apologizing for what our children are doing. Why? Why are we apologizing? Because our kids are misbehaving? Because we’re embarrassed? Because we feel like it’s the ‘right thing to do’?

Well I say it’s enough! Moms, let’s stop apologizing. I went to Target solo the other day and had a mom apologize to me on the way out. She was with her four children all under the age of 6 and they were taking some time getting out of the store. “I’m sorry,” she said looking exhausted as she tried to hustle them along. “Please, don’t apologize,” I told her and smiled as I waited for them to get through the automatic doors. I know she felt the need to apologize but she didn’t have to, she shouldn’t have to.

We shouldn’t need to constantly apologize for our kids behavior because guess what, they’re kids! They’re going to dawdle, whine, cry, yell, throw fits, run where they shouldn’t, touch things they’re not supposed to and do a lot of things that we can’t always control but THEY ARE KIDS! Don’t get me wrong, I will never condone behavior that warrants apologies because certain behaviors are unacceptable and do require reprimanding (purposely hitting, smacking, biting, etc.). But let’s just stop apologizing for everything else, okay? Let’s stop feeling like we as moms have to be sorry for how our kids act at times because face it, we’ve all been there. Those of us who have children understand. We UNDERSTAND and we ACCEPT. We accept because that’s what we do as moms. We don’t judge. We don’t condemn. And if we do, then shame on us because one day we might be there!

Prior to kids, I was the ‘please don’t be a screaming kid on this flight’, eye roll to the child crying in the restaurant followed quickly with a ‘when will that kid stop crying’ comment, person turning around to see the yelling child in church and scoffer at the kids melting down in any store. Yep, that was me. I was completely unaware of what it took to be a parent and how difficult it can be to travel and do something as simple as going out to eat (especially with a toddler!). I am embarrassed to say I was judgmental. I didn’t understand why kids acted up or why their parents couldn’t get them ‘under control’. Fast forward to life as a parent and now I know. I cringe for my previous ways of thinking. I am a mom now, and I get it. I get how hard it is to keep your children entertained with public places. I get how hard it is when you’re trying to grocery shop and your children are completely losing it because they want to goooooooo, can’t touch anything and are wiggling (and sometimes physically trying!) to get out of the shopping cart! Kids at a young age are not easy, but they are also incredible to watch with their inquisitive minds, constantly learning and exploring this new world.

So moms, let’s unite together and take a stand. Let’s stop apologizing for our kids being kids. Let’s stop apologizing when we feel embarrassed. Let’s stop apologizing when we feel judged or as if everyone is looking at us and our kids. And let’s especially stop apologizing to other moms who get your struggle. We are not perfect. Our kids are not perfect. And it’s OKAY!

Maybe if we all worked a little harder to live in a more accepting and understanding world, it would be easier as parents not to feel like failures so often. We wouldn’t feel so judged and insecure. We wouldn’t get little or large amounts of anxiety going into public places. And for individuals without kids, please know we realize our children may be an inconvenience or even annoyance to you. We get the looks…but we’re just asking to maybe consider a more empathetic approach to our parenting struggles. Because no matter who we are (parents or not), we are all facing our own personal battles each and every day. Spread the love, find the patience and give the acceptance.

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’.

What is This World Coming To?

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I don’t watch the news. I don’t really read it either. As a journalism major, it doesn’t even pain me to say this. I can’t stand the news. I really can’t. I’m tired of all the violence, depressing stories and celebrity crap no one really cares about (actually a lot of people do because it’s so overwhelming covered).

Sure, maybe some people will say I’m naive (or maybe even stupid) or how can I stay up-to-date on current events but here’s my reply: one, sticks and stones (hopefully you can finish the rest) and two, I stay current on what I need to. Ebola? Yes. I watched and I read. Measles? You bet.

But there are some things I draw the line with. Do I want to hear about some lunatic that killed his entire family and now wants to plead insanity? NO! Do I want to hear about another that put her child in the microwave? NO! Or one who killed two of her kids and put them in the freezer? NO! It sickens me. It really, really does. When it comes to children I can’t handle it, I really can’t. What is this world coming to? What is wrong with people?

I am not here to judge, that is not my job, but it pains me what people do. Why can’t they get the help they need before they commit these terrible crimes? Are their symptoms going completely unnoticed? Do they just snap one day? What is it? The questions rack my brain as I hear about these stories. I recently watched a video that went viral regarding two parents abusing their children (if you haven’t seen it, click here, but be warned it’s brutal). The sister of the mom actually filmed it. I cried. I hugged my baby extra tight that day. Why? These children are innocent. Why? (side note: the parents in that video aren’t being charged yet for child abuse because there isn’t enough evidence…what?!)

I wish I had answers, I wish someone did. But what I do know is this is the reason I don’t watch the news and don’t read about it either. I can’t stomach it. And when I do find myself caught on something (I intently followed the Laci Peterson story in college), I can’t stop. I keep reading, searching and wanting to know the latest updates. As a mom now, I can’t do it. I can’t follow these stories. It’s too heartbreaking.

I pray for justice, I really do, but I also pray for these people. No child deserves this…ever. But there has to be something seriously wrong with these people. I can’t fathom anyone mentally stable doing these types of horrific crimes. There has to be an internal struggle they are dealing with.

I still have hope for the world. I hope that people stop killing and find a way to deal with their issues in a healthy manner. In the end, good will triumph over evil…we just have to continue to hope and pray. So the next time you’re tired of, fed up, frustrated and angry with your kids, try to focus on how much you love them. Children are a blessing to be loved for, protected and cherished no matter what…let us continue to hope that even in the toughest times, parents always remember that.

Maternity Leave…What the U.S. is Missing.

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According to an article by the Huffington Post, “When Australia passed a parental leave law in 2010, it left the U.S. as the only industrialized nation not to mandate paid leave for mothers of newborns. Most of the rest of the world has paid maternity leave policies, too; Lesotho, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea are the only other countries that do not. Many countries give new fathers paid time off as well or allow parents to share paid leave.

New parents in the U.S. are guaranteed their jobs for 12 weeks after the arrival of a new baby, thanks to the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, but they do not have to be paid during that time and exemptions apply for small companies. Only about 16 percent of employers offer fully paid maternity leave and many families take on significant debt or turn to public assistance around the birth of a child.”maternity leave
Is it just me or is this completely crazy? Why at most places of work is pregnancy considered an ‘illness’ which requires you to use short term disability and get paid for only a portion of your time off (and that’s even if you have and qualified for short term disability!) or like many new moms, being off without any pay but your saved up vacation days?!

I don’t understand how in the ‘land of the free’ we can be so restricting when it comes to this. Yes, this leave is to spend time with our newborn child(ren) but that in itself is more of a job than any other 9 to 5 place of employment. You don’t get to clock in, take an hour lunch and clock out. Ha! You’re lucky if you any food in throughout the day. So yes, we are working…we are RAISING A CHILD. We are KEEPING A HUMAN BEING ALIVE. And we are doing it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week not 5 days a week, 8 hours a day (I realize others work more but I’m using the typical 40-hour work week). We are child care providers and we deserve to be paid during this time! We are not at home laying around on the couch, watching Real Housewives and shopping online all day. We are feeding, changing, monitoring, cleaning and doing everything that requires our complete and utter attention, care, responsibility and love for this new person in our family.

I am pretty sure that motherhood is said to be the most difficult and under appreciated job and this is a great video that proves it:

Another favorite of mine is also this one:

Employers in the United States…WAKE UP! Do you have a mom? Because I’m sure you do (living or deceased). And did that mom take care of you? I’m sure she did. She raised you when women stayed home and fulfilled their role as the housewives. Now women work and when we need to be home for the first precious weeks of our child’s lives, we deserve to be paid for that time we are away from our ‘other’ job.

I really hope in the near future things change with regards to maternity leave because the beautiful miracle of birth shouldn’t ever be considered an ‘illness’.

A Mother’s Love


A Mother’s Love

There is no greater gift,
Than that of a mother’s love.
A love that is so immeasurable,
No words can truly speak of.

The gentle touch she knows,
With children cradled in her arms.
The guidance that she gives,
Keeping them away from harm.

She can hold it all together,
When the world is falling apart.
She can mend the littlest of scratches,
And even soothe the broken heart.

She will never stand in judgment,
Only expressions of concern.
Her love is unconditional,
and yet, she expects nothing in return.

There is no greater gift,
Than that of a mother’s love.
Her protection is unwavering,
And inner strength unheard of.

She will never give up hope,
Even when all hope seems to be lost.
She would sacrifice all of herself,
Guarding loved ones at any cost.

With her voice, a smile or a hug,
She can make problems disappear.
The most patient of all listeners,
Her love is always near.

She is the one we turn to,
The one we all call by name.
She is ‘mother’, ‘mom’, ‘mommy’, ‘ma ma’,
But no one mother is the same.

A woman of true grace,
A model for all to see,
There is no love like a mother’s love,
So thank you mom for loving me.

Copyright © 2014 Renee Dzieciolowski, All Rights Reserved.

I wrote this poem for three reasons: my mom, my daughter and myself.

For my mom: I was blessed with an amazing mom and I can truly say she is an unbelievable woman. All my life she has sacrificed so much of her life, herself, her own happiness and selflessly done everything and anything for her children. She is the most incredible role model and I admire her so much. I would not be the person I am today without her (I love you mom!).

For my daughter: I hope one day my daughter will read this and understand, whether it’s when she is a teenager or maybe even married and having a child of her own, how much I love her. My love for her is beyond measure. I know there will be times where she doesn’t ‘think’ I love her or times where maybe she doesn’t love me, but I hope that one day she and I will have the relationship that I have with my own mom. I hope that one day she will feel the same way about me.

For myself: Becoming a mother has completely changed me. It’s not just changed my outlook on life but truly how I live it. I am living my life to be an example to her. I want to be someone she looks up to and admires. I want to be a mother that protects and loves her no matter what, a mother that puts aside being a ‘friend’ for being a ‘parent’ (even if that means she doesn’t like me for it), a mother that gives her all of my love all the time…and finally, a mother that has shown her how to be a true woman of faith the way my mother has shown me.

I am so lucky to have a mother’s love and to be able to give a mother’s love. I wish all of you the same whether your mothers are here or in spirit, whether you are mothers of children or animals, stepmothers, grandmothers, Godmothers, aunts…all mothers! I hope that in some way or another you can experience some form of a mother’s love (remember that Mother Mary is a mother to all!).