Dreams To Do

Archive of ‘My Deep Thoughts’ category

Forget your perfect offering.

Happy New Year! I want to write about goals and dreams and hopes for the new year because isn’t that what everyone does? Instead I’m just going to ramble and write what my heart tells me.

Yesterday was my first MOPS meeting of the New Year. If you aren’t familiar, MOPS is an amazing organization for mothers of preschoolers (kids 0-5). Being a mom to young kids isn’t easy and if I didn’t have this amazing support system, I don’t know where I would be some days when I hit my parenting lows. Anyway, on Christmas Eve just a few weeks ago one of the moms in our group lost her sweet 19 month old daughter very suddenly. An email circulated on Christmas, letting us all know what had happened. Since then I’ve been consumed with grief for this sweet mama I don’t even know. Yesterday at MOPS, nearly 100 of us hugged and cried and grieved for her. At one point, a friend of mine said something along the lines of, “it’s so great that we get a break from our children to spend time in this amazing community, but what’s even greater is that we get to leave here and go pick up our kids afterwards.” I lost it.

You see, I’m not always the greatest mom. Sometimes I downright hate being a mother. It is SO HARD. I complain about the things my kids do. I feel sorry for myself more often than I should. I crave time away from them. But at the exact same time I could NEVER imagine my world without them.

Over a year ago someone I follow on Instagram shared these lyrics from a Leonard Cohen song and they filled me with so much hope:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
~ Leonard Cohen (from his song “Anthem”)

For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with trying to understand my purpose on this earth. I am so hard on myself – expecting that everything I do has to be perfect. The truth is, there is no perfection in life. There are wars and division of politics. There is hate. There are sweet, innocent children that die every single day. But without all of this darkness, would we notice the light? Would we truly be able to appreciate all the good that there is?

Instead of focusing on the things in life that don’t work out, we need to ring those bells that still can ring. Stop focusing on perfection and give what ever amount you have to give. Feel pain so that the good is all the more glorious. That is my hope for 2017. I’m going to find the light through the cracks. I’m going to love my family as deeply as I can, knowing their fate is completely out of my control. I’m going to trust in something far greater than myself.

 

Through Your Tired Eyes

As your body relaxes and finally begins to drift off to sleep, you once again hear the start of tiny whimpers drifting to your ears. Waiting, and praying, the whimpers slowly escalate to intense cries of need. Nooooooooo. Every muscle in your body begs you to stay put, but your heart pulls you up towards your baby.

Through your tired eyes you may view your precious child as nothing more than a little monster who keeps you from sleep, keeps you from showering, keeps you from any freedom you once knew and took for granted. However, in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning, you have been given a special, fleeting opportunity to experience life as you never have before and as you never will again.

In this moment, though sleep deprivation seems to be driving you insane, you have been given a gift. You have the chance to hold your baby a little closer, to nurture him for one minute longer. Never, ever, ever again will your little one be this same size, or be the same tiny human you currently know.

Savor the way he fits perfectly in the nook of your arm.
His smell.
His need for you, and you alone.
Savor the quiet. Or even the sound of his cries.
Soak it all in.

Tomorrow is a new day. Though you will feel tired and look haggard, I promise this time won’t last forever. Before you know it, your needy little baby will grow into an independent human being. Soon he won’t fit on your chest perfectly nuzzled under your chin. Soon he won’t cry out for you in the middle of the night. Soon enough, he may just want you to leave him alone. But for now? NOW he needs you. NOW he wants you. How wonderful is that?

Sure, the days feel long (and the nights feel even longer), but the years? Oh how the years are so short. Don’t let these minutes pass you by. Don’t waste them wishing you were somewhere else. These are moments you will never get back. Go ahead and look forward to the years you will spend in a wonderful relationship with this person you raise, but don’t miss out on these fleeting days of babyhood.

Through your tired eyes, give thanks. Savor. Snuggle. Choose to remember the good in the moment. You will catch up on sleep some day, but you won’t ever get these moments back.

Setting the Record Straight: Working Moms VS SAHMs

I was a work-outside-the-home mother for 5 years before jumping at the opportunity to experience staying home with my kids after the birth of our third child. I’ve wasted so much time analyzing my life as a working mom compared to my life as a SAHM, but I’m done with it. I’ve finally figured it out and I’m here to set the record straight:

Being a mom is both difficult and rewarding NO MATTER WHAT. 

There is NO winner in the battle of Working Mom VS Stay At Home Mom. It doesn’t matter whether you work full time or part time, work inside the home or outside, or stay in your pajamas all day at home with your little ones. You will still experience the same emotions and the same struggles, just in different ways.

As a working mom you miss your children every day, but cherish the time to yourself. As a SAHM, you want to get away from your children sometimes, but you cherish the extra time you get with them. 

As a working mom you feel guilt over leaving your children in the loving care of others. As a SAHM, you feel guilt over leaving your kids in the care of technology so that you can steal a few moments to yourself from time to time.

As a working mom you enjoy getting dressed up and going somewhere each and every day, but as a SAHM you enjoy being able to stay in yoga pants for extended periods of time without having to go somewhere each day.

As a working mother you battle guilt, regret, and exhaustion, but still experience joy, self-fulfillment, and fun. As a SAHM, you battle guilt, regret, and exhaustion, but guess what? You still experience joy, self-fulfillment, and fun.

If you’re a working mom who wonders what it’s like “on the other side” like I always did, stop wondering. Being a SAHM isn’t easier than working, but it isn’t more difficult either. It’s just different. Some days I want to return to the work force and others I can’t imagine my life any other way.

So, let’s put the whole Working Mom VS SAHM battle to rest – whether this battle lives between friends or lives in your own head. Instead let’s focus, as moms, on finding our happiness WHERE WE ARE NOW. Make the most of each day. Encourage each other. Cry together. After all, no matter how we slice and dice it, we’re doing the toughest and most rewarding job in the world.

Living in the moment too much?

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I’ve noticed a whole lot of gusto in social media land with the arrival of 2015. Lots of people full of excitement and goals and inspiration to share. Usually I’m right up there with them in feeling the buzz and freshness that comes with a clean start and a new year. However, this year I just feel “blah” about it all if I’m being honest. Sure, I have some very minor things I’d like to accomplish this year, but no big, life changing hopes and dreams and plans and schemes. I’m still living in a bit of a newborn daze (can I get away with blaming the baby still?) and moving through each day in survival mode. Anything above and beyond keeping my children alive and my husband happy are bonus stars in my book.

So, today we got our first big dumping of snow this season. Andy was at work and it was just me and my minis hunkering in at home. After we spent the morning playing in the snow then eating lunch then getting everyone situated for naps, I found myself drinking coffee on my oh-so-relaxing chaise lounge while gazing out the window at the falling snow, getting lost in my day dreams. Oh, the life.

Then I was struck with the realization that if there is one thing I’m pretty darn good at it’s living in the moment. I’m actually a little bit too good at it. In fact, this is why I can never seem to move forward on any “big” goals I may have. I’m the ultimate procrastinator. I just find myself wanting to enjoy the NOW rather than worry too much about the future. It’s a fine balance that I just haven’t quite figured out.

And this my friend is why I have a blog called “Dreams To Do.” Forever a dreamer, living in the moment. So, while I could be hustling to make things happen for myself, or at least attempt to keep the house clean, you’ll instead find me playing in the snow with my kids or spacing out in my living room, sipping a hot coffee. In this moment, I’m ok with this.

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Finding a niche.

I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing the vast majority of us are still trying to find our place in this world. I mean, it’s not like we’re wandering around lost, but maybe we just don’t feel like we really fit in where we are. That would be me, never quite feeling like I’m exactly where I belong.

findingniche

There is so much out there that claims we need to find our “niche” in order to truly be successful. Mainly this is a business perspective, but I think it expands beyond just career. I can tell you right now that I will never, ever, ever be able to define myself within one area. I will never find a career that will fulfill my heart through all of my existence. I will never be content to define myself solely as a mother. I’m a working mom who doesn’t love her job, a Christian who doesn’t go to church, a numbers analyzer who is passionate about art. I’m what the brilliant Emilie Wapnick defines as a “multipotentialite” – someone with many interests or talents who can’t be classified in one specialized area. What about you?

I’m learning to really own this fact about myself, the fact that I will never be able to settle into one comfort zone, to fit in with one group of people, or find one niche that can truly be mine. But, this doesn’t mean that I don’t feel lonely or left out or lost from time to time. In fact I still very much struggle with the desire to want to find my place. I would love to be a stay at home mom and really own it. On the flip side, I would love to find a career that I wake up salivating for each and every day. I would love to live and breath a purpose. I would love to find my niche.

But, I’m happy. I may have my moments of confusion about where I fit in within the grand scheme of life, but I’m very content with where I am in the here and now. If at the end of the road I still feel a little bit lost, but I’ve managed to raise three successful, happy human beings, I will die a content woman. If you feel alone, confused, lost, left out, or you feel like you’re often wandering aimlessly through this life with no straight and narrow definition as to where you are heading, you are SO not alone. There are A LOT of us. In fact, I think most of us feel this way from time to time. It’s just about learning to accept it, own it, and trusting a force greater than ourselves to lead us where we need to be.

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