Mommas–hurry up and SLOW DOWN

 

We were getting out of the car the other day; Eilynn had just told me about a gold star she received at school as a result of being the “Class Leader of the Day.” I was deep in thought—and wanted to let her know how proud I was of her.

I opened the car door, and simply said- “Hey Eilynn…remember…” I couldn’t even finish the sentence, because she cut me off quickly and said, “I know, I know mom…hurry up.” My heart dropped.

“Hurry up? That’s what she thought I wanted to say to her?” In that moment, I was genuinely ashamed.

Mommas, how many times, does that simple phrase “hurry up” become the main request when speaking to our children?

“Hurry up and put on your shoes”

“Hurry up so we can get on the road”

“Hurry up, we’re going to be late for school”

“Hurry up and finish your dinner”

It was then, that I suddenly realized my daughter’s perception of me was that of a momma who is always in a rush.

Seriously—what’s the rush, mommas? Why are we in such a hurry to speed through life?

And, let’s be honest here—it’s typical. I recently aired a podcast addressing this ever-so-busy lifestyle that we have all adopted. We are in a constant state of GO-GO-GO from the moment we wake up to begin our days. We all lead prosperous lives filled with endless work, meetings, after school activities, parent-teacher conferences—the list goes on and on. It’s no wonder why most mommas complain about not having enough time in the day.

But, what message is this teaching my daughter–when she thinks that she must always hurry up?

What happens when she hurries up through her homework and doesn’t even grasp the lesson it’s supposed to teach her? What happens when she hurries through a tough decision that she needs to make and instead acts on impulse or emotion? What happens when she grows into another adult who never stops to give herself time?

I don’t know about you—but I’m tired of living a life where I’m constantly bombarded with schedules, time constraints and burnout. SLOWING down and taking time might be good for the soul.

On the podcast episode I mentioned above, I brought up my “1 hour early” strategy for slowing down and being more present on a daily basis. That’s what I’m hoping to achieve in life… more time to myself to be intentional and present…and not always hurrying up.

I want to teach my daughter that there is so much of life missed by always hurrying through it.

Mommas, let’s hurry up and slow down.

CHECK OUT THAT PODCAST EPISODE HERE. 


Mommas, what are you constantly in a rush for? Share some comments below! If you enjoyed this blog post, please share with a friend. Also– check out the podcast episode by clicking on the link above!

Becoming WHOLE means uncovering some hidden truths

One day in the near future, I will stand in my truth and proclaim that “I am worthy. I am enough.” The road to that day will be paved with challenges, triumphs, self-realizations and truths that I have to be willing to acknowledge and embrace. It’s going to take courage and belief in myself that I am doing what is best for me. I have to trust myself and trust the process, because Lord knows there will be challenges.

How can I expect to give my daughter the best of me if I myself am not whole? It’s a question that I was afraid to ask myself for the first 4 years of my daughter’s life.

Somewhere deep inside of my soul, was a longing to resolve anything that might stand in the way of giving my daughter 100% all of me.

The thing is, I had no idea what those unresolved matters were…but they were there. Like a shell’s hard layer, the unresolved issues were just one layer below.

They were there every time I refused to look myself in the mirror and love the woman I had become. Curves on my body that weren’t always there, wrinkles that would appear out of nowhere and a smile that I had a hard time accepting. It was there when I had second guesses about my own happiness and worth in my marriage with her father. It was there when I would cry myself to sleep in the middle of the night because I felt alone and dark. And it was also there when I would feel panic about my daughter finding out the ugly truth of my past…Those unresolved issues where there all along, but I was unwilling to accept them.

Instead, I spent the first 4 years of my daughter’s life ignoring the unresolved issues in my life. Blissfully unaware of the pain and ugliness that lived inside my soul.

Until the moment I realized that I was broken.

It was the night I crawled into bed with my daughter after an argument with my husband. I was upset. For so long, I thought the unhappiness came from my husband’s inability to show me appreciation. But, laying in the bed with my daughter and crying to her—I realized that it wasn’t my husband’s inability—rather MY own inability to love myself. Because, here I was crying on my four-year-old daughter’s shoulder—seeing the look of concern and worry in her little eyes while she was trying to console ME. I was broken. My daughter could see it…and that night—I could see it.

That was the night that I began the ascent into my awakening. My journey to finding out what was bothering ME. And why was I so upset and angry. I took pen to paper and began writing….

I started with my story. From the very beginning… and unleashed years of regret, anger, hurt, and pain that I had been ignoring since my early childhood.

It was empowering to recognize the feeling and emotions that I had not named before. I dove into hours of books, podcasts and genuine conversations to help me begin to become whole again. To fix those broken parts of me that were angry and upset all the time…

Since that night, I keep talking about my discovery of truths and emotional healing. When I was able to face my past and have the courage to question why I was hurt—a rush of relief washed over me.

I’m willing to bet we all have things that we need to heal from. Past hurts, heartbreaks and experiences that we try to hide from the outside world.

However, the moment you step into your truth and face your deepest soul aches is ultimately what will set you free and enable you to heal…thus, becoming whole.

Until then, I will keep writing…and soul searching…and learning from my past mistakes. And looking forward to the day where I can say and believe with all my heart that “I am enough.”


What does becoming WHOLE mean to YOU? Share some thoughts in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please share with a friend to help spread this message. 

A formal proclamation of perfection

A wise friend gave me an honest reflection the other night. “You are liked because you strive to be perfect…” It was a simple remark said to me that sent me knee-deep in contemplation. With perfection comes a dilemma— how can you strive to be “perfect” and authentic at the same time? Perfection is the very concept that I aim to destroy in our world of competition, comparison and vanity.

Thus, a real self-reflection commenced. I spent the entire next day reflecting on how I have spent my entire life striving to be perfect. I started with my morning drive to work…

“Candice, why the hell do you strive to be perfect?”

In all honesty, my friend was right. I strive for perfection in everything that I do. I recently planned an event for Project: Passion and gave myself a jaw ache with all the stress and anxiety I had during the last two weeks leading up to the event (apparently, I clench my teeth when I’m under a ton of stress, my dentist confirmed).

So, the question remains—WHY do I strive to be perfect? And how does that impact how I am as a mother?

If I trace my history back to childhood, I remember loving the spotlight. Whether it be on stage during a singing performance or a speech that I was elected to give in front of an audience. I thrived off all eyes being on me….why? Because I was good at it.

My ah-ha moment the other night was realizing that feedback has a lot to do with perfection.

Those who know me well know that I love asking for feedback. My ah-ha moment the other night was realizing that feedback has a lot to do with perfection. You see, when I feel confident that I’ve nailed a presentation or speech—I will intentionally ask for feedback because I’ll get validation of what I did well and what I didn’t—I use for the NEXT time I present, hence—striving for perfection.

So, let this be my formal proclamation—I am a perfectionist. And I still care about what other people think of me.

The next question—How will this affect my parenting?

If how act and treat others is a projection of how I view myself, then where will perfection shape how my daughter views herself? Will perfection become my kryptonite?

Perhaps, the awareness of my perfection tendencies is all that is needed to break the magic of the kryptonite. Imagine being able to look back on this moment when my daughter is older and making mistakes where I can pause and realize that mistakes are what make us human. What if this realization of perfection is exactly what was needed for me to stop it in it’s tracks?

I won’t know until the moment comes. Until then, I’ll keep calling myself out. And celebrating all of my flaws and missteps. I’ll embrace the not-so-perfect moments and revel in all it’s glory. To prove it, this post contains several “non-perfect” pictures taken recently. Embracing authenticity as I destroy the notion of perfection.  Maybe my daughter will catch on…


How do YOU handle the idea of perfection? Do YOU see it coming up in your daily life? How can we all learn to be more authentic and less perfect? Share some thoughts in the comments!

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Be careful=be fearful?

 

Two words that sparked this topic: “Be careful!”

We got E a pink Power Wheels Jeep for her fourth birthday. She was so excited to jump in the driver’s seat and have all of the control as a driver. Zooming all around ours and our neighbor’s front yard, E was having the time of her life. We took her on an evening ride around the neighborhood, and as she drove on the sidewalk—I found myself saying “be careful!…not too fast….watch where you’re going…” the entire time.

You may not think it’s much of a big deal, but what I realized on this evening drive is that I may be subconsciously training my daughter to be fearful of the bad things that could happen in the world.

Because when I’m constantly saying, “be careful,” what E might be hearing is “be fearful.”

We have a very important job as mothers. To protect our children from harm and prepare them for a world where they can be self-sufficient. We also teach them to be productive members of society, with a strong moral compass. But, what if my fears for the worst end up doing more harm than good?

We live in a time where the news is saturated with tragic events. It breaks my heart to acknowledge that I brought my daughter into a world where safe places are never guaranteed. There is stranger danger, social media dangers, and mass murders happening often and I constantly live in fear of the unthinkable.

But, then I think about my daughter… So untainted to all of the ugliness. Pure and innocent…and oh so very fearless. Why should MY fears hold HER back from exploring a world of endless possibilities?

So, while “be careful” might seem like a harmless cautionary request—when I consider the potential it might have to E’s curiosity and tenacity—I feel a pang of guilt because I want to put her in a bubble and keep her safe her whole life.

You hear about a deep love that you’ll find when you have your first child. You hear stories of this instant, deep and pure love that you can’t ever imagine until the first few moments you are joined with your firstborn.

What you don’t hear about is the constant FEAR you will have as a mother. Fear for the uncontrollable world that we live in. Fear of the unthinkable and unimaginable. Fear of things, events and situations that you won’t be able to protect your child from. Fear of things that I am to scared to type out in words.

I want to let go of that fear. I believe that despite all of the heartbreak and tragedy, the world is really filled with happiness, hope and love if you know where to look for it…

That’s what I’ll teach E to do–look for the love in a world of hate. Look for the light in a world full of darkness. And search for positivity when the majority wants to focus on the negative. It’s a delicate balance of guidance and teaching E about the dangers the world could have, but also encourage her to be fearless in her dreams and passions.

As for me, I’ll have to follow my own teachings and embrace the uncertainty that life presents us with. It puts a whole new perspective on “living each moment to the fullest”.


What are some of YOUR fears as a momma? How do YOU overcome your own fear to let your child truly be fearless? Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

Admitting my mistakes

 

My precious daughter. Bless your energy, compassion, curiosity and tenderheartedness. I feel your watchful eyes—eager to replicate everything that I do. You see me put on makeup, so you beg to “pee-tend” to put on your makeup. Coffee in the morning? You are right there with me, with your chocolate milk and plastic coffee cup to enjoy your “coffee” alongside mine. Even your mannerisms are all too familiar (the way you dance and sing at the top of your lungs after Sunday morning breakfast). I know you see me. I’m aware of your focused observations.

This position as your momma bears great responsibility. As I’ve written before, you are constantly holding a mirror and showing me my reflection—good or bad.  And although I’m up for the challenge, I feel compelled to share with you that I don’t always know what I’m doing….

I’m only human. I make mistakes. I will make more mistakes. I’m still figuring this parenting thing out, and I’m bound to never know all of the answers.

I will lose my temper and yell. Although I will try hardest not to, sometimes I may not know how to communicate my message without yelling.

I will say “NO,” when I should really give you the ability to choose. Most of the time, when I decline a request from you, it’s for a good reason. But—I may miss an opportunity for a teachable moment when I continue to make all of your decisions for you.

I will dismiss you too quickly. You might ask me 25 times to watch you twirl your dress and I’m too busy trying to cook dinner that I dismiss you when I don’t mean to. As you get older, I might fail to cherish those moments that you are coming to me…Please don’t stop coming to me. No matter what.

I will forget you can hear me. My words might fail me and I might slip up and use the wrong word without remembering that you are right there listening to me.

I’ll also forget you can see me. That man who cut me off on the freeway? I’ll forget that you are in the backseat watching me and seeing how I’ll react to the roadrage.

I won’t always be accepting up front. Like when you meet a boy that you want to bring home, or the friends who I think you shouldn’t hang out with. I will have an opinion on them, and I might forget that you are your own person who should be making your own decisions. I’m going to have a hard time with that….

There will be a day when we don’t see eye-to-eye, and you may feel like you could do this whole parenting thing better than me. As my sister so wisely put it—I can only HOPE you will be better than me. That’s my goal in life—for you to learn from my mistakes and become the best version of yourself that you can. Please always remember that I have and will always love you every day of my life. I am not always the perfect example, but you can bet I am constantly trying my damn hardest to be the BEST mother to you. I’m only human, and I will make mistakes. But I will also learn from them with the help of your constant forgiveness.

 

 

Mirror, mirror on the wall

 

If I’m honest, I struggle with this every day.

I’m in a constant battle with myself when it comes to my ability to live up to my full potential as a mother. I’m constantly assessing and reassessing myself and often times feeling like I fall short.

Every decision, every action, everything that I do is done with one thing in mind: my daughter. I see her watching me and attempting to be like me….but is that what I want? My insecurities, my aggressiveness, my strong will—do I want her to have those qualities?

Motherhood for me has been like a mirror—showing me a reflection of who I am as a mother, wife, daughter, and person. It’s like my daughter is constantly holding up the mirror, and I can’t help but look. Every time.

Let me tell you, parenthood isn’t for the weak of heart. As an individual who practices self-awareness and reflection often, even the best parenting books and journaling techniques couldn’t prepare me for what I see in the mirror.

This weekend, that reflection showed me a person who needs to practice more patience. It was a long day, and E wasn’t listening to me. Everything I asked her to do had to be said 3 or 4 times. It took us 25 minutes to get shoes on and leave the house because of E’s strong will (See? She got it from me). In a moment of weakness, I yelled. “PUT YOUR SHOES ON SO WE CAN GO!” I hollered this as I slammed my purse down on the counter top. In that moment, tears welled up in her sweet eyes as she put her head down and slid on her shoes. Reflection shown. And I didn’t like it.

…My sweet girl. Even in my ugliest moments, outrage and all—she still finds a place in her heart to forgive me. Every time. Because, after I realized what the mirror was showing me about myself—I kneeled down next to her and said, “I am so sorry. I am not showing you a good example of patience, and I will do better. Do you forgive me?” She did.

So, although the mirror shows me just how ugly I can be….it also shows me that I have an opportunity to change it. This weekend, I changed how I was to be seen in that reflection. To practice more patience….and forgiveness like my daughter so eagerly does every time I fall short.

This motherhood thing is hard. And I’m working every day at being better than I was the day before. I don’t think I’ll ever master it, but I’ll sure as heck try my hardest with every reflection that I see. Mommas, be aware of your mirror and what the reflection says back to you.

How do you cope with feeling like you fall short? Share some tips on how you change that reflection when you don’t like what you see. Comment below!