Monday, May 5, 2014

Starting this blog is about my journey as a parent and an individual. My findings, my experiences, my   highs my lows, and most importantly my opinions.  I've tended to shy away from stating my opinions on parenting and societal issues because I've found it usually elicits a negative response. Too often I can sense that the person feels I've come across as "I'm better then you". It could be my delivery or it could be the receiver. It's probably both. But no, I do not have an almighty complex and maybe my writing will convey that better then my speaking can. I do have opinions, very strong ones usually and in the end if I bring up a strong reaction, that that means a seed of thought has been planted...and that's awesome.

We've all been guilty of it. Oh my god, I NEED that brand new car.  Babe, you NEED to buy me this big fat ring. We NEED more money, how else are we going to buy all the clothes, shoes, purses, toys we want?

The problem in that is that your worth doesn't come from crap. Your joy doesn't come from crap. Your child's personal development doesn't come from stuff. I love a good fancy leather smelling Louis bag just as much as the next woman, but at the price of having to work just to have it? I'll pass. My choice very early on in my pregnancy was that my priority would be to succeed at home first. 

I think succeeding at home first means, finances willing, having a parent responsible for taking care of your children and your household. At what point did that become not a job, but merely an extra responsibility added on to a full work week? Money? Yeah I don't provide that stuff. My husband does. 

I provide the first face Penelope sees as she looks up from her naps and gives me a big two tooth smile. I provide social environments to create an active future community member. I provide hundreds of pictures and videos of time we spent together that we will never get back. I provide the knowledge of what she needs as Penelope the individual on any given day. I provide her with fresh organic, homemade food to eat day and night. I provide the assurance that I am her playmate, that I have the energy to focus solely on her. I provide the environment also that enables her to learn how to play by herself and be independent. I provide the chest for her to lay on when she drifts off to sleep and to nuzzle into when she's dreaming. I provide the knowledge to her, that when she cries, her Mama will be there and will always be. This is just a fraction of what I provide for this household, and no they aren't monetary but I would argue they are priceless. 

And so my confusion lies in this. At what point did the important of meaningless shit, take priority over the emotional and physical wellbeing of your family? I think somewhere as parents we signed an unspoken contract that our lives were no longer just a self fulfilling journey. That we were now responsible for the wellbeing and joy of another human. 

Our family doesn't have a lot, but we have enough. We live in an apartment, I have a band for a wedding ring and we bought a used suv that we could afford. My husband wears his socks too long and almost never buys himself new clothes. But my joy is something I wake up with every morning and it's because we were blessed to have a choice, and choosing our household first is my priority. 

In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the author writes that every person has a mission statement. A life mission statement that is the reason behind every decision and action you choose to do. My family tops that list. So my actions reflect this. My day to day actions, from what I do with my time to what I made for dinner. Just as I was getting into my groove, God tested me.

Not too long ago my business began to flourish almost overnight.  Money, orders, new business inquiries...all of that. And I had worked SO HARD to get here. So I was on my computer all day, on the phone, fulfilling orders. As a result, Penelope played by herself...all day long. I hung a toy over her head as I was doing research on my phone for a few minutes at a time here and there. We didn't go anywhere, she didn't get attention. She could wait... I worked so hard to get here I told myself. When she was fussy I thought, GOD what it wrong with you?? Your taking time away from what I need to be doing. So she got more fussy. After about a week, I had an epiphany, my mission statement said SPECIFICALLY "succeed at home first". All my choices reflected the polar opposite.

Being a stay at home parent is a blessing. It is something not everyone can afford to do. It doesn't have to mean that's all you are. I am also an individual, a wife, a friend, a lover of vodka shots, a Bar Method freak and a bathtub recluse who loves to blast Young Jeezy in my "Mom SUV". But it's so important to make choices centered around what you truly feel to be a priority. Hopefully one of your top priorities is your children, so can you afford to have one parent stay home? Work part time or not at all?

Many of our problems today are created by people who's parents didn't pay attention, they weren't there. I myself am the product of a mother who loved us so much, but she was never there. Her work is her life. Angry kids turn into angry adults. Hurt people hurt other people. The need for attention they never got turns into girls dating assholes and boys going to prison. 

Self fulfillment is important, but so is serving for a higher purpose. Children, our future, is a higher purpose. Looking at what we really "needed" in a new perspective became the best thing we could do for ourselves as individuals, our marriage and our child.


  1. Great perspective and well written Liz:) It's something I think about every day.

    1. Thanks Haley, I know to a lot of people it's doing nothing or taking the "easy way out". I just think it sad that the standard now is if two parents aren't working it's strange, and why isn't the other parent bringing in more money