Dear Mama, When you’re running on empty…

Dear Mama,

When you’re running on empty and all you can smell are the fumes of your former self, I see you.

You’re not alone. There are women all around you who get it, even if you’ve never met. They’re rocking their babies to sleep, they’re tending sick kids, they’re trying to manage their frazzled tempers, they’re telling their partners “I can’t even explain today to you, it was just chaos”, they’re dealing with a teenager’s hormones, they are laughing, and they are crying. Whatever it is you’re feeling, there is a 1000% chance another mama is feeling it too.

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To my “anytime” friends:

To my “anytime” friends:

You know who you are. You are the ones I can text in the middle of an anxiety or depression spiral to let you know what’s going on, and you text back to remind me of who I am and that it’s going to be okay.

You are the ones that will never judge me or be shocked by my struggle. You are my anytime friends who love me when I’m happy, when I’m falling apart, and everything in between.

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Giving My Strong-Willed Child Space and Time

I’ll be honest with you, I’ve read a lot of advice about strong-willed kids and none of it has “worked” for me. I’ve tried talking to them and matching their emotions (this was like adding vinegar to baking soda), I’ve tried whispering and it went as well as I expected (they were unable to hear me #theywerescreaming), I’ve tried validating their feelings, listening, comforting, and all kinds of discipline techniques…etc.

My most recent “method” has been pretty advanced, it’s called: surviving.

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Dear Kids, I am yours for keeps.

Dear Kids,

My heart is yours. You can’t earn it and you don’t ever need to deserve it. I’ve already given it, and I never want it back.

You can push me away, you can roll your eyes, you can slam the door when you walk into your room. I will always be here, right here; I’m not going anywhere.

There are days when we don’t see eye to eye. Everything I say drives you crazy, and every thing you do makes me want to scream. But even on our very worst days, I am here, and I will always be here. There are no words you can say and no ways you can unravel that will push me away from you.

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Dear Teachers, Thank you.

One of my sons took off in school like he was jet propelled. He was built for book learning and he thrived. His parent-teacher conferences always felt like a nice pat on the back; they’d say things like: “thriving”, “top of his class”, “exceptional”.

My other son, he’s just as smart. He’s a noticer. Ever since he was tiny he would find treasure everywhere we went: a ball in the rocks, a car under a Target shelf, a plastic diamond on the playground. Now he finds rusty pliers and pyrite. To him this stuff isn’t junk; it’s always been precious. The classroom was a struggle for him though. He’s a hands-on learner, and letters and words seemed to be like riddles for him.

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Embracing a “Boring” Summer

To be honest, the upcoming summer has brought me a little anxiety. I usually love the long, lazy days with nowhere to be unless we feel like it, but this year I’ve been feeling some pressure to “make it epic”.

We aren’t traveling this year or sending the kids to any camps, we aren’t really doing anything monumental except (hopefully) sleeping in. I’ll take them to the beach, and we will eat popsicles like it’s our job, but there will also be days when I work with my headphones on and I’ll need them to play on their own.

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Dear Anxiety,

You have always been a part of my story.

You’ve come in waves and seasons. Sometimes you were quiet and sometimes you were loud.

When I was a little girl I spent long sleepless nights while fearful thoughts circled endlessly through my brain. I couldn’t figure out how to turn you off. I knew it wasn’t normal, but I didn’t know your name.

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