Category Archives: As a Woman…

My Flabby Friends

Mr. W and I decided to tackle our first building project together. We had been at Cost Plus World Market, my favorite candy store for home décor I covet, when we came across a shelving system that doubled as a full length mirror. It was gorgeous, made of dark wood, and swiveled so you could use the shelves on one side to store all your miscellaneous crap and then turn it around to hide it all while you checked out your appearance on the mirror side. For a clutter monger like me, this was a brilliant way to make my mess look chic. So we bought it and brought it home, and successfully tackled the project together without even bickering once (mostly).

I already have a full-length mirror in our bedroom. I bought it years ago for my own apartment, hanging it on my bedroom door. I used it all the time to check every side of my outfit. But since it’s a hanging mirror, it nearly fell down every single time I closed the door. So when I moved in with Mr. W I decided to just lean it against the wall rather than hang it for my daily outfit checks. And since it leaned at an upward angle, it had the magical feature of being incredibly slimming. Naturally, this became my very favorite mirror to check my outfit in. I lost about 10 pounds every single time I did the obligatory butt-check in front of it. But when we bought our new swivel mirror, I passed my cheap version of a full-length mirror on to my daughter and anxiously anticipated the completion of our beautiful dark wood mirror.

When our building project was done, we placed the mirror in the corner of the room right near the sink where we had 3 other mirrors on the wall. This was so I could see every single side of me at once while getting ready – a 4-way mirror if you will. And then we swiveled it towards the room and stood in front of it, Mr. W behind me. Except I couldn’t even see Mr. W. He was hidden behind my hips and thighs that seemed to have gained quite a bit of girth since switching mirrors.

Oh my jeez, where did those come from???

Over the weekend I had felt like the belle of the ball. On Saturday I had attended a 1950’s themed Anniversary Party wearing a dress my grandmother had made and worn in the 50’s. It was cinched at the waist and flared out like a bell at the hips. On Sunday was my sister’s bridal shower and I wore another slimming dress that was white with flowers, loosening at the exact place my pooch began to disguise my figure into something way thinner than reality. But in those two dresses, I felt like I was my teenage self again, pretending my butt was dainty and my body lithe. But here in front of the mirror wearing old sweat pants, a shapeless shirt, and nothing to hold up the droopiness of my mom bags, I was suddenly a very distinct pear. It was like I was seeing my body for the first time ever. And it was worse having my boyfriend totally lost behind the fullness of my hips.

Wanda Sykes went on tour sometime after she and her partner adopted a set of adorable twin babies (The “I’mma Be Me” tour). Becoming a parent, Wanda’s material has become that much funnier as she described the antics of her baby boy and girl, and the words we parents would love to say to our own children before they’re old enough to know what “Go the EFF to Sleep” means (sidenote: Have you seen this book?  Totally brilliant. I think I might buy it for my teenage daughter who has forgotten sleep happens at night, even in the summertime). But I nearly died when she started describing her stomach pooch – giving it the identity of “Esther”. Esther loved bread and alcohol, The Cheesecake Factory, and hated Spanx.

Here’s a clip (caution: a tidbit of bad language):

And in her book Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott described “Butt Mind”,  when she goes on vacation and then obsesses about everyone’s butt in relation to hers. On good vacations she’d see a wide variety of butts where hers fit in somewhere in the middle. But on tropical vacations, there were generally a lot of younger and smaller butts, making her butt feel especially wide. And then there were her dimply, jiggly thighs. Thing is, Anne had grown accustomed to the ol’ gals, tenderly referring to them as “The Aunties”, regarding them like faithful friends. She squeezed the Aunties into her favorite swimsuit and made her way down to the beach without even a cover-up. And she felt beautiful and womanly…until she happened upon a group of slender teenage girls. Worse, they looked at her. Worse than that, they turned to each other and gave a look – the same amused look Anne confessed to giving her own friends once upon a time when they’d happen upon a middle-aged flabby woman in her swimsuit.

But then Anne saw something else – a secret. These young girls in their perfect bodies and sunkissed skin, with butts that were tiny and no thighs to speak of whatsoever – they didn’t view themselves as perfect. And in the look they gave each other as they regarded Anne and the Aunties, there was also an unsurety about their own appearance and what they felt they were lacking.

And Anne was suddenly ok in her body once again, and apologized over and over to the poor Aunties – the very same Aunties who had been regarded as beautiful before the teenagers appeared on the beach.

This morning I stood in front of my 4-way mirror as I got ready. While I put on my make-up, I watched how I looked from the side. When I brushed my teeth, I regarded how parts of me moved even after the toothbrush was placed back in its holder. When I secured my hair in a ponytail, I studied the shape of my arms against my sleeves. And while part of me made promises to firm up the parts of my body that were no longer firm, the other part of me remembered the acceptance I had gained over the years for my body. In my youth I had picked apart every single aspect of a figure that needed no changing. My skin was too pale. Fat existed in invisible pockets. My nose was too big. I had too many freckles. What I hadn’t realized was that I would wish for that body more than anything in my later years. What I gained now, however, was the comfort that still existed in my image even when I sometimes wished it were more perfect. I didn’t mind that my skin wasn’t tan. In fact, it was better that way to help prevent lines in my face, or even the somehow more real danger of skin cancer. My nose no longer feels too long. My face may have grown into it, but it’s more likely that I just got used to it. And the freckles I once hated are now one of my most favorite features of my face.

We all have insecurities. It doesn’t matter if you’re a size 2 or size 22, there are parts of ourselves we wish were different. And at the same time, there are parts of our bodies and features that are stunning. An even bigger truth – all of our parts together equal something totally unique and exotic – different from everyone else in this whole entire world. When we compare our bodies with those of other who are younger, fitter, lighter than we are, we are betraying ourselves. We are putting ourselves up against something we will never live up to. I will never be Heidi Klum, no matter how much I exercise or diet. I won’t even be my gorgeous sister or my fit and toned friend. They are not me. And I am not them. All I can be is me. And I am beautiful, as are YOU.

We owe it to ourselves to celebrate in that.

As for the thighs, butt, and mom pooch? I’m not going to lie, I’m still working on that. It’s not an overnight process. But I think I’ve found the answer. I just need to name them something cute and think of them like friends – dimply, flabby friends – but friends nonetheless.

Working vs. stay-at-home mom

If you read my blog post yesterday, you read about how I have a hard time letting go of the reins when I can’t be in two places at once and need help from someone else. If you read further than the words on the page, you may have gathered that sometimes I struggle with being a working woman and a mom to my kids all at the same time. This is magnified in the summertime when I am in an office and my kids are stuck at home to entertain themselves. I can’t even begin to tell you how guilty I feel that I’m not there to take them to the beach, or let them have friends over, keep them off the video games or away from the TV, or even just be there to supervise so they can leave the house to play.

But the truth is, I like working. When I take time off work for a simple stay-cation, I am bored out of my mind. And more often than not, I go back to work feeling like I accomplished nothing – as if there wasn’t enough time to relax, create family time, or do all those things I fantasize about doing whenever the weekend seems just too far away. Knowing that I am a poor manager of my time, I am well aware that being a stay-at-home mom would not be a good choice for me. A job gives me a reason to get up earlier than I would on my own, and forces me to do all the things I’d procrastinate on if I didn’t have something eating up 8 hours out of my day. I make it a point to spend time talking with the kids instead of taking them for granted. I have no problem getting my household responsibilities done since I only have a limited time to do them in. Plus, the whole money thing works out pretty well.

However, that choice is not without its consequences. There are parts of my mothering that have suffered because I am not home all the time. By the time I come home from work around 6pm, make dinner, and then clean up the kitchen, it nears bedtime and all we have time for is a quick homework check (“Did you do it?” “Yup.”). However, sometimes the report card tells a story all on its own, and any grades that were less than exemplary were symbolically tacked on my back as well.

A friend of mine is battling the opposite problem. At home, her husband has taken it upon himself to let her know she’s “just a stay-at-home mom”. He goes to work every single day and makes the money to cover their house payment, the bills, the food, and everything else it takes to run a family. She stays home with their boys, keeps the house in order, makes the meals, does the grocery shopping, entertains the kids, handles their doctor and dentist appointments, manages the bills, carts the kids to and from school, makes the meals….all without any pay. She’s stayed home with the boys for many years, making it a bleak reality that a job would be really hard to come by among other applicants who’ve had a career while she chose to stay home. Therefore, she must rely on her husband’s paycheck. And this makes her “just a stay-at-home mom”. And yet, her kids are happy and healthy, and are secure with their mother at their side to teach them the ins and outs of life before they become more independent.

Lisa Belkin, the parenting blogger for the NY Times, is starting a new book club. The book she is kicking off with is called “Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood”. It’s a collection of stories from moms from all different sides of motherhood, gathered by Samantha Parent Walravens. I’m not necessarily promoting the book, as I’ve never read it. But I found the concept intriguing enough to want to read it, as it covers the feelings moms go through when they make the choice to work outside of the home or stay home with the kids, and the sacrifices they go through when that choice is made. 

And it also makes me wonder about all of you who have made this choice, and who grapple with it from time to time.

Did you give up your career to stay home with the kids? Or do you work out of the house while the kids stay home of go to daycare? Have you ever been judged or ridiculed by others for your working or stay-at-home role? Do you ever feel guilt or negative feelings – from twinges to full-blown resentment – about the choice you made? Or are you totally confident in your choice and have never looked back since?  Share your thoughts in the comments. As always, anonymous comments are welcome.

Motherhood Busyness

Ever forget how to just...relax?

At the end of my work day yesterday, I picked my kids up from their grandmother’s house where they stay after school. I dropped my son off at baseball practice, and my daughter off at the bookstore to kill some time while he practiced. While she read, I took a half hour out for a run, something I’ve recently taken up in my efforts to be more fit. I then picked my daughter back up, then my son, then off to home where I folded laundry in between coordinating my son setting the table while Mr. W made dinner. Afterwards, dishes were washed, more laundry was gathered, and finally a sit on the couch where I checked my email and Facebook while Dancing with the Stars was on (seriously, does anyone watch this anymore? It seems like no one can dance, and it was only worsened by the cheesy America theme). Then it was off to put the kids to bed where I discovered that my son’s room had exploded on itself, and his bed was rat’s nest. I taught him for the 300th time how to properly make a bed so that it was more comfy to sleep in and then kissed the kids goodnight. And without starting any new projects or sitting for a time or doing anything that didn’t require thinking, I went to bed so that I could do it all again the next day.

Kate Winslet was recently quoted in the UK’s Hello Magazine as saying “Any mother knows the last person you think about is yourself. I’ve been a mother for 10 years and I’m still trying to figure out how to give time to myself without feeling guilty about it. Sometimes I’ll sit down and I’ll go, ‘Oh it’s just nice to sit down,’ because truly, I’ve forgotten how to do that.”

I wouldn’t say that I don’t know how to sit, or even that I’m overburdened with all this busyness. I’m known for packing my day full of activities to take me from one moment to the next. And there are definitely times when I feel stressed out from too many obligations being scheduled too tightly together. But generally, it’s just the way I roll. Going from work, to baseball, to exercising, to shopping, to dinner, to laundry, to dishes, to clean up, to school projects, to….. And much of this busyness is on purpose.  It’s like I’m afraid to have a day when nothing is scheduled, when I might actually let the dishes sit for a time, or the laundry to remain unclean, or to not have to leave the house or do kids’ projects or check my phone or all the other things put in place to keep me from relaxing for a bit. And when I do, my mind races to all the things that still need to be done, or that I should be doing. Or worse, I’m just plain bored. And I’ve realized that it’s true – I’ve forgotten the fine art of sitting down. And not sitting down and then opening my laptop, or checking my phone, or flipping channels on the TV. But sitting down in a quiet room with no obligation but to do NOTHING. And it makes me wonder, how scary will life be when the kids are gone and the house stays clean, and there’s more than enough time to just sit and be still?

What does your day look like? Are your days filled with activities and obligations? Have you forgotten how to just sit and be still? Do you feel guilty when you do take time out for yourself?

Going on a Girl Date

“I’m thinking you and I should catch a mom’s night out at some point…we seem to have a lot in common.”

It was the text I received from the mom of one of my son’s friends. I had known her for a little over a year, and it was true, we did have a lot in common. I had been thinking the same thing about her as well, how we seemed to be a perfect match for friendship. But I didn’t know how to broach the subject. I’m shy when it comes to friendships.

Yes, me – shy.

Truth is, it’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and spill my life secrets for everyone to read and dissect (and, as some of you may have noticed, been at the mercy of a few trolls….). I’m not actually looking at you when I type. And therefore, I can pretend that what I’m writing is merely a long letter to none other than ME. But it’s nerve wracking to be face to face with someone else, offering more of myself than common pleasantries. You will not see me hosting any huge awards night (I’d be much more James Franco than Anne Hathaway). You won’t see me throwing the party of the century. And in social situations, I am more likely to see how the food is holding up than looking someone in the eye and casually gabbing about the latest and greatest in my life. For someone who has a lot to say in typed word, I have nothing to say in person. So obviously, making friends is not my forte.

And making friends with girls, even more intimidating.

I think it stems from my school days. I was not the most popular, but I definitely had friends in elementary. Of course, elementary is easy. In those grades, everyone is friends. If someone gets mad over something, it’s forgotten by the next day. It doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, if you don’t own the most expensive clothing, or how your hair is cut. Your classmates are the very people you grow up with. But it all changes in Jr. High, sometimes a little before. Girls I had been friends with suddenly sectioned off into an elite group, and me and my chubby self were not allowed. Of course it hurt, though I pretended it didn’t. I hung out with a much smaller group of girls and made different friends. But the awkward shame of being outcasted by the very people I loved as my friends hurt me to the core.

In high school I finally had a redeeming moment. At a football game, a girl I had been friends with in our younger days got into conversation with me. She had surpassed the Jr. High social mountain, climbing her way to the top thanks to her beauty and parents’ wealth. And here she was laughing at all my wisecracks, a defense mechanism I had perfected in my nerdiness.

“Why haven’t we been hanging out?” she asked me. And we planned a sleepover that very night in her elaborate castle of a home. We spent the night giggling and gossiping, and the morning making crepes in her huge kitchen. And the Monday after the weekend, I ditched my usual friends and meandered over to the group she hung out with, quietly hanging on the outside of the circle. She waved to me, and I smiled, making my way closer to her. But my presence didn’t go totally unnoticed.

“What is SHE doing here?” one girl hissed, sneering at me through narrowed eyes. And my new friend smiled apologetically as I sheepishly exited the group and went back to where I belonged, wondering what the hell I was thinking in the first place.

Why are girl friendships so hard? My 7th grade daughter is discovering the perils of girl friendships in her first year of Jr. High, suffering at the hands of some mean-spirited cattiness. Veronica, the P360 mommy blogger at “Adventures in Mommyhood” describes her own conflicts with girl friendships, as well as her fears for her own three girls, in a recent blog titled Mean Girls. On the Santa Rosa Mom boards, moms have lamented over friendship loss that occurs when babies are born. And as I sat over lunch with my new friend, she also described the loss that happened when she started having children, noticing that her friends were disappearing one by one, and how making and keeping friendships with girls now seemed harder than ever.

And in this new friend, I suddenly saw a fellow sister – someone who was describing what I have gone through, and what many women were experiencing all over the place.  Trust issues, shyness, friendship loss, and the phobias that enter each time a friend abandons us – leaving us to check out the food table rather than meet new people.

I’m happy to say that our Girl Date was fabulously successful.  We started out shyly, but warmed up to be true pals by the end. She’s even called my back so we can go out again.  I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Have you experienced difficulties in friendships with girls?

51,419

What's eating away at you on your bucket list?

The end. They were the 51,418th and 51,419th words I wrote in a long and messy document I had been working on for weeks. And on the 27th day, I typed those words and closed the lid to my laptop, and basked in the revelation that I had successfully accomplished a goal that I had set out for myself at the beginning of the year. And even though I did it 11 months after I made that goal, I had still done it. And it was one of the major things I had planned to accomplish all my life that I could now cross off my bucket list of things to do before I die.

I had written a book.

Sure, the book sucks. It is full of grammar mistakes, too little description in some areas, and too much description in others. There are parts that I need to move from the beginning towards the end of the story, and vice versa. There are other parts that I need to rewrite to change details and add missing pieces. And then there are the parts that I need to just delete – and deny that they ever existed. But it doesn’t matter how bad it is right now. It just matters that I wrote it, and I can actually say, if someone were to ask me, that yes, I have written a book in my life***.

I do not write this to gloat. Ok, maybe a little. But really, I write this because this goal of mine that I accomplished was one that was my anchor for so many years. I’m going to write a book someday. It was always a promise I made to myself, promising that on this “some day” I would fulfill this lifelong dream and get a bunch of words on paper that would equal the same size of a small to large novel that could one day be placed between two hard pieces of material and bound into something called a book. When was this “some day”? Not today, that’s for certain. Today is too scary of a day to get something that huge out of the way. But “some day” was the perfect day to get that done. But when exactly was “some day”??? Doesn’t matter. It only mattered that it wasn’t today.

Yeah, it’s pretty clear that “some day” was turning into “not in this lifetime”.

So November 1st (along with thousands of people who take part in some crazy scheme called NaNoWriMo), I made “some day” today. And I even struck a bargain with God in this one. I told him that I didn’t even care if I gained weight this month, that’s how important it was to fulfill this goal.

Um, sidenote here. Please be careful what you say in prayers. Yes, my goal is done. But I also have a little extra padding from some major sit-itis and impulsive snacking while chained to my laptop.

At any rate, the biggest reason I put this here is because we all have goals in our lives to fulfill. The year is almost over. How far did you get on your New Year’s Resolutions, or any goals that you have set for yourself this year? Have you lost that extra weight you gained from last year? Have you successfully run a whole mile or more without stopping? Have you learned that new language, or signed up for that group you’ve been meaning to join? Have all your photos made it from your computer to glossy prints that are now safe in a photo album ready to be viewed by all your friends and family?

Have you accomplished your goal?

This really rough excuse of a book I just finished was written in a very short amount of time. At the beginning of the month, I saw 50,000 words to write. That is roughly 85 single-spaced typed pages or so, the same size as The Great Gatsby, by Ernest Hemingway. That is a lot for someone who has never written a book before. And that huge number is enough to make someone throw in the towel. But know what isn’t a huge number? 1,667 words, or about 3 pages. That is the minimum I had to write every day to ensure that I could finish this goal in 30 days. And at first it was hard. The story was still working its way out in the beginning, and sometime 1,667 felt a bit large. But know what happened after awhile? The story began to write itself. And some days I ended up with almost 6,000 words. And as the total number grew to 25,000 to 37,000 to 48,000, I suddenly found a second wind inside of me that saw that yes, I could do this. And that is why, on the 27th day, I sat at my computer and typed until those final words could end the goal I had set so many years before.

The end.

So make your “some day” today. Don’t wait.  Make a plan, and stick to it. Envision the finish line.  And then set tiny goals that lead up to fulfilling that major accomplishment.  Make the action of crossing that one item off your bucket list a reality.

As for my goal next year? I see months of revisions in my future.

***No, you cannot read it.  No, it has not been published.  No, a publisher will not be anywhere near it for a very long time, if ever.  I have written a book, but I have not published a book.  One goal at a time.

P.S. Did anyone join me this year in NaNoWriMo? How’d you fare?

Feeling sexy

The majority of your time is spent with children under 5. It’s a lucky day when you are able to wash your hair. You haven’t worn a dress in….you can’t remember when… Your size is a number you’d rather not discuss. You’re exhausted from reffing childhood fights, cleaning up multiple juice spills, washing and ironing the same clothes day in and day out, and trying to find the shirt that smells the least like spit-up to wear for the day. Sexy? You’re idea of porn is watching your husband unload the dishwasher so that you can sit for a few minutes with your nose in the book!

Yes, I know that sexy may not be a word in your vocabulary right now. But it should be. After all, it goes without saying that feeling sexy feels good. The good it does for your own self image will do wonders for your love life. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that you will even be a better parent to your kids if you feel sexy in your own skin.

Sometimes it’s as simple as wearing sexy underwear. Something new and lacy underneath is a secret you can keep to yourself, keeping sex at the corner of your brain even while you do the most mundane tasks around the house. Execute a swift and spontaneous flashing to your husband (when the kids are otherwise occupied), and see what happens. Pay attention to how you feel wearing something so risqué throughout the day. One of my favorite places to buy lingerie is Ma Cherie et Moi (see their write-up over at ShopSoCo.com). They sell European undergarments that don’t only look sexy, but feel sexy. While here in America we tend to make sure that there is no trace of a bra – be it straps, through a shirt, or above the neckline – in Britain, women wear their bras to be seen. Their shirts might be a bit sheer, or lower cut than the top of their bras. But they don’t hide their sexiness. They FLAUNT it. Now, that’s sexy. 

Exercise. I know, I know – with what time??? It doesn’t take much. All it takes is 15 minutes out of your day to get your heart rate pumping. Put the baby in a stroller and take a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Pop in an exercise video and work out with the kids. Wake up an hour early and enjoy an early morning bike ride. Take the kids to the park and utilize all that play equipment as your own personal gym. Grab the basketball and challenge your kid to a one-on-one. Not only will a little extra activity increase endorphins (the naturally induced “sexy drug”, if you will), you’ll have more energy AND you’re promoting health and fitness in your family. And THAT will feel really good!

Take some time out for yourself. There I go with the whole “time” thing again. “Crissi, where am I going to get all this free time you’re throwing at me???” Hey, I’m a single mom. I get that time is valuable. I get that time doesn’t just happen. No, you have to MAKE it happen. Remember that husband of yours? How about your parents or family members? What about that single mom friend who is always commiserating with you about the lack of free time she has? Surely you know someone that would be willing to take the rugrats off your hands for a few hours, even just once a month. Take advantage of that time by treating yourself to a pedicure or a new hairstyle, enjoying a quiet afternoon watching the world go by from a park bench, paint a picture, take a picture, write a poem, peruse a bookstore, enjoy a movie without a date, take yourself out to lunch… The possibilities are endless. The most important part is to spend time with YOU, the person that you know the most. What? You don’t know her anymore? Well, here is a great chance to get reacquainted. Harried mom, meet “self”.

Take time out with your partner (see above for any arguments about time). Plan a date night at least once a month – once a week is even better. Or, if that proves to be too difficult, plan a date night IN. Put the kids to bed early and enjoy a candlelit dinner together. Cuddle on the couch for a movie. Share a book. Share a bubble bath. 😉 Turn off the phone, shut down the internet, and sweep the toys in the living room to the side to be dealt with tomorrow. Spend some time when it’s just the two of you, coming together without distractions, reminding yourself why you took on this crazy life together in the first place.

My friend, Claudine, recently told me about something she did that made her feel incredibly sexy. She had boudoir photos taken of herself. Boudoir literally means bedroom, or woman’s dressing room. Boudoir photos are meant to be partially or fully nude, taken in a completely tasteful way. “I’m almost 40 and did them this past year for fun (because) my hubby was up for deployment and I wanted a ‘nice’ gift for him to remember me by,” Claudine told me. “I was scared witless, but the second I started the shoot I was totally transformed! After the shoot, I felt like I had more self confidence and felt sexier than ever before, at almost 40!” I know of several photographers who take professional photos of this nature. Seasyn McDowell Photography took some wonderful shots of my friend. And a personal friend of mine, Becky Lafayette of Becka Lynn Photography, takes gorgeous boudoir photos.

“I think that society wants us to look a certain way, and of course, we follow.  But we don’t believe we are beautiful after churning out a child or two – the actual reality is that we BECOME more beautiful as we experience LIFE – children – family – love – etc.” Claudine Parks

What are some ways that you increase your sexuality, even as a busy parent?

A mom who inspires

There’s a certain truth in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”. On one hand, this includes every person that touches your child’s life – their parents, their teachers, their aunts, uncles… But it also pertains to the wisdom of the generations that have come before them, passing down their values and tendencies that will be carried on for years to come and to future generations.

As a single mother, the mom that inspires me the most is my grandmother, the matriarch of our family. On her own, she raised three kids in an era when single parent households were uncommon. She attended countless baseball games and band recitals, opened up her kitchen for her sons’ insistence on cooking the animals they had hunted (in this case, deer or squirrel), held several jobs to maintain the household, and became creative in her dinners to stretch her dollar (tongue, anyone?). She sacrificed and gave it her all in raising two boys and one girl, as a single mom. In those days, there was no support system for single mothers. Most families were not divorced. And yet, she did it, and she did it well.

There are times when I am bitter about the hurdles I have to overcome as a single mom. I get angry about circumstances and, admittedly, sometimes wish I were the kind of person who could throw in the towel. My grandmother has been my constant, the person I focus on in rough times. She is a tough lady from a tough line of women, and raised a daughter who became a tough mother. This only means that I come from a tough lineage, and it is in my blood. My grandmother has become my inspiration to keep going even when I think that I couldn’t possibly make it any further. Not only that, she is a great listener in those times when I just need to vent. It helps to swap stories with someone who’s been there and understands.

P.S. The picture above is a photo of my grandmother and almost all of her grandchildren and great-grandkids.

Do you have a mom in your life that has inspired you? How about a group of moms that have helped you to keep going when motherhood seems like the hardest thing in the world?