This Is Your Child On Cadbury Egg

photo 4photo 5 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3It was like she’d never seen sugar before. Silly rabbit.

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Things Scott Says: Portrait of Lotte Edition

You may have already seen the latest installment of Franz Hoffmeester’s ongoing project “Portrait of Lotte” in which we can now watch his daughter Lotte age from birth to 14 in a beautifully crafted and what many are calling “heartbreaking” four tiny minutes.

But last night, when I showed it to my husband, (who — quick update — is currently kicking ass in treatment for his depression) he watched quietly, but when it was over, what he said was the best thing I’ve heard him say in years. “That was awesome. She’s been happy almost every single day of her life.”

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Maxipalooza — Summer Is Coming

image1xxl-4$159.92, HERE

In two weeks, I’m heading to Atlanta to speak at the Mom 2.0 Summit, so obviously I needed a new maxi dress or two. (What? Scott, I’m totally kidding. I didn’t buy two.)

It was hard to choose though because oh man, asos has some good stuff right now. (Have you shopped at asos? It might be for kids, I can’t totally tell, but I’m really in to their selection, and they have options in an almost shockingly wide range of prices.)

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 $75.26 HERE (I only bought this one.)

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$103.48, HERE.

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$122.29 HERE

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$37.63, HERE.

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$103.48, HERE.

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I’m Not The Mom I Thought I Would Be

[Editors Note: Friends and Lurkers, please welcome Brooke. I promised her to you a few days ago and then basically hopped on a helicopter and failed to publish this post like the asshole that I can't seem to stop being. But this isn't about me. This is about Brooke -- Mother, Writer, Recovering Reality-TV producer, Burgeoning Chicken Farmer and wife to a bald headed tattooed yogi who hunts wild boar (which is delicious). She basically refuses to be defined by anything I could put in a bio, and I'm starting to feel ridiculous trying. She also kind of saves me. So, without further ado... -M-]

CoffeeTableBooksI am not the mom I thought I would be. Turns out, I’m not even the mom I thought I am… 

Simply put, I envisioned myself as a “free range” mom. My kids, four and a half and 2, are adept at playing by themselves and now with each other. They fall, I don’t run over. They cry (and are not seriously hurt), I don’t rush. They are independent, social, happy kids and I have given myself my fair share of pats on the back for it. I admit too, I find myself judgmental of the “helicopter” mom.  I roll my eyes at the park when I see moms on the tails of their kids brushing the sand off their tush, running to their side at the hint of a sorrowful sniffle, or scraped knee.

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But my moment of clarity came recently at a play date at my house. My son and his friend tussled over…I honestly don’t even know what they tussled over. All I heard from the next room was the din of discord and I jumped in the middle and told my son to leave his buddy alone. His friend’s mother never left her chair and without judgment graciously said, “unless she’s hurt or hurting someone else, I let her figure it out.” Oh yeah me too. Oh… no. Not me too.  I realized in that moment, I’m an emotional helicopter parent. I was horrified.  At the hint of any scurfuffle with the preschool set, I’m in the middle of it like an ant on a pile of sugar. Rather than letting my kid work it out with the other kid, I insert my motherly wisdom, my opinion, and the way I know he should behave differently or just better. The other mom’s words gave me pause. I’m THAT mom. I’m not letting my son navigate sticky situations on his own. I’m not at all the “free range” momma I told myself I was. 

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I forgot that along the way that I won’t always be there to hold their hands through a tough situation. Yes, it is our job to give our kids boundaries and guidelines to maneuver moments such as these, but we give them the tools then stand back. If they fall (or throw a punch), we are there to help them (or remind them to apologize). I am overwhelmed sometimes at the weight of everyday situations such as these and how they shape our kids for their future and the magnitude of my role. For as many pats on the back as I give myself, I give myself more lashes with a leather whip. I’m learning daily to surrender to who I really am as a mother and not the one I thought I would be or the parent I thought I was, or more importantly, the one I think I’m supposed to be.  

My kids remind me every day I’m doing something right (even when sometimes I’m probably doing it wrong). Now I need to let go and believe them. 

 Z+R

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Parachutes, Chicken Coops, + Steamy Hot Links

10170832_10152286443307171_7314309238987647607_nI can’t be the only person who thinks there isn’t enough time in the day to live every aspect of life required, right? Like, I can’t possibly live online and offline at the same time. Even when I know what I need to do I fall behind. It’s a balancing act, having the career I want and the family experience I want but for the first time in ever, I do feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it.

It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks for me. A lot of traveling. A lot of learning. And a lot of  emotional healing going on at home. As I write this, I’m on the road again, having left Delilah with a lipstick mark to remember me by while I wing it to San Antionio for a few days to talk tires with other influential Moms (I swear I’m not calling myself that, the organizers are).  Oh the glamour of this life I lead.

I had my girl all to myself for most of the week so I was in true full-blown Work at Home Mom fashion, with no time for quiet or organizing my thoughts. I started changing meeting locations to my own house so that my child you run amok with her toys while I kept up with my professional commitments. But it worked out in the end. I think I got everything done, except for of course, post all the things to this blog I thought about telling you guys. And now I’m going to Texas to test drive safety tires. Which I know is going to be fun because…hello? driving on a course? FUN. Hanging out with like eight other ladies I know and love? FUN. But getting ready to take yet another few days away from my family? I’m so tired. When I overextend, no one wins. I can’t be the wife I want. I can’t be the Mom I want, and I can’t be the writer I want. I’m learning to reign that in. I’m slowly getting better. Because if I can’t kick my workaholism for my own good, it’s getting harder and harder to leave my family.

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Brooke + her first born.

Which (LEFT TURN!) speaking of not being the Mom you thought you’d be, I want to introduce you to my urban homesteading idol, not to mention the first Mom friend I made with Dee on the outside, my beloved Brooke, who — you guessed it, will be kicking off her brand spankin’ new contributorship here at The818 with a post that made me laugh out loud about well…the Moms we think we are, and the Moms we actually turn out to be.

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Brooke introducing her own Mama to her chickens.

And before I bid you happy Friday, here were my favorite things to read on the Internet this week:

Kristen at Rage Against The Minivan tells you all about how to make sure you’re seeing the things you want to see in your Facebook timeline, because Facebook and their constant changes can suck it.

My friend Lindsey just got back from an 8 month trip around the world, and her blog posts documenting the experience are incredible. READ THEM ALL.

Are you pregnant? (I’m not. SOB.)  This is hilarious.

Cool Mom Picks rounded up the best ideas for Easter Egg Decorating so I gave up on life.

Elizabeth who I love with my whole heart wrote this poignant post about love.

Sarah at Whoorl wrote an emotional post about her health and what finally woke her up to the need for better self care. Don’t miss it. It hit home for me HARD.

And Happy Friday. Have you been purging? I have, we’ll talk about it soon.

Feed Me Seymour