Small Gestures

Sometimes the smallest of gestures can be the biggest.
Sometimes the smallest of gestures can be the biggest.

I’ve been a mama of two for almost a year now but I still feel like I’m getting a handle on things. I do have days where although I feel somewhat overwhelmed, that I do have a handle on things.

It seems like it’s always tough after a long weekend, especially a long holiday weekend.  We didn’t have the greatest of nights due to residual fireworks and excitement.  O didn’t fall asleep until well pass midnight but managed to wake up early like he normally does.  After a cup of coffee, we set off to do errands.

I found a garden center near our place so I wanted to make a stop there to let O explore.  He couldn’t get enough of the place.  O couldn’t walk anywhere fast enough.  Well more like I couldn’t walk fast enough.  He was pulling on my arm to places and decided that he would be better off venturing ahead while I caught up.  I definitely didn’t mind since we had the place to ourselves and the people working there were so sweet as O approached them.

My little garden center explorer.

Three stores later, including the quick trip to a garden center, both boys were ready for lunch and a nap.  However, my gas tank had other plans.  I have a hybrid vehicle so stops at the gas station aren’t frequent and I tend to not look at my gas tank gauge as much anymore because of it.  We made a stop at a gas station that turned out to be nothing but quick.

The lines to gas up cars were long but for whatever reason it didn’t bother me even with O being relentless with asking to move the car and W whimpering in the back because he was over being in his carseat.  I think if this occurred a few months back, my PPD/PPA would have got the best of me.  I would have probably started to get anxious since both kids were getting restless and there was nothing I could do about it.

When we did get to a pump.  I didn’t realize the credit card/debit machine wasn’t working.  Again, this is something that could have easily created an moment of anxiety.  However, I scooped both kids up and headed inside the gas station store to pay.  O seemed excited with the prospect of going into a place he’s never been before while W was content being in the baby carrier.  As I was explaining the situation to the owner of the store, he began to apologize for the trouble.  I kept reassuring him that it really was not an issue.

As we made our way back to the car to pump, a gentlemen that was pumping near our car smiled and asked if I needed help with putting gas in the car.  I reassured him that it was fine and thanked him but he insisted.  He pumped gas in my car and explained that he also has two children that are close in age and remembers how difficult it would be to run errands with both when they were so young.  I offered to pay for some of his gas since I was so thankful for the help but yet again he insisted that it was fine and that he already pumped gas.

Then as I was placing O in his carseat, one of the gas station workers ran up and asked if I needed help.  He started trying to open the gas tank and asked what gas I needed.  It took some time to explain that my car was already gassed up since there was a language barrier.  Apparently the owner felt so bad that he told one of his employees to gas my car up for me.  Again, I was feeling incredibly grateful at the small gestures of kindness the boys are I were receiving.

Just small gestures like that – offering to put gas in someone’s car – can make a difference.  It just shows that there are so many small pockets of kindness that occur or can occur during your day.  Simply smiling at someone, greeting someone as they walk by, holding open a door for someone, or even just asking someone if they need help.  These gestures may seem small but can mean so much.  They can also be needed.

In a world where everyone seems so busy and where people often choose to walk by someone that needs help, such small gestures are heartwarming.  The day is only halfway through for us but I feel like it’s been a great one already.  Not only do I feel grateful for such kind gestures but I’m pretty darn proud of myself for not letting my PPD/PPA get the best of me today.  It’s all about the baby steps.  It’s about trying to remember to focus on important things.  Here is to more days with fun adventures, conquering personal battles, and kind gestures not only from other people but to do more of them myself.

signed, dee

The Daunting Task: Raising the Future.

The Daunting Task of Raising the Future

You’re raising the future.

That statement alone is not only scary to read but to say as well.  with such recent events like the Orlando shooting and the Stanford rapist’s sentence it especially feels daunting.  I’ll admit that with what my family and I have recently gone through, watching and reading the news about those recent events has left me even more anxious and some what paranoid.

Getting into a car with them, I worry because I know I can drive as safe as I possibly can but I can’t be sure how other people will drive.  I worry about going to the store with my boys, worried that some one could just appear with a gun (or a number of them) and just start shooting people without a care.

Believe me, I don’t want to think this way.  I don’t want to feel so anxious that I let it overcome me and don’t take my kids out because it means driving in a car.  I don’t want to feel suspicious of people around me while I shop or go to an amusement park with my kids.  I want to cry that this is the world I’m raising my children in. A world where there are many that only see color, gender, sexual preference, or religion as means to judge people.  A world where we do not see people as humans.

I want to inspire my children to see people as humans.  As individuals with different perspectives.  Individual humans with emotions.  I want them to see that each individual human comes from a different background and upbringing.  They have had situations and experiences that have shaped them to be such individuals.  I really hope that they see that individual humans that have more to offer than their outward appearance.

I know there will be a day where I can't walk behind them or hold them close to my hip to protect them
I know there will be a day where I can’t walk behind them or hold them close to my hip to protect them.

Raising the future? More of, how do I envision my children to be like in the future?  Happy, independent, hard working, and well mannered of course.  I also want them to be decent human beings.

I know that I can only instill as much kindness, understanding, strength, and human decency as I possibly can starting the day they began growing in me. They have made me not only feeling blessed that God has given me the ability to care for them in the womb but help shape them as individuals as well.  I try my best to be mindful in not only how I react to situations as a mama but to others as well.  I see them carefully watching my facial expressions, my reactions, and my body language when I interact with people.  I want them to see that each person deserves compassion and understanding even if it may not seem like it all the time.  I hope that they reflect how they would like to be treated by others outward so it is reflected right back to them.

We’re definitely raising the future. A future that I hope is filled with more compassion, understanding, and light.

signed, dee

Amidst all the Motherhood Chaos.

Motherhood is chaotic in itself, add the rest of life, well it can be overwhelming at the least.
Motherhood is chaotic in itself, add the rest of life, well it can be overwhelming at the least.

It’s been some time since I’ve posted.  It almost feels forever.  I found myself in a strange place during the middle of last month.  It felt like so much chaos was going on, not only in life but internally as well.  Motherhood itself is filled with chaos daily.  For whatever reason, last month just felt like a pile of chaos on top of another pile of chaos.

I’ve been trying to grasp at what I can in moving forward with my PPD.  I have been reexamining why I’m blogging.  Coming up with a potential collaboration series within my blog/site.  I’ve been sketching ideas of a possible new venture.  I also wanted to make a big change with my faith and relationship with God and began to do so.  Blogging on here just became an after thought.

In the midst of all this, my family and I are dealing with the aftermath of being in an accident.  Last Tuesday we were rear-ended while running errands.  My husband was driving and I was in the backseat of our sedan with the boys.  I remember turning to W and reaching for his hand.  He curled his left hand around my thumb all while starting back into my eyes.  We then we got hit and I watched his face distort in shock and fear.  I think my husband started to swear.  O was babbling something in confusion.  I vaguely remember saying “What just happened?” as a ball of anxiety began to form within me.

Even thinking about it now it giving me anxiety.  I remember getting out of the backseat through the right side, legs shaking so badly that I was gripping the car to support myself as I made myself to the left side to take W out of his carseat.  By this point he was crying almost uncontrollably.  O was just wide-eyed and asking for a snack.  Throughout this I was praying. Praying in thanks and gratitude that we were all okay, the boys were okay, and praying for strength to be strong for my family.  My husband was so shaken up that he couldn’t talk so I took over with talking to the person that hit us, calling the insurance company, consoling the boys, all while trying to hold my own self together.

Right now O isn’t too fond of car rides.  It’s been some what of a daily struggle to get him to feel comfortable in the car.  Enticing him with a trip to the park doesn’t even do it.  On Monday, the only way I was able to get him into the car to a doctor’s appointment was if I promised that we’d go to a “plant store” after.  Right now all I can do is pray and take it one day at a time with him.  This has resulted in putting some of my own personal things aside, mainly making progress with overcoming my PPD.  It definitely has not been easy since I’m still dealing with pains and headaches from the accident.  I know they say that you have to take care of yourself first to help others.  However right now, my kids need me the most.

My little man with a green thumb

I’m not even angry with the person that hit us even despite what we’re going through no because of it.  What would holding onto that anger do?  Absolutely nothing that would be able to help myself or my family right now.  It also could have been much worse but it wasn’t.

This accident has shown me that I indeed can overcome my anxiety and collect myself more than I realized.   It has shown me that there is no better time than right now to start something I’ve been wanting/thinking to do.  The accident has reminded me to keep pushing forward. It also has shown me that rather than giving in, I pray.  Praying has been providing me so much comfort. Praying and seeking guidance from Him is what is keeping me moving forward right now amidst all the chaos – motherhood and life.

So I may not be blogging as much.  I may not be on twitter as much.  I may be using Instagram more.  I may also be focusing on other ventures.  I will continue on growing my relationship with God and practicing more mindfulness.  More importantly, I’m trying to work through all the chaos, not just for myself but for my family too.

signed, dee

 

Motherhood From Afar.

Motherhood from Afar
I’m starting to try to do “motherhood from afar” meaning I’m close by but giving my son a chance to experience things on his own.

We were recently at the park after almost a week of being stuck indoors.  The weather has been gloomy and cold so we’ve been indoors.  Once I saw that the sun was trying to make its way through the clouds, I scooped the kids up and took them to the park.

double stroller strolls

As I was settling W on a blanket I had placed on the grass, O began tugging on my arm to walk around and search for pinecones.  I don’t know what it is about pinecones but he loves to examine and collect them.  With O getting older, I’m starting to notice that he is much more independent and beginning to want to explore on his own.  I’ve realized that I like encouraging him to try things on his own too.  It could be a combination of the fact that W has the majority of my attention nowadays as he is much more mobile.  I quickly looked around and realized that we were the only people at the park, so I smiled at him reassuringly, and told him to go ahead to search for pinecones.

I was still smiling to myself as I watched him slowly make his way towards were most of the pinecones seem to be.  He looked back and I once again reassured him that it was okay to go on his own.  After he found the pinecones, he was smiling to himself as he gathered them, calling back to me from time to time.

Running back with the pinecones he gathered, he was laughing gleefully to himself, and calling out “Mama, mama, look!”  I could see the happiness and look of accomplishment all over his face.  He was so proud that he gathered them himself and even more so happy that I was smiling back at him.

I definitely don’t know if I’m doing this motherhood or parenthood thing right.  I have moments where I want to hurriedly help him but hold myself back to watch him figure things out on his own.  I’ve been trying to make sure that he understands that I’m still nearby to help him but that he can try to do certain things on his own.

I know that in the future, holding myself back will be more difficult.  The situations and experiences he’ll be facing may not be full of happy moments.  I’m scared of the experiences he will face that will give him the feeling of disappointment, the feeling of loss, helplessness, and maybe anger.  I know those types of experiences will teach him such valuable lessons but it doesn’t make it easier for me.  One of the things I can do, even starting now, is to show him that no matter what I will be there for him.  Happy, sad, or disappointing time in his life – I will be there for him.  I may be doing motherhood from afar at times but I’m always ready to celebrate with him when he accomplishes something or open my arms wide to comfort him during the harder times.

signed, dee

Keeping Mama Guilt in Check / Mighty Mamas – Week 2

Keeping Mama Guilt in Check

Mama guilt.  I think it’s fair to say that any mama has felt some type of guilt.  We’re pulled in so many directions.  However often we’re going back and forth between doing whatever we possibly can for our children to trying to have our own sense of identity besides the title of Mom/Ma/Mama.

Image from littleandmighty.com
Image from littleandmighty.com

This week the Mighty Mamas were asked: How do you deal with or keep mama guilt in check? 

 

This is something I’m still trying to figure out and learning to not hold on to. I sometimes see the mama guilt as an extension of the love I feel for my kids. I love them so much that more often than not I put them first. I remind myself that in order to be the best possible mama for my children I need to take care of myself too. Remembering that there needs to be a balance of Mama, wife, and self time is necessary.

This has been incredibly crucial for me while dealing with PPD.  I often hate taking time away from my kids to focus on therapy.  At the same time I know that this is what I need to do not only for myself but my boys too.  I only have a few years under my belt as a Mama, so I feel like I’m just beginning still trying to get my bearings on things.

Sometimes not everything gets done like the chores.  I’ve learned that it’s okay.  Sometimes I feel unhappy with how I could change how I handled something months before.  I’ve learned that motherhood is a learning process and it’s okay.  Sometimes I feel bad for wanting time to myself away from the kids.  I’ve learned, this is more than okay and is necessary.

How do you try to keep the mama guilt in check?

Be sure to check out what the other Mighty Mamas have to say on the Little & Mighty blog and share your thoughts there too!

signed, dee

Mighty Mamas – Week 1

Image from littleandmighty.com
Image from littleandmighty.com
One of the not so fun things about parenthood is trying to figure out how to handle your little one's meltdowns, tantrums, and big emotions.
One of the not so fun things about parenthood is trying to figure out how to handle your little one’s meltdowns, tantrums, and big emotions.

Today is the kick off of the Mighty Mama series with Little & Mighty.

This week we were asked: “How do you stay centered and calm when your kids are having meltdowns, tantrums or big emotions?”

This is especially tough for me at the moment since I’ve only recently entered the realm of meltdowns and tantrums with O.  I acknowledge that he his having whatever emotion and take a deep breath (i.e. “I know you’re angry…” or “I know you’re sad…”).  I try my best to work through the emotion with him.  For me, i want him to understand that it’s okay to be mad, angry, or frustrated but that there are different ways to communicate each emotion without screaming like there’s no tomorrow in the cereal aisle.  Being able to talk it through actually manages to keep me calm during the whole process.

It is INDEED a process.  In all honesty, this isn’t a full proof system.  I have moments where I’m struggle with keeping it cool.  That’s where the “mom look” comes in.  You know, that stern look you give that means “Stop it right now.  I mean business!”  More often than not, it works and that in itself makes O check himself.  Sometimes I even get a “I sowwie mama.”

How do you keep your cool during those moments?

Be sure to check our what the other Mighty Mamas have to say on the Little & Mighty blog.

signed, dee

Let Me Take A Mama Moment.

Sometimes, motherhood makes you laugh...at yourself.
Sometimes, motherhood makes you laugh…at yourself.

Let me take a Mama moment…to laugh at myself.  I got inspired by Milla’s post to share some of my not so glamorous and funny Mama moments. I’m sure there are more but these were the ones that came to mind:

  1. O was having a hard time adjusting to W.  I’m sure he was thinking, who is this alien looking thing that just appeared out of no where and when is he going to leave?  It was the first time I braved taking both boys out to run errands.  We were in one of the grocery aisles, O in the shopping cart, and I was wearing W.  O decided that he wanted to kiss W and kept insisting that he do it THAT MOMENT.  I quickly let him and something about watching how carefully he kissed his brother’s forehead caused a lump in my throat.  I started bawling out of happiness in the middle of the aisle.  O was confused, W sound asleep, and I’m sure the elderly gentleman nearby was equally confused.  I spent the rest of the grocery trip trying to hold it together and not cry.
  2. We were almost out of baby wipes so I quickly got myself and the boys dressed to make a Target run.  I realized that O’s shirt was on inside out when we were in the parking lot but shrugged it off.  We quickly grabbed what we needed (and probably things we didn’t need), paid, I grabbed some Starbucks, and headed back to the car.  O had been pointing at something while we were going around Target but I was too focused on making sure we had everything we needed.  Once again as we were nearing the car he was pointing and I realized it was at me.  I looked down and realized the cardigan I threw on had W’s bibs all over it.  The cardigan I grabbed from from a pile of clothes to be folded and due to the material the velcro on the bibs stuck to it.  I probably looked like a walking bib ad at the store.
  3. If you follow me on Instagram I’m sure you’ve seen me post about how much O loves The Lion Guard. He loves it so much that I relented to downloading the soundtrack.  It’s pretty much the only thing we listen to when we’re in the car.  The songs are pretty catchy and I’ve memorized the majority of them. It was a day where it was just O and me and we were in the Starbucks drive-thru.  Of course, we were listening to The Lion Guard soundtrack.  I had just ordered and pulled up to the pick up area.  For whatever reason the barista was busy and didn’t open the window to accept my payment just yet.  O was not loving the fact that I was singing along to the songs.  Of course, being the great Mama I am, I decided to sing even louder and just put on a show.  Needless to say, during this whole “show,” the barista opened the window and was chuckling to mine and (mostly) O’s dismay.
  4. My husband just went back to work after taking leave when W was born.  I was trying to be helpful and make his coffee to take with him.  It was after a night of little to no sleep and I had grabbed the creamer from the fridge.  O had just woken up and was asking for cereal.  I grabbed his bowl and Cheerios, poured creamer into his bowl, sleepily handed it to him, and proceeded to pour the Cheerios into my husband’s coffee.  I only realized what I did after I put the Cheerios into the fridge and the creamer in the cupboard.
  5. O was learning to use the toilet and we started him out by having him go pee before his bath.  Well, at this point O has his clothes already off as he would go pee and then get into the tub.  We were over at a friend’s house and I had asked him to use the bathroom before we left.  I was trying to make sure I had gathered all of our things and didn’t realize that he had proceeded to take off his clothing because duh, that’s how he was use to using the bathroom at that time.  Of course my friend was confused. I quickly had to explain why as I was trying to get O back into his clothes.

I think I need to do this more often, it was nice to look back and laugh at these. I might have been cringing (or crying) about it when these moments actually happened but I can definitely see it as just a few moments out of the many happier ones. What are some of your funnier/not-so-glamourous Mama moments?

signed, dee