To My Mom Friends on Mother’s Day…

Today I sent a simple 3 letter text to all the mama’s I had listed in my recent texts. I typed it out to each one of them, didn’t send it as a mass message or copy/paste it, just sent the simple three words…

Because I want them to know that I’m thinking of them. And to them it might have felt generic, but the love was really there.

I know that today can be a hard day. It can be hard in so many ways that no one can see even if you have someone who nails celebrating you. But you’re a mom. So you’ll hide it behind a smile and gratefulness, all the while wishing that someone would just SEE you. Well, I see you.

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Maybe you’re missing your own mom. She’s in another state or another country and all you want to do is celebrate with her. Maybe she’s passed away and that space in your heart still aches every single day, but especially on these big days.

I see you. ❤

Maybe you’re a single parent or an only parent. Your little one is too young to know that today is an important day to celebrate you. The only wishes you get are from your friends and yet all you want is for someone special to recognize you and do something special for you. Or you just got out of a bad relationship and you’re struggling to find the new normal. Trying to figure out how to do it all alone and not sure how to find the balance.

I see you. ❤

You’re in a relationship where you’re holding it all together. You’ll get up today and nothing will be different. You’ll be doing all of the things and you might get a card. But there won’t be any help and today will feel like every other day where you carry the load of it all on your shoulders.

I see you. ❤

To the mama who is struggling with her health in silence. The doctor appointments and the not knowing what’s to come. Silently coping with the symptoms and continuing to be strong for your family. It might be that you’re struggling with your mental health. Your anxiety or depression or any number of other things. It makes it almost impossible some days for you to be the mom you want to be – you lose your cool, you lash out, you feel like you could hit even though you never would.

I see you. ❤

For the women struggling with infertility, with pregnancy loss, infant loss, child loss. You are truly amazing because you manage to carry on with a part of your heart missing.

And I see you. ❤

The foster mom’s, the adoptive mom’s, the step-mom’s.

I see you. ❤

And for all the other mom’s that fall into a category I managed to miss.

I see you too. ❤

It’s okay to feel weary, to feel lost, to have days you hate being a mom – to hate your kids – because love and hate do go together. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. It’s okay to feel defeated, sad, worn down. Because I know you also feel immense pride, happiness, and LOVE.

So take today and remember, motherhood is a challenge and a blessing and no matter what your motherhood journey might be, you ARE an amazing mom. You are strong. And you are loved. God puts us into these lives and into these challenges and at the time it seems like there is no real reasoning behind it. But there is. And some day you’ll look back and be able to see it.

But until then…. you are loved, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are blessed. Happy Mother’s Day!

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It Takes a Village to Make a Mama

Let’s make our communities that are so large and bustling feel just a little bit more like a village. Because none of us should feel alone in this momming thing. It’s hard.

I’m sure at some point you’ve heard that saying “it takes a village to raise a child.” I know that I’ve heard it a million times. Before having children it was something that I didn’t take much stock in. But it really does, doesn’t it? In today’s society though there isn’t much kid raising done by the community. Everyone is afraid to step in and help because they are so worried they’re going to offend someone or do something wrong. It makes me so sad.

But you know what makes me even more sad? The fact that there are so many mom’s out there that are struggling and don’t have a village to help them. A couple years ago I became a part of a tight knit mom’s group on Facebook. It was fantastic. It was exactly what I needed at that time in my life and I will be forever grateful for the support that those women gave to me. We’re all still friends on Facebook for the most part and there are still a handful of those women that I can’t go without talking to. But life moves forward and sometimes friendships do too. And even with that truth, I would drop everything in my life to help any one of those women if they needed me to. And I feel like we need so much more of that in the lives of moms!

When I was at the Children’s Theater and that other mama was struggling, I had an instant urge to help her. BUT. I almost didn’t. Because I was worried she would take it the wrong way. You know how she took it? With thankfulness. And watching her visibly relax, even just a little bit, was so amazing. I want to see that for more mom’s that are struggling.

I want the mom with the tantruming child in the middle of Target to know that she isn’t alone. That her child tantruming isn’t a sign that she’s a bad mom, it’s a sign that she’s an amazing mom.

I want the mom who is so physically and mentally wiped out to know that she isn’t alone. That right now things are HARD but that one day, maybe in the distant future, but one day, it’s going to be so much easier.

I want the mom who is having marital problems, the mom who has always been a solo parent, the mom fighting demons, the all organic mom, the McDonald’s drive-thru mom, the mix of everything mom, EVERY SINGLE mom to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Your struggles as a mom may be unique to you but someone out there knows what you’re going through in one way or another. There is another mom out there who can help you feel more normal about your accomplishments and your failures.

And I’ve come up with a little way that we can all do that for another mom. I hope that you’ll help me with my Moms Empowering and Encouraging Together (MEET) movement. I’ve had an amazing graphic designer help me create a little business card that you can print off at home. If you’re in need of something creative done you can check her out at denikaanderson.com.

My vision is that you’ll print these little business cards off and you’ll hand one to the next mom you see who is visibly struggling. Show her she isn’t alone. Heck, maybe give her two so she can give one to another mom. Let’s make our communities that are so large and bustling feel just a little bit more like a village. Because none of us should feel alone in this momming thing. It’s hard. Hell, it’s probably one of the hardest things we’ll ever do…

Let’s try to be the amazing people we are and instead of tearing each other down, let’s build each other up. Let’s give every one a smile they deserve for the day. A knowing look. And a card that says, “I know how you feel.”

If you’re feeling up to it, you can head over to vistaprint.com and they’ll print 100 business cards for $1.99. I’ve included the single sided design for that option. Or just print them from home. I don’t think that the card’s material is what is important as much as the act of giving it and what it says on it.

I really hope that you’ll join me in this. It takes a village…. why not create our own.

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The Lorax, a toddler and a village

** I would like to apologize in advance for how all over the place this post is – xoxo Brix**

Do you ever feel like your life is a never ending loop? A Bill Murray-less Groundhog’s Day? I feel like life as a mom can basically be summed up in that way. Are there special moments that break up the monotony? Of course. But even in a lot of those moments I feel as though there is still that repetitiveness of every day life. Even when you plan something special there can be that expected change of plans that nearly always happen.

I clean pee from the same toilets, wash the same food covered clothes, follow the kids around the house picking up the same toys as they follow me around the house undoing all of my hard work.

Their behavior is always predictable. And always repetitive.

Take this past weekend. I had tickets to see The Lorax. I bought these tickets because of my “ah-ha” moment when writing Burnt Pancakes. I planned on bringing ALL of my boys to something that had been special to me as a child and that I enjoy. It was no surprise whatsoever to me that my plans didn’t go smoothly. Mr B had to work. Because of that fact, B decided he would rather stay home and hang out with his friends. So I forced D to go even though he wanted to go to his dad’s to watch the Timberwolves play. Just D, G, O and myself – although I gave the two extra tickets to a friend of mine so she could bring her son. What the hell was I thinking?

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Don’t they look thrilled?

I wasn’t surprised when there was traffic. I wasn’t surprised when G boycotted a nap for the day. I wasn’t surprised when 2 minutes before the play was supposed to begin, G decided he had to potty. Or again when he had to go potty 20 minutes into the first act. Definitely not surprised when D argued with me the whole way to the play that he wasn’t going to like it and it would be the same as the ones he sees at the high school. And I wasn’t surprised when O, who is definitely too young for a play, became overly restless. I was however, surprised when we made it through the whole first act.

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Almost got a good picture.

So for the second half, I had to leave my friend and go to the Quiet Room. This room is pure genius and I couldn’t ask for anything more enjoyable. Every single movie theater should have these as well. O was able to crawl around, which of course led to G crawling around and D watched the whole second act, even though there’s no possible way he would like it.

And you know what was amazing. That we weren’t the only ones in the quiet room. I wasn’t the only person that had children that weren’t able to stay focused. In fact, there was one mama that was there with her two boys and expecting her third (yes, I was that person and asked her). She was struggling with her 2 year old who was at the same point as my 2 year old, but her older boy really wanted to finish the play. I heard her say to her son, “I can’t do this anymore H. It’s too hard for me. We’re going to have to go.” The constant battle to keep her toddler occupied was taking its toll. And without asking or thinking or judging, I asked O if he wanted to play with G. I asked if he likes to “make new friends, because G LOVES to make new friends.” And for the remaining 15 minutes of the play, that mama got to stand next to her other son and finish watching the play while O and G crawled around pretending to be monkeys. She thanked me.

I got to thinking though…. why? She shouldn’t have to thank me for my help. That should be something we innately do as mothers. Help each other out. It takes a village. I’m just happy I could be a member of hers for her in that moment. I think we’ve created a society that is failing our mothers if we’re scared to offer help to another mom in need. Be someone’s village. Cause I know there are plenty of days I would love to have someone help me when G is running around like a crazed banshee.