Posts Tagged: sponsored post

On Motherhood {Part I}

Mama & BabyI remember standing over my first newborn baby, as he slept soundly in his bassinet, thinking to myself that I had no idea what I was doing.  I went from a mostly carefree married woman to a mother.  The nine months prepared me, I was ready for it, but I doubted knowing what I was doing.   Yet, still, I stood over him, watching his chest rise and fall, dreaming of the days to come.   What would his favorite color be?   Would he love bubbles?  Would he always like to fall asleep, on my shoulder, with me singing him a sweet lullaby?

Would I mess him up?  Would I be good enough for him?

As he slept one night, a couple months later, I watched over him again thinking how marvelous it would be if he had a little brother or sister Photobucketto love.   All the while, deep within me, grew a second perfect little human being.  The following almost-nine months would be spent worrying if I would have enough in me to give.    Each night, as I rocked my first baby to sleep with a new baby—a girl—growing inside of me, I would dream some more.   Would they love to play make-believe together?  Would they feed each other bites of their ice cream because they would have different tastes, yet within them lived the desire to try something new?   Would they sing songs together; the very songs that I’d sang to them, as they fell fast asleep at nap and at night?   Would they fight?  Would they be best friends?

Would I mess them up?  Would I be good enough for the both of them?

There was never a plan to have three children so close-in-age.  Blessings don’t have to go according to plan, though.  And, by the millennium I was the mother to three babies.   Going from two to three was almost effortless.  Other than the simultaneous pooping, never ending supply of sippy cups and bottles, and round-the-clock Blue’s Clues and Veggie Tales, it wasn’t that bad.   It was tiring.  There was constant movement.   But, it was manageable.   My favorite part of the day was our bedtime routine.  The baby in my arms, the girl would sit to my right, as she twirled my hair in her chubby fingers, and the big boy would sit with his Papa.   As the baby fell asleep in my arms, I would think about the day we had, reflecting upon how time felt so short because they were growing so quickly.   Still something in me would say, “you have forever to get it right, Mishelle.”

Relentlessly, I would worry about messing them up, and I’d continue to question if I would be good enough for all of them.

PhotobucketYears flew by and in between we’d get lost in the day-in-and-day-out.   My expectations of “perfect days” would be bounced out of the window when the reality of days took over.  It didn’t really matter, though; there was constant laughter and singing and ice cream and park play and, most of all, love.   Certainly those thoughts about being a good enough mother would infiltrate my mind, but my heart would tell me that I was.  My heart would let my eyes see my children in these moments that proved to me that I was doing my best, and that I wasn’t messing them up.


Years later while sitting on my bed, on my thirty-second birthday, drinking coffee, I shared with Michael that I was pregnant again.   I wondered… What kind of relationships would the bigs have with the new baby?  Would they change his diapers?  Would they take him to the park when they were old enough to drive?   Would they teach him our songs?   And, again, I was flooded with thoughts about what kind of mother I would be to this new baby, so many years later, with bigger kids.

Would I mess him up, and would I be good enough for my evolving family?


I have never professed to be the perfect mother.  I might yell too much at times.  I might make mistakes.  I might say the wrong things at the wrong times.  I might butt heads.  I might resort to pizza on nights that I don’t feel like cooking.


I have come to the realization that there is no such thing as a perfect mother.

Fearing that you will mess up your children or questioning if you’re good enough just shows [your] vulnerability.

I am proud to say that I am a vulnerable mother.  That is what makes me believe—with all my heart—that I cannot mess up my children, because I am absolutely a good enough mother for them.

This post is part of a four part sponsored Tiny Prints Mother’s day campaign.  Tiny Prints has Mother’s Day cards that are fully customizable, and can be sent straight to the recipient.  For someone, such as myself, who always forgets to send out cards on time, this new service that Tiny Prints is offering is just awesome.  You can schedule your cards and gifts to go out, letting all the mothers in your life know how special they are, and how much you treasure them!  Stay tuned for more of my reflections on motherhood.


On Happiness

Love:  Your Childhood

When you’re young you don’t really think about how happiness comes to you.   The thought is all about the moment. You go with the flow, and ultimately your happiness is in the hands of others.

I know that I didn’t think about happiness when I was a kid; I was just happy.  I’d wait for the next holiday to get together with my friends from church (read: the other Macedonian kids I grew up with) so we could escape to the coat roam, hiding in between the coats, often finding a stash of candies in some Baba’s coat pocket.  You know kind, the butterscotch or blue ice ones, found in the bulk food bins at Tops.   Many hours later I’d  find my parents, rubbing my eyes all the while, and I’d snuggle up on a couple of the cold, brown, metal folding chairs.  Somehow I’d fall asleep, even with the music and dancing swirling all around.    One of my parents would carry me to the car, laying me across the back seat, where I would stir only to feel the ringing in my ears.  That was happiness.

As you grow older you realize that YOU ARE in charge of your own happiness.  You think about the quality of your happiness. You make choices, and ultimately realize that your happiness is in your hands. You think, what can I do—right now—to bring my life some kind of measurable joy.

As I got older I’d infiltrate the Sunday School room with my friends, to hang with the “big” kids, most of which were related to me.  I’d eat greasy french fries or a saucy hamburger or both.  The music was always too loud, so we’d all escape the hall to walk around the church and hang in the back, loud music vibrating through the cinder block wall.  It was the place I had my first kiss and my first cigarette.   As quickly as we’d decide to walk around the church, our minds would return to the dancing circles; that big circle that often turned into an intricate weave where hands are held and the beat of the music surges through your body.   The sadness felt when it was time to go was harsh, but that feeling on the car-ride home was as intoxicating as any of the choices made that night.   That was happiness.

Wish: You Become An Adult

For me, looking back on those defining moments of childhood happiness is bittersweet.   There are so many of those moments from those loud, music filled dances at the church to the extended family picnics at Evangola beach to the birthday parties and those little sandwiches one of my aunts always made, stacked so high in the middle of the table (oh what I wouldn’t give to have a couple of those with some olives, on the side.)

As I got older innocence inevitably faded, I became more susceptible to pessimism, and the chatter of others started to get louder than the music.  In retrospect, I realize that as I aged I started to look for my own happiness.

But, what was that happiness? Where was it found?

Did I feel it when the wind rushed through my hair as I drove alone for the first time?  Was it in a joint or a house  party?  A wildly passionate night of sex?  In a leather bound journal where my thoughts spilled poetically in bright, blue ink?  Walking the streets of New Orleans with my new husband?  Or was it in singing at the top of my lungs in a Karaoke bar?   In a hospital birthing room, hearing my baby’s first cry for the first time?  Watching my belly expand again, a whole new life forming, three more times?  Was it that moment when my small children were playing together and I caught a glimpse of sibling-hood that was just so damned beautiful and perfect that it hurt?  Moving to a new house, states away, to begin a whole new adventure?  Twice?  Making new friends?  Mending fences with old ones?  Keeping and loving them, too?   Hopping on a plane by myself knowing there was a job waiting on me at my destination?  Exploring a passion and engrossing myself in it?  Cooking that perfect meal and watching my family happily consume it?

With each year that passes a different kind of happiness is achieved, this much I know.

Hope: You Relive Childhood

As a mother I am now charged with the task of my indulging my family in happiness.    I look for moments to create that produce happiness, but it’s hard.  It’s hard for everyone to be happy all the time.  I think that’s why we mothers, so often, feel such guilt.    I want my children to feel those fluttery butterflies that I felt before those big church dances when I was a little girl.   If they can feel that just once then my job is complete.

Times do change, and this is something that I have to remind myself of often.   Times change, circumstances change, locations change, people change; life is all about change, and I know—deep down—that no matter how guilty I feel about not doing enough it’s not true.    I am doing more than enough to create happiness in this life, for myself, for my children, for our family.

I love, and with love, happiness is almost always the end result.

Part of bringing happiness to your life is simplifying things so you can enjoy it to the fullest. What makes you happy? How has your view of happiness evolved over time?

This blog post is part of The Happiness Blog Project a social media project created and executed by Cecily Kellogg, sponsored by The DivaCup.

The DivaCup offers a simple, worry free, eco-solution to women worldwide every month. Not a tampon, not a pad, finally a better way!

The DivaCup is donating $100 to the American Diabetes Association in honor of “Secret Agent Mama“.

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