Monday, December 22, 2014

Baby Benefits Package

Since your beloved baby came into your life, you've experienced endless moments of bountiful love you've never before felt so deep and true. Days are brighter, life is fuller, love is boundless. You couldn't be more grateful for all he/she has brought into your life.

Let's be just a little more honest. There's also at least one other amazing thing about Mommyhood. It's rarely publicly discussed, (or, admitted to, might be the more appropriate phrasing) but it's real, it's happening, and you've been thankful for it more than once. 

Suddenly, you have the quintessential, unquestionable, debate-proof, ultimate, get-out-of-jail-free, trump card. You can now tactfully maneuver yourself out of pretty much any social situation that you'd prefer not engage in, without blowback. Your tot can be your excuse anytime~ or, potentially, every time~ you need it. 

Party invite you wish to decline? Visitor who seems to never want to leave? Pushy would-be houseguest you need to dodge? "Oh, so sorry it won't work out this time, but Tot is ______." Insert your excuse of choice into blank space: teething, not feeling well, needs to nap, it's almost bedtime, needs to eat, too clingy to be left alone, can't have overnight guests, because it'll disrupt tot's sleep schedule, etc. Just be sure to make some kind of note of what reason you've given, because while you should rotate these excuses at will, with frequency, you also want to make sure you have a variety in play that you aren't repeating enough to arouse suspicion.

Need to arrive late or leave early, or, both? Tot is good for that, too! Refer to aforementioned excuses above or feel free to cultivate your own! Be free! Express your creativity! Let your imagination run wild! ;)

You're either giggling or scoffing at this point. The gigglers, you know the real deal and you're self-assured enough to admit to it. This is some handy bonus we've stumbled upon in our Mommyhood, and we're not going to let it pass without some proper usage. 

The scoffers, you're simply not remembering accurately, and that's fair. Think about it for a few moments and you'll likely recall that you have used your tot as an excuse one time or another. Even in the smallest of tot fibs, you've still benefited. There's no reason to feel ashamed. You're not alone! 

It's all part of the baby benefits package. We should absolutely take advantage of this rare, fleeting opportunity whilst we're still able. All is fair in love and Mommyhood, after all.

That said, I'll completely understand if you never even read this far along in this entry, because your tot just needed your attention riiiight away. I wholly, thoroughly, totally  GET IT. ;)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Relative relatives

I think one of the more emotionally damaging things we do to ourselves is living with the assumption that other people feel and think the same way we do. We expect, therefore, that their behavior will reflect such, because it does for us. At its core, it's a very logical, reasonable conclusion. If we are all human beings, all made up of generally the same content, then we must all see the world the same way,  feel the same way about what we're seeing, and then behave accordingly, right?

Nope. But, of course, you knew that already. That's the thing: We know it, but we can't allow ourselves to fully accept it. We fight against the reality of who the people in our life really are and what they're capable of doing within that construct, because of our desire for them to be who we want (or, need) them to be for us. 

We instinctively hope that the people closest to us, who we care the most about, feel the same about us and are going to behave in ways that please us, cherish us, comfort us, make us feel safe, and most of all, make us feel valued and loved. We work hard to cultivate our intimate, treasured circle of people. There are also those who've been there from the beginning of our lives, so we presume they've earned their place: Our family. 

When I gave birth to my baby boy, I was both deeply touched by those relatives who felt it was significant enough of a life event to be present in the hours and days following at the hospital, as well as uniquely disappointed by (though, not overly surprised~ the signs are always there) those who made it clear by their lack of presence, that the birth wasn't meaningful enough to be a part of in any way.

Since his birth, those first hours and days have largely been a reliable predictor of these same relatives' behavior in the past two years of my son's life. Those who showed-up then, are by in large the ones who show-up now~ in every meaning of the phrase. 

Over the past two years, I've had to come to a place of first awareness, and then begrudging, stupefied acceptance that family is relative to each person. What it means to one, it doesn't mean to the next. There aren't necessarily tight bonds of blood binding people together, simply because of shared names or homes once shared. Just like, for some, the urge to be with family forces them to actively overlook all manner of insult and hurt in the goal of peaceful coexistence. I've long been witness to both  examples. 

What I realize is that this sort of unexplainable, seemingly illogical behavior has nothing to do with my hubby, with me or most importantly, with my son. It has solely to do with the people who don't wish to be in his life, and by extension, ours. 
This is fully their issue. It's only their hearts that guide them. I have no more to do with explaining or controlling such inner workings than I am able to manipulate the weather. 

If they want to be a part of my son's life, and be in the presence of all of the luminous sunshine that is him, than that is all to their benefit. They will be glad for the time with him. They know where he is~ whether they're residing hundreds of miles away or at an event just a few blocks from our home and don't make the effort to stop by to see him.  

However, if they're not interested, nor am I. I only wish for my son to be surrounded by those who love him, adore him, care for him, want the best for him and actually make time for him. If you don't fit into those categories, then the loss is yours. Wholly yours. He will continue to illuminate our every day, and they will simply never know just how dark it is in the shadow they've created for themselves in their world without his magical sparkle. 

They'll never know just who they're missing out on, and that's just fine with me. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Winter Book Giveaway

*Pardon my not posting the winner of the Winter Book Giveaway yesterday, as I was working it out that both of my eloquent, inspiring and loyal reading/commenting Mommies could each get a copy! Congratulations to Mustbedreaming & ccnapoole! Please email me at with your full name & mailing address!*

Winter is a wonderful time to cozy-up with a book and let it carry you away. Likewise, it's around this time of year when many feel an inclination towards an introspective review of the year, or perhaps their whole life, reflecting on what's working and what isn't, and looking forward with changes in mind to optimize one's life.  

With these thoughts in mind, I figure it's a good time for another book giveaway. "Silent Moments" by Scott Barrow" is a book that combines all of the sentiments above: a coffee table book of beautiful, tranquil Winter photography paired with contemplative, inspirational and thoughtful quotes. 

I'm hopeful that you'll find it to be a peaceful place to pause amidst the chaos of the Winter season. 

To put yourself in the running, please post a comment below sharing any or all of your thoughts the following: Where do you find your tranquility in Winter? What do you find yourself reflecting upon in 2014? What changes do you wish to put into place for a more fulfilling 2015? 

Please include some sort of name in either the "Comment as" field or within the body of your comment, so I can identify you, if you're the winner. A winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, December 12th.

Thanks for participating & good luck!!
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