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Learning to let them go

The teenage years. Oh, honey we’re just starting. The boyfriends. The girlfriends. The hormones. The attitudes. The DRAMA. And we have double the trouble with TWO teens in our house!

They can be absolutely dreadful. They are awful to get up in the mornings. They are careless at times. They are quick to give a sassy answer. They leave clothes on the floor. They forget everything.

But through all of that I see them finding themselves. I see them trying too hard. I see them taking chances and being afraid. I see them creating their own style. I see them trying to fit in. I see them being creative. I see them being independent. I see them. I truly see a glimpse of who they will become.

I see what they want me to see. But I also see what a mama sees. Our babies are growing up and learning to fly. How in the world do we let them go?

In a recent conversation with a good friend of mine, we were sharing about our kids and she sang these lyrics to an ABBA song from the movie Mamma Mia!…

“Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing”

Every time we get to a point as mamas where we think we have a routine and we know what makes our kids happy, sad, or mad… they change in the blink of an eye. And it’s that fast. And we’re just trying to keep up.

The scariest part is not knowing what’s going on in their crazy little minds. It wasn’t that long ago that I had a baby girl who told me everything and now that baby girl is taller, prettier, and quieter. It can feel so incredibly lonely when you realize they have a mind of their own and don’t need you as often.

These teenagers… they want what they want. They want to do what they want to do. And as much as I feel like they’re slipping out of our control more and more with each passing day, I know that I have to let it happen. No matter how much it scares me. No matter how much I will worry about them. No matter how much we preach. No matter how much I pray they will make good decisions.

They will be okay.

They will be okay because we have been raising them in a good home from the start. We have instilled values in them and tried to teach them respect. We are hard on them about everything but we make sure they know we love them too. We have made them do their own laundry and get along with their siblings. They’ve learned how to do yard work and keep up with their responsibilities like washing dishes. We’ve made them apologize and learn how to talk to people. We’ve taught them to empathize with each other. We’ve taught them to care for one another. We’ve shown them what real love looks like.

Now all we can do is love them. Love them and let them make mistakes. Pick them back up when they fall. Listen to them when they allow us to. Be there when they need us.

What they don’t know is that in the process of them finding their own way and figuring out who they are, they are still showing me who I am, too.

Just like them, I’m afraid but also taking chances. I’m trying to find my way in this thing called motherhood. I’m going to forget everything too, and I’ll probably, definitely be dreadful at times.

They will be okay. I will be okay. We will spend these days together just like we’ve always done… but when it’s time for them to fly, we’ll let them go.

Xoxo,

MK

To My Daughters: Marry the man who will always be there

I know it’s easy to fall for the other guy. The one who looks good and talks sweet. The one who takes chances and lives on the edge. Or maybe it’s the one who is nice but doesn’t pay enough attention. He misses your new haircut or doesn’t hold the door for you.

You can love them, but leave them behind. They aren’t for you.

Marry the man who is going to pay attention. Marry the one who opens the door for you and comments on how beautiful you look, even when you’re in a t-shirt, hair in a messy bun, and no makeup on.

Marry the man who is going to wash your hair in the shower and rub your feet on the couch.

Marry the man who makes you laugh… the one who will do his best to make you smile when you’re having a bad day.

Marry the man who is going to cook dinner and doesn’t mind vacuuming the floor… the one who lets you sleep in on Sundays and when you’re not feeling well, lets you go to bed early.

Marry the man who takes care of the kids… who not only disciplines them, but enjoys them. Marry the man who will play with your toddler on the floor, and let your preschooler sleep in the bed with you… sacrificing his own sleep so that kiddo can be close to you.

Marry the man who cleans up the dog messes on the floor and helps you pick up dirty socks. Marry the man who works all day and comes home to work some more, just so you don’t have to do it all on your own.

Marry the man who would rather hang out and drink beer with you than his buddies. Marry the man who enjoys watching your tv dramas on the couch with you. Marry the man who loves to travel with you, takes you places, and lives to make memories with you.

Marry the man who worries with you. Marry the one who hides his stress most days just so you don’t stress more. Marry the man who will get through the bad times with you. Marry the man who is willing to see your perspective and understand how you feel. Marry the man who will stay when things get hard.

Marry the man who is willing to chip in… who is going to help you be a mom… who is going to make you happy… who is going to be your best friend… who is going to make you a better person.

It won’t always be easy. Even the good guy is going to make mistakes. YOU are going to make mistakes. He’s going to say the wrong things at times. He’s going to forget to pick up something on your shopping list. He’s not going to be perfect. But, he’s going to be perfect for you and he’s going to be there. He will always be there. And I promise you… you deserve THAT life.

Xoxo,

Mama

Miscarriage Grief Doesn’t Just Go Away

It’s been one whole year since we sat in that ultrasound room waiting to see a little bean and hear a strong heartbeat. After just recovering from a chemical pregnancy just a month before, I truly was not expecting to hear the words, “I’m so sorry. There is no heartbeat.” I don’t think anything can prepare you for how you feel in that moment. Sadness, shock, guilt, confusion. You can’t even comprehend the next steps, much less process all of your feelings.

You had a baby. You were pregnant. Then you weren’t. It was over that quick. And your life was forever changed.

What you once knew about being pregnant is gone. All of those butterflies, and excited feelings, the immediate planning, and eagerness to share… becomes nonexistent. Because from now on, you have lost a child. Your baby died. From the moment they told you, your experience with pregnancy has completely changed. In the days ahead, doubt and worry will have a new meaning. This kind of loss truly changes you. After losing a baby, you start to live in fear of losing everything else around you.

Pregnancy after miscarriage has allowed me to be happy while hurting, and healing all at the same time. It has still allowed me to feel excited, happy, and so grateful, especially the further along we get! But in the back of my mind, there are always the “what ifs” and knowing what could happen. Thoughts that might would have skimmed my mind the first time I was pregnant, now consume me. What if our baby dies? Am I doing something wrong? Maybe I shouldn’t do this, or that. Have I felt the baby move enough? The internal questions are endless and constant. Pregnancy after miscarriage has been a strange mixture of feeling hope again and feeling completely terrified that something could go wrong.

I had no clue how common miscarriages were until it happened to me and I shared our story. Most women grieve silently. And I can see why… You feel broken. You feel not good enough, fragile, and completely heartbroken. You feel like your body has failed you. You feel the most lonely that you could ever feel. It is so very painful. Miscarriage is so unfair.

We have had a rough time. We have experienced heartache that no one should have to experience. We lost a baby. And that is not something to be compared to anyone else’s losses, anyone else’s grief, or anyone else’s struggle to move on. I had to come to terms with the fact that yes, there are other people who have experienced horrible tragedies, but I needed to accept that our grief is real too. That is harder than you think.

Our story is one that we will continue to tell. Not because we want people to know, but because I know how reading stories like this can help comfort you if you’re going through it. Now, one year later to the day, I still feel that grief. I still wish I could have seen that baby’s squishy face. I still wonder ALL of the things… what she would have looked like, what her first word would have been, whether she would have sucked her thumb, and the list goes on. I grieve for the entire life we had planned for that baby. All of the firsts, the lasts, and the in between.

Miscarriage isn’t something you can just “get over” and anyone going through it deserves for that to be acknowledged. To those of you who have been through it or are going through it right now, I see you. I have felt your pain. Although there isn’t a rule book on grief and how long it takes to move on or how you are supposed to feel… one thing has been certain for me… and that is it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling. There will be hope again.

Xoxo,

MK

Read our full miscarriage story here: https://maryfaison.com/2019/02/17/our-miscarriage-story/

Feeling Defeated

While the Green Bay Packers are getting defeated in reality tonight, (insert crying face) I’ve been thinking about how I’ve felt defeated lately as a mama.

Mothering teens is rough. Mothering period is rough. The fact is children are going to be children. Do we expect too much from them? Probably. Do we get frustrated too easily? Definitely. Do we still love them unconditionally no matter how much they mess up? Absolutely.

The truth is while I believe that I am putting too much pressure on the kids… I’m actually putting too much pressure on myself as a mom. I am constantly worrying about whether their rooms are clean, whether they’ve done their homework, did they remember to take a lunch today, have they brushed their teeth… when really… I end up worrying myself to pieces and I STILL find myself failing at something.

I try to tell myself to let it go… they’re only children for such a short time. I read reminders daily all over the internet about how the dishes can wait and we need to take advantage of the time we have with them. I’ve read the mom blogs where other devoted mamas are inspiring women to shake it off and enjoy the simple things. I’ve read stories of parents who have lost their children and would give anything to have these parenting problems again. Tomorrow is never promised. All of that is SO TRUE.

But when you’re in the moment.. it is hard to remember all of that.

When you’re tween daughter gets the award for Miss Attitude of the South or when your five year old is throwing a tantrum because his Legos won’t stay together. When one of them decides to spill an entire cup of apple juice on your freshly mopped floor. Or how about when your middle schooler believes he is God and makes an argument about every little thing. It. Is. Hard. It is hard not to just want five minutes of peace in the bathroom. It is hard to not want them to go to bed at 7:00. It is hard to NOT yell and scream when they are pushing your very last button.

So how do you handle it all? Just take it day by day and one day they’ll be all grown up and then you’ll feel guilty all over again because they’re gone? The guilt cycle is fierce!

Choices. We have choices. We have to choose when to lose it… do I want to lose it in the car because they won’t stop hitting each other or do I want to lose it later when they’re fighting in their bedroom? We have to choose what to stress about.

Learn to let things go even when it feels impossible to. There are always going to be other factors that are weighing in on how you react as a parent. Parents are loaded down with stress from finances, jobs, relationships… the list could be endless! The stress isn’t going to disappear but we can control our stress levels by how we react to situations.

That is huge in parenting. Our reactions are not only shaping our children’s personalities, and teaching them values, but our reactions are also completely controlling our own happiness.

The ups and downs of parenting are just a part of it. We aren’t going to do everything perfect. God knows I make mistakes daily. We will be wrong sometimes. Just know they are children and they are not going to think or act on your level. They are going to make mistakes whether they are five or fifteen. They don’t act responsible because they aren’t yet. They need our help to get there.

When the going gets tough and the tough gets going… think about your choices. Know they will love you no matter what. While you are in bed contemplating how you could have handled that argument with your nine year old differently, she’s probably already forgotten about it. Children forgive and forget much easier and faster than we do.

Those mom bloggers are right! With each new day, know that it’s another chance to love your kiddos. You are everything to them, too. Sometimes we just forget how significant that is.

Xoxo,

MK

Pregnancy After Miscarriage

This pregnancy has been a whirlwind of emotions so far. I will be 19 weeks this week and after losing our last baby at 9 weeks, I am still extremely nervous every day.


Every time I go to the bathroom, I can’t help but look for the one thing that has the potential to change everything… blood. Every time I feel any kind of pain, it sends off alarms in my head. Every minute of every day, I have to try not to think about what could go wrong.


Am I drinking enough water? I forgot to take my prenatals. Maybe I’m sleeping the wrong way. I’m not eating healthy enough…. All of these thoughts that I have this time around because I’ve experienced how quickly babies can be taken away.


It‘s hard to see the future when the future has been ripped away from you before. It’s hard to imagine I’ll actually give birth this time or that we’re actually having a baby. Some days it still doesn’t feel real, even when I’m looking at this growing belly or putting on my maternity pants. Who would have thought that buying onesies and tiny hats would be scary?


I’m terrified. Nothing is promised and theres no guarantee I’ll be pregnant.. even tomorrow.


Looking back on when I was pregnant with my first 3 kids, I honestly feel like I took those pregnancies for granted. That I.. got lucky.. that we made it through those 9 months that I realize now are so fragile and delicate. There are so many babies and mamas that aren’t that lucky. And I had no clue until it happened to me.


So many people have said to me, things like.. I knew it would happen for you! Or… I’m so happy you’re pregnant! All things we want to hear, but in the back of my mind, I’m thinking… when will we ever feel like we’re “in the clear” this time?


Don’t worry, there are plenty of moments where I am SO excited! We are thinking of baby names, asking about family names for inspiration, and we’ve even started buying a few baby things. We’re looking at car seats and I am planning on where to put the crib, and what new furniture to buy.


Every. single. moment. I am grateful.

Even with the worrying, I am thankful, and I won’t stop praying, praying, praying that our rainbow will be here this Spring, plump and healthy with all ten fingers and all ten toes! This holiday season we have so much to be thankful for and I will continue to pray for all of those other mamas out there who are pregnant and battling their own fears… and for those mamas who are still hopeful and trying.


Xoxo,

MK