It’s All Impermanent

So often we get stuck in the minute trials of life that we forget that it’s all fleeting. We get buried in the deliverables and career paths, tantrums and to-do lists, routines and skirmishes, tantrums and developmental timelines, carpool and never-ending laundry that we lose perspective entirely.

Then, a moment strikes us back into reality. We realize the beauty of the moment — this very moment — and the speed with which time is racing. We pause amidst the surrounding churn and process the impermanence of it all.

Everything is temporary. The pain, the joy, the fun, the challenges, the frustrations, the worries, the celebrations, the sleepless stages, the adorable phases. All of it — good and bad, fretful and consoling — is fleeting.

We must remember that as we go about our days, toiling (simply for money or for personal aspiration) and/or raising our humans and growing ourselves. We must remind ourselves that no matter what pain or sadness, worry or frustration, anger or embarrassment we are feeling, it is not forever. It will end. We must too remember that the joyous, beautiful, precious, balanced times are not permanent. They too will end. So we must savor them. We will experience pain and comfort, mourning and elation, and that is natural. It is good. It is all good.

We must simply survive and savor, honoring the balance and minding the impermanence of life.

In Defense of 2016

“2016 sucked!” “2016: worst year ever!” Poor 2016 is getting a bad rap and all because of myopia.

So often we focus on just one aspect of an experience, dashing the rest from mind. A whole day can be categorized as “bad” based on a few unsavory instances when, in reality, a majority of the day was simply unremarkable and perhaps even pleasant. Our recall is entirely flawed.

The negative in life is necessary not only for us to appreciate the positive, it is often the precursor to beautiful life change and personal growth. Without uncomfortable life adjustments, we would remain stagnant. Without struggles we wouldn’t adapt, learn, and toughen. Every overcome hurdle enhances our perspective, worldview, and resilience. Our lives are richer and we are better for all we’ve faced… good and bad.

We do not begin a day or year precisely the same as we end it. So much can happen in a year. People enter and exit our lives through drama, distance, development, and death. Our career paths can change. Our dreams can shatter, shift, or shine. Our perspectives and beliefs can grow or morph. We are in a constant state of flux.

I’ve had years during which there was ample family drama, multiple deaths, loneliness, poor decisions, work uncertainty, relationship hurdles, boss woes, identity struggles, financial strain, weight frustrations, personal crises, fertility battles, and health troubles. During those years there were also fond memories, happy experiences, good decisions, work wins, laughter, love, and contentment. No year — or day — is wholly bad or wholly good. To categorize an entire timeframe as such is hyperbolic, imprecise, short-sighted.

My rough days and my challenging experiences have been the greatest fuel for personal growth and positive life changes. Sure, change can be scary and hard, but that makes the positive outcome even sweeter.

If 2016 strikes you as being more negative than positive, take a hard second look with a clearer lense. Look at all the good that happened and may still yet happen as a result of the year. If you’re still not convinced, consider the past year as a transition stage, a launching point for massive positive life changes.

“The sun,” they say, “shines brightest after the storm.” And so do we.

Happy 2017!


An Exercise in Gratitude

Sometimes — too often — I can get so engrossed in the day-to-day routine, the pick-ups, the drop-offs, the meal planning and preparing, the clean-up, the playtime, the storytime, the to-do list that I forget to take a breath and appreciate the abundance I have that allows for this chaos. Today, though, I am grateful.


I am grateful for my supportive, appreciative, involved, loving husband. I am grateful for each of my three different and perfectly imperfect children. I am grateful for my health and life circumstances allowing me to be a stay-at-home mom.

I am grateful that my milk oversupply allows me to donate milk to others and that my husband is an immense supporter of the endeavor. I am grateful for encountering gracious and lovely milk recipients. I am grateful for being granted the opportunity to see friends and acquaintances accept the calling and serve others with their natural excess.

I am grateful for my fun, genuine, wholly beautiful mom friends. I am grateful for my non-mom friends who loyally stick by me knowing that one day we will socialize again (in the meantime, thank you social media!) I am grateful for family that strives to be regularly involved in our children’s lives.

I am grateful for date nights. I am grateful for mom dates. I am grateful for playdates and library story times. I am grateful for quiet walks and not-so-quiet family walks. I am grateful for playground memories and chaotic family dinners.

I am grateful for hurdles I’ve faced and overcome, as they have taught me, strengthened me, enriched me, and often allowed me to aid others facing similar challenges. I’m grateful for my sense of humor. I’m grateful for my personal gifts and for my weaknesses, as they make me who I am and keep me humble. I am grateful for my resilience. I am grateful for my toughness.

I am grateful for having been born who I am, where I am. I am grateful for the bad days because they make the good days shine brighter. I am grateful for my mistakes because they’ve forced me to change, grow, and learn. I’m grateful for pain because it makes wellness and comfort more notable.

I am grateful to have a home. I am grateful to have a husband and children. I am grateful for their health. I am grateful for my infertility battle as it made me a more appreciative parent than I may have otherwise been and it enhanced my life perspective. I am grateful that battle is in the past.

I am grateful for my educational background. I am grateful for the ability to send my children to school. I am grateful for our means. I am grateful for our monetary struggles, as they keep us humble. I am grateful for our challenges — past and present — as they have and will continue to shape us into a stronger family unit and help us appreciate the good.

I am grateful for it all.

What are you grateful for?

Co-parenting Balance

We do things differently, my husband and I. He is the math to my writing, the sleeping-in to my early rising, the spicy potato chips to my milled flaxseed. He’s the laid-back and I am the type-A.

Despite being strong believers in enforcing limits, maintaining routine, and raising respectful children, Hubs and I differ in how we approach other aspects of parenting. These differences make us stronger.

Though timely, Hubs is comfortable leaving to do preschool drop-off at the time I am generally pulling into the nearly empty school parking lot. He offers treat snacks, whereas I dispense healthy fare. He plays physical imaginary games while I do story time. He chooses educational electronic games to fill the kids’ waiting time yet I utilize non-electronic distraction methods. He does nature hikes through muddy streams and I take neighborhood walks on paved sidewalks.

Our parenting approaches may be divergent but that’s what makes us a good team. We approach the same goal from different angles. Together we have balance.



Parenthood is all about balance: enough fresh produce to outweigh the chicken nuggets, enough activity to counteract the episodes of Doc McStuffins, enough good mommy moments to blur the bad mommy moments. Balancing time is, perhaps, the most challenging balancing act. It’s an ever-changing scale and fraught with imperfections.

To balance “you” time with couple time, one-on-one child time, family time, socializing time, household duties time, extended family time — the list goes on — is a juggling act that’s bound to falter. If you throw work into the mix, it gets incredibly complex.

Four months after having #1, I returned to my corporate job but as a part-time employee. “What a perfect arrangement!” “You’re so lucky to have such a great balance!” People would say upon hearing of my work situation. It was good… but it wasn’t as perfect as it seemed.

Instead of being fully stay-at-home mom or entirely full-time employee, I existed somewhere in the middle with both home and work lives pulling me to give more. I felt as if I was half-ass’ing both sets of responsibilities. I couldn’t prioritize work without falling through on parenting and home duties, and giving more of myself at home meant scaling back at work. The one item missing in this work verses home balance: me. I was so harried trying to simultaneously be both working mother and stay-at-home mother that I had left “me” time out of the equation entirely… and couple time was nonexistent.

After having #2, and still working part-time, the only “me” time I had was when I was pumping breast milk for my son and eventually for donation. Then, a few significant corporate reorganizations presented me with the opportunity to adjust my hours. I cut back to 15 hours per week instead of 20 hours. That worked for a bit, until work expectations rose to the level of a 20-hour workweek despite my abbreviated schedule.

When I became pregnant with #3, another ruthless set of corporate reorganizations was sweeping through the cubicle farm and I was one of the casualties. It was a hard hit, at first, and I made the long drive home in a fit over how I could figure out another work path. I had always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but I was so accustomed to working and living the chaotic balancing act, that I didn’t know another way.

Then, while sitting at a red light positioned at a dead-end, my inner voice said, “This is what you’ve always wanted. Why are you fighting it?” A calm swept over me. I smiled. And with that, the light turned green and I turned left toward home.