Be The Strong Crab

My heart is constantly occupied by love for my family, my memories, my friends, old conversations, books I have read that touched me and a lot of endless emotions. There is a little awkward square somewhere in my heart that is just for me. It contains my desire to reach goals that I have set for myself in hopes of reaching some sort of potential I might have. I do not know what that is yet because I still need to try. I’m stuck in excuses.

I recently heard a story about black crabs in a bucket. If a bunch of black crabs are put into the bottom of a bucket, doomed to captivity. Eventually, one crab will stretch his leg up and attempt to climb out. As the crab does so, the other crabs grab it, not allowing that crab to continue its possible escape. Sometimes the crab is strong enough and breaks loose from the others and gets away, but often the crab stays trapped.

How often do we try to break free from whatever captivity we find ourselves in and sadly someone tries to hold us back? Perhaps we try to break free from our own low self esteem only to be met by someone else’s criticism. Or perhaps we find ourselves wanting to progress in other ways and there is a lack of encouragement from others. And who are the crabs trying to pull us down? Is it a friend? A work colleague? A family member? What right do they have to hold us back from reaching our goals.

Personally, I know I have had to let go of certain people who held me back so that I could move forward. Whether it be someone I once called a friend or whether it was ending a relationship. We need to be strong within ourselves and it is often not easy. No one wants to be trapped. We should surround ourselves with those who encourage and uplift us. We should also check that WE are the ones who are also encouraging others and not being the one who drags the negative, pessimistic talk.

It probably took courage for that crab to try and stretch its leg in front of everyone, to see if it could actually reach the top of the bucket, and then to test its own strength to lift itself out. We need courage to try to reach our potential in all that we do and not get caught up with what others might think.

Here are some quotes I often refer to when feeling down:

“Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand.”

“When people hurt you over and over, think of them as sandpaper. They may scratch you and hurt you a bit but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.”

“When nothing goes right….. Go left.”

“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

The worst mistake anyone can make is being too afraid to make one.”

The story of the crabs has really moved me this weekend. I want to be the strong crab who breaks free. After I have this baby, I will stop the excuses and finally do what is in my heart. x

(photo credit here)

I May Be “Unemployed”, But I’m A Working Mom Too

(photo via flickr)

Last year I recall some comments made from random people about me being a stay-at-home mom. As if it was something easy. As if I were on holiday everyday.

Fellow stay-at-home moms reading this are probably already snickering. It is not easy. We sweat. Yes, we do sweat from all the things we have to do to run our home and chase our kids. Our shifts are long and often without breaks. Uninterrupted sleep is a luxury and not something we are entitled to. Meals do not cook themselves. Clothes do not wash themselves. Floors do not vacuum themselves. The list goes on. With kids, it is more than a full time job. Calling in sick does not exist. We just do what we can knowing our to do list just doubled missing a day. Maternity leave does not exist. Being heavily pregnant at the moment I find doing anything difficult.

However, I am not complaining. I am just saying. To whoever thinks it is easy, it’s not. BUT. There are perks. No one tells me when I can have my lunch break. There is no dress code. Dramas are kept within family and usually forgotten because there is love in families. One of my favourite things of being a stay-at-home mom is that I am exclusive to my husband. He’s the only man in my life, we love and appreciate each other. There is nothing worse than men treating you badly because you are a woman. I know I deserve respect. Everyone has a mother who suffered pregnancy and labour to give them their existence.

Someone once said that a woman can reach her highest potential within her home. I think it was Gordon B Hinckley who said it but I’m not 100% sure. Anyways, this inspired me because even though I am home, I still believe I have talents to develop and share with others. Again, forgive my memory, but I also remember a movie I saw years ago where a girl said, “I can be intelligent and be married too.” I love the blogosphere. So many at-home moms out there sharing themselves, their talents, and their insights with the rest of us. I may be big and pregnant and often in pain and tired (etc!) and not doing as much as I’d like career-wise but that’s fine. I have a family and home that keeps me very busy. I know where I am needed.

It is not easy this role, but I am glad it is my full time “occupation”.

PS- My dear friend Elena wrote a lovely excerpt about being a home mom, see her blog here

Ten Minutes of Peace

(photo via pinterest)

I have three boys who need my attention. One who stands just over two feet tall yet dominates my life. Another who I adore but sadly at the end of the day after work he just sees me exhausted and ready for sleep. And a third boy who literally never leaves me alone (he’s still in the belly growing but his kicks and jumping jacks keep me company). I often long for solitude. Real solitude.

Like that one time I sat on a big flat rock on an island of Greece surrounded by shrubbery and I listened to the waves crash against the rock I sat on. I remember that I looked out into the horizon and felt an eerie unfamiliarity because I am kind of scared of water and this sea was far from home. Then the harbour cats scared me because there was like twenty around me and I went back to the open cave restaurant where I ate blue cheese for the first time and did not like it but I loved being on a couch in an open. I made a note to self: I love sitting in a cave if there is a couch.

I am sure I mentioned this before about spending time with oneself. In those moments of being alone I am able to seek out the inner me or just have some time to pray and appreciate the beauties in this world. Meditation and reflection does help me make sense of the world.

I remember the time I sat in a library at uni searching for stuff online and saw a deal to fly to Italy and I booked it without hesitation. A few weeks later I sat at a table just outside the Galleria facing the Duomo eating bolognese while watching an accordion player and dancer do a routine. Later that night after the sun had set and the sky was night, I sat by the gardens outside the Milan train station, which is huge and beautiful, and admired the stars. Italian stars.

Some may feel the need to share these experiences with someone but I loved experiencing it alone. To occasionally disconnect from the busy world around us and connect ourselves to another, more peaceful, realm of the same world is very satisfying. And we all need some quiet once in a while.

As a mother with these boys I can’t just run away to a far place and hide, but I still need some alone time and quiet. A few weeks ago I was having one of those days. A feeling like you are a bird with clipped wings and you’re trapped in a cage going crazy. I left the flat. The two boys stayed home and I waddled myself about 100 metres to the neighbourhood playground and sat on the bench. I breathed deep. Ten minutes of peace was all I needed. I was ready to go back. It amazes me how motherhood changes a woman so much. It has changed me significantly. I used to have to leave the country for a few days. Now a short walk and a few deep breaths is all I need to recharge my “mom battery” and keep going.

I love my family more than anything. It is that balance between mother/wife/self I am still trying to schedule into my life. One day I’ll figure it out 🙂

x

His Smile Was Worth It

I cannot help but compare myself to other women constantly. She’s prettier, she’s more capable, she’s more talented, she seems to have more time, more freedom, more fun, and the list goes on and on. Then I remind myself with a little pep talk. “Nancy, you are pregnant. You have an Ethan. You’re tired. It’s ok. One day.”

One day my kids will be all grown up and going to school and I will have HOURS to myself. I will be able to use the ladies room without disruption. I will be able to do dishes without constantly looking over my shoulder. I’ll be able to bend over without a big bump in the way. I might even have energy to tackle a project or two (I have a list of like 50 things I want to do!) I am ambitious by nature and it is a challenge to put things on hold while I prioritise being a mom first but I know these are the years my kids need me to sacrifice myself.

This morning I had a sweet experience. Again, I was tired! Sleepless nights with pregnancy and early mornings with Ethan leaves me grumpy until nap time, but today was playgroup. I had a choice: crawl back into bed and say “next time” or just go. We went. Ethan was so excited! I watched him as he happily walked down the stairs holding my hand like a big boy instead of crawling down. I watched him climb into his pram, he knew we were going somewhere fun. He exclaimed “bus!” when the bus pulled up and we got on. And at the playgroup he had the biggest smile on his face. He had so much fun! I sat on the couch watching my little boy and felt that satisfying feeling of “that was worth it”. The effort was worth it as I sat there watching him have the best time. His smile today brought tears to my eyes. I love my little boy so much.

Tonight I had hoped once again to tackle a simple project. I’m way too tired. One day, I’ll get to it. And lately, it doesn’t seem to bother me as much anymore.

It’s not easy. Flip, us moms know it is NOT easy! But how wonderful to feel that it truly is worth it.

Mamahood Taking Over My Brain

I know my last several posts have been about being a mom and babies. The last few weeks have been consumed with worry, sleepless nights, painful days, me constantly checking my to do list, marking important dates on the calendar, but most importantly trying to spend good quality time with my little one. It will never be just us two again. We will soon become a trio.

Whenever I heard parents say, “it’s amazing to watch them grow”, I now know what they mean. I have been reflecting on how much my Ethan has grown over the last 20 months and it truly is amazing. The smallest things make me so proud. Like when he obediently holds my hand as we walk together. Or when he initiates tidying up his toys before bed. He’s starting to sing along when we sing to him. When he feeds himself his yogurt, I don’t mind the mess at all. That smile of his is all I want. I am also impressed by the way he acts around other babies. He notices them and wants to touch them. He seems genuinely interested and caring. I think he will be a good big brother.

As for myself becoming a mom again, I was really nervous and worried and feeling overwhelmed but as the time draws nearer I am thinking more about this pregnancy coming to an end! I am so done being pregnant. Why does the last trimester drag so much? 38 weeks is a long time, but then I think, elephants are pregnant for two years! Eeeesh!

I am getting excited to see my family grow and it really does bring me an unspeakable joy, a feeling where there are no earthly words to describe it. Having my family and thinking about them first has helped me complain less about life as I am just full of gratitude. Yesterday someone said to me, “children are here for our sake” and I think he was right. Is there anything sweeter than a child who expresses their love for you by wanting to sit in your lap and cuddle, or a child who keeps coming back for hugs and kisses, or a child who just wants to lean on you. They melt my heart. I love it. xx