I yearned to be a mother for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories writing a piece in the third grade that said when I grew up I wanted to be a mom and have my own daycare so I could take care of my baby and other kids. So when I became pregnant with my first born at 29 years old, I was beyond excited. I would finally get to follow in my mother’s footsteps and be a kind, nurturing and loving caretaker for my family.
I am the first to tell you that being a mother is the hardest role I have taken on in this lifetime, while at the same time, being my proudest accomplishment. It is exciting, humbling, exhausting, all encompassing and emotionally draining and fulfilling (all within a single day). To your children, you are the one that provides for them, the one who comforts them and the one they love unconditionally, although they may not always show or say it. For that moms should be celebrated…not just in May, but each and every day.
Recently my kids and I were at the library getting a new set of books for the week. My son had found a Geronimo Stilton book and had sat down to read it, while my daughter and I searched for a story that interested her on the shelves close by. There was another young boy in the reading area, who I would guess was around three years old.
I don’t think I am alone in wanting my children to grow up in a world where they feel safe, confident, and equal to those around them. Similarly, I feel like parenthood has caused me to reflect on my past in hopes of learning from it and providing my kids with thoughtful insight as they make their way through their lives.
If you are a parent, I am sure you can relate to this. Just when you think your young child has caught onto something, they go and throw a curveball at you. For instance, one week they may decide to finally try that broccoli on their dinner plate and eat it up for a couple weeks. You give yourself a pat on the back for not giving up and are happy they won’t become Vitamin C deficient. Then one night they decide it is the worst thing they have ever eaten and refuse to eat it again for the next month.
I cried when I found out you were going to be part of our family
I cried from the pain of your birth
I cried the first time I held you in my arms
I cried when I had no idea what I was doing
At the beginning of each year, I sit down to list out the goals I want to achieve in the months ahead. From a young age, my parents instilled in my brothers and me that as long as you set out what you want to be, do, see, and have, the possibilities are endless for what you can accomplish year after year. I truly do believe that the process sets one up for success and results in positive, and in some cases, life-changing choices being made.
Last year at this time, I was gearing up for my first-born to head off to Kindergarten. I was starting to have extreme anxiety over reaching this milestone. I had spent the last five years of my life raising him, and now I was releasing him to the world, relinquishing control over what he would be experiencing on a daily basis.
With summer weather finally arriving here on the West Coast—at least, that’s what we’re hoping for—I thought I would share some tips on how we stay sun-safe and clean when hitting the parks, pools and beaches during the warmer months.