Dear Son, I’m Trying as Fast as I Can…

Today we’re honored to share a guest post from preemie mom, blogger, and businesswoman Stephanie – read more about her story at Urban Flowerpot or check out her shop of handmade creations.


I don’t write a lot about what goes on in your personal life these days – I did, after all, document every moment of your birth and first couple years. That’s a fairly decent prologue to any story.

Most of what comes next is yours to share when and if you choose. However, motherhood is my part of my adventure and finding the balance between us both is delicate.

I am writing this because I want you to know how hard I’m trying and how hard my heart keeps breaking. I want you to have the services you need now – not later, NOW. I don’t like making phone calls (which you’ll probably know by the time you read this) but I have – and will – make dozens for you. I will fill out any chart, circle choices, jot down notes, and take you anywhere you need to go.

You are a child with special needs.

What this means yet, I don’t know. Only that we have to change our approach to parenting and watch the world around us for possible triggers and help you work through situations that come your way. You have a sensory processing disorder which seems to stem from anxiety. I’m still learning more as I watch you in new situations. I guess I have a year twelve months to compile my notes.

I’m bringing Papa into my story now because he is the other major player. He might not be making the phone calls but he is at work making it possible for me to be here with you. He lives for the moments when he can bring you a box of bakery cookies and stay home and game, sing songs, and chase you. You both have a separate bond (as well as a shared one with me). That is important to us. I love when you two share your jokes with me…and that you have your own thing together.

Earlier this week we went to the early intervention clinic for another evaluation (sensory-related). I don’t have any more answers than I did before other than we need to see a behavioral specialist. Their answer to me, however, is “twelve month wait.” Not a year – they correct me – twelve months.

Yesterday I did your intake in the car on the way to Sesame Place. That started the clock ticking. Two to four months from that call they have promised I will receive paperwork in the mail which I will fill out immediately and return the next day. They will process it and then a few weeks after receiving it they will schedule our appointment.
Hot silent tears have splashed from my eyes as I try to hold in my disappointment – not just for you, but for all the children and parents who are waiting.
We are very lucky, Tristan. We are lucky we weren’t home when our home burned down. We are lucky to have a new home that is filled with color and handmade decor. We are lucky you remember to breathe and have been in good health this past year. We are lucky an 8 oz kitten waltzed into our lives and is now a pile of muscle fiercely protective of you.

You’re very smart. You do puzzles quickly and create elaborate playscapes that you get lost in for hours. You love art and music. We dance. You think Santa Claus is really Jack the Pumpkin King from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I didn’t see that coming. One day we’ll have to sort out the difference between a singing tuxedo’ed skeleton and Christmas, but I can see how you smooshed their stories together.
…and as I write a silhouette of Santa and his reindeer flew past a window on your cat game and you said, “snow day, snow day!” with glee. Last winter the flakes really came down and Papa got several snow days and we always turned them into big adventures.
We teach you about the joy of little things.
Yes, you have special needs. You teach us about them every day.
Some are predictable, others change. We do our best to figure them out and keep up.
You are blessed with a lovely friend you see often who encourages you to be braver in situations that leave you feeling unsure and worried.
There are so many people who care about you.
…most of all, your mama and papa, and I promise we’ll always try our best.

Would you like to share your unique perspective with our community of moms? Contact christa @ mommeetmom.com for information on guest posting!

Do your mom friends have guns? No really, wake up and ask.

Probably not the question that crosses your mind to ask when you meet a mom near you for the first time, right?

Like, Hey, it’s already super awkward meeting you and please let me get your number and wow what a great home you have, thanks for inviting us over for this playdate and, um, do you have a gun? Where do you keep it? RANDOM.

Well, not so random, actually. According to an ABC News 20/20 special, hosted by Diane Sawyer, there is a good chance your mom friend does have a gun hanging around, and a pretty solid chance  it’s not locked up.  I repeat – SOLID CHANCE IT’S NOT LOCKED UP.

They state that half of U.S. households contain one or more firearms and reported that 1.7 million children live in a home with an unsecured and loaded firearm. Here is a clip from the video.

Heavy stuff, right?

A few of my close mom friends own guns. One of them has a license to carry so there are times the gun is not locked up in the home and another friend has one propped nearby when bedtime comes around.

(No, this post is NOT about the government and gun control. It’s your freedom to have a gun in your home. I respect that. This post is about understanding the environment our children are playing in so that we can all work together to keep them safe.)

Does this mean these moms are off my playdate list (the moms with unlocked guns)? Well, they happen to live far enough away that playdates haven’t come up yet, but when they do, you can bet your money we will have a serious conversation to make sure those guns are locked away each time we step foot into their homes for playtime. And if there is an issue, they’re off the playdate list. Not the friend list, but the playdate list. End of story.

So please, ask your new mom friends, or anyone who may host your child for that matter, if they have a gun in the house. If they say yes, follow up and ask where and how it is kept. This isn’t about making mom friends, ladies. Okay, it is about making mom friends, but if someone is turned off by genuine concern for the safety of your child when there are unlocked guns around, she might not be best mom friend for you.

And if you do find out there is a gun in another mom’s home, treat the situation as if it were your own home. Just because you have certain childproofing expectations does not mean your mom friends are on the same page.  If they hide it in a closet, can you picture your child finding it? There will be a time when the kids can walk and explore. There will be a time when you give them their independence. And if your child is like mine and many of the kids in this video, he will climb and do what it takes to figure out ANY complicated object. And chances are, at some point he’ll turn that object on himself or his playdate. It’s just not worth it.

I would love to hear from other moms on this. Let’s keep the conversation going.

 

Trending: #MommaGotSomeNewHairComingIn

Editor’s Note: Molly Joy (Mojo) Fabiano is a graphic designer, new mom, and even newer blogger over at Everyday Mojo. Get a monthly dose of Mojo here as she guest blogs for us at Mom Meet Mom or visit her site where she posts a few time a week about being a momma, new home owner, and freelance designer.

Come on, Mommas. There are enough of us to make it a trend. It’s happening to me and if it’s happening to you too, join me in my efforts to make this look all the rage…

We’re growing brand new spiky hair along our hairline and rather than investigating new hair products, haircuts, or hats that might halfway hide it, let’s proudly rock our new and oddly placed spikes instead. I mean, weren’t we considering bangs like a year ago anyway (until our best friend talked us out of it)?

And why couldn’t new-spiky-hair-growth be the next must-have look? When you think of it, trends are often kind of weird and not always the most obviously attractive thing right? Think acid washed jeans, overalls with one strap undone, or sneaker heels. Not cute = super cool.

Let’s start talking this look up around the neighbors or at our next Mom Meet Mom play date. Better yet, boast about your spikes around women who aren’t moms. “Oh, I paid a fortune for this at the salon,” tell them. Next thing you know, our babysitters will be emulating our new hair growth. Attempts at the look just might be seen in the clubs and on red carpets, but we’re the lucky ones who have these spikes occurring au naturale. Watch out fashion world, Momma’s got some new hair coming in.

The Clothes Make the Man (in Society’s Eyes, at Least)

Someday when my children are just a little older, I am going to be straight with them about clothes. Specifically, I am going to be honest with them about the fact that your clothes are a sign you put on yourself that says to the world “This is who I am.” I will tell my daughter and my son that you put on your body will impact, positively or negatively, how people treat you. Ignore this at your own peril.

Because this is my rule:

You may not judge others on their appearance, whether that means what someone looks like or what they are wearing, but never, ever expect the same courtesy from others.

Don’t put on your goth gear or your North Face or this shirt or your hot pants or whatever else and then act all surprised when other people assume X, Y, and Z about you. That is what people do – it’s in our genes to categorize people because once upon a time categorizing things was vital to our species’ continued survival. It’s a hard habit to break because it’s all but unconscious.

Look, I get it. When I was a teen I whined about how no one took me seriously there with my giant raver pants and jet black streak of hair and black lipstick. I went through two different sweatpants phases, once during middle school and once during a particularly low point in my 20s. Then I wised up.

It would be wonderful if we lived in a world where clothes weren’t a signifier of class or ideology or anything else other than what you felt like on a given morning. Where someone could go buck naked or wear hotpants to the supermarket at noon on a Tuesday. Where face tattoos and letting your freak flag fly wouldn’t keep you from getting a job. But that is not our world.

It’s just not. Maybe someday it will be. And that will be wonderful because clothes should just be clothes. Sometimes to keep you warm on a chilly day. Something to have fun with.

For better or for worse, I live in the real world. My children do, too. They can be the change they want to see in that world but they still need to understand how to be successful in the world as it exists now. You want to be successful in life? Dress the part – whatever that means to you. For some, it’s going to be putting on a business suit. For others, it’s going to be channeling Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And for some it’s going to mean letting that freak flag fly.

I’m going to be honest with my children: Wear what you want, I’ll say. Pierce what you want. Tattoo what you want. Just don’t expect the wider world to overlook your choices. Or applaud your choices. What you wear shouldn’t matter. It really shouldn’t. But be smart and do remember that it does.

Ringly: A Stylish Antidote to Your Phone Addiction

Addicted to your phone? I totally get it, which is kind of painful to admit considering that three years ago my phone mainly lived in my desk drawer doing a whole lot of nothing. Now it’s pretty much attached to my hip.

Part of that is because I use it to send pics of the kids to the mister during the day, but part of it is just my compulsion to check Facebook. Usually it starts innocently enough with a quick peek at email – and then 15 minutes have somehow gone by and my little guy is yanking on my skirt.

Oops.

For me, out of sight is out of mind when it comes to the phone. If it’s in a bag or on my bedside table or in the aforementioned desk drawer I am much less likely to get sucked into social media. And that’s why I am SO obsessed with Ringly, the sexy new mom-friendly gadget that is making all the must-have lists. I mean, it’s not even out yet and I’m wishing I was wearing one right now.

Long story short: It’s smart ring and statement ring in one. Just my style, and maybe yours, too.

But even if you’re not a fan of chunky baubles, you’ll overlook the big, badass profile once you link this one up to your phone and it lights up or vibrates when you get a call, text, notification, or email or when you need to be reminded of an appoint (and what mom doesn’t, hello).

So date with the mister? No more phones on the table in case the sitter calls. Out with mom friends? Your phone can stay in your bag for once. Hanging with the little ones? Put the phone away for once and take some snapshots with the ultimate camera: your brain.

It almost sounds too good to be true but luckily, it’s real! And dads, you won’t need to feel left out for long. The cool people at Ringly are already working on dad-friendly designs so the whole family can finally put their phones away and start interacting with each other.

Ringly is available for pre-order for $145 in three gorgeous colors or $180 for my favorite, emerald, at ringly.com.

 

Summer Maternity Looks We Love and Some Must-Have Pieces for Pregnant Mamas

Being pregnant in winter is so easy because you can layer your maternity wear until you’re practically a ball of fluff. But in summer? It’s hot, you may be feeling big and uncomfortable and less inclined to dress up, and big, white t-shirts beckon. But stop! Before you commit to schlumpy-dumping around this summer, check out these summer maternity looks. They’re cute, easy to wear, and affordable since you can find the basics at every price point. You can be pregnant, cute, and comfy all summer long in these looks! Promise :)

The easy dressed up casual outfit:

Image 4 of ASOS Maternity Exclusive T-Shirt in Neppi

It’s the sandals that make this summer maternity look, which otherwise is just shirts and a t-shirt. Who says you can’t mix dressed down and dressed up? Pregnant mamas who are up for it can even try heels! (via ASOS)

Something to beat the evening chill:

Take On The Trend: Mixed Prints » mychicbump #summer #maternity #fashion

Don’t put away those maternity sweaters just yet! It can still get a little chilly at night or after that first June jump in the ocean, so feel free to pair comfy sweaters and cute shorts. Top it off with a perfect sun hat for a surprisingly put together look. (via mychicbump)

A great stretchy skirt:

Maternity skirt tutorial @Han E. Richardson (Han Hisey) this is pretty cute! :) It would be great for when you're super pregnant this summer :)

When you’re pregnant and still growing, there’s nothing like an amazing skirt that will grow with you. I’m loving how this blogger has toughened up a girlish color like yellow with some kickass boots and a simple navy tee. (via Elle Apparel)

Your go-to party dress:

white dress, summer maternity fashion style ...

A sweet, structured maternity dress that you can wear dressed up with something shiny or a silk scarf or dressed down with a summer hat is a must-have for any pregnant mama who expects her social calendar to be full of fun all summer long. (via lulul-marie)

The all-purpose cover up:

2013 Spring - Summer Maternity Fashion Trends

Whether for apres beach or for virgin cocktails beachside, a single maxi dress can go a long way. Belt it, throw a sweater over it, or toss it on over your bikini – you know you’re going to look great. (via fashiontrendseeker)

Some form-fitting tanks:

summer-maternity-fashion-stripes

Girrrrl, show off that bump! The drapey empire waist maternity shirt will probably never go out of style but I personally think that it’s time to stop hiding behind layers of bunchy fabric. Bumps are cute! (via fitpregnancy)

A bright, comfy jersey dress:

Mommy envisions a flowy dress with summer brights for our stroll through the River Walk in SA, TX. #ergobaby #idealmothersday #babywearing

Comfort is so important – especially as you get closer to your due date. A lightweight jersey dress in great summer colors can be the perfect answer to “I’ve got nothing to wear!” and it’ll be the most versatile thing in your maternity closet. (via thedaybookblog.com)

Have a great summer, pregnant mamas! And stay cool!

Get Your Kids Off The Couch With This Book: Come Back Dear Sun

“I will never let my child watch TV,” I said one day with so much pride and confidence.

#FAIL. Like, major, major, major #Fail.

If you’re like me, when I found out I was preggers with my first child, I almost immediately started rattling off false promises – so proud that I would be the most perfect mother in the entire universe. Welp, let’s just say nobody’s perfect, right?

In my home, this means when my 2.5 year old gets super tired and agitated, we invite his good friends to come out and play. Bring on Thomas the Train, Daniel Tiger, Elmo or Winnie the Poo (my personal fav). And while I don’t feel entirely guilty about my decision to welcome these friends into our home for brief visits on a somewhat regular basis, I have to admit, the technology overload in our society, in general, makes me sometimes want to escape to Never Never Land and live off the land and our imaginations.

The bottom line truth: Our children should be outside playing as much as possible. There is absolutely nothing better for them than to get lost and explore what’s on the other side of that front door.

Come to find out, one super awesome nanny out there had a similar feeling. But rather than talk or blog about it (cough), Julie Andrews, I mean Geena Bean, rolled up her sleeves and actually did something about it.

As a long-time nanny, Geena wanted to encourage free play outdoors while helping to develop the child’s curiosity and imagination, which by the way was the norm before the age of advanced technologies… and I guess before the time of Daniel Tiger, Thomas The Train and Poo Bear.

Cue the children’s book that teaches your child the value of outdoor play and downplays technology. Brilliant. 

I LOVE THIS BOOK…

When the sun disappears for a long time, curious Kaylee cannot wait to have the sunshine back. Her imaginative plan unfolds like only an eight-year-old can conceive, and the wonder and smiles begin. She and her six-year-old sister, Mattie, along with their two friends, Fran and Lilly, plan an adventurous sleepover in an attempt to coax the sun into shining again. In a very imaginative way, they talk to the moon only to discover that the moon is very tired due to working overtime during the sun’s absence. Kaylee and her friends embark on an energetic quest to learn why the sun has disappeared and where it has gone.

When you read on, you’ll soon find out that our dear sun peaced out on the kiddos when they wanted to lock themselves inside and plant their tushes in front of the TV. I don’t blamer her. I mean really, what’s a sun to do when no one appreciates her?

So if you’re like me and want to teach your children that there is more to life -WAY MORE than what lives in the black box mounted on your wall, or what’s trapped in mommy’s phone – this is the book for you and all your mom friends.

Quick #GIVEAWAY

Geena will be giving away two books to Mom Meet Mom fans! You can enter by  liking Mom Meet Mom on Facebook and commenting on the book post!

 

You can also fetch it on Amazon here.

P.S. Geena – if you ever want a new nanny gig, there is always room for a Julie Andrews in our home. We’ll let you chase away our other house guests.  You know, the ones who live in that damn black box.

xoxo

 

Survey Reveals Single Moms Want OUT

To get out of the house, that is! But it’s not just about sex and romance for single moms. It’s about staying social. Guys, we’re afraid you’re not the answer this time. Or at least not the whole answer. A little lovin’ is great but turns out moms? Need moms.

And sorry guys, that doesn’t mean that just you are the answer (though we’ll admit you’re probably part of it).

A single mom survey we conducted along with AYI.com and Kerri Zane Enterprises revealed that of 7,626 single mothers surveyed, 86% said that social time is very important to them. And a monthly ladies’ night isn’t going to cut it. In an ideal world, 76% of these single moms said they would go out for social time every week!

BUT here’s the real shocker: 43% of single moms said their last “girls night out” was over a year ago! (Not surprisingly, 90% of respondents said that dating is very important to them and yet 50% have not been out on a date in over a year.)

See for yourself:

Conclusion? Our single mom friends need a serious social break on a regular basis.

Are you a single mom? Do you feel like you get to be social on a regular basis? In an ideal world, what would your social life look like? Do you get to go out on dates regularly? Do you go out with your girlfriends and/or mom friends on a regular basis? Who watches the kiddos when you do? We would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear from you!

Helping My Daughter Be Less of a Doormat

My daughter is sensitive. Empathetic. Gentle. Loving.

She is also a world-class doormat.

At one playdate where her friend told her she couldn’t play with any of her toys, my little girl simply sat down on the stairs and cried quietly. I only found out later that it was not the first time that had happened. Now, this is a nice girl who was having an off day. It happens. But you can see why I might worry about future encounters with bullies or boys or the kinds of “friends” one meets mainly in middle school and then sometimes again in adulthood.

My daughter’s approach to conflict is mainly to roll over and take it, which is frankly terrifying in this world full of big personalities and societal expectations for girls and women that are sickening at best. It’s about more than being shy – though she’s that, too. And she’s only five, of course. But my big fear is that if she can’t be her own advocate when it’s dollies and dresses on the line it’s going to be a lot harder for her someday when the stakes are much higher.

We’ve talked about standing up for oneself. How other people are not allowed to be mean to you whether or not you’re in their house.

We’ve talked about being assertive, whether that means saying no loudly when a bigger than average no is warranted or making your voice heard when you’re running with a crowd.

We’ve talked about how very, very important speaking up can be. No one can read your mind; no one can see inside your heart.

We’ve talked about having the courage to tell a friend your feelings are hurt.

Here’s the thing: I know from experience that learning to be assertive is a process. Some people are born with an assertive streak. Then there are people like me, and the mister, too, who were born with a timid streak into a world that is not for the timid. My own mother was born assertive and I think teaching me to be my own advocate was never on her radar. When I watch my own daughter shy away from conflict, however, the empathy I feel runs deep.

And yet, we’ll keep talking about speaking up… about standing up for yourself and being your own advocate. I don’t want her to miss out on opportunities or waste time on people who aren’t worth it because she’s too afraid to simply say, “Hey, I deserve better than this.”

How are you helping your children learn to stand up for themselves?

Every Dad (and Mom) Should See This: Calls For Dad

Did you know: Even though 75% of dads believe they are responsible for their children’s well-being, only 20% believe this is reflected in the media. Shocker, right? Not. The bumbling dad has pretty much kept the sitcom world afloat and cleaning product commercials going for decades. Tough stain? Dad probably made it. Daughter has lopsided braids? Dad again. But speaking from experience, that’s a whole lot of nonsense. All the dads I know can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and get it on the table without the least bit of bumbling. Do dads do things differently? Sure, sometimes, and I’m going to say maybe it’s time for us moms to let that go.

This video was created by Dove® Men+Care® to sell skin care products designed (apparently) just for dudes, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be a touching tribute to dads.

Seriously, give it a watch. I just plain lost it when you see the couple holding the ultrasound and hear the grownup son say “Dad?” but I’m also a total softy. I’m not saying it’ll make you cry but take a few minutes to play it and share it because the Calls for Dad video may just change the way the world look at dads.