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.

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intuitionMothers are pretty amazing creatures. Not only do we give life, care for our young, and multi task like a son of a bitch, we are also blessed with a magical dose of intuition. That’s right. It’s not Hocus Pocus that shit actually exists. And I have learned over the years, the more I acknowledge this unique gift, the more prevalent it appears. And luckily, for mamas, it doesn’t end there. As a mom, we can also sniff out bullshit like a bloodhound. After we become mothers, we are like human bullshit detectors. Whether it’s in someone’s body language or their verbal cues. We’re hip to it. Probably because dissecting others’ actions is something we do on a daily basis with our kids.

How many times have you asked your kid, “Did you do that?” Only to be faced with a look of clear guilt, but oh, how they try to hide it. Their little minds don’t quite match their facial expressions though, do they? If I am in one room and my kids are in the other and I hear the 1-year-old start to cry, I race in there to say, “What happened, why is she crying?” The look on my 4-year-old’s face is priceless. It’s usually a half-smile with a half scared look. Pretty damn obvious, sweet child of mine. But she doesn’t see her face. I don’t think kids this young want to be devious (I hope not), I’m guessing it’s part of their developing minds. And to see how far they can push our buttons before mom and dad crack in half.

I know my kids pretty damn well and can tell if they are up to no good, are upset about something, or if my oldest has to pee and has held it for too long. My 4-year-old has some strong will in her. Ever since she has been potty trained she continuously holds her bladder. I can remember days when she would only pee like two or three times per day, and I would have heavy concern. I mean I must pee at least two times in an hour, is three times per day even human?! Then I remind myself she is 4. And so is her bladder.

And speaking of my 4-year-old, she isn’t one to lie. I honestly cannot remember a time when she didn’t eventually admit a wrong. And yes, it might take a few minutes for her to tell the truth, but she always does. Go ahead, give me a pat on the back. Just kidding. I think the reason she is so honest is because she has realized that mom and dad WILL find out in the end. I guess this illustrates some level of maturity, really. She will be 5 soon. I do hope she stays this way. And even if she doesn’t, I am not too worried. You see, as a mom, I can sniff out the bullshit. I have an innate knowing when something is off kilt. And I’m not just talking about when I am dealing with my little ones. I can sniff out the BS when I am around adults, too. And I am willing to bet mama, you have this magic, too.

A good example of magical motherly intuition is when your child is sick. Sometimes, fevers can be scary when they spike then go down, only to spike again without any other symptoms. My little one had been super clingy for days, didn’t want to eat much, and was just getting over a cold. After a week of getting rid of her cold, she still had a fever. I thought it was odd, as her body should’ve already fought the bug off at that point. But, there in red it showed 102°. I knew inside (my gut) something was telling me she wasn’t OK. After taking her to our Pediatrician, and running some tests – it was later confirmed she had a Urinary Tract Infection. The cold symptoms had masked other common UTI symptoms, but nevertheless, I knew something wasn’t right. Mother’s intuition never fails. The more you acknowledge it, the more prevalent it appears.

Psychics say we all have within us built-in intuition. Like when we get a creepy vibe from someone at the store, or if were driving and we tell ourselves to take a different route home, only to learn of a bad accident that we could’ve been part of, it’s all within us. And it’s there to keep us out of harm’s way. But, when we have children, this gut response does get stronger. Call it a bond with your child, a keen knowing, whatever you want to refer to it as. It’s there.

Whether our children are dealing with an emotional or physical stressor – we just know. We sometimes have to press a bit to get the response our body and minds are telling us, and that’s OK. I will always continue to study my kids’ body language. If we analyze them enough, we actually become masters at picking up on theirs and others’ cues and bullshit. Because we are all human and have the same tendencies.

And we all know the saying, “Don’t mess with mama.” Because a mama always knows.

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