My earliest recollection of “mothering” takes me back to the early 90’s.  I was 12, and I was caring for my baby nephew.  Soon after my mom was gone, he started to cry and I could tell that something wasn’t right.  

It was a desperate cry, and as I held him his body temperature climbed at a noticeable rate.  

I stripped him down to his diaper and tried to feed him a bottle.  I had heard some moms talk about fevers being dangerous for babies.  I knew that I could get ahold of my mom to come home as soon as she reached her destination–but in a land before cell phones, it was going to take some time.  

I took some wash clothes and made them cool, and laid them all over the baby.  And then I sang.  Every song I could remember hearing my mom sing.  When I ran out of those songs–I sang whatever songs I knew.  

When my mom got home, I filled her in on what I had done so far…and she cried.  

She cried because I had done everything right and she was proud of me.  

Most of us are born with this instinct to care and nurture.  As this Mothers Day approached, I realized that “Motherhood Status” has so many stages. 

By the time Violet was born, I already considered myself a mom.  I was a bonus mom.  (I don’t like the term “stepmom”…bonus is more my style).  Ethan’s mom is alive and well, and present and loving.  I never tried to take her job–I always just tried to be the best mom-like figure I could be for him when he was in my care.  I love that guy so much–and I always will.  I hope that he always knows how much he means to me, and that I’d do anything for him.  No. Matter. What.  

So to all of the Bonus Moms out there:  Happy Mothers Day.  There are so many variables in blended families, so many challenges, heartaches, joys….but at the end of the day:  You, are “Momming”.  I celebrate you.  

Giving birth doesn’t make you a mom.  Having a piece of your heart walking around outside of your body makes you a mom.  

Many people only started to wish me a Happy Mothers Day once Violet was born.  That first Mothers Day doesn’t leave me with fond memories.  I was a newly single mom–with this most perfect little bundle of baby.  I was depressed for about a hundred reasons.  I missed Ethan.  I was exhausted.  I was scared… But I was also to thankful.  Violet kept me going.  I found strength I never knew I had, because of her–I am eternally greatfull to her for that.  She picked me to be her momma because nobody can love her better than I can.  

So to all of the Single Moms:  Happy Mother’s Day.  You are the definition of Fierce.  I see you.  I am sending you love, light, and strength.  Motherhood is hard and you are slaying.  When I think of all of you today (and the other 364 days of the year), I am full of pride.  Be proud of yourself.  Love yourself.  

Today:  today I am sitting in a big comfy couch watching my baby boy sleep. His dad has spoiled me rotten for Mothers Day, and he is currently on his way to a Long Island bakery to get me some Linzer Tarts.  Violet is playing with her BFF Jenny.  She is loving life.  

Momming is hard.  Momming breaks your heart sometimes.  Momming builds your heart back up.  Most nights I need a drink as strong as the woman Violet is growing up to be.  Just when I think I’m going to loose my ever-loving mind–Violet gives me a hug with a “I love you Mommy, with my WHOLE HEART”.  And then Luca smiles so big I can see his tooth.  Violet makes him giggle and I get a game-text from Ethan because he is kicking my ass at text message Battle Ship and it’s my turn to send a bomb even though I know I’m going to miss his ship because he beats me at every game.  

I know this level of Motherhood won’t be here for long. It will elvolve to older kids.  Grown kids.  Maybe one day Grandkids.  I’m excited to experience each step.  Motherhood means so many different things to so many different people.  

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms.   Nothing works without us.  We are amazing. Strong. Beautiful. So much love to every single one of you.  

To my mom.  You are my rock.  Thank you for being a super hero and for showing our whole family unconditional love every day. If I can be half the mother you are, I’ll consider that a win.  ❤


Happy Mother’s Day

For as long as I can remember, my main goal in life has been to be a mommy. I remember playing house as a little girl, and pretending to nurse my baby dolls. I remember homeschooling my make-believe children and teaching them about “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” because it was always one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

About 8.5 years ago my mommy-hood dreams partially came true when I started dating Violet’s dad. I instantly fell in love with his then almost four year old. I love Ethan just as if he were my own son. Being a bonus parent is hard. Some times are harder than others, but every ounce of love I have for Ethan is worth all of the hard stuff. I didn’t get to see Ethan today. That was really hard. The hardest part of being a bonus parent to someone else’s children is when their real parent decides that your time is up…

Last year was my first official Mother’s Day. Like…the first one where I could tell a story of the day my baby was born. Mother’s Day was only days after I moved out of my home and in with Suzy and Ben. I was emotionally numb. I spent the day swimming in a sea of shame, guilt, sadness and failure. All I ever wanted to do was to be a mommy, and a kick ass wife. I tried really hard to be everything *he* wanted me to be, but the reality was that the harder I tried, the less he cared. I never in a million years thought I’d be a single mom. I was certain I’d fail at being Violet’s mom, just like I’d “failed” at being her dad’s wife.

So so so much changes in a year. There is a chapter of my life that is coming to an end. Last year I would have given anything to wake up from the nightmare that I was living and to have my life back. Today I recognize that I would never want that life back. Not ever. There are some things I now know to be true:

1. I am good enough. I am HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY. I am compassionate and caring. I’d do anything for the people I love.

2. The only person I “failed” was myself. And that is because I tried to live my life in order to please someone else. I didn’t write, I didn’t demand respect, I didn’t stand up for myself. I let *him* have my heart and trusted *him* with my everything….when deep down inside I knew I shouldn’t have. History has a funny way of repeating itself…

3. I was put on this earth to be Violet’s momma, and gosh-darn-it….I rock at it. (Don’t get me wrong, there is always room for improvement. Just like that meme I see floating around Facebook that says “Behind every awesome kid there is a mom who is pretty sure she’s doing it all wrong” or something like that…).

I heal a little bit each and every day. It seems like there is always an obstacle that is difficult to work through, but I always seem to find a way. Right now the big troll in my life is a mixture of anger and of worry about things I have no control over. I am so angry that precious mommy-moments were stolen from me. I didn’t have a loving husband to dote on my pregnant-goddess self. I didn’t feel supported, appreciated or cherished when all of my dreams were supposed to be coming true. I am angry about so much more, but I don’t want to turn this post into an angry rant. I’m worried about what Violet will learn when I’m not around. Relationships are always hard when they are founded on crumbling values. Somewhere deep inside of me, I have to find the strength to let go. What I can control is who I have Violet around. It certainly won’t be anyone I’ve ever considered a mistake. I won’t have her around anyone who brings negativity to my life. It won’t be anyone who has ever proven to not be trustworthy at any point of their life. Through all of this anger and worry I can still be thankful. I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned, because I’ve always had to learn the hard way. I’m thankful that my daughter has a dad who loves her. And I’m thankful that I now know exactly what I want, and I won’t settle for anything less than what I deserve.

Today was a great day. Suzy made bacon and strawberry pancakes for breakfast. We bummed around the house for a bit. Then, I took Violet to Valley Forge and we took a walk. She insisted on “pushing her stroller”. She loved the kites flying in the sky–she really wanted to touch them. It’s hard to explain to a two year old that she can’t fly with the kites… Violet loved the log cabins that civil war soldiers slept in. She walked on cobblestone and learned that she would get cold without her hoodie. She fell asleep in the car on the way home, much to my dismay…that totally throws bedtime out the window and I end up blogging at midnight… After our visit with MeeMaw, she chose a book to take home and “read” in the car. (I wish I would have snapped a picture). Suzy and I were treated to some homemade lasagna for Mother’s Day, and in a comedy of errors we didn’t eat until 9. The kids played nicely together in the tub and Violet got so brave, she poured water over her own head. (Big development here…..HUGE!). Ethan texted some pictures of himself playing baseball, and I found myself feeling a whole bunch of emotions all at once. I love watching him play, I’m proud of all that he does, I miss the shit out of that kid, I still haven’t dealt with the pain of losing my time with him. Lets add that to the list of healing and keep trucking forward.

To all of the moms out there of any kind…Happy Mother’s Day. We have the hardest and most rewarding job in the universe. We will always need each other, because anyone who is not in this club of ours just doesn’t understand. We are superheroes. (I know this to be true, show me a non-mom who can successfully change a baby’s diaper and outfit in a two square foot radius of an airplane seat surrounded by sleeping old people and not disturb a soul). I did that, and it was awesome.

A little shout out to my momma…..I love you forever, you showed me the path that led me to be the strong woman I am today. Your grand daughter loves you more than anyone in this world. Violet’s intelligence has a little something to do with genetics….but I’m sure her vocabulary also has a lot to do with who she is with every day. My 22 month old baby sings every word of every lullaby to me….and she nails her ABC’s. What would I do without my mommy???