From One Mom to Another, I Get You

Today I had the dreaded task of taking my daughter in for her booster shots.  She has a major needle phobia (don’t we all to some degree), so I put off this task as long as I could.

As we were sitting in the waiting room a family of four joined us; a Mom, a Dad and their two gorgeous little boys who I would guess are 3 and 1.

My son, daughter, and I sat across from them. The baby boy was making flirty eyes at my kids, and smiling from ear to ear.  He was so full of happy, in fact, he was 100% happy.  . I immediately wanted to photograph him. 😉  My first thought was “This family is so blessed.”

As my family smiled and made scrunchy weird faces back at this adorable chunky-monkey baby boy, I noticed how Mom was completely wrapped up in stress. She didn’t notice her surroundings, she had checked out. She ignored her partner who commented under his breath that she had put their son’s shirt on backwards. She grunted back at him while playing with her iPhone. Their older son ran circles around them, 100% full of energy and she ignored each question he asked her. Between smiles directed at us, her chubby-cheeked baby smiled up at her while tightly grasping her hand. Both of their boys were well-behaved and full of life yet with each passing moment, the stress she clearly wore on her face and within her body language grew. She continued playing with her phone while letting out long breaths full of annoyance while balancing her happy baby on her knee.  The health care nurse called out their son’s name and pronounced it wrong. The Mom looked to Dad and with anger in her voice, she corrected the pronunciation of his name, and barked at her son to come along as they followed the nurse.

Now I know what you *may* be thinking… Did I judge her for checking out when she was surrounded by what I perceived as an amazing life?

Hell No.

In fact, this is what I was thinking and if she wouldn’t have thought I was a complete nut bar I would have said it to her…

Dear Beautiful Mom:

I understand you.

I was you and I am you.

Your kids are young, and their needs overwhelm you.

You are trying to etch out moments for yourself in the midst of chaos which you are never fully prepared for with your first, and it continues to take you by surprise with the next.

You definitely have moments when the reality of your beautiful life bites you straight in your heart, but there are also many moments of stressful everyday life when you..




It doesn’t mean you wouldn’t do anything and everything for your kids.

You are simply over loaded with the demands of keeping a busy family together…so they are fed, well-behaved, clothed, loved, entertained, adjusted, and happy.

You are strong and the pressure to be that “perfect” mom weighs on your shoulders when you simply want to take a shower in peace and quiet.  Or maybe even a bath.

You feel guilty at night after the kids are safely tucked away in the warmth of their beds, and you will remind yourself of all the things you’ve done wrong as a Mom.

You will promise yourself that tomorrow you will do better.

If it would make a difference to your life and lighten the load on your mind today, I would tell you that these kids will grow up too fast and you will forget how much they weighed at this very checkup you are at today. In the not-so-distant future you will close your eyes to try to conjure up a vivid memory of the very chubby baby smile that he is so freely giving away to my family now.

But I can’t tell you that now, because you won’t understand it until you go through it. Just as I too check out and will try so hard to remember this very stage that MY kids are in now.  The way my daughter mispronounces words and gets her B’s and D’s mixed up when she’s reading. The way my middle son runs around the house in nothing but his tighty whities and a smile on Sunday mornings and plays with his lego on the stairs. The way my oldest son sits at the kitchen table just as I’m ready for bed and eats almost an entire box of cereal while talking to me between huge mouth fulls.

I do know this. The memories that I hold dearest to my heart and the ones that are the most vivid of my childhood with my Mom are good ones. I cherish all the good.  I now know that aside from being my Mom she was also a woman with needs of her own, although with 6 girls there was little time for those needs.  The years I remember her going to work at the business she developed from the ground up taught me to be independent. My Mom validated my dream of starting my business. She showed me by example that I could do it. All the responsibilities she dealt down to me and my sisters enabled us to be hard-working and responsible. For that, I am thankful.

Yes, I am thankful for the very things I’m sure my Mom harbours guilt over. I found value within her struggle and now as I try my very best to raise my own family…I realize that she simply did her best as a Mom to 6.

My mom and her 6 girls

So yes, there are days when us Moms check out and lose sight of how truly blessed we are even when the world around us stares in awe of our little miracles.   But there are also days when we understand more than anyone what it is to love someone so much that we would do anything for them and we do exactly that.  We love, cherish, give, support, uplift, teach, learn, grow as they grow, and devote our lives to these little miracles.

To the Mom I saw today, there are no judgments here. I get you and I thank you for the reminder today because I too had checked out at that moment.

The role of Mom is hard enough, lets give one another the gift of understanding and support.  Heres to you Moms.

You are simply amazing.

From my heart to yours,


Back to the School Yard

Kids can be cruel.

Over the years, each one of my 3 kids have come home with hurt feelings from some sort of school yard incident.  My daughter is the youngest, and I find cruel words are more prevalent among girls.  I tell her it will all be OK, just continue to be who she is, and don’t worry about what others think of her.  She’s perfect as is.

I realize this is easier said then done.  I work from home, so it’s not very often I actually dress professionally when I’m editing photos alone in the comfort of my office (think yoga pants and baggy well-worn t-shirts I refuse to give up).  Today I managed to get up early and I actually did my hair, makeup, and dressed like I was going to work where *gasp* I would see other people.   Three O’Clock snuck up on me, and I quickly put on my favourite pair of brown heeled boots and ran out the door to pick up my kids from school.

You see, I love these brown boots. I feel confident when I walk in them, but since I’m usually at home I don’t wear them often.

I felt good getting ready for the day, so I suppose I did walk to school with a bit more zest in my step.  As I waited at the doors of my daughter’s school for the bell to ring, I noticed two Mom’s talking quietly beside me.  They looked over at me, and then continued whispering. I felt like they were talking about me, but told myself that was ridiculous, what could they possibly have to say as I was just standing there minding my business.

As they walked by me, the one Mom said to the other Mom loud enough so I could hear them “I didn’t know it was wear-your-stripper-boots-to-school day”. The other Mom looked down at my boots and giggled as they walked away.

I just stood there stunned with my mouth open, staring at my much-loved boots. “These aren’t stripper boots” I mouthed.  And then I felt stupid… just. for. one. second. The anger quickly set in, and in that moment of anger I wished I had something witty to say back.

It wasn’t until I got home that the patronizing words I tell my daughter rang in my mind…”Just be yourself, don’t worry what anyone else thinks about you.” The thoughts I had a few moments before in the “school yard” also replayed in my mind and I pictured myself saying to my daughter “Be confident, but not too confident or other women will think you are stuck up. Be happy, but not too happy or other women will think you are annoying. Be kind, but not too kind or other women will question your motives. Be proud, but not too proud or other women will think you are vain. Work hard to be successful, but not too successful or other women will be threatened by you.”

Bull Shit.

To all you women out there, I learned something today and it’s also raised more questions in my mind. Perhaps you can share some of your wise insights with me. Please feel free to comment on this topic!

Why can’t women support other women? Forgive me for generalizing because this certainly isn’t the case for the women I am so thankful to have as friends. I’ve met some incredibly supportive women. I’m just questioning the times in our lives when we are cut down by other women.  Those times when catty comments filled with judgments and misunderstanding are delivered when one just needs support, kindness, and understanding.

There’s many distorted messages in the media that influence women in a negative way regarding how we should look, how we should dress, what our role  in society should be…and yet, rather than women supporting and uplifting other women, there are times like the one I just experienced that places us right back into the school yard full of insecurities.

So this is what I learned today:

Do not make assumptions about another person based on their outside appearance. We are all just people. All deserving of respect and kindness. If a judgment pops up in my mind about another person I’m going to take some time to evaluate WHY I feel that way…because it’s more about my own insecurities. It truly isn’t about them.

Kindness is important.

Positivity is important.

It’s OK to walk with your head held high. There was a time not so long ago when I walked with my head down. I refuse to go back there.

I will continue to support, uplift, encourage and genuinely appreciate the women I meet in life. It DOES make a difference.

Positive out, Positive in. You receive exactly what you give. I’ve never been so sure of this fact in all of my life than I am now.

I will accept and love those who I do not understand.

I will not hide my strengths because of another’s weaknesses.  There is nothing wrong with loving who you are. I was trapped in self-loathing for much of my adult life. It’s not a fun place to be.

There is nothing better than watching a friend succeed. Successful, independent, confident women motivate and inspire me. Thank you to each wildly imaginative, accepting, successful, caring and kind woman whom I have had the pleasure to meet. You make me a better person.

Tomorrow I will walk with my head held high back to school, and I may even try to find higher heels to walk in.  Who am I kidding, I would twist an ankle. My doctor once prescribed me high-tops for my weak ankles. Sadly, this is a true story. But a smile will still be on my face. 🙂

From my heart to yours,