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The Harshe Podcast – Episode #21: Mama J Interviews Her Tribe

The Harshe Podcast – Episode #21: Mama J Interviews Her Tribe

It’s January’s turn to interview the kids! She sings with Beardbaby, talks about Samus Aran’s bra and underwear in the Metroid video games with the Bull (she’s not in her bra and underwear, by the way), Miss Cuddlebug’s disdain for the Havana song, Miss New York’s love of stevia in her coffee, Junior’s love of Metallica, and Teenager’s favorite vegan reptile! Also, each kid hilariously reveals the most annoying thing that Brandon does as a dad!

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Click here to download Episode #21: Mama J Interviews Her Tribe!

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January is in San Diego this weekend! Upcoming Find Your Village events are Nashville, TN and Stillwater, OK in February! Only 2 left for Nashville and a few for Stillwater. Get yours at BWFConference.com!

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How to Do You Boo with January Harshe is open for the following cities: Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis! These will be inspiring seminars to help you love yourself more, take better care of yourself, and to succeed as a woman in this crazy ride we call life! Register at BWFConference.com. For a limited time, you can get a $100 discount code for these events by DM’ing January on Instagram!

This is Aubree: A Disabled Daughter Story

This is Aubree: A Disabled Daughter Story

disableddaughter4This is Aubree.

She was delivered on the 11th of November, 2012, at 7:02pm via an emergency C-section, after a 52 hour labour in which she suffered a lack of sufficient oxygen and blood supply to her brain. This caused extensive damage, known as Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy.

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She didn’t meet her milestones and at 14 months old, we were told she would never walk or talk, would never be more than she was then.

disableddaughter2

Since then, she has undergone countless tests, MRI scans, genetic testing and the like. She has weekly physiotherapy and occupational therapy appointments and has improved by leaps and bounds.

disableddaughter3

Her official diagnosis is Bilateral Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy GMFCS III-IV. She is globally developmentally delayed, has absence seizures, aspirates fluids and is visually impaired. She is unable to speak, stand, walk, or feed herself, but she has made our lives better by simply existing.

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Nothing will ever prepare you for parenthood, much less parenting a disabled child, but nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming love you have for them either, it’s beyond humbling.

In Pursuit of Perfection

In Pursuit of Perfection

Let me start this post by saying, “I’m a perfectionist.”

Yep. I’m a perfectionist, always have been. And I am about to admit to you that I AM NOT PERFECT.

I’m learning to live with it.

samantha

Society in general is pretty obsessed with perfection. We want perfect bodies, perfect jobs, perfect houses, perfect lives. Messy relationships, screaming kids, stretch marks, boring jobs…not exactly the “American Dream.”

But the idea of perfection has been taken to a whole new level with women. As women, as mothers, as wives – we are held to ideals. We are supposed to be beautiful, skinny, smart, sexy. We are supposed to be Wonderwoman of the PTA, June Cleaver of the home, and alluring in the bedroom. Not only does society push these ideals on us, but we push them on ourselves and each other (aka, “Mommy Wars”).

This pursuit of personal perfection is what I really want to touch on. This is something I have been working on within myself. As Birth Without Fear has turned a spotlight onto self-love, I have noticed my biggest issues. (I know, not the core of self-love, but hear me out). I have found that the biggest way I am cheating myself is in this idea that I should be perfect. Not only should I be perfect, but I need to prove it to the world.

I have a Pinterest account with almost 1,400 pins.

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I mean, REALLY? When am I ever going to get around to doing 1,400 things? Most of which are focused on cute/non-essential things. Sure, about 150 pins are birth related. About another 150 are homeschool related. But other than that…basically it is one big to-do list for me. That is around 1,000 things that I felt the need to remind myself to do. And when I accomplish one of them? This is what I do:

fridge

Yes, that is my fridge. I put baskets in it, because Pinterest told me to. Now granted, it really did help keep the fridge in order. But honestly, did I have to prove myself to Facebook? Did I have to let everyone know that my fridge was clean? Several days after posting this, a thought hit me. “What if I made someone else feel like they need to clean their fridge?”

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we all stop posting photos of those moments when the laundry room is finally clean, or the walls get a new coat of paint. But I do think that we create a paradox here. If we only post photos and statuses of when we have out “$hit together”, we are telling ourselves we are only allowed to share our perfect selves. And that is not self-love.

I take pictures of my kids all the time, most moms do. But only a fraction are posted to Facebook or shared with family. Sometimes it is due to the blurry capture of a running child, or the fact that I have already posted a million things that day. But usually the biggest reason I decide not to post something? You can see a mess in the background. You can see crumbs on the carpet or the dingy soapscum in the bathtub. You can see the dishes I have not washed or the toys that seemingly procreate each night while we sleep. I don’t post the photos because I don’t want you to know that we have a mess in the house…a house with a three year old and six month old and two not-so-neat adults.

Who am I helping when I don’t share those photos? Surely not my children who are adorable and love taking pictures. Surely not my family who would love to see photos of every little thing we do. And I am not helping myself or you either. For myself, I am just reminding myself, “Damn, I haven’t vacuumed yet. This place is so gross.” And for all of you out in Facebook land, I am only showing the most perfect side of my life. As far as you know, my house is always spotless and my kids are always dressed nicely. And then you turn around and judge yourself by those standards, whether you realize it or not.

To give an example, lets look at a common mommy subject – potty training. I have majorly struggled with this within myself (with admitting my three year old is not potty trained, not that I can’t use the potty 😉 ). What is the one thing we usually hear most? “Oh, my child was potty trained at 10 months!”, “Oh, we were diaper free all the time, even for bed, by the time he turned two!” And you know what, if that was your kid that is GREAT! I would be excited too! I mean, who really loves diapers? But you really don’t see a mom say “My three year old refuses to poop in the potty and hates underwear.” Why? Because society in general has told us that there is something wrong if a child doesn’t “get” the potty at an early age. Not only are our mothering skills brought into question, but we also think someone might judge our child too. And so, we don’t share and we don’t ask for help or maybe we even tell a little white lie about how well the potty learning is going. And then we unknowingly add to this idea that all kids are potty trained by “x” age.

I find myself not sharing certain photos of me baby-wearing simply because the straps pushed my love handles into view. I go as far as deleting a photo totally if my REAL smile is caught on camera because I am really insecure about my teeth. I am striving to help other women feel inspired and beautiful and I am striving to teach my children to love themselves just as they are. Meanwhile, I am deleting photos of myself or hiding my love handles. I am not going to become skinny or have better teeth by doing this…but I am going to slowly wear down my self esteem. I am not living honestly.

We do this to so many things in our lives. I catch myself judging myself in all these little ways so often. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it. But I am striving to not only recognize these moments but to also push my boundaries a bit. Perhaps, just maybe, if I post that photo of my adorable toddler dancing complete with crumb covered carpet some other mom won’t feel so alone in her struggle to keep the crumbs away. Chances are, most people won’t even notice the carpet because my son is stealing the show with his amazing smile. I am going to focus on the fact that *I* made that kid smile…hell, I MADE that smile, literally. I created that ball of joy. Screw the carpet.

Why Don’t You Write Your Birth Story? (Follow-up to Why Should I Write My Birth Story?)

Why Don’t You Write Your Birth Story? (Follow-up to Why Should I Write My Birth Story?)

About a month ago, I wrote a post about a topic near and dear to me: birth stories and the women who write them. I shared the words of BWF mamas who had written to me about some of the benefits of and their motivations for writing their stories. All so beautiful and insightful. These were women who had reached deep inside themselves to put into words one of the most intense and personal of human experiences. Many had already submitted their stories to Birth Without Fear. I couldn’t really share my own wisdom on this topic because, you see, I had nothing to share. Apparently, I’m the kind of person who would rather write about women writing their birth stories than actually, um, write my birth story.

Young writers are forever being told to ‘write what they know’ so here I am, doing just that. From the emails and Facebook comments of BWF mamas, from my own experience, and the words of Shani Raviv, writing coach (full disclosure: I just finished Shani’s awesome birth story writing workshop and am now convinced that I should spend the rest of my life in a Berkeley yurt), here are some of the reasons women don’t write their birth stories. And, at the end, a few tips and tricks for making the process just a little bit easier.

Josephine

When it comes to writing birth stories, what holds us back is…

1. Time – or a lack thereof.

“…[N]ew mothers get sucked up by the busy-ness of mamahood, of pacifiers and poop, sleep deprivation and breastfeeding, time management and care-taking and we all too easily dismiss or forget the life-changing, life-giving experience of birth … In my first few weeks postpartum I felt bruised and battered like my belly was disconnected from the rest of my body, like I had been hacked in half and there was a space where my belly used to be and I was wrapped in a halo, an aura of peace, of love, of endorphins, of fight or flight, of protecting my new cub while needing to be mothered myself by my doting husband. It was so full-on that I had to set an intention to create time to sit down and write my birth story.” Shani Raviv

“Ohhh I should write mine…if I ever get time.” – Laura P.

The post partum period. That time of new babies and new bodies (including your own), of steep learning curves and getting to know this little one you brought into the world. If you’ve been following my writing on Birth Without Fear, you’ll know that the post partum period is particularly hot topic for me (see Mothering the Mother: 40 Days of Rest) and I think women should get all the support they need throughout it. And, in fact, up through raising their children. It’s hard to find a moment to yourself when you’ve had a baby in the last ten years, and I think this was the biggest factor in my own avoidance. It seemed like a big task; I wanted to do it ‘right’; I wanted more than five minutes here or there to really sort through my feelings about the birth.

2. PPD.

“I don’t even remember writing mine. I was so deep in PPD. It sounds like a happy mommy sharing her birth story but at the time I wanted nothing more than to hide from motherhood.” – Brit M.

If you’re suffering from Post Partum Depression, it’s difficult to think about, express and relate any experience at all – never mind one that is so deeply connected to your depression. Sometimes women need time to recover from a stressful birth, or find that their memories have been intruded upon by other factors, such as medical interventions or pre-existing illness.

“I didn’t write my first birth story because it was a negative uneducated experience. I forgot many details of it because of not writing it and being on pain medications.” – Melanie W.

3. Trauma.

“I wrote my daughter’s but still can’t bring myself to talk much or write about my son’s.” – Nichole F.

“I still haven’t been able to. I break down every time and I’m a sobbing mess… Still just too much. One day soon I hope!!” – Jennifer K.P.

In ‘Why Should I Write My Birth Story?‘ I wrote about the value of narrating a traumatic experience. Doing so helps us to gain control of the events in our minds, to order them and to see them as they were. But it’s not easy. Remembering the details of a traumatic birth and re-experiencing it can be terrifying and sometimes even damaging. For many women, the very thing that helps is also the last thing they want to do; if this is your situation, please know that it’s OK. You don’t have to write your birth story right now. Wait until you feel safe. Wait until you have found someone you trust to talk to while the memories resurface. Be as gentle with yourself as you are with your little one.

“It took me over five years to be able to write my first birth story without bursting into tears. My midwife for my second pregnancy helped me move past it, I knew I’d never birth the way I wanted to with my second if I didn’t.” – Jennifer B.

4. Reckoning.

“Writing mine was kind of disappointing, and reminded me of what I would like to be different next time around (which is pretty much everything).” – Mellysa N.

On  a similar note, the act of writing down one’s experience is tantamount to admitting that the experience happened. Even if the birth was not traumatic, writing it out can be discouraging if a mother hasn’t been honest with herself, or had expectations that were not met. For me this has most definitely been the case. Before giving birth to my son, I would get a little mad at people who talked about birth as a sacred experience. I thought things like, it’s just a thing you do, and women have been doing it forever, and stop making it something it’s not. While I was in labour, I worried about staining the sheets of the Birth Centre bed; in between pushes, I made jokes with my mom. It wasn’t until after the birth that I started to see how deeply I had been affected by it. I now believe that birth is a spiritual, sacred event. I’m all about it and – wowza! – I’m pregnant again. This time, I’m having a Mother’s Blessing, I do birth meditations, I have a birth altar, and all that jazz. Looking back at my first, almost mundane birth experience and putting it into words has been difficult. It’s like I’m writing the experience of another person. Because, in that time, I was.

5. Feeling the story is not important or valuable.

“I had an epidural, so it was nothing spectacular.” – Britany S.

“My son’s was a great experience… but there’s a lot I wish I’d have done differently, and more people are interested in a natural birth anyway.” – Briana G.

There is a persistent misconception about birth communities. This is that women interested in natural birth are only interested in natural birth. That they look down upon women who choose or accept medical interventions for themselves and their babies. I am sure that those jerks do exist. But I (practically an expert on jerks) am happy to say that although I am immersed in natural birth communities, I have never met one. Instead, I have met women with a range of experiences, all with these three things in common: they love babies, they love women, and they love birth.

Many women feel that because their birth was not what they expected, or not natural, or not vaginal, that it is not worth narrating or sharing. Nothing could be further from the truth. At Birth Without Fear, we believe that every woman’s birth story is valuable. Yes, you, the one reading this who thinks that her birth was kind of ‘meh’ and what would people say if they knew I wrote it all out, your birth experience is important! You can write it down! We want to read it!

6. Fear of others’ criticism:

“I was nervous how some would react to me posting my story for everyone to see, especially family. Birth is not something we talk about freely enough…Surprisingly, I’ve received nothing but positive feedback for posting my story. Friends (and strangers) have emailed me and told me what a blessing my story was to them.  What an encourragement it was to them to know that you can have peace with a labor gone awry.” – Kim G. (read more here)

“I worry that people will judge me for using natural induction methods at only 38 weeks, even though I had my reasons and in the end my water broke before labor started anyways. In my actual birth story, I forgot to include how far along I was, but since I’m worried what people will think of me I’m glad I left it out.” – Breanna

Birth is a deeply personal, emotionally intense experience. It remains a taboo topic for discussion in our society. And the internet is full of haters. So it is no wonder that women shy from writing and sharing their stories, anticipating the negative response that, unfortunately, some do receive. If this is a fear that’s stopping you, know that you do have some control of the path your story takes out into the world. In fact, you don’t have to share your story with anyone. Perhaps you’re writing it for your child – in that case, he/she is the only person who really needs to read it (and you can bet they’re not going to be too critical).

But if you want to share it online, consider what forum would feel the best for you. Anonymously, on your own blog? Privately, with only a few Facebook friends given permissions to read it? Or on a large-scale, by submitting it to a birth blog? Consider the atmosphere in which you are releasing your story. Some blogs and FB pages allow all comments to be posted, even those which are cruel and abusive. Others take a more moderate approach; Birth Without Fear lies on the other end of the spectrum. We only allow supportive comments and this, to me, is a kick-ass use of the delete button.

7. Fear that sharing one’s own story will shame or intimidate other women.

“The really crazy thing is I am beyond proud of my birth. I am extremely happy with it…and I think that is the big problem. For you see, I am not afraid of scaring other women with a horror story of a birth, but instead somehow shaming them or worse, giving them false hope with a story of what was in my mind a perfect birth. I know, I know it’s ridiculous.” – Patrice N.B. (read more here)

Some women feel that if they delve into the depths of their story and acknowledge how powerful or transformative it was, they might offend or inhibit other women from sharing their own. In the insecure and judgmental world that American motherhood has become (are you mom enough? or are you just, like, a regular mom?) this fear is understandable. But the truth is, there is room for all of us. And all of our stories.

Of the 352, 500 babies are born around the world each day (that’s one every eight seconds!), only a small fraction of births will be recorded and shared. By sharing your own you are not taking up space from someone else to share theirs. And as Ina May Gaskin has reportedly said, birth horror stories spread like wildfire; we should not be afraid to allow positive birth stories to spread like wildfire, too (from a comment on Patrice N.B.’s blog).

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As I read over this blog post, I realize that I have become ever more preachy while writing it. If that bothers you, stop reading because this next section is all advice. But, to be fair, some of it comes from you.

Here are some tips on how to write a birth story you love.

1. Don’t worry about getting it technically accurate. Write what matters to you.

“The details that women often don’t mention are those personal, colorful, emotional descriptions that make their birth story unique, personal and non-generic. It’s the same details that you would utilize for any creative writing: the five senses, metaphors, rhythm, color, description, detail, pace, show don’t tell etc. It’s these techniques that make writing come alive. And because one’s birth story really is such a deeply personal narrative it needs to be written in the teller’s authentic voice, to convey the emotions of the experience––the joy, pain, fear, elation––and be honest, vulnerable and real.” – Shani Raviv

Birth has been removed from its sacred, personal context and placed into the realm of science. As some believe, “Birth is a medical event”. Even if your birth experience was framed in this way, the way you write about it doesn’t have to be. Include your feelings. How you really felt. Birth is an intense experience whether it’s full of excitement and magic or pain and distress; don’t focus too much on the technical jargon or numbers, unless they are what is personally most meaningful to you. As Shani says, “Most people don’t even know what a contraction or dilation is. I had no clue what it was before I birthed or before my midwife educated me about my own body.” And I can tell you from my experience, a birth story that relates your own unique experience will definitely be more fun to write.

2. Don’t feel you need to tell everything in order.

“Everything was so intense and magnified in my mind, it was hard to put down!” – Martha F.

While a linear progression through time is the most obvious way to relate your birth story, it’s likely that you don’t remember it in that way at all. Time changes for women in birth as we go deep inside ourselves, the divine, or simply la-la-labourland. Your writing can reflect that.
3. Feel free to write about events other than the birth.
“Writing my birth story was a life-changing event, but it all started even before by birth.” – Anna Sawon (Editor of this Polish birth blog)

You can include things that happened outside of the birth in your birth story. If you start thinking about some other important event (say, how you met the baby’s father, or the things your mother said about her birth), consider including them. If they’re important to you, they will probably be interesting and valuable to the people who read your story. This is especially true for mothers whose babies had to spend time in the hospital, and who often feel that the birth story is incomplete without a recollection of those events as well. Birth does not take place in a vacuum.

4. Know that you have time.

“I was in such a rush to get it in writing afterwards, I’m now kind of embarrassed when I read it because it just doesn’t flow well. I’m usually a really good writer (IMHO) and my birth story just seems rushed and jumpy to me.” – Breanna.

You don’t have to write your whole birth story the day after it happens. After all, you probably have other things to worry about. Write down the small details you want to remember about the birth as soon as you can. Don’t worry so much about the biggest events because those you are more likely to remember. The little moments – the way your partner rubbed your back, the strange thought you had as they wheeled you off to the operating room – may disappear with time.

“It took me almost a year to write it!” – Amanda S. (read her story here)

5. Know that it doesn’t have to be perfect, in its first draft or ever.

“I actually wrote it 3 different times because I’d forget the little things that seemed so important that day and I just had to add them when I would remember.” – Jennifer C.

Don’t be afraid to write a little, leave it, and come back. This is how most writers work. And it’s also pretty much a necessity if you’re the primary caretaker of your little one.

“It took me about 2 months to write my birth story.  I exclusively breastfed my daughter, so feeding her was a very demanding part of my life.  Not to mention sleeping, diapers, showering, etc.  I took every chance I could to type, doing most of it one-handed!” – Debbie W.

6. Consider who you are writing the story for.

Is it for your child? Your partner? Other women? Or for yourself? This is an easy way to narrow down the focus of this unwieldy task, as it guides the language you use and the details you include.

7. Aak others what they remember.

“…[W]hat I love most is hearing of my births from someone else’s POV… it’s so strange to hear things you don’t remember, but awesome, too.” – Rachel H.

“…[A]s a birth doula I often write up a story for the couples I work with. I note times and major events in the birth, to give the mom a framework to insert her own memories and experiences… I also write down funny moments, jokes, or things that make their birth unique. And I describe from my perspective [the] moments of beauty or tenderness that stick out to me.” – Michelle H.L.

It can be interesting and valuable to hear what other people experienced while you were giving birth. You may want to ask your midwife, OB, or doula. Your partner themselves may want to write or contribute to the story of their child’s birth.

8. Let it go.

“I even printed it out and placed it in my daughter’s baby book so she can look back and read about the day she was born.” – Jennifer C. (read her birth story here)

When you have finished writing and editing your story, consider doing something to bring conclusion to the process. If your birth was traumatic, the concluding element is an important one. Burning, burying, and casting out into the sea are all ways to allow the story to leave your body. On a less cathartic note, some mothers find resolution through publishing their stories online; for others, printing and having it bound is a way to finish the task and preserve the story for future generations.

 

So, in the end, did I write my son’s birth story? Yes. Is it finished, perfected, in more than a piece-meal draft phase? No. But when it is, I’ll let you know.

 

Work Will Wait, the Rainbow Will Not {Neither the Child}

Work Will Wait, the Rainbow Will Not {Neither the Child}

I love this quote and I love this picture. It is my 5 year old, who dressed herself in her own unique style. When we were leaving the shop, she asked if she could sit in this rad rocking chair. My first thought was no, b/c I was in a hurry. I adjusted my thinking quickly though and said, ‘why not?’.

She took off her jacket, hopped right on and said, “Mommy, take a picture!”.

I took 12.

Then she started looking at other things on the patio and the cars passing on the highway and chatted away. It is always interesting and special to get a peek into a 5 year old’s brain.  A moment worth stopping for.

It may be hard and not always an option to stop and enjoy the things a child wants to do, but if you can for just a few minutes, you will both cherish it then and later.

“The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you finish the work.” ~Pat Clafford

Mothers and Our Families: Never Perfect, But Always Great

Mothers and Our Families: Never Perfect, But Always Great

As mothers, we want to always protect our children, do what we feel is best for this, love them unconditionally, teach and guide them with the hope they will feel loved, be happy and turn out better than us.

Women tend to criticize themselves, to never feel good enough. I know that I have these perfection expectations as a mother. That’s good to always want to be our best for our children.

The problem is… I am not perfect. Neither are you. (This is why we don’t need to tear each other down, but lift one another up). We can always strive to do better, apologize when we mess up and remind our little ones how much we love them often.

Our families each have their own ‘ebb and flow’. No family is the same and therefore should not be compared. This goes for us comparing ourselves to others or for any of us expecting another family to conform to our beliefs. No family is perfect. NOT A SINGLE ONE. Do not look at other family blogs or Facebook pages or what they have and think they don’t struggle. Work hard to make the relationships in YOUR family better and enjoy the blessings you have.

Cherish each moment that you can. “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~Robert Brault

Remember to be yourself…

Have fun…

Don’t compare yourself or  your family to others…

Whether you are an ‘average’ size family…

A growing family…

A large(er) family…

Or a single mom family…

No, we are not perfect, but we are great. We sacrifice many things to be parents, we kiss ouchies, listen to the same jokes over and over (and laugh again and again). We cook their favorite meals, read their (memorized) favorite books, dance, sing and even cry with them. We take them to the park and swing them up and down and cherish the moment they throw their head back and giggle as their beautiful hair blows in the wind and kisses their face. This is what motherhood is about. We don’t need to be perfect to be great.

Watch this short video that will speak to every mother regardless of religion, ethnicity or location. What we do have in common is we are mothers, we are caring and we love and serve others (for those that have not had the opportunity to bear children, you are still a woman…a mother who can love and serve others).

“Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.”  ~Mildred B. Vermont

*Thank you to all the BWF Families that shared pictures of your beautiful families!

You Are Not Alone…Parenting is Wild!

You Are Not Alone…Parenting is Wild!

Many times, when dealing with annoying, hard, ridiculous days (or kids), parents think it’s just them. They may get embarrassed or frustrated because they feel they are the only ones going through this…

or this…

or even goodness forbid this…

It makes you want to do this (hey, if they can do it, why can’t we?)…

You are not the first parent that has to resort to this…

Or maybe one for you by hiding in one of these (wouldn’t we all with one that looked like this?)…

You may do things you swore you never would, like give them some of these…

While letting them watch this (still dumbfounded by this show, but it really does grow on ya)…

To keep yourself from feeling like this…

But then as you are about to give out a little of this…

You see something like this…

Or are told something so incredibly precious, all you can feel is unconditional love…

So remember you are not the first parent to have clean up a mess…

Again and again…

But it’s worth it…

And once they are doing this (kids are always perfect and precious when sleeping)…

You can and will do this…

Parenting is hard and rewarding, special and imperfect, life changing and a journey. Embrace the chaos and enjoy the wild when you can. And remember: you aren’t the only one going through it!

What is Important?

What is Important?

We’ve all heard it and said it…’it goes too fast’. Also, ‘life is too short’. Do we act on those statements though? Do we realize the impact and consequences of what we decide is important today?

Our family has grown in size very rapidly and I have found myself missing the laid back mama I once was (just a few years ago). I stress more about the house, what others think and appearances. This only causes anxiety and frustration. This post is for me as much as anyone else. Let me explain the rest in pictures.

What’s more important?

Catching moments like this…

Messy eating kids

Sure there may be food all over your child, the high chair, you, and the walls, but it makes for a dang cute picture and is better than this…

Yes, very orderly. Might even have some threats to make sure they finish that food. Push that plate up, use your fork, don’t make a mess!

Or how about kids making memories…

Instead of being told constantly to be quiet, sit still, don’t talk…

You know what? Let your kids enjoy this…

kids playing soccer in mud

That’s what these are for…

kid, bubble bath

Because isn’t this what’s really the most important thing…

Family

Family ♥

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