parenting

Because the Sh*t Will (Eventually) Hit the Fan

I'm so worn out by the way we do motherhood. 

And I'm realizing that there should've been a tenth chapter in my book (I already published). 

If I could go back, I would call it "Embracing One Another".

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You see, there's this huge burden on my heart lately. An old elementary school friend of mine has been in the hospital for the entirety of 2017. With her son. Who has only ever known hospital walls. 

And this son of hers, precious, beautiful, perfect child, has an extremely rare form of epilepsy that could, honestly, be terminal for this little guy. 

And yet, all around me, I see mothers go about bashing and critiquing and correcting and chastising and beating one another down. 

Oh, not so much in person, but "cowardly-style", behind our thumbs and screens. 

(There's probably some of you that are still hung up over my almost use of the "s" word in my title. Some "hypocrite Christian she is".)

We're cruel. We're brutal. We're about making sure that everyone knows that this motherhood thing can't be done any better than the way we're doing it. 

(I should know. I used to be one of them. But with experience, comes wisdom.)

And then this world has women, mothers that are literally going through hell on earth, and they'd do just about anything to get out of it. 

We seem to be so consumed about one-upping those Pinterest Darlings, that we forget that we are all human beings, with real trials, and challenges, and, yes, even feelings. 

There aren't any "safe spaces" for motherhood. (Although, a lot of you may say that Target counts).

Because aren't we all trying here? 

Isn't this gig hard enough? 

I mean, maybe we aren't trying our best all of the time. Maybe, in fact, we are barely ever trying our best. I know I don't.

Maybe our best is just in the trying. And maybe that mother that feels completely guilty for not being as blog-worthy as the next mom, just needs you to say to her that it's just right. She's doing motherhood just right. 

The sh*t always will hit the fan. It just will. There's an endless supply, if you haven't noticed yet. (Story of your life, eh?)

And maybe the walls are covered in the room you're standing in. Maybe you feel like you're the only one that can clean this mess up, but in reality, it's too much for one person. 

We need to be cleaning one another's walls. Lifting each other up. Embracing one another. Showing up and doing. Encouraging. Loving. Being. Looking. 

Looking for opportunities to pray for, come alongside, give breaks, love on, and listen to other mothers. 

Just think of one thing. 

Just one. 

And do it. Words. Deeds. Living and Breathing together. 

Because it's all hard. It's so hard by itself. Life adds the extra. 

So, be the extra-takers. 

Love, ae.

Calling All Moms! Share your Wisdom with Us!!

Have you read this poem before? (You might cry... I sure did)

The Last Time 

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before, 
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.

One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.

One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.

Source: http://www.mykidstime.com/for-parents/the-last-time-poem/

 

I just want to know how to remember these things. Can any of the moms of older children speak some wisdom to us first timers. My twins are two now, and it's already sad to see them grow more independent. I want to soak up every sweet baby smell they have left, hug them more every day, but of course I have the ugly moments. The moments where I'm discouraged. The moments I just want to give up, and I completely forget how blessed I am to be a mom to two beautiful kids. 

Any advice on how to deal with the sadness of watching your kids grow and get older, and especially how to soak in every last minute with them. Treasuring the littles things is hard when you feel like you have so much to do to care for them. 

Let us know by commenting below or starting a discussion on our Facebook page. We want to hear from you. 

Nothing. And Everything.

Yesterday morning, my sister texted me and asked what my plans were for the day. I immediately thought and responded with "Nothing". But before I could hit send, I typed "And everything."

She laughed and said, "that's a good reply."

Most all of us know what's it's like to have a new baby and you kinda feel trapped at home for several weeks and months. Not because you necessarily have to be trapped, but more so because the daunting task of going anywhere around a newborn's very random "un-schedule" is almost never worth it. And, if you add in several more children to the mix, well, you get where I'm going with this...

So yesterday was another day of nothing... and everything.

IMG_3012.JPG helping a newborn poop is a part-time job without pay or benefits

IMG_3014.JPG but when the newborn poop train starts, it goes on a cross country trip of sorts

IMG_3016.JPG when cabinet locks fail you, the toddlers and their lollipops win.

IMG_3019.JPG then the sugared up princesses beg to go outside on one of the hottest days

IMG_3021.JPG this "get up" easily adds an extra 10 degrees to the situation outdoors

IMG_3022.JPG proactive dinner. Smoking ribs all day long.

IMG_3025.JPG "lather,rinse,repeat" copy and paste this scene all day long. Sitting down to nurse.

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IMG_3029.JPG playing with the full-bellied baby

IMG_3031.JPG dealing with preschool aged emotions is tough

IMG_3033.JPG equally as tough is cleaning up after this one

IMG_2970.JPG making sure these two don't end up in the ER is also a part-time full-time job with no pay and few benefits

Add in meal-making, school-teaching, laundry-folding, bath-giving, spill-cleaning, disaster-preventing, story-telling, and countless other tasks...I guess I shouldn't feel so unimportant for not having plans most days. Because everyday we do "nothing" gives way to a day we do "everything".

Love, Alicia