Sunday, June 30, 2013

When I Grow Up...

When I was 5 I loved the "What do you want to be when you grow up" question.  Each time someone would ask, I would smile big, and tell them that I was going to work at McDonalds, so I could wear one of those super cool headsets!  A few years went by and I had big dreams of being an Olympic Ice Skater.  I loved Oksana Baiul so much!  I wanted to skate like her.  I loved pretending to do triple axels in my living room, and my world revolved around updates and details of the Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan scandal! Fast forward a few more years, and I was into gymnastics.  The 1996 Olympics were my favorite!  I watched Dominique Moceanu do her incredible beam routine, Shannon Miller land a double back layout, and Kerri Strug win the gold for the US when she landed her vault on 1 foot.  2 years later, Britney Spears hit the scene, and I had big dreams of being a dancer on tour with her.  I spent countless hours learning dance after dance, and hoping that one day I would have the opportunity to show her my skills!  As I got older, my vision for the future faded.  I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do tomorrow, much less the rest of my life.
It has been a long time since I have really thought about what I want to be, or who I want to be like.  For some reason my mind keeps circling around this concept.  In the last 48 hours, I have been told that I am not a good enough mother, and I am not doing enough for my kids.  I have been told I am not a good wife, and I should treat my husband better.  And finally I have a personality flaw that prevents me from having lasting friendships.
NOW... any one of those things would hurt anyone's ego, but having all 3 at the same time... OUCH.  I might add that my kids and husband said NONE of these things, they are all coming from outside sources.  I was raised on the mentality that until I have walked in someone's shoes, I really shouldn't judge them for the decisions they make.  That of course, didn't stop me from judging others, after all I am only human.  So after hearing these things, and feeling as though my spirit is all but broken, I thought I should evaluate myself and set some "goals" of my own.
When asked with the question now, I would say... "I want to be the wife and mother that Annie Camden was on 7th Heaven".  Those close to me know that I have been watching the 7th Heaven series from the beginning and working my way through.  The more I watch this woman, the more I aspire to be like her.  I know she is just a scripted character on a tv show, but for someone to write her character this way means that they too felt this is the epitome of a good woman.  With 7 children of her own, she keeps a clean house, always has dinner cooked, knows everything going on with her children, takes care of her husband, and is spiritual.  I find myself trying to emulate her.  When I feel like my energy is low... I think of Annie and the fact that she has 5 times more laundry than I have to do!  When I don't feel like making dinner... I think of Annie and the fact that she made a pot roast, veggies, and a salad, so I can at least make spaghetti!  Annie is my motivation each day.  I only have 2 kids, and I should be able to do what she does if she can do it with 7!
We all have insecurities.  They more than likely are not the same as the people you know.  Talking about them feels like airing your dirty secrets.  You don't want people to know what you think you are bad at because you feel exposed.  However, you all know... I am an open book, and I do not keep many secrets!  My insecurities are simple... looks, parenting, and friendships.
Looks... that is simple!  I am not happy with my post baby body, and I haven't made it a priority to fix it!  I have a gym membership, but I never find the time to go.  I could eat healthier, but I enjoy junk food.  I could work out at home, but I do enough in the day as is!  I think just about every woman has insecurities about their looks, even if they appear completely confident.
Parenting... not quite as simple as going to the gym.  I can read books, and ask for advice, but unfortunately being a parent doesn't come with a handbook.  It is all a guess and check system that I get wrong often!  We all have things ingrained in us by our parents, and breaking the cycle can by difficult.  I make decisions based on what I believe is best for my children, and I pray that my choice is the right one! it gets tricky.  I have never been a girl who gets along well with girls.  As a kid, a teenager, and even a single lady, it was totally acceptable to be "one of the guys".  However, that has changed.  Once you get married, it isn't acceptable to hang out with guys.  Once you become a mom, you begin to hang out with other mothers.  When you hang out with the guys... these mother friends wonder why in the world you are talking to their husband!  I was not in a sorority, I never had more than a handful of girl friends at once, because I preferred hanging out with the guys.  Guys are not catty, and there is generally a lot less drama when you spend time around men.  Once I became a mother, that had to change.  Being that Abbie is only 3, we can say I am still feeling it out.  I often feel out of place, and disconnected with my girl friends because I still feel like a rookie.  It will definitely not work itself out over night, but I will continue to try and better myself.

Now that I have aired my secrets and discussed my insecurities, perhaps people who read this will be a bit more sensitive about the things they say I should work on.  Unfortunately none of the people who said these things read this blog!  However, I am a human, and I do have a heart.  A heart that hurts when people tell me that my best still isn't good enough.  I would lay down and die for my husband or my children.  I would take a bullet for any of my friends, and I would give any of them the last dollar in my bank account if I knew they needed it.  I am loyal, and I am caring, and when I grow up... I want to be like Annie :).

 - Jessica

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


When you first learn you are pregnant, you are flooded with a million emotions and thoughts of the future.  You dream of the first time you hold your newborn. You dream of placing them in their crib for the first time in the nursery that you designed with love. You dream of sweet midnight rockings, and precious games of peekaboo.  You dream of the first time they will say Ma Ma, and the first time they will take a step.  My favorite dream was picturing my baby saying "I love you" in some sweet baby version of English. 

You do not usually think of the bad stuff, until after they are born.  Your innate sense of protection kicks in and you begin to worry about them, and guard their little lives with your own.  You worry about them rolling over in their crib, even though they won't be able to roll over for months.  You worry about putting them in the car for the first trip out, even though the car seat was built for their safety.  You worry about when they will crawl, walk, and talk, and you begin comparing their milestones to others.  No matter how hard you try, you start wondering why your baby isn't crawling when your best friend's baby did a month earlier.  Eventually you learn to lay back and just let your child go at their own speed, and usually they do!  You realize that doing all this worrying really doesn't protect your baby, and you can just let them be babies!

But what happens when the gap in their development compared to your friend's baby never closes.  What happens when you realize that something might actually be wrong.  What happens when you talk to a doctor and they begin to show concern as well.  What happens when you refer you for testing, and the test results show real problems.  What happens when you realize your child is special needs?


Life goes on.  Things are different, and you begin to make changes, but life still goes on.  Comparing your child to others may now make you sad instead of hopeful, but life still goes on.  Family and friends may or may not understand your situation, but life goes on.  
Finding out that Brady has a special brain condition may have given us "answers" but it also gave us a lot of questions.  What will life be like for him?  For me?  What will his limits be?  Will he ever understand?  Will he walk?  Will he go to school?  Will he drive?  Will I ever see him get married?  What do I do from here?  How can I make Abbie understand?  
The worst part of having all of these new questions is that there is no answers.  There are a lot of scary maybes and possibilities.  I have no clue what to expect for my son, but I know that it is my job to support him and encourage him the best way I know how.  The love I have for my kids is one that you can't understand until you have your own.  Feeling helpless and unable to do anything to make something okay for the child that you love more than life... hurts in a way that I can't describe.  I still have big dreams and hopes for Brady, but they have changed significantly since I learned I was pregnant.  

I no longer dream of seeing my son play basketball.
I dream of the day my son takes his first step.
I no longer dream of the day Brady goes to Kindergarten.
I dream of the day Brady points at the sky and tells me it is blue.
I no longer dream of the day Brady marries his bride.
I dream of the day Brady tells me he loves me.

I have to focus on the now.  My dreams will change as he grows up, and most importantly I will NEVER stop believing in him.  He is such an amazing little boy, and he has gifts the world will be blessed by.  I am so thankful for every day that I get with him, and I am thankful for everyone who encourages our family, supports, our family, and loves my children!  

I feel like my blogs are becoming redundant.  If I am writing the same thing over and over, I am sorry.  I feel better when I can pour my heart out into my writing, and feel free.  A songwriter writes songs about things they are experiencing in their lives, and I guess my blog is the same.  
One day at a time...
 - Jessica