One of the very hardest things about being a parent is making sure you are a good role model. Like all the time. Which is hard. Obviously, most of us are just trying are best at this parenting thing. It is without any hesitation a high demanding job, a job we do for quite a while before we see any reward.

We pray our children grow into awesome, contributing members to society.

We want to leave a legacy. We want our kids to be better than what we are or were.

My mother is an extreme talent. Her specialty and one true love has always been the piano. She used to tell me she always had a dream to play at Carnegie Hall in her youth. The biggest reason her dream never came to fruition was her own self-doubt. When she got married and became a mother three times over her dreams seemed to fade even faster.

When I was a young child, she taught piano lessons in our home. Even during my high school years, she taught on and off. I used to take her talent for granted. She had tried to teach me piano but I never had a real inclination to learn. And I never really gave her skill much thought until I became an adult and a mother myself. Her gift is obvious to all that hear her play.

My mother always second guessed herself. She always compared her talent to others. And I think after she divorced my father she was very depressed but never truly admitted it and I do believe if affected her self-worth even more.

A couple of years ago, she bought my oldest daughter a keyboard and said, “I hope she learns to play.” My daughter was 3-years-old at the time and had no interest in learning to play – rather banging on the keyboard was her idea of fun. Two years later and now my mom is just beginning to teach my oldest the basics of the keys, how to read music, etc.

My mother is in her 70s now and I know her biggest hope is that one of her grandchildren learns to play the piano. The one legacy she can leave. A piece of her undeniable talent, her contribution to this world. And a knowing she taught her grandchild to play.

But, if neither of my girls shows interest in the piano, that’s OK. Whatever passion they have, whatever it is that motivates them, I want them to attack it with full throttle. No second guessing themselves. I often say, “when there is a will, there is a way.” And I truly believe that.

Just like my mom, throughout my life, I’ve often doubted myself. My capabilities. My skills. In my early 30s, I guess you could say my soul was craving a creative outlet. I found myself writing a story that consumed me. That story was later self-published, thanks to the help of a family member. I was pregnant with my daughter when the finished product landed on my doorstep. I remember thinking how surreal it was – a book I wrote, in the flesh.

I never really marketed the book. And I really started to doubt its worth. My worth as a writer. I mean, I never really wrote before. How could I think my novella was a worth a read? Looking back now, I see that I allowed my ego to get in the way. I allowed my own self-criticism make me believe I wasn’t worthy of being a successful writer. And then just like my mother, I started my family and put my dream of being a writer on hold.

But the one thing I have that my mom didn’t is a supportive husband. I am grateful to my husband for always telling me, reminding me, that I am good enough.

When I became pregnant a second time, my mindset shifted and my creativity started to nudge at me. There is something about being a mother that makes you feel empowered. Something that makes you feel like you can do anything. And after the birth of my second child, I started this blog.

I had no idea how much time went into blogging; something I am still learning. It’s a slow process because I work outside of the home and my blog has now become like my third child who doesn’t get fed often. Oops.

There have been times I’ve said to my husband, “Maybe I should just quit. I don’t think many people read what I post.” But he always encourages me to keep at it. Something I am grateful for. And isn’t this a dilemma many bloggers face?

And, I can’t quit. I enjoy it too much. I enjoy the expression of writing, the freedom, the creativity.

I also want my girls to witness my efforts towards something I am passionate about. My 5-year-old knows I blog and will ask about it every now and then.

I try to never talk myself down in front of my kids. Regardless of how I feel inside. I want them to witness my hard work and to see my achievements. So that one day, when they find their true passion, they always believe in themselves.

Confidence is an important trait for everyone to have, but its weight is slightly heavier when you’re a parent. For the words you say have an echo effect on your children. It’s important for them to see and hear a mother who believes in herself.

You have to show your kids you can do it – whatever it is. So they believe they can, too.

Follow:

Today’s post is brought to you by pure frustration. I have given up so much of myself as a person since becoming a mom. I have given up sleep, exercise, privacy, and hot coffee to name a few. My little one will be 2-years-old in May and I don’t care if this sounds harsh, but I dislike this age very much.

My child is glued to me <literally> and what I mean by glued is: I wake up and she is attached to me from when I drink my coffee on the couch to when I try to eat my breakfast to when I use the restroom. She is at my side. She even insists on sitting on my lap when she eats – every time. I love her unconditionally but I cannot get a break, and I’m tired.

I have tried to be tough about it and not give into her demands. I have tried you guys, really tried. But I’m butt fucking tired! My husband always catches up on his sleep on the weekends since he works two jobs and guess what? Mama never gets to sleep in or have downtime unless I’m at work. And the one thing I refuse to give into is letting her sleep in our bed. I learned with my oldest if you have a young child in your bed – you never rest. And I cannot not rest and not have any bit of alone time during the day. Guess I choose my battles.

If I have to choose between sleep and eating, I guess sleep wins because I never get enough of it. I am writing this while she at the moment is sitting on my lap playing with her sister’s tablet. This is my downtime. She is not crying or demanding something, so I guess I’ll take it when I can get it.

Follow:

I felt at peace as I watched both of my children sit nestled in her lap. The look on her face, probably the same as mine, a complete look of contentment. She doesn’t have any children of her own and doesn’t know what it feels like to be a mother. I know she would make a good mother, and I wish she would let me have the title as Aunt, but I suppose it’s not in the cards. And I know she is OK with that.

I admire her every time we are together. Always put together, with her nails freshly polished, a new Michael Kors purse placed on her shoulder, and her eyebrows freshly waxed. A career focused person, she has always been. Whenever I see her, she is always in a hurry but I don’t know what for? I remind myself that is who she is… a person on the go.

Besides my husband, she is the first person I go to when I need advice. She is the logical, intellectual one. I am the creative, spiritual one. Together, as sisters, we balance one another out. I see so much of my oldest child in her. The will, the mood, the need to always be doing something. My sister has never been much of a hugger and neither is my oldest unless it’s on her terms.

I watch her sitting in the chair with my baby on one side and my 4-year-old on the other. I remember all the times we’ve spent together – as young children, as young adults, and now as full-grown women and how at this very moment in time, we are both experiencing the same joy. I feel the serenity within from the comfort I get when I see her interact with my girls. I see the happiness on her face as she embraces her nieces. I think to myself for a moment that I am the baby in my family and how did it become that I now have two babies?

She doesn’t quite understand all that is involved in motherhood. And I don’t expect her to. I will simply relish the moments my children get to spend with her. It is as though I get a flashback to a different time in my life. A time when I was playing with my sister in the backyard. A time when life stood still and the only responsibility was to play. A time like the one my children are in now.

“A sister is a forever friend.” – Unknown

Follow:

Brand Indentity Logo Design by Garlic Friday www.garlicfriday.com

Brand Identity Logo Design by Garlic Friday www.garlicfriday.com

I have a secret to share. I have always been a daydreamer. I was a late bloomer, too (another secret). In fact, I didn’t discover my real passion until my thirties.

After high school graduation, I had one goal. To earn money. After a year or so working full-time in an office, I soon realized I wanted to be something more than a receptionist. And so I enrolled in community college. I always had an interest in the arts, especially acting, and thought I would pursue that. I started going to school in the evenings while working full-time during the day. After a few acting classes, some general education courses, a good dose of reality, and deep consideration – an acting career seemed like an unrealistic pursuit. After all, I didn’t live in the right place. Michigan is a far cry from L.A. and New York. And with that mindset, I stopped pursuing it. The fire in my belly, I suppose, was not as strong as it needed to be.

I remember the day I had an “aha” moment (it seemed I had waited so long for it). I was leaving my Speech class at the community college and saw a poster on Communication Arts and all the careers associated with this degree. Maybe it was my answer to the question I was seeking in my young adulthood: what to do with my life? It appeared like the perfect fit for me. The imperfect solution to the drudgery of the business world. From that moment forward, a Communications Degree is what I went after; seven years later and I graduated. Still, at the end of my student tenure, I had not a specific goal in mind. What was I missing?

I felt like there was something wrong with me. A reason why I couldn’t be like everyone else and accept a life with a blasé career. Shuffling paperwork was OK for many. Many people I worked with seemed accepting of their choice. Even if I did hear them say, “It’s hump day” or “Only one more day till the weekend.” Leaving me to wonder that maybe, just maybe, others don’t really like what they do. But do it because they have to.

Years and years of working in an office benefited me. I was able to make my first home purchase, I always had a vehicle to drive, and I traveled, and even got married. I had the American dream minus children, but two dogs that made up for that. In all that I possessed on the exterior, on the inside – my soul – felt empty. I knew I settled with what life gave me and not what I truly desired. I wasn’t happy. I was an adult now but still had residual feelings of that young girl so unsure about her future.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Pregnancy. Yes, she was planned. Yes, I thought I was ready. Until I realized no amount of preparation, parental books you read, or advice you get from others prepares you for this life-changing event we call motherhood. The “aha” moment I waited for, for so very long – 32 years to be exact – struck down on me when I became a mother.

I had my awakening. I had my entire little world changed upside down. I honestly never knew if I ever wanted to be a mom until my thirties. And when I was blessed to be what so many other women are called; a mother, my soul finally felt complete. Totally and utterly complete. It was pure joy like I had never experienced before.

The searching for my life purpose, the constant soul searching was in another human being I created. Nothing, I mean absolutely nothing can possibly compare to the love, the bond, the wholeness you feel when you become a mother. What I didn’t know then, what I know now, is that maybe the reason I never could find what I was looking for, was not meant for me. Because motherhood is what I was destined for. As a mother, I give it my all. I am always trying my hardest. I am always exhausted. But, at the end of the day, I know I do the best I can.

Motherhood has given me more gratification that any other accomplishment I’ve ever done. Motherhood has allowed me to relish in the moment of having a baby fall asleep in my arms. Motherhood has allowed me to nourish my baby with nothing other than my breast milk. Motherhood has allowed me to see how selfless I can be.

Motherhood has allowed me to see how much patience, and how little patience I have. Motherhood has allowed me to appreciate and love my body (with all the stretch marks) more now than I did in my twenties. Motherhood has allowed me not to judge others. Motherhood has allowed me to smile at a crying baby (and mother) in Target – because I get it now. I totally get it. Motherhood has allowed me to enjoy the little things in life; a hot cup of coffee, eating without being interrupted, driving in silence, taking a walk to clear my mind, staying up to 11 p.m. to watch a Lifetime movie. All of it. Motherhood has opened my eyes to everything.

It has changed me for the better. It has fed my soul. Motherhood encompasses more than just taking care of another life. Motherhood gives you an opportunity to be a better person. It pushes you when you think there is nothing left inside of you. It makes you appreciate the simple things in life. It wears you down, but it makes you get back up every time. It fills you with endless amounts of joy, but sadness, too.

Motherhood also makes you appreciate those adult interactions you have in that office for the career you were so unsure of. It allows you to see that a job title doesn’t define a person’s success. It merely provides for a livelihood. There is absolutely no greater, more important job than being a mother. Yet, there is no reward, no corner office, no fancy title – just a simple title, “Mama.” The sweetest word you will ever hear.

Follow:

After I had my first baby, there was no question that one day she would be a big sister (good Lord willing).  I knew I didn’t want her to be alone.  My husband, an only child, hated not having a sibling to share his childhood with.  The biggest question we had… when?  We always questioned how people survived having babies a year or two apart?  Our little girl was (and is) a very spirited child from birth.  She never slept through the night until she was 3-years-old; when she did finally sleep through the night she would wake between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. each day; and she always fought her naps.  We were drained a bit after she came along, and even though we had a nice little family we knew one more would make it complete.

This year, I had my second baby.  My girls are three years and five months apart.  Any longer and I would seriously have to question if we would ever give her a sibling.  Only because the farther apart in age, the less likely they will be able to relate to each other, play with each other, etc.  Now that we have two, we are realizing some serious things.  Things like time.  The little time we had before is pretty much nonexistent.  Sleep.  Our barely restored slumber that we just started to get back, may or may not be interrupted each night with a crying baby.  With no time or sleep to call my own, I got to thinking of the pros and cons of having one or more kids.  And how the heck parents have more than two is beyond me.

For any parents out there debating on whether or not to have another child, here’s my comparison (strictly a comparison of 1 vs 2) based on my experience.

CONS:

1.)  1 child = daycare cost for one.  2 children = daycare cost doubles.

2.)  1 child = she wakes so early and wants me to play.  2 children = they wake so early and want me to function.

3.)  1 child = I get caught up on laundry eventually.  2 children = I give up.  There is always something to wash.

4.)  1 child = single stroller.  2 children = double stroller (duh!)

5.)  1 child = crying.  2 children = why do they cry at the same time?  Don’t they know I am going to lose my mind.

PROS:

1.)  1 child = hugs and kisses.  2 children = double the hugs and kisses.

2.)  1 child = cuddles.  2 children = double the cuddles.

3.)  1 child = laughter.  2 children = double the laughter.

4.)  1 child = watching her grow.  2 children = watching them grow together.

5.)  1 child =  seeing the joy in her eyes.  2 children = seeing the joy in their eyes.

Every parent will agree the hardest years are the baby/toddler years, and again the teen years.    Yes, it is double the work.  But, also double the fun.  Having two versus one gives mom and dad each one.  Perfect balance.  In the end, there is no debate.  Children will take you on a rollercoaster in life; fearful thoughts, ups, downs, twists, turns, and a whole lotta excitement.

girls

Follow: