Category: Family

Family Inspiration

Painfully Beautiful

So hard to concentrate or focus

Tempertantrums, tempertantrums, screaming

Sooooooo annoying.

So many books I want to read

Whenever I’m regulated, someone else is freaking out in my face, in my space.

Whenever I’m disregulated, I can’t see straight.

So much I want to do, learn

So much love in my heart

So much wanting people to be happy

But seeing so much unhappiness.

Books Family Identity Inspiration Motherhood Self-care Simplicity

Gift From the Sea – my personal takeaway

A close friend recommended I read Gift From The Sea. I realized why it sounded so familiar, it was a book I’d seen for years on my mom’s bookshelf, completely unaware of what treasures filled its pages. I asked my mom if I could borrow it. We arrived on vacation and my mom brought me my own copy – one that she had purchased for her mom years ago. The bookmark still remained. It is one of those bookmarks with your name and the meaning. Being that I was named after my mom’s mom, it’s extra special that the bookmark says “Marjorie.”
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I started the little book on vacation and finished it soon after my return home. It seems appropriate to share my thoughts with other mothers at a similar stage in motherhood where I find myself and where I understand Anne Morrow Lindbergh found herself when she authored it.
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Written in 1955, 60 years ago, I was struck by her take on the world all those years ago. Much of it speaks to me as if it were written this morning. Modern amenities and endless distractions that make life busier and more challenging at times…I can relate! How we are fortunate enough to have the option to choose how complex or simple our lives are. That made me think about my choices and what do they say about me? How solitude and space are necessary for a woman to grow and be and think. How it felt as if she was losing an appendage when she said goodbye to her family for some time away but once she was gone, she knew it would all be ok.
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Morrow Lindbergh beautifully provided insights to the ebbs and flows of relationships – relationships between romantic partners, sisters, mother and child – using her treasured seashells as metaphors. Many of you may find yourself in what the author described as the “Oyster Bed.” Here is how she describes it:

“It is an oyster, with small shells clinging to its humped back…Sprawling and uneven…It looks rather like the house of a big family, pushing out one addition…to hold its teeming life…It is untidy, spread out in all directions, heavily encrusted with accumulations.” (80, Morrow Lindbergh)

I know that sounds much like my oyster bed of a house. Amazingly awesome and full of life yet chaotic and almost crazy making at times when everyone including the dog beckons me for breakfast simultaneously. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t like it. These are the days of my life.

She reminds us how therapeutic work can be when we are not rushed and how simple pleasures of earth and conversation are fulfilling. When she talks of “purposeful giving” she perfectly explains it as:

“Is not as apt to deplete one’s resources; it belongs to the natural order of giving that seems to renew itself even in the act of depletion. The more one gives, the more one has to give – like milk in the breast.”

And she further explains,

“Even purposeful giving must have some source that refills it. The milk in the breast must be replenished by food taken into the body. If it is the woman’s function to give, she must be replenished too. But how?” (47-48, Morrow Lindbergh)

 

I’m so grateful for the personal essays Anne shared with me and so many for the past 60 years. Her reflections answer her question of how to replenish and what those moments of solitude and intention did to refuel her soul.

Family Inspiration Motherhood Spiritual Exploration Yoga/Mindfulness

How Natural Birth Deepened My Yoga Practice

I’ve always been drawn to yoga, even before I “understood” it. Even when I was in high school I wanted to do it, but wasn’t sure what it was all about. I know I practiced yoga when I was younger, but it wasn’t until the past couple of years that I’ve felt connected to my practice. And it wasn’t until after I gave birth to my second child that I felt an even deeper connection.

Preparing for natural birth, I read many books and blogs and did a lot of work to prepare my mind. Breath work, and understanding that breathing is a tool to stay present and not fly and wander, was very helpful to me. I believed the tools would help, but it wasn’t until I was living the labor and doing what I’d been so prepared for, did I fully understand what it all meant. I felt like I was mindfulness embodied, for the first time in my life.

Natural labor and birth were both a challenge and a reward. Now when I am in a pose on the mat that I think I can’t tolerate for one more second, I go back to the breath and the patience that I know I have because I experienced it during labor and birth. I think, “Oh, right, I know how to do this, and this is easier than childbirth!”

In addition, Ujjayi breath has helped me calm a fussy baby, sooth a little one to sleep and find my inner stillness. Also something that I don’t think I’d be so in tune with without my natural birth.

I’m simply fascinated! I had no idea that all the work I did to prepare for a natural birth would have rewarded me down the road into a deeper practice.

Namaste!

Family Identity Inspiration Motherhood

My Work

My adventure of a stay at home mom continues and it has been a whole year! It’s hard to believe that I worked outside the home from the time Brady was 3 months – 18 months but I did and it’s what makes me realize and always remember just how sweet these days at home are. Even when the dog is crazy and the kids are crazy and I’m crazy, I still love my job. I NEVER knew what it was like to love your job until very recently. People often talk about loving their job and over the years I thought maybe I loved my jobs too…I could not have been more wrong. That right there…the fact that I “thought” I loved my job is evidence that I SO DID NOT love my job. Ever date anyone you “thought” you loved…right.

So I’m pretty sure I loved my stay at home job since day one, however, the revelation of, “this is what it must feel like to love your job” didn’t hit me until about February. I remember it was a cold snowy day and me and Brady got up early to go babysit our friend, Samantha. I was driving down the road with my little guy in the back seat and I thought, “Wow, this is great – WOHA, I LOVE MY JOB!” Sounds kinda silly, but once I realized that was what was happening, my job got even more fun and I take it very seriously. I’m always volunteering for new projects like researching non-toxic products, how to make your own cleaning supplies, how to eat healthier, recipes, you name it. Being home affords me the time to look into these things more closely for my family and in turn I think it makes a huge difference in our physical and emotional health.

“Work” is a funny thing. I think about it often. It’s so many things. It’s not just a 9-5, or doing what you studied in college. It’s volunteering, it’s parenting, it’s also a 9-5 and doing what you studied in college. It’s how we feel productive. How we contribute to society, or even how we think we are contributing to society. It’s a major force in our lives, all of us, and whether it’s paid or unpaid, it’s part of our story and a huge part of each of our journeys. My “work” has been so many things but my recent work is so different than I ever thought work could be. It’s parenting, mothering, nurturing, cleaning, cooking, creating in countless ways, entertaining, researching, volunteering, consulting for my friend’s company, motivating, loving, living and being. It’s so much more than all of that but that’s what comes to mind presently. I love my work, even when I’m cranky and I seem like I hate my work, I’m fooling you.

Family Inspiration

Seany (aka Hubs) Tribute

So, I’m not much of a social media sharer besides photos on Instagram and I’m not a big husband bragger, but I kinda feel this nagging urge to do so. That’s why I chose this forum, my mainly “secret” blog that no one knows about. If some day, I do share this blog more widely or someone comes across it, that’s ok too, as tributes are meant to be shared, right? I’m also aware that he is the one follower I have on here, so I think it will be a nice surprise.

I am full of gratitude that is so multi-level, I’m not even sure how to express it. Firstly, it’s amazing to me how much our love has grown since we journeyed into parenthood together. The challenges have been very challenging, but only made us stronger. And, as any parent knows, the rewards are simply indescribable.

Like all relationships, ours is unique and just ours. We have figured out how to give and take and be there for one another in ways that we might not even be aware of at that time, but knowing that someone is there for you and that person knows what you need and has the courage and love to provide it is such a beautiful foundation of a relationship. I’m lucky enough to know what that feels like.

When I went back to work full-time when Brady was 3 months old and it was excruciating to be away from my infant for 10 hours a day and our family quality time diminished because our hectic lives were just dizzy, I had nothing but support from Sean when I left my career to downsize to a part-time position in another field. When that proved to be just as terrible a fit for our family, he was courageous enough to encourage me to leave the paid workforce and be home full-time with our son. We were both scared about the finances, although we’d been making major adjustments to our lifestyle and downsizing everything possible, but it’s still scary venturing into the unknown. I am so grateful for his support because without it I don’t think we would all be as happy as we are today. There is so much more harmony in our routine, so much more time to spend together and enjoy as a family with me working inside the home.

Brady and I are so happy that Sean has a job that he is good at and finds fulfilling and has friends at (even though it is very stressful at times). I know it’s hard to leave when we are messy-haired and snuggly in the morning and he has to trudge off into the cold. I am so happy and grateful to have the days that I have home with the cutest little man in my life.

Some of my favorite memories are when I need to go upstairs to do something and all I hear is Sean and Brady downstairs cracking up playing football or doing something funny. I can tell they have a lot of fun together and that is probably one of the best things in my life.

If there was a best husband award, I’d nominate Sean because he has been such a supportive spouse, friend, dad and teammate. I love how he appreciates all the dinners I make even though I’m not the best cook out there. I love that he loves to be home with us and just wear pajamas and drink coffee. I love that we all go out to breakfast on the weekends sometimes and have fun over chocolate milk and French toast. I love how much he appreciates all that I do around the house and understands the challenges of being a stay at home parent and told me jokingly the other day that he’ll do a quarterly performance review so that I can know how good I’m doing – because he knows that kind of stuff is really important to me.

Creating Family Identity Inspiration Motherhood Simplicity

Packing up the “Professional attire” …for now

I’ve officially been a stay at home mom for two months now and we just got around to packing up the “professional attire.” Felt kinda good, strange, cool and neat. I was remembering all the times I wore each fancy garment and wondered what it will be like the next time I unpack the box. Until then, me and the little man are living the good life, pajama filled mornings and afternoon dance parties all the way.

Family Inspiration Motherhood

I’m a mom!

In 11 days I will be returning to work and my maternity leave will be over. So much of my life has been divided into HUGE chunks of time and very distinct categories that lead up to very major transitions. For most of 2011, I was pregnant and learning all of the ins and outs of preparing for a baby and being the best mom I could be. On December 19, 2011, that all ended and I crossed over into motherhood and welcomed the most amazing, cuddly little boy into my life, Brady. The inevitable and much anticipated crossover from pregnancy to motherhood was one that I obviously knew was going to happen, but the emotions surrounding the transition and the feelings that go along with it are not any that one can prepare for.

Life with Brady is so raw, so present and so real. Not to say that everything that came before him was “superficial” but that’s the best comparison I can think of. This life of being a mom and having a little boy and loving him so so so much is so amazingly cool. It’s so different than I’d pictured it – so much better than my already awesome vision.

But now again I sit here on the brink of another crossover – from having every waking second with my little tiny baby boy to returning back to work. Being out of the house for so many consecutive hours wearing shoes and clothes that haven’t fit me comfortably in one whole year is scary to me. How will I know what to do and how to act and how will I get all the things that need to be done accomplished? I’m looking forward to regaining a bit of independence but also terrified of the transition and all that will go along with it.