Wednesday, December 21, 2016

We Can Do Hard Things

Recently, my daughter was having a hard time doing something. The something is beyond my recollection. My mom stepped in to see if she needed help. My strong, stubborn daughter proudly explained to my mom; “Grammy, I can do hard things!”

Photo by Heart Shot Photo
I often tell my kids that we can do hard things. Usually it’s in regard to putting on our own shoes or opening a particularly tricky container with a cap. I remind them its okay to get frustrated but not to give up.

My daughter is two. My son a mere fourteen months. As it stands today, I don’t know what their dreams are. Well, outside of finding the one thing in an entire room they shouldn’t get into and destroying it. But, I do know that beyond their intellect, education and drive their ability to persevere when things get tough will help them accomplish their dreams.

We can do hard things.

The thing is, this isn’t advice. It’s a mantra.

It’s what we have to tell ourselves when we’re frustrated in the middle of the night when the baby is crying and we don’t know what to do.

It’s what we repeat when making important life decisions – career choices, daycare solutions and navigating relationship dynamics.

The words enter our heads on mile seven of a long run and hour seven of a long day.

It’s what we say when we can’t get our shoes on and when we can’t find our footing.

It’s the repetition and realization that we can step-up when things get hard that will hopefully resonate. I hope by repeating it to my children while they are young, they will ultimately be reminded of these simple words as they get older and the stakes get higher.


A version of this post previously appeared on St. Luke's Birth Care Center.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How Do I Freeze Time?

It’s almost 2017. We have tiny computers in our pockets every day. A photo exists of my children on almost every day of their lives so far. We have cars that drive themselves and video chatting is the way to communicate with family near and far. So, why have we not figured out how to freeze time?!

It’s no secret that the past year has been a relatively hard one for our family. Weston has kept us on our toes and Starbucks in business. But, lately, I’ve looked around and found myself wondering (knock on wood, please); is this getting easier?

The other day as I was getting ready for work, I could hear the kids playing together. (I love that sound!) Pretty soon they were adorably walking into my bathroom holding hands and laughing. Of course, I quickly grabbed a picture. I barely finished snapping the photo when Nora announced; “Mom, Weston threw some things in the potty!” To which I quickly replied “WHAT?!” And she answered; “Don’t worry, I got 'em.”

Sure, enough, those cute hands were all wet!!

As crazy as it sounds, I wanted to freeze time. I wanted to freeze time in part so I could sufficiently wash little hands and objects that had landed and been fished out of the potty. But mainly I wanted to freeze time because their sweet innocence in playing and assisting each other melts my heart. I know these are the moments we are going to want back. Even the potty-water-soaked ones!

I'm doing my best. I’m savoring, laughing and smiling at every turn. But, can someone please figure out how to freeze time already?


A version of this post previously appeared at St. Luke's Birth Care Center.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Something Happened While in Our Jammies…

I love Thanksgiving! I think part of my love has to do with the guaranteed long weekend. I love that you get the holiday out of the way and still have three days off to enjoy! I loved it even more this year because my two year old was all in. She and her brother helped me make turkey centerpieces as well as place cards for everyone who attended our Thanksgiving dinner.

More than anything I love the sentiment of this holiday. Gratitude is important to me. It’s something I try hard to instill in my children. Since each of their births, I have thanked them every night for being mine. Surviving infertility to get to parenthood instills a certain amount of gratitude toward the experience. So, almost instinctively since becoming a mom I have whispered a thank you to my children each night. 

The thank yous started out sounding something like; “thank you for being my girl.” Today they have grown to sound more like “thank you for being so brave today” or “thank you for sleeping last night” or “thank you for going to the grocery store with me.”

We spent the Friday after Thanksgiving in our pajamas. We ate leftovers and decorated our house. We played in a home-made cardboard box tunnel and had a dance party in our living room under the lights of the Christmas tree. As we concluded a relaxing yet productive day, we all said good night. Then, something happened. My two year old kissed my one year old goodnight and said “thank you for such a fun day, buddy!” And, I cried!

Yup, she’s all in. No turkey centerpiece or fill-in-the-black Thanksgiving exercise could convince me of this more than those simple words. In that moment all the guilt from being a working mom, a mom who gets distracted, is short-tempered and strung a bit too tight, washed away. She’s picking up on something in our house, and it sure looks a little like love. I hope it’s the kind of love, gratitude and appreciation that is felt all year long.

Happy holidays, everyone!

A version of this post previously appeared on St. Luke's Birth Care Center.
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