Am I doing the right thing? My biggest motherhood struggle.

Am I doing the right thing?

Those are the words that hit me after I’ve had a difficult parenting moment, and when I lay in bed staring into the darkness mulling it over and over again. 

It is like a physical pain in my heart when I think about my kids. Am I doing this well? Did I choose right? Was I too harsh? Did I let them manipulate me? Was I too lenient? Did I give them what they needed not just for now, but also for long term wholeness?

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7 Lies I Believed That Kept me From Friendship

There are very few things in life I’m interested in doing alone. One of them is probably showering (I do not want to share my hot water), and the other one is pooping, but even then we can still text. In fact, my most profound and witty texts are brought to you by my toilet seat.

What I know for sure is that there’s no way in hell that I want to do motherhood alone. That’s a great way for me to go completely nutso. I can either cope with a latte and a heart to heart conversation, or 400 new throw pillows from Amazon, and one can only own so many throw pillows (or so my husband says).

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When the holidays are hard…I see you.

To my friends who suffer during the holidays…

I see you.

To the ones that have lost someone and the holidays aggravate an already gaping wound…

I see you.

To the ones who have to share their kids with another home and the days without them are long and empty…

I see you.

To the ones who are lonely…

I see you.

To the ones that have broken family relationships and their hearts ache…

I see you.

To the ones that have a loved one in the hospital…

I see you.

To the ones that don’t know how or if they’ll be able to put presents under the tree this year…

I see you.

I hope and pray that the sweet moments are more than the painful ones.

I hope and pray your home is filled with warmth on the very worst and hardest days.

I hope and pray you don’t for one second feel alone.

 

Photo by Jeswin Thomas

Dear Kids, You are always enough…

Dear Kids,

Your eyes were strained and wet with tears that you quickly blinked away. You cleared your throat and pretended to be okay. You were not okay. I knew it and you knew it, but I’d already asked you so I didn’t press. The weight of the world seemed to be on your eleven-year-old shoulders and my Mama heart broke at my inability to fix it. I wished I could make it disappear. You were stressed about a test, stressed about a homework assignment, stressed about stress.

My love, listen to me: you are enough. Every day you are enough. If you bomb that test, if you never complete that assignment, if you fail at every little thing, you are enough. Even if you make a mistake that’s so big it seems like it might swallow you whole; you are enough.

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13 Free (or really cheap) Ways to Make Christmas Magical

My goal this Christmas is to simplify. Every year despite my best efforts, I embrace a certain level of “Christmas anxiety”. There’s a reason Christmas is magical, and that reason is moms and dads. I live for the moment they all walk out of their rooms with sleepy eyes full of wonder at presents piled under the tree. I LOVE CHRISTMAS, but sometimes I embrace Christmas frenzy instead of Christmas spirit.

I’ll be honest, my “frenzy” isn’t really magical for anyone, least of all my husband.

My goal is to slow down, spend less, do less, and enjoy more.

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Confessions of a “Girl Mom” (whose daughters don’t fit in a box)

I have two boys and two girls. I see a lot of articles about boy moms vs. girl moms and I gotta be honest…I don’t relate to any of them. I am just wondering; what happened to the clean and quiet daughters I’m supposed to have? I currently feel that a blow torch would be the best option for cleaning their room and I need a hazmat suit just to get their laundry. If this is easier then I hope there is some sort of manufacturer’s warranty, because I have yet to experience this peaceful bliss of which they speak. Clean rooms? Soft voices? Less ER trips?

Come again?

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Dear Daughter, When I get it wrong…

Dear Daughter,

We butted heads this morning and I saw that look in your eyes, the one that says she doesn’t get it, she doesn’t understand me. You got mad and I got mad too. It took me ten minutes and a mocha before I started to calm down.

Sometimes we are all tangled up on the couch picking out your dream dress on Say Yes. Sometimes our emotions seem to simultaneously combust into flames.

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Dear Kids, When I mess up…

Dear Kids,

Yesterday I snapped at you about something silly. I was tired and overwhelmed and I took it out on you. You looked at me with your deep blue eyes and I knew I was messing up, but somehow I couldn’t stop the freight train of words that were already spilling out of my mouth. Every time I tried to backpedal and change directions I’d ruin it with another lecture; “BUT,” I said, “I just really need you to…”

I knew I was missing it. The whole time I knew I wasn’t being the kind of mom I want to be.

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Dear White Moms, What I need you to know…

Dear White Moms,

You are my friends. You are my sisters.

We are the same in more ways than we are different, but there are a few things that I need you to know.

I have three black boys. They are the sweetest and most amazing humans I’ve ever met. They are incredibly intelligent, creative, artistic, caring, thoughtful, compassionate, friendly, and respectful. These aren’t just the characteristics of my three black boys, but of black boys all over America.

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Why Moms Need Each Other

The other day I was at the park with a friend. We were busy keeping shoes on, slides unlicked, and wanderers corralled as we sipped our coffee and had half finished conversations. I was eyeing my oldest on the monkey bars when a woman came up beside us. “Um excuse me,” she said, “I locked my kids in the car,” her eyes filled with tears, “can you help me?”

“Of course!” we said quickly.

I felt everything I imagined she was feeling, as I jogged with her back to her car. She swallowed tears hard as I helped her call 911. I could see how terrible she felt as she stood there waiting, and I reached for this stranger and gave her a hug. “It’s okay, ” I said, “I’ve done the same thing before.”

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