30
Apr

Parenthood - defined by just one mom

I have gained and lost two people.
I have woken up every two hours to pump for you.
I have been in an ambulance worried about what this means.
I have been in the hospital, too many times, holding hands and trying to make you feel brave.
I have stayed up all night worried about a fever.
I have labored, I have screamed and cried and pushed and ended up in surgery.
I have healed.
I have fed you from me and from a bottle.
I have wept for your pain.
I have been impressed by you, I am so so proud.

I have rocked you and played with you.
I have tickled your ear to try and keep you up for a feeding.
I have watched you sleep almost every night of your life.
I have started traditions that I hope you always and forever hold on to.
I have let you go, day by day, little by little...I have let you go.

I have cut up, dished out, poured and served thousands of snacks...thousands.
I have wiped faces and noses and mouths and bums and tears.
I have brushed your hair away from your face to look at dad's eyes staring back at me.
I have carried you
I have put you down
I have held on and
I have let you go.

I have seen childhood defined by snow days
and family movie night and pancake Sunday.
I have seen it defined in Cape vacations with framily
and Thursday night dinner with more framily.
I have seen it defined in sibling love
and Christmas Eve and morning.
I have seen it defined in happy safe secure love.

I have lost control of me
I have yelled and lost control of patience
I have surrendered to my fatigue and to my anger and I have let you down.
I have come back hundreds of times to say that I am sorry.

I have been woken up, slept on, held you through the night, held as tight as I could.
I have kissed away the pain, I have held you through the hurt.
I have been loved on, I have been made velveteen real.

I have given you a sibling
I have given you each other
I have watched you grow into the amazing you are.

I have done laundry, thousands and millions of loads of laundry.
I have washed and put away newborn onsies that are now childhood clothes.
I have boxed up clothes that no longer fit.
I have kept ones that have too much meaning to let go, I have cried over your laundry because of the big kids I have.

I have danced and sung and listened to the same song and watched the same movies and read the same books.
Over and over and over.
I have given up my food for you.
I have given up my body for you.
I have given up on caring about so many things because of you.
I have started caring about the right things because of you.

I am overwhelmed and stressed.
I am overjoyed and in love.
I am unhinged and falling every day a little harder.
I am learning to forgive all of the mistakes.

I am finally comfortable in my skin, scars and all.
I see beauty in the woman you look at, the one you turn to.

I have had good days
I have had great days
I have had terrible days
I have days that level me terrible
I have days that have built me and will be what keeps me warm in my final moments on earth.
I have been burst open by love.

I have lived through difficult trying and long years
I have lived through short ones, the ones that happen in a blink
I have taken you all in
I have cherished all of the warmth.

I have given my home to you,
I have lost control of the organization
I have lost the battle over filth
I have built you a home.

I have woken up to a bed full of family
and slept with love.

Grace was never a friend but we have kissed and made up.
Exhaustion is my new normal
but so is love.
And all of that is this mom's definition of parenthood.

28
Apr

Five Minute Friday - more

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on more.

Go.

It's my word of the year...More!
Because every year, my theme has been less and this year, I needed to shake all of my life up.
I need more in my life, just more of what is important.

More time
for me
for them
for love.

More commitment
to me
and my health
and my balance
and my calm.

More calm
more space
more time to breathe.

More joy
more love
more laughter
more healing
more together
more family
more framily
more letting the small stuff go
more cuddles
more smooches
more kissing noses
more hand holding
more talking
more hearts opening
more patience
more compassion for the ones I love
more passion for the things I love
more gratitude
more faith in us
more life
more of the life I want
more of the things I need, really need.

My word for 2017 is more and I am all in.

Stop.

23
Apr

Dear kids

I make a lot of mistakes from day to day.
Each time I am presented with a situation, I feel as though I have a major decision to make.
This little decision determines so much, too much.
It determines how you come to me in the future.
It determines if you come to me in the future.
It determines how safe and comforted you feel.
And this my loves, this is the hardest part of parenting.
This is the part that keeps me up.
The thought of losing our trust, our connection, our bond.
The thought of you feeling alone out there, not having a home base, not wanting to "get in trouble" so keeping it to yourself.

And so, I want you to know...

I will always believe in you.
Always believe in who you are.
Always believe in your goodness.
We all make mistakes, I will be disappointed, but I will never be disappointed in who you are, only what you did.
Because I will always and forever believe in you.
I will believe in your heart, your soul, the core of who you are.
Whenever you feel that you don't even believe in yourself, know that I believe in you the most.
I will always believe in you.

You do not need to have any part of your life figured out.
And you don't have to have it figured out for a really long time.
And even when you are all grown up and have it figured out, you still can change your mind.
Adults put a lot of emphasis on what you're going to be when you grow up.
What are you going to do?
What is it that you will major in?
What career will you follow?
But, you don't need to have a single part of it figured out always and forever.
That is what life is, figuring it out, owning that part and then keep developing.
Keep changing, keep growing.
Never feel like a failure because your life isn't figured out yet.
Direction and passion and what excites you, all of that will come.
And sometimes, it will go.
And then another thing will pop up and then you will follow that
and that too may go.
You will figure things out on your own terms.

I see the good in you, the unique, the really really good.
I spend a lot of time focusing on what you need to improve.
I spend a lot of time trying to guide you
and redirect
and teach.
But the truth is, at your base, there is so much good.
Like how adventurous you are.
Like how you always try, always.
Like how much you love life, really love all the things about it.
Like how you play well together.
Like how you read to him.
Like how you comfort each other when you're upset or in trouble.
Like how you want him to be included.
Like how you are her shadow.
Like how hard you both work at school.
Like how respectful you both are of your teachers.
Like how you love love.
Like how well you both sleep.
Like how much you love your food.
Like how your face lights up when you see us.
Like how you always ask for dad to play with you.
Like how you find our traditions as important as I do.
Like how loving you both are.
Like how gentle you can be.
I see the good guys and I need to call you out on it more.

You can always trust me.
With your words
with your actions
with your mistakes
with your worries
with your thoughts
with your insecurities
with your choices.
I will protect all of it.
I will always be on your side, even if I am disappointed.
Even if I feel you know/knew better.
Even if I feel you had a choice and you knew the right one and you still choose the wrong one.
Because mistakes and bad choices, all of that is learning.
I am your trust, right here.
I will never turn my back on you,
I make you face your consequences and take responsibility,
but I will never turn my back on you.

Because this is home, and you can always come back to home base.
Even as adults, you can come back to comfort and warmth and us.
We all need that every once in a while, just a few minutes of safe to get back out there.
We are home.

21
Apr

Five Minute Friday - sing

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on sing.
Go.

I hear you in the car, unable to control the sound of music pouring out of you.
I hear you in your room, the latest song coming out of your little face.
I hear you singing and I hear childhood.

You do not care what you sound like
it does not matter if the tune is held
there is no embarrassment, not at all shy,
you belt it out when you feel you need to.

Somewhere along the line, we lose that inhibition.
We turn inward and get more nervous about who can hear and what we sound like.
I have always been the worlds greatest singer in the car, on my own.
But having you as my side kick has meant I follow your lead when it comes to loving life.
And part of that is allowing the music to wash over you, take control and just plain sing.

No one cares,
no one is watching,
no one is keeping notes on if you are hitting the right notes,
so just sing.
Be the wonderful playful you and just let the music take over
and sing.

I hear you in the shower, in the tub.
He has followed your lead too and is starting to sing with all of his might.
He will always and forever be your shadow and this is one area I heart you both for.
You are showing him the love of life and the amazing of fun.
You are showing him how music can move and transform you to a better place.

It started when you were a baby.
On the day you were born, I whispered "you are my sunshine" in your ear.
And to this day, almost five years later, it's still our go to.
"Mom, sing sunshine to me".
It's the song that calms
it's the one you hear before bed
it's the one that helped with potty training
it's the one that distracts you from anything
it's the one I still whisper and sing to my little man.

So, when you ask to play some music in the car, I will always say yes.
When you start to sing and bop around, I will too.
You take the lead on this one and I will follow.
I will sing my heart out with you both.

Stop.

16
Apr

Heaven

Like so many of us, I often wonder, what will happen when we all leave?
What happens to us?
Some think nothing, we just go, there is nothing on the other side.
Some think in specifics, their belief so strong in faith that they cannot imagine there being nothing.

I live somewhere in the middle.
Because I do not think there is nothing
and I do not think this is all for no reason
or there is no purpose.

But, this post isn't about what to believe
or what I want anyone to believe.
It's not an absolute, because there are none of those.
This, is just what I think and hope to be true.

I think and hope that heaven is your creation of bliss and joy.
That you get this little part that you create.
And everyone's will look different.
For some it might be their talents blown up.
For others it is all about the people they are around.
For still others it can be about the foods they finally get to eat.
And what I hope and think is that those who lead a good life, get to create this heaven,
filled with their most precious moments.
Moments that bring about the fullest most warm feelings.

Of course mine would have all of you.
I would see your dad's smile,
I would see how it lights up his whole face and an entire room.
I would feel his hug, his love of us.
I would see him carrying a glass of wine for me, so happy to hand it to me.
I would see him carry you in his arms, because he is your back and legs.
I would have your little hands in mine.
I would feel the warmth that creates.
I would see how small it is, resting in mine.
I would see us all snuggled on a coach, junk food and popcorn everywhere.
I would inhale deeply and I would smell the soap from your bath, or the outside in your hair.
I would brush away your sticky curls, I would see your dad's eyes on your face.
I would see my smile,
and I would hear laughter and whispers of love.
I would see Mia.
She would be running and smiling and her tail would be non-stop.
She would be playing with each dog we have ever loved, she would still be teaching them.
And at the end of the day, I would see her and all the rest sleeping, right by my feet.
And feel so soft, and so warm.
I would see all of us in the car, snuggled and calm.
I would see you guys reading or watching something and dad and I tuned in to a podcast that we can't get enough of.
I would see time, so much more time.
Time that I took advantage of
time that I want back.

I would see this little life,
this ordinary little life and family we created.
The one I didn't realize I couldn't live without.
And I would take it all in.
That is my heaven, filled with the crushing hard blow of love.
You are my heaven on earth.

14
Apr

Five Minute Friday - empty

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on empty.

Go.

It's how the introverted mother ends her day.
It's how I feel at the hours you need me the most.
Which is unfortunate because when a person has nothing left to give there is no longer beauty.
There is only ugly words and feelings and everything is harsh.
When I am empty, I am without compassion
I am no longer loving
I cannot be kind.
Because continuing to run on empty cannot be sustained, something has to give.

And it's not you, it's me.
It's my too busy
it's my too many things
and it's my responsibility to find what fills.

And so, I started on my path to remember what fills me full
like the end of our day
like together
like our traditions
like our snuggles
like framily time
like dance parties
like when you whisper to me from your dreams
like my runs
and my breathing
like the love we all have.

The moments that empty, they will always be there.
Life is daunting
and tiring
but it doesn't always have to be so hard.
Hard is what I do best and it's time for me to find a new talent.
Because I want more in my life.
More of the things that fill my heart
like laughter
and hugs
and you
and us
and time.

Because I want more out of my life than moments that deplete.
I no longer want to pick just the things that take away.
I no longer want to live an empty life full of lists and accomplishments.
I no longer want to live an empty life full of busy but nothing real gets done.
I want more in my life than emptiness.

Stop.

9
Apr

At the end of the day...

You start your nighttime routine.
You pack up their bags.
You get started on tomorrow while trying to wrap up today.
You make lunches.
You help to brush teeth,
you read stories.
You shout love.
You hold them, you try and capture the good of the day and put to bed the bad.
You try and you promise to try harder tomorrow.

IMG_3157

You get to tuck them in.
You get to kiss noses goodnight and you get to hug.
You get this little moment in time when all is still.
When all is quiet.
When the snuggles and the stories and the night falls into place.
It is in this time, that you forget.
All the broken,
all the tantrums,
all the tears,
all the worry.
You forget the hard,
you forget the yelling,
you forget the tired.

100_7579

You remember the little.
You remember the reason you started.
You remember why you picked this life, this person, this family.
You remember the soft,
you remember the kind.
You remember to hold hands and touch toes.
You remember to hold.
And to hold on.

It is at the end of the day that you ask, how did we do today?
What can we do better tomorrow?
We brush away the worry, the doubt.
You wash the hard down the drain with their bath water.
All that matters is the smell of clean, the sight of pjs, the feel of comfort.

At the end of the day, I am reminded of so much love.
I see how much of us is poured into you.
I see that you have both of us, sitting in you.
At the end of the day, we start our routines,
we read
we snuggle
we feel lighter
we are ready for our bodies to rest
to put it all behind and focus on the so much good.

Because it is at the end of the day that we share our goodnight words.
The ones that remind us of who we are
what we mean to one another.
At the end of the day, all I want is this little family.

7
Apr

Five Minute Friday - enough

Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on enough.
Go.

It's my worry
my heavy
my concern.
Will I ever be enough?
For you
for me
for him
for us.
Will I measure up?

But you all, you are enough.
You have always been enough.
To tame my anxious.
To give me my second chance.
To remind me of what is important.
You have always been enough.

Will I give enough of myself
to you
to my work
to him
to us
to my business
to my friends
to me.
Will I ever be enough for me?

But you all, you are enough.
For me
for us
for you.
You have filled a void.
You fill me full.

And I know where the insecurity comes from.
It's not hard to remember a time I was never enough.
I could never do enough,
accomplish enough,
fill a void they had,
bring about enough pride,
enough love.

But you all, you are enough.
You are the definition of love
your love will always be more than enough.
You are what I am most proud of,
finding you all, starting this journey.
Taking this first step and finding you all, creating this life,
you are more than enough.

I may sit in wonder forever now.
I may always have this question looming.
My worth may always be something I grapple with.
Something I fight for.
Even when I have had enough of wondering, even when I have had enough with the doubt.

But you all, you are enough.
You are all enough.

Stop.

3
Apr

Together

What can we do together Anna?
What can we change...together?

Can we change how we define woman.
Can we change the idea that we should be defined by a scale, or a number, or a size, or by wrinkles and marks on our body?

Can we change the idea that we should be defined by time passing, or our past?

Can we change how we define woman?

Can we try and define her by her real beauty?
By what she accomplishes in 24 hours, or a week, or a month, what about a year?

Can we define her by her loves and her joys?
Can we tell the world that she is perfect, even though perfect doesn't exist.
Can we tell them that perfect doesn't have to exist, just leave her, just as she is.
With joy in her heart because if you take that away, you take away her flame.
And you are not allowed to take away her flame.

You have changed how I define me.
You have changed how I look at me, how I talk about myself, you have already changed so much.

You have put scars on my body and wrinkles on my face and worry in my heart.
You have made me soft in the middle, and I no longer care.
Because you have changed how I define me.

With all of the scars, and wrinkles, and added numbers and worry, I have never felt so beautiful and that is because you have given me the title of mother.
You have taught me that it all comes from within us.
You have brought me back to that little girl that I was and you are finding a way to whisper in her ear that she is good enough, she is strong enough, she can trust her strength, she can trust herself.

And, so are you. You are strength and you are gorgeous.

My amazing daughter...
You are most beautiful when you are happy, or not.
You are most beautiful when you are working, or learning.
You are most beautiful when you are running, or sitting, or reading, or active.
You are most beautiful when you are trying, because you always try.
You are most beautiful when you first wake up, and just before bed, and all throughout the day.
You are most beautiful when you are confident and when you are scared.
You are most beautiful when you are with your brother and when you were our one and only.
You are most beautiful when I see you being a good friend and when you are all alone.
You are most beautiful when you can see love on your face and when you don't have any left to give.
You are most beautiful when you are around your father, or me, or anyone.
You are most beautiful.

Thank you my love, for changing everything.
You make me feel like we can continue to change it all, together.

Happy birthday to my first.

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