A Bag Of Tricks

As we get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, I would have to say one of my top ten things I am thankful for is…my mama community.

I have friends I can text, FaceTime, or call any time day or night asking for prayers and helpful hints of how to handle certain situations with my kiddos.

Let’s use tonight as a lovely example.

My youngest, Lillian, is five months old. Usually around bed time she gets a little fussy and fights the night night time. Tonight she was experiencing some hard core teething and decided to scream. And scream. And scream some more.

I tried breastfeeding, pacifiers, teething toys, cold washcloths, and offering her my finger to chew on.

More screaming.

This Mama here is on her own for a few days while Daddy is on a trip for work. So there’s no game of tag to play with the other parent. In desperation, I reached out to two of my friends.

Every Mama needs a good bag of tricks, and sometimes it’s helpful to hear ideas from another friend who is in the thick of it with you.

Tip #1: Take a bath skin to skin with the baby. Seems weird, but it helps them remember the time in the womb.

Tip  #2: Turn on the microwave fan.

The bath was super helpful in calming Lil down, and myself as well. Sometimes I get so focused on needing to get Lil to stop crying that I’m letting off  anxious emotions. After a bit, she began to fuss again.

The microwave fan was the winning ticket tonight. The distraction allowed her focus to shift from being upset to the noise. Lilster then proceeded to show off her cute smile and pretend the previous twenty minutes never happened.

Do babies ever make sense? Haha.

So let’s hear it from you, Mama. What’s in your bag of tricks when the baby is crying and your go to soothing strategies aren’t cutting it?

“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.” -Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a

Mama On A Run

For as long as I can remember I’ve been running.

My earliest memory is in third grade running a race in P.E. class, which ended in a graceful fall and a broken wrist.

In seventh grade, when I changed schools, I joined the cross-country team and finally found my niche after many years of attempting to play other hand eye coordination sports. (Thank you, middle school awkward years.)

It didn’t take me long to experience the runner’s high, and soon I was hooked. I’ve run many different races on the track and cross-country team, and eventually graduated to running half marathons in my early college years.

The feeling of my feet hitting the pavement, sweat trickling down my face…nothing can beat it!

I love everything about running: the races, the friendships formed and conversations had during a run, the new terrain to be explored on a run. More than purchasing souvenirs when I travel, I prefer to collect runs.

The thing I love most about running is the parallels it can draw to our life.

March 2014, I joined a new race. The race of motherhood. This race is unlike any other I’ve run before. Unlike the one or two lap sprints around the track, this race is a marathon that lasts a lifetime.

Looking back to my younger years, I often found myself surrounded by friends with common popularity status, interests, beliefs, occupations, and eating habits.

When I became a mother, I found myself running a race with such a diverse group of women with one common denominator-we are mothers.

I have a varying group of friends nowadays-in ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, eating styles, body type, religious beliefs… this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of differing parenting styles, cloth diapers/regular diapers, stay at home mom/working mom, etc.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Some of you may cook a home made meal from scratch every night for your family, or others may run to the nearest Chipotle. There is grace for every choice we make, and freedom to be the mother to our children that God created us to be. Let’s not get tripped up or intimidated by the differences.

My desire for starting this blog is to create a space where we as mothers can celebrate our heterogeneity, and encourage each other along in this race. This race is long, and it is the most challenging and beautiful one I’ve endeavored yet.

Will you join me on this journey? Let’s run together.