Tag Archives: motherhood

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~

All My Guilt Tucked In A Suitcase

All My Guilt Tucked In A Suitcase…

There are two sides to every story, two sides to every coin, and two sides to every single parent.

I constantly feel torn between the mother in me and the single woman in me.

How do I balance it?

Am I giving each side enough attention?

I am grateful that my kids have fathers in their lives that allows me to have a break, but there is still a tremendous amount of guilt for taking advantage of that time. I go on dates, I visit bars, and I attend concerts all while trailing behind me in a suitcase is my mom guilt. All tucked nice and neat are the little what ifs and should ofs of my life. I always tuck away my wish I would of thoughts into my guilt suitcase and carry it along with me, every shift at work, every date I go on, and every night when I fall asleep without little toes in my face.

l’ll always wonder what my children do when they are away from me, even though I know they are safe and happy at their dads, I still wonder. It’s a part of being a mom! I’ll always tuck away my wish I would of thoughts into my guilt suitcase and carry it along with me, every shift at work, every date I go on, and every night when I fall asleep without little toes in my face.

I’m a strong 27-year-old woman who’s succeeding in her career and raising 3 children, but there are days I still doubt myself, and doubt the balance of it all. I’ll be standing in the middle of a dance floor and flooding me are the thoughts of what are my kids doing right now and begin wondering why I’m even out to begin with.

On the other hand, there are days I’m standing in the middle of a pile of laundry and wishing for that mixed drink in a loud bar.

There’s no magic formula for being a single parent or trust me I would trade my guilt suitcase in for it. It’s a crazy ride, and I’m riding it with my hands up. I’m proud of how far I’ve come post-divorce but there are still days of struggle and doubt. I must force myself to take a step back and see what I’ve accomplished and see what happy and healthy kids I have and know that I am doing the best I can.

I’m their mother, their strong courageous mother, I’m also a vibrant beautiful 27 year old who needs a little fun every now and then.

~Serendipity

Confessions In A Communal Mirror

I put my makeup on at work today in front of the mirror

Standing in a public bathroom in unflattering lighting.

Annoyed looks from the younger women.

Sympathetic looks from the older.
I want to tell the youths that I’ve been up since five thirty.

This morning I checked my emails for fires, then roused two children and corralled them to school. That I had to issue 20+ reminders to my ADHD son to keep him on task, because his meds hadn’t kicked in yet. And that I had to remind myself to be intentional about paying equal attention to his brother so he wouldn’t feel ignored. That I hadn’t had my coffee yet.
That I had a 7:30 parent teacher conference with a team of devoted educators. And that afterwards I finished my grocery shopping, on my phone, while sitting in the parking lot.
That on my commute this morning I called the vet, the pediatrician, the pharmacy, and an electrician, because there’s a light in my basement that is always on and won’t turn off. I ate my breakfast at red lights and finished caffeinating in a parking deck, and  I will likely eat my dinner standing at the kitchen counter.

I want to tell them to be careful of the partners they choose, and life has no assurances so be smart when you pick your path. I want to tell them that even if their world burns down one day, they have the power to rise and to create something new.

I want to tell them that I’m proud of myself, and of my kids, and of our messy beautiful busy life. I know that if they knew these things, they’d be proud of me too.

But instead I just smile and nod at those whose I eye I catch while applying my make-up in the mirror.

~Leona

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

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

I want to hold her hand…forever.

The love of my life has been twelve for not quite a month and in that short time and especially lately, I have been taught some hard lessons.

Like I am pretty sure I need her more than she needs me.

At least that is the vibe she is sending me.

She recently was away with her Dad for a week. I texted her everyday. Her answers back were short. Meanwhile, I’m at home practically begging the dog to hang out with me. It’s not that I don’t want her to have fun, but can she miss me. A little?

She definitely laments when I feel compelled to sing loudly to music in the car, but I feel that is actually a rule for tweens.

She has remarked once or twice I dress like a teenager. But again, I feel that’s a requirement.

The punch to the guts are being asked why I am in her room. Do I plan on staying. Tucking herself in and now not even really saying goodnight to me.

Maybe I get a good morning.

If… I’m lucky.

However, the one that stung the hardest was a recent Saturday we spent together.

G & I make sure every Saturday we make plans. It can be as simple as watching a movie to as complex as a road trip, but with her fast approaching her teen years I want time with her. It’s our time to put everything away and just be.

We went and grabbed lunch and as we were getting ready to leave I asked her if she wanted to go anywhere else.

She said the mall.

I think I almost spit out my tea. My sweet girl is not a shopper. The only way she will go to Target is if I feed her and stick to a list. If we do go shopping once she is done. She is DONE.

I asked her again just so I was sure.

She said yes.

She wanted to go to Hot Topic.

There it was!

Hot Topic is her place. My free spirit loves anime and t-shirts and plushies (that’s tween for stuffed animals).

Hot Topic carries all her favorite shows and movies in some form of backpack, shirt or pin.

I sighed and said fine.

She smiled – huge.

I have always been the Mom who holds my child’s hand. Because I love her and I’m a bit overprotective.

We walk into the mall I hold my hand out which is code for grab my hand. My dutiful daughter does but also lets out a huge sigh.

I say quietly while we are walking “if it’s uncool to hold my hand I get it. You don’t have to hold my hand.”

She drops my hand and says “I’m letting go because you said I could, but yes it’s not cool.”

Mommas(!)

She must have noticed my face.

“Mom I love you, this is great. I will walk next to you.”

“Thanks, ok.” I squeak back.

We shop.

I spend WAY too much money on a t-shirt for her.

When we got home she thanked me and quickly retreated to her room.

I found her a bit later.

Asleep.

I laid next to her… she grabbed my hand and held it.

G and I continue to enter uncharted territory and it’s rough sometimes.

But this is what I know, I will be 100 and she will always be my baby, my sun, my moon, my stars, the reason I try to be better.

Even if she won’t hold my hand at the stupid mall.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Why Is It So Hard To Be You?

How do you just be you? I do not know where to start with this one without sounding like a crazy… I have not never felt more like myself than I do now. I am not sure why… or how… but I finally feel like the person I was years ago. This might be hard to explain..

I was married for many years and throughout most of my marriage I did not feel like I could be myself. I was trying to be perfect. What is it about being perfect and why do we feel we need to be perfect at times… perfect job, perfect body, perfect life…

I loved my life, however I was just not myself. I always felt like I was trying to live up to someone I was not. I felt like I was always trying to please someone. I am not a perfect mom or person. I tried to be perfect for many years.. I mean I tried to make homemade baby food, I tried to make craft projects off of Pinterest, and I tried to throw the best kid birthday parties.. The truth is, none of that is me.. I love my kids and I would do anything for them. But I am not the perfect mom… nor do I want to be.

I was a stay at home mom for many years and I did love it, however I might sound crazy or like a bitch, but I feel you also lose a part of yourself. I volunteered for Sunday school, PTA, field trips, etc ..thinking this is what I should be doing. I was even on the PTA board and it was definitely not for me… After many years and my kids were older, I was bored. I would try to create projects. I felt like I didn’t know what I wanted to do or that I didn’t really do anything important. I was trying to find myself again and didn’t know where to start. I wanted to feel important again.

I have no idea why I thought I had to be perfect all the time. I did not grow up that way, but I think over time I changed to be someone I wasn’t. I think it took years to get back to my old self or the person I am…I have just learn to let things go. I do not get worked up about all the things in life that don’t really matter. I do not feel like I need to make it to every event or have my kids go to every event. Sometimes we just need to stay home.

Slowly, I started to make my own decisions without feeling guilty. I had to learn to just say no to things I really did not like. Maybe they were things I had pretended to like for years. I realized I am more comfortable with a smaller groups. I do not like crafts. I do not like cooking. I do not like home projects. I like music. I like concerts. I like sitting outdoors…. So many of these things I neglected for many years. Mostly because I felt I would just go along with everyone else and not speak up for what I wanted. Or I felt guilty for wanting to do something I wanted. I finally realized that I didn’t have to live up to anyone or their expectations. I was myself.

I have learned that I do not get worked up over things now..I am late for everything and I have accepted it. Years ago, I would be yelling over and over again because we were

late. Then I realized, I have 3 kids and we are just never going to be on time for anything.

I am myself with my kids now. I probably let them stay up later than they should. I do not have them involved in every activity. My daughter wears the same clothes everyday almost, we wash them at night and she wears them again. Why? Because it’s easier and what does it matter…

It’s hard to learn to feel comfortable just being yourself. It’s hard to not worry about being the perfect mom, or wife, or perfect everything. I have learned that I do not worry over as much anymore. Somehow it works out. Maybe not how I wanted it, but it works out. I have learned to let a lot go, and I can be myself.

Thank you for reading…

Megan

Snarkydivorcedgal

Warrior Training

Warrior Training

When did my skin get so damn OLD looking??? These are the things that I am thinking as I look at last night’s video…51 that is how old I will be in about a month, 51 years on the planet with an 18 year old son.

18 years…where the hell did that GO??? 18 years of being a working single mom, 18 years of being solely responsible for every freaking thing—- how the hell did I even DO that???? Yet, here I sit…out the other side and in fact, I did do it and I did a pretty good job. The kid turned out pretty exceptional even in the face of my many shortcomings…

So what have I learned and what wisdom can I impart to help you through whatever stage of this adventure you are in?

Here we go…

*STOP worrying so much, it isn’t helping anything. All it does is make you crazy and honest to God shit DOES work out. We hardly ever can see how, yet it does and you simply HAVE TO TRUST THAT IT WILL.

*Be honest with your kids, let them see you be REAL…acting like you are OK when you are NOT OK just screws them up because they can FEEL that you aren’t right and you are usually all they have—-so let them see the warrior that you are, let them see that you can be afraid and do it anyway…let them see that you can not feel well and do it anyway…let them see what it is like to overcome things—it is only going to make them stronger, better adults.

*Kids KNOW, whatever it is that you think you are hiding from them, they already know—-so just be honest. Life is hard and we prevail, show them that—don’t make them think that there won’t be challenges—-show them what it is like to be real.

*Take care of yourself, if you go down there is no one to cover for you—-your health and your well-being are a PRIORITY. PERIOD.

*KNOW YOUR WORTH —- I can’t say this one enough…I made so many mis-steps over the years because I didn’t understand my worth…don’t do that. Don’t settle, don’t ‘put up with shit’— know your worth.

*The kids are gonna be OK, they are going to make it. As long as you are doing your best and you are being authentic then they are going to be just fine…stop worrying.

*We are not perfect, we are not meant to be perfect—- we screw shit up, it’s human nature—- just keep doing the best you can.

*Don’t let fear stop you, have the fear and do it anyway—that’s all there is—just keep going, doing the next thing in front of you.

*Help as MANY people as possible, always.

*Give back everywhere you can, be generous of Spirit—everyone is fighting their own battles that we know nothing about—be kind.

*Take the high road, it isn’t crowded up there and don’t sweat it, karma never loses an address—let the Universe handle the people that were less than kind to you, you have better things to do.

*Always keep learning, reading, pushing yourself—-as I said before don’t settle—-keep pushing yourself, it’s how you grow.

*Talk to your kids, listen to them—-don’t be so busy trying to survive that you forget to LIVE.

*Have GRACE for yourself and others—not everything has to be perfect all the time—cut yourself some slack…I am telling you it all works out at the end of the story…

*Acknowledge the small miracles and have gratitude for how far you have come, we often are so busy just trying to get through the day that we forget to give thanks for the progress—there is always something to be grateful for.

It’s funny to be sitting in this place 18 plus years later, looking back on raising this boy on my own. At the beginning it seemed insurmountable, in the middle it was the hardest thing I have ever done, at the end it was the BEST training that I have ever had. I can produce results that nobody else can, I don’t let anything stop me, I don’t make excuses and my mantra has become “whatever it takes”—- I don’t accept ‘impossible’ as a descriptor and I KNOW from walking through FIRE and HELL that you can and you WILL get through whatever you are facing.

You know me, I am always straight with you guys and this was the hardest thing that I have ever done, raising this child with no child support and being the sole source of everything that he required for 18 years plus:). However, it taught me skills and strengths that I would never have learned any other way and it built me into a warrior that now helps other people——that part is my greatest blessing. Let my testimony become your inspiration—- if I could get out the other side successfully so will you…

Here’s to my approaching 51st birthday…let’s see what God has planned, it’s bound to be an adventure and you guys will be along for the ride.

Much Love,

Noelle

You Are More, You Are A Rockstar

You are more, you ARE a rockstar!

Over Memorial Day weekend I did something I think a lot of people in my life didn’t think I could do.

I traveled across the country by myself. I had a working vacation.

My vacation running a music stage for three days at a festival in Napa Valley.

I made sure the musicians got what they needed, got on and off the stage, all communication came through me. I knew one person. I had no car. It was a huge adventure.

The last trip I took my daughter was two and a half and was with my ex husband it was our five year anniversary trip to Jamaica. It was three months after we had started talking about splitting up.

Needless to say not a great trip.

After that my trips have been limited to family vacations. Work trips where there are always colleagues along. But nothing like this.

I think sometimes when you become a Mom people forget you are more than just a Mom.

It’s easy to assume because your life has changed maybe there are certain things you can’t handle.

People forget when you made the decision to leave you had to handle a whole lot.

That even now you handle a whole lot.

People sometimes assume because you don’t wear everything out on your sleeve, running around with rockstars is not something a Mom could do.

Some would say should do.

My biggest cheerleader was the one who got me the job. He has known me since I was in college. He has seen my ups and downs. He knows I’m not easily fazed. Also, as he put it since I work with children regularly and am a Mom this would be in my wheelhouse.

My point in all of this… you are more than the greatest job on the world. In fact because of that job let’s just be honest, you can handle a WHOLE lot.

Even a DJ’s assistant getting crabby because a band who had been going nonstop didn’t autograph a poster.

Or your daughter kicking you out of the bathroom mid hair dry.

Either or.

You a superstars.

Let’s call it- you’re rockstars!

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Can You Get That For Me?

Can you get that for me?…

I was all set to write about my California adventures but something more important has happened.

My daughter is now taller than me.

I’m gonna need a moment.

Now granted I’m 5ft 2in so I am a small person, but she’s eleven.

Eleven (!)

I already feel like our lives go a million seconds a minute now this.

She of course is elated.

Me….

My heart is breaking.

She already doesn’t need me to tuck her in.

She will ask me if I’m going to leave when I go in her room after work to say hi.

Is this going to make her need me less?

I already have not the stage where things I do embarrass her. Although by virtue of who I am that feels like a challenge.

Also I am pretty sure the people in the car next to us at the stoplight DO enjoy my singing along loudly to Jump Around.

Even if she doesn’t.

I realize we are hitting those years and I am scared. I feel like I haven’t done enough. I’m not ready.

I’m not ready for her not to need me.

I’m not ready for her to be taller than me.

Or maybe I am.

Now I have someone who can get stuff off the shelf for me.

So there’s that.

She’s an amazing kid and I knew this day was coming- just maybe not this fast.

For now I’ll take solace in the fact tonight she still wanted a hug at bedtime.

We got this Mommas

Or at least we’re gonna pretend we do.

<3 Caprise

You Got This Mommas

You got this mommas…

Every week late Sunday afternoon I curl up somewhere with a beverage, music, blanket, and my iPad and start to write a post that will appear here.

I always try to find something I hope that will resonate with someone. Maybe help. Make someone laugh. Feel better.

The irony that my maternal instincts kick in, even when dealing with something like a blog post isn’t lost on me.

As I write this – it’s Mother’s Day. I will share with you that while I was never a 100 percent about getting married I always knew I wanted to be a Mom.

I am far from a traditional Mom and my own daughter sometimes compares me to a teenager on occasion, but I have always and will always put her first.

I worry and overthink when it comes to her. I try not to Tiger Mom her too much. I maybe get too much joy out of singing loudly to a song she doesn’t like in our car rides together.

Meals can sometimes be more like snacks.

She definitely gets too much time on her iPad.

I let her have two swear words a day.

My heart hurts when she is at her Dad’s, even though when she’s home we are rarely in the same room.

I love being silly with her. That she is almost taller than me.

Being a Mom is the best thing, deciding to do it alone was one of the hardest decision I ever made. I still worry about it, but I also needed to be a healthy, happy Mom for G. I still have my moments…

I will never be a PTA Mom. I send gift cards and emails to school. I am thankful for her teachers and her grandparents who have helped me to raise such a beautiful, funny, smart and kind spirit.

I don’t look like the other Moms with my tattoos and piercings, but I look like her and when she asks me to I dress up or down – I do. I love that we both like Vans and fun t-shirts.

In all of this ramble this is my point… no one is the perfect Momma. She doesn’t exist. But what you are is a Momma who is doing amazing on her own terms with her whole heart and that’s what it’s all about.

At least I hope so.

You do got this Mommas

<3 Caprise