Mom Life is the Best Life

mom life is the best life

Earlier this week my daughter, June heard me say that “mom life is the best life”, and she asked, “what’s mom life, mommy?” Ah my child… where do I begin…

Mom life is beautiful, joyful, messy, and unfiltered.

Right now, for me, in this season of life, mom life is waking up early to start my day with a few precious minutes of alone time, even though I’d rather be sleeping in.

It’s mornings spent at story time, the park, or at play dates.

It’s meeting a friend and her kids for lunch, and realizing that you barely finished a full sentence in between encouraging your kids to eat and making sure no one catapulted out of their booster seat.

It’s craving a quiet afternoon but constantly catering to requests for more toys, stories, and snacks.

It’s being in constant awe of how big you’re getting, how much you’re changing, and how much independence you’re developing.

It’s knowing that even though I think you’re so big right now, a year from now I’ll look back and realize how little you were.

Mom life is constant nostalgia.

It’s counting down the minutes until daddy gets home, not just for the extra set of hands (although those matter too!), but for the moments the three of us get to share together, our own little team.

Mom life is wondering why a little person that’s so tired fights so hard to stay awake, when I myself would love nothing more than to crawl into bed each evening.

And then, mom life, ironically, is me fighting to stay awake every night after you go to bed so that your dad and I can have some alone time, which we so desperately need.

Mom life is me realizing that although all I’ve just said makes mom life sound a bit like a drag, it’s really the sweetest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

Mom life is knowing that the priceless memories we’re making matter so much more than a full night’s sleep, days of peace and quiet, and uninterrupted meals.

Mom life is the most unconditional love and the purest joy you can imagine.

Mom life is a blessing.

Mom life is a gift.

Mom life is the best life.


What is your definition of mom life? We are each at different stages of our motherhood journeys and all have our own unique, personal experiences of mom life. Maybe you are an expecting mom, or maybe your children are already grown. Maybe you mother your grandchildren or your nieces and nephews. Maybe you are not a mother to your own child, but you are a teacher caring for students each day. Perhaps you have birthed a business, a book, a garden, or a new home. We are all mothers caring for the people and things we love.

What does mom life mean to you? Please share in the comments below! I would love to start an open conversation about this. I think it will be beautiful to read about the different experiences of mom life, and see that even though each experience is different, we are all on this beautiful journey together.

May you love your mom life each and every day (even the hard ones).

Be well,
Ambar

Our Children’s Stories are Not Our Stories

Our Children's Stories are not our stories
Photo by Bilimama Photography

Hello my friend! If you follow me on social media, (and if you don’t, I would love to connect on my Facebook page, Instagram, and be friends on FB!), you may have seen that my daughter fell down and fractured her collar bone earlier this week. It was a rough day that included 4 hours at Urgent Care with a hurting 2 year old, and lots of tears on both of our parts.

I myself, have never broken a bone, and I didn’t have my first surgery or stitches until I was well into my 20s. Navigating this world of broken bones with a toddler seemed unfair to me. I felt so badly for her and wanted to take away her pain, but of course I couldn’t. Having never experiencing this myself, I realized that I had been hoping that her experience would have been more similar to mine; that she wouldn’t have to handle a broken bone until much later in life, if at all. That’s when I had my epiphany:

Her story is not my story.

My daughter’s story, is not my story. She is her own unique individual, and she is here to have her own unique life experience. She is a human being with her own share of strengths and challenges to navigate in this lifetime.

We all want the best for our children. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we know what’s best for them, or wanting them to experience life in a similar way in which we did, or to protect them from the challenges that we ourselves faced.

But we must remember, that our children are on their own individual paths. Their stories are not our stories.

It’s human nature to want to protect our babies, to hold them close, to keep them safe. And yet, that is not our job.

Our job as mothers, is to provide our children with unconditional love and unwavering support, through the ups and downs of their own individual journeys.

Their journeys are part of our journeys, yes. But, they are not OUR journey. They are their own unique selves meant to experience the world in their own unique way, with their own unique set of circumstances.

We can advise them, guide them, and love them. But we cannot choose their story. We cannot dictate their journey.

We must stick to our own journey. And know that by honoring our own individual journeys, and living our lives as we see fit, in the best ways we can, we are giving our children permission to do the same.

So, next time that you find yourself wishing that you could take away your child’s pain, or that things could be different, stop for a moment, and give yourself the grace to know that they are on their own individual journey. Trust that whatever they are experiencing is a necessary part of their story, and believe in them enough to know that they have the inner strength to get through it. And then, give them lots of love and extra hugs. 🙂

Is this something that you struggle with? What’s the hardest part about trusting that your little ones need to have their own stories? Let me know in the comments below.

Take good care this week.

Be well,
Ambar

Legacy of a Mother

legacy of a mother
My mother and grandmother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In celebration of Mother’s Day, I have been thinking a lot about the legacy that a mother leaves behind. My own mother passed away nearly 16 years ago, but the lessons that I learned from her are still very much alive. I am blessed to still have my maternal grandmother to learn from, and am always aware of the many lessons she has taught me, and continues to teach me. This will be my second year celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother myself, and I have been reflecting on what type of legacy I want to leave behind for my own daughter.

I come from a lineage of very strong and devoted women. My mother and grandmother both were hardworking women who believed in sacrificing themselves in service to their families. They poured their whole heart, body, and souls into motherhood.

My grandmother was always a very strong matriarch. She has not had an easy life, but she has always stayed strong, and maintained an attitude of “I can do it myself”, never asking for help, even now that she is almost 90 years old. She is a kind, loving, and affectionate woman who has demonstrated love and devotion to me her entire life. Her strength has carried her through life and allowed her to be the glue that holds our family together.

Me and my mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother was also a very strong and loving person. She was the kindest person I have ever known, and she made sure that my sister and I grew up knowing just how much we were loved. She went out of her way to care for us and was always the epitome of grace, elegance, and compassion. She was truly the most beautiful person, both inside and out. Unfortunately, my mother did not have the best health. She had juvenile diabetes from the age of 5, and this disease continued to wreak havoc on her body as she got older. As I watched my mother get more and more sick, I was always amazed by the positive outlook that she was able to maintain throughout. She was always happy and smiling, and continued to give of herself until the very end.

legacy of a mother
Me and my daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have learned how to mother from watching my mother and grandmother and I have immense gratitude for their beautiful examples of motherhood. I have adopted many of their traits that I am hoping to pass down to my own daughter. I hope that my daughter grows up watching me be a strong, loving mom. I want her to know how much I adore her and that my devotion to her runs deep.

I have also been thinking about the shadow side of motherhood. In motherhood, as in life, everything is not 100% good all the time. I am very much aware that we are always teaching our children, not only by our strengths, but by our weaknesses. Think about it… as much as we grow up learning to follow our family’s examples in some ways, in other ways we very much learn what NOT to do. These are also valuable lessons that need to be learned.

The women in my family have always sacrificed their own needs for the sake of their families. And while this can be viewed as an act of devotion, I have learned that there is a better way.

We do not have to give up on ourselves for the sake of our families.

There is a difference between sacrificing our own well being, and being of service.

I want to be of service to my daughter, and to my family. What I mean by this, is that I want to be able to help and provide for her to the best of my ability. I want to show her an example of a strong, confident woman who knows how to take care of herself, because this is what I want her to grow up learning about her own self.

I know that the only way to be of service, is by serving myself first.

And that is why I make self care a priority. Every day, I do my best to make sure that I am feeling happy and well, and that I am well taken care of in mind, body, and spirit. Only from this place of fullness, am I able to show up as the mother and woman that I desire to be in this world, not just for myself, but for my daughter, for the legacy that I want to leave behind.

When we are well cared for, everyone wins. We are best able to nurture our children by learning to nurture ourselves first. We can only teach our children to have positive relationships by having healthy relationships ourselves. We teach emotional health by doing whatever we need to do to cope with our own feelings and emotions. We teach our children to feel good by doing the things that make us feel good.

Our children are always watching. They learn from our actions more than they do from our words.

By putting our family’s needs above our own, our children are learning to put other’s needs above their own.

If instead, they grow up watching us filling ourselves up first, and serving them from a place of fullness and fulfillment, they learn to do the same.

This is the legacy I hope to leave my daughter with: Love yourself first. Take care of yourself. Make yourself happy first. This is the truest act of service. It may sound selfish, but it is truly the most selfless gift you can give to your loved ones.

What have you learned from the women in your own life? What lessons have been instilled in you by growing up witnessing their strengths and challenges? What legacy do you hope to leave behind?

Please share in the comments below. Let’s honor our family’s legacies and start to get intentional about the legacies we are creating with our own lives.

I honor you, your mother, your mother’s mother, and all of the mothers who came before them. We are all learning from the generation before us, and are each doing our very best in this crazy world of motherhood. I raise my glass to you, your strengths, and your imperfections. They are all learning opportunities, are all welcome, and are all needed.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Be well,
Ambar

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It Takes a Village to Raise a Mother

It takes a Village to raise a Mother
My very first mama village, at my Mommy + Baby Retreat, Sacred Beginnings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve all heard the phrase that says “it takes a village to raise a child.” This refers to the idea that children are brought up not only by their immediate family, but by the many different caretakers in the community which make an impact on their lives. Children that grow up to be adaptable and resilient are often a result of developing healthy attachment to their parents, having close ties to their community, and knowing that there are people out there who are vested in their wellbeing.

The same can be said about mothers.

As mothers, we thrive on community. Child rearing is hard. It can be isolating and challenging. Having the support of a group of women who understand motherhood and all of its innate challenges can make all of the difference.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I thought that I was ready for motherhood. My husband and I had been together for 6 years. We had thoroughly enjoyed our time as newlyweds and felt ready for our next life phase. I had experienced a blissful pregnancy where I meditated daily and felt connected to my daughter already. I had designed my perfect baby nursery. We had read “The Happiest Baby on the Block.” I thought I was all set.

And I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When my daughter was born, I was completely taken aback by how much she required of me. I had never really been around a baby that young before and I was quite honestly shocked at how demanding it was to care for her needs. As a newborn, my daughter wanted to be held and nursed constantly. I had naively thought that I would be able to put my baby down and carry on with my life, aside from diaper changes and feeding times. (Ha!) That was not at all my experience. I was blessed with a baby that despised being put down and wanted to nurse 24/7! I quickly started to feel trapped. I worried that I was doing something wrong, or that there was something wrong with my baby.

In those early months with my daughter, we quickly fell into a phase that I now call “the newborn bubble”. Everything from that time is a complete haze to me. My daughter was colicky, which basically meant that she was cranky and fussy for a large portion of the day. I quickly learned that the only way to calm her down was to feed her, so it started to feel like I was nursing for hours on end.

Before having a baby, I had worked really hard to create a quiet and peaceful home life, and I found the sound of my baby’s constant crying extremely jarring. I felt like a horrible mother for feeling this way and hated hearing her in distress. I also started feeling really anxious about leaving the house, because I wasn’t yet comfortable breastfeeding in public, and I worried that if we went out, and she freaked out, I wouldn’t know how to handle it. We spent a lot of time home on the couch, because that was the only place where I felt confident that I could care for her needs. This was not what I had imagined life with my precious baby girl would be like.

Around this time, I was invited to go on a Mommy + Baby retreat. I was hesitant to go because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if it would be worth it to leave the comfort and safety of my couch to go spend a weekend with a group of women that I didn’t really even know. But something inside me urged me to go on this retreat, and thankfully, I listened, because it ended up changing my whole experience of motherhood!

Being surrounded by a group of mothers who understood what I was going through was extremely comforting. I was reassured that I was doing a great job, and that there was nothing wrong with me or my baby. I learned that it is completely normal for newborns to want to be attached to their mothers, cry a lot, and nurse for extended periods of time. (Who knew?!) By surrounding myself with other mothers, I instantly felt seen, heard, and understood. This loving group of amazing women had a tremendous impact on me. I gained confidence in myself as a mother, and was able to return home and be the peaceful and happy mama that I had always wanted to be.

My daughter will be 2 in June, and as she has grown, so has my village of mamas. I am extremely grateful for my mom friends. Having the support of other mothers is invaluable. So much of parenting is trial and error. What works for one child, may not work for another. Because of this, it is extremely helpful to have other mothers to talk to, to bounce ideas off of, and to get different viewpoints for managing whatever challenges you may be facing. As mothers, we can all relate to each other. We all want the best for our children and we all want to be the best moms possible. In my experience, the best way to do this, is by surrounding myself with other mothers. It truly takes a village to raise a mother, especially a happy and confident mother. 🙂

Enrollment for my program for new moms, New Mama Bird Circle, is now open. If you are a new mother looking to find your own village of mamas, we would love to have you join us! It would be my honor to support you on your motherhood journey.