The Lump On My Chest

JK Images
JK Images

I’m sitting in bed typing with one hand, still wearing my sweatshirt because I have this wonderful lump of a little boy asleep on my chest and I’m just not willing to put him down.


These moments of sweetness, they surprise me. The unreasonable amount of love I feel is overwhelming as I listen to his heavy breathing, little chest movements that try to shake him from his perch against my shoulder into a slumped puddle around my belly…


There are times when the emotion of motherhood is so raw and so encompassing I feel like a leaf flying in front of a hurricane.


I look back at the last six months and I can no longer even imagine what life would have been like if he hadn’t been born. I grieve that I wouldn’t have known how he would nudge the boundaries of my heart larger and fill my world with more light.


This is the emotion that makes me pause when we talk about whether our family is complete. It’s easy to say we are done having children when I’m in the midst of incessant requests and a tsunami of emotion, when I look at my gray hairs and realize I’m more adept at quoting child-rearing theories these days than articulating intended outcomes, cost/benefit plans, and navigating organizational politics.


To be honest, I crave the days when things were orderly, when the shoulders of my shirts didn’t sport various forms of mucous, when my time was my own to direct. There was never a layer of dust on the leaves of the potted plants and when I went shopping I never stopped in the toy section just to see if there were any amazing new products.


From my current chaotic state I look at the clean lines of that life and sigh.


Then I take another look, this one influenced by the memory of daily laughter, awe, mystery, curiosity, and humility, and realize the emptiness of my previous life of order. Child rearing is the hardest job I was never prepared for, and some days I want to cry, to rage, to quit….


But then I feel this little body huddled on my chest and my arms don’t have the strength to put him down because I realize his presence is my blessing, a genuine miracle wearing 6-9 month footie pajamas!


I can’t imagine what I would have missed had he never been born.


And I am replenished to stand up for another day, to give my all to this battle once more and relish the treasure of childhood.


Courage doesn’t always roar.

Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,

“I will try again tomorrow.”

– Mary Anne Radmacher


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Copyright © 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Link Up – Top 10 Articles/Websites!

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These days, I often wake up in the wee hours of the night.


Sometimes I have something on my mind that needs prayer and quiet time, others I simply have to answer the call of nature. Whatever the reason may be,  I usually end up finding a few interesting news stories before I head back into solemn slumber.


Here are the top ten articles and websites I’ve discovered recently:


1. 3 Day Potty Training: A dear friend turned me on to this and we are now on Day 2 of this method with Tres. Yesterday she had three accidents and five successes. Today she had seven successes and one accident. I think that’s progress! We’ll see how tomorrow goes.


2. Once A Month Mom: I’ve been toying with the idea of freezer cooking for awhile now. I haven’t committed to it, but the idea of spending one solid day cooking, then freezing food for a month is appealing to me. I like my crock pot… and I like the ease of throwing something frozen in the crock pot and ending up with a yummy meal a few hours later even more. This is the best organized website I’ve found so far in my research.


3. Blog Post Planner: This printable worksheet for scheduling your blog posts and writing came through my inbox today. I love it! (Although using it would require me to actually plan my posts. Hm…) It’s pretty, it’s free, what’s not to adore? The site has a bunch of printables for young kiddos, too.


4. Random Item Identification: Many times my words fail me and I end up calling things doo-hickies or thingy-ma-bobs. In fact, my Christmas present last year was the cord that connected my Mac laptop to the PC overhead projector in my classroom. I’m sure it had a name but I called it the “dongle” and dongle it has remained. Anyway, this article has the actual names of 25 items we never know what to call. And it’s an AWESOME use of five minutes to read!


5. How Men Feel About Working Mothers: This article explored the reasons workplaces may be hostile to working mothers. It was fascinating in and of itself, but reading the comments on the article was even more illuminating.


6. Timehop: Have you ever wondered how much life has changed in the past year? Timehop is a new website that accesses your Facebook status updates and Twitter tweets from one year ago and delivers them to your inbox each morning. I’ve been enjoying my blasts from the past, especially the quotes from the girls I’ve reported! Example, today’s was, “Dos: “Today was AWFUL! Because… because… Owen KISSED me!!!”


7. How to Help A Grieving Family: As a culture, our comfort level with death and grief is waning. This article gives practical advice on how you can really help a family that is going through a loss. There are enough suggestions there that something could fit your personal style… and it helps you avoid that helpless, “I care but I have no idea what to do!”-feeling.


8. Pregnancy Links: Two articles centered around the pregnancy and first months of a baby’s life: Does ‘on-demand’ breastfeeding boost IQ? and How the First Nine Months Shape the Rest of Your Life. Again, these were just interesting reads!


9. 8 Uses for Yogurt Containers:If you’re like me, every container that comes in my house has to be carefully evaluated for alternative use. The individual coffee creamer cups? Stools for our pretend fairy friends invited to a tea. Pickle jars? Excellent storage for sourdough bread starter. I haven’t messed with yogurt cups for awhile… but after reading this – I will!


10. Get Rich Slowly: I subscribed to this blog several months ago and I like its practical approach to money, as well as the real-life stories the readers submit.


Hope you enjoy them – and if you have your own, share the love and post the links in the comments!


*If you like this post, would you please share it with your “tribe” via email, facebook, twitter, etc.?*


If you like this post, feel free to share it (with attribution).
Copyright © 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Working Mom vs. Stay-at-Home Mom

Women Are Amazing!

A friend asked me to describe my perspective on stay-at-home mom versus working-away-from-home mom. That’s a really big topic and I need to actually structure some thoughtful responses before I jump on that bandwagon.


(It’s a stretch, I know. Thoughtful and me… whelp, they don’t always go hand-in-hand!)


In the meantime I thought I’d mention a few things I never experienced in my working world I now have the pleasure of dealing with every day – or maybe every week.


10 Comparisons Between Working Mom and Home Mom


1. When you say, “Right now that purchase is just not in the budget,” your co-workers rarely fall to the ground, howling like professional mourners, and tell you it is the worst day of their life.


2. While on occasion you may be inconvenienced by a colleague needing quality time in the bathroom, it’s not considered proper to ask your boss to check your behind for poop at the 9-to-5.


3. Even in my most stressful work environments, I never had to hug the very person that was causing my eyes to cross and blood to pound in my ears. Nor did I tuck them in that night and worry incessantly about their character development.


4. As a professional, when we went out for a group lunch and there were conflicting preferences for restaurants, no one cried as part of their plea bargaining or tried to hide unwanted food bits in the seams of the restaurant booth.


5. Strangers visiting my workplace never criticized my desk, told me how to accomplish my tasks faster or let me know they could do my job better than me with their eyes closed.


6. No one ever mentioned how hard it must be not to have a “real job” or quizzically ask “What on Earth do you do with your time all day?”


7. Quiet time communing with my computer was necessary productivity, not an invitation for interruption since I couldn’t be doing anything important, anyway.


8. People never asked me if I felt my work was an effective use of the student loan I still pay off every month or told me I’m not the only one who wasted a college and advanced discipline degree to do this job.


9. When working I had much less exposure to bodily fluids. Turns out it’s not that common you have to ask a co-worker to blow their nose into your Kleenex-holding hand, nor do they often take a drink of coffee, go cross-eyed, and spew projectile vomit across your shirt. Go figure.


10. I never worked in a place that wouldn’t give a “needs improvement” score if I showed up for work four days in a row without a shower and sporting a classy case of bed head.


What are some of the changes you notice between being a working mom and a stay-at-home mom?


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