Browsing Category:


  • Yes, My Family is Complete – An Open Letter

    I’m checking out at the grocery store, slowly piling a cart full of food onto the belt when the woman behind me comments on my “adorable sons.” I thank her and make small talk about the challenges of raising babies and toddlers, when it comes out with surprising ease.

    “Well are you going to try for a girl? I mean, you HAVE to have a girl,”

    I half-heartedly laugh and give a cheap retort about enjoying my sleep too much. Its not the first time a stranger has offered commentary on the gender dynamics of my family, and I’m fairly certain for the next few years I’ll be told repeatedly by bystanders how to render it “complete.” I know I’m not alone in this bewilderment, as I’ve shared experiences with other boy-moms and girl-moms alike who receive the same unsolicited “advice” when it comes to having children: If you don’t have both genders then you just aren’t finished yet.

    Now, I’m sure Mary at the Supermarket meant well and was mostly making small talk, and not meaning to project some societal standard of what the nuclear family looks like on to mine. But it had me pondering on the way home- is there something I’m missing? Will my life be less fulfilling without a daughter? Perhaps these questions are always there, and this conversation just brought them to the surface.

    And while sure, on occasion, I pass the little girls section and drool over the adorable dresses and matching bows & imagine our world with a third child and possibly a girl. I picture two older brothers fawning over a baby sis and feel a sense of wonder sneaking in. But the truth is, I love having two children. I adore these silly, wild and often times dirty little boys. So much so, that I don’t feel the desire to “try” for a girl. Which brings me to the question, and one I’ve analyzed a lot lately: What can I not accomplish in my relationships with my sons, that I could with a daughter? The answer is nothing. Absolutely nothing.

    “Their gender doesn’t determine the depth of our relationships,”

    My kids will get all of me. Not some version of myself catered to the idea of them being boys. I get to cultivate the loving bond I want with my children, and their gender doesn’t determine the depth of our relationships. The happiness we share is the result of the love we give to the ones we have, and our family is assuredly whole in its current configuration. And the next time I meet another Mary at the Supermarket, I’ll remember to take the comments with a grain of salt, confident that my family is fulfilled, and that we alone get to decide when it is complete.

    If you found yourself in this story and want to read more, try another open letter: Keep Giving

  • Keep Giving: An Open Letter to the Mamas

    Smile. Smile Finley. Finley can you SMILE? I must’ve said it a hundred times.

    He stared at me plainly, then ran away in a defiant move that screamed “I won’t be cooperating for pictures today.” This happens often, and it’s okay. I want him to exercise autonomy and if he’s not feeling a photo sesh, I’m certainly not going to force it. I scrolled through my camera roll and found the one photo of him with a half-smile that portrayed him enjoying himself. I favorited it for later. 

    The rest of the day at the pumpkin patch was no different. He just. wasn’t. feeling it.

    Skipping nap probably had something to do with it. Isn’t it funny that the days we anticipate and build up for them the most are often a fail? I circled back to the photo from earlier and went to post it. I looked at it a little differently. The picture was in no way representative of how the day unfolded. The truth was, I coaxed him into every activity. He melted down over the slightest mishap. At one point, he was so angry he intentionally face planted in the middle of the hay barn (that was almost comical). I felt compelled to tell the whole story. So I’m doing that today. 

    Sometimes the days we plan and plot to be the most fun fall short. Sometimes our littles can’t appreciate the hard work we’ve put in to engage them. Sometimes our efforts to fulfill them feel fruitless and futile. It’s frustrating. It’s discouraging. And its all part of this momlife gig. We give and give and give to our kids and at times it’s as if the investment is yielding no return. 

    But it is. Every attempt we make to spend quality time with our children reinforces our love for them.

    Even when the immediate result is a million tantrums the lifelong affect is far greater than we can recognize in the moment. It hit me that, it was never about posting the perfect social media photo. It was about creating memories. Building self esteem. Encouraging wonderment. And mamas, every time we allow our kids the opportunity to experience something new, we are doing all of these invaluable things. I try to remind myself of that notion when plans don’t pan out the way I’d want them to. 

    It is with these words that I hope to inspire you to keep giving.

    Keep planning. Keep the magic alive. Worry less about the photo and more about the memories and positive takeaways. Our children will be boundlessly better for it. 

  • On Mom Guilt

    “Sleep on my ground” he says with pleading eyes like a puppy begging for a treat. I check the clock it’s 9:04. Well past bedtime. He’s asking me to sleep on the floor next to his crib while he drifts off to sleep. The problem is, we’ve already been at this bedtime game for far too long and I’m ready to wind down with my husband. 6 books 4 songs and 2 bathroom trips later, we’re so close to tying this night off and yet, he won’ let go. 

    I think to myself: boundaries. We’re establishing them now. I have to be firm. Tough. I gently lay him down and remind him of the countless bedtime procedures we’ve executed and that it’s getting too late for mommy to sleep on his ground. I’m holding steadfast to that promise I made to my husband that the evenings would be ours. I can tell he’s displeased, and tears begin to well in his eyes. He watches me longingly as I turn on his fan and shut off the light. “Goodnight Finley.” 

    On the other side of his door the Mom guilt rushes in and floods my senses. Did I do the right thing? Am I withholding? Where is the line between loving and spoiling? Because I certainly can’t find it in this moment. I’m standing in the hallway questioning myself, as I do countless times throughout the day, when I hear his small, sweet voice. 

    “Excavator, dump truck, backhoe, bulldozer.”  

    My little boy loves trucks. All day we’ve been playing with trucks. We sang truck tunes and memorized the songs. We strolled the neighborhood to see the trucks building houses. We read truck books. I hear it. All of my Mama efforts, replaying in his mind, now pouring out just before he falls asleep. My entire day was dominated by trucks and that’s okay, because I love that child. And loving him is the best thing I can do for him. 

    I feel liberated from the guilt long enough to walk away from his room and finally, join my husband on the couch.  

  • On the Eve – An Open Letter

    There is something uniquely special to me about this photo. Maybe it’s the way you’re looking at me. Maybe it’s how you’re sharing your favorite blue blankey. Maybe it’s that it’s already the 3 of us captured here, just one not pictured.

    An Open Letter On the Eve | Rock It Mama | A letter to my first child

    I have many fears ab being a mother of two.

    The mental load, the shift in family dynamic, what if I struggle to balance it all. It is the permanence of such a mammoth change that is hard to comprehend. But nothing hits me harder than the idea of it not being just us anymore. And while the idea to grow our family was absolutely intentional and we pine for the day that we get to meet our new addition, there is a sadness about the end of an era. Our era. Me, mother of one, and you, only child.

    I’ve done my best to collect and preserve our memories, a mere blink in the universal scheme of life that we’ve shared solely between us. Favorites include trips to state parks, snuggles during Planet Earth movie nights and devouring donuts at Sugar Shack. We’ve stayed so busy that when I watched you sleep last night it was strange to see you as a little person now and not just my firstborn baby. You’ve been maturing and flourishing all along.

    It has taken the upcoming delivery of baby brother for me realize truly how far you and I have come and in that same realization I remember: you’ve taught me to be a mother.

    I can do this all again. From the times you were inconsolable and I had no idea what I was doing, to the days when only mommy could make it all better – you’ve developed my patience, tested my limits, broadened my horizons & widened my heart.

    We’ll love another together.