Motherhood

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Speechless

No Comments 07 March 2012

I’ve been blogging about my daughter, Ella, for two years now (she’s three – this blog was born just after her first birthday). Here’s a good older post about Ella to read when you’re done with this one.

Now little brother Lucan is in our lives, and is shown above at eight months old.

This boy leaves me speechless.

Is it hard to imagine? Just look at him.

He is as sweet as he looks. All. The. Time.

I’m not even kidding. Lucan is an angel.

I am so blessed!

Motherhood

Soul Sunday: Kaitlin Rose Music

No Comments 19 February 2012

Before home birth, my thing was music.

Music was my thing.

It all began the summer of 2001.

I would be turning 16 that August, and I was bored. Couldn’t drive. It was
so hot outside. And I didn’t feel like swimming again.

So I asked my mom about her guitar. “Do you still have that old guitar?”

“In the hallway closet,” she replied.

I taught myself how to play her guitar that day.

Well, I’m still playing, just over 10 years later.

And although most of my time these days is filled with babies,
home birth support and cleaning this house, I still love playing my guitar.

I’ve created a Kaitlin Rose music page.

Like if it you want to know more about my other passion (there is a poll
to answer when you get there).

Motherhood

Energizing & Relaxing Strategies for Non-Stop Moms

6 Comments 31 January 2012

I’m a non-stop stay at home mom.

There are days when I sit down on the couch after putting the kiddos to bed and wonder, is this the first time I’ve sat all day?

Does driving the car into town count? Wait a second, did I get a chance  to sit during dinner? For a moment, just before picking up the little one out of his exersaucer and bouncing him on my hip while taking those few last bites.

Ugh.

Sometimes I just want a break.

But honestly, that’s not in the cards right now.

Dear daughter nearly had a melt down when dad wanted to take her to get a slice of pizza the other night. “Mommy come too?” She asked, so innocent and sweet. When the answer was no, she nearly hyperventilated.

That’s okay. This is a mere moment in time. It will pass.

But  for now, what is a stir-crazy,  touched-out, 24/7 mom to do?

For sanity’s sake, I’ve come up with a few energizing AND relaxing strategies to get me through the day.

Because yes, we need to stay relaxed inside and get an energy boost at the same time. It keeps us going. I think of Cesar Milan (he’s calm and assertive at the same time!).

These strategies go beyond stepping the next room to take a deep breath and count down from 10.

They’re more in depth. More colorful and fun. And I’ve found that’s exactly what I need in my life. Another plus: they’ll work for stay at home or working moms!

Energizing & Relaxing Strategies for Non-Stop Moms

  • First rule of thumb: don’t ever try to escape your children. That will never work. Join them. 
  • Sing: childrens songs, Joni Mitchell, whatever. Just sing. Your toddler doesn’t care if you’re good. They’ll sing along.
  • Instead of saying something you aren’t proud of in the heat of the moment, replace it with something positive like, “I love you!” or “my children are so curious and full of life!”
  • Count your blessings. Literally. Write them down if you need to. I write mine on mirrors.
  • Create a quiet space in a corner of the room that anyone can use to sit down and take a moment to themselves. It could be a rocking chair, bean bag or piece of carpet with some pillows. Get a CD player with relaxing music and a few picture books and a magazine for you.
  • Have a dance party! Turn the music up loud and JIVE. Yesterday I put on a very wide spinney skirt which absolutely astounded my daughter when I twirled.
  • Make popcorn. Eat it sitting on the floor.
  • Take a family bubble bath. The key is getting in with the kids yourself. The warm water is relaxing and the kids will love the bubbles.
  • Get outside! Fresh air is refreshing and invigorating!
  • Hug and/or kiss your children. Close your eyes and breath in their scent.
  • Lastly, when I’m feeling uber frustrated, I take a long hard look at myself in the mirror, directly in the eye. For some reason, it always calms me down. I just can’t be “hard” anymore

family music time

.

Now it’s your turn! What do you do to calm down or relax during the day? Please share in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Motherhood

Good Enough

4 Comments 17 January 2012

Since becoming a mother, I’ve often wondered if I’m doing good enough.

Am I doing a good enough job at all of this?

Am I a good enough mother? Am I doing a good enough job keeping this house put together?  Do I cook good enough meals? Am I a good enough lover? Am I treating myself good enough?

You know, we are often our harshest critics. I am often mine.

Well tonight, I had an idea, and I’d like to share it with you.

I though, maybe I am doing good enough.

Or at least, maybe that’s what I should start telling myself.

I’d like to believe we are living to the best of our capabilities every day.

We are always trying to do our best.

When we discover that we could do better in one area or another, I think we try to improve on our shortcomings most of the time.

At the end of the day, on the nights I have enough will power to muster myself out of the warm bed where I’ve just nursed the children into dreamland, I often ponder this subject, being good enough.

I reflect on the day.

I ask myself when I could have been better. When I should have taken a deep breath rather than raised my voice, or taken my time instead of rushed through the moment, eager for the next place to be.

There are several instances to look at, each and every day, where I can spot room to improve.

And here’s where the revelation comes in:

I used to go to bed with my brain in a tangled, worried mess. I couldn’t fall asleep.

Then tonight I thought, (or perhaps reminded myself is more accurate) that of course I was good enough!

I can say, “Today did my best. And tomorrow I will do better.”

What a great mantra!

Those areas that I’m not feeling  too proud of can be improved upon tomorrow.

While I can always do better, I shouldn’t beat myself up for being imperfect (human). I can forgive myself, make a promise to do better next time, and fall asleep in peace.

Think about that feeling you had when you rose to start the first day of the new year.

You can think of tomorrow the same way.

Resolutions are highly attainable when you create them one day at a time. I think that is much more likely to be accomplished than setting a goal for an entire year.

So start with tomorrow. What will you work to improve on? Pick just one thing.

Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Motherhood

Don’t Call Her Shy

17 Comments 16 December 2011

I’m not a fan of people calling my daughter shy. 

Sure, she may show all the signs of being “shy,” hiding behind my legs when first meeting someone. Or meeting someone for the 10th time for that matter.

It takes her anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour to come around. To show you the real her. I take it as her adjustment period, and often catch her watching this new person out of the corner of her eye.

She asks me to protect her, to shield her from the unfamiliar, by wanting to be picked up. Firmly planting her cheek on my shoulder and throwing her arms around my neck in a tight embrace.

Upon seeing this behavior, you might think my daughter is shy.

But please don’t call her shy.

You see, I believe we become the way we are when frequently told that how we behave, (shy, angry, etc.) is who we are. If we agree to those statements as truth about ourselves, we become it. Saying it once doesn’t necessarily make it true, but saying it over and over again makes it easier for us to believe.

I don’t even say the word shy anymore. I’m not going to put her into that box. I won’t stamp her with that label.

My daughter likes to take her time, easing into situations that might first be just outside her comfort zone.

Allow me to provide you with a beautiful scenario that describes more fully just what I mean.

This week, I decided to take my children to the library for a family story time. We arrived right on time, but the room was already full of loud, rambunctious children and their mothers.

When I opened the half door and presented the room to Ella, asking her to go inside, she refused.

“Are you sure honey?” I asked her. “This is why we came to the library today – to go to circle time.”

“No.” She replied. “I don’t want to.”

She was certain. Not budging those little feet.

I could immediately tell this was not a defiant moment on her part. No, she was afraid to go into that room full of busy children. And when everyone stopped what they were doing to stare at her, wondering if she would come in so we could close the door safely behind, she felt intimidated.

I don’t blame her. If I were her, I’d have felt the same way.

So I said, “okay honey, we don’t have to.”

When I turned to close the door to the children’s room, the mothers seemed to gawk.

No, I’m not forcing my toddler into the room if she doesn’t want to. And no, I’m not going to get flustered or lose my cool over this. Not when I respect her thoughts and feelings.

I realized at this point, we need to arrive 10 minutes earlier than the class begins and be one of the first families in the room. Ella would feel much more comfortable with the other children entering “her” space, rather than the other way around.

We’ll try that next week and I’ll report back with the results.

My point with this post is to encourage you to look at your child’s behavior in depth as I did with Ella in this situation. What could be going on in their mind? Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if a room full of people stopped and looked at you as you entered a room? Would you feel a little nervous? I would.

Let’s not jump to labeling our children, especially when we all change and grow so frequently, learning from our daily experiences. One day Ella will have the courage to step into a crowded room, and I hope I’m there to see it, or hold her hand and walk in with her.

Motherhood

Every Day is Mothers Day

3 Comments 28 November 2011

Last night, after waking up for the third time to nurse my nearly five month old son, a thought dawned on me.

Mothers are amazing. 

I was thinking about the millions of women who are up at night, just like me, nursing their babies back to sleep.

Of course, then my mind really got cranking, and I starting thinking about how seriously downright a-m-a-z-i-n-g mothers are. All mothers. Mothers in general. Every single one of you.

The countless sacrifices we make for our children and families!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the same life anymore. And not that I mind – I don’t! My life was going nowhere before I had kids. Becoming pregnant and giving birth at home enabled me to find my passion (you’re looking at it).

Day in and day out, our strength is tested.

Our stamina, determination, patience, understanding and kindness.

How easy would it be just to give up? Throw your hands up in the air and say, “Enough! I’m tired! Go away!”

But we don’t. We take a deep breath and regain composure (maybe we shout in a pillow down in the laundry room first).

We handle the situations.

We clean the mess. We dry the tears. We console the seemingly inconsolable, only to have little miss/mister drama queen/king happily bouncing around the room in the next moment as if nothing happened. ??

Motherhood doesn’t start when our baby is born.

It begins with that first realization – whatever you believe the first realization is – of your baby growing inside of you.

Hearing the heartbeat. The first kick. Feeling your body swell and stretch as a new life grows inside your own. Whether you plan on it or not, pregnancy is a spiritual experience.

Our body is home to that baby, like a garden is home to a seedling, and then we give birth. No matter where we give birth or how, birth is a transformative experience. Big time.

Then newborn baby is in your arms.

To smell and love, kiss and nurture. And just when the pain of childbirth starts to fade away as a dreamy part of your past, the harsh reality of diapers, laundry, countless feedings and the learning curve of figuring it all out hits you head on. It can be really overwhelming!

The thing is, we can do it all.

We may not do it all that well at first, but we learn fast!

Soon, we’re getting pretty good at this thing called mothering. Then everything changes. Baby doesn’t like to sleep for 2 hours at 10 o’clock sharp anymore. Constantly learning; always something new to adjust ourselves to.

See how amazing you are? That you can do all of this and not go crazy? You’re amazing!

Last night as I gently rocked front to back front to back, I was thinking of you.

I haven’t gotten a full night of sleep in over three years. And you know what made me feel more okay about that? Knowing there are so many of you who are just as sleep deprived as I am, craving that one night, some long time from now, when we can sleep soundly (we hope!)

Categories

Post Archives