A birthday letter to my daughter

My Dearest Adia,

It’s been quite a year little girl, daddy and I anticipated your arrival for what felt like an eternity. I longed to smell you, to touch you, to feel your heart pound on my chest.

We counted down the days and at times the hours. We held our breath through every ultrasound & cried happy tears the moment it was confirmed you were still there.

A year ago today,

you arrived in this world the fearless fighter we see in your personality each day.

I had wondered that when we met for the first time if we would feel like strangers or if it would feel like I had always known you? People tell you about this motherly love and instinct that takes you over, but I must admit I was scared – what if it didn’t happen for us?

When daddy laid you on my chest for the first time you stopped crying instantly. Your precious eyes stared intently into mine and I wondered if you knew I was your mommy?

I feared I wouldn’t know how to hold you, nurse you, or love you in the way in which you deserved.

birthday, meeting baby

Adia,

I was unprepared…

I was unprepared for your crying. I was unprepared for your reflux. I was unprepared for the daycare drop-offs and bedtime shenanigans.

I was unprepared for how sweet and cuddly you’d be, fitting perfectly in my arms. I was unprepared that for the first time in my life I would come last.

I was unprepared for how little time I would have with daddy and yet how much more I would love and appreciate him more than ever before.

I was unprepared that I would trade in my trendy closet for the comfiest sweat pants I could find.

I was unprepared for the constant worry and anxiety that comes with being your mom.

But most of all,

I was unprepared for how fiercely I would love, how confident and safe I would become in my new skin. I was unprepared the joy I would feel every day watching you grow and that being “mom” would become my greatest achievement.

I’ve spent the last year learning you and learning to be your mom.

We’ve spent hundreds of hours breastfeeding, searching for bink bink, asking you if you pooped, cuddling, laying in your crib (together), rocking in your glider, singing the itsy bitsy spider, trying new foods, running to the doctor, teething, putting your socks back on your feet, tummy time, asking you “what do you have?” Laughing, reading, dancing, and singing.

My hope is that you have learned…

I will always be your biggest fan,

I’ll be there when you fall,

I will always come when you cry and do my very best to meet all your needs.

I will push you out of your comfort zone but always be on the sideline.

I’ll continue to teach you that life isn’t that serious but hard work pays off.

I will show you what love is first hand and give you 10000s of kisses a day.

I’ll always take time for us to laugh and play.

But most importantly, I hope you learned my love for you is in every fiber of my being and the DNA of yours. You, my child, are Gods greatest promise and I will spend my life in gratitude.

Happy first birthday you beautiful little human.

Love,
Mommy

The Perfection of an Imperfect Christmas

It’s 6:00am, I sneak into your room and lift you from your crib. You sleep in a fetal position just as you had in my belly. I shhhh you as I walk to the rocking chair.
You lift your little hand and wrap my hair around your fingers and when you catch my scent you smile through your binkie.
I want to steal this moment of peace
as we prepare for the chaos of Christmas Day. When I think of your first Christmas this is the memory that I hope comes to mind.

I listen to your quick breaths and watch your body fill and release the air – my heart is full, my life is perfect. You my, baby are more than I could have ever dreamed.

Here we are our first Christmas, your 8 months old and have no idea what this day means. Here I am my first Christmas as “mom,” I too am new to what this means.

To the outside world there are things about this Christmas that may seem imperfect, but you, you keep me present to the meaning of this season.

We have spent weeks preparing our hearts for Jesus and today we will receive him, today we will celebrate Gods promise. I have never resonated more with the Virgin Mary as I do at this moment holding my promise.

The tree downstairs is half decorated,

I bought biscuits instead of cinnamon buns,
Pillsbury made our cookies.
We never made it to the store to purchase that “baby’s first Christmas” ornament, and I’ll end up wrapping your Christmas presents on the kitchen floor while you sit in your highchair.
But you sweet girl, you won’t care, you will smile and laugh because all you desire is my presence.

We will sing Mariah Carey Christmas songs and mommy will down 3 cups of coffee knowing family will arrive soon.

We sit you on the floor amongst all your presents and you will be amused by the paper. You will watch mommy and daddy to see how you should react. Up until this moment, I will have felt like I have failed you on your first Christmas but as I watch you glow with joy and bring an infectious smile to everyone who watches you – I know I’m doing something right.

On this Christmas, I am reminded that happiness is not in the things but in the people and my people are thriving.

I pray as you grow in a world full of things and noise you always remember what’s most important – the people.

I am not the mom raising a princess; I am raising a warrior.

 It’s 5:30 pm as I stand outside my house fussing with the key, I just drove 2 and a half hours from work fighting Friday traffic. Inside I hear “5 little ducks went swimming one day…,” followed by a little giggle. I open the door to see my mom playing with my 6-month-old (Adia).  Adia hears the door open, and her eyes fixate to where I’m standing. At this moment Friday traffic and the worries of the world are behind me, I close the door to them knowing I have two full days with my baby. I grab her from the bouncer as she spits up on my Calvin Klein dress.

Working mom

Fun Day, Sick Day

My poor baby stayed home from daycare with her meme because she woke up sick. It broke my heart leaving her at 6 am knowing I would not be the one to comfort her. Caught in mamma guilt and appreciation explains how I feel most of the time. Guilty I wasn’t the one to take her to the doctor and give her the needed eye drops. Then appreciative  that I have some beautiful women in my life especially my mom, who can be there when I cannot. 

My Mama told me there be days like this

 Adia is happy and content and meme looks the same. Being a working mamma comes with days like this. I could tell you I hate my job, and I’m purely working for financial reasons, but I would be lying. I went back to work because I want to be the best mom possible. 

I am not raising a princess; I am raising a warrior

Someday soon, I’m going to push my daughter to find what fulfills her. I am going to expect she sets goals and goes beyond her comfort zone. I can’t ask her to be strong without first showing her what it looks like. Life is a struggle, and you can choose to have more bad days than good, or you can see the good in even the worst of days, and today, mommy didn’t get to be there, but meme did.

I went back to work because I want to set a good example.  I want Adia to see that work is a part of life and it is a good part of life. It is not something that only happens at a job. You work to maintain a house, a yard, relationships, and your family. Anything worth having is worth working for – cliche but true.

As a working mom I know I have a limited amount of time each day to be with Adia and at my job, that motivates me to make the most of the time I do have. It reminds me to be present and embrace each experience.

I don’t forget to remember

Morning feedings are so very special, as I watch her drink down her bottle, while I say my morning prayers. I don’t forget to remember the weight of her little body in my arms, the smell of her sweet skin, the little growl she makes as she realizes the bottle is empty, and every milestone she makes provides me the confirmation that we’re navigating this thing called motherhood together.

I’m a mom; I’m Fearless

working mom

If I can do this, I can do anything… Motherhood has made me fearless and comfortable in my own skin like never before, I have begun to see myself the way my daughter sees me and the way I WANT her to see me.

Living in the space of vulnerability, staying away from phrases like “can’t” and “hate,” and making the promise to contribute my time and self to only things that bring me joy.

Work and motherhood grow and strengthen different pieces of me which equally contribute to each role. I feel grateful to have a work culture that supports me as a mom and a family that supports me working.