My post Blissdom Bliss

I’m sitting here 2 days post-bliss with thoughts, ideas and inspiration running through my mind at warp speed. I’m exhausted. Suffering from a blissdom hangover. Both physically and mentally wiped. I have lists of notes that I want to pour over ignoring the outside world focusing only on this creative fire that’s burning within me. Unfortunately my family will not go for me locking myself away for any long periods of time and as wonderful as my experience was I missed them like crazy, so I’m trying to bask in my kids kisses for now.

I don’t think I could begin to tell you what the best part was for me. The info sessions were beyond anything I ever expected. I was a little iffy going in because I wondered just how much I could actually learn in such a short time. Can I just say that I think what I learned is life changing?

I walked in apprehensive and feeling like maybe I was in over my head. I walked out feeling confident that my dream is absolutely something tangible for me.

More importantly I was inspired. The speakers made me feel things I hadn’t felt in a while. They made me feel passion for what I do. They pushed me to take a risk and recognize that I am capable. While listening to them speak I wondered if I am always being the best person that I can be and I don’t think that I am.

There were moments in each talk that sat with me for many reasons.

One of the biggest eye openers for me was during the talk about social media etiquette and kindness. I realized there are many ways to bully people. They aren’t all obvious and I think without even realizing it I have allowed myself to be bullied. One of my big takeaways is that “Only those who are hurting hurt people”.  I have spent so much time and energy fighting meanness with anger. Let me make it clear that I will no longer do that. I’m putting down the tug of war rope.  I will try my best to fight negativity with kindness. If Glen Canning can do it then I sure as hell can. His story made me weep and opened up my heart. Those who don’t think much of me will longer be my inner voice. Not everyone has to like me or like what I do. What matters is that I’m happy with who I am and what I do.

It’s difficult to pinpoint one singular moment that impacted me in a life altering way because there were just so damned many of them. However, I will single one moment out right now. A line in @schmutzie’s power talk.

 “It is not a failure to be in the middle of your story”

The path I took has led me down many roads. Some were unexpected, some dead ends forcing me to turn around, some were long winding uphill treks, but they have all landed me right here where I am today. I have many more roads to take, many more forks to come to. Those who have made my journey more difficult by trying to dim my star know who they are just as those who have helped light my way do. I’m incredibly grateful for both because they each play their role in my travels and in giving me the motivation to continue on my path.

 I’m simply in the middle of my story and only I have the power to write the end.

How my path to Blissdom began with my children

I’m full of a nervous anticipation. I’ve been on a journey and thanks to my two beautiful children I’ve ended up right here. Anxiously awaiting my first Blissdom conference.

A couple of years ago my love of writing was reawakened. Shortly after Ms. J was born I realized that I was not over what happened with Mr. T. I hadn’t let go of my guilt, my anger or my fear that we would face another health scare. I did not own my feelings when it came to our experience and instead felt like I didn’t have the right to feel the way I did because it could have been worse. I knew deep down that I had to do something or else I was going to get lost in this abyss of post traumatic stress. Out of my agony a blog was born.

My blog was my own personal therapy:
http://wp.me/s1oMIA-11
http://wp.me/p1oMIA-y

It was magical. All of a sudden the pain that I carried around began to loosen its grip on my heart. The memories remained and will always be a part of who I am, but I was able to move on. Writing about it saved me. It made me a better mother and a better wife. I stopped living every moment in fear. I realized that I would never be the woman I was before my children came into my life and that was ok. I don’t know if I had forgotten about my love of writing or if life had just swept it under the rug but it was back baby and I felt great! Writing was the only thing that had the power to calm my racing mind.

It was last year that I first heard of Blissdom and to be honest it never occurred to me this might be an event that I could and should attend. I didn’t place myself on the same level as the bloggers who were attending. Who I am to go to a blogging conference? I had convinced myself that I wasn’t really a blogger/writer and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

My own feelings of inadequacy have often held me back. I’m not a risk taker and I fear rejection. I’ve always done what I thought was the “right” thing, choosing the path that I thought would make others happy but I didn’t really take the time to determine what it was that I wanted. It just never occurred to me that I could make something with my words.

I started to see the Bliss buzz again this year and I allowed myself to entertain the idea of going. My blog actually has readers, and it’s more than just my mum! I’ve had mothers of babies with health issues reach out to me and thank me for putting to words their pain. That means I’m touching someone out there. That is more than I ever expected when I started this venture. My goal was to let go of my hurt which I did but along the way I seemed to have helped others deal with their own pains.

I began to analyze my reasons for not attending Blissdom and I realized that it all boiled down to one thing: fear. Once I realized that fear was holding me back I knew this was something I had to do.

My biggest wish for my children is that they follow their passion. That they end up doing something with their lives that they love and that brings them happiness. I don’t want them to avoid any path because they are afraid. How am I ever going to teach them this if I am too scared to walk my own bliss?

Last night my 5 year old exclaimed “I’m the best artist!” as he finished his masterpiece. When did I lose that confidence? It feels much better to trust myself rather than rely on others to determine my own worth. So I’m trusting myself. I know deep inside that Blissdom is a wonderful opportunity for me and I am beyond excited to be a part of it! My children have inspired me to take a step out of my comfort zone. I hope that by taking my own risks I can teach my children to push their doubts aside and follow their desires. If they always listen to their heart and give it their all I know they will be successful.

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So…get on your way!” Dr. Seuss

Why I’m jealous of the Royal Couple

Unless you’ve been living in a cave you know  all about the Royal Couple and their new little baby. I know it’s silly and they really aren’t more important than any of the other couples that had babies yesterday or any other day but I have been super excited! I must say it is wonderful to follow a nice story rather than all of the tragedy that is going on in the world.

I will admit it. I’m jealous and not for the reasons you think.

I’m jealous because what they are living right now is the best moment of their lives. The moment you first meet your baby. Those first few moments, hours, days when you get to know the little being you created. Oh to be in those moments again.

When I think of it my heart swells with the joy and inexplicable amount of love I felt the first time I saw both my children. It was two very different experiences but they were both equally as glorious. I gasped when I first laid eyes on both my babies. It felt as though my heart was going to beat through my chest, my voice caught in my throat, my eyes filled with tears. I had never before seen anything as beautiful. Their beauty literally stopped my world, if only for a moment. I gasped and when my voice finally escaped I had no words, all I could say was “Oh my God”. I said the same thing both times.

It was two very different experiences. With Mr. T. they didn’t lay him on my chest right away. They whisked him away to the table beside me. They worked on him while I desperately just tried to see him. To meet his eyes. My soul knew that something was wrong. I felt it in my heart. It was an odd feeling. I was in awe at his perfection and amazed that I created him, nurtured him, grew him inside me. At the same time I felt an emptiness. They tore him from my body and took a part of me away. It was the first time in 9 months that our hearts did not beat together. He was only feet away from me but I felt like a part of me was gone. When they finally laid him on my chest I felt whole again and I felt him relax. He was afraid and all alone on that table. Then they placed him naked on my skin and he settled into me as if he was exactly where he was supposed to be. I continued to ignore that tug at my heart that told me something wasn’t right. I ignored it because he seemed so utterly perfect, how could something not be right with this?

I didn’t realize until Ms. J was born how much I missed of those first moments. When Ms. J came out I felt nothing but sheer bliss. She was here and she was perfect. While I was nervous because of my last experience my heart knew there was no trouble with this one. I watched her come out of my body and in one swift movement she went from inside me to laying on top of my chest. I felt her confusion but as I wrapped myself around her and spoke to her quietly I felt her uneasiness fade away. She, in turn, took away my fears and eased my mind. I didn’t want to ever let her go. We stayed there for what seemed like an eternity. The whole world around us faded away. I kissed her, whispered promises to her, I inhaled her scent. There was nowhere else in the world I wanted to be. When they finally brought us into our room, I slept peacefully with her safe beside me. I whispered to Mr. C. “we did it”.

The difference between Ms. J and Mr. T. is that I got to spend the next few days, weeks, months getting to know my princess. I slept with her beside me. I nursed her in the chair in her nursery just as I had planned. There were no wires or incubators blocking me from feeling every inch of her. I bathed her for the first time in our own bathtub. Not in a basin inside an incubator. Her cries woke me from sleep whispering my name “mama I’m hungry” she called. I happily, although sleepily, nursed her in the quiet darkness of her pink nursery. It was our time together. There were no feeding tubes pumping her with my breast milk, she gulped until satisfied and then her little eyes faded back into a milk induced sleep. I couldn’t have been happier.

Don’t get me wrong. I did bond with Mr. T. just in a much different way. We formed our relationship through wires and tubes. Our touch was through the walls of an incubator. We were apart for more than any mother should be from her newborn baby. Yet I could still pick his cry out even in a room full of crying babies. He still grasped on to me and his breathing slowed and relaxed while we rocked. It didn’t matter if we were rocking in a borrowed NICU rocking chair. It just mattered that we were together.

My relationship with my babies has continued to grow and change. The roots settled during those first few moments. They were the best days of my life. Holding a newborn baby has got to be the most magnificent feelings one could ever experience. You never get those moments back. It can pass in a sleep deprived haze and before you know it it’s over. Cherish every moment of it. Don’t miss out on any of it.

My heartfelt congratulations to the Royal Couple. My well wishes to any new parent. It is the most sublime, magical time in your lives. Breathe in every baby powder scented moment and hold them deep in your soul for safe keeping.

Patience truly is a virtue

Today I feel like a failure. I can’t be the only parent who ever feels like this. Like I am failing miserably at this daunting task. When they were babies it was so much easier. The hardest part was figuring out why they were crying or maybe lack of sleep. Why did people make it seem like babies were the hard part? That was easy peasy! And now I hear the teenage years are really when I’m in for it! Argghhh I might have to find myself a quiet place to hide during those years.

The thing is most of the time I feel like I actually am pretty good at this whole parenting thing. I enjoy it. Reading bedtime stories, baking with them, our Friday night movie nights snuggled on the sofa. Teaching them how to do things, sharing with them all the magic that life has to offer. It’s what I waited my whole life for. I am literally in love with them.

My feelings of inadequacy stem from my lack of patience. I am so quick-tempered. I promise myself every day that today I’m going to work on it. Today I will not get snippy. Today when my children go up instead of down, turn left when I’ve told them to go right, run when I’ve asked them to walk I will keep my cool. Yet inevitably once the chaos begins I feel my temperature rising.

The question is why? They are kids! They aren’t robots. So they splash me in the bath? So they jump in the bed? Is it really a big deal?

No it’s not a big deal. Yet every time it happens I get flustered. As they are jumping all over me and my no’s, stop’s and my don’ts are not being heard I can hear my voice becoming quicker, the tone going up a few octaves and I know what comes next. I’m going to yell. If I do raise my voice my immediate reaction is regret. I know as soon as it happens that there is a better way to deal with this. If I know there is a better way to deal with it why am I not dealing with it in that better way??

I’m jealous of those parents who are able to stay calm when their kids are trying them. Those who peacefully talk their kids down from a tantrum. Wait those parents exist don’t they? Or am I imagining it? Even the best of parents have to lose their cool sometimes don’t they?

In the grand scheme of life these little things are not important. Having said that my children still need to learn to listen, to follow rules, that they don’t run our home and that they need to respect authority. I am still trying to figure out how that happens. They are strong these two little beings. They have willpower. They have cuteness on their side. They are a tag team. Worst of all they come armed with tears! TEARS!

Thing is that my instinct is to yell. It’s what I’m used to. It’s what I know. I’m loud in general but when I’m angry, anxious, flustered I become even louder. I NEED to figure out a better way. I know there is a better way.

I am perfectly aware that I’m going to make my mistakes as a parent. I just didn’t know that it was going to make me feel so inadequate to make them. This is the most important thing I’ve ever done and that means it’s going to take the most efforts. I’m going to fall down a lot. I guess I just have to keep picking myself up. This parenting thing is messy. It’s beautiful and wonderful and brings me so much love that I am literally bursting. Yet at the same time there is this side of it that is completely disheveled. Being honest about the challenges that I face is a part of what’s making this job easier.

So today I admit that sometimes I feel like a failure. Today is one of those days. This isn’t the last time I’m going to feel this way is it?

Silence is Golden

I’ve often heard many parents speak of things they miss from their lives pre-children. Some miss partying, late nights, drinking and clubs while others miss lazy Sunday brunch, Saturday morning sleep ins and full nights of sleep period. Not me. Oh no. Not that I don’t have moments where I wish I didn’t have to cut an evening short so that I could relieve a babysitter or where I could open my eyes on a Saturday morning and realize that it’s after 8:00am and I have woken up naturally rather than by a toddler shaking me violently and demanding me to make them breakfast. I have moments. For the most part I have accepted these changes that children have brought to my life.

You know what I miss the most about my single life?

Silence. The lack of noise. Hearing a pin drop.

This isn’t something I really noticed when there was just one of them. The noise seems to have grown exponentially since Ms. J joined our brood. I’m not exactly sure why the chatter in this house seems to have grown 20 times with just one little tiny addition but it did. At times it’s exhausting. These two tiny little beings will try to speak over each other attempting to be heard over the other. THeir little voices become an almost indistinguishable frenzy of high-pitched noises piercing my ears while my brain tries to determine the actual words so that I may respond to each of them appropriately. There comes a point where they stop actually speaking and are just trying to outscream each other. Eventually it will turn physical and one will decide to either jump on me or grab my face roughly forcing themselves into my line of vision. I am fully aware they are competing for my attention. I try my best to give them both equal amounts of attention but the uproar becomes deafening.

Then there is the fighting. I’ve written about the fighting in other posts see: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/family/kids/20121122/sibling-rivalry-will-end-right. The screams that exit their mouths are alarming and are not easy to just ignore. Now that Ms. J is becoming older it has become worse. They don’t yet have the vocabulary or patience to solve their disputes reasonably so their attempts at resolution are extremely loud. It is like nails on a chalkboard. As their arguing intensifies in both decibel level and heat my stress levels rise. My heart races. My mind searches for a way to get them to just stop! They are going to disagree, they are going to fight and I know they have to sort it out themselves for the most part but it is..just…so..loud!!!

Mr. T. talks non stop. From the moment my eyes open until the moment his eyes shut he’s chattering away. He tells me stories. What happened at school, what his daycare friends told him, what he dreamed last night. He has got quite the imagination and will tell me wild tales of things that were in his “nightmare” as he calls it. He’ll ask me questions about what our plans are for the day, what he wants to do, what he doesn’t want to do, what he wants to eat for breakfast, the toys he wants to play with, the games he wants to play, if he wants to play with me or Daddy. Then in jumps Ms. J. who wants a little piece of the pie. She will chime in giving her two sense. Usually retelling the same story that Mr. T just told but passing it off as her own 🙂 It’s amazing. It’s adorable. It’s beautiful. Does it make me a bad mother that there are moments, just moments where I just want some peace and quiet? 99.9999% of the time I love it. I love hearing their little voices. I love listening to the tales that are floating around Mr. T’s little four-year old mind. I must admit I have actually thought to myself that perhaps he’s a writer in the making, with his imagination and vocabulary it wouldn’t surprise me. There is, however, a moment every now and then where I just want to just walk into my room, lay down on the bed and close the door. I want to turn down the volume on life.

THe thing with me is that before I got married and had children I was a bit of a loner. It was on purpose. I just like my own space. I like to be alone. I like the quiet. My mind races…alot…and the quiet helps me slow my mind down. WIth all this noise and chaos in my life it’s difficult for me to turn off my thoughts. It’s one of the reasons I write. The cacophony of life in a home with children isn’t easy to just flip off so if I am able to keep my eyes propped open long enough I find that writing helps me to calm those racing thoughts.

I do miss the silence. I miss Sunday afternoons laying on the couch watching cheesy old made for tv movies dozing lazily, the only sound coming from the barely audible tv playing in the background. I miss showering without two little people begging me to let them come in then fighting over who is getting more hot water flowing onto their backs. I miss quietly cooking dinner, folding clothes in silence and using the bathroom in peace. I miss the silence. But I wouldn’t trade the noise for the silence in a million years. THeir chattering makes my day. I love listening to their little stories. Hearing about their day. Learning about who they are. I love knowing that by listening to what they are telling me; as mundane and monotonous as it may seem, I am helping build their trust and confidence. I hope that I am teaching them that they can tell me anything and I will listen. I don’t want to take for granted their little spirits.

Perhaps one day I will check myself into a hotel room and enjoy 24 hours of peace and quiet because I do know that silence is only golden when it’s broken up by long periods of beautiful noise. And my children provide me with the most beautiful noise there is.

2012 Blog of the Year

I am a little shocked but truly honoured to have been nominated for my first blog award. I was nominated by Darlene, the fabulous writer of the Notes from Meme blog. http://darleneglasgow.wordpress.com/

I have to say that receiving this nomination was such a wonderful surprise. As my regular readers know, I started this blog simply to express my feelings, frustrations, thoughts and opinions regarding my journey through motherhood. When I started this blog it never really crossed my mind that someone, other than my own mother, would read it. Turns out not only is someone reading it but I have inspired! What a wonderful treat.

Thank you Darlene! Now onto my reponsibility as the recipient of the award:

The Rules:

1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award and include these ‘rules’ in your post

(please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

* * * *

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

My nomination is:

http://michaelaevanow.com/2012/11/30/celebrating-the-heroes/

I am nominating Michaela for her beautiful positive expression of dealing with a child with special needs, health issues, complications. I myself, have a a child who was born with life threatening health issues and although he has so far overcome every obstacle he’s met, the experience has changed me forever. Michaela seems to capture the exact emotions that I have experienced and her ability to focus on the positive through on her journey is amazing. Keep it up MIchaela, hopefully you can help someone who is travelling, this sometimes difficult road, with your beautiful words.

A letter to my 14 year old self

Dear 14 year old, teenage angst filled me,
I am writing to you from the learning years of our thirties. You think you know it all. Take my advice, you don’t. You’ll know you’ve matured when you finally figure out that you know nothing!

Life will kick your ass. You are going to fall. Many times. Know that you will also get back up every time. Each tumble you take is going to make you stronger. Some falls will be harder than others and you may take longer to get up but you will always get up. Falling does not make you a failure, getting up each time is what makes you a success.

Try not to focus so much of your energy attempting to be perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist. You can spend the rest of your life trying to get to something that is unreachable and you will just be disappointed. Your flaws are what make you perfect. Own them, accept yourself for who you are.

Boys. Boys are just boys. They will come and go. Do not lose yourself for a boy. Do not chase a boy. A boy who is worth anything will not allow you to chase him. A boy who is worth your time will do the chasing. Demand respect, demand to be treated well and if he doesn’t treat you well in the beginning he never will. *Spoiler Alert* Eventually a wonderful one will walk into your office and will spell your name wrong…pay attention to that one..he’s a keeper 🙂

You will meet people who will try to pull you down because it makes them feel better about themselves. Be better than that. Don’t be a mean girl and don’t allow someone to mean girl you.

Follow your own path. Do not try to live anyone else’s dreams, your dreams are what matters. Do not exhaust your energy trying to make everyone happy. You will never be able to please everyone so don’t try, it will drive you crazy. Focus on pleasing yourself even when that means you might be disappointing someone else. Being happy will make those who love you happy.

Try to be nicer to your mum, she’s not the crazy person you think she is right now. In fact you are more like her than you have yet come to realize…probably the reason for the constant butting of the heads. Believe it or not a time will come when you won’t fight with her and you will be so thankful to have her in your life. She pushes you out of love because she wants life to be easier for you than it was for her. Go easy on her.

You are beautiful. Stop caring about the size of your jeans and for God’s sake please stop trying to fight your hair!! Just leave it be what it is! You don’t have to look like everyone else to be beautiful.  Who you are is so much more important than what you look like. I know people say this to you all the time and you pretend to agree but you waste too much time feeling ugly. Don’t be so self obsessed. As you get older you will become comfortable in your own skin. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you are less than gorgeous.

You are not an imposter. You are smart, you are kind, you are special.

I will give you a heads up, life is going to throw you a major curve ball, the biggest hit we’ve taken so far in our thirty something years. You will feel as though your world is collapsing, coming to an end.I need you to know that you will survive it and you will come out the other end with the most beautiful gift you can imagine. Take it one day at a time and rely on those who love you, you won’t be able to get through it without them. Try your hardest to search for the sun through the fog and clouds cause it’s rays will be shining down on you, even though it might not feel like it in the moment.

The surprises that life has in store for you will blow your mind. Treat life as a journey not as a destination. Stop and smell the roses a bit. Life is beautiful, try to live in the moment and know that you wouldn’t feel the ups without the downs. And those ups are sooo worth it!

Finally, don’t take a single thing for granted. Love yourself. Be kind and enjoy the ride because the years are going to fly by!