Motherhood Wisdom

Motherhood thought for the day: Remember to listen to your children and try to remind yourself that you once were a child too! Today, started out low key; me and the girls and a few cartoons….then as each day does it seemed everything started getting discombobulated and I found myself in a rush. Scrambling for outfits for the girls, getting them in the car and ready to go! It all gets to be a bit much and at times I grow impatient with the girls as one is always lagging behind and Braelyn was lagging behind, and I said “Hurry up, Braelyn! We have to go!” She had stopped by the step…I tapped my foot on the ground as I watched her squat and wait…just as I was about to yell at her I saw Hank (our old black lab) hobbling up the drive. She leaned in and kissed him whispered “Good morn’n, Hank!” I got a lump in my throat as I watched Hank nuzzle her before finding his place on the porch.
After her quest was fulfilled she said, “I coming, Mommy! I had to give Hank dem kisses and tell him morn’n!” Hank looked on as if he was grateful for the act of kindness! Just melted my heart…while I was busy hurrying along because this world teaches us to HURRY UP!!! My beautiful, sweet daughter was taking a moment to kiss an old friend on the head and let him know that he matters! I felt my eyes mist over and I strapped her in the booster before I looked in her eyes, “Brae Brae, Mommy is sorry to rush you! You never hesitate to stop and take a moment for the things that are important to you! Never forget to let a friend know that you love them!” She looked at me, and said, “Hank needs kisses so he don’t get sad!”
I looked on the porch at the now elderly Hank and wondered how many times I pass him on the step and don’t stop to pat his head!? And still he will follow me around the yard in hopes I will stop to love him! Braelyn saw it…his need for affection, appreciation, compassion in exchange for his loyalty! Lord, let me see things through my daughters’ eyes; things are much slower, kinder and more beautiful lying in their depths!

Brynlee’s Third Birthday

Today 3 years ago at around 5 am my gorgeous little girl was born! Brynlee Jean Mangrum weighing in at a whooping 5 lbs 9 oz! It would be 3 days before I would be able to hold her in my arms……longest 3 days of my life! I have made up for lost time with lots of cuddles every since because she is definitely Mommy’s snuggle bug! She is my bit of sass, touch of sweetness, prettiest smile, plain mischievous and the most loving little girl! This day 3 years ago was my second baby….the second child the doctors said I would never had! After 8 miscarriages and a little guardian angel, my sweet Braelyn…I carried her and she is the perfect fit for this family! Cannot imagine a day without her! She is that hug when your heart is aching, the kiss for no reason, my little nasty nice, girly girl, and baby doll wagger! She is such a proud little sister and loves her sister more than anything! She has her heart! And though she may be small she is fierce…so much personality and the biggest heart is bottled up in her tinsy little self! Thank you, God for giving me the gift of motherhood to this beautiful little girl and her big sister! God gifted me today with a second daughter and gave Braelyn a sister….which is the greatest gift that I ever got as a little girl! I waited a LONG time, shed a LOT of tears and hit my knees in prayer and God answered!!!!!!! He handcrafted these babies for me…I know this because their heartbeat matches my own, they fit perfectly in my arms and flood my heart with love each and everyday! PRAISE GOD for gifting me with the best babies ever!!!!!! Happy birthday, my lovely, my precious, my dinky do, my sweet Brynlee Jean…MOMMY ADORES YOU!

Brynlee Third Birthday

Today 3 years ago at around 5 am my gorgeous little girl was born! Brynlee Jean Mangrum weighing in at a whooping 5 lbs 9 oz! It would be 3 days before I would be able to hold her in my arms……longest 3 days of my life! I have made up for lost time with lots of cuddles every since because she is definitely Mommy’s snuggle bug! She is my bit of sass, touch of sweetness, prettiest smile, plain mischievous and the most loving little girl! This day 3 years ago was my second baby….the second child the doctors said I would never had! After 8 miscarriages and a little guardian angel, my sweet Braelyn…I carried her and she is the perfect fit for this family! Cannot imagine a day without her! She is that hug when your heart is aching, the kiss for no reason, my little nasty nice, girly girl, and baby doll wagger! She is such a proud little sister and loves her sister more than anything! She has her heart! And though she may be small she is fierce…so much personality and the biggest heart is bottled up in her tinsy little self! Thank you, God for giving me the gift of motherhood to this beautiful little girl and her big sister! God gifted me today with a second daughter and gave Braelyn a sister….which is the greatest gift that I ever got as a little girl! I waited a LONG time, shed a LOT of tears and hit my knees in prayer and God answered!!!!!!! He handcrafted these babies for me…I know this because their heartbeat matches my own, they fit perfectly in my arms and flood my heart with love each and everyday! PRAISE GOD for gifting me with the best babies ever!!!!!! Happy birthday, my lovely, my precious, my dinky do, my sweet Brynlee Jean…MOMMY ADORES YOU!

My Sister, My Friend

MY SISTER, MY FRIEND
A little girl kneels to pray at the foot of her bed
“God, please give me a sister,” she says as she bows her
head
“I won’t ask for anything else, if you will make this one
prayer come true!”
That little girl was me, and God gave me you
God made us sisters, but love made us friends
Someone to turn to when no one else understands

You came along and I was no longer just a little girl
Because to my little sister, I was her whole wide world
She thought I knew the answer, when no one else did
It never occurred to her that I was only a kid
God made us sisters, but love made us friends
It’s amazing how someone so small held my heart in the palm
of her hands

I was never alone, it seemed you never tired of being at my
side
You thought you could do everything I did, and you certainly
tried
I would watch as you tried to make me proud, by doing the
things big girls could do
I was always proud but you were growing up and I wasn’t
ready to let go of you
God made us sisters, but love made us friends
Someone to share life as a chapter closes, and a new one
begins

Sometimes late at night I would awake and find you there
Snuggled in the bed with just me, you and your teddy bear
I would lay awake and look down at you as you slept
I’d think of all the love I held for you, all the secrets
you kept
God made us sisters, but love made us friends
A part of yourself to turn to when your world ends

I wish that I could capture our childhood and hold it for
just a little while
Perhaps I would capture a moment, or perhaps just your smile
I’ve prayed that I could rewind time, or make the hands of
time stop
But I know that all the prayers that could be answered, none
could surpass the sister I’ve got
God made us sister, but love made us friends
Sisters are a part of you from the beginning to the end

I can’t replace the mistakes I’ve made, but I have faith
that you know what you are chosen to do
So, though it is hard to let go, I put my total faith in you
It is completely selfish to hold on to something that is
born to fly
So I will let go, and I know you will touch the sky
God made us sister, but life made us friends
So, I will be here for you as part of my life closes, and
your’s begins

Prologue: I wrote this for my sister’s yearbook. It was such a heartwrenching time for me. Thinking of her all grown up and all on her own. I was filled with pride, and sadness. I missed the days that we could never get back. There is nothing like a sister!

Daddy

Doesn’t it seem like yesterday that I came into this world?
It goes by fast, Daddy, I won’t always be a little girl
One day you will look back on my first steps, and it will be a distant memory
Gone will be the days when you could pick me up and hold me
Gone will be the times that I danced on your feet to our favorite song
I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but I won’t be little for long

You will find yourself looking back on these days and wish for them once more
You will miss my feet on yours as we dance across the living room floor
Gone will be the days when you coming home is the highlight of my day
Gone will be the times when I say to you, “Daddy lets play!”

One day you will see that time isn’t really on our side, and I will be grown
One day, Daddy, you will look up and I will be gone
Cherish it now, won’t you please?
Enjoy the kisses, hugs and skinned up knees!

Years from now, it will seem like yesterday that I sat upon your lap and kissed your cheek
You will question when I got too big for us to play a game of hide and seek
Gone will be the days that the sound of your voice will light up my world
Gone will be the days, for you see, I won’t always be a little girl

One day you will remember these days and wish you had every moment back
One day you will wish for more time, but time doesn’t work like that
So hold my hand while it is still small, kiss me often while you have the chance
Never get too wrapped up in life that you forget to teach me to dance

I depend on you to teach me all the things I need to know
Please, Daddy, remember to do these things as I grow!
I love you, Daddy, right now you are the only man in my world
Love always, Daddy’s little girls

As They Grow

To my first born child, when you were placed in my arms I had prayed so long for you, dreamed about you……thought there was NO way that God could craft something to meet my expectations…but then there you were; and you were more than I ever dreamt you would be. Perfect, ten fingers, ten toes, fluffy duck soft hair (a headful), a perfect nose,rose bud lips and eyes so bright and excited to greet this world. I thought of all the things I would teach you, I would teach you to read, to write your name, your abcs, how to count……..but oh the things you taught me far surpassed what I could ever teach you! A book read by me to you at bedtime became an adventure, you took me to places I haven’t been since childhood, you taught me to stop and smell the roses, to slow down and remember that life isn’t all about rushing, but enjoying the simple things. You taught me to smile and laugh when life is anything but sad. You taught me to notice the miracles this life has to offer, a fluttering butterfly, how beautiful the stars were, you taught me to stop and watch the world…….you were a breath of fresh air, a trip back to innocence.
You were the best baby, I was a new mom and worried about every sniffle, every cough, I was on edge, but you always reassured me with your happy demeanor. You taught me mornings (which I hate) were so much better when you woke up to a smiling baby with bright blue eyes looking at you through the crib. There were days I was overwhelmed, I think you sensed it because you were so laid back. You were and still are perfect.
At two I gave birth to your little sister. I worried, would you feel like you were replaced? I cried because I was excited to add a sister to our family, to give you a playmate but I longed for our little trips out! Our daily excursions, our one on one time! I wondered if you fretting because this new baby demanded attention and you no longer the only focus on my daily schedule. It was an adjustment for you, you weren’t sure about this new baby……but as time passed (and lots of fighting) you fell in love with your sister. You reminded me how there was nothing like a sister! I worried because you were struggling with things that come natural for most kids but they were so difficult for you, but you were determined and kept on…….and wow, you have proven so many people wrong, you are strong, you are a trooper! I admire your strength and determination, you don’t see a challenge as a defeat……..you meet it head on and you come out on top!
I watched you grow, marveled at your first steps, your first words, I filled three scrapbooks of your pictures before you turned one! Then suddenly you are taking your next big step……..KINDERGARTEN!
I wasn’t ready, no way my beautiful baby was a little girl……..I wasn’t ready! Gone was my tiny baby, gone our days together, gone was my toddler! I miss her, I miss her needing me. Today, as I registered you for school, I was so apprehensive, so scared, so anxious. You were again my reassurance, “It is okay mom, I will stay little, I will still see you, I need you, I love you……..you showered with me compliments. Today as I sat registering you for school, getting you a physical, and eye exam…….I was worried but you would reach over and hold my hand, letting me know it would be okay! You were all dressed up in your pretty little chevron dress, and entertained me as I fretted by swirling around the waiting area. Where did you go, my tiny baby? Where did you go my sweet infant? When did you become a little girl? I ask you every night, to promise not to grow and every night I say, “Don’t you grow any tonight, ok?” You always respond, “I won’t Mommy, I will stay little!” When the morning wakes you I look at you and say, “Braelyn you promised you would stay little and you are grew!” You always smile, then you say, “I sorry, Mommy, I only growed a little!” It has become a little ritual with us, but lately it makes me a little sadder, because it feels that you actually grow EVERY night. Today with misty tears I woke you from slumber, and told you it was time to register for school, you looked at me and said, “I am sorry I grew up big overnight mom………I will go back to little but after I get to ride the bus!” My sweet, caring little girl.
Tonight I looked down upon your sleeping face as you slumbered, I kissed you, I held you a little longer, then as your eyes fluttered close I sat stroking your soft hair, staring at your beautiful features……..I stared at you in awe, just like I did the day you were born……..again I fell in love with you again, just like the day we met! I fell in love with a beautiful little girl, with a loving heart, a contagious laugh, long lashes resting softly on your cheeks, your perfect shaped brows, the tiny lips that I always find a smile resting upon………today I fell in love with a kindergartener. A little girl with excitement, ready to embark on a new adventure, but still wanting to be with your mom. You are so beautiful, so perfect, you changed my world!!!!!!!!!!! I miss that baby you were, but oh GOD how I love the girl you are becoming. You amaze me with your soft heart, your funny sense of humor! Life as a mom is filled with filled with guilt and equal part excitement, joy and sadness, sass and class. I love you, and just when I couldn’t think I could love you more, somehow my heart expands everyday! After 8 miscarriages, you were given to me, and you were worth the hurt of loss, worth every sacrifice, you are perfect. My wish for you is that you never let this world change you, and at the end of the day if this world knocks you down then your mommy is here for you to pick you up! I love you more than the breath I breathe…. Love your mommy, the mommy who is reluctantly letting you grow up, the mommy who is going to be with you every step of the way! Love, Mommy

Motherhood Is Not Glamorous, It’s Magical

I imagined, years ago, before children, that I would be that mom that had it all together. I would have beautifully manicured nails, perfectly styled hair, and I would look fashionable as I paraded my perfect bundles everywhere I went. I pictured designer diaper bags, and perfect outfits on my little ones…….spotless and pristine. I would have boundless energy to play endless games, read tons of books, my children would be counting to 100 by age 3, the would know their abcs, and I would have limitless patience. My children would be well behaved, and polite. Motherhood, I would rock motherhood, it would be my staple in life, it would be glamorous! Afterall, when you wait as long as I did, how could it be anything less than all I dreamed…Now, let me tell you what being a mom is really like.

It is having meltdowns in the middle of a grocery store, yes, right in the middle of the aisle as you check out your items….but my angels weren’t supposed to do that, right? Wrong! It would mean people glaring at me as my child who had sensory issues screamed as a cashier checked us out because she didn’t like the sound of the beeping. I will never forget the way others stared at my child, the way the glared at me as I tried and failed to calm her. They looked at her as if something was “wrong” with her, or something was wrong with me. The first few instances really broke me. I learned to stare back, sure I could explain she had impulse control issues, sure I could tell the onlookers the struggles my baby faced…..but they didn’t deserve my explanations! My daughter was perfect to me, even in the midst of a tantrum, she was perfect. The simple things weren’t so simple to her but NO ONE would look down on her…….they didn’t know us or the beautiful blessing she was.

Being a mom is watching your youngest refuse to apologize because she is stubborn…witnessing her stubbornly snub what you slaved to cook her for dinner…it is scrubbing a wall that she decided needed a little crayon art. She is a mixture of sass and beauty.

It is the dismay of seeing the long locks of hair you adorned chopped by the hands of their sisters, and sobbing! It is a rush to a dear friend to fix the emergency haircut and crying like a baby knowing it will be years before you can braid it again. But at bedtime when you lay by their side, it doesn’t matter, long hair, short hair, bald they are still perfect. And you find yourself grateful that you have them, chopped locks and all. It’s staring at them while the sleep and admiring their innocence and beauty…..and feeling the tears sting your eyes at the wonderment and challenges of it all!

Motherhood is ALWAYS leaving the house with some sticky, wet mess on the outfit you just put on and 90% of the time it means their meticulously picked out boutique outfits will not arrive at your destination without also suffering from some type of dishevel. Your hair that you worked so hard on will wind up with a sticker or chocolate in it and their once perfect pig tails with pretty bows will end up crooked and bowless……your diaper bag will probably also endure some stains and will NEVER have all the contents you need! You can pack the entire house and forget at least one item…..not as glamorous as I thought! Going to festivities looking so pretty when we left the house ends up with a mom barely holding it together, and your kids looking like no effort was put into their appearance at all……yup, not glamorous.

Being a mom means that you cannot remember the last time you had a manicure, your toenails are chipped and instead of using polish remover you just paint over the last color you wore to cover them when you wear open toe shoes! Why? You don’t have time! And it is so much more important for your little girls’ nails and toenails to be pretty rather than your’s! Your stylish hair will undoubtedly go to the waste side as you try to fix two little heads of hair. The designer clothes you once wore are only for special occasions and they are very few……..WHY? Because although you have always loved fashion, you can’t bare to buy yourself anything without feeling guilt……and it is so much more enjoyable to buy frilly, boutique, expensive clothing for your little darlings.

I remember a time when I didn’t leave the house without makeup, it has always been that way for me, for as long as I can remember……now it is pinning my hair back, throwing on some yoga pants, no makeup and PRAYING no one I know recognizes me in Wal-Mart….after all it took me an hour to dress, load the kids and get to the grocery and my child needs medicine.

Oh but mothers, and mothers to be….do not fret! The joys of motherhood are so much more, they are sticky kisses when you least expect it. It is getting to relive your childhood by looking through your child’s eyes. It is this tiny life that depends on you. It is messy, it is stressful, it is losing your patience when you swore you wouldn’t, it is being late for everywhere you go…..even if you start preparing 2 hours early. Yes, it is all of those things….but listen closely……IT IS WORTH IT!

For all the things that once mattered before becoming a parent, now seem trivial. Sure, I still linger in the mall adoring the jeans I keep promising to treat myself to, but I find myself into the children’s stores, thinking about how lovely my daughters will look in the new fur boots, the new line of boutique items, and how much they’d enjoy that toy they’ve been eyeing. My oldest daughter is 5 and she just mastered her abcs…..which was much more celebrated than it would’ve been if she had accomplished it at 2….WHY? Because she worked for it! Now she is the first to smile at the people behind us (the same ones who once glared at us) and tell them how pretty they are, or how much she likes their outfit…..she’s the sweetest, most loving little girl.

You see, no child is the same, that goes for both my girls. Braelyn is my laughter, she has this musical laughter that bubbles from the bottom of her toes to the top of her head and then escapes her pretty lips in a contagious cackle. She is animated, filled with giggles, mischief but also the first to help if she sees you having a hard time. She is a happy girl, she’s come so far, and she is perfectly perfect to me! Brynlee is my introvert, sassy pants, but she is tender, and loving. She is the first to cuddle in my lap when I need some comfort, or she needs some mommy time…..the most glamorous gift I get is the jewels of my two girls arms wrapping around my neck. My glamour is watching them sleep, admiring their perfection, basking in their innocence. I get to hear the stories they tell me, and listen as they play in their rooms with one another make pretending and being sisters. Life is not glamorous as I once imagined…..it is enchanting, exciting, adventurous, and I wouldn’t trade it for the whole wide world.

Motherhood is perfectly imperfect. My children are the meaning of my life, they are mismatched clothes to avoid an argument, they are sleepless nights, they are being someone’s hero, they are always having a best friend, they are giving you something they made and it is more priceless than any gift, they are makeup-less trips to the grocery, they are smiles that light up the darkest recesses of your heart, they are magical in the way they can make all your broken pieces fall back together with a single hug, the words “I love you” never sound sweeter than when they fall from the lips of your child. At the end of the day, when you are at your wit’s end, and you lose the patience you vowed you would never lose…..cut yourself a break. It isn’t an easy job but it is so worthwhile, when you look down at the beautiful creations God has gifted you with….you will forget the struggles. I cannot imagine even on the toughest days a job I would rather do!!!!!!!!! Glamour is not a label you would put with motherhood…….I prefer to describe it as magical.

So, to all the moms out there who feel like you could do more, be more, that you are failing…..smile, because in the eyes of your children you are perfect and that IS the magic of it all!