Change · Children · grief · Happiness · Life · love · Parenting · Relationships · Thoughts · Words

I am Finally Home

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I grew up in a house, not a home.

Fighting was as normal as breathing.

Chaos ensued almost every day between my parents.

I had a father, not a dad. A woman who gave birth to me, not a mother.

I had two brothers but really I was an only child.

My childhood was not terrible but it was not wonderful.

It was marked by alcoholism, divorce, almost stepdads and lots of tears.

My mother didn’t give her love away unconditionally and my father didn’t know how to give away love unless it was attached to a dollar sign.

In fact, money was what my parents lived for. My father worked endless hours to provide a life that my mother pretty much demanded…diamonds, fur coats, nice cars, a nice house, clothes, maids, lots of “stuff”. My mother’s happiness was always tied up to things. Money was the root of everything in our home and my mother spent more than was coming in. Hence, all the fighting going on between her and my father.

It’s no wonder that growing up, I began to lack some of the tools I’d need to get through life. Life lessons were screwed up and my understanding of what love meant was blurry and confusing. I began to wonder if I was even worthy of any kind of love so I began to date the “bad boys”. I had relationships that mimicked my parents…..lots of fighting, no respect and anger. It was I who was causing all of this turmoil. I was picking fights, pointing out faults. I was saying mean things because it was what I thought this whole relationship thing was about. It was what I had seen first hand in my parent’s marriage.

It wasn’t until I met a boy that wouldn’t put up with my insanity, that I began to change. This person called me out on my crap. Left me (literally) to see if I could get it together and then came back and taught me what real love truly is and what it’s not. This man, who is now my husband, is my lifesaver. The someone who struggled with me but stood by me and has always been my rock. He came into my life at the perfect time and with him, I have become who I needed to be. Our relationship started out thorny but has blossomed over the years into something beautiful. Even though we are polar opposites we are perfect together. We are best friends. We finish each other’s sentences. Over the years we have built a home. This home is full of love, understanding, faith, and all things that a family should be. My husband gave me a gift for which I could never repay.  He saved me from all the wrong roads I most likely would’ve gone down. He saved me from repeating the pattern.

I will always have tangled, messy memories of my broken childhood, but with my husband, building a family with him, the love he gives me so freely, I have finally found my home.

 

 

 

 

 

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Change · grief · Life · loss · Parenting · Relationships · Self confidence · Self-love · Thoughts · Toxic Parenting · Words

It’s Time…

I wake to the sound of music blaring. My alarm clock telling me the day has started. I steal a quick glance at the red blare that is the time and hit the snooze button. I lie back down, my head sinking once again in the soft, grey pillow. It’s still dark outside and I want to go back to sleep more than anything, but I have things to do. I have no other option but to wake up. My eyes feel groggy and my mind feels heavy. I didn’t sleep well last night. My mind kept racing over events of the day and it kept me from finding any peace in the quietness of the night. Now I am at once, thinking over things again, not even 2 minutes after I awake.

Life sometimes feels so heavy and burdensome. I feel like I’m given way more than I can handle and not the proper tools to handle them with. There is this life I want, the one I am trying to build and then there is the life I have, my past, that I can’t seem to shake. I think maybe because I keep revisiting what already happened and I keep trying to fix it, make it different now, in the future. Why can’t I realize that I can’t change things, it’s not within my power. I’m tired of feeling a lack of worth. I’m tired of having this hole inside of me that I keep trying to fill. I’m tired of punishing myself with what I did, what I should’ve done and a thousand regrets.

Often I look at my age and wonder how I got to be this old already and things are still going on like this. I want to make you love me like I needed all these years. I want to help you see how you wronged me and I want you to apologize. I want to be able to have a relationship with you that is healthy and good. I reach out to you, I try to talk to you, I let you back in again and again and again but still you are unchanged. I love you because you raised me and there are some good parts of you I remember but I can’t keep subjecting myself to you. Every time we try, the pieces of me I have built, all the hard work I have done, start crumbling down. These years we have been apart I have become someone else, a person that is stronger, more confident, less angry. I have discovered things about myself I never knew before. I have bloomed and grown into a life I love. I have no room for toxic people, negativity, manipulation, guilt, and lies. You can choose to not see the truth and create your own reality but I want no part of it. I know what happened, I know the truth. For most of my life, I have been dragging you along, hoping to change you, now I see how much of a burden that has been and how impossible a feat. I am tired and my life is not being lived the way it should. You are older. You may not have a lot of years left on this earth and I hate to think of years going by, with us not speaking, and one day getting the call that you have passed. I wish more than anything, we could have a relationship. I will miss you like I have been. I will grieve for the mother I never had but always wanted. This is the last time I will try. This is the last time I will say goodbye. I will always love you but, from afar and quietly.

Blaring music once again fills the room and I quickly shut it off. I can do this. I need to do this. It is time once again to let you go. This time for good. So I rise up, out of bed, and begin to take back my life. Little by little. Piece by piece. 

boy mom · Children · Life · Mom life · Motherhood · Parenting · School · Thoughts · Words

First Day of School

I walk you into your classroom and we find your desk. 

You are nervous but also excited on this first day of school.

I prayed this morning that you would be okay as the bell rang and it was time for me to go. 

I prayed that you would have a good time with your new teacher and your friends.

I asked God to watch over you and be there while I couldn’t. 

Watching you sitting there, I can’t help but feel a tug on my heart. 

Having you all to myself this summer, I was spoiled and my days will surely feel an absence without you in them as much, 

but part of being a parent is letting go and letting grow. 

I kiss you and give you a super big hug and we say goodbye for now. 

I tell you that I can’t wait to see you later and hear all about your day and you give me that crooked smile. 

I will sure miss you like crazy today but I hope you miss me less. 

I hope you feel secure and happy.

I hope that you are so busy learning and coloring and playing that you sink into your day until it is time to go and you wonder how the day is already over. 

Then you come home with immense joy and stories to tell and I can see it…

You are already excited to go back tomorrow. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children · Life · love · Motherhood · Parenting · Thoughts · Words

Catch them

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If I could disburse one piece of advice,

something I’ve learned throughout the years of parenting,

it would be to catch your kids.  

Catch them doing something kind and call them out on it. 

Praise them and tell them how proud you are. 

Catch them saying something considerate and let them know you were listening. 

Show them approval and tell them how gracious they are. 

Catch them when they wake up, full of boundless energy and excitement, wanting to hug you and not let go.

Show them patience and joy. 

Catch them when they study hard and get a good grade.

Let them see how much you value them and all of their hard work.

Catch them when they do something without being asked.

Tell them how helpful they are and how much you appreciate them.

Catch them before they go to bed, the last few moments before tomorrow comes.  

Sit down next to them, read them a story, pray with them and tuck them in tightly. 

Whisper ‘I love you” before turning the lights out.

Show them unconditional love.

As we go about our days it’s all too easy to find the things done wrong. 

The mistakes, the messes. 

To yell and find frustration in our child’s behavior,

but, I know, that only leaves us feeling regretful, angry and sometimes bitter. 

I challenge you to catch them when they are doing things right. 

Watch out for those little moments that you would normally ignore. 

It will water their little souls and stir a softness in you as well.

It will sew happiness through the thread of your family and replace chaos with calm.  

It will transform the way you see your kids and the way they see you.

  Start now. 

Today.

Catch them.  

 

 

 

 

 

Change · Children · Happiness · Life · love · Mom life · Motherhood · Parenting · Poetry · Stay at home moms · Thoughts · Words

Before I was a mama

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Before I was a mama I imagined that raising kids was easy. 

My young mind pictured motherhood as holding babies, changing diapers, late-night feedings and early afternoon naps. 

I pictured firsts. First words, first tooth, first steps.

Never did I envision mouthy toddlers, independent school-age kids, and a sulky teenager. 

I didn’t foresee the days of exhaustion and thanklessness. 

The heartache, doubt, regret, and irritation that sneaks in on a daily basis. 

Before I was a mama I equated having a baby to instantaneous happiness.

I didn’t think my life would be any less but so much more.

And part of me was right. 

Babies are hard work and in giving so much of yourself away to care for them, you might feel like you lose yourself, the person you were before. 

I know at times, many times, I did.

But before my eyes, as my babies grew through the years I started to see the light in motherhood. 

It comes from little messy smiles, an unexpected hug, bedtime cuddles, Eskimo and butterfly kisses, the sound of their laughter, knowing that to them you are the entire world. 

As they grow it comes in the form of asking your opinion, telling you about their day, asking how your day’s been, an ‘I love you mom” in a text, wanting to sit next to you on the couch, still giving you hugs even though they are almost as tall as you.

Like life, motherhood goes through phases and they are each so precious, yet so fleeting. 

Don’t rush them.

In the blink of an eye, they will be over. 

Nothing about being a mama is like I pictured long ago in my youthful days, long before I could ever understand this kind of grace, this kind of sacrifice, this kind of joy. 

I could never know because I had never understood this kind of love before. 

Until I was a mama.

 

 

 

 

 

boy mom · Faith · Life · love · Mom life · Parenting · Relationships · Starting over · Words

Our Children

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We raise our children to find their wings and fly.

Our home is their nest for the making of the person they will become.

It is their foundation on which everything else is built.

We give them love and encouragement.

We establish in them faith and forgiveness.

We let them fall and watch them rise.

And in the process, as they go from toddler to teenager,

as they start to gain independence and taste freedom,

we find ourselves having to let go a little of them each day,

until one day we open our doors and watch them soar into the world.

It may seem far off or it might be just around the corner,

but the day will come.

You will watch as the person you made, the person you grew,

spreads their wings in this great big world,

and leaves home to find themselves.

Body love · body positivity · boy mom · ditch the diet · Eating recovery · Happiness · Life · Mom life · Parenting · Relationships · Self confidence · Self-love · Words

My Three Sons

 

I missed the first few months of all three of my boys lives. Not physically but mentally. My mind was consumed with how my body looked after giving birth, all the weight I’d have to lose, the clothes I needed to fit back into, the exercises I’d have to do. My new mom mind was not preoccupied with all things baby, as it should have been, but on me getting my body back. I did this all three times I gave birth, not learning anything from the previous time. 

I was twenty-six when I gave birth to my first son and newly out of my bulimia. Becoming pregnant forced me into a reality check to lose the bingeing and purging cycle. I had more to think about than myself and so I quit cold turkey. I wanted to start being a good mom right away. As my belly grew though, I remember having concerns about my rising weight and worrying it would stay on me permanately but I ate what I craved and started a simple yoga routine. 

I was thirty when I gave birth to my second son and in-between those two pregnancies my bulimia was pretty much nil, but she would show up from time to time and remind me of certain foods that were off-limits. I gave birth, having gained the same amount of weight as the first time around, and yet still worried that I’d never lose the weight. 

My third pregnancy happened when I was thirty-four and my eating habits were still the same through the years, trying so hard to be ‘good’ when choosing foods and punishing myself when I ate badly. I gave birth that third time and yet still hated what I saw when I stripped down to take a shower. Nevermind that my body had just made a baby in a matter of months and grown that baby to perfection and then birthed that baby into the world, for a third time. My body was ugly, gross and I was completely ashamed and mortified with what I saw.

Three times I gave birth and three times my mind obsessed over my body, my weight, the number on the scale, the ‘before’ clothes I used to fit into, the food I ate. Three times, years apart, I missed out on my babies. I missed out on the joy of being present and building a bond. I missed out on little things and I missed out on big things. I robbed myself of a time I can never get back.

Now my sons are fifteen, eleven and five and I still struggle most days with my body image and my food. Bulimia is a constant thorn in my side and I have to work every day to keep her away. When I first started seeing a counselor in my early twenties, a few years into my eating disorder, she wisely told me that even if the act itself goes away, I would always have the disorder in my life, it would never really vanish and I would have to push it down continually. She was right. 

I am tired of trying to be this image of who I think I should be. I’m tired of not feeling good enough. I’m mad that this disorder has taken away so much for almost half of my life now. It won’t happen today or tomorrow or even next month but I want to get to that sweet spot where I can look in the mirror and see more than my dislikes. I want to see my beautiful body for all that it has done and continues to do for me day in and day out. 

I tell you my story so that if you are suffering you know that you are not alone. If you are pregnant and worried about weight I tell you it’s nothing to worry about. The weight will go away, but so will the time. Time that you will regret losing because it is precious and filled with so many new things. Time that you can never get back.

Maybe instead of looking in the mirror and defining our worth by what we see, we should look inward. Inward to see and feel and know just how amazingly miraculous our bodies are. They give us life, they carry us anywhere we want to go, they heal, they nurture others, they keep us healthy and able to do so much, they grow small humans. Seriously, when you stop and think about it, aren’t our bodies absolutely freaking amazing? 

Beauty · Faith · God · grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Marriage · Parenting · Relationships · Religion · Words

Stop waiting before it’s too late.

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Waiting 

We are all waiting for something. 

To be Thinner. 

To be Happier. 

To be Richer. 

To be More Fulfilled. 

What if one day, on our death beds, our bodies nearly paralyzed from old age, we were only waiting for death to come and take us. 

Would we look back on our lives and see that we never stopped waiting?

If only we had lost the weight, we’d have worn that bathing suit. The one hidden in the back of the drawer that we always told ourselves “next year”. 

If only we’d had more money we would’ve been more fulfilled, led a happier life. We made money, but it was never enough so that we were rich (or so we thought). 

And lying there in that bed, your body nothing like it used to be, a weaker version of the once strong counterpart, would you be glad that you had waited? That you were never enough to be enough. 

The bathing suit eventually got thrown away and never enjoyed the suns warm rays or the splash of cool water. While our children and husband played on the shore and swam in the deep, we sat in a chair on the sidelines, watching, wishing, waiting.

The job we had, finally ended in retirement. We had so many years clocked at a place that took up a huge portion of our lives but we never really enjoyed one day of it. We were too busy wishing for more, never really seeing how blessed we were to have this job in the first place. After all it provided us our homes, cars, food, clothes and so much more. 

Lying there in that dark hospital room, hearing the beeping of the monitors, the steady rhythm of our heartbeat, surely we will wish we had stopped waiting to participate in our life. We will weep, saddled with regret. Things like being thin enough to wear a bathing suit or having more money will seem so small and insignificant in the end. In the sum of life, we will know how little these things truly meant, but it will be much too late to fix it. 

Right now, before it is no longer an option to live without the restrictions of old age, you have two choices:

1. Keep waiting

2. Start living today

The one you choose will determine everything.

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boy mom · Happiness · Life · love · Mom life · Parenting · Poetry · Words

My Son

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I stand in the doorway, watching you sleep, feeling exhausted and spent, my heart heavy.

You look so peaceful and content, a vast contradiction to just a few hours ago when you were pouting at me, telling me how I was being so unfair.

Oh my child, to love you is so easy but to be a parent to you is often times very tough.

I can see things unfolding, visualize your future and imagine roads you will go down before you are even aware they exist.

I want to wrap you up in my arms and protect you from everything.

I want to pour words into you and have them fill you up with knowledge.

I want to save you from anything that might destroy what I know you can be, but that is not within my control. 

You will need to fall down and make mistakes and learn from them.

You came from me but you are not me.

You are your own person with your own ideas and perceptions.

I can only teach you to fly so that you can go out into the world one day and spread your wings and soar.

Oh child, as I stand here tonight, taking in the sight of you, wondering how it all went so fast and how much you’ve grown, my heart swells.

I have loved you every single day, since the day you were born and I will love you always.

So even though being your mom is sometimes tough, I hope you incessantly know and feel that loving you always came easy.