Monday, November 22, 2010

Celebrating 122 years of sisterhood.

"Let us found a society that shall be kind alike to all and think more of a girl's inner self and character than of her personal appearance."
- Sarah Ida Shaw, founder, Delta Delta Delta

Happy Founder's Day to all of my DDD sisters!

I am so thankful for my membership in DDD. Even after 8 years, I find new things that I cherish about this organization and it's members. Through DDD, I have met my husband, best friends, found learship, and rediscovered service. My DDD sisters, both from Phi Kappa and around the country have taught me about unselfish leadership, service to others, and assisting one another in every possible way.

Thank you Sarah Ida Shaw for writing our rituals, choosing our emblems, and founding an organization that brings so much joy into my life.

delta love, ladies.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

thoughts on parenting.

I woke up this morning and truly felt the need to comment on parenting. The joy, heartache, stress… the choice of parenting. I use the word “choice” on purpose. You choose this people. Now, you get to figure out how to manage it. I think there are two main ideas about parenting that I’d like to touch on…
1. I have noticed how easy it is for people to comment on parenting, or stages of parenting when they have never experienced it. I would bet that I am guilty of it myself…not only in judging my own mother, but other women around me. However, now that I am a mother, I take offense to it. It is easy to tell me what “I should or should not do” when you have never tried to keep a house, a job, your sanity, all while having the life, happiness and well-being of a tiny human in your hands. I can promise you, anyone that is happy their their CHOICE of being a parent is doing the best we can. Some days it takes all of my energy to get out of bed and get some type of outfit on, so please don’t judge me. I had a friend recently tell me that she was shocked when people could not control their toddler in a restaurant. She is a mother, of a very tiny infant. This is so easy to say when your bundle of joy will sleep through an entire meal in a restaurant without so much as a peep. When she doesn’t need attention or reassurance, or isn’t struggling to get their food on their fork. As the mother of a toddler, I can tell you when they get frustrated sometimes they only understand how to communicate loudly. Have you ever tried to REASON with a toddler? Yes, Emery is rather smart, but negotiation isn’t really one of her strong suits yet. Here’s where good parenting comes in… Jason and I have come to truly enjoy home cooked meals, or take out. Yes, toddlers are going to scream and cry sometimes, but I don’t have to take them to a restaurant. And if we CHOOSE to do so, we have the responsibility to get up from our meal and take her outside. Or leave. I think my main point here is that if you don’t know what it is like to stay up all night, get pooped and peed on…and cry right along with your baby because you are so tired, please don’t judge me. I am doing the best I can. And, in return, I will do my best to keep my child from ruining your meal. I swear.
2. I think the biggest challenge I have faced as a parent is consistancy. It might as well be a 4 letter word. Recently, I found myself telling Emery she can not, under any cirmcumstances put a blankey over her head and walk around growling like a monster. Why? Because she has fallen several times in recent days and hurt herself. However, two weeks ago it was so cute and we all laughed and giggled at her silliness. I might find myself laughing in another two weeks, because let’s be honest, she’s the cutest monster ever. It is so hard to keep consistant on anything: bedtime, eating, saying please, and picking up toys. It is exhuasting spending every moment of your day trying to do the same thing you did the day before to maintain some consistancy. Sometimes it’s just easier to let her go to bed with toys all over the floor. Or to pick them up myself. I struggle with this, maybe more than anything.
Finally, I can tell you that Emery did not come with a manual when she was born. I did not immediately have a clue what I was doing when the doctor handing her to me. I’m figuring it out as I go along. I take when I learned and loved from my family, and adding things I feel are important. Sometimes these things change. As Emery grows and changes and we see her personality, we have to change how we parent. She is sensitive, but willful. She requires endless patience, consistency, and compassion. Jason and I had certainly talked about how we wanted to parent, but there is nothing like figuring it out as you go and based on your child’s needs and your own needs.
I think every mother is asking for a little patience and compassion from those around them. Please don’t judge me, but offer to hold the door open when I’m carrying my toddler, diaper bag, and 10 grocery bags. Understand that yes, I might be crabby, there is a good chance I only slept 3 hours last night, all of which had a heavy toddler kicking me in the face. I love my baby. I know she is my responsibility, not yours. Give me a break. Have a little patience. Know that I am doing the best I can.

Monday, November 8, 2010

in the spirit of thankfulness...

I have to say, this fall has been so busy I simply haven't had an opportunity to put enough thoughts together to share an update on our family. I can say that this has probably been the best fall we have ever had as a family. Jason has finally come home! He started an amazing new career that brings him home every night to our family. Having my partner back to share in the daily chores and joys of our live is more amazing than I could have thought. Emery has happier than ever. She loves taking walks with daddy, playing in the yard, bath time... everything seems to be more fun for her these days. And, I have such a signifigant drop in stress in my life with more sleep, less tantrums, yummier dinners... Who knew the effects of getting a new job could be so signifigant?

I have to say, this journey of being without my husband, then raising our daughter alone has not been easy. But, it was made much easier with the help of the most amazing friends and family. I'm so lucky to have a family that loves having me pack up a bag and show up at their door (occasionally unannounced) to stay the evening. Thank you for that Mom, Ed, Grandma, Jennifer, and Madison. I love that Emery and Madison have that time in the evening to laugh, play, and sometimes fight. Seeing my daughter and my niece love eachother so strongly is truly amazing. They have a built in best friend. And,that gives me time to spend with my sister. Who is my sounding board and therapist. We have been through a lifetime of laughter and fights that so reminds me of our girls. I'm so glad that we have eachother, and so do they. Mom, Ed, Grandma...the best baby sitters ever! How could I have kept my sanity without having a place to leave my girl for a few hours here and there. In fact, she often has more fun with you than me. I guess what are grandparents for than to pump you kids full of sugar, let then run around like crazy monsters getting filthy, and then sending them home happy, and exhausted.

In the spirit of fall and thanksgiving... I have to continue in thanking my friends. As really the first one to get married and start a family... I am so thankful for my best friends who have shared in my joy, heartache, and the craziness that is my life. Your support, laughter, friendship and for my DDDs.. your sisterhood. I have to say, I would rather have 5 really amazing friends than 20 kinda friends. I know you have my back and you know I'd do anything for you... like wait overnight in waiting room waiting for you to deliver a baby (thats a shout out to you kacie). I love you! You know who you are!

Finally to my husband. Thank you for putting your family first, always. For making sure I stay sane and that we have such a great lifestyle. For valuing date nights, and my sleep. For making breakfast on the weekend. For taking over bath time. For i love you emails for no reason...and stopping by the office just for a hug. And of course, for giving me the most amazing little girl in the world. She is sassy, smart, and everything I could have ever asked for.


And because I could never forget fabulous pictures of the ones I love....