I’m moderating the feed over on Childhood Unplugged this week, sharing images of motherhood. Feel free to join in by hashtagging your images with #cu_motherhood. Also want to take a moment to give love to all the women out there – both the ones that are mothers and those that long to be. There is so much surrounding conception and pregnancy and birth and life that is out of our control and while it is important to celebrate those that have children here on Earth, it’s also nice to acknowledge those who’s children live in dreams or heaven or in another form all together. I imagine this last weekend was difficult for many and I hate for their pain to be buried, or unheard.
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“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” -Debra Ginsberg
Mother’s Day was more about what I didn’t do than what I did. I didn’t change a diaper. I didn’t cook a meal or clean any dishes. I didn’t feel guilty about taking a nap, which leads me to what I did do: I took a nap, I ate two donuts for breakfast, I got a homemade card (my favorite) and flowers picked from our front yard, I had great cuddle time with Hooper, I wore the same romper two days in a row (I bought it for a buck at Joy’s estate sale), I had my favorite lunch delivered to me while I stayed home in the air conditioned house (it was over 100 degrees here), and had an afternoon pedicure where they served champagne with strawberries. The rest of our time was spent in the water, cuz it feels like summer over here (warning, with summer comes more of my kid’s asses all over your computer screens). By the end of the day, I felt so zapped and it made me a bit weary of our upcoming plans to drive to Arizona where it’s 90 degrees after the sun goes down.
In any event, it was a lovely weekend.
Click on each photo above to be taken back to it’s place of origin.
No image touches me more than a mother with her child. Wishing all the Mama’s out there a Happy Mother’s Day.
Special love going out to my own mom, who has led me more by example than with advice. Mom, it may be true that you spent camping trips washing the dirty dishes under a shitty spicket but, because of it, I love the smell of the mountains.
Special love also going out to Willy’s mom, you raised one fine man. And to my sister-in-law and dearest friend, who are both celebrating their first Mother’s Day.
Dear Hooper & Van, there is nothing I am more proud of than being your mom.
As a side note, my Mother’s Day was made last night when I learned Kelly nominated me for The Dairy Queen award. I had received a mysterious email a while back and had honestly forgotten all about until last night, when another mysterious email appeared with a link. Kelly is the mom I have been donating my extra breast milk to. Well, I haven’t donated it to her, but rather to her son who is just a few months younger than Van. Kelly, my heart is all kinds of warm. Thank you.
Mother’s Day morning started with sun shining through our window and birds chirping. Sounds dreamy, right? It was. Willy rolled over and reached to the side of his bed and handed me a beautiful handmade card with the most lovely words inside.
I felt special instantly. I unwrapped my gift and was pleasantly surprised to be the new owner of this lovely vintage dress (It appeared on my Mother’s Day gift guide here). I added it to my post pregnancy prize pack.
Then I heard the sweetest little “Ma-ma” spoken over the monitor. Willy and I rolled out of bed to find this little monster standing in his crib, ready to go.
We listened to some music while we got ready for the day and headed off to brunch at a restaurant nestled back in the Simi Valley hills with extended family. Hooper wiggled his way from person to person, entertaining everyone with a captivating game of peek-a-boo. When we arrived back home at noon, well past his usual nap time, we put Hooper down. It took him quite a while to fall asleep, but sleep he did. He didn’t make another peep until almost five o’clock. I had the luxury of taking a long nap myself, which I think my body really needed. I have a feeling the baby has dropped as I’ve been having a significant increase in pressure and have since adopted the well-known pregnancy waddle. So yes, it was nice to rest. When we were all awake, we headed to Lowes to pick out some plants.
Willy agreed to take some photos of Hooper and I without any hesitation. Another mother’s day gift. Unfortunately, a little someone did not want to cooperate.
This looks like a cute mother-son photo where the son wants to be lifted up into his mama’s arms, right?
Not the case. He’s crying because he wants to sit in the drivers seat of the car and play with all the buttons and steering wheel. This is his new favorite thing.
I tried explaining to him that today was Mother’s Day and that his mama really wanted a couple nice photos with him.
I snapped a few shots of Hooper on his giraffe (I’ll share the rest soon) and we called it a wrap.
We capped the day off with dinner out, put Hooper to bed, and stayed up and watched a movie. It was lovely.
How was your Mother’s Day? What did you do?
Last year was my first Mother’s Day with a baby in hand. It felt like my birthday. Not because I got lots of gifts, though I did get a few special ones, but because I woke up with that same excitement in knowing that the day was not only special, but special for me. And getting to share the day with all the other woman that make the same sacrifices and share the same struggles feels really special. Mother’s Day has become my new favorite holiday and that little boy just waking now in his crib and that little munchkin fluttering about in my belly are the reasons why. My husband and my boys are my world and today is a day for me to reflect on just how lucky and fortunate I am.
I have a few special little tidbits to share. Interspersed are some of my favorite photos of me and my little guy from his first year. Let’s get started!
An article published in Market Watch determined an average of what stay-at-home-moms would make if they were paid an annual salary for their work. That’s right, stay-at-home-moms check your mailboxes for that annual check of $113,000 for your 95 hours of work per week. Working moms can add $67,000 to their annual salaries for the additional work they do when they come home from work. Score! If only…
Next I’d like to share a wonderful “Letter to Motherhood” written by the beautiful Melissa of Dear Baby. She also writes for Babble and she posted this sweet letter some time ago. I’ve come back to it many times because it’s just so beautifully and perfectly stated. She writes:
What is motherhood but the very best chance to learn what you are made of? It will strip you down to nothing. Make you doubt yourself a thousand times. And it will make you roar with a fierceness you’ve never before seen. It will search your heart for your greatest fears and the bravest of all your intentions and set them out on display.
It breaks you. It saves you. It steals the girl you were. All of her. You’ll never sleep like her or be as carefree as she once was, but she’d never believe the courage or the selflessness she’ll one day possess in you. Motherhood replaces her with someone who understands love on a level the girl you were never could.
It’s okay to sometimes wish you could go back and live a day in her shoes. A day to bask in the decadence of irresponsibility. But if she could look forward: If she could see herself tested, how her fears have been faced, how the question “Am I strong enough to survive this?” is answered with a resounding yes, time after time. She’d feel damn proud to become the woman that awaits her.
And lastly, The Giving Tree Movie, spoken by Shel Silverstein in 1973. This has always been one of my favorite books from childhood, but I’ve never been able to fully relate to it until now. Because now, as a mother, I am the giving tree. I feel like gifting each mother a nice big bucket of water to keep their leaves bountiful and their roots growing. So yes, water yourselves this Mother’s day. We all deserve it.
And a special Happy Mother’s Day wish to my own mother who always lends an open ear and always helps me keep things in perspective. I love you, mom!