Tag

parenthood

Why is it so hard to write?

Some days (many days) I feel the urge to do something creative. Something outside of the everyday tasks of motherhood. For me, that something is almost always writing of some kind.

I see videos about the regrets dying people have, for not taking the leap, finding your purpose, being brave with your creativity. I read books and I dream about writing a novel or at least writing a blog post once a week and I think about the legacy I want to leave for my kids. I think about what it is I want to do once this phase is over. Will I go back to school? Will I get a job? Will I continue to stay home? I dream about possibilities that I’m not quite brave enough to admit.

And yet, days pass and nothing gets written.

And I feel like a part of me wants to feel something like remorse about it. Sure, I’d like to be writing more, creating something. Sure it doesn’t feel great to have the impulse to write and not follow through with it.

But the truth is, when it comes down to holding the sleeping baby or picking up the computer, I’ll pick the baby. When it comes down to playing the same game on the floor with the toddler for the tenth time today or writing a blog post, I’ll pick the toddler. When it comes to starting a project with the six year old or starting that novel, even if I’m exhausted and everything is a mess and I’m not sure how I feel about starting a project, I’ll pick the six year old.

And I don’t feel like I’m giving something up.

Because even though I have dreams and plans beyond motherhood, my greatest dream and plan still IS motherhood.

You see, I’m not staying at home because I’m being noble and giving up my career. I’m not even staying at home just because I think it’s what’s best for my kids.

I’m staying at home because it’s exactly what I want to do.

At this point in my life, motherhood IS my purpose, my dream. There is nowhere else I’d rather be. I’m not putting my life on hold to raise my kids. This IS my life. It’s a life I feel privileged to have, even on the hardest days.

It may be hard to write most days, but that’s only because the choice between writing and spending that time with my kids isn’t hard at all.

 

Daily Photo – March 17, 2015



Today was St. Patrick’s day. Are you wondering why I’m posting a picture of my kiddo sitting in a pile of snacks rather than a cute little glittery green portrait of her and her sister dressed in adorable outfits?

Well. That’s because I don’t have one. 

I consider myself a pretty good mom when it comes to holiday celebrations. The girls get Valentine’s Day baskets, Easter baskets, the elf visit for the whole month of December and Christmas involves homemade cookies and milk and stockings and way to many presents. I try hard to be conscious of creating traditions. 

And honestly, I remembered it was St. Patrick’s day at about 10:00 p.m. The night before. I didn’t make green pancakes, I didn’t have cute outfits, I didn’t do anything special. Lexi came home from preschool with stories of the mischief caused by the naughty leprechaun in their classroom, wondering what kind of mischief he had caused in our house. Um…. Oops?

I feel it’s worth clarifying that I’m writing this from more of an “LOL” perspective than anything. Lexi will remember the magic of the day from her preschool elf experience and giggling over pinching each other all afternoon and making an elf trap in the living room. She has no awareness of her mommy “dropping the ball”.  Therefore, I didn’t really drop it. 

Moms are under enough pressure as it is. I don’t need to do everything and get everything perfect for every holiday. I can let myself off the hook. I don’t do holidays and traditions because I feel like I have to. I do them because I want to. 

This year, in the exhaustion of having a two month old and an active four year old, I forgot how much fun St. Patrick’s day can be. Next year we will probably have green pancakes and a mischievous leprechaun visiting our house. We will spend a little more time planning leprechaun traps and making green snacks. Not because I feel like I should, but because I want to. 

My Daughters’ Moms

 

Left: Me and first daughter, 2010. Right: Me, first daughter and second daughter, 2015
Left: Me and first daughter, 2010. Right: Me, first daughter and second daughter, 2015

 

My daughters have different dads. I didn’t plan for it to be like that. No one ever does.

When got married the first time, I had every intention of being married forever. And then things changed. The universe delivered a steady stream of teachers with big lessons for me to learn. I grew. In a different direction. My whole world expanded and blew apart.

My first daughter was born at the very beginning of my growth spurt. She was and still is one of my greatest teachers. I wanted to have kids. And it was still a shock when she entered the world and turned it upside down. I was so young and naive. Trying to figure out how to be this “mom” person I had suddenly become. Trying to find my voice.

I fell in love with being a mom one day at a time. By the time my second daughter came along, the avalanche of learning and change that had been my life for the past four years had leveled out. I settled into a healthier and more peaceful relationship. I had officially embraced the role of mama to my littles.

My priorities are different, clearer now. My voice is stronger. I have learned enough to know how much I still have to learn. I walk through life in a much different way than I did four years ago.

It will always be obvious that they have different dads. But in many ways, they had different moms as well. But then again, I think that’s true of every child. Children change us. From time we feel them first move inside our core, to the first moment we lay eyes on them and every beautiful exhausting moment after that…we are never the same.

 

Let It Be a Miracle

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Have you ever heard of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? The theory states that people have different ways of giving and receiving love, and that in order to truly perform the act of loving someone, you should discover their “love language” and use that language in order to make them truly feel loved.

The five different identified love languages are gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch. So if someone’s love language is quality time, they feel most loved when someone intentionally spends quality time with them. It’s also probably how that person offers love to others. People often have more than one, but their is usually one that is dominant over the others.

The work was originally designed for couples, but one of my favorite applications is with children. Do you know the language in which your child gives and receives love? Do you make it a point to speak that language?

Lexi’s love language is words of affirmation. She’s always been very verbally inclined, and she likes to talk about being loved and being praised. Her second would be gifts. It’s common for her to bring “very special” trinkets… A sticker or a coin or a picture…and offer it as a sacred token of love.

Harper will be two weeks old tomorrow. One might think that more of a child’s personality might have to be discovered in order to truly pinpoint something like a love language, but with this kiddo it is more than clear. Her love language is physical touch.

Now, I get that that’s the case for many infants. Without an understanding of words or gifts or time, it’s almost the default. But this girl takes it to a whole new level. As soon as you run a gentle hand over her cheek or down her back, she instantly lets out a huge sign of relief and relaxes, head back and mouth open, into a state of bliss.

As I was sitting here tonight snuggling her and giving her a mini back rub, it occurred to me that one of the unique things about my pregnancy with her was how often I was compelled to rub my belly. Every time a little foot or rump would poke out of my side, I run my hands over my belly. My mom even commented how much more I was doing it than I had when I was pregnant with Lexi.

Maybe it’s that I’m older, that I was more capable of appreciating the miracle happening inside me. Maybe she remembers all my belly rubbing and that’s why she loves it so much. Or maybe she craved it even before she was born and mommy instinct kicked in. Like the way you crave milk when your body needs calcium or you get thirsty when your body needs hydrated. Wouldn’t that be a miracle? To consider that the connection between mom and baby could even be so strong before birth that I am compelled to do the thing she craves?

Who knows what it could be. But I know that two single cells inside my body transformed into sweet little tufts of dark hair and two bright blue eyes and ten tiny fingers that wrapped around one of mine just minutes after she was born. I created a life. I brought a soul into this world. And when you think about it like that, it’s hard not to see everything as a miracle.

You Know Those Days?

You know those days where you it’s cold and you’re exhausted but you still pull yourself out to get groceries and then you forget your grocery list but you rally and you even muster the generosity to let the kid push her own little kiddie cart and then you get two aisles in and she has to pee and has touched all the fruit in the produce section and run into your ankles three times and you realized you forgot almost everything you needed in the aisles you already went through and somehow she managed to sneak a bunch of gatorade into her cart so you just pick out the biggest tub of cookie dough you can find and go check out? Yep… I know those days.