An Awesome Mommy Moment

I recently had one of those awesome mommy moments.  It wasn’t about a goal my children had achieved, nor was it about my ability to gently persuade them to see life from my perspective.  Although both of those could fall under the category of awesome.

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No, this was much different.  This was a light bulb moment, an “Ah-ha” moment, a moment of clarity that 18 years of motherhood can bring.  It was a moment of dueling emotions, each one vying for my attention.  A moment filled with joy, at the realization of the depth of wisdom gained through parenting.  A moment also mixed with sadness, wishing this nugget of knowledge had struck earlier in the parenting journey.

To all the moms out there with young children – I remember!

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I remember wishing my kids would get out from under my feet and let me cook dinner.  I remember praying for a few minutes of peace and quiet, with no Barney blaring in the background.  I remember feeling annoyed when the boys would interrupt my house cleaning duties, seeking my attention and approval.  I remember hoping I could find some time alone, for myself, to be just me….and not mom.

Sadly, somewhere along the line, without me even realizing it, all that I previously wished for became my new normal.  From toddler to teenager, in what now feels like a blink of an eye, I no longer have kids under my feet, no background noises, no interruptions.

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Sometimes I sink into the silence and solitude with a sense of peace.  But mostly, I wish my boys were around more, and I don’t just mean at home, but in my physical space, interacting with me.

Last week I was cooking dinner and being kept company by Dr. Phil, when my 15 year old bounced into the kitchen and asked if he could work on a project at the kitchen table.  While this may be a typical occurrence for mom’s with younger children, those with teenagers know that most of their kid’s work is completed in the teen-cave (aka – bedroom).

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Without a moments hesitation I exclaimed “Of course, the table is all yours”, with the level of enthusiasm I would express had I been asked if I’d like to get a massage, or go on a week’s vacation to a tropical island.  My kitchen table was instantly turned into an arts and crafts work station, complete with paint, yarn, scissors, styrofoam balls, glue and the like.  Dr. Phil was replaced with Mumford & Sons and Imagine Dragons.  What 10 years earlier felt like an interruption, now felt like an honor and a privilege.  Yes, my 15 year old wanted not only my attention and approval, but also my advice.

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The energy in the room that evening was different, in all the right ways.  When I could no longer contain the joy and gratitude I was feeling, I blurted out  “I love having you down here with me”, to which my son simply flashed his big brown eyes and smiled at me with a knowing, a wisdom that a 15 year old shouldn’t have, but he does.

My heart was exploding with love!

Love – that I had the ability to recognize the magic of this moment.  Love – that I could be grateful for this time together, regardless of how short it might be.  Love – that as my kids grow up, so do I, in so many ways.  Love – for the honor it is to be a mother, to be the mother of the two boys I get to live this life with.  Love – pure and simple!

with Joy, Gratitude & Love,

Wise Words From a 17 Year Old

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“Social Media is ruining society!”

Those are not my words.  They are the exact words my 17 year old son recently said to me.

Startled by his comment, I asked “Really?  What makes you say that?”

With conviction, he replied  “Well, last weekend when we went out for brunch, instead of sitting down and eating, you sat down and took pictures of your food.”

Truth be told, I didn’t just take a picture of my breakfast, I took multiple photos from a variety of angles.  Then I reviewed them, one by one, in order to select the perfect shot.  This was followed by photo editing, adding a caption, and of course hash-tagging, before I could finally share a snapshot of my life to both Instagram and Facebook.  All while we sat around the table together!

Ok, so maybe he has a point?  But “ruining” is a very strong word.  Is social media really destroying society?  Or is it better said that social media has the capacity to negatively impact our society?

I respect and admire the position my teenager takes.  But much like the statement that guns don’t kill people, people kill people….I’d have to say social media isn’t ruining society, but rather, people are allowing social media to dominate their time and relationships.

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Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, Linkedin, Texting……

Each method of social media has value, if, and only if it’s used with boundaries and limitations.

Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities.  What’s not awesome about that, right?

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It’s a double edged sword. The negative side of social media is also the positive side!

Social media can save time, and yet it can suck time, if we allow it to.  Social media can build relationships with people and organizations we may never have come into contact with, and yet it can interfere with the relationships we have with people in our day to day lives, if we allow it to.

Be honest!  Have you sat down to pay a bill online or add an appointment to your google calendar, only to find yourself an hour later, seven levels deep in FaceBook, with no recollection of why you sat at your computer in the first place?

Or maybe you’ve been at a social gathering sitting with a group of friends, when you suddenly realize you have no idea what everyone is talking about, because you’ve been typing your own private conversation on your phone with someone halfway across the state, country or world…..instead of participating in the real conversation taking place in your presence.

I know I’ve been guilty!

It wasn’t long ago that I was just a voyeur on Facebook, trying to figure out how this whole social media thing worked.

It wasn’t long ago that I opted for my canon rebel digital camera instead of my iPhone camera.

It wasn’t long ago that I dialed a number to have a verbal conversation instead of texting a number to have a written conversation.

Unlike teenagers today, I’ve been on both sides of social media, and quite honestly, I think there are huge benefits to both!

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With social media I can be instantly connected with a friend, neighbor, family member, co-worker, fellow CrossFitter, or Silpada sister – anywhere in the world, at a moment’s notice.

I can acknowledge a milestone, shout out someone’s accomplishment, request a shoulder to lean on or share a laugh….absolutely any time of day,  from practically any place I find myself.

I can do business, create business or inspire business from behind my computer screen.

I can quench my curiosity, discover answers to my questions and share experience and knowledge.

I can inspire, motivate, encourage and support.

The avenues and opportunities that social media offer us are really quite remarkable.

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The problem is when we, the user, abuses it.  There is not one set definition or description for social media over use or abuse.  I can’t tell you what’s too much social media.  Only you can determine if your personal social media consumption is interfering with your time management and effectiveness or negatively impacting your relationships with the people in your day to day life.

The simple statement my teenager made was enough to stop me in my tracks and cause me to evaluate my social media habits.  I won’t stop partaking in the joys of social media, both for business and pleasure.  But thanks to the wise words from a 17 year old, I have already altered how often and how much I afford myself that guilty pleasure.

Everything in moderation!

P.S. I just love Kid President!  This is an AWESOME video sharing the positive side of social media!  I’m also testing technology in hopes that this actually makes it to my blog subscribers.  If it doesn’t – simply click here – and I’ll go back to the technology drawing board to try and fix this problem!

with Joy & Gratitude,