Tag Archives: mom

Being a mom (since it’s Mom’s Day)

The year I graduated college (2002–shhhhhh!) I kept probably my best journal to date.  It was this small, red, hard back journal with pretty kick ass quotes in it about love and passion and that stuff.  I really challenged myself in those pages more so than I have in any journals since.  I’ll chalk it up to my life being much more simplistic then but it’s definitely a vibration I want to climb back to again.

I digress…

I never remember writing about being a mom.  It wasn’t until after I had C (Christian–my amazing 10 year old young man) that I realized I gave voice to my desire to be a mom in that small red journal.  I wrote about knowing that I would be a mom one day.  I was excited to take care of a life and give back to the world.  I was very clear about my drive to be a mom.  I was almost shocked when I read the entry.  I didn’t remember writing it.  But it was right, I always felt like this was my path.  I was meant to be a mom.

There have been a few times over the years who have asked me where I see myself in 5, 10, 15 years… I always hate that question (way more than I should because it’s an important exercise).  But I was asked this question a lot in high school and college by teachers and administrators.  Oddly enough, I always saw myself as a single mom.  Is it because I was raised by a single mom?  Is it because I knew early on that how I’m programmed doesn’t make for a good wife?  Who knows… but I always pictured myself as a single mom when people who pose the question.  I was okay with it.

I now have been a mom for 10 years and time keeps slipping away from me.  There was a moment where I never thought I’d have a 2 year old because the parenting thing is so demanding at first.  But now the time flies by and I constantly struggle with forcing myself to truly sit back and be in the moment.  I struggle with remembering what really matters. I struggle with reminding myself that I said yes to motherhood to give back to the world and that takes raising a caring, loving, and creative boy.  I’m sure I’m not alone here.  I think once kids are born, moms inherit this 500lb slab of guilt because nothing will ever be good enough again.  But I’m not going to use this as an excuse.  It’s important to rip myself away from the homework, chores, and the day-to-day activities to really take stock of my bond with C.  I owe it to him to be present, calm, encouraging, nurturing, and curious.

Having a kid doesn’t unleash motherly instincts (unless it did for you and that’s awesome on your part).  It merely highlights who you are as a person.  I’ve grown just as much as C has in the past 10 years and I’m extremely grateful for those opportunities.  He inspires me to get it right.  Growing up there was an obscene emphasis placed on my mom giving up everything to raise my sister and I.  We were constantly reminded of that.  But, at the end of the day, kids never asked to be born and they certainly never asked to metaphorically take anyone’s life from them.  I didn’t give up anything for C.  He’s a huge part of my life but he’s not my whole life.  I don’t think he wants to be my whole life.  I love my relationship with him.  I feel like he knows me.  I feel like I know him.  It’s an awesome dynamic and I love seeing it develop as he gets older.

I’m not perfect but I’m getting closer each and every day.  I’m so fortunate to have a super awesome son by my side as we explore life.  I love being a mom and just like every other job I’ve ever been assigned to do, I’ll keep honing my craft and sharpening my skills.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there in amongst the internets.

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“Audit who you ACTUALLY are.”

I surround myself with social media #alldayeveryday.  I know you’re in the same boat.  But I am like obsessed.  I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and touch that “F” square on my phone’s home screen and scroll through Facebook until I get to the place I stopped before I went to bed.  Hi, my name is Britta and I’m addicted to Facebook.  Anyway, I’m that girl.  I own it.  I’m starting to be okay with it.  Learning about people is fascinating.  Most of what makes its way to people’s actual Facebook accounts is super filtered and fake.  But learning about that is fascinating as well.  Nonetheless, every now and then I stumble upon something life-changing.  Seriously, every now and then social media comes through for me and perfection is delivered right to me–in those sleepy morning scrolls, a new life is born.  I had that happen this morning…

I clicked on a video.  Gary Vaynerchuk spoke to some college class.  It appeared to be very off the cuff–he cursed a few times and his delivery was a reigned in version of stream-of-conscious thought.  The majority of the talk he merely dispensed advice and some thoughts about starting businesses, living life, and introspection.  The title of this blog came from the video.

At work we audit stuff all the time.  I’m a slave to the MS Excel and we constantly audit our lists and info, and blah blah blah.  But a self-audit?  Mind BLOWN!  I do all this self work.  I journal.  I’ve had lengthy bouts with therapy.  I tap (EFT).  I read.  I feel like I’m constantly evaluating myself, taking stock of who I am and what I need to fix.  Sometimes I have to take a break because I tend to cycle–constantly processing the same thing over and over and over again in my head.

But Gary said something pretty awesome… he poked fun at the fact that most people in the room will spend the next 20-30 years of their lives focusing on the things they aren’t good at and trying to strengthen those aspects.  But, he thinks, you need to do a self-audit (*chills) to figure out what you are really good at and then sink all of your time and energy using those aspects of yourself to drive your success.  It’s true!  I immediately thought back to my cold-calling sales days.  ‘m not good at selling over the phone.  I took classes, read books, forced myself to meet daily call quotas, and just tried a million things to get me “okay” with it.  Honestly, I’ll never like it.  I’ll never be good at it.  Why waste any additional time trying to cultivate something I suck at???  It makes so much sense.

Pay attention to your best self and work your ass off to finds ways to build success from there.  It sounds so simple right now.  It sounds like I’ve heard it before.  I need to make this my focus.

Everything (even social media sometimes) is dropped onto your path for a reason.  Listen, ask questions, and LEARN!  Stay curious, my friends.

Guilt, Being a Helicopter, and Remembering 4th Grade

Do you remember 4th grade???  I do!  And I think that’s why I’m having such a hard time right now.

I’m a mom.  As soon as I found that out (yep, it was August 31st 2005 at 6pm on the dot) I was flooded with worry, panic, and GUILT!  It’s like the seed of guilt grows along with the baby and when the baby is born so is this gut wrenching sense of guilt that never goes away.  It’s totally insane.  I’m sure dads get the same sort of feeling but I wouldn’t know.  Dads are like unicorns to me.  Good dad’s are like all-orange unicorns capable of time travel.  (They just don’t exist.)  But this guilt comes with owning the life of another human life.  It like piggy-backs off of the “joy” of your new “blessing”… blah, blah, blah.  When I found out I was growing a human inside me I knew I had to start making, not only good decisions, but the BEST decisions.  I wanted to read everything, consult everyone, and be the best mom ever.  I had to do everything I could to give my new bundle of joy the best foot forward.  And Christ, the feeling never goes away.

Maybe I’m crazy?  It’s quite possible.  But that feeling persists to this day.  I’m constantly beating myself up.  I threw myself into therapy when C turned one.  I dealt with a lot after I had him and I needed to dive into therapy a lot sooner.  Anyway, when I started feeling less like a robot and more like a human robot, I decided I needed to get professional help.  My therapist told me that I’m probably doing the whole parent thing right because I’m beating myself up and analyzing the job I’m doing.  She insisted that a lot of parents don’t.  They don’t question the work they put in.  Maybe that’s the case.  Whatever the case, it made me feel better about the guilt.

Being a parent is tough and it takes YEARS to figure out if you’re doing it right.

The guilt  brings me to my next thought… being a helicopter.  I work in student housing for a local university and I get to witness parenting almost on a daily basis.  It’s given me a long list of “what not to do’s” and I feel better positioned to be a good mom.  I won’t hover over C.  I won’t make decisions for him.  I won’t do work for him.  I won’t answer questions he should answer.  I won’t be part of his identity.  He won’t be my whole identity.  I’ll give him space to mess up.  I’ll give him space to get things right too.  I don’t want to know everything.  I’ll trust him until he gives me a reason not to trust him.  He’s an awesome kid and I just want him to be him.  We won’t have one another forever (in many ways).

Lastly, let’s circle back.  I remember 4th grade.  I remember friends, my teachers, some awkward moments, and so much more.  My little man is going into 4th grade.  I can’t believe it.  I’m not the first mom to say it or write it.  I know.  And I’m quick to dismiss other moms.  Oh… they’re just saying it to say something.  I mean, maybe that’s the case.  But good god!  It’s 4th grade!  Homework gets serious.  Boys/Girls start the boy/girl thing.  It just feels less innocent.  I learned stupid things that weren’t true about the boy/girl thing.  LOL!  I won’t elaborate but we all have those things we heard about that couldn’t be further from the truth.  C’s like a dude now.  It’s hard to let that sink in and just be.

Being a mom forces you to make decisions (small and big) constantly.  It’s one thing to mess up your own life and get things wrong but you can’t do that to someone else.  I always wanted to be a mom.  I thought that was my one shot to truly give back to the world.  It was also my chance to right the wrongs of my childhood.  I always knew I’d be a mommy and I can’t forget this.  I can’t forget my simple mission.