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

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

The Strength I Found in Motherhood.

Becoming a mama has made me realize that I have a lot more strength than I thought.
Becoming a mama has made me realize that I have a lot more strength than I thought.

When you’re pregnant with your first child, many veteran mamas tell you how wonderful it will be. The focus of their excited chatter is mainly about the baby.  You hear about the sleep you’ll lose, the milestones to look forward to, and all the tips and tricks you may or may not want to hear.

They often don’t tell you how it will change YOU as an individual.  Yes, they tell you that motherhood is rewarding but never expand on it.  They also don’t tell you about the beauty you find in yourself nor do they tell you the strength that grows within you.

Motherhood is an ever changing thing. It’s filled with so many different emotions (often in the span of 5 minutes).  Motherhood is something you not only put so much of your heart into but your soul as well.  So much of yourself is put into caring for tiny humans.

We’re often second guessing our decisions.  We worry how every possible action and reaction will effect our children.  Talk about even more pressure when you add having other mamas, parents, in-laws, and just about anyone else in the world being able to comment and scrutinize a mama’s every move into all of this. Trying to navigate motherhood with PPD makes it even more nerve wracking.  It feels like things are intensified by 100.  Often you’re trying to find the strength to have strength.  Add the stereotypes that is often associated with PPD, well, a person needs all the strength they can get.  You feel like you not only need to prove it to yourself that you can make it through but to others as well.

Yes, you do second guess yourself in motherhood.  Whether it’s exclusively breastfeeding, formula feeding, cloth diapers, co-sleeping, teaching your child sign language, or only giving them organic food. You are continually second guessing every decisions and every move through the constant running thoughts in your head, comments from others, or articles you read.  You feel like you need to, or are more than ready, to defend the previous mentioned choices.  When things don’t seem to go as you thought (i.e. crib training early on, switching to formula feeding, etc.), you find yourself second guessing your second guessing!

However, you also realize through the missteps and triumphs that you’re doing the best that you possibly can.  

You see it when your child reaches a milestone.  It’s seen when your child’s laughter is so joyful you have tears in your eyes.  You can also see it when you watch your child’s personality budding before you.  Your child’s progression, whatever the pace, will show you everything.

O and W.

 

Motherhood makes you vulnerable, it makes you protective, and it makes you stronger as a person. 

This is why you become so passionate about every decision you make.  You may have a bad motherhood day but the thing is, you wake up to do it all over again.  Maybe with not as much strength as the day before but you still do it.

I’ve realized that the choices I’ve made so far regarding my children are led with my heart.  I become protective over those decisions because I know in my soul it was the right thing for my child. That I take such criticism and scrutiny so dearly because I’ve put my heart into these children.  I know it can be easy to question the parenting decisions of others but in the end aren’t we all making childrearing decisions that others will question and scrutinize?  It’s then that I realize that while the advice given should be taken under consideration, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to follow each and every tip.

My babies and motherhood have taught me to continue putting my heart and soul into the things I love.  Motherhood has taught me to not apologize for my beliefs.   That it’s okay to be protective when it comes to scrutiny or criticism.  More importantly, it has taught me that there was always this strength in me.  It continues to grow as my children grow.  It continues to grow even when I make missteps as a mama.  It continues to grow as I maneuver my way through PPD.  Motherhood has shown me that my strength was always there, it just need a kick from two handsome little men for me to realize that it was there all along.

signed, dee

Am I doing this right?


This is how most of my nights look like: trying my best to set down a drowsy baby so I can attempt to clean or better yet schoolwork.   My decision to go back to school to pursue another degree was about three months prior to finding out I was pregnant again.

Being pregnant and going to school was not part of the plan. I was just starting to figure out how to juggle work life, motherhood, wife duties, and school when I found out I was pregnant with W.  It’s hard to take make time for schoolwork. I want to be there for my kids. At the same time, I know finishing this degree means more opportunities. I guess I just hope I’m doing this right, being a mother I mean.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough. Other times I feel insistent over something due to having “that gut feeling.” So far “that gut feeling” hasn’t failed me.  Other mothers make it look so easy especially on Instagram. Now I know that in itself should not be an indicator of whether or not is a someone a good-anything and those photos are often staged.  It’s hard not to feel somewhat discouraged when you have Cheerios stuck on your pants, spit up on your shirt and a crying toddler to tend to.

All I know is that I’m doing the best I can. Motherhood is hard work. I’m also trying to do what I can to provide for my kids. I just hope I’m doing this right.