The Motherhood Spectrum


It was around 1:00 a.m., and I had been called into work for an exam. Still trying to wake up, I grabbed my badge and my keys and headed to the hospital.
 
After asking the standard questions while I set up my ultrasound machine, I wasn’t especially concerned. But as soon as I put the probe down, everything changed. Even at first glance I knew it wasn’t good, and that night I had the unfortunate duty of confirming to a hopeful mama that yet another one of her babies wasn’t going to make it. 
 
It’s the worst. The absolute hardest part of my job.
 
I left her room quickly, wanting to give her some privacy, but not before hugging her. As I pushed my machine down the ER hallway, I could feel the tears stinging my eyes just thinking about her broken mama heart. 
 
Before becoming a mom myself, I may have thought or even told this woman, “you’ll make a great mother some day.” But now I recognize her spirit and know for certain, she already is one. I saw it in her eyes. She already knows the fierce love, the ache, and the yearning to protect – all familiar ground for a mother. She already has that uncanny maternal instinct of knowing something is wrong, despite prior reassurance from medical professionals. She might not have any babies on this side of heaven, but she is no less a mother than I am. 
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Rather than a binary system – you are or you’re not – I’m finding that motherhood is really more of a spectrum. 

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The Handprints On My Dishwasher

I used to imagine what my husband and I would be like when we had our first child.

We would be parents who didn’t act like “parents.” We would be COOL PARENTS.

We wouldn’t let our kid become the center of our universe. 

Our house wouldn’t be taken over with blocks and trains and dolls. We would relegate all of that “stuff” to a small, designated area. I would not be that parent who talks about their kid incessantly, or who’s social media is a gigantic, glaring spotlight on their kid, or who arranges their free time around their child’s schedule and activities.

Well.

The time has come and I’ve had to eat all of those words. Every. Last. Crumb. 
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Joy.


Two and half weeks ago, I posted this on Instagram, begging for prayer:
“Sometimes life sends a gentle nudge along to remind you to take it all in because it’s fleeting. Other times, that truth shoves you and knocks you down with its gravity, saying ‘TODAY IS ALL WE HAVE.'”


We had just received the news that my precious mother-in-law, Brandon’s step-mom, was diagnosed with AML, a type of leukemia. 

Our world stopped. Hard. 
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easy babies: real or mythical creatures?

You’ve heard them/seen their Instagram posts:
“Oh, Aden is just such a chill little guy; always has been!”
“Jackson doesn’t really cry. Maybe when he’s hungry? Even then it’s more of a whimper.”
“Addie: happy baby alert!!! #Blessed.”


Okay. I’m going to go ahead and admit how obnoxious those phrases can be, only because for a long time I wished I could say the same. 

But maybe you have one and can vouch for their existence? Or maybe you’re more like me with no real concept of what “easy baby” even means. My brain just doesn’t compute those two words being in agreement with one another, so when I hear that description, I’m quite honestly perplexed and intrigued, daydreaming about what that looks like.
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T W O Y E A R S

A two-year-old calls me mom. I know! What in the world.

I’ll admit I somehow became one of those people saying I had a “19 month old” or a “22 month old” so I have hereby vowed to no more counting by months since we’ve crossed the two year threshold. I apologize to those who find this utterly annoying. In an ironic twist, I too, find this annoying. Time to LET IT GO.
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a resolution for every mom

Sometimes your shortcomings just smack you in the face. Like, for example, the other day when I told my kid, “you do you.” As soon as the words left my mouth I braced myself for her to repeat my snarky comment back to me but thankfully it kind of zipped right by her.

Clearly, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to my mothering. 




There is one area in particular I know every mom can use some work in, because it’s one of my biggest struggles.  Continue reading

beloved weekly shares { week 1/52 }

Guess who’s back? Back again…

First, Happy New Year!

Back in October when I jumped on the #Write31Days bandwagon, I left my Beloved Weekly Shares in the dust. But I’ve missed sharing my favorite finds and links every week, so I’m starting off the new year with my first post of 2016 and a new round of BWS!

Welcome to week 1/52:

In this piece, I see myself as I am now: mom to a toddler, oftentimes frazzled and just trying to get through Target with everyone still smiling. But I also see my future mom self; who I’ll be when my babies are grown, and what I’ll say looking back over the most precious years of my life.

These fox flats. I die. So much so that I bought another pair a size up for Aven because her current ones are a little too snug. *P.S., they are on sale right now. 🙂

Sleep is important. I could have confirmed that for you right about Day 3 of Motherhood, since you really learn this lesson when it’s TOO LATE, but this article actually backs it up scientifically. Pretty interesting stuff. 

Sometimes I get on an organization kick, and I love my house so much when everything is in it’s place. (I just wish it came naturally to me!) Scrolling through this list of Jen’s top organization posts makes me want to spend ALL DAY getting things in order.

Thanks to a mom on a mission, so many children with Down Syndrome in China now have the chance to join families and flourish. This makes me smile, all the way from my heart to my face.

And if you’ll let me, I wanted to share a piece of my own. It’s the first piece I’ve had published somewhere other than my own site, something I hope to do more of in this new year. I snapped this Instagram picture several months ago when my new North Face jacket arrived in the mail….and was promptly hijacked by my toddler. It made me realize all the many, countless ways we moms give of everything we have.




I’m really looking forward to this next year, and I can’t wait to share with you as I go. Thanks for being here! 

xo 
Shanna