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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
When I saw an acquaintance post a photo of a wedding greeting from the President of the United Staes and First Lady of the United States, I decided to see if they did birth greetings. In addition to wedding greetings, you can request greetings for wedding anniversaries, retirements, birthdays, and oh yes, birth greetings. Who wouldn’t want to get mail from the President let alone a Presidential greeting?
I remember getting so excited when O received his first piece of mail. Mind you it was from the Social Security Administration and contained his social security card but I was excited. I know, I know, babies are so young, they don’t know how to read, why get excited about mail? I’m a sentimental, I love firsts, almost all kinds. I also like saving any firsts that I can. The first outfit for a holiday, the first pair of shoes O walked in, the first drawing O made, well you get the idea.
You can’t just request a card from the POTUS for anything. There are specific guidelines (as stated on the site):
You must be a U.S. Citizen
Birth greetings are only available within a year of the baby’s birth date.
Birthday greetings are for those that are celebrating a birthday that is 80 years or greater. However for Veterans it starts at 70 years of age.
Retirement greetings are for service of 20 years or longer.
Wedding greetings should be made at least 6 weeks in advanced of the wedding date.
Wedding anniversary greetings are done for 50 years or greater and also must be requested 6 weeks in advance.
I only provided an overview there are other specifics that you can check out here.
I do wish they had a greeting for those adopting because I would assume that is just as much of a joyous event as a birth! So new moms or soon-to-be parents go and request your presidential greeting. Bear in mind it does take awhile for you to receive the card. I requested mine in January and received it a few days ago.
I’ll be keeping W’s in his memory box. I’m not sure if he’ll appreciate it but I still think it’s pretty darn cool to get mail from the POTUS!
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
I found myself reciting this in my head while taking a walk with O and W yesterday. O was going back and forth between a slow stroll to running as if a fire was lit under his feet. Some days I would say to either “hurry up” or “slow down” but that day was different. It was if it dawned on me that maybe I should be taking a page from The Book of O.
I watched as he was taking in his surroundings. Watching him gave me this overflowing feeling of such love. His forehead would crinkle as he examined how the wind moved through leaves on a tree, his eyes widened as he watched a rabbit leap into a bush, and just stood still and smiled up at the sun. I myself forget to enjoy such things. I’m either creating a plan in my head on how I’m going to approach grocery shopping with two kids, going over the route I’m going to take to support group, or worrying over how I’m going to accomplish a paper with two wide-awake boys. Just watching him made me want to slow down, enjoy what is around me and to marvel at what I have.
That same day, O woke up from his nap, yawned, looked at me and said, “Hi Mama. Love you.” and jumped off the sofa after I took a photo. His simple sentences resonated within me. Yet again, O was teaching me something. Children hold such an innocence and honesty that adults often try to diminish so quickly. O holds such a love for myself, his dad, our close family and friends, and the world around him. He has been patient with me as I learn to be the best mother I can for him and W. O has been great a reciprocating a love he is still continuing to learn.
Moments like this make me appreciate motherhood. It chips away at the darkness that PPD often holds. O reminded me that he not only needs to enjoy all that childhood has to offer but I do too.I know easier said than done, but I do want to try. Moments like this make me love my motherhood journey.
I know that it can’t be easy being a partner in the postpartum journey of mine. It definitely does have it’s ugly moments. My husband manages to try his best to be by my side through this whole journey. He doesn’t have the conventional ways of showing that he loves me. I don’t get the surprise flowers, chocolates, or pieces of jewelry.
I do however get days where he comes home with my favorite candy bar, random packages of things that I have sitting in my Amazon cart, handwritten notes on my school notepad, and emails on my work email that simply say “I love you.” Add the time he sets aside to just focus on the boys. He makes sure to play with them, read to them, and well just take care of them. Those moments just make my heart swell with so much more love. It’s really those type of moments that get to me.
Even yesterday as we picked out our first live tree, I couldn’t help but fall in love with him all over again. He knows how fanatical I can get around this time of year since I love the holidays so much. Although he just came back from a lunch meeting and had a lot of work to finish up, he insisted we get our tree. I loved watching him walk hand-in-hand with O as we found our tree. He is so attentive to our children and I really couldn’t ask for a better father for them.
This whole parenthood thing is a learning process for the both of us. We have our moments but knowing that he loves the boys as much as I do makes so much of a difference. He really does his best to provide for our family. I am loving these moments where it’s the four of us sharing new experiences together. I can’t wait to keep adding more memories not only for the boys but for the two of us as well.
I’ve been finding myself more emotional lately. I’m not sure if it’s because O’s birthday is approaching or if it’s due to the season. This is my favorite time of the year. I have always associated the holidays with family. I had a family-centered upbringing and during the holidays the family closeness was even more apparent.
I’ve been striving to pull myself out of the darkness of postpartum. In doing so, I find myself being thankful for a lot more. I am so thankful to have doctors guiding me. I feel that I have a strong support system medically that is looking out for my best interest and not just trying to push me along. I am thankful for a husband that is doing the best that he can to support and understand the ups and downs of my process. Most of all, I’m thankful for my two babies.
It can be easy to feel as if they are the reason I feel the way that I do. However, these two are saving me. They are the reason that I want to pull myself out completely of postpartum darkness. Although I feel pulled in so many different directions right now with a toddler and a baby, I find that I am smiling a little more than before. There are still moments where I find myself crying or just stuck due to feeling like I am doing a terrible job at motherhood. I’ve been reminding myself that this is just as much of a learning process for myself as it is for them. They are the reason I’m determined to be a great mother and give them the best that I can. I’m definitely winging this whole motherhood thing. I’m trying to take it one moment at a time and reminding myself that I can’t be perfect at it. Most importantly, I’m reminding myself to enjoy even the small moments – like these two playing footsies in our pajamas and rocking in our rocking chair.