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Guest Post

You are my sunshine

 

My guest writer today is the magnificent Erin Margolin. I say magnificent because getting to know her as a writer, a woman, a mother and a true, honest to goodness, friend, I know that this woman is one of a kind. Her soul is deep, her heart is kind and it all shows in her writing. It is truly my honor to share with you, my friend and talented writer, Erin Margolin. Do yourself a favor and check our her blog Erin L Margolin (ELM) , you will be so glad to have found her beautiful stories and wonderfully weaved words. She is a writer’s writer and I love reading her posts. I also highly suggest that you follow her on Twitter, this is how I really got to know her and, it sounds cheezy, but this lady makes my days brighter by seeing her gorgeous smile in my stream. Love, love, love her!

Thank you Erin for being such a wonderful presence on the Internet and an amazing friend. XOXO

P.S.  Please vote for her pitch at The Moth (click the stars to vote): Erin M.on 4/26/12: https://bit.ly/qoLpXE . She truly is an amazing writer and so deserves to win this!

The truth about motherhood is…

That being a mom to my singleton (now) is completely different than being a mom to my multiples (who were born in 2005). This time around, I get to snuggle and bond. Piper’s body curves, fitting into mine like a puzzle piece; sliding into this perfect spot, her head resting sideways on my right shoulder, her soft locks tickling my neck, her knees and legs hugging my torso. She loves to hum, and every sigh and breath touches a place in me that I’m incapable of putting into words.

She was a miracle, you know.

I didn’t have this kind of quality time with my twins. I’m wading through that guilt now, feeling as if I never got to cherish either of them alone, unless one or the other was sick. Raising Abby and Izzy was so stressful I can barely remember the first year of their lives, which saddens me. While they don’t remember what they missed out on, I certainly do. Which is enough melancholia for all three of us.

Somehow though, the waves of love and sheer bliss I feel these days crashes into the guilt– like a tumble of salty surf hitting the shore–and obliterates it. I can’t help myself, I’m gobbling her up every moment. Literally pretending to eat her feet and nibble her toes, and she loves it. The drool soaks her clothes and mine, her fist grabs hunks of my hair and we both shriek. I can’t stop kissing her chubby cheeks and my prescription for a bad day is to plunk her in the tub, where she kicks and splashes and delights in the warm water. If I need a smile, I watch her reach to grab her toes and make futile attempts to get them in her mouth. She’s so smart she’s already learned to share her graham crackers with the dog.

Every night before I put her to sleep, I sing You Are My Sunshine. I only know the first two verses:

You are my sunshine

My only sunshine.

You make me happy

When skies are grey.

You’ll never know, dear,

How much I love you.

Please don’t take my sunshine away

The other night, dear,

As I lay sleeping

I dreamed I held you in my arms.

When I awoke, dear,

I was mistaken

And I hung my head and cried.

I never sang to the twins. I have a terrible voice anyway. But I sing these two verses to Piper most nights just before putting her in her crib. My mom sang them to me.

But the truth about motherhood is….she’s my miracle, my red bean. The truth is that I’m allowed to have a different experience with her. The truth about motherhood is that it’s okay to feel guilty sometimes, but not ALL the time.

The truth about motherhood is that this is my destiny–being a mom to three gorgeous girls.

The truth about motherhood is it’s not all sunshine and roses. There are bumps in the road, things like depression and anxiety and family issues. Sometimes these things make motherhood difficult.

The truth about motherhood is that there’s no exact change, no magic formula, no right or wrong way. It’s just about love. Lots and lots of it to go around.

The truth about motherhood is that I’ve finally found my voice.

And I can sing.

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I am sitting by the pool in Florida, watching my girls frolic in the water under the warm Florida sun as I get a little too much sun exposure. It is heavenly and I miss you all very much but in my absence, I have some fabulous guest writers stopping by. I know that you will love them as much as I do.

Today’s guest writer is Jessica Watson, the amazing author of Four Plus an Angel.  She can also be found  @JessBWatson. If you are not familiar with Jessica or her blog, you are in for a real treat. She is a fantastic writer with a gift for the written word. She writes with a raw and honest heart and tells her story like only a Mom’s soul can do. Every time I read her blog, I walk away thinking, laughing and/or crying but always feeling like my day is better for having stopped by Four Plus an Angel.

Thank you Jess for sharing your TRUTH about Motherhood. XOXO

Full Hands

I am often told I have my hands full.

Persuading two four-year olds to stay close with a toddler on my hip and a teenager talking my other ear off as I weave through Target can bring out these sort of comments, I guess.

But they bug me. Maybe because I am already a little irritable when I’m stopped mid-crazy shopping trip or maybe because I will never feel like my hands are full or maybe because, aren’t all of our hands full?

If my kids have decided to be relatively quiet on a shopping trip but the mom one aisle over has an only child who has gone all “wet noodle” in front of the bouncy balls and is screaming like he just skinned his knees on concrete, aren’t her arms the full ones?

Whether you have one child or two children or 10, the truth about motherhood is that it is not easy for anyone, everyday, every moment.

No matter how elaborately your neighbor organized her daughter’s lemonade stand, no matter how perfectly manicured your sister-in-law’s nails are and no matter how many runny-nosed children your best friend manages to entertain in her minivan, there is no supermom.

She doesn’t exist.

There isn’t a mom on the planet who can do it all perfectly from sun up until whenever she manages to lay her head down every. single. day.

And the minute we all come to terms with this, put down our recycled or paper or plastic shopping bags, and just embrace the fact that we are all doing the best we can, motherhood will get a whole lot easier for everyone.

I think back to my early years of motherhood and the pressure I put on myself to read 4 inch thick parenting books, to get rid of the pacifier, to visit the popular park, to join developmentally stimulating playgroups, to send a fancy-schmancy snack, and I wish I could have just told myself to relax.

What makes us unique, what makes our kids unique, is the kind of parents we are, the way we decide to spend our time with them and how we handle the good days and the bad. So your kid has seen Mommy crack in the laundry room and my kid has seen me ugly cry over the dishwasher. Let’s just hope they forget that part and only remember how we pushed them on the swings until our arms were ready to fall off or how we helped them with homework until we had to prop our eyelids open with a pencil.

If you have one child I hope he remembers an afternoon spent on your lap and you remember that one teething, nap-deprived toddler can be just as tough as a household of five busied siblings.

And if you have five children I hope they remember filling up the couch for movie night and you remember those days you did made everyone’s favorite lunch snack or managed to get them all to soccer on time.

Because we are all supermoms, making media-approved or media-exploited choices, we love our children. And if your easiest day is my hardest then that’s just one more reason to lift each other up through this mom-gig and pour a universal glass of wine to clink glasses at bedtime.

We’ve parented our way through one more day and our kids are cute enough when they sleep that we are already poised to get up the next day and fill our arms with motherhood all over again.

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