The momma he needs me to be

Those first few years I thought I had it down. I knew your cries and what they meant. I could tell when you were sleepy or just needed some extra cuddles. You were my sidekick and my dream come true. But then you turned three and my whole world turned upside down.

No longer were we in sync the way we once were.

Your rollercoaster ride of emotions kept me guessing and failing at how to mother you best. It was also a season of learning how to share myself with you and your baby sister, something I’m still learning today. Months went by and the fear in my heart crept in.

I worried that our constant battles would create a barrier between us. I felt pain for the once happy days now turning into days of time outs, discipline & tears. This was not what I wanted for our days. I needed to find a way to be the momma you needed me to be.

I reached my breaking point and what came with it was clarity, peace & understanding.

I thought that what you needed most was structure, but really all you needed was love. Yes, you need me to teach you right from wrong, but you also need a momma who’s gentle. You are one stubborn, strong-willed little boy but what I’ve learned is you can’t fight stubbornness with stubbornness. Just love.

So here we are, months later and so much better. Yes, we still have our days when I’ve had little sleep or you’re just in a mood. But knowing now what I know allows me to let go of the frustration and need for control, and in it’s place I embrace you in my arms and tell you that I love you. No longer will our days be filled with the constant tug & pull.

You are worth this refining of my heart & soul sweet boy.

I will never stop trying and learning how to be the momma you need me to be. Because in the end I know I will be a better for it.

XOXO,

Momma

Losening the grip

For most of my adult life I’ve lived by my schedule and plans. I like to know what each day holds and have an idea of what my future will bring. And even to this day, I schedule.

And when something gets in the way of my schedule, I feel a rise in my chest and frustration sets in.

I know this is wrong. Life cannot be so planned out and scheduled that I allow the littlest of things to upset me. I know this in my heart, but sometimes I forget to live this out. I get so wrapped up in what I want my days to look like that I forget that life is unpredictable, especially with kids.

Just this morning, I had this realization hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it before, it just hit me like never before.

I have this vision of how I want my days to begin. I wake at 6am on a quiet Sunday morning and plan to soak in the peacefulness of our home by doing a little reading before I head out to the garden to do some pruning and watering. When I’m all finished, I come inside to make myself some coffee and curl up on the couch for a few minutes before the kiddos wake.

Only that’s rarely how my Sunday mornings go. The reality is they go a little more like this…

I wake at 6am and before I can even make it out of my bedroom, Jase comes walking in. I bend down to kiss him and ask him if he slept well, thinking “Ok, this is not how I was hoping to start my day, but that’s ok…I’ll put on a show for him, get him some cereal and get to my reading & gardening…not quite as peaceful, but I’ll make it work!”

Only it doesn’t quite happen like that either. We walk out to the living room and before I can put on his show and get him some cereal, he starts to throw a fit over a toy he can’t find. I was ok with having some company but a fit, please no! All I can think is, well there goes the peaceful morning I had hoped for…

But here’s the realization.

It’s ok to have plans and to schedule our lives. But we have to hold them with a lose grip. It’s good to have an idea of what we want our lives to look like and make space for the things we want to accomplish in our days, but we have to be flexible.

When we remember that we have a God that will always give us the time and space to get to what truly matters in our days, we can allow life to happen. We don’t need to get frustrated when our days start in a completely different way than we had hoped for, because maybe there’s something more that awaits us when we don’t live so true to our schedule.

Maybe there’s tears to be wiped away. A hug to be given. A story to be heared for the tenth time.

I had this thought when this realization hit me this morning, that when we’re so fixated on living our lives the way we want to live them (even when it includes good things) without allowing God to enter into the moments of our days where others need us, we might just be missing out on some of the best parts of our lives.

The parts that allow us to connect with our children and let them know that they’re more important to us than a quiet Sunday morning. The parts that allow us to get down on their level, look them in the eyes and let them know that they are loved and their feelings matter too. The parts that allow us to experience the beauty that our lives hold.

And really, it all works out in the end…

I found the toy. I wiped away the tears and taught him a lesson about not throwing a tantrum over silly things. I put on his show and got him a bowl a cereal. I read, I tended to the garden and still got a few minutes of quiet time. And I even had time to write this all down for you to read.

God will always make time & space in our days for what truly matters. We just need to loosen the grip and be ready for the little moments of our days that will be sure to fill up our hearts.

XOXO,

~P

 

 

 

The fog has lifted.

The day I became a momma to two, was the day my heart became complete. I remember daydreaming of what life would look like with two little miracles at home. My dream had come true and I was on cloud nine.

Those first few weeks were magic.

Jase was adapting well to the addition of his new little sister and I felt a sense of peace this second time around. Our days revolved around feeding, naps, playing and reading books. I was officially a stay at home momma and life was good!

But before long, I started to feel the heaviness of all that was on my plate.  Keeping up with my household duties, trying to get my business up and running, remembering to give my hubby love & attention and take care of my kiddos, all while dealing with the toddler tantrums and a baby that wanted to be attached to my hip at all times was no easy task.

I felt drained and unsure of my ability to love on these babies the way I had always dreamed of.

Sleep deprivation quickly took over sending my nerves and emotions into a tailspin. Days would go by where I kept trying to create the happy days that I had dreamed of, but without fail everything would start to unravel. Often I’d find myself curled up with my kiddos crying right along with them.

I felt like a horrible momma, not only because I felt I was failing my babies but also because of all I had gone through to get here. I was supposed to be able to handle this. I was grateful for where I was and loved my babies in a fierce way, but just couldn’t seem to find the happiness in my days. This was just too much.

I felt like I’d never get through this season. The fog was too thick for me to see the horizon ahead.

Then, a shift happened. It wasn’t something I noticed right away, but over time Savi started to sleep through the night and Jase was no longer swinging from one emotion to the next. Our days were starting to feel lighter, more peaceful.

With the addition of better sleep, moments of quiet in the mornings and the ability to focus on myself, no longer did I feel the heaviness of our days. There was less crying and emotions running on high. And in their place, happiness & joy.

Not every day is perfect, but the fog has lifted and for that I am grateful.

I think sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in our day to day. To see the heaviness that life can bring and feel like we’ll never see the lightness in our days again. But if we remember that each step is just a season, preparing us for the next, we can take the season we’re in with a heart of gratitude.

I learned so much in my first year as a momma to two. It was a season of refining and learning that each season has it’s end and some are much easier to handle than others. A season that showed me how to let go and let slower days fill my plate. A season that I now look upon with fondness…messes, threenagers, sleepless nights and all!

If you’re in the thick of your season and the fog is making it hard to see the horizon ahead, hold tight to this: there will be an end and it will get easier. Life is cyclical. The sooner we learned to loosen our grasp, give ourselves grace and love others the best that we can, the sooner we’ll see the beauty in even the hardest of seasons.

XOXO,

~P

Filling up so you can pour more out

Those first months of motherhood, you’re completely consumed with this tiny human being you created inside your body. You’re living your life in 2-3 hour increments moving from feeding, to rocking, to changing dirty diapers; only to do it all over again before you get a moment to breathe.

But you don’t mind, it’s a magical season of life in it’s own way…

But then the exhaustion starts to wear on you. You feel yourself unable to catch up on sleep, showering or your household duties. Suddenly, this life becomes a train moving too fast for you to slow down. You feel depleted and unable to give the best of you.

All too often we as momma’s feel this need to give our all to those we love, especially our children. We feel the more we give, the better we are as parents. We say yes to the demands and no to self care. For there just isn’t enough time for it all. Is there?

But what I’ve come to learn in my almost 4 years of motherhood, is I can only give of me what I put in. So if I fail to fuel up, rest and replenish my body, mind & soul…then my family doesn’t get the best of me. They only get the stressed out, frazzled, exhausted me.

And that’s just not good enough.

At first the guilt takes hold of you. If I take this time for myself, aren’t I neglecting my family? #MomGuilt, it’s a real thing. But I’m a walking testimony that by giving myself the time I need to fill up my mind, body & soul; my family in turn get’s more of me. More of the happy, present & patient momma/wife they deserve.

So I set my alarm for 5am and I relish those precious 30 min of peace.

I find a quiet spot in the house every afternoon to read while my 3 year old watches a movie and my 18 month old naps.

I carve out a few hours every so often to leisurely walk through Target or get my hair done.

I plan play dates or attend MOPS once a week to spend time with other momma’s without my kiddos constantly needing my attention.

I find 10-15 min a few times a week to play my guitar.

And the list goes on….

It may not seem like much, but these little moments of filling up, add up to my ability to be the wife & momma my heart so desires. There’s something to be said about putting on your “mask” first before you tend to others.

It’s a balancing act, not of finding perfect harmony in all areas at the same time, but it’s the give and take at any given moment to create a life that’s balanced as whole. To find moments of self care, then moments of caring for others. The back and forth of it all to create a life that is lived to it’s fullest.

XOXO,

~P

To the mom living in “Survival Mode”…

I see you over there with one screaming kiddo on your hip, while you’re trying so desperately to keep the other one from losing it right in the middle of the store. Finally you make it out…you sigh, you lose your patience, you react. Survival Mode.

My dear friend, it doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m not sure how we’ve suddenly as mommas gotten to this place of merely surviving. With to-do lists a mile long, kids to tote here and there, a house to keep up with, a husband to make time for and friends we barely speak to. Oh and to top it off, we feel this pit in our stomach like there’s still something we should be doing with our lives…we were made for more, weren’t we?

I know this because I lived it.

It’s this vicious cycle that keeps you trapped in reaction mode. Feeling out of control of your own life, barely able to come up for air. You feel pulled in a million different directions. Just trying to survive.

But what if we found another way of living?

What if we said no to trying to “do it all” and yes to slow, simple lives? What if we actually lived our lives versus just trying to survive them? Sounds impossible doesn’t it? I thought so too…but the thing is, we have the choice. It is our lives after all. So what needs to happen in order to live and not just survive?

Now don’t get me wrong, some days call for living in moments of “survival”, kids are incredibly unpredictable…am I right?! But when we learn to let go of trying to do everything and just focus in what God has called us to do, life instantly gets simpler.

I know you want more for your life, and you deserve it too.

So my friend, what needs to give? What can you let go of to make space in your life to be more proactive verses reactive? What will bring peace to your days and moments of pure joy?

Is it setting limits on how many days you will be on-the-go? Or maybe you feel called to do something, but know deep down this is not the season to give it your all? Or perhaps you ask for help with cleaning your house, or watching the kids so you can shop in peace?

I’m not sure what the answer is for you, but I do know it’s there if you look hard enough.

There is a life outside of survival mode. And it’s filled with hours that require nothing of you except to enjoy your life. To get outside and read a book while your kiddos play. Or cuddle up with them on the couch while watching a movie.

It’s days where you can let your heart lead you where to go next. To actually listen to your body and give it rest when it needs it. To slow down and really take in this season that passes us by oh so quickly.

My hope is that you take the time to find what needs to give in your life.

To let go and see the beauty that’s right in front of you. To actually come up for air, slow down and learn the art of saying no. Because after all…

Survival mode doesn’t have to be your only mode.

XOXO,

~P

 

Right in Front of Me

This season of motherhood, you know the one with little people running about? Well, I guess you could say I’m in the depths of that season. I mean right smack dab in the middle. The pull of a threenager that constantly wants to tell you about all of the things he dreams up in his curious little mind and a toddler that’s demanding your assistance at every turn.

I guess you could say I’ve come along way over the last year (you can read about it HERE & HERE), but I’m still human. And all too often I still find myself with my head down, moving from one task to another, only to miss what’s right in front of me.

But the thing is, that is not how I want to live my days…

As much as I hate to admit it, I still fall into that trap from time to time of letting the day dictate my actions. The difference is now I’m able to see when this is happening much sooner than before. I’m able to take a step back, breath in deep and take control.

Yes, my children take up a lot of my time and attention. Between the messes they make, the fighting over toys and needing to go potty (NOW!) when I’m in the middle of changing a diaper can leave me feeling like I can barely come up for air. But that doesn’t mean I have to move through these tasks with my head down just trying to survive.

I can look up, see the beauty right in front of me and soak it al in…

The messes, they’re reminders that two tiny humans played and had a really great time without a care in the world. Even if it was 20 min after I finished mopping.

Or the fighting over toys, is seeing two siblings learning to coexist with one another. Building a relationship with one another that they will keep for the rest of their lives.

And the needing to go potty at the most inopportune time? It’s a feeling of still being needing in this growing up way-too-fast little boys life. When all too often he no longer needs mommies help. 

I’m slowly but surely learning to let go of my need to just get through…

And in it’s place I’m learning to see what’s right in front of me. To slow down. To enjoy right where I am and leave the rest behind. My need for control and feeling accomplished is drifting away to make room for the beauty that life holds.

“Life can happen to you or you can make life happen.” I’ve heard that saying many times in my life, but it’s never rang more true than it does in this season. With two tiny humans and so many demands, I can easily let life happen to me, but then what will I miss if I do? So instead…

I’m choosing to make life happen.

When I’m old and grey, I want to look back on this season of life with a fondness that only comes when I’m present and see the beauty right in front of me. I don’t want to think of this season as just “surviving”, but a season of “thriving”.

I’m still a work in progress and I may never be done. But I’m so grateful for the ability to have a fresh start each and every day…

XOXO,

~P

Slower days, fuller hearts

One year ago, I was living a life that didn’t allow me to be present. Every minute was accounted for with taking care of my kiddos, my husband & my business. I would move from task to task without actually paying attention to my life and everything in it. This needed to change.

I was completely overwhelmed, not knowing how to get to a place of being present & content. Everything on my plate seemed important, so how was I to decide what needed to give in order for me to live my best life?

It’s been a slow process of refining, but I’m finally in a place where being present is becoming my reality.

I’ve realized that I don’t need to “keep up” with the rest of the world. I can go at my pace. I can build my business in baby steps and in God’s timing.  I can let my house go a little bit if it allows for more time to play with my kiddos. I can make space in my day for resting and doing the things I enjoy.

Life is not meant to be lived checking off our to-do lists in order to feel productive. It’s meant to cultivate beauty in our lives and flourish in our relationships. It’s meant to be spent intentionally and with purpose. God’s purpose.

As soon as I realized that I had the power to change my life, the weight drifted off my shoulders and peace took it’s place.

My days are much slower now. Many of our hours are filled with whatever our hearts desire. So we play outside. We blow bubbles. We play in the water. I read my books. I play my guitar. We listen to music (always gotta have music!). We meet with friends. We live in the present.

Not every day is perfect, this is life with two young children of course! But most of my days are filled with the peace I so desperately desired. My mind is clear and free to take in the beauty that this life brings. I see my children’s faces with so much detail they’ve become etched in my memory. I’m truly soaking in this life. Breathing in the air. Noticing the trees and the flowers in bloom. I’m living MY life.

So how did I get here?

  • I wrote down the things in my life that absolutely need to get done as well as the things that I want to be a part of my daily life.
  • I looked at my calendar and figured out where each of these will fit best allowing for plenty of time in between tasks.
  • I was realistic about what needs to get done and when.
  • I set boundaries for work, cleaning the house, time with friends etc…
  • I physically placed these items on the calendar and set reminders so that I don’t get back to that place of overwhelm.
  • And I gave myself LOTS of GRACE…

Mom life is a beautiful life, but can become chaotic if you let it. Take control of your life, live each moment to it’s fullest and know that it’s ok to go at your pace. You got this momma!

XOXO,

~P

Stop & Smell the Roses…

As much as I’d like to say I’m living life being truly present with those I love, that would be a complete lie…

Being present is something I’ve been striving for especially during this season of life, but the days keep getting away from me. My to-do list is long and there’s always something to be done, a kiddo who needs me, a house to keep clean or meals to prepare. But I truly don’t want to look back on my life and feel like I missed the point.

I’m a neat freak and a busy body, so slowing down enough to be present in even the most simplest of things is HARD. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching, praying and reevaluating of my life over the last few months to try to change this. I am far from perfect or even close to where I want to be, but I’m making progress…

This week was a big step in the right direction.

My hubby was gone for 3 days and initially I was feeling all sorts of anxiety, stress & exhaustion just thinking about those 3 days. But to my surprise I found a lot of peace during my “single mom” days. And this time even came with a BIG change in the napping department…on the first day of my hubby being gone, Savi dropped her morning nap and Jase dropped his naps all together.

At first I wanted to cry, but I quickly realized that with some switching up of my routine, it wouldn’t be so bad. An to be honest, I’m actually sort if loving it! It’s given me the ability to have more down time with my kiddos, to be more present and to stop and smell the roses.

This year has already brought so much change, and yet I feel there is still so much more to come.

I feel the shift happening, telling me to let go. And although I want to fight every bit of this and stay in my ways, my world around me is changing and I know deep down I need to change with it. I need to be more free, more relaxed and more willing to slow down.

My to-do list can wait and things will get done in time, but my babies are growing at a rapid pace and I’ll miss the beauty if I don’t focus on what matters most. So today and every day I will keep reminding myself of this: to Stop & Smell the Roses.

XOXO,

~P

Finding Your Identity among Dirty Diapers, Dishes & Paw Patrol

Before I became a momma, I had dreams of what life would be like…

I envisioned slow days where I would play with my happy kids, clean up around the house while they napped (at the same time) and have dinner on the table by the time my hubby walked through the door. I knew in my heart that being a momma was absolutely my calling, but what I didn’t realize is that I would have other callings/passions as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kiddos and feel truly blessed to be able to stay home with them. I know how lucky I am to not have to send them to daycare every day. But being a stay at home momma isn’t always easy and my days are definitely not all sunshine and rainbows.

My days are usually filled with lots of crying/whining and racing around the house trying to get stuff done while the kids nap only to finally get a break the second one of them wakes. There’s messes and spills at every turn and a toddler that thinks throwing things in the toilet or playing in the cat food is a good time. There’s a very strong-willed 3 year old that I’m constantly having to battle with in even the smallest of things.

About a year and a half ago I felt this urge to find a way to express who I am outside of being a mom.

I used to feel like others would think I was ungrateful for wanting more. After everything I’d been through to become a momma, why did I feel the need to add to my life? But what I’ve come to learn is that it’s ok to explore and express another side to who you are. And that’s where this little space of mine came into play.

I had written my first blog the prior year and found this passion for writing that I didn’t know I had. At first blogging started out as an outlet for me to connect with other blogger moms as well as share my passions about healthy living and motherhood. However, it quickly became a place for growth and finding my true identity.

For so long I was the girl that struggled with Infertility. That was my identity. It became who I was and what I talked about. And when I finally became a momma, I wanted to leave that identity behind. I wanted to embrace this new identity that I had always hoped for and run with it. But before I knew it, my journey with infertility began to show up in places I least expected.

Over the last year there has been a lot of soul searching, trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between the two.

I’m still in a place of exploration, but I feel closer to being the person God intended me to be. I’m learning to embrace this season I’m in (dirty diapers and all) while still finding time to express the passion I have in my heart to mentor others going through infertility as well as build a mom tribe with some of the most lovely women.

My hope is that this year brings with it a sense of peace in my new identity. Knowing that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing…I can be a momma and a passionate person that loves to write and connect with others.

Because when your children are grown and living their own lives outside of your home, there needs to be a soul that is fulfilled. And true fulfillment can only come from becoming who you were meant to be…for myself that’s a loving wife, a caring mother, a friend to those struggling with infertility and writer sharing my heart & struggles through motherhood.

My sweet momma friend, my hope is that you are living your passion too. That your soul feels fulfilled even when the days are hard…

XOXO,

~P

 

 

Giving yourself Grace in a Season of the “Threenager”…

A few weeks back I shared this post on Instagram. I was one week into Jase being out of school on Christmas vacation and to say it was a tough week is an understatement. I typically like to keep the social media posts I share on a more positive note, but on that particular day, I felt a tug on my heart to share…and the response I got confirmed that it was the right thing to do.

As a momma to little ones, it can be very easy to feel like you’re doing things all wrong…

Let’s face it, 3 year olds are TOUGH! It’s at this age they start to push the boundaries, find their voice and have some pretty crazy mood swings. I’d like to say that I’m calm and cool during these super fun times, but that would be a complete lie. I’ll admit I’ve lost my temper more times then I care to admit and have raised my voice when I probably shouldn’t have. And it often leaves me feeling like the worst mom in the world and like I’m failing my child miserably.

But that’s just a lie.

I love my children deeper than I ever thought possible and I know in my heart that I’m a good momma. I’m THEIR momma, the one God chose for them. I know that I’m doing my best and although sometimes the lack of sleep or a crying, teething baby causes me to react in a way I wish I wouldn’t have, I’m learning to give myself Grace (and wine). I’m learning to take a step back, take a deep breath and do my best to respond in a loving way.

My sweet momma friends…

If you’re finding yourself in this place, please know that you are not alone. I’m with you and so many other mommas are too. We are in this together. We can help encourage and lift each other up in these moments of frustration and stress. Give yourself the grace you deserve and trust that God made you the perfect fit for your children.

Lean on Him and He will help get you through.

Although I still have my moments of weakness, building a deeper connection with God over the last year has given me the ability react in a more loving way {most of the time}. Even if I initially respond in a way that I regret, I’m able to brush off the feeling of inadequacy much quicker. I’m able to let go of the stress and frustration and get back to a place of peace, love and contentment.

Before becoming a momma, I had no idea of the challenges that would  be ahead of me so quickly into motherhood. Giving myself grace, leaning on God for guidance and building a strong community of other mommas around me, have been key to being the kind of momma I’ve always hoped to be. I’m still a work in progress, but I know in my heart that I’m doing the best that I can…

Hang in there sweet mommas, you are doing an AMAZING job raising up your precious babies!

XOXO,

~P