A Note to My Fellow Moms

Favorite Orchard Pic

Today is the day that mothers are celebrated. Today is Mother’s Day. Today, we are brunched, and gifted, and hugged, and loved. We are mimosa’ed like crazy, wined and dined, and thanked for all that we do.  It’s a good day!

Today, I would like to send a note to the moms that I know.  My mom, my sisters, my in-laws, my family, my friends.

You are STRONG. You are the backbone of your families no matter how they come to be. If you are there for the joy and there for the tears, there for the fevers and fears, you are the strength that keeps the family moving forward.

You are allowed to FAIL. The truth is that you can only fail if you are trying. We all want to be the best moms that we can be. We try a million different things to figure out our kids and help them grow and thrive and succeed. But, we screw up sometimes too. That’s ok! That’s proof that we are figuring things out as we go. If we were perfect, our kids wouldn’t learn how to make mistakes and grow from them. We need to be imperfect in front of our kids to truly succeed as moms.

You are allowed to FEEL. We all want to be in control all the time, but we are human. We are allowed to be angry. We are allowed to cry. We are allowed  to be scared. We are allowed to snuggle our kids and act silly. Emotion in context is strength, because it shows that we can deal with the good, bad, and ugly of parenting and life and feel it.  If our kids see our healthy use of emotion, they can learn how to deal with their own. It’s all part of the process.

You are NEVER ALONE. We all have a network of other moms, trying to navigate the terrifying and wonderful waters of raising a child to be kind, caring, and strong. Know your network and learn how to ask for help.

Know always that you are AMAZING AND LOVED.  It’s not easy being a mom. Being a parent – mother or father – is the hardest job in the world. But if you stay strong, keep trying and show your kids how you feel, you will always be loved. That is the greatest reward of motherhood. Our legacy is our children, and if we focus on our little ones, they will love us “to the moon and back” irregardless of our imperfections.

Have an Amazing and Happy Mother’s Day. If you are reading this, you’ve become part of my network, and I thank you for keeping me plugging along.

Now, time to go convince a 7-year old and 2-year old that playing the keyboard outside of the 9-year old’s bedroom door while he is sleeping is probably not the best thing… I am FEELING ANNOYED AND HAPPY.

Thanks for the memories

Today is a day of food, football, family and friends.  My entire house is quiet, enjoying a late start and a holiday weekend.  I made the mistake of getting up to start the coffee and turkey and came back to this scene…

family sleep

Needless to say, I wasn’t going to fit back in the bed again today.  What to do when the turkey is on and you don’t actually have to be anywhere or do anything for another hour? Well, write for a few minutes, of course!

When I woke up this morning, my mind was replaying Thanksgivings of the past.

Meals when I was 8 or 10 at my Aunt Gaby’s, my first experience with fancy matching plates, glasses for water and “wine” or sparkling cider for the kids.  We dressed up in fancy clothes, and my hair actually had to be combed.  It was that classic Thanksgiving dinner you see in the movies, some family drama included, but completely surrounded in love.

In high school, I remember the wonderful chaos of Leza family Thanksgivings at Abuela’s house in Texas! 150 people or more eating in shifts at her two-bedroom house as various tias (aunts) carried in multiple turkeys, mashed potatoes, green bean and corn casseroles, Mexican rice, beans and more. Someone always made the candied yams with marshmallows – which I never ate because they were BRIGHT orange.  It was loud and lovely, with people laughing and yelling and singing (because the mariachi music always starting playing by the end of the night).

Then, we move to college Thanksgivings. For some of us, we couldn’t afford to get home for Thanksgiving. And in those moments, I learned how friends really become family too.  My freshman year, a collection of us stranded students attempted Thanksgiving, it was a fantastic disaster in the dorm common room but amazing at the same time. As the years went on, my best friend and roommate started to let me tag along with her to off-holidays (Thanksgiving/Easter). We’d make the trek to northern Minnesota from South Bend, IN – smoking cigarettes, watching for cops in Wisconsin because they are all about getting the out-of-state drivers for speeding, and singing at the top of our lungs to everything from Smashing Pumpkins and Cake (my picks) to Rage Against the Machine and Marilyn Manson (her pick).

Now, as a married mother of three, I start to think of my own Thanksgiving traditions.  Because even though I don’t feel grown up, my 6- and 8-year old will start to remember these days as they grow older. Our traditions will be different – they will be a mix of the amazing history of traditions that both Craig and I experienced. They’ll be good, with a little bad (as I will likely yell/scream at some point trying to get the house ready for the in-laws). But they will be loving.

Love

The key about Thanksgiving is it’s not about how pretty your table is, or if the turkey is perfect. It’s about FAMILY. And family, regardless of how they came to be, is love and really “all you need is love…”

Enjoy your day today, even if it isn’t perfect. Be kind! Give someone a hug! Call someone you love, even if you wouldn’t normally do it.

I am eternally grateful for my families. I grew up and still live surrounded by love, and I am blessed.  On this day of thanks, I am thankful for you – all of you who have been there for me when I needed it most. I send my love across the miles to my friends and family scattered around the world.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Must-Have Toys: Magna-Tile Mania

As we enter the holiday season, I am planning to focus on those things that we think about most during the holiday season – food, toys and fun.

Magna tile 4

The hot thing in the Sheehan household this month has been Magna-Tiles (or whatever knock-off brand that I found on Amazon several years ago).  These magical little magnet building blocks seem to entertain children of all ages.

Continue reading “Must-Have Toys: Magna-Tile Mania”