can’t hold me back.

decorating_cookies_3decorating_cookies_1decorating_cookies_2decorating_cookiesThis past weekend, the weather was typical of a winter day in Kansas.  Rainy and cloudy and just really boring. We decorated Valentine’s cookies with my nieces, and in that short time, sitting at the kitchen table with cookies and frosting and 6 different types of red and pink sprinkles passing around, I felt really whole in my role as a mom. It really takes very simple things to make a kid happy and make them understand that you care about them.

There are a lot of things I can’t do as a mom with a physical disability. I can’t run or jump or show her how to swing with my own legs, but there are a lot of things I can do. Like make her laugh and make her smile and make her feel loved and comforted and heard. So many times I feel like people (who obviously don’t know me) question my ability to mother her by what I am not able to do, and that’s not fair. Being a mom is making sure you raise someone who is going to be a productive and loving part of society. How you get from birth to that point can look so different for different families. My disability is just one small part of our path there.

And you know what, I don’t have to prove to anyone that my kid is happy and well taken care of. She will do that all on her own. She is upbeat and giggley and smart. Love exudes from her tiny body because that’s what we teach her.

The next time that someone judges someone else’s mothering, just shut it down. If their babies are happy and healthy, let them do things how they know how to do it. Everyone’s family doesn’t have to look like yours to be happy.

on balance.

IMG_9477aI used to think that there was such a thing as work life balance, but as Reagan gets older & my photography business grows and my day job is a little less demanding (yay for fewer complaints), I feel like there is always one part of my life that pulls harder than the others.
One area is always heavier.
For me, right now at this moment, it is family.  The beginning of the year seems to be the most time spent with my family because the audit at work is over, Greg is home for the winter, and it’s too cold to shoot any sessions. There are very few obligations that I have right now.
Greg, Reagan and I just took our first family week-long vacation last week to Florida, and I cannot even tell you how good it was for my heart. The sleeping in, the loosely scheduled days, the time spent laughing and goofing off and watching Reagan be enthralled with everything.  It was just what I needed in a time that I was feeling unsure and a lot of anxiety about nothing.  That anxiety tends to hit me every once in a while, and this vacation really did make it disappear.  Maybe I figured out that little piece of self care that I need when things seem big and overwhelming. Maybe taking the advice of so many people to just s l o w d o w n and do nothing is paying off.
I am not good at it, but maybe it will be like a muscle. The more I flex my self care muscle, the stronger it will become. So here’s to more sleeping in, baking cookies, reading books, and relaxing outside with a schedule to dictate my every move of the day.