Tag Archives: mom

I Don’t Judge The Mom In Pajamas

I don’t judge the mom in pajamas….

It’s 7:45 am and I’m pulling up in the pickup line. Across the road comes a mom toting a baby and holding the hand of a 5-year-old. She is sporting tinker bell pajama pants and a winter coat. There was a time I would have judged this mother.

Hard.

A time before I had kids, before I experienced the never-ending exhaustion motherhood has to offer. A time when I didn’t have kids and thought I knew it all. Admit it we all thought we had motherhood figured out until they handed us a newborn!

Now I offer a smile. A sign of our sisterhood of mothers. I know the struggles of a mom, I have 3 kids under the age of 8 and most days it’s a circus! I don’t know how her day started or what she is battling. Who am I to judge? 

I had to learn this the hard way, I found myself running to Kroger for Tylenol after being up all night with a sick toddler and I realized halfway through my sprint across the store I never changed out of my flannel pajama pants. I felt ashamed. I couldn’t even put myself together or run a brush through my hair to go out in public, but then I realized something, the only person I care about right now is my sick toddler and he didn’t care if I was in pajamas so why should I?

As mothers we need to stop the judgement and offer smiles and words of encouragement instead. To some it may seem simple, get dressed, but to some that is just adding another chore to their endless mornings!

We have no idea if a mom is battling depression, if she’s a single mom with no support, or if she is a new mom just trying to figure it out. Lets all take a step back and remember the days we were deep in the trenches of motherhood and just trying to keep our head above water. Just smiling at another mom could change her entire day, and its effortless! Let’s all take a step back and remember we are in this together, this isn’t an endless competition of who is the best mother, it’s a sisterhood of all of us together just trying to survive. Reach out to the mom in pajamas maybe offer her a play-date, a cup of coffee, and a safe space to vent instead of a judgmental look. 

Serendipity

Janet Truszkowski-Burton

An empty self, metamorphosed into a woman on a mission to serve and overflowing with peace.  A woman who is humble, kind & continuing on her life-long journey of self-becoming.

Daughter.  Grand-daughter.  Sister.  Mother.  Friend.  Wife.  Mom.

This woman who became her little sisters’ “mother” at a young age because their mom had to work to provide for the family, has learned many lessons in her lifetime.

The most important is to not lose yourself in the midst of life.  As Janet says,

Maintain your own interests & identity.  Be a mom, yes, and be a great mom…BUT….be sure to feed your soul….every day.  You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

It was really tough when her grandmother passed because she was such an inspiration and an integral part of Janet’s life.  Grandmother had a hard life, but she never gave up and she always found joy in the little things.  Janet loves to cook because of her grandmother’s teachings & remembers often, there is always so much to smile about.

Looking back, she now sees “hitting rock bottom” was a catalyst to drive her to care so much for young moms.  It’s what feeds her desire to make a difference.  She remembers her own struggle and if there was somebody in her life to walk through the valley with her back then, it wouldn’t have been so hard, so lonely, so mentally debilitating. “Learning from the mistakes that I’ve made, if I can help younger moms and teach them, support them, guide them…. THAT would be a good day.” 

Janet looks forward to teaching them to be financial responsible as well, and motivating them to keep their identity outside of their job and their children.

You never know how something like this will impact you but after being a “mental mess” she decided it was time to do something.  Holding fast to: “God is GOOD All the Time, All the Time God is Good!!”

She pressed on.  It was hard!  But she built herself up!  Just like her grandmother.

She took a job which became a better job, which then became her career.  Now, she is touching lives every day.  Her boss calls her his partner, which is quite an honor.  She’s extremely important to him and he lets her know it.  When the phone rings-she’s there.  When the clients have questions-she’s there.  When appointments fill up the day-she’s there.  It’s about building relationships and she is good at it!  Janet enjoys building friendships with clients and because of it, they trust her.  To be an integral part of the success of the business is a blessing.

Another blessing was stumbling upon Noelle and The Working Single Mom at a time when Janet needed it most.   Noelle’s strength, teachings, and blunt honesty about her own struggles, burdens &  breakthroughs, Janet learned to change her way of thinking, alter her future and become a stronger woman.  It has helped her have a peaceful, healthy, abundant life.

The biggest blessing of all was raising her two boys.  She gave her ALL to raising them and stand proud at who they’ve become.  Her youngest is off to college soon and she often wonders who will she be separate from her boys?  Giving to and doing for herself is a new thing and she’s anxious & excited at what will come next.  Never forgetting though, ‘Once a mom, always a mom.

This mom’s kind and nurturing spirit fills the room when she walks in.  Her friends look forward to her arrival.  10 years ago though, it was a totally different story!!  She didn’t’ get off the couch, let alone engage with people.  Now as she stands firm in her worth, she is able to say what she means, express herself in a loving way and touch lives one hug at a time.  

Janet continues to hope that she can take her love for supporting single moms to a more workable arena.  Women new to single motherhood, women in their 40’s starting to go through menopause, women who are unsure of themselves.  She knows “If you have someone to help you through it… things can be different.”  

To Be that Voice.  THIS is her passion!!! 

 

Jude Barry

This middle aged single mom of four is on fire for living life large.  There’s a whole lot of joy, positivity & exhuberance for life going on in this woman!

Jude lives on the East Coast with her 4 kiddos and if she’s not spending quality time with them, she’s either traveling, enjoying her gaggle of girlfriends or working.  Working hard. 🙂

Yes…. her work. It is what allows her to take care of her children, decorate her home and travel abroad.  She is happy with her career, is going on her 19th year and is the happiest while serving her clients.  Her pride in being an insurance agent shines through as she truly cares about each and every client.  They appreciate her honesty & knowledge. There are times when a new customer who is shopping around will call her with a policy they want a quote on and after a heart-full conversation about their why’s and how’s & qualifying reasons, she then gives her ‘Best For You’ options… and they walk away a very satisfied new client.  

She’s one of those gals who shoots from the hip, tells it like it is and looks to speak her truth.  It’s her authenticity & engaging personality that draw you in.  And then it’s her caring soul, listening ear and inquisitive manner that keep you there.  “My friends say I have no strangers,” she says as she laughs at the thought of how truthful it is.   This can come across as ‘too nice’ sometimes, but she doesn’t seem to flutter at the thought of it.  

When Jude went down the road of divorce, she reached out to friends and faithful clients for prayers.  This was one of the toughest times for her.  Not only did it teach her some valuable lessons she’d never change, it showed the people in her life this woman who rocks it every day….it showed them her real, raw, vulnerable side.  This woman who pressed on with a glowing spirit was doing all she could to get through and it touched lives! This truth changed relationships for the best.

Speaking of ‘the best’ is is important for Jude to live her best life every day.  Taking what was taught to her & teaching her children.  THIS is what fills her cup.  Her tea cup that is.  Tea is part of her brand, part of who she is and adds a touch of class to her business logo. The tea cup & the tea leaves have deep meaning to her, as well as the name of her company “ Benefits Caring for You”, which names her 4 children.  She enjoys teaching them all that she does and how she does it.  Maybe one day one of them will be that colleague she is looking to hire.  One with drive, integrity, energy and willingness to work hard.

Jude shares her enthusiasm for life with the people she meets as much as she can.  Going out into the world with her vibe of positive energy, touching people lives with compassion & caring.  She’ll stop and give a compliment or ask a question in hopes to make their day.  She looks forward to making others feel like they matter.  She knows firsthand from all she’s been through that ‘The Energy You Put Out is the Energy You Will Attract.’  This is one of the reminders that drives her.

Her children know by watching their amazing mom what really matters.  Relationships, how you treat people & the footprint you leave behind.  For Jude, it’s her clients, accounts, family & God that give her reason to express gratitude for all she has.  In those moments this go-getter is joyfully reminded just how blessed she is.

Amie Colby

Amie Colby  “I am Love”

Nominated by Amie’s Aunt Candace

What a gem Amie is.  Her spirit is full of grace and love.  She is a mother, a student, a survivor and a woman on fire to bless others with her smile, positive energy and story of transformation.  You would never know she had to work through a history of addiction, self-neglect or being stuck in bed, because now all you see & know is a woman spreading love.  “I am LOVE” is her focus and it is what drives her.  She builds her days, her intentions & her weekly theme from it.  This is what helps her show up for herself. 

 She and her kiddos (son/8, daughter 6 & 2) live in a 2-bedroom apartment in the beautiful state of VT.  Just a hop, skip & a jump from Canada.  The joy that fills her day covers them all, with lots left over.  It wasn’t always this way.  Amie struggled with giving, giving, giving.  Which eventually landed her ill.  Only then did she learn that she MUST tend to herself, she must give to herself, she must love herself.  Now that this is a habit for her, she fills up her LOVE tank.  She has plenty to give away and still feels full at the end of the day.

Amie looks forward to helping others….. “almost to a fault”, she said.  She knows first hand what it feels like to be down and alone, so bringing joy to others is what fills her up and lifts her spirits.  To cheer someone up, make their day and give away a smile, every day, is natural for Amie!  She will have a conversation with a stranger in hopes to make their day.  She goes so far as to call herself ‘Chatty Cathy’ looking forward to yet another conversation to share her love.

She learned at a young age how to be there for others by watching her Granny Tee and her mom.  Her mom was always standing up for others and loving on people… even in the midst of her addictions.  And Granny Tee… what a beautiful woman she was!  Always full of a zest for life with her door was always wide open to others.  She was touching lives and making a difference. 

Currently, Amie is involved in a ‘Women Thrive’ class where she is constantly learning to be a better self, a better mom, a better woman. And now that she is 3 years clean, she is always working on healing past wounds. Growing every day.   There are no regrets for Amie.  If she could do something over, she’s not so sure she’d want to.  She wouldn’t be the woman she is today if she was to start over.  She’s learned a lot and those ‘big’ things she didn’t think she’d get over… she did.  Which reminds her of a song that sings “The girl she used to be…she’s not that girl any more.”

Oh and her 2 bedroom apartment… it’s actually perfect.  The physical closeness they have, has created a loving space for her children. 

Because of Amie’s love for herself and others, she has created a wonderful home in a world she never thought of before.

The Guarded Mom

The guarded mom….

Normally I write these and tell you about the song I am listening to and what I am drinking. No music but milk tea. Lots of milk tea. It’s my new favorite thing.

There are quotes all over Pinterest about guarded women. I would take it a step further and say I’m a guarded Mom.

I realized this a long time ago but this weekend it came front and center. My daughter was trying to get in touch with her Dad to tell him about her grades. Her texts kept bouncing back. I found this out when I heard her crying in her room. I got my phone and put him on speaker. When I started to explain to him what happened he started to get defensive as he does. My daughter gave me a look. I was able to diffuse the situation and she was able to tell her Dad about her grades.

I want to tell you I haven’t spent the last eleven years diffusing everything but if you read what I write. You know that’s not true. And it’s exhausting. I have to think about everything I say. Everything I post. Even writing these blogs I worry sometimes.

My constant diffusing has meant I also keep certain parts of me to myself. I have only taken one vacation by myself. My daughter has only met one person that I have dated.  Up until I started writing and doing radio again all my social media was private and most of it, still is.

I worry when I do go out somehow my ex husband will turn it around on me.  That worry has made me say no. That worry has made me put things in place so my daughter will always have someone when it can’t be me. That worry has made me appear anti social. To some like I don’t care. That I’m closed off.

The thing is I care with my whole heart. I made a promise to my daughter the first time her Dad broke her heart I would be as she calls me- her knightress.

Sometimes a Knight has to guard her heart, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have one. She’s just keeping it safe for battle.

Being a Mom is the best thing, the hardest thing and my favorite thing.

Be safe.

Love you Mommas

G’s Knightress

Caprise

Friday Night At Walmart

Have you ever found yourself at Walmart on a Friday or Saturday night? Like, at 9 o’clock? I did. Once. It was then I realized just how much my life has changed since starting a family. Could this really be the highlight of my weekend? That I have some cash in my purse and I can go out on Friday night…to Walmart? To buy Butt Paste, paper towels and socks? Really?

Wow. I guess so.

It’s ok, though, because I quickly realized that I wasn’t alone. Besides the trouble-making tweens in the toy department riding the bikes up and down the aisles, and the extremely ego-pumped twenty somethings in the cosmetic aisle looking for the right shade of lip gloss before she heads out to the clubs…we have us. Us moms. With a fresh 20 dollar bill in our purse. Maybe more.

Here we are, adding up our purchases in our heads. Aimlessly browsing through the jammed packed shelves. With a carriage full of kids who won’t sit down.

Then there’s the clothing section. Do I go in? Nope. I browse from the aisle. I see “us’ poking through clothes looking for something that’ll make us feel pretty, AND that fits. Impossible, by the way. There are women who are trying stuff on from the misses department hoping it’ll fit, and they will look good. But deep down they know it won’t. We know those denim mini skirt days are gone….Looooooong gone. Not for some, but for most.

One thing is for sure…that blouse will look great with that knock-off coach bag I saw at the Flea Market last week end.

But I learned an important thing from that Friday night at Walmart.

All of us at Walmart, with carriages full of kids who won’t sit down, are where we belong…with the kids we love. Inevitably we put the blouse back and settle on a necessity instead. Baby wipes. Tooth paste, Under Roos.

And so what? As I stood in line and looked around at the Moms beside me, I realized what good mommies we were. And I Smiled at the tiny little thing with the fake tan in front of me with her lip gloss, and trouble makers as they high five each other out the door. Because I know it will be them soon enough, standing here with a carriage full of kids that won’t sit down.

~Lynn

Mama Bear

My sweet sweet moms.  Are you the kind of mom who protects her child/ren from all the scary parts of the world?  Are you the kind of mom who wants to take away the pain from your child/ren so they don’t cry any more?  Are you that mom who would fight the dragon to save your child from harm? A mama bear?  Yes!  Yes!  And Yes!!!

Being the mama bear is bred in who we are as mothers.  It is the internal makeup of a mother.  It runs in our blood through our veins to our heart, to our soul, to our gut.  A mothers instinct/intuition/love can not be made, copied or replaced.

Do you have the wisdom to tell when you should step in and when you should not?  Do you have the clarity to notice when you are needed or being manipulated?  Do you have the knowing of good & bad, wrong & right, love & evil?  Are you two steps ahead, are you watching with wise eyes, pressing in when you’d rather give in?

These are the things we as mothers must have in place to raise our children to be strong, independent, successful adults who have the wisdom, clarity and knowing that they saw by watching how we raised them.  We tow the line and they learn.

We say no to our selfish desires, we say no to the things we want when we have ‘needs’, we say no when they ask/cry/beg for something we know is wrong, unacceptable or just not necessary.

It is up to us to be the beacon of light and refuge, the pillar of strength and dignity and the lover of life.

Be strong & compassionate.  Be powerful & kind.  Be brave & full up of love.  Be the Mamma Bear.

xoxo

Your God Gril

Tracy

How To Mother When You’ve Been Motherless

How to Mother when you’ve been motherless…

Friday night, sitting on the steps facing the front door waiting. Always waiting. Hushed whispers behind me as my Dad takes a call from my mom. I let out a deep sigh as my brothers give up and head back upstairs knowing what Dad is going to come say. I don’t give up I wait, she promised, and I believed her. My dad comes and takes a seat next to me and says, “baby its time to go to bed Mom isn’t coming. “this is the constant memory I have of my mother, my entire childhood spent waiting on a woman who couldn’t be bothered to show up for her three kids twice a month.

Motherhood scared me, How would I raise kids of my own when my own mother checked out of my life at such a young age? Would I care enough to stay in my own children’s life when my own mother couldn’t be bothered? How do you mother when you were motherless?

I spent my entire pregnancy reading every book on mothering I could find. Those around me told me I’d be great, “its instinct they’d say,” and laugh off my fears. I ignored them and paged my way through another book on parenting. If my mother didn’t have the instinct to mother, then maybe it wasn’t natural for me.

But then the day came, after 20 minutes of pushing I was handed this 8-pound 6-ounce baby boy and suddenly my entire world centered itself. Holding my son in my arms felt right, felt like I was meant to do it. It hasn’t been easy and two more kids later I’m still no expert on mothering, but I’m doing it. Just because my mother walked out on me doesn’t mean I was destined to walk out on my own kids. There’s nothing I love more than coming home from work and seeing their beautiful faces staring at me. Nothing fills me with passion like motherhood does. It’s a whole new world I never expected to find myself immersed into.

You can move past all the bad things in your life and create something good. Its always a possibility. You just have to have a little faith in yourself. I never imagined I would be a successful mother based on the fact my own mother didn’t step up, but here I am day in and day out rocking the mom thing. You can do anything you set your mind to and no one can stop you.  My mom failed, in no uncertain terms, she failed at being a mother, but I am succeeding, and I refuse to let my children sit on the stairs and wait for me.

 

Serendipity

A Letter To The Obscure Hero

To The Obscure Hero….

Hey there!  Yes, I’m talking to you. The one who got up super early before everyone else this morning just to enjoy a few moments of quiet and throw a load of laundry in the washer.   The one who packed lunches, brushed hair, and made bottles while her coffee sat on the counter getting cold.

You!  The one who threw a cookie in her mouth on the way out the door because she didn’t have time to sit down and eat breakfast.  The one who loaded all of the kids into the car, dropped everyone off and applied her makeup while sitting in traffic and drinking cold coffee.  The one who was exhausted by the time she arrived at work but never let it show once she walked into the office.  The one who prayed that the child who didn’t feel so good last night was able to make it all day at school so she wouldn’t have to leave work early.

You’re the one who stopped at the grocery store on the way home after a long day aimlessly wandering the aisles hoping for an idea of what to make for tonight’s dinner.  The one who picked up all of the kids and hit the ground running helping with homework while starting to cook a meal.  The one who threw that now partially dry load of clothes from earlier into the dryer and started a new load after cleaning the kitchen from dinner.  The one who gave baths, read stories and tucked everyone in for the night.

It was you who sewed that button back on that dress shirt that your child needed for tomorrow night’s orchestra concert.  That was you who was completely spent but stayed up an extra hour scrolling through Facebook and playing games on your phone just to enjoy the peace and quiet.  That was you who woke up at 2a.m. to feed your crying baby and soothe them back to sleep all the while barely keeping your eyes open.  You, who crawled back into bed counting the few remaining hours of sleep you would get in your head.  And you, who woke up before the sun to do it all over again.

Yep, that was you alright!  I knew I recognized you, you and me…we are one in the same.  Well listen, I just wanted to tell you this incase no one else has.  I see you.  You matter.  You are loved. You are a hero.

~1spentmom~

The Muscles We Don’t See

When I look at mothers, I value the muscles you can’t see…

If we are fortunate, we have friends or family members that tell us how strong we are. I have someone in my life that champions me. And, I appreciate that. But those on the outside looking in only get a glimpse. Because until you are a mom, you are not able to comprehend what it takes to survive.

Moms have the endurance of long-distance runners. Every day is a marathon. It feels like a sprint but it is a marathon. As soon as she is out of bed – actually, before that…as soon as she is awake – she is going. There is so much to do and life demands a consistent pace if there is to be any hope of getting even a portion of it completed. If this marathoner appears to be breaking stride or shortening the distance, don’t be fooled. This woman is always moving swiftly – thinking, planning, preparing, and plotting the entire time.

Mothers are incredible jugglers. You have not seen someone multi-task until you’ve seen her handle a day. Yes, we all know what studies say about multi-tasking but she proves them wrong and takes it to a new level. Making dinner, while correcting homework, starting the laundry, answering a teacher’s email, signing a permission slip and answering the phone, all while asking the kids about their day and while still wearing her work clothes. And, dinner makes it to the table on time, and the kids feel none of the effects of this whirlwind because her focus is seemingly only on them. Now that is impressive, and it is only one hour of her day. That juggle is nonstop and requires incredible muscle.

Mothers are tremendous containment specialists. When there is no one at home to confide in, to share the burden of decision making, advocating and disciplining, she needs to contain that frustration, struggle and self-doubt and put it aside as best she can.  Mom has grit. There is not enough time or energy to let that doubt and fear creep in. But it is there. It is always there. So, she shoves it down or back or into a box and moves ahead with her head high, knowing (or at least hoping that) she is doing the best she can.

No one sees all of this. And, yet, it takes a more strength than most can imagine. Not even the mom’s closest confidant truly sees the triumphs and tears, the disappointments and the dance parties, the hard days and harder nights. But in all of those moments, the real muscles are formed and refined and flexed. Mom doesn’t worry about who sees. She isn’t looking for sympathy. She doesn’t have time for that. She might need a little understanding and a little grace, or just a knowing smile from a fellow mom. She might not know where the strength she needs comes from. But it is there. Quietly growing and building, depleting and then building again.

It is those muscles, the ones no one sees, that help moms push through, carry on and strive for more.

 

Samantha