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Showing posts from April, 2014

Inadequate Expectations

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If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I'd be a great mom before I had children, I'd have a pretty nice sum put away in a savings account right now. From my late teens to well into my late twenties, I would hear this statement often.  At first, I was bashfully honored others would think so. With time, I believed the compliments and grew in my confidence and skills.

Then my first son was born. I arrived at the hospital rife with hopes and expectations. In fact, they were one and the same. My hopes were my expectations for my new life with my son. A life filled with the outpouring of years of well honed practice and deeply developed nurturing skills.

But my first few weeks as a mom was anything but what I expected. I hadn't expected to have such incredible difficulty breastfeeding. I hadn't expected to not experience an immediate bond with my child. I hadn't expected the "shock" to my system that constant sleeplessness and on call mothering duties…

Confessions of a Crazy Momma

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A few months ago I was at a Christmas party talking to a Mom of four. Her kids were older [than mine], about 7-12 yrs or so. She was on the next phase up of mothering. I was talking to her about how tough this mothering thing could be. I remember her words in response clearly because they rang so true to my own life. She said she remembered when her kids were babies and toddlers, all close in age, and she occasionally sat on her bed and cried, wondering if she was going to make it. At that very moment, her words were like water to a thirsty soul. I had only done the same thing a few days before. I could have hugged her right on the spot! I was tempted to wrap her up in a big "thank- you-finally-someone-gets-me-hug." Instead I shed a couple of tears and said, "yes! I've thought the same thing myself."

I remember the best part about that conversation was not that I was offered any advice about how to do things differently or better. It wasn't about advice on h…

Figuring things out....

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Some years ago, I lived in Northern Ireland and served in a non-profit missions organization called Youth With A Mission  [YWAM].  There was a particular 6 month stretch where I was the co-leader one of the schools run by YWAM. I was "on" constantly. Those 6 months, while very rewarding, were filled with very little alone time. I was usually in a group setting: sometimes in a gathering, others times a classroom. Often in one meeting after another. When I wasn't in meetings, I was reviewing journal entries, or putting time in the office overseeing another part of the school, or meeting with students one on one. And I was exhausted.

I remember during that period of time, the strangest thing happened to this self-professed extrovert. Instead of refueling by being with others, all I wanted to do was be alone. I craved time alone in my room with solely a book for company. I relished moments when I could go on a walk and not engage in any conversation.

Although as an extrovert I…

FB: A Love/ Hate Relationship

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I'm sure I am not the only person who simultaneously loves and hates Facebook.

About once or twice a week, I decide and wonder if I should take a "Facebook" break. Take a few days to step away from the social media space and focus on the present everyday interactions of my life.

Then someone I know posts some bit of great news I may have not heard about if not for the connection on Facebook.

Or my kids do something completely adorable and Facebook is the easiest way to share with family members far away.

Or I could use a bit of advice, and my fellow Facebook friends give me some direction or help within an hour...

Then in a moment of boredom or a desire for connection in the middle of a long day, I scroll through my newsfeed. I read updates of families who lost precious babies and children after a long fight of some affliction or disease.

I see some one else's kid conquer the very thing I've been struggling to get my kid to do, to no avail.

I hear more political bashi…

Freedom to be Me

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I didn't grow up as an athletic person. Running, jumping, or participating in sports were not strong suits of mine. In fact quite the opposite.  Reading, writing, painting, drawing, singing, and other fine art activities were where my strengths were expressed.

Needless to say, the lack of athletic involvement did not result in an "athletic" physique. Perusing through photos of me during my preteen years and onto adulthood has shown that my size and weight has varied considerably through the years. Especially after the birth of my two children.

My way of coping with my self esteem issues related to my weight and size was to emotionally eat. Chocolate, cookies, pies, cakes, soft drinks, etc seemed to provide a temporary fix that made me feel better for about 5 minutes. But this process left me with the regret of knowing that I was inadvertently sabotaging any progress towards feeling better about myself and my body. In fact, I remember a series of weeks when I chose to belie…