Friday, September 7, 2018

To My Babies’ {Other} Mamas

I remember the first time it happened. I was dropping Nora off at her first daycare - an in-home center. Nora reached for the woman who ran the daycare and said; “mama!”. I could tell the woman felt uncomfortable. I didn’t.

When your child is small, they sometimes liken the word “mama” to love. "Mama" can come to be shorthand for the individual who cares for them, provides comfort and dries their tears. When Nora uttered those syllables, I felt comforted. I felt it was a clear sign that during those long hours while I worked, she was feeling loved by this wonderful woman.

Fast forward to a few more daycares, another child, and so many more “mamas”. As the season of back to school is upon us, I can’t help but reflect on what these teachers mamas have meant to our family.

Thank you doesn’t seem to capture it, but I’ll try



To the woman who walked the halls. I remember getting to daycare for what felt like the one millionth time to pick him up sick. You weren’t “his teacher” anymore. He had already transitioned to the next room. But, there you were all the same. Cradling him and walking the halls. So calm. So loving. I’m sure you were tired. I know I was. But, you pushed through that tired so gracefully and found an extra gear. Thank you for finding that gear for my boy. Thank you for loving my boy like he was your own. And, for ignoring my silent, tired tears as I took him from your arms.

To the woman who exuded pride. Sometimes it feels like our littles are the only littles who have ever learned to walk or count or sing the ABCs. It’s always nice when someone genuinely shares your pride in your littles’ accomplishments. Thank you for the countless texts and pictures of our little writer working tirelessly on her letters. Thank you for spending your own time and money to put together lines and curves for her to practice at home. Thank you for sharing my pride as she beamed with pride at all you accomplished and learned together.

To the man who changed her card to yellow. I hate to label a four year old, but honestly, sometimes you have to call a spade a spade. So, I'll say it. I believe my daughter to be Type A. To her, a green behavior card - the color that symbolizes a good day - is not enough. Every day must be a pink card day. Pink symbolizes exceptional, and that's certainly what she's striving for each day. But, sometimes, just sometimes, we all have yellow card days, don't we? And you were brave enough to call a spade a spade too. You switched her card to yellow knowing it wouldn't be easy on her. And, you took the time to talk her through it. And me too. We all learned that day that life isn't easy and we can't be great all the time. Except for you. You were great. Thank you for taking the time. Thank you for being brave with us.

To the woman who loved them no matter what. For over two years you cared for at least one of them. You laughed when they said funny things and shed tears when they were sick. You embraced them for the people they are - the crazy and the sassy. You saw the little person in the midst of all the big emotions no matter what. You made room in your arms for extra cuddles and became an extension of our family. Thank you. Thank you for making your lap a second home. Thank you for loving them for who they are - the good and the not-so-good. That's what mamas do!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Five Years

This photo showed up on my phone the other day as a memory

It reminded me that I took it five years ago.


Five years ago.

I remember placing a whole bunch of personal information in that envelope with a little bit of hope and mailed it down Interstate 380. I was scared. Nervous about needles and medication and hormones and failure.

Thankfully, we got pregnant before the needles and medication. The hormones and failures inevitably followed.

Today I have a four-year-old and an almost three-year-old. I don’t think the girl placing that envelope in the mailbox could even fathom that as a possibility. She seems like a completely different person. If I could go back in time and tell her something, I’d say…

Girl, you’re going to grow. You’re going to grow by 30 pounds with each pregnancy and immeasurable patience. You’re going to grow to the point of almost breaking. Your skin is going to stretch, and your brain is going to stretch, and your heart is going to stretch too. And just when you think coconut oil is the answer to all that stretching, you’ll learn it’s not. 

Take a nap. A long one. And, when you wake up, binge watch Netflix. Time is a finite resource and in five years you’re never going to have enough.

Breathe deeply. The challenges you’re facing today are preparing you for what’s to come. Go for a run. Do some yoga. Exercise those skills that make you stronger. You’re going to need that strength soon.

The only thing constant is change. The minute you think you have the baby thing figured out, the second one will come along. He will turn your world upside down. You won’t sleep. And that you job you love? Yeah, you’re going to quit it. You’re going to get burnt-out. You’re going to cry and scream and clean up so much throw-up in the middle of the night you’ll literally be able to do it in the pitch-black dark. You’re going to feel like you hate your husband in the darkest moments and appreciate him in a way you never have before. It will be confusing.

Ultimately, love will be what takes over in the next five years. Your love for those two little surprises will get you through the worst of times. That love will ask what’s wrong with the baby more times than you can count. And that love will eventually figure it out.

You’ll wake up (yes, you’ll sleep again) one day and realize it wasn’t hate that you felt. It was the strongest kind of love. Your husband will come to define the word partner in the next five years.

You’ll come out the other side loving yourself even more completely too. You’ll be driven to champion more women. Your judgments will slide away more easily. Your legs will get stronger. And those legs will carry you forward.

These five years, girl, they’re going to be a hell of a ride!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Both Sides Now

My daughter is about to turn four.



I feel my Mom universe starting to shift.  This small person who I have the pleasure to call my daughter is becoming less toddler and more young lady. She hears things. Absorbs. Understands. She feels tough emotions and wants help navigating them.

I’m so excited to see the person she is slowly becoming beyond the fits and tantrums of toddler-hood. I also can’t help but already miss these days gone by. These days of chubby cheeks and forgetting the “y” in yesterday.


I feel I’m wandering through Joni Mitchell’s song Both Sides Now.

I see motherhood from both sides now.

I imagine this won’t be the only time I’ll feel this way. I imagine it will rush over me many times throughout my motherhood journey.

But, today, I’m moving out of the stage where kisses fix all hurt and into a stage where I must explain why it’s OK if she isn’t someone’s “best friend”. We’re done with diapers, cribs, and clothing sizes that end with the letter “T”! She asks what hard-to-define words like "bullshit" mean {Note to self: Watch your mouth!}. She watches closely as I curl my hair and asks me why I do so.

Yet, she still wants to live with us forever, marry her dad and grow up to be Adele.


Yup, I’ve look at motherhood from both sides now.

I’m realizing I don’t know motherhood at all.

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