Moments Matter

I decided to change things up this week and walk with Ezra to school in the mornings, then come back home and get ready and go to work. If I’ve arranged for our gardener to walk down and get him in the afternoon when he finishes it means I don’t really need to be at the office at 8am which is what happens when I drive him and go straight into work like I normally do. I thought, this way I get 30 min of extra walking in total and also some special time with Ezra, just me and him which doesn’t happen too much. Let me tell you – it was a great way to start my Monday morning. The fresh air was refreshing and chatting with my little man was so much fun. He has endless questions – to which I don’t always have the answers, but I try. Everything is a competition with Ezra, so it’s – how big he is, how far he can jump, how fast he can walk, etc. It’s so fun watching him grow into this sweet, sensitive, funny little boy. He’s caring and is easily concerned about others. He’s still a little bit shy and reserved while at the same time fiercely competitive, like his Daddy. He’s my beautiful first-born who is not-so-little anymore.

It dawned on me again; time is so precious. He’s growing so fast. Moments mean everything. It hardly takes any effort on my part to decide to take an extra 30 minutes and walk with him to school each day, but I’m sure it’s something he will remember. Time alone with Mommy. I don’t want to overlook the seemingly small moments. Life is a sum of all these small moments – but when added together over time they are what make life beautiful and memorable. I want to take the time. I don’t want to get so caught up in the disease of being busy that I miss these moments. Moments, I’m realising more and more – are everything. Taking some extra one-on-one time with my boy each morning might not seem like anything amazing – but to him it is. It almost makes me cry when I think about how excited he was when I told him I was walking with him to school this morning.  I thought, I need to do more of this. This is the stuff that matters.  He won’t be small for long. In a few years he might not want to walk anywhere with me! 😉 So I better store up as many moments together as I can.

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It’s the start of another new week – a fresh slate – a blank canvas. I know there is a lot to do; there always is.  Believe me, my to do list is never ending, but taking time out for a few moments is worth it. Taking time for relationships – to be with people – whether it be family or friends – is important. All the other stuff you “have” to do will still be there; it’s not going anywhere…but the people in your life are – time is always moving; people are moving and growing and changing.  Taking the time and creating memories is always worth it. I challenge you to take some time this week. Don’t let moments pass. Linger a little longer, laugh a little harder, enjoy just ‘being’ together with those you love. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed and even more than that – I’m sure some of those small moments will be the highlights of your week. Moments matter.

Happy memory making!

Breakdowns on the bathroom floor

This was a hard one to post. I definitely hesitated to push that “publish” button but sometimes being vulnerable is important and maybe, just maybe someone else out there will relate and be encouraged.
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That moment when you’re sitting on the bathroom floor, door locked, knees held to your chest trying to hold back the sobs (so you don’t make too much noise for the kids who are in bed and your husband who is in the living room) because you’ve done it again (lost your cool – the nice way of saying it) and you’re feeling like the absolute worst mother/wife/woman ever.

Never had a moment even remotely like that (doesn’t have to specifically be on the bathroom floor)? – Then you can just forget reading the rest of this – you must be the perfect mother/wife/woman. Ever.

I hate admitting it – but at the same time writing about it somehow helps and if it helps anyone else, than it’s worth it- but I am a messy mom. I don’t mean this in the literal sense (although some days that’s true too) but I mean I’m often messy emotionally as a mother. I have a feeling – and I REALLY hope it’s true – I’m not the only one. 😉

While there is comfort in knowing I’m not alone it’s still an awful feeling when you lose your cool and completely fall apart – in front of your kids and hubby and probably the neighbours who can hear you screaming.
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I had one of the above mentioned moments earlier tonight. (I like to write about it while it’s fresh and while I still have the guts to post it on the internet). We had just gotten home from a  great couple of days away as a family which was much needed as we have been incredibly busy lately and still have an incredibly busy time ahead of us in the coming month. We went to the Serengeti for the first time (even though we only live two hours away from the gate). It was a really great outing – we saw lots of animals, enjoyed time as a family and the kids held up surprisingly well with two very early mornings and loads of time in the car. By the time we reached home we were all really tired though and I wanted to get the kids fed, bathed and to bed in good time since Ezra has an introduction day at school tomorrow where he gets to go for the day and see how everything will go when he starts in September. (Maybe in hindsight this was a contributing factor to my breakdown – I can’t believe he’s starting school and I am definitely feeling that whole “my kid is growing up too fast” thing). ANYWAYS, I was edgy from the time we walked in the door. I was just tired and didn’t have the patience to answer all the questions Ezra had while Gabriel screamed every time I tried to put him down or get anything else done. I yelled at the kids a few times for things that were not their fault. Then Hubby stepped out for “ a minute” and wasn’t back almost an hour later as the kids were reaching peak over-tiredness and I was quickly losing it. I called him – he said he was coming. Fine.  I would wait a few more minutes so he could help me with the bath and bedtime routine. Twenty minutes later – still no hubby – I called again. He was just eating, he said; he would be right back. This would be the moment my ball of emotions started rolling down a very steep hill and I was passed the point of trying to stop it.  “Oh you’re eating” I said, “Don’t let me interrupt you – enjoy – I’ll just bathe the kids and put them to bed myself.” I said sarcastically and hung up on him.

Then I marched the kids upstairs while fighting back tears and started their bath. Hubby came in and started helping a few minutes later – I said enough for him to know I was upset (understatement) and then bit my lip and tried not to cry while we bathed the kids, dressed them and put them to bed.

Following this we came downstairs where I proceeded to yell at Hubby about how he was selfish and put his own needs first and left me and it wasn’t ok and blah, blah, blah – trying fairly unsuccessfully to make some kind of point out of my losing it. He said a few snarky remarks (which in his defence were probably warranted given my losing it – but still didn’t help him out much if you know what I mean).

Near the end of my yelling, Ezra called down from upstairs, “Mommy I want you to stop making noise.” My heart then ripped in half. I still “quietly yelled” a little because I just didn’t know how to stop at that point, Hubby apologised and chalked it up to us both being exhausted and that would be the moment when I went to the bathroom, locked the door behind me, sat down on the floor pulling my knees to my chest and completely lost it, sobbing for a few minutes, trying not to let anyone hear me. Thoughts running through my head, tearing through my heart –

“You’re a horrible mother and wife.”
“What is wrong with you?”
“The last thing your kids heard before falling asleep was you yelling and fighting with their Daddy.”
“You are not cut out for this.”
“You have no self control.”
“You’re such a mess!”

These moments don’t happen every day (thank goodness!) but come around every so often – I’d like to think to remind myself that I DO NOT have it all together. (As you can clearly see if you managed to read this far and aren’t one of those perfect moms 😉 ). I don’t even have half of it together. I’m a mess – and admitting that is sometimes the best therapy. It leads me back to the One who knows me – all of me including the really messy parts and still loves me. The One who takes me back every time I screw up. The One who sees my tears and understands. The One who forgives me and reminds me of who I am in Him. So while I completely hate those ‘bathroom floor moments’ – in a way I am thankful for them because they bring me back and show me afresh my absolute NEED for the One who created me for so much more.

So if you made it to the end of this post and have ever had your own version of that messy mother/wife/woman moment – we are in this together. I am here to tell you: you can get back up off the floor, wipe your tears, take a deep breathe and move forward. You’re not a horrible person – you’re human. Thankfully you have a Creator who knows your heart better than you know yourself and He still loves you like no one else ever will. Look to him and start again.


Be blessed mommy/wife/women friends…and know that falling apart every once and a while isn’t the end of the world, but a chance to start afresh with the One who holds it all together – so you don’t have to.

The Mommy Cold

The Sad Truth

The Sad Truth

“My head feels as big as my butt is.” What an awful sentence. Unfortunately it pretty much perfectly describes my current state.  My butt is bigger than I’d like it to be two kids later (oh let’s face it, it was bigger than I would have liked even before the kids). And now my head feels THAT big. It’s not a good thing. (Piece of advice – only I am allowed to call my butt big).  I am fighting another head cold and nasty cough. Didn’t I JUST get over this like a month ago? OK. Maybe it was two months ago, but seriously – this is too soon. It’s the vicious cycle that I’ve come to expect as a mom of young children. One kid gets a cold. You manage to take care of them without catching it. They just start to get over it as the next kid is starting it. You are still managing to fight it off – though who knows how as your toddler constantly coughs right in your face and wipes his nose on your shirt about 867 times per day. Not to mention that you don’t sleep because both kids are up a combined total of at least 4-5 time a night. BUT nonetheless – you are somehow fighting it. Then they finally seem to be getting over it and feeling better and BOOM. It hits you. You feel that tickle in your through and that bit of congestion in your nose and you know. It’s over. No point trying to deny it. You’re going to get the dreaded head cold. Your kids are feeling just better enough to be insanely grumpy and you feel like your head might explode any second. Actually that would be nice, might relieve some pressure. THIS is the MOMMY COLD. It sucks. It’s nasty. You know why? Because you have no choice but to keep going. Little lives depend on you. This is the cycle. I’ll get through it, I always do. In a few months it will start all over again. No rest for the weary. Time to hit the hay and pray my littlest guy miraculously only wakes up once or twice tonight instead of four times. Here I go – wish me luck!

-One sick and tired mommy.

*Sneeze* *cough* *blow nose* *groan* (Repeat)

I Want To Be A Present Parent

Parenting – it’s so many things – all at the same time. Who knew you could feel so many emotions at once!

Excitement, exhaustion, joy, frustration, fulfilment, drained, exhilarated, defeated. I could go on.

Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the craziness of being a parent. To get caught up in managing everything and finishing all the tasks on the to do list. You can find yourself lost in the middle of it all somewhere between changing 10 diapers a day, preparing three different meals-three times a day and an endless pile of laundry. But I am reminded today to slow down. To let the laundry sit a while more, to leave the dishes for an hour and to just be with my kids. Sometimes it’s easy to just get lost in doing everything for your kids. It’s hard especially when they’re small and they are very dependant on you. But even more than they need you to do things for them, they need you to take time and just be with them. Play and laugh with them. Learn with them. Hug them. Listen to them. (I know the stories three year olds tell can be hard to follow sometimes – listen anyways).

I am reminded today to just take time to BE present with my kids, not distracted by all I have to finish or work or preparing things for the following day. But to be completely there for them and to take time with them. I know it’s those precious moments that I will remember and cherish for years to come (not the 1 million loads of laundry I did) and that they will appreciate those times more than I’ll probably ever know. These early stages can be demanding it’s true, but I don’t want to miss out on special moments because I’m too concerned with doing instead of being. 

So here’s to having a slightly messier but more joy-filled home. It’s like that saying: “T-I-M-E  – how kids spell love.” Take the time, I believe it will make a bigger difference then we could ever imagine.

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What a tired Mommy you know needs to hear today.

Photo Credit: mommyshorts.com

Photo Credit: mommyshorts.com

Do you have a friend who is a tired mommy? A co-worker? A daughter?  A sister? A wife? Then listen up people! I’ve read quite a number of blogs with similar lists – some variation of, “What NOT to say to a tired mom or a mother of young children.” They are all right and true and I tend to agree with them completely. But I want to take the opposite approach today and tell you what that tired mommy in your life needs to hear you say. So please, take notes and say these things often – it will make a bigger difference that you could ever imagine.

1. “You look great today!” or “You’re beautiful.” or “That outfit looks great on you.” or “I love your hair/make up today.” You get the idea. Us tired mommies –  we need some love and encouragement! Compliment us. PLEASE. We spend most of the time in sweats covered with snot, baby puke and drool, trying to cover up our huge bags and dark circles, with our hair up in a crazy-lady bun. – We need to be reminded that we are beautiful. So please take every opportunity you can give us a compliment. It will make our day and boost our confidence – especially when we’re emotionally on the edge because of never getting a full night’s rest.

2. “I’m so sorry.” PERIOD. Just stop right there. Please restrain yourself from offering cliche phrases such as, “It will get better” or “This too shall pass” or “Enjoy these moments when they’re small, they grow so fast” etc. While these phrases may have some truth – they’re not helpful. All we want to hear you say is, “I’m sorry.” Just knowing that we have your sympathies helps more than you know. Support and sympathy are what we need – not solutions. Maybe something worked great for your kids – I’m all for the sharing, but when we’re so exhausted we are barely holding it together – we don’t want another option to try out. We just want you to sympathise with us. Give us a hug and tell us you’re sorry and you’re there for us. That’s it. You might not think that will really help – but it will.

3. “I am bringing dinner over tonight.” or “Go take a nap – I’ll watch the kids.” Don’t ask us what we need – while your intentions are good, because we want to appear as though we’re not falling apart, we’ll never tell you what we really need help with. We’ll say we’re doing fine even when we’re not. So instead of asking what we need – just take a guess and do it. Bring over dinner. Bring over chocolate. Watch the kids while we take a nap or just have some alone time. Take us out for a coffee. Arrange a babysitter for the kids so we can get out for a date night with hubby. Anything will be greatly appreciated.

4. “Your kids are beautiful.” A compliment about our kids is as good as complimenting us. It makes us feel like we’re not totally messing them up. 🙂

5. “You are an amazing mom and you’re doing a wonderful job with your kids; they are blessed to have you as their mom.” This statement (or a variation of it) is more important than I think I could ever convey in words. Please use it. We’re exhausted and it’s easy for insecurities to creep in and for us to doubt our abilities as a parent. We need to hear often that we’re doing a good job.

Thank you for reading. Please put these few things into practice. Say these things to the tired mommy in your life and you might be surprised at the changes you notice in her. Oh of course she’ll still be exhausted – but maybe, just maybe, she’ll be a little happier and able to cope better despite the lack of sleep.

And if you are a tired mommy reading this, let me tell you a few things:

~You look gorgeous today – your smile is beautiful especially when you’re smiling at your kids.
~I am genuinely sorry that you had to wake up 5 times last night with the baby/toddler – that just plain sucks.
~I hope someone in your life will read this and bring you a dinner, or some chocolate or let you take a nap or arrange to take you out for a break. You deserve it.
~Your kids are absolutely beautiful.
~Please believe me when I say – you are doing a fantastic job with your kids. You’re a wonderful mommy and those kids of yours are so blessed to have you as their mom.

OK. I’m off to get more coffee. Hang in there all you tired mommies! You’re not alone – and you’re doing a better job than you think you are – I guarantee it. 🙂

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