Happy Mother’s Day

I thought abut writing a deep and meaningful post for today, talking about how much it means to be a mom and how Hashtag: Blessed I am to have an amazing mom in my life and how my daughters make me strive to be the best mom I can be to them. Then I thought, that has all been done time and time before and if you’ve been tuned into my blog for a while you’ll already know how appreciative I am to have to have my mom in my life.

So, today in honour of Mother’s Day I decided that I’d just share a few photos of a little mini photoshoot I gifted to my mom for her birthday last month.

Shelly Cantelo Photography captured these pictures of my mom, myself, Isla and Norah a few weeks ago and I’m so glad we got them done. As a mom we’re always the ones behind the camera capturing the moments of our children’s lives, rarely getting in front of the lens ourselves. A good photo a selfie does not make, no matter how many filters you slap on it.

PicMonkey Collage

Anyway, having these photos taken was a wonderful way to capture the four of us just being, well, us. I’m so glad to have such an amazing mom in my life, and to have her be such a loving, giving, and caring grandma to Isla and Norah.

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!

Pushed

Ever have days when your kids are awesome, like they’re pictures of beauty and grace and even Mary Poppins would be jealous of how good you’ve got it? So do I! There are days where I’m just amazed by how grown up either of them are – Isla showing so much care and compassion and Norah taking great strides in her independency and personality. It makes my heart burst and my ovaries weak and then I want 1,000 more babies. (Much to my husband’s terror.) I post the crap out of those moments on social media because who doesn’t want to read about or see how amazing my little darlings are? No one! Everyone thinks that life going so wonderfully and life is roses and then?

Then they turn into Ivan Drago and I’m Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa is nowhere to be found to avenge my death.

ivan

It just goes to show that parenthood, no matter how shiny and magical it appears online, there’s always those moments that we don’t always speak of. Those moments where we feel like we’ve been pushed to our mental breaking points and we just want to give up.

I’ve had a lot of these moments lately and it has turned me into a hot mess of a mom. Forgetting what time school starts? Check. Completely forgetting details about something I was told less than a hour before? Absolutely. I can feel myself slowly breaking; The whining. The sleep strikes. The attitude. Little by little, it all slowly adds up and suddenly it’s 3 a.m. and I’m sitting on the floor outside of the bedroom doors in tears because I’ve finally been pushed to my breaking point.

Moments like these certainly have shut my ovaries up more than once and while I know that it’s absolutely a phase and “this too shall pass,” it’s sometimes hard to look past it all. Thankfully, I have a great support system that’s been there more than once to pick up the pieces and glue my sanity together. (I’m looking at you, my dear husband/Rocky stand-in!) I’m reminded that sometimes when things are the hardest it’s okay to shove my own parenting rules aside if it means my mental wellbeing stays intact.

Find peace in knowing that your kids aren’t the only ones with inner Ivan Dragos, and it’s okay to let the world know that. Together we’re stronger and if we support one another we’ll always have someone to help push us back into sanity.

My village

We’ve heard it a million times before, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I’m not going to disagree. From relatives to daycare providers, doctors to dance teachers, there are so many people who enter our children’s lives and influence them in some shape or form. Hell, even my actual next door neighbour has taken part, taking Isla for her first trick-or-treating adventure last year.

While many of these villages that we parents are a part of are filled with “real life” people, I’m lucky enough to be a part of a virtual village as well. Call me crazy, but there’s 149 woman whom I’ve gotten to know over the past two years and sometimes I feel closer to them more than my “real life” friends sometimes. We relate to one another on a whole different level, and that’s not something you get every day.

So allow me to backtrack a bit: I was never a part of an online baby group when I was pregnant with Isla. I never thought to join one but after hearing about the support one of my friends found within her own birth group I figured I’d give joining one a try when I learned I was pregnant with Norah.

Finding a group was relatively easy; the pregnancy tracker app I had on my phone had a corresponding website with a message board community. I was able to find a sub-community of moms who were also all due in (or close to) June 2015 and one member was in the midst of creating a Facebook group. I asked to join and before I knew it, there were about 200 Canadian moms in one space of the internet.

I’m not going to lie, I was a bit skeptical of being in this group at first and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured that if I didn’t enjoy being in the group I would just leave and keep on my merry way. (I even said to Kyle that I’d probably leave the group after Norah was born, but here I am still, 2 years after joining!) Lets not kid ourselves, 200 women with pregnancy hormones can be a dangerous place to be in the real world, but give them the anonymity of a keyboard and the internet and it can be a whole new level of crazy.

There was all kinds of crazy in the beginning; fake profiles, fake pregnancies, ridiculous debates, etc., but they were all quickly weeded out and the remainder of us began our “bonding” process. The rest, really, is history.

I never would’ve thought that 150 women from all different backgrounds could all get along so well. From morning sickness to our baby’s milestones, we’ve been there to cheer, laugh, and even cry with one another. Our group is our village and it’s a place where there is brutally honesty without it being verbally abusive at the same time, and in a time where the virtual pen is often mightier than the sword and hate flows a little too freely, I’m thankful we have this understanding amongst one another.

Some (or in reality, most) would say I’m crazy for entrusting 149 strangers with the nitty gritty, personal details of my life, but how is it any different than the vast majority of people on Facebook? One person with 1000 Facebook “friends” certainly cannot be honest to God friends with every single one of them, no? Not wanting to go off on a tangent, I’ll just stop there and save that for another post someday…

So here’s to you women. You know who you are. You are my “people” and while I may have only met a couple of you in real life, I don’t think I ever feel more connected to a group of strangers.