Give A Little LOVE. Have A Little Hope

HAPPY MONDAY Mamas!! I am feeling refreshed (well, for a mom of two teeny tinys!) and I can easily tell you why. My #MamaMustHave this week was #datenight! The Mr. and I celebrated 12 years together on Saturday!

The last few night outs that we’ve had, we’ve gone the “fancy” route. Of course it’s fun to get dressed up, especially because we don’t always get to anymore, but sometimes it feels like there’s so much pressure on the night because we don’t get them too often. So to throw it back to old times we went for causal fun and just hung out. You guys! We had the best night, we sat at the bar- no worries about getting the “romantic table” we laughed so hard and even ordered some shots 🙈 Although we love talking about our babes, we only talked about us. We laughed hard at our old 20 year old selves and reminisced. I love Billy as my husband, I adore him as the father of my children. But in the busyness of life, we often forget to value each other as best friends, as partners, and team mates.

We are very fortunate that we have my family very close by so we are able to have the kids taken care of by them. I know not everyone is this lucky and it can be difficult to get out of the house. Dating doesn’t always mean going out, some of the best memories we have or our best times were nights in. I know we get tired and it’s hard! So this week I challenge you mamas, set the intention for love. Set up your mind for love, and open your heart to it. Do one thing every day that you feel you are putting off or to enhance the romance.

Send a flirty text.

Post a love note on the mirror.

Go in for a kiss, the REAL THING not just a peck on the lips.

Ask him to dance.

Pat him on the butt.

Give him a wink.

Turn the tv off and have dinner at the table.

Bring up a funny or a favorite memory, and reminisce.

Hug. Hold Hands. Touch.

I also want to say, my last two mama must haves have been seemingly centered around my husband. As women, we always know when we need something from our relationships and often want our husbands to ‘just know’ what to do. (Maybe that’s just me?!) But I found that while I wanted my husband to be more loving, or romantic or whatever the case may be that I wasn’t showing those same actions in my relationship. Treat others how you would like to be treated, that’s what we teach our babies, right? When we are shown love, when we are praised we often blossom and want to do the same for the other. So while it may seem like maybe you are the one putting in the work at the beginning, you will see that return to you tenfold. Equally important, your babies will be a witness and learn how to love and respect someone and especially the kind of love and respect they will always deserve.

Let me know how you showed and opened your heart to love this week! I am always looking for new ideas. Let me know how it made YOU feel to woo your partner!

Dr. Ford, I Hear You. I See You. I BELIEVE You.

When I first started really committing to starting my new adventure in to blogging, I was hoping to stay neutral when possible and not even touch on politics. In my personal life, this has not been the position that I take as I am pretty vocal about where I stand. I want to make sure that I provide an inclusive environment for all mamas that may have different beliefs than I.  However, I could not stay silent on this issue. Isn’t that kind of the lesson that Dr. Ford has sacrificed herself to remind us? I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!! I wrote down my initial feelings after watching the entire trial.

Watching the hearings and the strong, courageous Dr. Ford recount her traumatic experience I was constantly moved to tears. I lost count of how many times I would pause it and hug my girl and beg God or whoever was listening to please protect my daughter and my sister. I actually do this daily.

I want to say THANK YOU to women and men I admire that have so courageously, unselfishly and POWERFULLY shared their stories (especially my friends who have shared publicly) and to my very dear and self made friend who despite not always having support by her own family  constantly champions for women in EVERY arena.

Because of all of you I pray that maybe one day, especially in my daughters life time she will not fear for her safety SIMPLY BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN an actual BURDEN in this day. I wish that some day when her daughter excitedly shares that she got accepted to an amazing university she can wholeheartedly be happy and excited instead of immediately checking for the rape count in the area like I did with my baby sister- like I still constantly do. I hope that by holding rapists, assailants, and “horny teenagers” accountable it will be the beginning of women actually living their life without having to constantly look over their shoulder. I hope that one day instead of telling my sister to always look around her and make eye contact with any man she sees, ask her not to look at her phone while she is alone, not go in to restrooms alone and harassing her with data and stories until she is basically fearful every second of every day, men will learn to have basic decency and respect and leave us alone. I wish that one day as mothers we can feel at peace with our daughters experiencing life on their own instead of having constant conversations of which preschools and camps have constant camera surveillance.

As a woman I should not need to be fearful of going out with my children alone, yet this week I’ve already seen and heard 6 different stories about women and children being targeted. I should not have to make basic plumber or any home appointments only when my husband is home because I don’t want to be alone in my home when a man comes.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: LISTEN. BELIEVE.

Also, don’t perpetuate rape culture. These “funny” pictures of naked women, the crude uncomfortable jokes.. we are HUMAN BEINGS, EQUAL, not play things for your amusement. While sharing these “casually” might seem harmless, while some even BOAST about offending others, just remember that someone is watching and they can see something like that and take it literally, they can run with it. Luckily with all of the uprising of strong women and the good men standing behind us we are showing that we will not stand for it any longer.

Lastly for the ones who have never dealt with assault, who have never feared for their safety, who have never had to call campus security or gone to customer service at a store to walk them to their car because the sun happened to be down. THIS IS WHY WOMEN DONT REPORT. Because they get re victimized. Because sometimes, it is easier to keep your mouth shut and that is the most horrific crime of all.

Again, thank you to all of the courageous survivors who have so fearlessly taken back their power and shared their story. I hear you. I see you. I BELIEVE You.

 

3 Mama Mantras

Surviving one sip of coffee at a time.

carissawoophotography.com

You know when you see quotes and you just feel them in your soul? I have a whole board dedicated to them on Pinterest and even have several of them saved on my phone. I always feel like they give me a boost at the right time. Something about them, especially when they resonate with you makes you feel like you’re not alone. Someone out there is going through or has been in the same place/emotional state that you are. There are three quotes that I call my Mama Mantras that I live by and a few that I repeat not only to myself (often) but also to my friends. I have found that it has helped me and my friends in different stages in our lives but especially on the motherhood rollercoaster.

  1. “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day”- Alice M. Earle

If I could have only one saying that I repeat over and over to myself daily this would be it, and I do! Do you ever have those days? You just feel like you’ve failed? Whether the babies were having tantrums, or you didn’t get to do anything you set out to do, we all have days where we feel completely unsuccessful. There are so many days when I wake up with the best intentions with grandiose plans of what I’m going to achieve and then from the second one (or both!) babes wake up it just feels like a struggle. There are days when my husband calls to check in on us around 10 am and I feel like I’ve lived three days already and I am ready to go to bed. Yet when it is (finally!!) bed time, and I scroll through all of the pictures and videos from the day in my phone (I now have over 16,940 pictures and 1,775 videos even the Verizon guy was impressed.) I have so many pictures of my babies hugging each other and playing together. I have videos of us being outside and truly just enjoying each other, and laughing together. It is such a great reminder of how much good there is in every day and especially that even if the day was hard on me, my babies didn’t know it. I met their needs, when they cried mama was there to pick them up, to feed them, to play with them and most of all to just love on them! You are doing SO much better than you give yourself credit for Mama. You are rockin it!

2.  “It takes a Village”

This is a popular one among so many mama groups, and for good reason! It truly does take a village and it is so important for moms to find their tribe. When my daughter was born, I shut the world out. I wanted so badly to do it all on my own. There were so many parenting apps, and chat groups I was a part of that basically attacked any mom who complained about a rough day, or expressed how overwhelmed or tired she was. I remember specifically reading a post where a mom stated that her three year old was having major tantrums, was needy and she was feeling overwhelmed and just completely over it! In a time where we need to lift each other up, offer up a “You got this!” she was attacked. Immediately there were messages like “You should be so grateful, I would give anything to deal with those tantrums again” and “you should be grateful you can even have children” While I am very empathetic to the struggles of fertility, feeling overwhelmed does not in any way indicate that you love your child any less. Lets be real here, momming is HARD. Isn’t it so ironic, that something that connects us all on a deep and beautiful level can also make us feel so isolated? I remember any time that I would express any type of frustration or feeling of tiredness or just being overwhelmed, I would quickly follow it up with an “but we are just so grateful, I mean really its just the best thing ever!” and in all honesty it is, it is the hardest-greatest-frustrating-beautiful-rollercoaster ride, and venting on your hard days doesn’t change that! I can never put in to words the relief I feel when I can vent about a rough day, or teething, or sleep regression and not feel judged. My daughter met a little boy in a Mommy and Me class, and they were inseparable. I invited the boy and his parents to my daughters first birthday and I was so excited when they came. What is even better is that our first borns get along so well and we were both pregnant together and now our second borns will have a built in bestie as well. She has been such a saving grace for me. On the days that things are going crazy, I will call her and she’ll come right over, or will invite us over and vice versa and it helps so much! The babes love to play together and it gives us both a break. We have found a few friends this way and while we love our friends without babies, its nice to be able to go out to dinner with a couple who don’t bat an eye when your baby is “singing” at the top of their lungs and who not only don’t care but have something to add when you talk about baby poop! I encourage you to go out there and find your tribe, mamas! I know it can be extremely intimidating to go in to a group of women, or to strike up a conversation, but I also know that all of us are searching for a place to feel like we belong, to be seen.

3.  “You can’t pour out of an empty cup”

While I’m positive famous people have said this in various ways, it only actually stuck with me when my mom said it to me after an especially tough day. Isn’t it so amazing that sometimes even when we are grown the most influential words still come from our mothers? Also, terrifying! I’ve got a lot to live up to. Back to the quote! This is so important mamas! INVEST IN YOURSELF. YOU are WORTHY. Did you know that? I know it is so easy to forget. So much of our thoughts, energy, love and time are invested into our tiny humans, our husbands, and our home that we forget to think about ourselves. But it is so true that you can not give if there is nothing left. Take time for yourself, even if it is 5 min in the bathroom – alone. Even if it is a long shower. Even if it is walking the aisles at Target. Clear your head, breathe. Before you are a mother, before you are a wife, you are a woman. Nurture that woman, remember her, treat her, empower her, love her for she is Amazing. If you ever feel less than, remember who these babies depend on. Who those sparkling little eyes look for, who they smile at, and who they wrap their arms around. We wish our children could see themselves through our eyes, how magical they are. What would we see, if we saw ourselves through our child’s eyes?