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Friday, July 17, 2015

There's no going back

"No pain no gain" took on a whole new meaning for me this month. Spent 3 weeks away from home with the kids while my husband spent some time renovating our home. There was no way he could do what he did while we lived there.

The sleepless nights, crammed in one room at my Moms with 4 little ones, at times were more than I could stand. I lived as a single Mama away from the comfort of our home for 3 long weeks. After a week, I second guessed our plan -  thought maybe it wasn't worth the sacrifice for all this. I kept saying "there's no going back." Somehow those words gave hope and sense enough to carry on with the crazy plan.

I got out of bed every morning sick with fatigue. Looked in the mirror to see a tired, weary version of myself,  and somehow purposed to make it a good day (with many mistakes along the way). All I knew or felt was the heavy burden that came with great sacrifice. I was in the trenches.  What's worse - I chose it.  What was I thinking?

It taught me a lot about myself and my kids - and about other people. It is so difficult for us to live outside of comfort.  SO difficult.  Yet in hardship, beauty is found in the most beautiful and unexplainable ways. When we are stripped of ourselves, our excuses and expectations, something great happens; self awareness. We either dodge it or face it. Man it hurts to face it. But the reward when you do; another chance to be better.

You see, I thought my leaving the home was to renew our home. Just so happens, the greatest renew and restore happened within me.

There's no going back. Thank God, cause I don't want to go back. I feel new again. Thank you "trenches" for kicking my ass. ;)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Someday, I will know me again.

Reality hit like a ton of bricks - again. I've been here before. Each time it's as if an epiphany I haven't known before.  Teary-eyed I sit here looking around my home, and I can't seem to grab hold of purpose, strength, vision, or understanding. I pray for these things every day, but every day is operated in false sense of hope that something will change in me.
I am who I am.
I'm so busy caring and loving four beautiful children that I can't see what the person inside of me looks like anymore - outside of Mom. I would LOVE to find myself again.  Different and the same in ways, but how is it possible to do anything for myself outside of caring for my children at this stage? No one talks about this stuff. Well, we do, but by default we respond to each other with the same old statements that get us through the day, but I dare say most of us feel lost at times and worry about our future as a person outside of Mom.
I am a person outside of Mom...but today I only see "Mom". It is both a privilege and a horror to be one. The depth of love and care for our children is often detrimental to ourselves. We can't help it. It can't be changed. We were made to love deeper and harder for our children than ourselves. That's what we do. We are Moms.
Someday I will have time for myself again. Just not now. Not tomorrow. And by time for myself, I don't mean exercise, a drink with a girlfriend, or a couple hours in a book...I make time for that. I mean TIME as in flourishing in old and new talents, experiences, dreams...that have all been put on hold in this season of mothering. 
It is hard. At the end of the day we are all forced to come to grips with who we are and who we've become - some things great, some not so great. We are forced to let go of today and look ahead to tomorrow, whether our hearts and souls are ready for it.
Someday, I will know me again.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


A few weeks ago while reading "Motherhood Realized" (great book), I was prompted to write my own poem or thoughts to capture a "snapshot" of my current life as a mom. It was midnight, and though my soul was reeling in the depths of motherhood, I wasn't sure if any of it would make sense the next day. I didn't care.

I just read it, and to my amazement it did make some sense so I wanted to share...

"It's tension.
Both physical and emotional.
The pulling and tearing down of myself
to build and strengthen them up.

It pains me to look around at all the clutter that is spun in every door way, walk way....all over the floor....
then I look up at his two year old face.
I am caught in the moment of his innocent state; full of life, hope, and love - adoration for me as his Mom.

Then I'm pained again
with his reality here
that the Mom he adores 
can't quite see past the lack....


It's her face, nuzzled in,
sparking eyes looking up as she nurses,
nurturing me while nurturing her.
Her hand upon my chest,
soft newborn skin pressed to mine.

In these moments the tension leaves me in the awareness of "now" and gives the tension all new meaning with purpose and value.

The tension:
It is pride, joy, and fear of all that's to come in our beloved children.  No one loves or understands them like we do, and so this tension weighs in to both hinder and guide, so we can help our children come alive."

One day when I am far removed from this reality and ingrained in another, I will read this and be reminded. What an amazing memory!!

Now I challenge you to do the same.  What is a snapshot of your current reality as a Mom (or a Dad)? It doesnt have to be poetic. Whether shared or kept close to your heart it is so good to dig deep and allow these feelings a place in the light. I'd love to read yours if you are willing to share. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

"I'm glad I listen to my Mom"

This will go down in history as the most difficult morning getting the kids ready and off to school. My 4 year old, Adelle, is strong as they come. Overall I am so thankful for this, but days like today I wonder if I'll ever make it being her Mom. It is so exhausting.

Since 6:30 this morning I've given her most of my attention. It's her Valentine's party today so it took a little extra time to get things ready. She refused to finish her Valentine's cards because "boys don't want princess cards" (smart girl). I suggested we write their name only on the suckers so she had something to give. At first she hated the idea, then she liked it, then she hated it... so we came back to writing them all a Valentine's card. (Mind you, we had been working on these since the beginning of the week!) At one point she started bending the cards that were already finished because she was upset. I kept reminding her that she could choose not to do them, but she might be sad if she had nothing to give at the party. It went from this to "I'm not going to the stupid valentine's party!" I thought to myself "Ok, good to know! Then let's stop wasting our freakin time!"

It's a miracle we finished them.

During her bath I asked if I could lay out her clothes on her bed (that she picked out last night). She said yes, so I did.

I went about my business catering to the other three; my nursing babe, my 2 year old in need of attention, my 7 year old in need of guidance... bags to fill, lunches to pack, snow gear!?..."omg, Everett please be gentle with the baby!"

I go to check on Adelle. She's standing there naked, upset and refusing to do anything more. Then I realize she threw all her clothes and shoes that I laid out in the mess of her bedroom!

That's it. I've had it. I'm so done I could scream!

I've been working with the kids through the "bucket system" hoping to speak in a way they can understand, so I say; "Adelle, that's it! You didn't just tip over my bucket, you kicked it across the room! I am all done trying to help. You are on your own and can figure yourself out from here." I walk out.

Holy crap, did it get worse. I sat on the couch to continue nursing the babe. Gremlin-girl had her way in that room and kept screaming "Mommy! !! Mommy!!" She came out and I told her I was no longer able to help her. "There are 3 other people who need my help, Adelle, and you continue to treat me horribly! Mommy is all done helping when you treat me like this."

There she is; hair wet, naked, and in "refusal state."

Lord have mercy.

Liam (my 7 year old) is ready to go and waiting. By the time she decides to get dressed, it was certain she would be late and Liam may not make it on time.

*deep breath

Hesitant to say anything more I dry her hair,  throw myself together, load the kids and drive off to school.

Rage inside kept me from crying my eyes out. I turned up the music full blast. It was calming. I almost couldn't hear the frustration in my mind.

As the sun shined through and the music played, the emotion lessened; enough for me to lift my eyes to the rear view mirror, where I caught Adelle's. Smiling big she says, "I'm so glad I listen to my Mom."

Of all the things I could say, I just smiled back. We continued to smile. It was like grinding my teeth not to say what was really on my mind but the reality is this: I would rather leave her with that truth, than remind her of where she fell short.

When we pulled up to the school she said, "I'm sorry I made us late for school and tipped your bucket today."

"It's ok babe. I forgive you. We all make mistakes"

Deep breathing continues. I love this girl so much it hurts. All this strength in her is really very good.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Habitual at Heart

It's true. We are. All of us. Maintaining good habits and routines are already difficult to walk out for ourselves, let alone when you have 4 or more (or less) children to help guide and steer in the right way. The stresses and demands of life can suck the joy out of living.  I'm tired of being overthrown by this all too busy life. But there's no turning back. I need to figure out a way to keep living with purpose and joy as the backbone.  It's so easy to fall back on habitual ways of coping instead of taking charge and fighting hard.

I'm suffocating. Until now, I thought it was due to taking care of 4 children. . .now I've realized it's more due to my frustration with the way I parent and lack of ability to act out what I know is right. My "outs" have become self help books to strengthen myself as a parent, to figure out how to be their coach in every phase of childhood. That, or I get together with a friend over a drink and talk through the difficulty of motherhood. It's tough! 4 little people with big personalities, lots to say, and energy I would kill for.

The ages of my kids are 7, 4, 2, and 3 months. You can say I'm pretty busy. There is no break in the day. Night only leads to the morning of doing it all over again. The thought of another day is enough to dig myself in a hole sometimes.  This is the reality people! Don't try to sugar coat it.

It is the hardest job on earth. The responsibility never leaves you. It haunts you every sleeping and wakeful moment. When they are at school,  you never stop thinking about them; what are they doing? I hope they're ok. I hope they are happy. What will it be like when they come home? How do I manage and maintain their emotions when my own are enough to handle? How do I remain calm, continue to nurture, all the different needs? They all need me at the same time - for different reasons.  It is both humbling and scary as shit.

Ahhhhhh. . . .smelling the roses. . . .which is a combination of "you're screwed, stop trying to figure it out!" and "what a wonderful blessing to have and to hold children." It truly is a blessing. 

To tell a mother to stop worrying is to tell mother nature to stop sending Spring. It is inevitable - all part of the cycle of living and loving the generation before us.....our children.  God be with us as we guide them.

It is unlike anything I ever imagined. I'm trying to break out of the habitual patterns that affirm anxiety and fear, and instead cling to truth and hope of a better day. Ive heard that life is a dance. Well I say, life is a fight! Nothing is handed to you.  Even when you're reaching for it in desperation.  It will not be handed to you. You have to fight hard for it. 

Well, whatever you're drinking (mines chamomile tea at the moment), Raise your glasses Mama's! Here's to fighting hard! Lets beat the shit out of guilt and shame that tell us we don't measure up or are disqualified. I quite disagree. Our children need US. No one else. Just us. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly. We are good enough. Just need a little refining from time to time.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nothing Else Matters

A busy mind, we are stuck with. 
It takes great focus to see only what's present.

Care not about the next thing.
Press in, to this fleeting minute. 
Let it last a little longer.
That next thing will still be there. 
This moment will soon perish.

Be present.

Just be.


B r e a t h e.

Nothing else matters. . .
Nothing else matters.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Beautiful Balance of Relationship

I write this after an exhausting week of sickness in our home. Sick and weary Mommy and Daddy taking care of 3 sick kids and a nursing babe; whose needs have sucked us dry. We have survived a very hard week; stripped of sleep... stripped of any affirmation that would say "thank you, you are doing a good job". . .stripped of laughter and that sense of happiness...

We have survived.

In these moments,  everything seems a little darker. "Seems" is key. The truth in my mind has me weigh in on all the ways I am not wanted or that I am not good enough. In these moments, truth has to be sought outside of myself. Sometimes it comes from an encouraging friend or family member. But sometimes it doesn't come - and sometimes the darker corners of truth are highlighted when someone I love is insulting, or is simply absent on a daily basis.

It is in these moments I cling to the truth of my Creator, Who knows me inside and out, while hoping to be reminded by those I love, that I am wanted... no matter what.

I hope to be wanted in every day - when it looks messy or when nothing "special" is happening. I hope to be thought of in the mundane; when for no other reason than the thought of me, caused them to reach out.

I write, because we ALL want this.

It is so important for family to come along side each other equally when it's good and bad. If we give too much attention when things go wrong, or only when things go well, we make the person feel out of balance in our support. It starts to feel conditional.  Unconsciously the person ends up striving for approval in the less affirmed areas.

Relationship should be a beautiful balance adjusting to the cycle of life. It is the sun and clouds enhancing in nature what is needed to survive. Relationship is fluid. It moves with the seasons of hardship and grief and flows toward hope and happiness.  

We are all needed in our intimate circles of family and friends through every difficult, wonderful, and mundane happening.

I desire this for myself.  I desire this for you. I desire this greatest for my husband and kids. God desires it equally for all.

"God. . .

Help us to walk in balance with You and with each other.  Impress upon us the beautiful balance of relationship You created for family and friendship. What does this look like day to day for each of us? Help us to discern who's "bucket to fill". Give us strength to see outside of our own needs to make choices for the greater good. Help us tune in to the lives before us, in arms length, who need to be reminded that they are wanted.

Please speak to us.

We are listening."