motherhood | has taught me | olive june
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motherhood | has taught me

"Jesus taught that providing shelter for the shelterless, food for the hungry, and clothing for the naked are sacred acts. they're also the hallmark activities of mothering. when we do them for the right motive for those in our homes, it's as if we have done them for Christ Himself. (matt 25:31-45) 
-jen wilkin

yesterday was one of my hardest days; my 'momma heart' broke over and over again. we were exactly one week into parks' new big boy bed, which he is (maybe was?) in love with... when he fell out of bed during his afternoon nap, in a deep sleep, and hit his head on the corner of the floorboard. he ended up with a big gash on his forehead. i am still processing the day: the screams (ones i have never heard before), the excessive amount of blood, our four hour trip to the er, how brave he was/five stitches later, how his beautiful, porcelain skin is no longer, how i hope he's not experiencing pain and that he heals well... it's all been so hard. i know these things are bound to happen... but when your baby is broken, your heart shatters. my husband was so strong; our constant rock. and again, parks did so well during the hospital visit, even though he was so scared; i was so proud of him. 

when we got home, these photos were awaiting ... and nothing could have helped more. we took these photos together last sunday during a mommy + me session with local photographer, stephanie wiseman. we had so much fun- she was incredibly patient, loving (parks loved her), and these photos show our bond so well. i am so thankful for her and what she captured. parks was fascinated with her camera (the buttons!) and she even let him take a few of me looking up at the sky- so special. 
motherhood has been the greatest gift of my life- and the hardest ... as i always expected it to be. 
what i didn't expect was the way it taught me to love myself. 
over the past two years, i have begun to realize that in order to be a loving and effective parent, i am going to have to model curiosity- the importance of being a lifelong learner, a whole person with strengths and weaknesses of my own. i needed to learn that i matter, too.
a few things motherhood has taught me so far |

01. honing my inner circle | i let go and released relationships that left me feeling discouraged and i stopped making excuses for who i am. i acknowledged that the women in my inner circle are inspiring and accept the real me- they offer grace and allow me to be vulnerable. 
02. the importance of using my voice | i have always been a peacemaker over a conflict-maker but i know that i now have to constructively express my emotions- instead of holding them all in. it's more healthy and it makes me a better wife, sister, daughter, friend, and mom. and that there are calm ways to do so. to be honest, this is going to be a work in process but projecting myself clearly to others is something i am constantly working on.
03. it's ok to feel broken and exhausted and defeated | it's ok to spend some time alone or do something other than playing with the same toy for the tenth time- it's doesn't make you a bad mother- it makes you human. it's ok. and it's ok to ask for help.
04. the importance of making time for my husband | being a wife first makes me a better momma
05. i have learned that i care less, in a good way | not about whether the house is perfectly tidy or about sticking to a certain schedule each day- but stopping to do little things or taking a trip to the park. 
06. that parks deserves a mom that is in a good mood and that my mood impacts him and his entire day
07. that i am doing my best and God knows that 
08. during the really difficult moments, like right before he got his stitches yesterday, my husband reminds me that i might be stronger than what i think i am? motherhood is turbulent, draining, emotional, and so rewarding- all in one day. you have to be strong to take it all in- and my sweet husband reminds me of this often. 
09. emotions that tether us to growth, empathy and compassion happen and if you have a rough day, or are going through a rough season, no matter the details - and it's not a hardship competition- know that you are not alone. every mother has these days. i have them. your mother had them. and her mother, too. open up with a friend, and share your heart with someone who can lend compassion. 
10. forgive yourself - every day. for the mistakes, for the times when life is chaotic and is really tough: the greasy hair, spit up on your shoulder, tight jeans, leaky boobs, messy kitchen- just love it all. and remember all of the love you now feel in your heart.
we have one month left (or less) until we meet his baby brother 
and i plan to savor each moment with this one, my first son
i hope to slow down. put away distractions. watch him smile. feel myself smile back. and hold him close when he asks for snuggles- especially today. to hold onto these moments tightly. 
stephanie also captured this 'expression session' with parks last summer
something i cherish daily
thirty-four weeks
i can't get over how well she captured our bond- so beautifully
i know i will always, always cherish these photos
this is the photo parks took 
wishing all moms
a very happy weekend ahead

we really do laugh together all the time... 
parks, 
you have taught me this. 
we laugh about the silliest things
today, it was him showing me at a red light that he had put his new sticker from the target cashier on his lips... we laughed and we laughed. 
i feel so grateful to have spent almost every day with you,
parks james 
over the past two years and four months 
you are so special to me 
and you 
have taught me 
that there is even more to learning to love myself
...
that i needed to forgive 
past 'failure' and struggles 
and the importance of practicing sitting with painful emotion
-thanks to your love-
i have learned that i am stronger than i had ever realized before. 
...

(i truly can't recommend her enough)

3 comments:

  1. these pictures are so incredibly beautiful!

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  2. Hope your little boy is feeling better now! Beautiful photos of you two x

    -Jacqueline
    Jackieomy.com

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