Happy Mother’s Day to Me: Celebrating All of Me

This guest post by Ali Wilkinson, the hilarious and thoughtful mama behind Run Knit Love, is part of a series called Happy Mother’s Day to Me. (If you don’t already follow her blog or Facebook page, you’re missing out!) In this series, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mothers they are—and like Ali, they are celebrating all they are. Check out all the posts in the series!


 

Celebrating all of meI’m about to tell you a terrible story about myself. I know that may seem contradictory, since this is supposed to be a celebration of motherhood, but bear with me.

On Sunday night, a duck flew onto our neighbor’s roof. It felt surreal, like an omen. I mean you see ducks fly, but have you ever seen one on a roof? We debated getting a ladder to help her down, but then she casually, awkwardly flew down to our yard and started waddling around, looking pointlessly for her crew or for a lake—neither of which were within a mile of our yard.

Our neighbors across the street have an almost-two-year-old. He was playing out front with his mom, and I ran over to invite them to see the strange sight.

We admired the duck for a while, and then followed from a distance as she hopped down onto the street and began to walk away, as if it were totally natural. Taking the duck’s cue, we went our separate ways.

As I walked back up the path to our yard, my head filled with thoughts of wise and lonely ducks, the top of my left foot came sharply up on the underside of a rock overhanging the path. The pain was bright and harsh, and my foot immediately began to swell and discolor.

It’s Tuesday now, two days later, and because of a few things—namely, my three children—I haven’t had time to get it X-rayed yet. But it still looks like I have another foot growing off of it, and an angry purple C snaking around my toe.

So all this is to say, my foot hurts. Especially when I put pressure on it.

Cut to this morning’s school drop-off. Because of the three kids thing, we have (cue ominous music) a minivan. Normally my two younger kids sit in the front row and my oldest is alone in the back in a booster seat, but we temporarily have another car seat in the back row, giving my oldest two a chance to sit together. However, due to this being a (cue music again) minivan, it involves a great deal of contortion and pressure on my foot in order to strap my daughter in back there.

My daughter asked if she could sit in that seat this morning, and I said, being all let’s foster independence, “I’d rather you didn’t, because it hurts my foot right now to strap you in back there.” When I came to the car to strap her in, she had chosen to sit in the back row anyway.

I smarted, I fumed, but I basically held it together, and worked through the pain to strap her in.

I then spent the entire drive to her school unsuccessfully trying to give my new insurance information to our doctor’s office so I could schedule an appointment to get my foot looked at. This was not super successful given that I was trying to give them my vision insurance. The day was starting off (forgive me) on the wrong foot.  Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: Mom Resume

This guest post by Laura Starner, who shares her uplifting and triumphant story of surviving cancer at Laura’s Journey of Hope, is part of a series called Happy Mother’s Day to Me. In it, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Chances are, if you’re a mother, you have an impressive—and long—resume, too. Check out all the posts in the series!


Mom Resume Mother's Day

As moms, we usually don’t take time to celebrate ourselves because we don’t really feel like we’ve accomplished anything.  So today I celebrate my accomplishments as a mom and Mimi (Grandma).  I want to encourage others by writing about my resume as a mom/Mimi.

My daughters are 28 and 24 years old. I have three grandchildren ages five and under and a new addition on the way.

Here is my Mom/Mimi Resume. Read more

Happy Mother’s Day to Me: You made it

This guest post is by Chanler Jeffers, who blogs with the belief we all can make a difference in the world around us. She dishes up inspiration and food for thought at TeamJeffers.com. In this Happy Mother’s Day to Me series, mothers are celebrating themselves for the dedicated, loving, tireless mamas they are. Check out all the posts in the series!


 

Happy Mother's Day You Made ItHello, Beautiful—

Look at you.

You made it. Twenty-one years have passed, and somehow you made it.

Your tiny baby is now a beautiful young woman, despite everything that came in between.  Who knew, starting out, how extraordinarily difficult this journey would be? Certainly not you, because life spun you a different story than what you’d written for yourself, didn’t it?

Remember at the beginning—the discomfort as your tiny baby grew inside of you? How her feet and arms and head pushed bits and pieces of you aside that you never even knew existed? Remember how it felt she was not only crowding your body, but your very soul, as she slowly came to exist? Remember how you had to shift at night, to try and get some rest? And remember all those silly worries you had? That your baby would be ugly? Physically ugly? Remember that one? Remember how terrible it made you feel to admit that, because you knew how shallow it made you seem? You were still worried, though—weren’t you?

And remember those first labor pains? They made perfect sense somehow, but they were still so foreign. And the birth. Merciful God… how do we endure that as women? That quiet nod, and tight smile—you can always tell when a woman has given birth as she faces a newly pregnant woman, can’t she? As if to say, “Just wait, hon. You have no idea, but you’ll be okay. We all have to do it.”

Then came the difficulties no one tells you about. The having to discipline, even when you’re exhausted and unsure. The constant demands, the constant wondering if you’re doing the right thing, the constant worry that your child will end up a failure because of something you have or haven’t known how to do.

But guess what? You made it, Beautiful. She’s launched.

And even though her life wasn’t perfect, and absolutely nothing at all turned out the way you wanted, or hoped or expected on that long-ago day you brought her home from the hospital, you did it. Read more

Filling my bucket: A kids-free beach weekend

In the depths of winter, when every day as a mom of two felt too hard to endure, I had this kids-free fantasy: I’d check into a hotel, I’d lie down in the king size bed, and there would be no one there to touch me. I would take a shower and eat a meal someone else cooked. Maybe I’d watch some TV. But mainly I’d be away.

The fantasy always felt cruel because it seemed utterly unattainable. I had a toddler who cried whenever I picked up my baby. I had a baby who was often in pain from reflux, who hardly slept, and who wouldn’t take a bottle. Even though we had the means to pay for a hotel for a night, I couldn’t go.

I felt trapped.

I remembered this fantasy a few weeks ago when—wait for it—I spent an entire kids-free weekend at the beach with friends.

I remembered the pain, the desperation, the dark hopelessness of those teary days. But the memory didn’t sting like a fresh cut; rather, it was an ache of a more distant pain. And the salt water of the Oregon coast helped heal me.Girlfriends kids-free beach weekend minivan Read more

For the love of grandparents

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.” -Welsh proverb

To see my girls adored by their grandparents is to witness something pure and beautiful.

The four of them—Eric’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa Gregory, and mine, Nana and Grandpa Shempy—light up when they are with Peeper and Kiwi. Peeper’s shenanigans especially inspire laughter and the kind of fun unique to little ones.

Two grandmasGrandpa Oregon zooTwo Grandpas with granddaughters Read more

7 animal noises you’ve been messing up

Along with swaddling a squirmy baby, changing a diaper without smearing poop over every surface and operating on practically no sleep, making animal noises is a skill absolutely necessary to parenthood.

Between songs like Old MacDonald and books like Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, moms and dads become pros at mooing, quacking and cock-a-doodle-dooing. As a child ages, though, the animal sounds parents must make become more complex.

But when was the last time you heard a toucan? And do you go all-in with genuine elephant trumpeting, or do you cop out and say “toot toot”?

In addition to these pressing questions, I am going to bet you’ve been making a handful of animal noises completely wrong.

So let me (and YouTube) enlighten you. Go ahead and click play (though not if your dog is in the room—he might will definitely freak out) to step up your animal noises game. Read more

10 Ways I’m an Awesome Mom

Take a sample of parenting blogs out there and you’ll read a lot of bloopers.

We mothers, especially, are quick to point out our failings and our foibles. Perhaps it’s easier (or more cathartic) to confess the time you melted a Tupperware lid in the dishwasher, causing poisonous fumes to fill the apartment, than it is to reflect on the millions of other times you scrubbed plates clean without incident. After all, washing the dishes without a hitch—or, for that matter, the millions of unremarkable moments of motherhood—aren’t particularly newsy.

But in anticipation of Mother’s Day (coming up this Sunday for anyone who’s forgotten!), I’m stepping out of the self-deprecating, self-questioning rut I sometimes fall into.

I’m celebrating what a wonderful mother I am.

Here, then, are ten aspects of motherhood I totally have down.

mom helping toddler walk Mexico Read more