The Guilt of Motherhood

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It all starts with one word.

Mama.

Long before it is even spoken by those little lips, already while being knit together, whether in womb or heart.

A piece of you. A part of you. Growing. Shaping to roam and change the world.

Without you.

First comes the joy and excitement, which if we’re honest, is followed by extreme terror and doubt.

You become responsible for this being that prances around with your heart like it’ll never stop beating and can endure all things.

When in reality, after week one, it starts dragging never to fully catch up again.

Sleep is but a vague memory. Clean floors. Dirty dishes. Laundry piles. Dusting – who still does that anyway? It never ends.

Yet, very few of us hold only the prestigious mama title. One that really is enough to consume every ounce of sanity and energy one human is capable of producing.

So we push through day after day as a full-time mama, in a full-time career, as a full-time cleaner, as a never ending cook and a 24-7 first responder…. I haven’t even touched on comparisons and the dos and don’ts that attempt to choke us at every turn.

These little people are everywhere and they need us every minute of the day, even after they start pretending they don’t.

Mamas we will never be done. We are in this forever. All of us.

Feeling alone? Exhausted? Like you’re the only one that just fed their kids Kraft Dinner three days in a row? Like it’s only your child that throws a tantrum in the check out line every. single. time. And the famous words I HATE YOU…. you must be the only parent to have ever heard that.

Because all the other mamas feed their children only organic food with 80% vegetables, 10% protein and 10% carbs. All the other mamas know how to hold their temper, even behind closed doors. They get promotions at work and their homes are spotless. Their children are in ballet, gymnastics, soccer and well every fricking thing under the sun. Oh and their husbands? Well, they are clearly living happily ever after.

Insanity right? How do we keep it together?

We don’t. Each of us marching to the beat of a different drum in the same band. Alone.

Mamas we need each other. We need to do this together.

We need to be able to extend and share our bruised, dragging hearts in all aspects of motherhood. On the street, in the market, at the park and in our homes.

Together with so much grace, love and respect for each other that all those moments of guilt, fear and doubt are replaced and filled with assurance, support and love. Oh so much love.

Because despite all of it, at the end of the day, we love our little beings so much, that we wouldn’t change it for anything.

And there is only one way we can remain sane on this crazy adventure of motherhood…..

Together. Hand in hand. Heart to heart.

You with me mama?

 

Until next time,
Eva

 

 

Photo credit – DanaWall Photography

Plenty of Tea and Hands To Hold

DAPPER ESSENTIALS

It’s a bit like turning the heat up on a pot of frogs. Which, come to think of it, is a silly idea really.

You can be in that state of mind only for so long. Push you way past any limits you ever dared to think you had and then some.

In time the water will get so hot, that even though you have trained your mind to a mental state of resistance, your body will eventually tap out.

When that tap out happens, may the strength of your mind be enough to land you in the shade with plenty of tea and hands to hold.

We like to think it’s smooth sailing after the landing, if only that were the case.

The reality of the situation will only come to be as the breeze blows over you and your wounds get attended to.

Not just some quick miracle healing. No, that would shell shock the system and dismiss the beauty in forming and shaping of each scar individually.

As your hands get held and your wounds begin to seal, the taste of the tea becomes sweet, and you begin to acknowledge the shade not just as a dark cloud keeping you from the sun, but as a protection from more heat.

In that place, people may come and people may go, some bringing salve and others tearing the band-aid off carelessly. Revealing those never ending scars.

In time, that will matter less.

As the feelings start to return, so will your strength. Emotional, mental and physical.

Enough so, that you may come to a place of recognizing that many of those scars won’t be going anywhere for years to come. But you are able to look at them no longer as to what happened in that pot, but as to what happened under that tree.

And oh the beauty of you sitting under that tree, grasping the hands of so many hot pot frogs to follow.

There you will let your ever faded scars shine bright on the ever gaping wounds of those in your presence.

How sweet the tea will be!

Until next time,
Eva

The Voices

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I remember a time when there was only one. It was peaceful.

Then there were two and a constant battle.

The one dreams big and believes in all things, the other slowly chews it up and spits it out. Scattered everywhere. As if to say, try that again and see what I will make of it.

People used to tell me about it and I lacked even the slightest bit of sympathy. You just block it out, pray it out, knock it out. Whatever you need to do, deal with it.

I actually probably never believed it to be real. Because, the world was my oyster and no one could stop me.

Maybe because it was absent for so long, it now feels the need to work over time, make up for lost time you know.

It took me awhile to recognize it when it first came around. It sort of just sneaks in all sly like, as if it’s always been there. It becomes apparent only after it dominates every decision you make and you actually no longer hear the other.

It thrives as the unknown, the unnamed.

We’ve met now though. Face to face. The way I like to be with everything occupying space in my presence. On a first name basis.

I call it the voice of lies.

I greet it, acknowledge it, sit with it for a bit, then I go full blown battle on it.

With the voice of truth.

Because the voice of truth enables us to be bold and beautiful. Even a little bit crazy. It comes in joy, sincerity, peace and hope.

Hope in big dreams, hope in beautiful growth. Hope to be one hundred percent you!

Because being our beautiful whole self is the most courageous thing we’ll ever do, and it really only has room for one voice.

The voice of truth.

 

Until next time,

Eva

 

The day my daughter said the F word

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We were hanging out on the living room floor, pretty chill I thought. She was trying to put a toy together and apparently it wasn’t going well.

Bleep.

Said those little soft lips.

I perked up a bit, but to be honest I wasn’t really surprised to hear her say it. I had said it in front of her, well, once or twice or more….

She looked at me and waited for a reaction.

And like any good Christian parent, I said, ‘Please don’t ever say that at school.’ Yup! The worst, I know.

She was still eyeing me, not sure what else to expect.

I sat there for a solid minute or two in silence, wondering what other genius things I could come up with. Recognizing that I was 100% to blame for that bleep.

But too, realizing that I personally wasn’t really scarred by that word or the fact that it came out of the mouth of my 5 year old. Clearly feeling the pressure of having raised a heathen, who God only knows, has the softest heart and loves Him so much.

At that moment though, I concluded that yes, we have other words in our vocabulary that almost always get our point across, but there was something bigger here.

I have never heard her little lips talk bad about someone. Ever.

My heart. The day that happens.

She loves people. Sees the best in everyone.

So instead of giving her the general, ‘don’t swear because it’s a sin and you’ll go to hell’ talk (hey, that’s all I was ever told); I dug a little deeper and said, ‘more important than not using that word at school, is that you don’t ever use it towards someone or against someone. When we speak to or about someone we use only gentle and kind words.’

To which I got a, ‘ya, cuz saying bad things about someone makes them feel sad.’

She gets it.

More important than waving a red flag when we hear someone bleep, is to raise a million red flags when we hear someone being torn down or talked about.

It goes beyond the ‘did you hear stories.’

We tend to write other people’s stories. We stretch them and shape them far from what they actually really are. Lame sauce. We should really just live our own stories to their fullest potential.

I may be off my rocker, but to be honest with you, I’m a lot more passionate about raising a generation that occasionally bleeps and cares deeply for each other, than raising a generation that never bleeps and tears each other down.

If all else fails, we could always teach them to live by this simple rule, ‘if you can’t say it to their face, don’t say it behind their back.’

Perhaps, seeing how children model after us in our behaviour (and apparently word usage), we could live, leading by example.

New Years resolution 2017 maybe?!

Until next time, always with love!
Eva

 

P.S. Yes, ideally they would neither bleep or tear each other down, but lets just start somewhere and work towards perfection?! 😉

Living From the Heart

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Remember when I wrote that blog about going on this trip and taking my anxiety with me? I had thought the trip was going to be a great idea and then the first couple of days I didn’t know if I would survive? Yeah, I that one!

Well, it really was the best thing EVER! Not as in the best holiday I have ever had, but the best thing for my heart.

My sidekick and I spent some time in Buenos Aires and then made our way into the cold windy plains of El Calafate. This is where the magic happened!

When we got to our cabin in El Calafate, I immediately asked for the Wi-Fi password because let’s be honest, the necessity of wifi is right up there with food. I was greeted with a ‘no hay wifi.’ Mmmm, come again?! I had booked to stay at a place for 7 days with no Wi-Fi??? Oh dear me.

The thing here is I’m not OCD about having Wi-Fi all the time (ok maybe I am), but especially when I’m away from home and don’t have a good international phone plan.

Ever since our family tragedy in 2009, which happened when I was in Israel, I panic at the thought of my people back home not being able to contact me.

So yes I went straight into, ‘Eva what the heck mode,’ meanwhile smiling and assuring my host that it was totally fine… When in life do we learn to feel one thing and say the other?!

But you guys, after I processed my panic, shock and fear it ended up being okay. Actually, it was the best thing that could have happened on that trip.

The next 7 days Alayna and I saw the most beautiful scenery ever, but better than that was my Wi-Fi free time.

I kept Alayna on her routine of going to bed at 7pm, which meant I now had hours to myself with NO INTERNET. At first I would literally just find myself sitting by the window staring into space for hours.

I would go to a place of peace in my heart that felt so good, I couldn’t move.

In that peace my heart would begin bubbling over with inexpressible hope and joy. I had not felt the extent of that in years, if ever! It was so good I wanted to hold onto it. So my staring turned into writing which turned into listening which turned into dreaming BIG!

It’s amazing what the heart holds when we stop long enough to dig way down.

The challenge here is holding onto that which we discover in those heart moments, especially once you get back to every day life.

I’ve tried to pause long enough every day since being back, to get a glimpse into those moments again.

Because even a breath in that space is enough to keep me dreaming big and believing big. And when we start dreaming and believing big, we start living from the heart.

And living from the heart really is the only way you guys.

 

Until next time,

Eva

 

Photo: Our no Wi-Fi cabin where magic happens 😉

Why I will Always Stand with the Immigrant

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My parents had been living on rice and beans for months with 8 children under the age of 10. Then, their only means of income was taken away from dad because of outstanding debt. They had no place to turn…..

until a friend extended an invitation to take them to Canada.

My dad and the kids came in as second generation Canadians born abroad. My mom had nothing. She came in as an immigrant.

Almost 2 years later, I was born here. In Canada.

You see, even if Canada hadn’t given them an avenue to come in and immigrate her legally, they would have had to do something. I can imagine many scenarios of what that could have looked like.

Even though she was the only one that immigrated and I was actually born here, I always felt like I didn’t belong.

“Hey you fucking M&M’s, go back to where you belong!!” We heard that so many times.

To have someone pull up and yell that out the window when you’re walking down the street minding your own, really does a number. You only need to hear that once to get the message.

Every time after that is just a nail in the coffin.

I would get so angry and want to run after them, mom would just laugh and brush it off.

My heart aches for her and every other person who has ever felt like they didn’t belong because of race, gender, culture, religion or whatever else it may be.

I was traveling when a huge statement was made just across the border from us.

Not once did I bring up the topic, but everyone that recognized us as foreigners asked me about it.

The pain in the heart and eyes of the Jewish woman sitting beside me on plane was real you guys. The Brazilian American standing in the airport line behind me said it wasn’t the same coming ‘home’ this time. Then added ‘maybe this never was home.’

You could feel the tension of South Americans serving us North Americans because they should stay or go back where they came from, but we’ll go wherever we want and they should be there to serve us. No you guys, it wasn’t just me and in my head.

It was real.

Some say it was all media and won’t be what it was portrayed to be. Well, I can tell you this, whether it was platform or media, what I felt all those years ago and what those people are feeling right now is real!

SO gosh darn REAL you guys.

We CANNOT sit back and let history repeat itself. We need to STAND UP and STAND WITH them. Loud and bold!

Because we all belong you guys. We all belong. Together.

Lets be intentionally and do life together. Regardless of race, gender, religion or culture. Next time you’re out and about, hold out your hand, whether literally or in action to say, I AM WITH YOU.

WE ARE WITH YOU! Always will be.

Until next time,

Eva