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Love The Belly

Before I got pregnant I hated my stomach. Don’t all women?? Well, all women from our culture/society?? We are bombarded with images of perfectly flat, toned or ripped abdomens and we look down at our own sorry, flabby flesh and fall into bouts of depression or self-loathing over it.

I used to hate my stomach and considered it the worst of my physical features.  I tried to keep it in shape.  I did the core work-outs and the crunches and the lower ab leg lifts and the fat-burning exercises and … and… and… and… I still hated the stomach that just didn’t want to do what I wanted it to do.

When I got pregnant I watched my stomach grow and grow and grow and grow and then it grew some more.  It had to expand to hold a 9+ pound baby and everything that baby needed in utero. I look back at pictures and can NOT believe that was ME.  Funny thing, though… when I was going through the pregnancy I never felt big. I never felt as big as I was, that’s for sure. And I loved my belly.

I am now two years past my son’s birth. And my stomach hasn’t quite recovered from carrying that sweet baby.  Granted, I never seem to find the time to exercise it, either.  So there’s that.  I look down when I am doing a plank exercise (or just sitting on the couch) and see how gravity pulls that excess belly toward the earth.  And to think it was never close to that prior to pregnancy and yet I hated it then.

But now I just smile when I see it. Some excess, wrinkly skin that would have freaked me out 4 years ago makes happy today. This belly grew a baby.  A baby I wanted for so long.  This belly protected the most precious person I have ever met, gave him a warm, nourishing home.  And eventually I will work it out more, try to get a stronger overall core. But I no longer obsess or lament this belly. I caress it and appreciate it for being strong enough to bring a new life into my life. This belly is my badge of motherhood and I love it just as it is right now.

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Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Hand Hand Hand

Dear Hunter,

Your vocabulary and pronunciation continue to expand so rapidly that I have a hard time keeping up with all the new words you know and use, especially since the pronunciation for many of them isn’t quite what it will be in a few months.

One word I know is “Hand.” It comes out as “hanh.” But when your little fingers reach out for mine, I know exactly what you want. You want to take me some place, show me something you find fascinating or you want me to take the good china out of the cabinet so you can play with it. I know these days, when you want me with you, won’t last forever so I do my best to let go of the laundry folding, dish washing and electronic distractions, take your hand and follow your lead.

You have shown me rocks I never would have seen without your keen eye. You pull me out of grown-up-ness and back to little-hood with peek a boo and toy tractors. I play in the dirt more with you than I ever did when I was a child. We walk down the gravel road to see the neighbor’s horses. We blow bubbles. We chalk the side walk – and the fence and the doors and the house (dad didn’t like that much, but he got over it when the rain came and washed it all off).

Thank you for showing me the world through your eyes. Thank you for taking my hand. And just so you know, it will always be there for you.

Love,
Mom

 

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Brave Twirl

Dear Hunter,

Every day you inspire me to be brave. With each new discovery you make, I first take a deep breath and then, depending on what you are doing, I take a step forward or backward. I come toward you to share in your discovery or be closer if I need to pick you up when you fall.  I move away to give you a sense of autonomy and mastery over your world and body.

You recently learned how much fun it is to twirl in circles, get dizzy and fall down. And my first instinct is to tell you to be careful, that you are going to fall.  But my brave self tells me that you have to learn how to fall, how to crash in to things and learn how to get up even when it hurts. So, I laugh with you as you twirl, giggling all the way to the floor. Sometimes the twirl ends with tears and a bruise or two. I say, “Yep, that hurt, buddy. Do you want my help?” Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. You get more sure-footed with every twirl, though. And I get braver.

I hope you never forget how much fun it is to twirl, my dear boy. You’ve reminded me what a joy it is to play and get dizzy and silly and giggle, falling down.

I love you,

Mom

 

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Be Real

I have been waiting to write my next blog post.  Waiting until I wasn’t tired.  Waiting until I could frame it in a way that was happy or positive.  Waiting until that sweet muse overtook me and the words flowed like the headwaters of the Missouri.  Waiting until the baby napped longer than 20 minutes.  Waiting until I felt I had something good to write about, something that would make others feel good too.

But I today learned that showing up in the not-so-pretty-moments is still important and definitely authentic.  So here’s what’s going on in all its rawness…

I am exhausted.  And trying to be a good mom, I have learned, is exhausting. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s completely worth the exhaustion.) I have a desk covered in paperwork that needs to be filed.  I have a load of laundry that needs to be folded and several that need to get through the wash.  The floors need vacuuming and scrubbing. Lawn needs watering and the car needs washed and an oil change. And I feel sad.  Feel like I am failing someone somewhere on something.

A friend said to me today, “Keeping things from going backward is a lot of work. And, to others, it doesn’t look like any forward movement.  But imagine what would happen if you quit doing the things you are doing.”  She made a good point and I felt a smidge better.

I appreciate all my blessings; and my cup really does overflow with good things.  But that doesn’t take away times when life challenges me, stresses me or stretches me super thin.  It doesn’t change the fact that there are days when I want to be gone.  It doesn’t change the fact that if one more person asks me to do one more thing that I don’t want to pull my hair out and scream.

What to do in those times to stay sane?  I try to recognize those places, give them space, take a step back, find little ways to make myself feel better.  I try to remember that these stretched-to-the-max-times are temporary.  If all else fails, I sit and have myself a really good, soul-washing, old-fashioned cry.

Then I put on the big girl panties and get back in the game.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Motherhood

 

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Motherhood – Slightly Out Of Focus

Motherhood is a little out of focus now and then. Just when you think you have it down, when you say, “I got this,” it changes. Nap time starts sooner, or later and lasts longer or barely a half hour. It’s a fuzzy thing, nap time. 

The Future, once crystal clear like the moon viewed through a telescope, becomes a bit blurry. The little human’s immediate needs take priority over all future plans, like showering or dinner.

Self-assuredness gets a little shaky. Should I order up the next size larger diaper from Amazon? Which onesie should I pack in the diaper bag? How important is it that I clean that toy that just fell on the floor? Hmmm… if it was a piece of dark chocolate for me then the 10 minute rule clearly applies. A little dirt and extra germ or two never hurt anyone, right? 

If motherhood was clean-edged, completely mapped out then bookshelves wouldn’t be laden with books on how to do it right.  I find it funny how they all say, “You are the expert on your child,” and go on to advise in ways that make the reader feel anything but.

Just like taking pictures, sometimes I am gonna get this motherhood thing just right… the lighting, the zoom, the color, the contrast…and then sometimes my motherhood skills will be slightly (or maybe totally) out of focus.

So, Happy Mother’s Day to all the out-of-focus moms like me!

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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