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Monday, January 27, 2014

Playmate by Day... Comforter by Night

Mothers (most mothers, anyway) are hardwired for lending a comforting embrace, soft touch, and gentle kiss when needed. Some days feel like they are a constant, while others don't even beckon a single tear. Every loving interaction I face as a mommy only reiterates the reason why I wanted to become one. There is nothing but pure, unadulterated love in a child. They want nothing but your time, your arms, your heart, and your homemade chocolate cake. (Ok, maybe not homemade... just chocolate cake.)

I am finding that the older my son gets- he's almost four- the more harsh the world gets as far as comfort is concerned. There are all these books to be read, articles to be clicked, and unsolicited advice to be heard from my elder generation that have kids grown and gone. I'm not exactly sure what the precise age was, I just remember the older he got, the more it came. Why do complete strangers feel that it is their right and duty to tell me how to raise my children? I'll never know. I also highly doubt I will ever be able to accept it. 

Let me set one thing straight- I am NOT a believer in "toughening" up my kids. The world will do a good enough job of that, I am certain. How would I react if my husband expected and forced me to "self-soothe" in my time of need? No matter how petty or small it is to him, if it is big enough for me to get upset over, its big enough for him to comfort me. And he always does, because he is a loving and kind husband. (Thank God!) It is my job to offer nothing less to my sweet babies. If that means reading 3 bedtime stories and snuggling every single night before bed, then so be it. If it means nursing my 8 month old to sleep every single night, so be it! I want nothing less than to be a source of complete comfort for my most precious little people. If a mother is not good for comfort, then what is she good for? 

I also believe that it is my job to PLAY. I try to say "Yes!" to my son as many times in the day as I can. (Within reason. 'Mom, can I play in the street?' -- Probably not a good idea.) Especially if I have no real reason to say no, other than I don't feel like doing it. Is my son spoiled? I would say no. I would say he is unconditionally loved, and that play is high on our agenda. At four years old, what else do you expect there to be? Children thrive when they are allowed to play to their little hearts content. Plopping them in front of a TV all day, or play with my legos in the bathtub? Then make scrambled eggs and "toasted bread" for lunch? (Kyler never says "toast", it is always "toasted bread.") Maybe a couple mini-chocolate chips for dessert? Why the heck not! I want to give him my all. If he wants to play WWE and slam my wrestlers "from the top rope", then by golly, he does. 

If you ever met my son, you would know that he lacks nothing in the confidence and manners department. He is always the first one to introduce himself to other kids, and is more often than not, bullied, ignored, and left out. It breaks my heart to see him rejected when all he wants is to be a friend, and make a friend. He rarely forgets a "Thank you!"  and flips down the toilet seat after going to the bathroom. As you can tell, I baby him and he therefore has no concept of manners, and he is unable to make friends or do things without his mommy.  I don't know how people writing these parenting books expect me to turn the other cheek, or worse, actually punish him when he gets his feelings hurt or gets upset. Obviously, the world is cruel enough to toughen him up without any help from his mother. 

So, here I sit, typing this entry to you all, I'm sure it is confusing and so I am going to sum up my slight rage in a few short words. 

When my babies are hurt, scared, or tired. I will comfort. In any way I (or my husband) see fit.
When my babies are happy, I will rejoice, play, and laugh with them. And I will say yes to chocolate cake.

OH. One more thing.
I will let him cry. Because, boys ARE allowed to cry. In case you didn't get the memo.

the end.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

To the Protector and Lover of my Soul.

Do you ever feel just sick and tired of being in your own skin? Tired of being tired, sick of being sick, and feeling crushed by the extra pounds that seem to hang on even after so much work and effort? 

I do. I know it well.

Sometimes I just get the urge to run, just imagining that extra fat and skin shedding off the "real" me underneath. Usually  I calm down, after the tears and pain have subsided (or been buried) for a little while, until they eventually emerge once again. 

Not anymore. 

I imagine God looking at me thinking, "This beautiful girl of mine is hurting, but she is mine. I am doing a good work in her and I am going to complete it. If only she would look past the image in the mirror, and into my heart. Then she would see her true beauty, which cannot be found in a gym, a diet, or an appetite-suppressant. She is mine." 

Well, the truth is, I am over weight. I do have excess fat. If you came to me and asked, I could show you exactly where. Does the truth hurt? Yeah, it does. It means that I have been overindulgent, carried 2 children in my womb, not been as active, and are just plain worn out from the duties a mom has to carry out. But do you know what happens when you ask God to give you renewed strength?? He gives it to you. That is exactly what I did. 

My alarm goes off at approximately 6:29 a.m. every morning. I jump out of bed after breastfeeding my little 7 month old, throw my coat on, and drive to the gym. (If you know me personally, you know that I despise getting up early. This is big for me.) This crazy thing happens in that time it takes me to get there... I am FILLLED with absolute JOY! I am so thankful that I have a husband willing to stay home alone with the kids so I can go to the gym, two kids who will let me leave, and a baby that continues to sleep even after I am gone. I often come home to a quite house, where everyone inside is still sleeping. Those are beautiful moments in the eyes of a mom. 

I can't say I do this all my myself. I have a great partner in my sister in law, we keep each other accountable, motivated, and excited for our future selves. It helps me immensely to have her in the gym and outside of the gym for inspiration and encouragement. I highly encourage you to find a partner if you are just starting out. It makes it much harder to cancel last minute due to "I"m so tired..." "I don't feel good..." "Can't we just go 'tomorrow'?" 

Looking to my Heavenly Father for emotional support in this journey has brought renewed strength and a smile back on my face. I plan on getting back to the grind on my blog entries.... it was a "resolution" of mine for the new year... ha!