Well we survived week one of quarantine aka social distancing from the Coronavirus, and yet there’s still so much uncertainty happening all around us, all across the world. Instead of letting my anxiety get the best of me, I decided last week that I wanted to document our experience – as a family. For me, when life feels like it’s spiraling out of control, I try to just focus on the things that matter. As scary as the situation we’re in is, I’m trying to use it as a way to reconnect with the simple things in life. I created this video montage of our first week “At Home with The Murray’s,” to remind me, and all of us, that social distancing doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, in a lot of ways it’s just what I needed.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine. #JimmyDeanRollupsatHEB #CollectiveBias
This school year was kinda like the perfect storm. At the same time Garrett was starting Kindergarten, we decided to start Charlotte in preschool 3 days a week as well. My poor mama heart and mind didn’t know what to think. On one hand I was so excited and proud of both my babies, but on the other hand I just couldn’t wrap my head around how the heck they’ve grown up so fast. Not to mention, on top of managing my blog, I was given more responsibility at my freelance digital agency gig. So needless to say, we all had a pretty loud wake-up call which made me realize it was finally time to kick our morning routine into high gear. Check out this offer to save $1.50 off 1 product valid through 10/13.
You know how before a big life event happens (getting married, having a baby, or in my case – your first born starting Kinder 😭), it’s like all the sudden you can’t open Facebook without a thousand articles aimed right at you with the sole intention of making you ugly cry for 10 hours straight? Yep, you know the one, it doesn’t even mess around with click bait – it goes right for the ovaries until your poor unsuspecting husband’s suddenly finds himself agreeing to another baby. Don’t worry Mark – it happens to the best of em and she’ll forget about it by morning. So you’re probably wondering what my point is with all this? Well instead of reading another mama’s words, I told myself I would try and suffer through writing an ode to my own son – cuz at the end of the day, we’re all a little glutton for punishment 😉
It’s been nearly a year since I wrote about this topic, and my how things have changed. If we thought Cha Cha was strong willed before, then we absolutely, without a doubt, and whole heartedly know this to be true now. But here’s the thing. At what point did “strong-willed” become synonymous with “bad-behaved,” or “stubborn,” or even worse – “problem child?” My child is anything but a problem. My child is strong-willed, Yes. But she’s also mind-blowingly perceptive, and what if some day she wakes up and starts perceiving that this world isn’t meant for her? That her strong will is yet another thing society tells us we need to correct for her to “fit in.” Well screw fitting in (pardon my French). I honestly think we need more children like Cha Cha, and here’s why…
For the past several years, I couldn’t help but notice a mass movement around people wanting to raise kind kids. Who knows, maybe it was something that was always there, and I only noticed it because we’re in the thick of raising young children ourselves. But for what it’s worth – it’s given me new hope in humanity and what fellow mom and friend of mine, Stephanie Mooring, has dubbed as MomKind. In fact, she’s built an entire organization around the mission to “spread kindness in our community, one idea at a time.”
I get it now. I mean, I realllllly get it now. I thought I got it before, but until you have a strong-willed child of your own – you never truly get it, do you? Who knows, maybe you were like me once – before we spawned a child like ours. Watching those other poor moms with their hands full, literally, not understanding how they could allow a child to behave that way. But before I get into exhibits A, B and C – I first want to say that I am strict. Like strict, strict. My first born knew how to say yes ma’am, no sir, thank you, yes please and follow instructions like a soldier fresh outta boot camp. But that’s just the thing – he’s what you call a “rule follower.” My second born – she’s what you call “the strong-willed child.”
There will always be things we take for granted in life. It’s just human nature to focus on the seemingly more important things rather than the things we do everyday. I bet you’ve never thought about how many times you’ve held your father’s hand, or remember what it felt like to be that little kid looking up at him walking hand-in-hand down the street. I certainly didn’t. Just like I didn’t know 14 years ago today, that it would be the last Father’s Day I’d be spending with my dad. He had been battling stomach cancer for two years and just had a major surgery that we were so hopeful would give him a second chance at life. I had just graduated from UT and it meant so much for him to see me walk across that stage and accept my diploma. Something he wrote in my graduation card has always stuck with me: “Raising you has been my greatest success in life.” Fast forward to later that summer, his health had quickly deteriorated and I’d moved back home to spend what we all knew were his last days with us. Although I don’t think any of us would have ever expected what happened next.
This post is sponsored by Huggies, Pull-Ups, GoodNites but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
So much changes when you have another child, and not just in the conventional ways. Sure there’s always a period of adjustment, especially when you wait almost 4 years to have another. It’s like just the right amount of time to get used to having an only child, and then wham – everything changes with the birth of a new baby. I still remember my hubs having a little heart-to-heart with me before the baby came, after I expressed some insecurities and anxieties I’d been feeling in one of my more honest pregnancy posts. And like always, we tackled this new phase in life as a team and figured out ways he could start helping out more with Garrett. One way we knew we had to tackle was bedtime. I’d gotten into the habit of laying with Garrett in his bed every night until he fell asleep – and it doesn’t take a genius to realize that was not gonna fly once a baby was in the picture. So Grant started taking over with Garrett at night which at first I was sad about, because it was just another thing to remind me that he was growing up and didn’t need me as much anymore. But then a funny thing happened – I got to witness the most special bond developing between a father and his son right before my eyes.
Before I was a mom, Mother’s Day just always seemed like that silly holiday that reminded you to buy your mom a nice card, maybe a little gift, and take her out to dinner to thank her for being your mom. Then, once I became a mom, I suddenly felt like all those Mother’s Days I’d shared with my own mom seemed so trite. Like all the well-meaning Hallmark cards in the world couldn’t possibly reflect the amount of gratitude she deserved for raising three kids all those years. And now that I’m a mom of two, I’ve finally figured it out. Mother’s Day isn’t just that holiday that falls on the second Sunday of May every year. The “real” Mother’s Day happens 24/7, 365 days a year. I get that now, and because I’m coming off one particularly challenging week leading up to Mother’s Day – allow me to enlighten you…
Before I had kids, I always knew I wanted to have lots of them – kids of my own, adopted kids, heck, even fostered kids – I wanted them all. Fast forward twenty-some years and I realized “adulting” wasn’t as easy as I thought it was gonna be. Funny how much things change, even when you’re so sure of yourself and your future. The same can be said about the way we think we know everything there is to know about having kids. In fact, I remember hearing years ago about cord blood banking and stem cell research – and thinking that it was only for people who had a first child with leukemia, but had a second so they could use their cord blood to treat their sibling. While this is still very true, I’m learning as a parent of two now that there are so many more new advancements in science and more research using cord blood than I could have imagined. So here are my top three reasons why it’s cool to be a mom in this day and age:
1) Sibling love is adorable
Unless you’re an only child, chances are you grew up with a sibling either in your shadow or vice versa. I for one, had two older brothers that I royally annoyed every chance I could get, and yet they still loved me for it. I see the same dynamic already with Garrett and Charlotte – he absolutely, and for the most part unconditionally, adores her. In fact, when people ask him if he shares his toys with her, he tells them that he’s given her all of his old baby toys, which is true, and he’ll literally spend hours just playing with her on the floor in her room (you can see proof of their sibling love I captured below 🙂 To tell the truth, I was so against having a third because I was one of three and fully believe in the “middle child syndrome.” But if these two keep up this sweetness, they’re gonna have mama rethinking things…