Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ Category

Are Your Kids Outside Enough? 10 Reasons They Should Be!


HOORAY FOR OUTDOOR PLAY! I was a pretty active child. In middle school and high school you could find me playing sports year-round. I still have nightmares of field hockey practice on hot August days. For a few weeks we had double header practices – one at the crack of dawn and the other later in the afternoon. I don’t know how I survived! I’ve always loved being active and would spend countless hours riding my bike, playing with neighborhood kids, swimming or and participating in jump rope contests (I was pretty good!) – my childhood in one word could be described as ACTIVE. When my daughter came into the world I wondered what pieces of me and her Dad would live on inside her. Her Dad was pretty active too, so I hoped she would also love getting outside and getting moving. Well…she hasn’t stopped moving since she started walking! Being car-less has it’s pros and cons – but a BIG pro is that it encourages us BOTH to be active and get moving. And it’s no surprise that we’re currently training for her first kids Triathlon in a few weeks. Yes, my 8 year old daughter is participating in a Triathlon! And let me tell you – she is kicking butt during our training sessions!

I want to encourage her to always desire the simple pleasures of playing outdoors – with so many kids sitting inside playing video games – my daughter craves time outside – hiking, at the beach, on the bike path, at the park – and I couldn’t be any happier.

It’s pretty disappointing that so many kids don’t get outdoors, and the following benefits show the endless benefits to living a healthy lifestyle:

Thank You to PaperKarma for these images

Thank You to PaperKarma for these images

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How do you encourage your kids to live an active life?


The Rain Won’t Last: Picking Yourself Up When You Feel Broken #loveurself


I’ve been the skilled captain of my own seemingly sinking ship for as long as I can remember. Expertly navigating through one storm after another without completely falling apart, but taking in more water than I’d like, moving slower and growing more tired. I’ve felt like life was a storm I could never pass – that I was forever stuck under a dark cloud feeling like happiness was only found in the movies or for people who deserved it. I didn’t think I deserved it; I was too broken, too fucked up. I thought my daughter’s smile and free spirit could save me from drowning under my mistakes and ridiculously high expectations of myself. I had to be great, amazing even, and I wasn’t living up to the woman I wanted to be, and therefore I was a failure. A complete failure, stuck in the rain.

My whole life I’ve been resilient, I don’t think I’ve had an option to be any different. I’ve had to be a strong and independent woman often without a tribe to lean on during my darkest days. I’ve had a difficult relationship with my mother and my estranged father passed away a month ago bringing to light many childhood feelings I’ve worked so hard to store away. I’ve struggled knowing my worth and thinking I could achieve anything worthwhile, trying hard to define success for myself as a woman and a mother. Guilty that my role as a mother just wasn’t enough to fulfill and nourish my soul. As I’ve gone through one storm after the next I’ve repeatedly asked myself: what will I become? What will I become? I’m often too scared to make a change and have tiptoed around my life worried I was just going to make more of a mess of everything.

All of this doubt and fear has left me emotionally drained and socially isolated wanting nothing more than to put a do-not-disturb sign on my door and lay in bed. Still. Hoping if I did so life would be OK and I’d dodge another storm. Worried if I faced another storm I wouldn’t survive.

I’ve tried hard to cover up my unhappiness with an empty smile and simple conversation. I’m the Queen of deflection. But last Friday someone saw through the façade and saw I was hurting more than I was able to process. I felt exposed, I felt naked. But more than anything I felt relieved. Holding all these emotions in has consumed me, and I was finally able to breathe and be OK with knowing that I’m not OK right now, that I need help. And that started me becoming truthful to myself and those closest to me. I was so afraid to be anything less than stellar, but in the process I was killing myself.

I’ve spent entirely way too much time beating myself up over decisions I should have made and mistakes I regret, telling myself that my life wasn’t going to change. I wasn’t worth it. No wonder I wasn’t on my way to finding happiness, I was literally talking myself out of it. In the midst of the rain I was crying and not moving, sure that nothing good was going to come.

The first step in feeling better and moving forward is being honest with yourself. This often means acknowledging you need help and that you aren’t OK. As someone who has suffered from depression I know it’s easy to sit back and let your emotions consume you. But this isn’t the legacy I want to leave for myself or my daughter. I know happiness isn’t something that is going to happen overnight and I have to learn to accept that there will be more storms, but I will overcome. I have come so far already to give up now. But I can’t go along this journey alone so I’m seeking out help to be a better person, to me. I owe myself that much.

So let the rain fall, accept it’s time in your life. But sail forward. You’re worth it.



An Open Letter To My Mother

This is the follow-up to the essay I wrote last week. In it, I come to grips with childhood trauma and searched for answers in my mother’s actions. Read that essay if you haven’t yet, then come back and read this. 


Dear Mom,

I’ve begun writing this too many times to remember. I’m angry. I’m upset. I’m sad. I’m disappointed. I’m trying to make sense of so much, Mom, of our broken family, of you being emotionally absent for me and my siblings, to you prioritizing a piece of scum over your children.

What man would talk down to a woman and verbally assault her in front of her children? And what mother would allow that to happen and scold her children if they tried to protect her? Do you know that I refuse to celebrate my birthday, and it’s not because Grandpa passed away on my birthday years ago. It’s because you never prioritized my birthday, one year you simply left an outfit on my bed and left a note stating you’d be at his house for the night. I spent the whole night crying, Mom. There is no reason my oldest sister, who for reasons you refuse to take responsibility for, had to raise me and my siblings. You were the mother, you were the parent. But you weren’t there.

I’m sure I should be in therapy. Everyone thinks I’m so put together. I do what I have to do for my family, but I’m a mess and for the longest time I refused to work through the negative feelings of my childhood. Do you know I have almost no recollection of my childhood before age 11 except a few moments that stand out. The time you flung me across the room because I asked a friend’s parent for ice cream money. Or what about one of the many times you were beating me and I cried out my brother’s name. That was my childhood, Mom – that is what I remember. The affects of living with an emotionally absent and depressed woman is that I now have severe issues with communication with friends and in my relationships. I withdraw and I shut people out – for awhile I got scared because I worried I was going to end up like you. Miserable and manically depressed.

While I can’t imagine being given up for adoption as a newborn as you were, I do know what abandonment feels like. You abandoned us – you abandoned me. For someone who wanted a big family so bad, you sure didn’t treat us like you wanted us.

Read the rest of “An Open Letter To My Mother” over on The Young Mommy Life.