Tag Archives: motherhood

Dear Friend

16 Oct

Dear Friend,

Here I am. Escaping for just a moment. Not sure what to say… but knowing I want to throw a lifeline out there. This week has been hard. I’m pretty worn out. But I have a little break, and a warm cup of roobios tea, so here I am.

I’ve been sick this week. So have Mark and the baby. Add some troubled teething sleep, and a recent transition from two naps to one (the baby, not me) and I’d gladly give up a day’s paycheck (or two) just to sleep through my shift.

I don’t want to ruminate… really, I don’t…

I’m just trying to figure out how to pull off all the things I want to pull off while I’m feeling stretched so thin.

Mark reminded me that it’s been an uncharacteristically busy week… family in town, friends in town, a birthday party to plan, several recent trips.

What am I really thinking…

Just so you know, the biggest reason that I write is to find out what I’m actually thinking, underneath the day-to-day happenings and the familiar records that play in my head. Sometimes, I think we all try and save ourselves some brain power by playing the same tracks over and over… slightly varied versions of the same story… to come to our reliably quick conclusion and our seemingly simple solution [not enough sleep, not enough time in the day, not the right groceries in the house][need more sleep, to organize my time more efficiently, to buy more almond butter and tofurkey and bread]… rather than sitting with a question or feeling a little bit longer than is comfortable, to see if it’s really anything else. Writing helps me to do this.

Do, or do not. There is no try.

I think there is a fine line between being gentle and compassionate towards yourself… and using your own circumstances as excuses to avoid putting yourself on the line.

I think of people I know, friends, who approach their lives in a way that appears so courageous. My friend Mary who moved to New York, and is now an off-broadway actress, directing and choreographing on the side. My friend Jenna, who quit a very good paying job to take part in a home-based essential oil business that she and her husband must build themselves. Or my cousin Izzy, who moved to Japan to be a freaking ninja!

Now… none of these lives are for me. I don’t want to be an actress, a martial arts expert, or a salesperson. But still, I’m so impressed by these people. People that I know, who didn’t come from particularly out of the ordinary backgrounds. To have initiated and begun living out these goals that just seem even too incredulous to say out loud. But they seem to tackle it with the same methodology that I would plan dinner with…

Buy these groceries, chop this, mix that, sprinkle in a little of this, simmer for some time, serves and boom, I’m living my dream!

I don’t need to move to the other side of the globe, or the continent, or even make $10,000 a month.

Right now, I just want to create a rhythm and flow to my days and weeks so that I can portion off enough time for some soulcare, some newness, some activity, some rest, some planning for the future… and still have energy for playing and cuddling and adventures here and there.

Oh, and if someone can please invent a barometer that can let me know when to remind myself, “Hey, you’re the mother of a one year old… brew a cup of coffee, grab some baby snuggles and stay home all day, it’s okay.”

or

“Hey! Stop whining, get off your ass and make things happen! You’re a mom, nat an inmate.”

that would be great…

at least until I can fine tune my own temperature reader…

Thanks for listening.

<;3, E

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Being a Mama

16 Mar

“Being a mama is hard.

There are tantrums, tired nights, morning sickness that lasts all day….
But I just can’t shake the thought of what an incredible blessing I have been given.
It changes how I see everything.
God trusted me with these sweet little spirits.
me.
And it’s moving so fast.”
Elaine Pregnancy Silhouette
I wrote a post on our family blog… that talked about how despite the hard, hard things about being a mama… there’s so many times when, even in the middle of the night after yet another cry to be comforted, I often look at my little baby cradled in my arms and would have it no other way.

Every word of that post is the truth.

Yet, almost immediately after hitting publish… I found myself wanting to go back and explain it.  Excuse it or apologize for it or dull it down even.  Which when I stop and realize what I’m thinking… makes me pretty upset that I have the urge to do that.  Because why should I feel the need to apologize for loving the hard times, even while I simultaneously, I occasionally want to pull my hair out over them.
I’ve written about this conflict before.  About how some women feel the pressure to hide the imperfections of motherhood, but more often than that I sometimes feel a pressure to hide my bliss in motherhood.  It’s counter-intuitive, wrong even… but it has something to do with not wanting to add to the guilt that I know even some of my very close friends who are mamas have over the fact that they aren’t filled to the brim and glowing over parenthood every second.


Because a constant glow… is nearly impossible.  I surely am not glowing constantly.  But I do carry this sense of awe with me over this little soul, through most of the moments in our days.  And maybe it’s because I have miscarried a couple of times before having our Mason, that I treasure this little gift of a baby so very much, that the hard times feel like blips on the radar screen.

And when I read something like the quote from Casey Wiegand, another mama, who echoes these same feelings… I feel less of a need to apologize, or explain.  And I remind myself that I don’t need permission to soak in these moments.  And to feel the elation.  Even while part of me wishes for a full nights sleep once again.



Because this time will pass so very quickly.


A story, the hardest part. Part 3

15 Feb

Lighted alley

Just to be clear… I did not think that the telling of this story would fall into chapter form.  But so goes life with a little one.  I write in bits and pieces now.

Between feedings, naps, and playtime.

You may have noticed that since parts 1 & 2… I’ve stalled.  Again… building courage… potentially because the lead up is a little easier, and the harder part comes next.  I looked over those two posts, and they read almost like a love letter to Mark, my now husband.

Which is appropriate I suppose.  It was because of him, that I started to view having children less as a startling life interruption, and instead as starting a family, creating a future built off of an amazing love you have for another person.  These things had just never clicked for me before in that simple way.  And life would not be what it was now had it not been for him.

So, onward…

Like I was saying in my “part 2” I had always thought it would be a no-brainer.  An automatic response.  Because they tell you, it’s just a microscopic collection of cells at the very beginning, right?  But everything that I thought before, and everything that other people told me meant absolutely nothing.  Nothing in comparison to the reality that a tiny being had started to form in me.  When you begin to feel that tiny realization grow… that unimaginable bundle of potentiality… size and development and science and religion and well-intentioned advice and warnings… they all mean nothing.  And the wonderment and the awe… they only crescendo.

Me, I’m a reader.  I’m a researcher.  I devour as much information as I possibly can when my interest has been peaked.  And to say my interest had been peaked at this developing little soul inside me… well that’s a ridiculous understatement.

I soaked it all up.  I shyly but excitedly spread the word to my friends and those I worked with.  Mark and I talked and planned some more.  We even found a one bedroom apartment to move into together, contacted the landlord and submitted an application.

It felt much longer… but it must have just been days.  Because from awareness to completion… that pregnancy lasted almost exactly two weeks.

And this is what was the hard part.

Not the miscarriage itself, there was no pain or physical difficulty.  Mine was all emotional.  I laid out the contrasts in my former self in that last post to highlight the extreme mental plowing I had to do in order to prepare my mind and my heart for the embarking on a journey towards motherhood, towards partnership, towards putting someone else’s needs before my own for as long as they needed me to develop and grow and thrive and learn.  These were things to which I had barely given a second thought, previous to these two weeks.  And so much processing and soul searching, reality checking and dream analysis went into reworking myself from the girl who pulled over to the side of the road and sobbed in terror at the news, to one who could not contain my wild reverence for what was about to happen to our lives, whose eyes sparkled whenever I told someone new.

Two weeks.

And then I miscarried.

The day we were going to drive down to Orange County to tell my parents, I started spotting.  A nervous hour of monitering led to a cancel of that morning’s breakfast plans, and a five hour stay in the emergency room.  No pain.  Just suspension.  Confusion.  Disbelief.  Not even disbelief in the sense of “How could this happen to us?!”… I wasn’t there yet.  I was still really in disbelief.  I did not believe the events that were occuring.  I still thought that everything had to be okay in there… this was just some rarity.

I laid in a hospital bed, Mark stood or sat next to me.  We held on to each other.  We talked very little, except to acknowledge that people were giving us mixed messages.  A bait of hope that this was a false alarm, followed by some casual statistics of the frequency of miscarriages this early on.  Doctors and nurses came and went.  Blood was drawn time after time for test after test.  Ultrasounds were done on two different floors.  They wheeled me in the bed through the hallways, under the fluorescent lights, with inconclusive results.  Blood pressure checks, the same questions over and over, the same numbness and dazed feeling that came over me in the clinic two weeks before.  When life as I knew it had changed… the first time.

I made up a story about not being able to get out of work for that weekend, and texted it to my parents.  We went back to Mark’s place after leaving the hospital, a follow up appointment at the county clinic for Monday morning, and some more Gelson’s comfort food.

Looking back, I’m so impressed with how we handled that miscarriage.  That may seem like a strange thing to say, but it stands in stark contrast with the poor way in which I handled the second miscarriage I had about six months later.  But after the first one, we leaned on each other the way that a couple should.  We cried and we held each other and we looked to some healthy distractions, but we let the emotion out when we needed to.  And as time went on, even well into the times where we had the inkling that maybe we should have been “passed it” by then… we still told each other when there was a day that we were feeling particularly heartbroken, and needed maybe a little more patience or sensitivity.

And we had to go back, through the lists of people we had sheepishly, yet excitedly told about our big news… and tell them what had happened.  That was so hard.  Because then you had to choose whether to paint on a brave face, or cry on the spot.  And then there were always people you had forgotten to tell the updated story to… I was leaving a class at the massage school one day when one of the student receptionists asked me an excited question about my pregnancy.  It stunned me nearly into tears and I pasted on a smile, said itwasfine, and booked it out the door, letting her believe, for a while longer at least, that I was still glowing… not wanting to tell the story again just yet.

I remember feeling, even a couple weeks after the 2nd follow up appointment confirmed in hormone levels that I had, indeed, miscarried… like they were all wrong somehow, and my little one was still growing inside me.

Eventually it sunk in that it was over.  All that mental shifting… all that planning… all that excitement and wonder and hope and anticipation… it was gone so quick I couldn’t wrap my head around it.  Like it never happened.  Life could have gone on just as it had before.  Only it couldn’t.  Not a chance.  Everything had changed.  Only I felt I had nothing to show for it.  We had grown up and taken a huge breath of courage and stepped forward in commitment to each other and this new baby… and were left standing with our hands open and empty.  And our hearts so much more than a little bit crushed.

What’s amazing is that as I type these words… I can feel myself wanting to skip over parts.  Having to go back and fill in more little details, because I’m still trying to avoid telling the story, even as I tell it.  And as I write, I can feel the emotions that I’m typing.  Which is possibly why I’ve been stalling continuing.  Who wants to relive this stuff?!  What crazy head feels the need to tell this story almost two years after the fact.  After time has passed, and a lovely marriage to the man in the story, and a beautiful baby boy born healthy and gorgeous are part of the new story…

I talked about bits of the lead into this in here and here.

And I’ll talk about it a little more in one more wrap up post… but for now, I’ll just say this…

There’s something about having two people in my life that I love more than I ever thought possible.  Two people who depend on me in such drastically different ways.  Whose lives are so permanently intertwined with mine, that not a moment goes by where we are not affected by each other.  Our lives, our contentedness and our spirits are nourished by each other.  And this amazing and relatively new fact… makes me want to be to best version of myself that I can possibly muster up.  For myself of course, but this new and seemingly stronger motivation is to be a model for my son, and a support for my husband.  And as I’m trying to bring attention to every part of my life… I’m realizing that my best self… experiences every moment of her life, and listens to and learns from the heartbreaking times as well as the times of elation.  I think that being present to even those moments we’d rather rush past, is a way of showing respect to this life we’ve been given.  Of treasuring it.  Of saying to God or the universe or whatever you believe plays a hand in the rhythm of our lives, “I’m not wasting it.  I’m invested in every moment.  From the mundane to the movie-worthy.  I will be present.  And I won’t be afraid of being seen.”

Holding Back

13 Jan

There’s a way in which I am holding back, from the deepest parts of my heart.

And I’ve only just become aware of it.

Just recently been able to string it together

The hints of it in a small collection of instances and odd occurrences.

A dream that left me feeling heavy

An inner resistance to a mundane change that didn’t make sense

A hesitation, around one of the most basic and fulfilling forms of expression


And strangely,

It’s because I already love so breathlessly…

                                                              with such awe

                                                  and such reverence,

That it’s hard to tell that there are even deeper wells inside of me to access.


I’m holding back for a reason familiar to humanity.

I’m holding back, because I have lost before.


And that loss, builds a barrier.

Even if it’s thin enough to let love through as it grows, changes, expands.

Portions of whole heartedness still get caught in the web that is left.


And time doesn’t heal completely,

if you don’t take the time

to understand the effect your own story has on you.


And the benefits of avoidance,

or oblivion,

do not outweigh the heartbreak

of not experiencing the truest

and most unabashed depths of love.


                             The love of motherhood.

                                                          The love from being a wife & partner.


I want to be able to devour these emotions wholly and completely

and let them pour freely out of every pore in my heart and body and soul.


and to be able to do this…

I think I need to tell my story.

This is me.

28 Dec

This is me.

This is me.Right now.

Right here.

Not  separate from who I was.

Not just a floating island  composed of the circumstances that make up who I am today.

But a culmination of everything I have danced with and walked with until this point.

Every thing.  Every thought.  Everyone.  Every event.  Every friend.  Every fight.  Every smile.

Every pause.  Every leap.  Every breakfast and every cup of tea.  Every cocktail and every cigarette.  Every kiss and every shock.  Every heartfilled emotion-exploding moment.

I am my ten year old self.

I am my single wandering self.

I am my married and in love self.

I am the self that is a mother.

a new mother.

long skirt and laceI am someone who feels pretty and enlivened, wrapped in a long soft skirt and lace.

I am someone who relishes the time alone with black tea, cream, agave, some music, and someplace to write.

I am someone who will never stop singing.

I will always feel magical around strings of lights.

I will always feel more at home in my life when I am creating.

my familyI am someone who needs to be around people I love.

I love that I am with a man who loves everything that I am.  Who says he’s proud of me almost on a daily basis.

I love that this same man who loves me for who I am helps me to hold myself to the standard of all that I have the potential to be.

And this man… this gorgeous, kind, silly, patient, dedicated, endlessly loving man also helps me to be gentle with myself whenever I fall short of that potential.

I think that it’s my turn to be on top of the world.

I am trying to be very conscious about enveloping myself in every moment of this new life I’m creating.

The moments that are happening right now are the quickest to slip away.  And I want to be sure that I am living up to it all.

In my own way.

Who I was, and who I am… while so very different in some ways, are the same person.  Traveling among hints and wisps of who I am becoming.

And I love that.

watching my babe sleep

I love the layers and complexities, and how much love can bubble up inside one human being’s heart.

I love feeding my baby, and watching him sleep.  I love every facial expression he makes and every crinkle of his brow as he tries to understand all he can about the world around him.

We’re similar in this way.

Maybe we are all similar in this way.