Thursday, November 28, 2013

Playing Big, Part 2

So I've completed, in less than a month, NaNoWriMo (which is an event/goal/Writer-supported thingy designed to write a 50K novel in a month).
I had a few rough days (under 1K words), but ultimately I had no problem writing about 2K words a day. Did you read that? I had no problem...which means that I willingly, and enjoyingly (I know, now I think I can make up words!), wrote 50K words in 25 days.
To almost every other person, this is exciting but not surprising. I am a writer, after all, they say. But I guess I thought it would be harder, or I would get bored, or I would succumb to those damn critics along the way. But I didn't. And that means something to me. It means that I will be a writer, no matter what. A decision to be a writer, or a lot of blank books, does not a writer make. I don't have that NPR "writer voice." My wardrobe, writing area, voice/style are not typical of the professional writers I know. I'm extroverted. I like talking. All of these things point away from my very stale and outdated image of a writer. But make no mistake, I am a writer.
Boxes of journals, 10 running blogs (not blogs about running, but blogs that are running), more writing classes under my belt than any other class in my undergrad degree, and when I think, the thoughts come out like they are ready to be written down.
For some reason (okay, I know the reason, and I've been in therapy for years about it), I have been doing what I call, "bad math."

David Sedaris is considered (at least, by me) to be a great writer. I do not write like him, therefore I am not a great writer.

Now, being a writer might mean that math isn't generally a strong suit, but even I know this doesn't add up. And I'm pretty sure if David Sedaris thought there was (or was okay that there was) a slew of people NOT admitting that they want to be writers or that they are already writers, just because he's reached such acclaim, he would probably not like that at all. I know I wouldn't. Just because I am talented, doesn't mean someone else isn't!

So acknowledging that writing 50K words in less than a month is a big deal (my friend had to tell me this, of course, since I thought, "Okay, that's done"). And the book is not bad, even in rough form.

This is the playing big I was talking about in an earlier post. I can't keep NOT writing. I can't keep pretending no one wants to hear what I have to say (that excuse is really silly! So I should stop talking altogether, then?). Someone does. One person (at least) does. That's plenty. If one person liked one sentence of my book, I would be happy. Because, as a reader too, my world has been changed again and again with one sentence. One measly sentence has echoed in my head years after I read the book. That's why I write. That echo, that organization of words on paper, sings in my heart like a well-played song. And I'll hum that song for the rest of my life.

I'll let the rough draft sit a bit, then I'll go back and edit, and then I will begin the process of getting it published. If I wasn't the one who had written it, I'd take it off the shelf and have a look. That says something. I admit I'm scared. Even though this is what I've dreamed of for what seems like forever, I'm scared of the rollercoaster. But I can safely say that I've spent plenty of time not being published, so I should simply try something new.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trading off

My family went on a field trip for Veteran's Day to visit the grave of Great-Grandpa Alvin Russert. He was buried in a cemetery that's just for veterans. I'm not always a fan of cemeteries because it's somber (or intended to be), reminds me of my late loved ones, and sometimes I'm just not in the mood. But we went and I was happy to get out of the house, truth be told.

As expected, many other people were there. All the headstones looked the same, save for a few extras like religious symbols and "beloved wife" or "beloved husband." We thought we knew where G-pa Russert was, but didn't see his stone at first. So we wandered around looking. I let K get down and he was weaving in and out of the headstones. He was barefoot, in good spirits (he had a little phone with him and he was saying Hi a lot, like he was calling people--I had to laugh!), and generally keen on the freedom and the interesting stones.

We finally found G-pa Russert and headed over. We are Jewish and our custom is to put a rock on the headstone, instead of flowers, because they don't die. It can stay there for as long it does.

So we put the rock on and K just look at the headstone, waved, and said, "Hi." Like it was a person, plain as day. Of course that choked us up a little. And then he leaned in to kiss the stone. It was this perfect, unrehearsed, surprising moment of innocence.

I believe in unseen beings and I believe we were actually visiting Grandpa Russert. And it seems K did too. But more than that, I noticed that adults, specifically around letting go of loved ones, have so many conflicting feelings and experiences. I tend to be a bit desensitized, since I have a spiritual connection to my lost loved ones, but letting go of people is not easy to do, or even talk about doing (or not doing).

And here was my kid, saying hi, giving kisses unbid, and clearly not "letting go" of anything. Why should he? He has nothing to let go of. He never knew G-pa Russert physically, so if their relationship is purely spiritual (I know, I am assuming a lot, but he does share my DNA), then he can hold on as tightly as he wants.

That made me feel so much better. K also never met his other Great-Grandpa Keith, who was also a veteran, and just seeing K at ease, saying Hi, planting kisses on cold stone, and not needing to be somber, made me feel better about letting go, because K is happily holding on. We can trade off. I can let go of some things, and K can hold on to them, because honestly, there's not reason for HIM to let go, is there?

If we all let go at once, that would be insane. Some of us need to hold on a little longer, and others can let go in moments. I like that.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Perfect little mama

Don't misunderstand, that's not what I am calling myself.

This is about 'providing' experiences for K. It's Halloween week (remember when it was just a day or two around Halloween and not a month?) and I had big plans for my 14 month old. We were going to the zoo for Pumpkin Bash. We were going to meet other moms at Harvest Fest at waddle around in the bought-on-time duck costume (I always made my own costume at the last minute). I was going to bring him to an adult party to show him off (many haven't seen him since his birth!). I even bought candy two weeks ahead of time (it's all gone now, but I did!).

But here's what happened. K started teething weeks ago and this past weekend he was tired, drool-y, congested, hungry, and I just let us be home. We went out a bit for necessary errands, but ultimately, I missed the "festive" and "tradition-building" boat. And felt crappy looking at pictures of more "active" families, doing the holiday thing on Facebook.


I started down the road of "Crap, are we those parents? The parents who don't do holiday type things at the time of the actual holiday?" It's a long, bumpy road.

But luckily, after nap #2, when I went it to get K, I saw my kid's face when he saw me. He was happy to see me. He doesn't know he missed ANYTHING. In fact, really, all he cares about is missing me. I know that because he's happy most of the time. And actually, so am I. I'm content to play inside when it rains (we didn't go out because I can't justify a clean costume+rain+teething/congestion+and no papa to share it with--papa was working).

We have loads of fun at home. My kid sleeps at night. I am not depressed or starved for me-time. These are the things that make a difference. I remember a couple Halloweens and a few other holidays. There are holidays that stand out and others that don't. And frankly, I only care about spending time with my family. Seriously. If we all had to just sit around and eat beans out of a can while telling stories, I would be so content it would be surprising to most people.

When I got pregnant and then birthed K, I made no promises of standard traditions being upheld. In fact, I didn't make any promises but this is my vow: I vow to love. That's it. I may forget to do things and we may have minimal money sometimes for Hanukkah and birthdays...and we may be too tired for cookie-making and wreath-hanging...but I vow to love fiercely. And we'll find moments and create memories and it won't be about awesome costumes and holiday festivities every year. Some years, yes. Other years, we'll opt for whatever we can manage. But boy, there will be love.

So I let up on myself. K and I had a bit of dinner, took a bath, and he went to bed early. He slept through the night, and I couldn't wait to see him again in the morning. He may not remember that specific thing, but his duck costume has nothing to do with my love for him. And I am grateful for that. It's just a holiday, it's just a costume.

I can let go of all the parental expectations I have for myself. My mom wasn't "on" every holiday. She picked her favs and I remember about 20% of those. Also, it doesn't make a lot of sense to make a big deal of holidays that aren't a big deal to me. When K gets older, he'll let his loves/preferences be known. I loved me some Hanukkah...and I still love it. I don't celebrate it the way our family did when I was little, but I still love it. I need to trust that we'll figure it out together...the whole family...not just the mama who checks Pinterest too much.

There are so many things that I never even thought about letting go of...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Part of letting go for me is about the actual letting go, and then part of it is about the "to do what?" dilemma. So I know that I'm venturing out into something bigger...that I'm already on that path, even. But strangely, I feel like I am avoiding the eyes (and everything else, for that matter) of the guy I have a crush on, even though I WANT to say hi, hang out, and talk about music, etc. I know that I will be working on the B&B, and the upgrades will be awesome...and yet I am also preparing for the inevitable downtime that the hospitality business has in the summer, in Seattle. So I turn my focus to other ventures like editing, helping out at B Fuller's Mortar & Pestle, and any other freelance/temporary work. But I've barely even prepared for the time I have legitimately to work on Synergy B&B.

I'm always trying to be 2-3 steps ahead of myself (and everyone else). I'm afraid that if I really spend all my time planning the upgrades, working on marketing, and handing out cards, when it doesn't work (nice attitude!), I'll be tired, unemployed, and quickly broke.

I don't raise my son that way, though.

I give him the full blast, as often as I can. Sometimes it's not very awesome-looking...but it's always the best I can do at the time. I'm used to that with him. I play hard. I attempt more cooking for him. I prepare and I live in the moment, together...

So why is this different? Well, K is a little person. Who talks, walks, eats, poops, etc. And the house, probably to its dismay, can get pushed aside (horrible, I know) more easily. Granted, when a furnace goes out, or a pipe bursts, then I pay attention, but otherwise I carry on.

I guess I can prepare, let go, and live in the moment. There is a delicate balance to all of those, which is how I probably live my life anyway. I can't prepare for something I don't know about (will the B&B business grow?), but I can definitely put time, energy and love into my updates.

And letting go is just that. It's saying a goodbye and looking ahead to what will come.

Friday, September 27, 2013

My kid isn't like me

And thank goodness.

I don't just mean it in the way that we are simply different from each other. I mean that my kid, despite his DNA, isn't like me, very much. Sure, we have things in common. But I look at K like a completely different person. When he tries to do stuff (use keys, talk on the phone, eat, read, converse) I am beginning to see who he is as an individual.

It's nothing short of amazing.

More than just "Hey, he's smart." If I pay enough attention, I can see the little person he is in there. I can align with his desire to learn about how keys work, about how things fit together. He wants to communicate and I can help. And not just so I can brag to family about it later. Also, when he does less than desirable things (we're entering that phase at 12+ months), I can act/react the way that would be aligned with how we live and interact; he can see that while he's sad, and I'm sad he's sad, he just can't do some stuff, to his dismay. Like, we don't headbutt others when we are angry. Not cool.

All of the learning is becoming way more fluid. He'll get numbers, colors, and letters in school. And he'll pick it up, I'm confident. But the harder stuff is the stuff that's specific to him and us, as a family. He needs to learn about the way he interacts because we have an interactive business, family, and world. He needs to play by himself, not so I can be alone more, but because we have this community-oriented life and if he wants to take care of his needs, he needs to learn how to do that and ask our help, if needed.

Every night or day that I second-guess any of our "parenting" decisions, I have to talk myself down, explaining that this is how our world is, or this is who our kid is. From diapers, to food, to sleep, to toys, to whatever. This is us. This is our kid. This is our world. I didn't think that would be so challenging.

Preparing our kid for Ivy League schools is totally NOT the point. Neither of us went to those types schools. But we did take our education seriously, so K sees that about us. I don't care what K does with his talents or desires. I just want him to know we're watching and we want to encourage him and his uniqueness is welcome.

I know that our encouragement of certain things will raise eyebrows. "An actor? Writer? Artist? Chef? Philosopher? What will he do for money? Respectability? A job?" Yikes. If I spend too much time there I will completely discount my faith in my kid. Even if he's the smartest kid in the world, it's really none of my business what he does with it. I know I didn't "live up to my potential" according to hundreds of people, but hey, I like myself! I found an awesome mate. I'm not on drugs! And that's part of our family culture too. As long as you are happy, kid, we'll try to be as helpful as possible.

I will likely revisit this concept a lot. When I forget that K is his own person and start thinking that people are judging me because of how he acts, I will try to remember that we are our own people AND we are reflections of others. I will try not to make K do things because of the way it might look to others if he doesn't. That won't be easy. But I want K to feel okay about who he is. That's part of my job/responsibility as his parent. He'll have a lot of obstacles and I hope not to be a big one.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Fall

it's the air
the swirling mix of fireplaces,
rotting leaves
the inhale, exhale of change
the sweet of apple
the earthy of pumpkin
rubber boots
wool sweaters
cinnamon sneaking into my teas.

Seasons shift
when I'm not looking
but it happens one smell

Monday, September 16, 2013

So what does it *look* like?

Okay, two posts on being "bigger" but what about the details?

I know how I am now:

1) I'm not satisfied at work
2) I am not interacting with people the way I want
3) My business is not a reflection of the amazingness of my world
4) I am not the way I want to be in my marriage
5) I don't dress the way I feel about myself
6) My enthusiasm is not shared
7) My generosity is not shared
8) My creativity is not shared to its full extent

That's all I need to dwell on for now. All of those things are ways that I limit myself in the world. Feels weird to admit any of that, but in all honesty, if I don't admit it, then it doesn't change (see Step 1 in the Big Book). And when I feel less sneaky, then I can get to shifting...sneakiness takes a lot of energy, doesn't it?

So that's what I see at the moment. And I'm looking into how those can and will shift as I transition.

1) Move to doing work that expresses my love for the world
2) Being honest and compassionate, showing up when I can and being honest when I can't (and not going to shame or guilt about it)
3) Creating a business structure that speaks to who I am, that serves others, and that brings in the Spirit that is ever-present in my life
4) Move beyond mere maintenance into goal setting and ideals...we are over the hump of crazy new baby life and I need to put more effort into our marriage...especially because I LOVE being married!
5) This is an easy fix. Several friends want to help and have ideas. I can dress better AND it can reflect my style.
6) I do not share my enthusiasm because it's intense. That's just silly. Intensity isn't bad. Why do I think that?
7) I am not generous because I worry about there not being enough. Also silly. And NOT TRUE.
8) I am really creative. I am artistic. I suppress this because it's not "lucrative" or fruitful. Also, I have perfectionistic fears of wasting things. This limits how I see the world and how I share it. Again, pretty silly.

So stay tuned. I will have a lot of time coming up to work on these things. I'm open to feedback, too.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Baby Stuff

I'm not sure why I want to bare all on this blog. I think I was perfectly fine hiding all my demons from the public (which is really, at this point, a group of my friends). But to write a blog called letting go, while not revealing things that I'm having a tough time letting go of, seems, well, disingenuous and silly.

So K is now 11 months. I actually cannot believe it. In that time from his arrival until now, he has moved rapidly through clothes, toys (well, sort of), accessories, gear, diapers, and eating habits.

We were given/gifted a LOT of stuff, thankfully. It seems to be the way of the world, to give baby stuff away. And I want to stay in that flow. Because it's generous and loving and decluttering (which is a big deal for me)...but what about baby #2? Some things were special/handmade, so that's a no-brainer--KEEP. But other things are simply cute or gender neutral (which works when you won't know the sex of the next kid too) or functional (for a wiggly baby, snaps are the devil and zippered PJs RULE). I want to keep those. I'm sure I won't be faulted, but I feel guilty. Because I should give stuff away. And I didn't need half of the clothes I got (K didn't wear a bunch of stuff--white, made for bigger babies, hard for us to put on him, etc), so that's easy, but I don't want to hog the clothes.

Also, will people feel offended if I give up stuff with stains? I have labored endlessly to keep things stain-free (tie dye clothing isn't just for hippies anymore!), but I feel bad when the stuff I have to give away looks like a baby wore it. ARGH! Part of my perfectionist ways most definitely include, and even highlight, my love of laundry and stain-freeness.

Luckily, when people have given me stuff with the caveat that they want it back, I am more than happy to oblige. I don't want to own most of the stuff, to be honest. And when the kids are old, save a few items that I want personally, I will likely not save much of that stuff. I'll leave the storage in the attic for the millions of art projects that I can't part with.

Okay, that's all. I just wanted to say I'm feeling bad about not giving up my baby clothes yet. And maybe I'm also giving myself permission to hold on to some stuff for #2 (and then giving it up THEN).

It's not all heavy, this letting go. Sometimes, logistics play a part...

Letting go of small

Man, do I want to stay small, hidden, and inconsequential at the moment. Well, sometimes.

Despite my loud mouth, my 'big' energy, and my often intimidating (unintentionally!) ways, I am practically addicted to staying small. Letting go of that smallness, that desire to hide, and the safety of well, playing it safe is really challenging.

And I am doing all sorts of things to keep it going. I'm worrying (great way to stay small, for sure). I'm making up arguments from imaginary people who have not said these things to me ("You can't make money with the B&B," "Writing is not a career, it's a hobby that pays poorly," "You don't look good on video so don't put yourself on YouTube," "Everyone else is craftier, more pleasant, more creative, and has more discipline than you."--the list goes on). I'm creating busywork that doesn't feed/foster my business. I am creating busywork that I can't do/am challenged by, just so I can make excuses about why I can't make money, as a self-employed person.

Ack. I think I solved my problem with why I can't sleep most nights.

But playing small is crazy. And letting go of playing small is one of my claw mark moments.

So no more playing small (declaration!). Part of being a good mom for me is showing K how to do stuff. Not just telling him, or having him watch it on TV or reading it in a book. Part of me leaving my job is about admitting to myself that since family is one of, if not the, top values/priorities in my life, spending more time at work clashes with that value.

I haven't spent a lot of time reflecting on why family is so important to me, but it occurs to me that with  my dad's very early death (cancer/brain tumor at 41, with 4 kids!), it's just about spending as much time as possible with the people I love. Additionally, when my dad was sick, my family got even closer and that really helped us all survive the death, in many ways, in my opinion. So spending more time being available to my family is just something that attracts me to a more flexible schedule.

Running a business is hard work. What makes it worthwhile to me is not just the flexibility, but being able to make an impact in other people's lives. That's a real thing for me. Not just "you're a great person, thanks for being our guest," but more along the lines of "My life will never be the same, you've helped me see how amazing I am, and I want to pass this great feeling on to others." That gets me up in the morning, that's what I think about on my way to bed, and that's what keeps me growing. K needs to know that. He needs to know that I am not choosing to work less, but I am choosing to work differently and that difference is aimed at being the change I want to see in the world.

This is deep stuff for a 1 year old, but I plan on discussing it later (like when he's 3...ha!) with him because I can't make him do stuff (get into college, get a good job, etc), but I can involve him in why we choose what we choose. What led us to the choices, who is impacted by those choices, etc. Most of the time, when people talk about living in poverty or struggling, they don't dwell on that. They mention it, say it was hard, and then say that they never felt a lack of love. I am not planning on poverty (I'm playing bigger!), but I don't want to worry about that. I want K to see that we are consciously making these choices. Also, I want him to see that I am not worried, that I have faith in the path ahead, and that I see this departure as a definite opportunity to see just how big I can get.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ah, the letting go that's a big deal--the job

Letting go of work. "Good" work.

Okay, I didn't want to write about this (there seems to be a lot of that on this blog, maybe THAT should've been my blog name!)...because I have feelings and assumptions about what it looks like to let go of a job that's provided so much for us. In fact, even when I wanted to let it go before, I found that I couldn't talk about it to people who didn't have jobs. They would've thought I was crazy.

On paper, the job rocks, I get it. But strangely, just like I might not have gone on a date with my husband if I just saw him "on paper,"  I don't live and die by things on paper. Resumes, job descriptions, dating profiles, company manifestos, etc. 'On paper' doesn't describe the feelings I have, or the eye contact between humans or skip in my heart or the way I like awake at night thinking about the amazing-ness of the universe. I can't capture that on paper (to my dismay).

Looking at this job, I can't compare the sheer glee at the sight of my son in the morning, when I get him out of bed, with a few more hours of pay. That goes away when the job increases its hours. No money makes the disappearance of that moment worth it. I already did it today to come in early to work. I didn't get to see my son's little face. The little person I worked so hard to create, protect, guide, and love...and yes, I know there will be times when I want to get out of the house, but that will be my CHOICE and that's the difference.

Also, letting go has always been a personal's about my choice and my "other" choices. When I choose K over FT work, I am choosing a lifetime of K (his happiness, bondedness, his reflection on work for money vs. family time, etc.). I can't guarantee that we can all sit around a dinner table every night, but I can choose to have the mornings free or lunches or whole days off...and in the end, money doesn't trump my kids. Money doesn't trump my kids. It also doesn't trump my marriage. When money starts to trump things that I consider THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO ME, then I am traveling down a slippery slope.

I see career parents, and it seems to work for them. They have made peace. But I don't want to make peace that way. It's not peace, actually. Not my peace, anyway. I don't like having to choose money or family...that seems silly (enter philosophical/political argument here)...but I choose my values. Those will prevail. I need them to.

So I am letting "The Job" go. And I feel lighter. I feel more congruent. I still feel a bit scared, but I don't want to let too much fear in, because that will crowd out my faith, confidence, and ultimate excitement about a new adventure.

I know I am meant for greatness. K knows, too. So this is where we start.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Letting go of thought patterns

Getting shit stolen has a whole host of things that come with it, above and beyond the actual loss, violation, and annoyance at getting it back or getting new stuff. For me, the reminder to listen to, and heed, my intuition has been at the forefront.

I've had accurate and responsive intuition for years. In fact, when all else points to me being paranoid, suspicious, and crazy, a few more minutes, questions, facts and experiences always (ALWAYS) verify that my hunch is/was right. I have a knack for hearing those messages clearly. While I don't always act on the intuition I get, the messages are always clear, simple, and easy to hear.

The robbery is no different. I knew it was coming or I knew how to avoid it months (years?) before it happened. After all, it happened before. And there were steps we took, but we could've and should've done more.

But I digress. Back to intuition. Being a mom comes with a whole new set of listening tools regarding intuition. Now there's this OTHER person who is clearly communicating (if I'm paying attention) and interacting with my world. And I pride myself on being able to hear those messages. Again though, I'm not amazing at heeding the messages, but I try really hard since K's downfall can usually be avoided if I do listen to my intuition.

So I'm getting better about listening to him (regarding the non-verbal stuff...he's getting more and more verbally clear too), and now I need to sharpen the blade of discernment in my own life, with my business, my communication skills, my social life, etc.

Trust is also a big part of letting go. Jumping off the cliff is not a good metaphor for "trusting." Intuition isn't a guess. It's not blind, in the traditional sense. It's not about crossing my fingers and hoping. Intuition is a clear message. When I trust my intuition, it's not a 50/50 chance sort of thing. It's a sure (100%) thing. I get a message, I heed it, I avoid pitfalls. Even when I heed the message and "something goes wrong," I know deep down (not that deep, actually) that really, in the end, it's working out for the best. I know that because I don't feel angry, worried, abandoned. Sure, I might feel put off or a bit surprised, but those are different. The calm comes over me in ways that I couldn't predict.

Heeding my intuition is the most challenging part, but it becomes a habit or a pattern if I allow it to. And at this point, with everything that has happened, it's about time for me to let go of some outdated thought patterns (especially regarding money and security) and start trusting the messages coming through.

I'm excited to see how things will shift (they already are shifting...)

Crap. Letting go is really hard

I know, the title doesn't make you want to read it.

I can't promise that this will be an uplifting post, but if you like honesty, then keep reading.

As you've probably been gathering from my other posts, the whole reason I started this blog and named it "Mama Lets Go" is because this is a key point (read: recurring) in my life, that has been heightened by my entering motherhood.

This past week, my letting go has been harsh. We were robbed and our computers, TV, camera and other things were stolen.

I don't care about the stuff itself...but I had pictures on those computers. I had records of my time with J in Italy, Germany, our house remodels, our fun times before baby and all my labor pics were on those computers. Ugh. Talk about the heaviness of loss. I'm sentimental to a degree, but I guess I have always loved having pics to go through. And they are GONE.

I'm sick to my stomach thinking about it. My MO these days is to carry on and not hangout in the sadness and mourning of that loss. That shit is hard not to do. Several friends have offered pics and I am thankful. But I guess the letting go is something lies in what things represent. It's also about listening to my intuition about backing things up, saving the images off site, etc. UGH.

I have nothing profound to say about all of this. I'm not there yet. But I have learned several lessons. I have learned about what's important to me (PICTURES! RECORDED MEMORIES!), and I have learned that I get clear messages and I should heed those messages. I am rarely that surprised about what happens to me...Most of the time, I had several thoughts about what might happen before it does and I choose my actions after those "hunches." My intuition is really good. *Really* good. I should trust it more. And it gives me really helpful/clear hints, tips, ideas, and actions. I'll write on that later.

I still cry when I think about the pictures, about years of time and photos I can't show K and I can't reminisce through when I get older. I know time will heal. I'm open to it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The grace of letting go

Sawyer passed away yesterday. He was 18 days old. I never got to meet him.

But a friend, who I only know through Facebook, is friends with Sawyer's family, and she asked us to pray for him. And sometimes I feel like my prayers aren't eloquent enough or powerful enough. I have a feeling that I should strengthen my prayer muscle (that's my heart, right?) more, so that when the big guns are needed, like in this case with Baby Sawyer, that I can swoop down with my Spiritual Strength and make everything better (wait, that's not my job, that's Spirit's job, isn't it?).

I wrote to Sawyer telling him of everything he should stick around for:

Dear Sawyer, I don't know you. And your picture is sweeter than anything. And here's what I have to say to you. If I could be there in the hospital with you, giving your family a break, I would hold you fiercely, but gently, I would sing to you with my okay voice, songs that make me happy and dance-y (katy perry seems too topical, but sometimes it's perfect music)...and when no one was looking, I would dance with you too, so you could get in touch with your rhythm and feel the beat inside your own heart. I would tell you about the stuff that's worth seeing (Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower, and the Scottish Highlands) so you would know that it's worth fighting for. I would tell you about all the weird things that have happened to me and how I have made them part of my life, how they have made me stronger, and how I am able to share with others so they too can feel like they belong here. I would tell you that you belong here. I know you have it in you. I know that your spirit is strong strong strong. I join you today, in your room, dancing to Katy Perry, and sharing all the beautiful things in life that make it worthwhile.

But Sawyer did not survive, despite a very strong fight. His passing is heartbreaking. I cannot imagine what it is to lose a child. I can barely say goodbye to K, which I do EVERYDAY, when he is cared for by others. My heart is aching.

And then I read what Sawyer's mom wrote:

"I am not mad at God. I am only hurting. We will never understand here on earth. I thank God for all his blessings and will always give him the Glory. Sawyer was used to touch so many people and all the praying that went on was just so amazing. Thank you everyone for each time you prayed. God has his plan and I am his child therefore I Will hold my child again."

I am humbled. Sawyer lived 18 whole days, and never met most of the hundreds of people who now know him, and in that short time, all those people turned to Spirit/God. If ever there was an act to be most proud of or most concerned with, it's helping people turn to Spirit, in my opinion. And Sawyer's short life was not without Depth. He reached me. Me, who has a hard time praying, a hard time listening to the news, and an extremely hard time hearing about death. And I turned to God. My prayer wasn't elaborate or eloquent, I just asked to one day meet Sawyer in person. I won't meet him physically, but I have already met Sawyer's spirit, and that was transformational all on its own.

Letting go is immense. It's a huge thing, that is done over and over and over again. Letting go is best friends with change. I can't control either of them. They just happen.

I am grateful for the chance to be in Sawyer's life, however short, as well as a witness to his family's amazing grace.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Asking for help

Before K, I didn't like asking for help. I figured it out by myself. I found ways around needing people. I didn't like to show what I thought was weakness for not being able to take care of myself.

Starting with the simple act of making K, I needed support and help. And I wasn't able to power through on my own. (okay, enough of the innuendo!). I needed to get off the island of DIY and swim over to the mainland, where people hung out together, supported each other, and didn't judge me for my weakness (heck, they didn't even consider it weakness--what?!?).

And that lesson has come back to me again and again in motherhood. When I go all "island," I end up alone, starving, sad, and...well, that's plenty, for me.

Mamas get a ton of hormones and permanent changes when we get pregnant and have babies. Couldn't one of those changes be that we gain the ability to ask for help more easily? I'm putting in my request to evolution.

Before I had K I was told by many people, regarding my lack of help-asking, "Don't say no for me." Whoa. I always think I am saving someone from having to reject me or keeping them from feeling guilty when they don't want to help but can't say no. But I am learning, as someone who likes to help a LOT, that when I don't get asked, then I can't flex my helper muscle. And then I use it incorrectly and end up being not as helpful anyway. But if you ask, and I can help without compromising my own priorities, then I want to...I don't want to know that mamas are at home, under a pile of kids, feeling lonely, unsupported, hungry, unwashed, and desperate. Even if it's doing laundry, I want to be of service. And if I can't help when you ask, keep asking.

So I'm letting go of my secret apartment on the island, and I'm looking for a new, permanent home, on the mainland, with all of you. I hope you'll join me, if you don't already live there.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Consistent and constant practice

I want what I write to be SO. As in, "so be it" and "it shall be done." Like letting go. I want my writing of letting go to be the letting go.


It's not.

A meeting that I wasn't worried about when I agreed to attend it now has me worrying. I don't like secrecy or having things revealed to me in a group setting. Maybe I should've been a journalist. Regardless, what seems innocent about 3 hours ago now has me making up elaborate plans, steeling myself for emotional blows, and planning for my retreat (and I don't mean the relaxing kind).

Ugh. On reflecting though, before having K, I would've been sweating right now. I would've called someone to talk me down. I would've actually been crying and feeling sorry for myself.

But as I went to drop the mail at the post office, I realized, quite frankly, that whatever happens in that meeting in over a week (just enough time to drive myself crazy, if I wanted to), is 1) meant to be 2) doesn't involve my son being taken away or my husband leaving me 3) is completely out of my control. And that means I can choose to worry about it, but in the end, I will achieve nothing from that worry. Worry doesn't make me stronger, more prepared, funnier, more creative, more resourceful, or pleasant to be around.

So even though I'm not that good at letting go, despite my blog title, I really don't have space in my life to worry about this. I have a family to love, a body to cherish, a mind to revel in, a city to explore, and more than enough abundance all around me.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The not-so-obvious changes

When I became a mom/parent, most of the "new things" were obvious. My sleep changed, my diet changed, my availability changed, my time management changed, you get the idea. My social life changed as well. Not that I lost a lot of friends (actually, I gained some friends back, since I was the one without kids and they had already been down the temporary separation of peeps with no kids), but the idea of socializing itself had changed.

I vowed not to be one of those parents that never hangs out because of my kid(s). I vowed never to be a slave to bedtimes, naps, and routines. Most of the time, my kid goes to sleep when he's tired and it's my choice to take him home, or attempt car sleeping. I pay the price when I don't take him home, but sometimes that's worth it.

Recently, I took K to a party. It was a party that was technically for adults. K is really adaptable, friendly, and generally in good spirits in other places. While I was excited for the invite (it was from someone I didn't know well, but wanted to get to know better), I knew that I would be juggling K and socializing. 

To be honest, it was hard. K doesn't walk, but he's an excellent/fast crawler and he's curious. Wants to get into everything. EVERYTHING. So I had him in the backpack for a short bit, until he got uncomfortable, and then I let him out. But I had to run around following him, taking things out of his hands, and monitoring his every move. Ugh. Exhausting, but I don't know if I would do it differently next time.

If every social gathering K goes to is built around him/other kids, then 1) I don't get to visit with adult friends who don't have kids (or their kids are grown), 2) I have to make a bigger effort to organize playdates and our schedule is always in flux it seems and 3) now I have to do things based on my kid, instead of the other way around. When he gets more vocal and mobile, I know this will shift, but for now, I'm still into hanging with my friends, with kids or not.

And here's the part I didn't anticipate: many of my friends won't ever have kids. So they'll continue to hang out with the adults, and I guess I won't see much of them anymore. Because the truth is that many events aren't geared toward kids. In fact, traveling in groups isn't designed for kids unless it's designed for kids. We can't "road trip" to concerts or take our kids to a late-night movie. We can't even go to a late-night movie unless we have someone watch K at our house. Otherwise he won't sleep or we'll have to wake him to take him home and it's not always/usually worth it. 

I didn't anticipate the sadness I'd feel either. Camping with kids doesn't really work for people who don't have kids. There's no more staying up until all hours, drinking (okay, I don't do this anyway, but alcohol and babies isn't a good mix for me), being loud, etc. Just like at home, there are things we need to do, milk gets made, diapers changed, new surroundings acclimated to, and camping seems to fall off the radar the second the baby comes. Boo, I say. That blows. So now camping is about kids and planning and what I loved about camping was kinda not planning. 

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't give up having a family to have beer around a stinky campfire. But no matter how much life I lived before baby, I'll just miss some things. And in the in-between stage (usually from birth til your child is about eight or so), the not-so-obvious changes occur. I don't want to, but I need to think really hard about "hanging out" now. It's not hanging's dragging my kid to an event, where I want to socialize, but where it's not easy for him to crawl/play/be. If papa doesn't come along, then I am the point person for blowout diaper changes (many, if not most, of them occur outside the home for me), food meltdowns, and crappy naps. I don't want to subject any of us to that. 

But it just makes me sad and I didn't think about that part of me having to say goodbye. 

I look forward to finding new ways to hang out, complete with my kid and hubby/papa and not worrying about crying at night or diaper blowouts. That's why meeting new people and making new friends with kids is great. No one cares. I don't have to track my conversation. I don't need to follow my kid around. And everyone is glad he's there.

I'll probably still drag K to a few parties...because while it's easier to be with other families, I also don't want to talk about my kid all the time. And so continues the paradox of parenthood (the name of my next blog, after I've let everything go...).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Other ways of letting go

15 Things to Give Up to be a Happy Parent

This article speaks to part of the reason I named this blog "Mama Lets Go." I wanted to be happy with being good enough. And I wanted good enough to be more than the bare minimum. I wanted to get off the perfectionist treadmill and get on to the enjoyable stroll outside, which involves living my life.
I have adapted many of these suggestions to much jubilee and elation on my part. Also, the less struggle, the more I can enjoy what's happening, even when it's hard.

I am lucky enough to have a very large community of mamas, who graciously share their advice, experiences, feedback, and support. It helps to see what's on the horizon, examine my expectations, and then release to the present/real experiences as they happen. There are still tears, frustrations, mistakes, missteps, and sharp learning curves, but as I learn how to navigate this new world with K, I learn so much.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Be lucky for what you have

I was taking a walk with K the other day, he was in the stroller and I was pushing him along. The walk was a little too long for both of us, and K started to cry and get restless...and I thought, "Hey kid, be thankful you get to stroll along, with someone pushing you. God knows, I wouldn't mind being pushed around in a stroller." And then my next thought was, "Actually, that's silly to think. He wants to be up and out and crawling/walking around. Not belted in, subject to my whims (speed, sun in his eyes, hills, boring scenery)."


It's beginning. And if left unchecked, I could be saying, "Hey, we walked to school in the snow, uphill both ways, no shoes, and then had to come home and use a CORDED phone!" Saying that K should be "lucky" to experience something is really silly. He doesn't know what my life is/was like. He's on his own path. He probably doesn't feel lucky to be in a stroller, not in control of his journey. He's not tired. His feet aren't aching. And he doesn't care what his Vitamin D count is (that's why I wanted to walk, but I didn't ask him if he wanted to walk).

I have been a bit worried that I would start designing K's life based on my experiences. For some things, this makes sense. We don't want to give K sugar, because I believe it's actually more than just a bad thing in his specific body (K's ancestry, from both sides, did/do not bode well with sugar in all its processed forms). Not just because I'm a "hippie mama." I used to say, "NO Disneyland!" But then, I realized that I could HELP make Disneyland a fun experience (proper sleep, snacks, timeouts, etc), rather than the feared experiences I witnessed when I went as an adult. He's not just some kid, he's our kid. With that, comes us, and our communication as parents and as a family about how we can make the most of experiences.

It's interesting to examine things like this. At almost 36 (yikes!), it's easy to say, "Been there, done that," and then skip over experiences because I've judged them to be whatever, or I've simply already experienced it. I hope I can remember that K has a beginner's mind. He is not jaded or bored or incapable of wonderment...he's not even a year yet! I don't want him to see that I'm "over it," because then he might think that it's not cool/fun/worth it (kids tend to want to be like their parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc.).

I'm not sure how my parents did this. My mom did do new things for her (and of course it was new for me), but she also repeated things willingly (many a trip to Snoqualmie Falls, trips to Israel, Belize, Europe, etc). Balancing the "been there" with the "new and exciting," I guess.

Anyway, I really don't want to start telling K how lucky he is, or that he should be grateful. He'll figure out soon enough what he's grateful for. Doesn't make much sense if I keep telling him what HE should be grateful for. I'll just focus on what I'm grateful for...:)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Shameless Plug for Mom Time Retreat- Relaxation

My very first retreat offering, for moms to recharge their batteries and refill their wells, is open for registration!

We've got yoga classes, massage, delicious food, loosely structured activities, free time, comfy beds, and Hypnomothering (a new offering from Seattle Hypnobirthing which focuses on easing the transition into motherhood)

You can email me, contact me on Facebook, or give me a call (info on Facebook) to ask questions or sign up!

The competition of motherhood

Dare I say it?
"Who me? I'm not competitive!"

Since I'm all about honesty, especially here, I'll be the first to admit it. Not only am I competitive, I'm competitive about motherhood. I don't know why. I wasn't raised that way. I'm not surrounded by competitive people. It's not even a competition!!

But as K learns new words everyday, and does cool things, and I read about the age range of developmental markers, I can't help but feel good. Not smug, or righteous, let's be clear, but I feel like I'm in the game and doing a pretty good job of mothering.

Then I hear about friends feeling like they are losing in the game. And I feel ashamed. 1) Because I'm even thinking about it as a game, and 2) because I perpetuate the culture of "better than" when I really just want to feel accomplished at SOMETHING.

So it's a weird paradox. I don't want to hide my pride and excitement at K's cool developments and I don't want to encourage mamas (by my pride and excitement) to feel less than about any mishaps they have endured (for whatever reason).

Then it can kinda go in the opposite direction where I downplay anything that K does that I find amazing (he signs and says dog, and also recognizes them in real life and in books and makes the sound a dog makes...which isn't the onomatopoeia of "woof" but the actual sound he hears dogs make) so that no one thinks I am gloating about my kid. God forbid I'm proud of my kid for doing cool things.

Where is the balance? 

And sometimes, K does stuff that I had no hand in, but I still feel proud...because I think that's normal. He's beautiful and I'm happy about that. He's content, and I'm happy about that, too. He's social and doesn't cry (yet?) when he is cared for by others and I'm relieved about that. I don't want to take credit (maybe he was born that way), but I also don't want to make like it's nothing. Being social and easily consoled IS amazing! I love it!

Judgment and competition go hand in hand, it seems. When I see someone doing something I wouldn't do, I immediately want to justify/explain why I wouldn't do that, and why my decision NOT to do that works for me. Now that I am a mom, I find that I hear so many different (successful) ways to do things and now my immediate thought is shifting to "That seems to work for them, it just doesn't work for me."

This allows us to both be right, to both win, and it allows me to carry on, without dwelling on who's winning, anyway.

Seeing other moms feel like they are losing, affects me too. I hate that people I LOVE are feeling badly about experiences they've had, things they've done, said, or thought, and results that are less than ideal, especially regarding parenthood. I don't want to be that mom who judges. I want to offer help (if asked) and support.

No one wins in a competition of motherhood. We're all moms. Period. That's about as far as it needs to go. Competition helps no one.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

What's really going on

My friend writes a blog on mothering too, and her latest post was about the conspiracy of silence in mothering. Although I hadn't written any posts exactly like that one, I was a bit sad because I agreed with a lot of it.

Read the post so you know what I'm referring to, but from my own take, and in my own words, it's actually a huge disservice to not talk about conception, labor, birth, and mothering (specifically mothering, not just the umbrella, parenting, because they are not the same).

A friend of mine a long time ago, after the birth of her child told me it was REALLY physically painful. Like, grab-my-shoulders, don't-kid-yourself, painful. It scared me, but I was grateful. And in turn, in the midst of my sleeplessness, I told people who were on the fence about kids that if they liked sleep, didn't have a ROCK SOLID partnership, complete with previous challenges to test whether they would be able to hack this parenting thing, and had a lot of money issues, that they should REALLY think about having kids (or not having kids). I was shushed by another friend (consequently, a father), that I shouldn't say stuff to people like that. And my heart sank.

What was so wrong about telling people that this is really hard and to be as prepared as possible? I tell people all the time that if they don't have faith that their body can accomplish a physical feat (marathon, triathlon, long distance bike ride, etc.) that instead of crossing their fingers, they should either train harder, OR pick a new goal. It's not mean or's honest. Hope is good for a lot of things, but not for physically demanding things or child-rearing. Hoping to "make it out okay" can actually be life-threatening. And while having a child has many awesome things associated with it, it also has a LOT (like, a lot, a lot) of really negative, horrible things associated with it.

Women die of depression from the various things they experience during this process ALL the time. We don't like to talk about it. We also don't like to talk about stillbirth, abortions, miscarriages, children birthed with permanent defects or disabilities, postpartum depression (which can become chronic depression and necessitate drugs), financial upheaval, divorce, sleep deprivation (the kind that's not just funny and cute, but really health-depleting), malnutrition, etc.

When any one of us mamas feels something more intense than "I love my kid, I'll survive this hard stuff," we often don't know where to go with it. We don't want to feel like a downer, or ungrateful, or God-forbid, regretful. No mom wants to feel guilty in public that she might have made a mistake in having a child. Because that looks an awful lot like "My kid was a mistake." And you might as well pin a scarlet A on your clothes...but actually, it's even worse than that. And the people that get pregnant accidentally (not from extreme circumstances like rape or incest), but birth control failure, or relationship didn't work out, etc., and then choose to not carry the child to term...well, case in point, I don't know a lot of those, because I think no one wants to talk about that...and I might not either. Because I don't want to not be supported in a decision that I felt was best for me AND my potential kid. I don't want to be judged, questioned, pitied. I don't want people to think I'm too weak or too (enter your thing here).

That darkness, that loneliness and isolation among women is pretty darn horrible. I want to say it's second to violence. Harsh, I know. But when we can't/don't/won't support women by sharing, listening, and not judging, we continue to perpetuate that darkness. And in that darkness, lots of things lurk. Not just treatable stuff, but post-traumatic syndrome type things. From that, a million other things come too...and I've heard friends, people I know WELL, say stuff that I myself would be deeply troubled by...and I have a support system, therapist, and health insurance. Do they? I know of several people who committed suicide or turned to drugs because they felt trapped. Yikes. They could not care for their child the way they felt their child should be cared for and couldn't go on.

I don't want to be a part of that conspiracy. I don't want to lie to someone and say that "You forget the pain, and then it's all worth it." Because I'm deathly (literally) afraid to get pregnant again. It was horrible for the first half...I felt guilty for even the THOUGHT that I wanted to stop being pregnant, let alone the though that I was not enjoying it. When people asked me about it, like it was the weather, and I told them the truth, I felt ashamed. In groups, when a mama feels bad for having negative thoughts so she doesn't share them, we all suffer. And I don't want to play that way.

I don't want a mama to not feel like she can't tell me that she's hating life. And I don't want to even think a mama is home crying herself to sleep AGAIN because she thinks she's the only one going through this. I can't bear the thought, honestly.

Another friend told me that if I wasn't absolutely sure about having kids, that I shouldn't. I appreciated that. I really did want kids. Even though this first one was hard (the process, not the kid), I will do it again. Willingly. It will still be hard, but I want to do it again. But I would tell the same thing to someone else. You have to really want it. Worse case scenario, want it. Want them. Want a life that includes their crazy path, and isn't just a complement to yours.

That was a lesson I learned quickly. I'm not just having an experience of motherhood, I am raising/guiding a PERSON. With a life of their own. Not just an actor in my play. They are writing their own play (and I'm a player in theirs, too). And if/when we have another child, that child isn't just an actor in our play either. He/she is not just a playmate for the first child. They too have their own trajectory. And I need to respect that. And respect myself in that...that waiting for one child to be old enough to not need my attention so much isn't just about sibling rivalry or affording college, it's for my own survival. And theirs too. I don't take that lightly, either.

Anyway, I've drilled the point home, I'm sure. I just wanted to say that I want to tell the truth about motherhood...I want to share both sides. I even want to listen and support people who may not have balanced sides (they may really not enjoying parenting...and that's none of my business to judge).

Thanks to all the folks who write to me, publicly or privately, about my writing and this blog. I'm not doing it just to toot my own horn or get accolades or high-fives for my opinions/methods. I am sincerely passionate about sharing and pulling the veil back and it warms my heart when mamas (papas, too, of course) feel seen and heard. That's my aim. We're all in this together.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Letting go of me

A friend of mine posted something yesterday that really spoke to the process I feel I go through on a regular basis now.
She talked about letting go: "What I heard was that I would be letting him go and the truth is that I let myself go over and over and over....."  and THIS is exactly my point of this blog. It's more about all the things I wrapped around myself...some of it for protection, other parts for identity, and still other parts for no reason at all (probably just passed down stuff). And with my little person staring at me, with all that innocence and newness, I am forced (okay, gently, non-verbally requested) to look at all of it.

Like decluttering. I started doing it last night. And I have a strange tendency to keep things I don't know what to do with. I resist making a clean break...for the obvious reasons ("This might be that screw that is SO important, that we keep keeping it---but have no idea where it goes!!!"). And yet, when I look at K, he's so...uncluttered. I don't want to pass on my garbage to him. Not the actual garbage or even the stuff I just don't know about. If there's no strong reason to keep it, then why would I do it?

I also tend to hold on to ideas, beliefs, cultural norms, etc., that I'm too lazy to look at.

My mom friends and I are still talking about sleep and food and toys and communication...and I all of a sudden care what people think (okay, I always cared, but I work hard at not caring because in the end, it's me hanging out with me). So I don't want to share my weird ways. Or admit that I don't like going to the doctor if my kid gets sick. Or that we aren't doing a lot of "methods" unless you call "Trial and Error" a parenting method. I also don't want to admit that I'm not worried about my kid. Like hardly ever. In fact, I worry that I'm not worried about that's what comes out when I talk to other moms. He has bruised knees (from crawling on hard surfaces) and dirty fingernails and we don't use soap (I can count on one hand how many times I've put bubbles in the bath). I enjoy that he likes playing with our used yogurt tubs and egg cartons and I cringe when he gets new toys...because he's perfectly happy with the same toys he's had since birth. And in general, he doesn't even like toys...he likes mama's and papa's what looks like "too poor for toys" is really "he doesn't care, so we don't either." I use my intuition. I talk to him like he's an adult when we're alone. I talk to him telepathically when I'm not around him.

But then I hear about "development" and "milestones" and "genetic traits" or "hereditary things." And I freak out. As if the freaking out makes it better. And I tend to downplay any big milestone because I don't want to encourage competition or judgment from other mama friends...because I think I had something to do with it (I know I didn't/don't, in fact, I'm surprised he does anything at all, since I've probably taught him a lot of nothing)...I brush off any "smart" comments, just like I feel weird about any "He's beautiful" comments. As if admitting his charm/beauty would somehow make me a monster and give him a ego...

And in all of this, he doesn't really care. I truly believe that. At 10.5 months, I think he cares about being held, eating, sleeping, smiling, playing (he looks intense when he plays, so that word is funny to me, because it doesn't *seem* relaxing). I'm the one wrapped up in it all. So the letting go is all about me.

I try to keep my writing in this vein...1) because if he ever reads this blog, I want him to feel like it's not an expose on him and 2) because these thoughts are mine. I'm projecting a lot of the time anyway, and that's not fair, since he doesn't get a say, yet.

So the letting go is multi-fold...sometimes it's philosophical, and other times, it's about dumping the unflattering clothes so that I can simply feel well as pay for a damn haircut (instead of getting a cheap one and feeling horrible later) because I like short, neat hair.

Stay tuned for more's gonna be awesome.

Friday, July 5, 2013


"That's how we progress, we put ourselves out of the comfort zone..." -Sting, in the documentary 2012: Time for Change

I was writing down the feeling I'd like to have (regarding some vision work and feng shui goals) and freedom came up.
I want to feel free.
I wanted to write about it, because I know there's something I'm not letting go of that leads to freedom, or at least that seriously impedes the freedom I want.
I know I need to look at a lot of things to get at the root of not feeling free. It's hard to accept that my captor is likely me. That all the "obstacles" are in quotes because I made them up or at least, I made up that they are obstacles at all.

One thing that I don't like admitting, least of all in public, is that I don't like to let go of stuff. It's really hard. Harder than I thought. And I also don't take any time to examine why it's hard to let go of stuff. I think, "This is hard. So I'll stop looking into it. I'll just keep things until someone notices."

Man, am I crafty though! In a big house, it's easy to hide things. In fact, it's also easy to justify keeping them. Those things combined lead to a house full of stuff (read: crap) and this trapped feeling. And the trapped feeling FOLLOWS ME AROUND.Even outside the house. Maybe especially outside the house.

For example, I have a lot of things I want to give away or sell. I've already let them go in my mind, but for some reason (aha, the imaginary obstacle) I haven't dealt with them and they're still in my house. Ack. But I don't know why, really. It's gotta be about some fear...What if I need it? What if I could sell it for more? What if someone ELSE needs it (so sneaky, is my brain!)? What if I need it for the NEXT kid? A B&B guest? A family member? The president of the united states? Aaaaaaaahhhhh!

And not dealing with stuff is like a permanent nag that takes up space (rent-free) in my mind.
I hear this nagging voice more than 5 times a day (this is where that stat comes from that talks about how we don't have a lot of new thoughts, just the same ones playing over and over) the stuff has transformed into a thought, "I need to get rid of stuff", and this thought (and unfortunately, many countless others just like it) takes up space another thought (likely a better, more creative, more fun, more efficient, and more productive one) could be occupying. And these are just my thoughts!!! What else is being bumped out because I am torturing myself with complacency?

Stuff and thoughts present basically the same problem for me. Things I don't want, taking up valuable space, so I have to work extra hard to find more then I either, hide the stuff (physical) or try to think up new ideas (but potentially, without clearing out the old stuff, I am just adding the potential of more negative self-talk, since I have a tape that plays, "Great idea, but you don't have ANY follow through, so give up now.") Wow. That's intense. I mean, if I were talking to someone else with this problem, I would be heartbroken for them. I might even cry. Because all the good ideas are trapped or stifled, at best. In fact, some of those ideas are actually great, and maybe even amazing. Can you imagine? Amazing ideas just slipping away left and right because I am not motivated enough to clean up my brain and house?

There's a phrase in recovery that I like/hate: Are you willing to go to any lengths? This is a tough question. But it's the question that, when honestly answered, tells me how much pain I am willing to endure before I seek help. It also leads to another recovery (para)phrase: When it hurts badly enough, you'll do what it takes. Crap, so does that mean it doesn't hurt badly enough?

I have a hard time thinking that is true. Cause it feels pretty horrible right now. Like, up at night, losing sleep, feeling useless, hate my kid seeing me this way, kind of horrible. I also know that many times my clutter frustrates my husband. And I hate when that happens too.

When I read/talk about the examples we are for our children, there's a lot about body image, health, morals, and ethics, race, beliefs, etc. But shit, I'm still holding onto magazines from 2009, in case I feel like reading up on the past. So what does THAT tell my kid?

I'm also holding onto stuff that I don't need, "just in case," and what does THAT also tell my kid? That I don't trust the universe to bring it back to me if I need it again. And why don't I? Has the universe ever done me so wrong that I couldn't figure a way out of it (without creating a warehouse of stuff to solve the problem?). Simply and honestly, no.

The universe has never done me wrong. In fact, when shit has happened, I am constantly amazed about how the right thing at the right times ALWAYS appears. In fact, I can't think of the opposite proof. I cannot think of a time when I was so down/wronged/lost that no one, no thing, and no feeling couldn't help me. From strangers to family members, I've always been held in place. A very good place, I might add.

Letting go of the idea that I need to save everything (especially broken or wrong for me things) is not a small feat. In fact, for me, it might be one of the larger ones. I don't want to make a big declaration here that I will get rid of everything, but I want to state that my intention is to declutter my life, not because it's trendy and I saw it on Pinterest (but that helps), but because I want to free myself and my brain (and my house) from things that trap and keep me (and my family, to be honest) down. Because I have a lot to offer. And no fancy workshop, or spiritual CD or self-help book or even professional organizer will do the work for me. I just have to do it. Literally, one day (and drawer) at a time. And I don't want to hit bottom before I can start going up again.

I will take a picture of K and put it up where I am working on decluttering, to remind me that K is watching and experiencing me, with or without my consent...and he sees the stuff (literally and figuratively) that clouds my life...and I want him to know the real mama that called him here, that can do real healing work in the world, that has felt free before and really wants to feel it again...he'll love me no matter what, but I want him to feel like he can hold me in the light without doing it to help me...that he just does it because I embody that light already.

Here I go...

Thursday, June 27, 2013


No, this isn't a post about me struggling (yay!). It's a post about letting go of struggle. Because sometimes it seems that I live to struggle...that struggle becomes an obstacle course with a clear winner at the end...The Best Struggler!
But I wanted to write about letting go of struggle...of not really catering to my propensity to struggle.

Or maybe I just want to point out, for this moment, I'm not struggling. I am sleeping. I am eating. I see a few friends when I can manage it. I'm enjoying motherhood. I have read a few books and finished them and they were FICTION (note: I rarely read fiction, but I find that I am enjoying it at the moment).

I know that parenting is a practice in letting go, lowering expectations, and living in the present moment, and I also want to include that it doesn't have to be a struggle. Living in the present moment is really helpful when sometimes I want to live in the absolutes (never, always, etc)...K is sleeping now, which doesn't mean it won't change, but for now, it's working. It will change. It has changed. And in the present moment, I am enjoying it. But I don't have to hang out with the thought, "It'll never last!" (There's that 'never' I mentioned earlier). Of course it won't last, but right now it's good, and I want to say, I see you, good moment, and I can sit with that.

Sometimes I feel like I attract struggle to prove things: my strength, patience, ability, tolerance. But do I continue to need struggle to continue to "prove?" What if I just accept that I AM those things, and I don't need to struggle to offer proof to myself (or others)? Hmm. Interesting.

Okay, just wanted to share...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In my other life...

In my other life I am a budding industrial designer
I wear stylish glasses, have more than one pair
I sit around a table, thinking up ideas, playing with cardboard mock-ups

In my other life, I am on a book tour
People think I am funny and pay me to make them laugh
I am witty and respected

In my other life, my clothing is designed by an artist friend
My curves are appropriately accented, my cleavage isn't accidental
My colorful shoes are comfortable and stylish, but not bought on clearance

In my other life, I have a small house,
One that is sustainably efficient, clean and comfortable
There are no dust bunnies, no unfinished parts, no long remodels

My other life pays bills on time, gives money to charity
I take my husband out for dinner, without a second thought
I help a friend in need, I'm out of debt

In my other life, my passport is full
I speak multiple languages well, with the right winks and nods for each country
I know my wines and cheeses, I fit right in

In my other life, I fantasize about the life I live right now.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dear Mama (if K could blog...)

Dear Mama,

I know that whenever you want me to say "ma-ma," I always say "da-da." Don't feel bad. I'm doing that because I know it means a lot to papa (I'm working on my "p's") and I already get and give so much attention from/with you, that I wanted to make him feel special too. Don't worry, "ma-ma" is coming and I imagine it won't be too soon...

I know that you are hurting...there are a lot of things going on, and I just keep growing and growing because I can't slow down. But there are so many things to do, learn, grab, slobber on, and cry about. I can't take it all in. I get that from you...the world is so big and I'm so small, will I get to taste, feel, love it all? Will you help?

You've been telling everyone that we're no longer nursing and I know that you are sad about it. And I know that you are worried that it's not okay. But like everyone said, I'm doing really well and just because I no longer have mama milk, doesn't mean anything has really changed between us. I still want to cuddle, I still want you to pick me up, I still love to see you in the morning. You're my mama! Nothing changes that.

You are conscious and awake and you are present to what's going on with me and that's all I want. You listen and worry and wonder and appreciate. Those are the things that come from you forever...milk was only ever a passing thing.

I came to you because we are going to teach each other about love...and that will happen with every experience we have from crazy diaper changes to late nights to walks to the park to late night drives to get papa. The journey has only just begun and you are already an amazing mama. I am so lucky.

I love you,


What about NOT letting go?

Of course, the blog is about letting go, but should I exclude the idea of not letting go of some things? Maybe not.

With motherhood and parenthood comes excruciating amounts of cutting, severing, allowing, releasing, forgiving, forgetting, surrendering, and more. But in order to not fly away with the wind, I gotta hold on to SOME things, right?

Like what?

I don't know. I just started writing this entry because I feared that I was starting to let go of too much, too soon and then I was also thinking that I wouldn't be able to hold on to anything.

I'm learning that letting go is not an absolute activity. I don't just all of a sudden release, forget, and move on. In fact, letting go is more like a spectrum...what I let go of, how fast it happens, if I try to hold on again, etc., is all a part of the process. If I love something, let it go, and then it comes back, can I hold on again? Or is it just simply a letting out the string of my kite, letting it catch the wind, reeling it in when the wind dies down and then trying again?

Many a song talks about nothing being forever...which is super pessimistic, right? I don't like to think like that. I like to reframe that idea to allow that things just ebb and flow, they come close, then wander off, they hang around in the foreground, then fade to the background when it's time.

Just wanted to allow the parts of me who like to hang on, to be what they are. Not everything can be peacefully let go of. And that's okay too.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dear K,

Tiny Baby,
I usually write to you more privately. I usually tell you what unique to you things you are doing so when you are bored at age 17, wondering what the hell mom and dad were like (by then you'll likely stop calling us mama and papa) and what you were like (I know, my tenses are horrible...but it's hard to talk to you in the future...), you have a record.
But today, I am writing more publicly. Because this part of our/my journey has been more public.
And part of the purpose of this blog (most of the purpose, actually), is to write about and be conscious about letting go as I move through motherhood.
So here it is.
You are nine months and about three weeks (we can call it 10 months). I was aiming to breastfeed you until you were at least 12 months old. It was a goal I heard from other mamas and I figured it was good enough for me. I have a very, very supportive community, with lots of resources, ideas, milk, education, and positive encouragement. I was going to kick breastfeeding's ass (hmm. Interesting choice of words).
Early on, when you were losing weight (ack!), we started giving you formula. We were warned, but honestly, at the time, I did not care about anything but you gaining weight. I didn't think you were too small, but I also didn't like that you cried for more milk after every feeding and I didn't seem to have any more for you. Heartbreaking is an understatement. I also didn't like thinking that you might not be getting enough food. Not what this mama wanted to hear.
So we gave you 1/2 formula and 1/2 mama milk. You gained weight and it was better. My milk supply went down a bit when I went back to work, as we supplemented with a bit more formula. I wasn't able to breastfeed you during work (a dream I thought I could manage, but it was unrealistic). I was severely sleep-deprived, but I kept on pumping at work, feeding at night, and doing whatever I could do. I talked to moms, lactation consultants, the Dr., the midwives, my family, and I read websites, books, made cookies, took hot showers, pumped the majority of my time at work, took supplements, got milk donations, drank water, drank special tea, and kept a positive attitude.
But, Sweet Pea, after just now reading about another mama wanting to re-lactate (her milk dried up and mine is too, so I started reading voraciously in case I  missed something...), I realized I am at a crossroads (a common theme running through motherhood for me...) and I have to make a choice. Hopefully, you'll agree, a conscious choice. I have to weigh the benefit of continuing to try to make more milk and the peaceful release of the expectation (set up by me mostly, and some shame I feel at the idea that I might be "giving up too soon.") to keep making milk. They both stress me out a little (a lot?). If I stop, am I ruining your chances of immunity? If I don't stop, am I stressing myself out so much that I don't have immunity for my own body? And will other mamas look at me as a quitter? (No, they won't, but you can't tell me that sometimes, because I always believe they do...which is horribly inaccurate, I know) Will you throw it back in my face if you get some god-awful thing that could only be prevented by breastmilk? Is there such a thing? Will you be sad that we didn't share this bonding ritual for two more months? Will you be jealous of your friends who got to self-wean? Are you even registering this dilemma at the moment?

This is why this is so hard and only one of the decisions I have to make in the course of your/our lifetime. It sucks, honestly. I feel like a sad-sack when I pump and get .25 oz from about 40 minutes total of pumping per day. And woe is me, that I'm not a big "producer" as if you think less of me because of my milk output. I know, that's not giving you enough credit.

So instead of saying I stopped breastfeeding because of my milk production, (that feels like I am giving my power away and placing blame and it just doesn't feel completely true in its simplicity), I want to say to you and everyone else, that I am choosing to care for myself, my emotional and physical fragility, my body, and my sanity (and ultimately you) and that's why we're stopping.

You are not crying and reaching for me, I am not spending less time with you, you are not hungry, you are not malnourished. When I leave my pump at home, I feel lighter. I know, that even in your non-verbal-ness, you are okay with this. I am the one holding on and not you. (We'll verify this later). I know that when you get older, you will likely say, "Hey Mama, please don't let me and what you think are my expectations of you, hold you back. That's not why I came to you. I came to you to help you let go, to be free, and to teach you to soar." Just like I took the drugs for hyperemesis because I wanted to feel better and to love being pregnant (rather than soldiering on--which might have been way more detrimental to both of our bodies), this is like that. I am stopping breastfeeding because we can move on to other ways to bond, other ways to share, and other ways to nourish. We have a lot to teach each other Little One, don't we?

So there is no big ceremony. The grandest gesture I know is to write. And your grandest gesture is to smile that killer smile of I will let go and let those be our moments as we continue on...and I won't hang my hat--or yours--on milk or the right diapers/food/toys/books or being perfect or knowing all the answers. You release me and I trust you enough to let go...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Those pesky expectations

As a newer (admitted) extrovert (I used to be a really social introvert), socializing is a big deal to me. Not just at parties, but seeing other people live their lives, tell their truth, etc. For those who know me, it's a complicated, big deal.

When one has kids, things change. If I had a nickel every time I heard this...

When I had a kid, things (expectations, specifically) indeed changed. And got more complicated. I feel pretty vulnerable right now talking about how I socialize, because those I socialize with (or don't socialize with, as the case may be) are pretty much the bulk of this blog's audience. So I'm "reporting on" but also "talking to" this group. See? Already too complicated.

But being vulnerable is a part of letting go. I know that in the deepest of places. If I can't say stuff out loud to myself and at least one other person it's like one hand clapping in a forest where no one can hear it.

So back to when I used to be an introvert... Introversion is not about being anti-social, which I have never really been. It's about where I get/got my energy. Do I feel more energized with people or on my own? For a long time, I felt more energized on my own. My rules, my food, my space, my clothes, my time. A lot of "mine." I used to have one chair facing the TV in my one bedroom apartment until a dear friend told me that that's no way to attract a partner. Hmm. Conflict arose in the concept that with all the "mine" there was no one to share it with. Huh.

I also, by nature (or was it nurture?), am someone who is capable of helping people out. And way back when, I think I did this a lot, or some might say, too much. Helping people out is innocent enough, but for an introvert, it's not as fulfilling as it sounds. In fact, I think I may have wanted to help so that when I was alone, thinking about my life, etc., I wouldn't seem like an asshole. God forbid. It's not that I helped people insincerely, it's that it wasn't exactly what fed me. But how I felt about myself fed me, so it worked.

Until it didn't.

Shortly after the single chair moved out and a couch moved into to the aforementioned apartment, "mine" started getting boring. But this is where it got complicated. I liked helping, but not too much. I liked people, but only until they wanted something I didn't want to give. So the math was something like this: If I help people they will take all the energy I have, leaving me spent and angry. If I don't help people, I will be, and feel like, an asshole. And "mine" is now boring. And I'll probably also end up spent and angry from my own doing. Ack!

Enter the estranged boundaries. I wanted to put them in quotes, but I don't want to poke fun at them. Boundaries were like a cool distant cousin, who dressed well, liked the cool, hip music, and didn't care what people thought of her. Man, did I want to be like that cousin! But I had no idea what to do with boundaries. They felt gangly and awkward. Like I was trying on a smokin' hot dress for a college student's body, as a 10 year old. Double ack.

I started hanging around people who had boundaries (also known as therapists and those IN therapy) and while things still looked insanely awkward, I also saw that these people still had friends, did not vanish in a puff of smoke, and seemed to have self-esteem. Victory!

And here is where these worlds now I'm a mom, with a much better handle on boundaries, and to the naked eye, I might still seem like an asshole. But trust me, my lack of socializing isn't personal. Some days, even though I am home, "doing nothing," I am really just storing up some alone time. Or I am being more honest with myself when I say to myself, "You know, it's okay to not do or go or plan right now."

It can also be heart-breaking...I know I miss many of my friends. And some friends have complained that my lack of time for them is becoming detrimental to our relationship. And I lie awake at night stewing about this...because that was never my intent, but I just don't feel the same about socializing like I used to. I have my built-in social group, who share my house with me, and when they are gone or asleep, I get some breathing room. I need breathing room. Now more than before. So it's a dance and one I'm still awkwardly navigating. When hubby is gone for the night, sometimes with the car, sometimes not, I am constantly weighing the pros and cons of interaction. Some days going out wins, some days, it loses, and I eat grilled cheese and watch tv. When I stay in, K gets better sleep because I am focused on his cues. When I go out, sometimes, it's more important that I get some attention, rather than K. I'm still looking for his cues, mind you, but I'm just not ignoring my own.

I have a hard time explaining this sometimes. But overall, I just need to learn to let go of my expectations of myself and not expect others to let go of theirs. I can't blame others for missing me. And for being angry that I'm not more mobile, willing, available, sans baby, etc. Hopefully our friendships will endure and things will change (working on getting a second car is top of the list, FYI) and we will hang out more often, once more. Until then, don't write me off. I still love you dearly.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I don't want to write about this

Because I don't want it to be true...

One of the hardest things to let go of, is couplehood. I have to say, I've REALLY enjoyed being in a relationship, being  married, being a couple. I like saying "we," I like having things in common with my spouse, I like hearing what hubby has to say. I like the cuddle (actually, we've coined a phrase: huggle), I like the hanging out together, the reflecting together, the errand running, the everything.

And with another person in the mix, the couple becomes a triple. And an unequal triple. In fact, I think of it like a molecule (bare with me, chemistry was NOT my strong suit) with three atoms, two being more stable than the third, but either of the adult two can help the younger third become more stable and sometimes the three of them can be stable together, but sometimes (most times?) not. Because the third atom is young and volatile. One day they will all be more stable (hopefully), but for now, that's a tough standard to uphold.

Frankly, I'm not doing very well at letting go of couplehood. In fact, I don't want to let it go. So really, 1 and 1 and 1 make two and also make three, in addition to making four and five. There are a lot of combinations (math, also not a strong suit) that we can be now. I guess I didn't look at it from all the angles. I just thought we'd be a team and leave it at that. I also imagined an 8 year old child and forgot to imagine ALL the other ages.

Many people tried to scare me (and did so successfully) regarding my marriage and a new baby. But, and I might be in the minority, I want to keep working on the couple part too. Baby K needs to see that our relationship is not JUST in service to his well-being. It's in service to the whole family and the individuals. So, yeah, I won't be letting it go, I'll just be letting go of trying to make it exactly how it was before and instead working on improving it with its new components.

I know the holding on will change and the couple will change too. Part of my spiritual inclination to be in a marriage was to catapult me beyond what I could do by myself. And so it goes that after we go as far as we can in a twosome, the additional person added into the mix will again catapult us to a different place. And I want that too. But this is just one of those "claw mark" moments...

I like other stuff too

I have a post in the works about my social life and new expectations...while I work on that, I wanted to talk about a similar concept.

Yes, I'm a new mom (can you tell?) and I love the stuffing out of my Little Person.


Wait for it...

Here it comes...

I like other stuff too!

I know it's hard to believe, because if you've been in conversation with me lately, (and you're also reading a blog called mamaletsgo...which is about parenting), you hear a lot about my kid, but I really do like other stuff too. Still.

I still like to write, make stuff, eat healthy food (okay, well, this is harder to do, but if you offered it to me, I would eat it), have deep conversations, do personal development work, read non-baby/parenting books, listen to music, watch movies and TV, garden (don't look at our yard...), figure out interior design projects (and promptly forget about them still...can't blame that on parenting...), run businesses, talk about businesses, and loads of other stuff.

I don't like admitting this, because I kinda feel horrible sometimes that I don't want to talk about my amazing kid. I know that his arrival now gives people who normally would have NOTHING to say to me, something for them to talk to me about, but after the "He's awesome" answer, I feel like we're back to where we started.

And I want to talk about other stuff! See? I just italicized it, which makes it doubly true.

Has motherhood changed me a lot? Sure. But many things aren't different. I'm back to getting sleep, so we don't need to talk about how tired I am, either. I'm not sick, I'm not that fat anymore, I'm struggling with different things, but overall, I still like to make pop-culture references, go to the library, eat yummy food, meet new people, go shopping, walk around, and people watch.

I also still like to do things. Is it harder? Yes. Am I far less available and sometimes subjected to the whims of a 9 month old? Of course. But if you want to hang, sans baby, I can ask for childcare. I'm also still helpful. Except for some language loss, I still have creative ideas, still like to help people, and still enjoy your company, even though you don't have kids (and may not ever want them). I didn't like to drink before, so nothing has changed in that regard, but that never stopped me from having fun. Actually, I'm kinda into more things in a way too. Camping, hiking, nature-y things, etc. Go figure. I'm still obsessed with cleaning, even though I don't do it anymore...we're working on it. But just because my house is messier, doesn't mean I don't care anymore. It just means another person is there making it a bit harder. Oh well.

I don't watch my language still (and after reading this, I'll probably keep swearing, so beware), I don't want to shop for kids clothing/toys/schools/colleges, I won't show you pictures of my kid (unless you ask), and I'm not trying to turn every room into the baby's room/playroom/walk-in closet, etc. Our child is a member of our family, which has two other immediate members and about 13 other still pretty close members. So he's not the entire focus of my brain. Don't hate me. Or call CPS. Or think I'm selfish (well, think whatever you want).

I'm just not interested in letting go of ALL of the things I like about myself because I have a new person in my life. K should know that I have a life in addition to our shared interests...that's healthy I think. That he isn't the center of my world creates stability for all of us, because he's just changing too much. I create the stability so that when things get crazy, we all don't fall apart. So I'm not letting go of me...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Milk and myths

I had a moment this morning, as I walked defeated, into the kitchen, to show Papa my morning's milk production. I have been fighting off the "less than" feeling for months. 9.5 months to be exact.

I pumped the night before at 9p and then slept nine hours and then thought I felt some intense let down in the morning (I've been eating a LOT of lactation cookies, but alas, I am finally grasping that they aren't helping) so I was eager to see the results. It was pitiful. In fact, I became pitiful just looking at it. I have these huge milk containers that hold 6 oz of pumped milk, and I feel horrible using them now because my milk no longer even covers the bottom of the bottles. It's hard not to feel inadequate. I'm slowly drying up and I will likely not make it to one year of breastfeeding (I do have milk donations, though, for which I am grateful).

I have ranted before, to my various moms groups, that I feel angry and resentful that just because I am categorically not doing all the granola-type things I aspired to when I was pregnant, (or worse, even when I was not pregnant), that I am 1) not a natural mama 2) that I am uneducated 3) that I am lazy/giving up easily 4) not doing what is best for my child.

There are some crazy myths and a whole steamboat of judgments around the way parents do things. More than anything, it really degrades our ability to support each other and that degradation, in my far from humble opinion, leads to violence, isolation, suicide, depression, poor health, and overall shitty lives. The fact that doing or not doing something (abuse of any kind, violence, etc. are not the things I am talking about) MEANS something (ie, if you do not do X, it MEANS you don't care...), is damaging.

First, an apology. To all the parents I secretly (or not so secretly) judged, I am more sorry than I can properly express to you. There are specific people I am talking about, but I'm also talking to the complete strangers that I interacted with or just saw in supermarkets, on buses, in museums, on airplanes. I did not then, and do not now, have all of the answers.
I should've hugged you. I should've at least touched your shoulder, knowingly (I wish it wouldn't have seemed creepy). I should've high-fived you. I should've thought, "Wow, they are doing the best they can AND they are taking their kids to the zoo---what ROCKSTARS!" I should've simply said, "You're doing a great job. It looks like your kid really loves/trusts/respects you."

Second, I am tired of propagating the myths.There is no one (right) way to do this parenting thing. There is not even one natural way to do this. That's because humans, living all over the world, do different things. Period.

We don't get asked in our infant wellness checkups if we love our kids and how much we love them. We are not asked what our efforts are, we are just asked if we put in any effort. We aren't even asked if we can assess their mental well-being and if they are happy, connected, etc. And even kids who aren't happy or connected aren't always worse off. It's not really a doctor's job to ask you this or pay attention to this (well, not exactly anyway).

So I am left to read books, defend opinions and experiences, cry alone in my therapist's office, weep softly into my pillow at night, put on a happy face, keep "giving it a shot," listen to the reassurance of my husband, and keep a lot of things to myself until someone else admits it first.

Time and again I am reminded, by lovely, supportive people, that my child is happy, healthy, bonded to me, social, and developing normally. And that he loves me pretty intensely. It's true. I would be insane if I tried to deny it. The smile on his face when I walk into a room could care less whether I was a milky machine or formula-making machine. He never throws the bottle in disgust. He never cries at my boobs. When we put his crib in the room next door, he didn't flip out. When I leave for work he doesn't fall apart. None of those things have ever happened. We worked really hard to make transitions bearable. When K giggles because of something absolutely ridiculous that I did, I forget to add that to my list of "Why I Rock Parenting." Such a shame, too. To instigate a giggle like K's is surely an accomplishment (I'm debating adding it to my lifetime achievements). He doesn't withhold the giggle because I produce less than an ounce of milk daily and we can't really breastfeed normally anymore. I must give him more credit than that.

My baby is not an innocent bystander. As I have always said, he communicates very clearly what he needs and wants. And I, one of his capable parents, pretty much take care of his needs pretty damn well, I must admit. In fact, I need to give myself more credit. I know the pattern of his crying. I know how long is too long, I know how much is too much food, I even know when things are the wrong flavor, temperature and consistency. I know when it's time to head outside and when it's time to head home. I know cuddle positions and I know when it's good to let him be in his bed quietly playing without the likes of me barging in to start the day. I know how to redirect, distract, comfort, kiss, and tickle my child to show him that I am paying attention and that his welfare is pretty much the top of my list.

Thanks for letting me get that all out. Milk doesn't equal love. That's silly. I'm sad that I kinda felt that it did. Just like with my c-section, I don't want to start telling a story that isn't true. I HAVE fought long and hard to provide milk to my kid. I've shamelessly asked others and accepted their donations. I am not entirely giving up (I have a few more things I want to try), and when I stop, I won't call it giving up anyway.

My "good enough" is amazing. My child will know that when I have let go, it's after all the appropriate options have been tried. This is something I cannot find in a book, there is no chart for it, no research, and no drug to boost my efforts. Since the beginning of pregnancy, I have done everything I could...maybe that's what I should've called the blog...


My favorite baby

My inspiration

My inspiration