This Month at Home – July 2017

IMG_3855 IMG_3870 IMG_3900 IMG_3921 IMG_3944 IMG_4014 IMG_4114 IMG_4124 IMG_0536 IMG_4147Oh the bliss of summer! It’s hard to believe July is almost over, and yet, this is how it happens every year. Late June days roll into weeks of adventures and fun, nights camping under starry skies, listening to the strings of banjos, birthday celebrations, and evening hikes up the mountain. And as the heat waves of mid-summer settle in, we find ourselves grateful, and craving repose all at the same time.

My goal this summer has been to stay present. To soak in every moment with my little family, all our togetherness, the fun, the meltdowns, everything. Soak in the reality of this life,  disconnect from the subjective reality of media, and breathe. So far, so good.

Today for the first time ever someone stopped me in a tiny store in a tiny town outside of our hometown, and told me she recognized me from my blog. She said she loved reading and that I should keep it going. It was lovely, a fellow mama, an average everyday person just like me, someone I wouldn’t necessarily have spoken with otherwise, but there we were, connected. That’s all I’ve ever wanted from this space.

My sharing has been slow lately. Because, you know…life, and two kids. But also because I’ve been feeling unsure of what to say, what’s my message. I have changed in so many ways in the past few years. I am no longer self employed. I don’t want to sell anyone anything. I don’t feel like I necessarily have any great words of wisdom. I’m not here to tell you how you should live your life. Mostly I’m just here to somewhat document mine. And to connect. Real life connection feels like a really valuable goal right now.

So, thank you to that mama at the market today. Thank you for stopping me as I negotiated with my four year old about pouring a growler of kombucha. Thank you for reaching out and saying hi, for making what is so often an invisible connection, a real one. I’ve been feeling really shy of social media, and even this blog lately, but still I am pulled to show up. So thank you for making me feel like my voice is heard, and valued. I really would love to hear your voices too!

So I’ve got a question for ya…what kind of connection are you craving right now? How do you want to be seen, heard, witnessed? Leave a comment, even if it’s just to say hi 👋 ☺️.

Oh, and if you want to check out the little video I made about our yearly trip to the Greyfox Bluegrass Festival, here it is.

Made with Love

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We’re at a wedding in Florida this weekend. It’s one of Pete’s college buddies who is getting married, so though we have matured since college, this weekend is all about partying like we haven’t. The only thing is that I was never much of a partier, even then. So I was delighted when one of his friends introduced me to his wife, and told us they were expecting. She is still in her first trimester, and the notion of what it will be like to have a baby is just starting to form in her head. She told me she had lots of questions, I sat down and told her I might not have answers but this is one of my favorite topics, so ask away.

She started by saying, “If you could tell me anything about this whole experience of becoming a mom, what would it be?”. I paused. Where to begin? What to say to truly convey the magnitude of the change that is about to happen in her life, without sending her running away from me? We talked about birth. Because of course, thats every first time pregnant woman’s biggest concern. I have to push who out of where? We talked about options, working with a midwife vs. an OB, hiring a doula, taking a good childbirth ed class, doing some yoga, learning to breathe. We talked about being pregnant, especially first trimester woes. The tiredness, the nausea, the constant insatiable hunger. And then she asked the simplest question. “What kind of diapers do you use?”

Simple question, but perhaps the one I was the least prepared to answer. You see, I’m a green mama wannabe, but busy lives, active days, and a baby with solid poop, has caused us to veer from our eco-friendly practice of cloth diapering. And in truth, I really want to go back.

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I told this mama-to-be, that we buy diapers that are ecofriendly, we vary the brand depending on sales, or what has been gifted to us. Then I told her about our cloth diapering experience, and how great it felt for the first 6 months of his life to be sure that there were no harmful chemicals so close to his skin, and how much money we saved by sucking it up and washing a little poop. I told her we want to go back to cloth to help with potty training, and to get back to a more earth friendly lifestyle. And finally I told her, I’m not perfect, and so in reality we will probably stick to using a mixture of both.

Honestly, sometimes realizing our imperfections is the hardest part of being a mother. And yet, it can also be the most liberating, when we realize, accept, and remember that our imperfections make us who we are, and who we are is beautiful. We are mamas who are raising little humans, feeding mouths, cleaning bums, teaching values, and doing it all with love. We are mamas who live in a media filled world with people telling us what is best, and how we should be, who at the end of the day just have to make choices that work for us.

The truth is, what I wanted to tell this mama, to sum up the whole experience of bringing a child into this world is… “Relax, and go easy on yourself. You are going to do a lot of things imperfectly. And thats ok. You are going to make mistakes, your are going to not know what you are doing, and sometimes you are going to fail. But it doesn’t matter, because it is clear that you are going to love this baby”.

We all make mistakes. Every mom has had moments of triumph, and moments of failure. Every mom makes different choices. And every mom doubts these choices at least ten times a day. But what I want to tell this mama, and all of you mamas, is that if you have made your baby, and continue to make your baby with love, then you are doing a good job. You are doing an amazing job mama! Because as John Lennon once said, “All you need is love”. And it’s true.

A Company Spreading Love

This post was inspired by the #MadewithLove campaign by gDiapers, and The American Mama. I’ve decided to join hands with these folks, because they have a wonderful message to share with moms. I’m taking their pledge to fully embrace being imperfect. To honor and love all the parts of my messy-mama self. And to focus the little things (and people) I make with love.

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gDiapers is a company that understands the pressures mothers are bombarded with every day, and the choices we are always having to weigh and decide. They understand that as mothers were are not perfect and sometime our ideals and our realities are two different things. gDiapers has created a solution by making diapers that can be both reusable and disposable. AND they are spreading the message that motherhood is more about the little things that are #madewithlove and less about the imperfections.

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gDiapers also has a really cool gift chain going on, which you can find here on instagram. It’s all about sending something small, and handmade to another hard-working, imperfectly perfect mama. Now that’s definitely something I can get on board with! And if you’re into twitter they will be hosting a chat soon all about how motherhood is #madewithlove, and they’ll be giving away free gifts!

I do plan to get back to using cloth, and this product is definitely one that will help us strike that balance between real life, and the green mama life of my dreams.  Now I’d love to hear from you…

What would you tell a new mama about the experience of motherhood?

What little thing have you done or made with love lately?