Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Discover Me Challenge

Once upon a time, not too long ago, my bestie (Skaty) and I used to have writing challenges that truly honed in on our deeper selves. They made us think, reflect, and share. We called these challenges "Discover Me Challenges". I loved these challenges because not only did I have to dig deep and learn more about myself but I learned so much about my bff. 

As if you didn't already know where this is going... I am happy to say that we are going to resurrect the DMCs (Discover Me Challenges). YAY! I've been wanting to do this for so long!!

Every two weeks, starting this Thursday, I will be posting a prompt/topic for the challenge. There are no hard rules - just to write your post before the next prompt is up. Easy enough!

I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun. If you do decide to participate, just leave a link to your response in the appropriate prompt's comment section. The prompt will be updated to include response links for both myself and Skaty ... and anyone else who joins in!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Just Breathe

A girlfriend of mine is just 8 short weeks away from her due date of her son. This is her first child and even though I am a new mother myself, she has come to me with many questions and asking for loads of advice. I recall that while I was pregnant, I looked to Google and mom forums with most of my questions. It's not that I didn't have anyone to ask questions - I just liked having a multitude of responses, ranging from one extreme to the next. It was enough to make you crazy! That said, I love that she comes to me with questions. I feel that in the nearly ten months that I've had my child, I've learned a great deal. That and I don't want her to make herself crazy by poking around Dr. Google. There's a lot of scary stuff out there!

I've done my best to always be honest, while trying to not scare her at the same time. I have advised her to take breastfeeding and parenting classes because I found them to be helpful. I coached her on her glucose testing. I've warned her about some of the more uncomfortable things that we experience before and after delivery. I've told her how her heart will grow a million times over. I've told her that she will fall even deeper in love with her husband.

I would like to think that my advice has been helpful.

Today, however, something struck me. There is one piece of advice that I wish someone had given me and something that so many new mommies need to hear. I had not given her that advice yet but to me, this is the most essential thing to remember. So, during a messaging conversation where we were discussing visitors after having the baby and feeling a bit territorial, I thought this would be a good opportunity share my most important advice.

My message and my advice to her went like this:
"OK, truth… You are going to have moments where you are so frustrated with yourself and with the baby and with (husband)... Being a mom is a crazy transition that is emotionally pulling. When things get to be too much, take time to breathe. Seriously. Just take some time to collect yourself and take some deep breaths. I never knew how important it was to just breathe."

This advice is as real as it gets, mommas. It's no wonder we forget to take some deep breaths when we are overwhelmed by a crying child, lack of sleep, messy everything and the need to find a moment to pee. But when things get overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating... and they will, take a moment and just breathe. Breathe. I promise, it helps.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


I think it is very important to start off saying that the choice of being a SAHM vs. a working mommy is something I consider to be very personal. Not every mother wants to or is able to stay home with their babies. Just the same, not every mother wants to or is able to work after their babies are born. One decision is not necessarily better than the other. 

Each family and their needs are unique. The decision is personal.

No matter what your work status is - as long as you do your best by your child - you rock.

Life before motherhood revolved around my not-so-9-to-5. My career was incredibly important and many sacrifices were made to get to my position. With no college education early on (that would come later), I had to work exceptionally hard to prove myself and position myself for advancements. Before baby, I was an AVP for a financial group. My expertise was in Information Security/COBIT/ITSM/ITIL. For the most part, I developed Disaster Recovery Plans/Scenarios. I also wrote policy and ensured that my organization was working in compliance to meet regulations at a Federal level. At least on the surface, my job was pretty darn important.

The idea of being a stay at home mommy was one that appealed to me from the beginning. I could not stomach someone else watching over my angel while I worked - especially when my hours could be unpredictable. Perhaps, it is because I am too controlling (have I mentioned that I am a control freak?!) or maybe too paranoid - whatever the reason, the mere idea sent me into panic mode. Thankfully, my husband was prepared for me to leave the workforce and never discounted the importance of the work and benefit that went along with being a SAHM. He even preferred that I stay home. For this, I feel incredibly blessed because I know that this option is not available to so many parents who want it.

Never could I imagine what this new life would be like. As a new SAHM, I find my days to be even more demanding than before and much more stressful than before.  However, I realize the importance of what I do in a day is not diminished, rather is so much more meaningful. It is so rewarding. I do not miss the corporate world (most of the time) and my views of SAHMs has changed so dramatically. Honestly, I never knew how much was involved. How could I? This is my first rodeo! I have even more respect for all mommies now and especially those with multiple children or special needs children.

I am loving this new journey that I am on and even though my little one is just nine months old, I feel like we've already accomplished so much together. Yet, we've got so much to learn and I am excited for that, too!

Of all the promotions that have I received, motherhood has been by far the most rewarding.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Life & Music

I’ve always had a love for  music… music in all forms. I listen to music when I am happy, I listen to music when I am sad and I have always found that no matter how I feel in life – there is always something out there that sings to my emotions in the purest and most raw way possible. Music is life.

People turn to all sorts of things when they need to speak but cannot find words. I turn to music. 

Along with my love of music and the messages that have enriched my life over the years, I have also relied heavily on lyrics to learn and grow. There have been songs where lyrics tell me exactly what I need to hear. The advice buried in the melody stays with me as little reminders throughout life. For instance… “Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see…” a quote from The Beatles Strawberry Fields has been my constant reminder to truly live, grow… and feel life. Maybe it goes a little deeper than that, but that’s not for now.

At just nine months, my daughter already has a fondness for music. Even though the songs she enjoys are mostly nursery rhymes and hold no real deep message, she is learning to be expressive in dance and the simple lyrics are helping her grow. With the alphabet song, she can learn her ABC's, thus learn to communicate. And yes, even "The Wheels On The Bus" is significant to her.

I thought of some of the songs that connect me to others, even if they don't realize it. The words, the melodies and the emotions that go along with these songs belong to those individuals - in my mind, anyway. Each of these songs are significant beyond words, beyond their lyrics and they always make me pause and think of that person. Then I smile, or laugh, or cry, or simply hold them in my heart for a brief moment.

For the love of my daughter

For the love of my husband

For the love my my best friend/soul sister

For the love of my mother

For the love of my father