Haters Gon’ Hate

First things first, an update on the shoe situation:

Last week I posted a picture of a pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins on Facebook. It looked like this:

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It generated a surprisingly heated discussion about whether or not I am a completely self-absorbed snob for wanting to buy $60 shoes for a 1 year old. Here’s a sampling of some of the (15+) comments:

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 10.40.05 AMScreen Shot 2014-09-30 at 10.40.20 AMScreen Shot 2014-09-30 at 10.40.32 AMIn the end, I remained conflicted about how to proceed.

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Just kidding!! I was totally going to buy them the whole time – ha! Haters’ gon hate…but what can you do. A girl can never have too many shoes.

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Oh and just in case this story makes it seem like I am raising a spoiled, prissy little princess, here’s a video of Mia at a local farm giving hugs to all the sheep. Just after this video was taken she laid down in the middle of the sheep pen and legit rubbed dirt/hay/grain all over her hands and legs. Then she took off her shoes. The girl knows how to make a mess. And while I think Dan may have been having a heart palpitations, I couldn’t help but smile. She’s for sure a farm girl at heart.

After hugging the sheep Mia had her first ever ice cream cone, and got to ride on her very own miniature tractor. (Also pictured below, some shots from the Cumberland Fair)

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All in all we had a pretty fun weekend – and I felt especially grateful for every moment we spent together. Even the ones when Mia was screaming and Dan was annoyed because we were missing the football game.

I’m feeling especially grateful these days because last week something unimaginable happened to a young family in our community. A friend of a close friend lost their 11 month old son in a tragic accident. I hesitate to even write about it because I don’t know the family personally (only through another friend), and the small way in which their sadness touched me is absolutely incomparable to the crushing, horrific, all consuming grief they must be experiencing right now and for the days, months and years to come.

I think that our minds actually protect us from this kind of tragedy by preventing us from being able to fully comprehend the reality of the situation. So instead of trying to understand what they must be feeling, I’m turning my energy inward, and focusing on how I can be more mindful. More grateful for every day, every moment. Every 3am wake up. Every kiss hello and and hug goodbye.

It is so easy to feel frustrated by the many things I don’t have. The stuff I’m not good at. The things that don’t unfold they way I wish they would. But a quick step back and sharp breath in make me stop in my tracks and realize that the things that really, truly matter are sitting right next to me on my couch. And they are perfect.

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If you know the Hartfords, or were touched by their unimaginable loss, you can help them with medical and funeral expenses here, or simply send them a message of love and support. Please keep their family, and their sweet little angel Henry in your prayers. 

 

 

 

Bye Bye Baby: The First Trip Away

Before I had Mia I heard moms whining about leaving their one, two and even three years olds for the first time for a night and I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt the frontal lobe of my brain.

COME. ON.

The kid is three for pete’s sake, get a grip.

And then, like so many things in life, I had Mia and I became one of them.

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I agreed to this work trip when I was still pregnant, woefully unprepared for motherhood and classically ignorant about all things mommy. I did the math in my head, figured out that Mia would be a little over a year when the work trip rolled around – and eagerly agreed to go. She would be done breastfeeding (she’s not), she would be sleeping through the night (only sometimes), and I would be so excited for a little break from the chaos.

The only thing I was right about was being excited for a little escape – but what I completely didn’t take into account was how incredibly, heart-wrenchingly difficult it would be to leave my baby for 3 full nights. Three bedtimes with no kisses. Three mornings with no nursing. Three full days without hearing her sweet little voice cooing for mama and dada.

The trip in question was admittedly a pretty awesome one. A work trip to Bar Harbor to host a bunch of nutrition bloggers and teach them about Wild Blueberries. It was pretty much a paid vacation. But the separation from Mia was awful.

As the trip approached I became increasingly panicked. I cried, I decided to cancel, I called my mom and told her I wasn’t going to go. I couldn’t believe how pathetic I was acting. Especially because I knew I DID NOT want to be one of those codependent moms who can’t or won’t carry on a life outside of their kids. And I knew I didn’t want Mia to be one of those kids.

And that’s why I had to go.

Not because I didn’t want to be “one of those moms” but because I didn’t want Mia to be “one of those kids.”

hi!I want her to go cheerfully, and confidently to sleepovers. I want her to be soothed by her daddy in the same way she’s soothed by her mom. I want her to get her own apartment when she’s older and cook her own food and kill her own spiders. I want her to know how to change a tire and tile a bathroom. How to manage an investment account and navigate an airport. And she won’t do any of those things if 1. I don’t let her and 2. I don’t show her that she can.

I realize that going on a 3-day work trip is not going to teach Mia how to manage an investment account, or even prepare her for a sleepover. But it did show her that she doesn’t need to be nursed to fall asleep. That she can count on her daddy to comfort her when her new teeth are hurting. That she can be Mia without Mama. This trip taught me that I am strong and independent enough to spend time away, and that she’s strong and independent enough to be fine without me. We are deeply connected, but we are two separate people.

I’ve always believed the best relationships are between people who love each other but don’t need each other. I think the same goes for motherhood. I want Mia to want me in her life – but if I do my job right, she won’t need me forever.

As mothers we often pride ourselves on giving everything to our children. But sometimes, I think the best gift we can give is to hold onto to our own identity too. Because before we were mothers we were daughters, and wives and best friends and employees and rock climbers and mud runners – and those people are worth fighting for, too.

hannah