Tag Archives: strength

No One is a Pinterest Mom

2I love my kids more than anything. When my day at work gets tough, I look forward to snuggling with my little men. I want to enjoy my kids. I want to spend Friday nights building forts, watching movies and eating popcorn. I want to spoil them and make memories. I want to really enjoy life with my children. What I didn’t anticipate is how hard discipline would be. I absolutely hate having to be the bad guy.

When it comes to discipline I’m dumbfounded. I’ve read books. I’ve followed blogs and watched videos. I know how important it is … I just find it so hard! I lose my temper instead of staying calm. I don’t know what to say when the timeout is done. I also find that I tolerate a lot from my kids. My sister looked at me during dinner and said something about Jaden’s comment being so sassy. I didn’t even notice.

For my children’s sake I’ve got to figure out how to be good disciplinarian … and fast! I’m great at the loving them up, supporting them, being there for them and having fun with them. I want my teaching to have meaning … purpose.

During a phone conversation with my mama, I mentioned to her that I knew discipline was my shortcoming of being a mom. I know I can do it, it’s just harder for me – it takes a lot of effort. Knowing what to say when you child is pushing the boundaries comes naturally to them. That’s why I value her and my sister’s opinions so much. If it’s not something I’ve read about in a Love and Logic book, I’m not totally sure what to do. I’m also pretty quick to forgive so I tend to let my kids off the hook pretty easily. My mom said she was glad to hear me acknowledge that. No mom is good at everything and if we aren’t honest about our areas of weakness we won’t ever improve.

It takes a lot of self-awareness to know where my strengths and weaknesses are. Moms tend to think we are horrible at it all … but that’s just not true. Each of us have special gifts. We are all uniquely paired with our children. There is a reason my kids are my kids and not yours.

When we are transparent, we can hep each other. My weakness is someone else’s strength and visa versa. I know I’ve helped some of my friends lighten up. When the entire box of cereal spills on the floor we take a moment to laugh about it, play a little and then clean it up. Some of my mom friends would just get angry at the wasted money and food on the floor. I get it … I feel that too. My response doesn’t make me a better mom, it’s just a product of my strength in enjoying and savoring moments. Now this same mom, when her child acts disrespectfully, she knows just how to respond. My kids are the ones who run wild and I struggle to pull them back in line.

See? We need each other. We can learn from each other.

Rather than trying to pretend we were all perfect Pinterest moms, what if we were honest about what our homes and lives looked like? What if we let each other in and allowed our fellow mom’s strength become our strength? Rather than sit envious and feel ashamed because my children act out in public, what if I asked her how she does it. Have any tips for me? No one is a Pinterest Mom … let’s stop acting like we are.

Let’s spend more time building each other up, rather than comparing ourselves to each other. It’s the only thing I am 100% sure of, we need each other.

Love, Mel

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Filed under Mommyhood Meditations, Posted by Melissa

Another family like us

I just got done reading a blog about a family who lost their four year old son about eleven months ago and just lost their two year old daughter a few days ago. Both of their children in the same year. What kind of world is this that we live in?

The mom posted many pictures of their daughter in the hospital and after her surgeries. It reminded me of so many memories of Owen. How he laid there with his legs apart and his diaper. The tubes and tape on his face. The limpness of his body. His closed eyes. The sounds of the machines. Remembering hurts yet i welcome the pain and vivid images. They are the last memories that I have. The last touches. The last kisses.

Their daughter was on the transplant list after they discovered she had a deadly heart condition … The same one that killed her brother without warning. Want to know what I kept thinking as I read? I wish I had another heart I could give her. If only Owen still had more hearts to give out. If I had one I would have given it to this little girl.

Her visitation was today. Palm Sunday. I have no idea what her parents must be feeling or thinking. One blog entry showed her taking a few steps … Her mom reported that she was doing so much better. Then the next only two days later told that she had gone to be with her big brother in heaven. So many unanswered questions. Did the doctors miss something? Was she sleeping when her heart stopped? Were her parents with her? Why her? Why couldn’t she have been one of the miracle stories?

Funny and odd how I don’t ask those questions about Owen. I find myself feeling proud and strong in my son’s story. Perhaps it’s because I know I’m strong enough to take it. I don’t wish the same on anyone else. Perhaps it’s that I know with confidence that nothing would have saved him. There isn’t anything that I or anyone else could have done that would have given a different outcome. I didn’t miss any signs … There weren’t any to miss. I gave CPR … The doctors did everything. There aren’t what ifs in Owen’s story. Yet this blog is filled with them.

I pray for this family tonight and in the hours, days and years to come. May God give them the strength and hope in a better tomorrow.

Love, Mel

Here is the link to the family’s blog: http://dscarpenter.blogspot.com/

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Filed under Grief, Organ Donation, Owen's Gone, Posted by Melissa

I have the right

Many of you have said that I have the right to have my freak outs.  I have the right to get angry.  I shouldn’t worry about the freak out I had after the funeral … she was out of line.

I have trouble with that.  I feel bad and that I was out of line.  I wish I would have handled it better.

You might say that I’m being too hard on myself.  So be it.  But I’ve been taught to love my neighbor as myself.  Period.  Not love my neighbor unless I’m grieving the loss of my child.  Or be kind and patient unless you’re having a bad day.

Does God understand why I lost it?  Does he know where my heart is at the time my voice raises or I get angry?  Yes.  But that doesn’t mean I have a ‘get out of jail free’ card to treat others how I want to.

I love people.  I love other’s opinions and learning something new.  Seeing something from a different point of view.  That’s why I have grown to ask my dad for advise.  He sees the world through totally different glasses.  He always challenges me to look at a situation from a different point of view.

This chapter in my life story doesn’t change my love for others.  And it certainly doesn’t earn me the right to act anyway I please.  Don’t treat me differently.  Don’t go easy on me … treat me normal.  Hold me to normal standards.  I don’t want special treatment.  I’m no different from you.

I went to a farmer’s market with my mom this morning.  I was on a hunt for local vegetables to make the boys baby food.  (ps there was only spinach and radishes … way too early for what I was hoping for.)  A vendor was selling wooden plaques with sayings on them.  I found a wooden picture frame with something along the lines of: When you lose someone you love, memories turn into treasures.  It made my heart ache just a little bit.  My mom wanted to buy it for me (love her!).

When the vendor shared how much she loved the saying after her mother passed away, I gave my mom a glance and tried my story again on a stranger.  I put my hand to my heart and said, “I lost my 6 month old son just a few weeks ago.”  She gave me the look of horror and utter sadness.  With ease I responded, “Please don’t treat me any different.  I only shared my story with you so you would know just how much this frame means to me.”  It worked!  She continued the conversation normally … it wasn’t weird.  I didn’t regret saying something and I didn’t feel like I had thrown a rock through her glasshouse life.

I feel blessed to have found peace with my story so early.  I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt.  I find the wind knocked out of me several times a day … like when we got new health insurance cards today in the mail, without Owen listed on it.  But I have highs during my day too.  I laugh.  I praise and thank God for my life, my home, my husband and my three surviving boys.  I cherish my story, as hard as it is to live and for some to read about.  It’s precious to me.  It gives me depth and defines who I am as a woman, mother, christian.

I feel so blessed to have so much support.  I think of those families who go through this alone.  It’s been eye-opening just how many babies and children die in this world.  I’ve heard so many stories that are similar to mine … for once I wish I was alone in this.  There are so many children who leave this earth too soon.  But many stories go with only close family and friends mourning.

I have had the attention, love and prayers from around the world.  Trust me when I say I don’t take that lightly or for granted.  I feel honored and blessed to have been heard.  I feel proud of my son for making such a huge difference.  I find hope in the two little girls still recovering from their live saving surgeries.

I pray that I live up to the standards of strength that have been laid before me.  I pray that I am able to make as much good out of this horror as I can.

For now I take strength in orange.  I’ve worn orange every day since the funeral.  I painted my nails an obnoxious color of orange today.  I think I bought almost every orange shirt Target had for sale today. I swear the cashier must have thought I was a nut case.  Here I’m standing in my bright orange John’s Root Beer t-shirt, with 6 more orange shirts on the conveyor belt.  Can you say wacko?

I wear the color like my scarlet letter.  My purple heart from being wounded in the war of infant vs mortality.  I wear it with pride for what my 6 month old has accomplished and the joy and hope he has spread.  But I also wear it for me.  Orange has turned into my security blanket … my constant prayer to God for the strength and guidance.  My direct hotline to the big man upstairs.  Orange.  I never would have imagined a color would have been able to give me so much comfort.

All my love, Mel

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Filed under Owen's Gone

Time

The time was going so slow. I just wanted this to be over. I was almost looking forward to sharing Owen’s story. Who pressed the fast forward button? Owens funeral is looming on the horizon.

Will I find the right words? Will I be able to express my gratitude? How will I possibly make it thru the whole day? When I dress in the morning, should I wear makeup? I haven’t cried in days …. I’m so numb. Will it be the same tomorrow?

I want to slow time down. I’m not ready to burry my son. He has so much more to do in life … Kindergarten, try more foods other an sweet potatoes, graduate from high school, fall in love, have kids of his own. I’m broken that he won’t do any of these.

I’ve been trying to think of something on a happier note to share. Perhaps a Jaden story. But I cant find nothing. My mind is full of Owen. Flashes of that Saturday night.

Finding him in his crib FLASH. Laying him on the floor FLASH. Starting chest compressions. His eyes were open FLASH. At Waukesha Memorial trying to stand in the corner. Such a huge relief when his heart started to beat again FLASH.

And it just keeps going. I’m trying to stay focused on the present, on Logan, Jaden and Weston. It will come. It will get worse before it gets better. But it will come. I pray that I am strong enough.

I know it’s ok to need my friends and family … I am just numb now. I fear when I will start to feel and it cripples me. I pray for continued strength.

Love, Mel

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Filed under Mommyhood Meditations, Owen's Gone, Posted by Melissa