Category: Inspiration

Community Inspiration Motherhood

Other Parents

One of the most surprising things about being a parent is how cool other parents can be. Like when you are at the mall and someone rushes to help you with the door with a smile while saying, “It seems like just yesterday.” Or they’ll say, “I remember when mine were that little, now they have babies!” It’s so sweet really.

One day when I was in Whole Foods, I think I was pregnant with Meadow, and Brady was being your typical two-year-old (adorable and energetic, running away from me while I tried to look like this was my plan all along… so everybody just keep making your salads and stop looking annoyed at my curly haired energy ball). I finally scooped him up as we ordered our 2 slices of pizza.

A guy next to me just looked and smiled and was clearly remembering his son when he shared, “Man those days are the best and they just go so fast.” The twinkle in his eye almost made me tear up. I am now as I write this actually. I always ask about other people’s kids when they mention them, because who doesn’t want to talk about their kids? So I did and he shared that he has two – and his son, the oldest, is about graduate from high school. Clearly an emotional benchmark for him and many parents, I could just see his face light up as he ran through the years with his son and I laughed and said that this is probably a really exciting time for his family right now. He laughed back and joked that it was but his son, being 17, was most interested in his friends and how he missed those days of always having his little buddy. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I love these stories.

And when I feel like I’m boiling over or embarrassed in Whole Foods, or wherever, and I see that helpful “other parent” or that twinkle in another parent’s eye when they share their memories, Trace Atkins starts playing, “You’re Gonna Miss This,” in the background of my mind. And the words go, “You’re gonna miss this, you’re gonna want this back, you’re gonna wish these days, hadn’t gone by so fast, these are some good times, so take a good look around…” A great song.

I love these days and I know for a fact that I will miss them. As crazy as things are right now with a beautiful 12 week-old daughter and my loving 2.5 year-old son, I still love when I reread previous journal entries where I mentioned that these are the best days of my life. It’s so exciting to be living them but so sad to know that they are always changing and like all things, change is the only constant. I know someday I’ll be the woman sharing the stories about my little buddies and it’s hard to wrap my head around that fact.

With love,
Marjorie

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.

Inspiration

Welcome Meadow Claire!!!

On Thursday, May 22, 2014, I became a mom again. We welcomed Meadow Claire at 10:07am and she is a precious little bunny. I just love every little thing about her. Her birth was beautifully, intensely amazing. So different than Brady’s birth and a major difference is that Meadow’s birth was unmedicated. I feel that her birth story is so personal and it was such an emotional journey that I actually had trouble documenting it in words. That bothered me at first because my personal journal is such a huge piece of me and to not be able to record one of the most precious days of my life felt very strange. That’s why it took me several weeks to actually write Meadow’s birth story in my journal, I kept having to come back to it…I didn’t know what to say or how to tell the story that was so big inside of me but had no words. I also have a toddler, that probably had something to do with me having to stop several times as well.  : )-

I found comfort in recording the story as too big for words and wrote about the journey being like no other for me, that it was mindfulness embodied, how grateful I was for all of the preparation that I did and all of those that were present for it and immediately following. I pulled from inner strength that I did not know lived in me and that memory will now always be a part of my story. My mind’s eye guided me in the brightest way and I felt great shock in the hours and days following Meadow’s birth that I actually had the beautiful, natural birth I’d been hoping for over many, many months. Before I learned of Meadow, I knew that was our plan, to bring her into the world naturally and I felt it with every fiber that was how her birth would go and it was just as it should. Just as Brady’s amazing birth unfolded as it should.

Meadow is 5 weeks now and we are still in awe of her. I know that will never fade as I look at Brady each day with the same feeling.

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.

Creating Identity Inspiration Simplicity Spiritual Exploration Yoga/Mindfulness

My Primary Interests

On December 11, 2012, a date that I was feeling a little lost in the Universe, I made a list and named it My Primary Interests. They are in no particular order. At a time when I was feeling pretty detached from these primary interests, mainly because I was in a career that was in no way a good fit for me after leaving my kinda-good-fit-career-that-just-wasn’t-working-at-the-time, it felt good to have them in writing and I’d read them every so often to remind me of the things I like to entertain my brain with.

I’m happy to report that I’ve never felt more at home in my career as a stay and home mom/wife and I’m elated, shocked and surprised at how much I’ve settled into the role in such a short period. It’s kinda amazing to me how unstressful and simple some household activities can be when that is what you are mainly focusing on. I still struggle with a lot of the same issues I’ve always had in the anxiety department, however, my life overall has a much more peaceful, simple tone and it feels really, really nice. I can go out of my way to do extra things for people or be extra attentive to people that I love, when before, I didn’t have it in me at times. It’s also interesting to observe that the same behaviors and anxiety triggers exist when you change some major things in your life (like my career 3 times in less than 1 year). It proves that you need to be settled within to be happy and those external things just contribute. I’m still working on settling within, but the evidence is interesting to see and the changes, step by step, were each in the right direction for me. Thank you, Universe, for nudging me along. Sorry it took me a while to catch on that my own home was where I belong on a daily basis, with my baby boy right by my side. It’s actually all I ever wanted, it just took some time to get there.

Without further ado, here are my primary interests (regarding research, reading, potential employment down the road, discussion etc.; some of these things I have very little knowledge of and want to know more, others, I’m an expert.):

  • attachment theory
  • attachment parenting
  • breastfeeding
  • mindfulness
  • mindfulness based cognitive therapy
  • noetic sciences
  • meditation
  • mind-body connection
  • quantum physics
  • management
  • compassion
  • peace
  • neuroscience
  • love
  • arts & crafts
  • anthropology
  • evolution
  • cultural differences
  • motivation
  • Buddhism
  • organic lifestyle
  • sustainability
  • healthy eating
  • consciousness
  • earth
  • time
  • sociology

Inspiration Motherhood

On the Brink of Another Beginning

When I was in high school and also undergrad, I’d always pictured myself as a grown up, in my mid-twenties perpetually, living in New York City with a tiny apartment and a social crowd of a few close and trustworthy friends and a separate, diverse group of  friendly acquaintances that I’d discover along the way. I’d always be wearing high heels and lipstick, oh and I’d go to the gym everyday. I’d have a cool job, where I was important and made enough money to do what I wanted, to be independent. No true vision of what cool job or enough money actually meant. Being independent would get me there. This was my vision for myself, I guess it was my dream.

With the exception of having a few close friends and a separate, diverse group of friendly acquaintances, my life could not be further from the story above. A few days ago, I turned 30. This isn’t so much about getting old as it is about “independence” and “success” and how I’ve defined those words in the past and how I define them today. I think I was raised to be independent and successful – those goals were instilled in me and repeated often. Ironically, I’m not sure who drove those points home or if I was somehow more susceptible than my female peers to the message delivered by teachers and mentors along the way, but I got the message.

It wasn’t until I became a mother 18 months ago that I actually prefer the beauty that complete dependence and interdependence offers and success as I believed it to be is vastly different than the way I now define that term. When you live 27+ years as I did, seeking to attain independence and success as defined in a paying job, it is utterly confusing to realize your true feelings about things you thought you knew are actually  very different than the way you have been living. It’s almost as if I was brainwashed to think a certain way, and now I’m seeing more clearly. Let me explain.

Why’d I use the word brainwashed? Simple, it’s the only way to describe how I feel. I’d like to clarify that I am not attempting to blame anyone at all for my feeling that way. We are all entitled to our opinions and ideas and ideals.

I feel that my former definitions of independence and success were a sum of my experience growing up in the time period and geographical location I did. Our “do” and “constant” culture that I feel exists in the area that I live in presently doesn’t sit right with me, it makes me nervous and anxious. I know it doesn’t make everyone feel this way. Mainly because I recognize that we are all so different, also because I ask people and they’ve told me so.

Back to independence. I’ve felt the value that is placed on being independent as I grew up. I’ve read the tips and tricks on making our children “independent” so early in life and the idea just didn’t sit right with me. When I was reading parenting books that told me to “leave the baby alone and at 2 weeks they should self-soothe…put the baby to sleep and don’t let them fall asleep in your arms, they need to know how to sleep on their own,” I felt so confused. I did these things, well, not really, but every time I didn’t do them, I thought that I was doing something wrong, but it just didn’t make sense to me! I didn’t want my baby to self-soothe, I was there to do it and how could you expect a 4 day old to self-soothe? Or really, even a 1 year old? They are completely and utterly created dependent creatures for a reason, because you are there to take care of them.

Soon after the confusion of all this, I discovered Attachment Parenting. I really like how this link describes it. It makes sense to me. http://ahimsamama.com/2013/01/my-personal-war-on-attachment-parenting/ Call it what you want, it is a way to raise compassionate, empathetic children and a way to create a more peaceful home and ultimately, a more peaceful world. I think it’s a cool idea.

Soooo…I thought things were going to be one way (cool, successful, independent, city-living, corporate status, wealthy) and I was a bit dizzy when everything panned out just the way the universe wanted it to (attachment parenting, codependent, eco curious, thrifty, departure from the paid workforce, has a house and a yard and a dog). Often I feel confused with the student debt and the no job thing, but I want to be home with my baby when he’s sick and I want to make up the songs and do the artwork, not hear about it and pick up the crafts at the end of the day. Not yet at least.

If my explanation makes no sense, I’m sorry, it’s the best I could do. Sometimes I really just talk and talk and talk and I know exactly what I am talking about but no one else does and it used to be frustrating but I’m learning to realize, it’s ok. I don’t get mad when people don’t get me, or think that I’m doing a bad job articulating, how could anyone know what I’m talking about if their experiences have been so different than mine? I just appreciate the listeners more.

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.

Adventures & Travel Identity Inspiration

On learning to drive at twenty-eight

Not driving until 28 has really made me who I am today. First of all, I am forever grateful to all the loved ones that have picked me up in the rain, and even in the sunshine, so that I didn’t have to walk. To my mom and sister and husband and friends that have gone out of their way to get me on the way to an adventure or who have come to visit me at my house because I couldn’t get to their house via regional rail. I know it wasn’t always convenient for everyone to go out of their way to get me, but in a way, it made us all spend more time together – which is kinda cool. Sean and I have always gone to the food store together, I got to spend extra time with my mom when I was pregnant because she would drive me to and from the train on her way to and from work, and that semester when my sister and niece met me at the train station after work and drove me to class each Wednesday was so fun because seeing them was always the highlight of my day.

Most people were shocked to learn that I didn’t drive over the years. “How do you do things?” They’d ask. Sometimes I had to be creative (like the giant red shopping cart when we lived in center city, or bags over my shoes, or extra shoes,etc) and other times I was really lucky to have a loved one help me out. I may not have contributed my time as a driver, but I like to think I contribute in other ways like providing entertainment, bringing a treat, buying coffee, or telling funny stories (mainly stories that I acquired while riding public transportation).

Let’s see, there was the creepy guy on my train that used to lean over my shoulder and comment on the articles I read – that was freaky, or the loud mouthed ladies that all sit together and complain about everything all the way to and all the way from work, the freaky fingernail lady that got on at Olney or the elderly cell phone talkers that think the people on the other end can only hear you if you yell into the phone.

Whenever I had to get somewhere, the first thoughts that went through my mind were: does the train/bus go there….is there a sidewalk….how close is the station to where I need to get…will it be safe…what time is the last train in case I stay late…hope I don’t miss the train…hope I get a seat…if I fall asleep, hope I wake up…etc. But those things never really bothered me, they were just a part of my lifestyle. My dad didn’t drive until after he was 50, so we always took the bus places or walked a lot when we were little and it was all very normal to me.

When I became a mom, I knew it was time. Time to put away the fear and learn to do it and that’s when I met Angel, my driving instructor. I can’t really put into words how it felt to learn to drive but the second I passed the test, tears came to my eyes. I felt like a silly kid at the overcrowded DMV in Northeast Philadelphia on February 11, 2012 as the instructor walked me up to the counter. I got to bypass the line and talk to the guy at the counter right away! I stood there all smiles as he inappropriately hit on me, I thought it was hilarious when usually I would get kinda mad at stuff like that. He was pretty old, but I didn’t even care! Then I went to get my picture and asked for a do over because I didn’t look as happy as I felt. The guy behind the camera didn’t care for me too much when I said, “I don’t look happy and I feel REALLY happy, can we take it again?!” I hopped out of there so happily that nothing could have brought me down. I held that little temporary license in my hand the whole ride home and walked through the door to my house holding it so tight. When I saw Sean and held it up and said, “I passed!!!” he smiled so big and I could tell how happy he was. I kissed our little boy, Brady, on the head and told him how I did it for him.

A major hurdle for me has been jumped. I am still in a bit of shock but ultimately, I’m in a state of accomplishment (if there is such a state) and I feel so proud of me. I’m not sure that anyone can/could really relate to my fear of driving. Most people looked so confused when I’d share that fear with them but we all have that one thing that scares you more than anything in the world and you will do anything to avoid facing it – not because you are lazy or stupid or don’t want to but because you are literally so fearful that it is almost crippling. For me, that was driving. I am so grateful that an Angel was sent my way.

Community Inspiration

Trying to win it

I wonder if I will win a car or the lottery first. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I am working on it and trying to do both. I can’t wait!!! Of course, if I win the lottery, I will do the predictable first (pay off mortgage, school debt and give a chunk to those I love). But then…who knows?!

I like to think about a big party, something fun where I can spoil the guests and they would get neat parting gifts that will make them all happy. Or I might just open a little book shop, where I make all the rules and treat the customers like old friends and we all drink lattes and talk about the passage of time and where does it go and if the Phillies won it again and where we were when major life events happened. I am still just dreaming it all up. What fun!