Memoirs Of A Modern Housewife

My life is nothing like the Bravo Housewives!

Archive for the category “relationships”

That Moment When: Pressured to Parent (A Certain Way)


The beginning of summer my family and my brother’s family drove over 1,800 miles in a surprisingly uncomfortable 12 passenger van with 4 adults, 2 teenagers, 2 school-age kids and a one year old. My five-year old, who absolutely hates being in a car for any amount of time threw us off guard as she pleasantly road in a booster seat from Minnesota to Memphis overnight. No whining or complaining to be heard.

This trip was one we were all excited about as we were seeing family who we hadn’t seen for as long as she was born, so over five years. I thought she would have some shyness, some apprehension but she welcomed her aunts, uncles and cousins with open arms. She laughed, played, and tried new things without a moan.

Day three, among the loud laughter and conversations, I could hear my child crying hysterically. I stopped what I was doing and ran out to find her with one of my aunts who was patiently trying to comfort her.  She was hysterical and I couldn’t figure out what had taken place because I couldn’t even understand her through the sobs.

That Moment When: Pressured to Parent

Apparently all the children received silly spray and she’d used all of hers as they were still running around playing with theirs. Everyone was trying to reason with her, tell her they would get her a new one, offered her drinks and other toys, etc. but I knew that the silly spray wasn’t the problem.

I was surrounded by family and some of their friends. People who have not been around my little one longer than a few minutes or days and I can tell by the looks on their faces that they assumed I was raising a spoiled, undisciplined child. You know the look. The look that says, “What are you going to do about the way she is acting…you’re the mom, show her (and us).”

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t admit to the heat rising on the back of my neck; the feeling like I had to do something was becoming more and more intense with her wails. But I did something in that moment that I didn’t think I would under the pressure.

I waited to respond.

I thought about the day and realized that she’d been in the sun all day and played hard, harder than she ever had in all of her five years. We live in the frozen tundra and Memphis was 90 degrees by 9 am. She was flushed, sticky and I am sure everyone’s efforts were overwhelming her.  I was too busy interacting with my family that I didn’t notice that she hadn’t been drinking enough water and didn’t take a moment of rest, which for this child is a must.

I’d missed it.

This melt down could have been avoided and this super embarrassing moment was brought by me. Now I know she is responsible for her emotions (as much as she can be for 5) and we work on that daily. I also know that kids have to let off steam sometimes. However, if you have a high needs/sensitive child…you know that emotions are always overflowing.

I thought about how she must be feeling; physically and emotionally and began to ignore the spectators. I asked my daughter to come to me. She came and I pulled her on my lap. I wiped her forehead and started fanning her as she started to calm down and relax. I asked her to tell me what was going on.

She began to go on about the silly spray. I let her tell her story and when she was done I calmly validated that it sucked that she used all of her silly spray and was missing the “fight” with the other kids but that she chose to use hers before the planned fight. I also told her that she was tired, probably dehydrated and needed a bath and some quiet time. She protested but I assured her that it wasn’t a suggestion.

We packed up the family and headed to where we were staying. I put her in the bath with her little brother where I can hear them laughing and splashing. I had her take sips of water, lay on the couch and watch a show in the air-conditioned house. She slowly returned to the kid I know.

I had to remember that I know her and that no matter where I am and who is around me I am her mother and I know what’s best for her.

Have you ever had a moment where you felt pressure to respond or parent a certain way? Share your experience below in the comments, would love to hear from you!

A Weekend of (in)couragement


(in)couraged Weekend

This weekend I had the opportunity to meet with a variety of women, women from all walks of life, different stages in life.

“Yup, we’re bringing the beach house to you with the goal of connecting women beyond the blog post! How? Well, with a day of (in)courage meetups – think mini beach house parties – all around the country and globe and a webcast for everyone to tune into. A local meetup on a global scale; friends will gather to watch live webcasts of (in)courage contributors and community, connect with one another, and discover new friendships they didn’t know were right around the corner!”

It was something I signed up to attend a few months ago on a whim. It was probably when I was feeling really disconnected, lonely and wanting face to face fellowship. It was a leap of faith for me as I would be going to an unfamiliar home to meet women I have only known online.

Some of the anxiety of meeting new people was lessened because we already had a few things in common. Most of us were writers and grew to know each from reading and commenting on each others’ posts. Most of us were mothers, married or single and more importantly (I believe) we all had enough faith to step out and believe that God would show up in our gathering.

He did not disappoint.

The night before I received an email from someone who works in the birth community with me. She had noticed my name on the invite list and asked if I was still attending. Boy was I happy she emailed me. I honestly forgot that the Meetup was this weekend in-spite of several daily emails leading up to it. I get so many emails that I have become desensitized to them. I was also planning a much-needed afternoon outing that day with my husband after some doula consultations. I was torn because I know how important our time together is (it’s really rare with three children and we have to plan for it) but I also knew how much I was struggling with isolation and was challenging myself to step out and make establishing and growing friendships a priority.

Mr. Incredible knew that as well and without a blink encouraged…no insisted that I go. The last few weeks and months I have had at least one kid joined to my hip while they were recovering from surgery and he knew I needed the fellowship.

So I went. Nervous stomach and all.

There was a lot of us showing up at the same time. As we all nervously and quietly took our shoes off, placed on name tags and slowly made our way to the kitchen where let’s face it, is the best gathering place of all, I immediately felt at ease. I was in good company. There were a lot of us meeting each other for the first time, a lot of us not knowing what to expect and a lot of us who were looking for God to move on our behalf in the area of friendship.

After I greeted the hosts and grabbed a plate I looked for a corner to stand back and observe in. There was another woman in a great spot so I asked if I could share it with her. She warmly made room for me and we began to chit-chat. A few minutes later, the colleague who’d sent me the email the night before came over. We greeted each other and introduced each other to the women we knew.

So far so good.

There were over 30 women in attendance at this home and you can imagine the volume of laughter and banter. Soon we made our way to where we were to watch a sequence of webcasts. This event was being held all over the world at the same time that was really cool to consider.

There was about two and half hours worth of videos that we watched. Every once in a while there would be chuckles in uni-some, random sniffles and the clicking of tweeting or note-taking. I hate crying in public and I did everything I could to avoid it. You know that “look up at the ceiling” thing? Did it. The “hold-your-eyes-open-as-long-as-you-can-without-blinking” thing? Did that too. I wasn’t too successful as a few tears did manage to escape. There were some stories of friendships that really pulled at my heart and a story of a woman who lived her life avoiding the very thing she longed for. Community through friendships. Secretly that is the cry of my heart. I may not mention it often but it’s there.

When the event was over we exchanged email addresses, twitter handles, and blog sites. I actually ran into a few familiar faces and it was really sweet to reconnect with them. I am optimistic about the new acquaintances that live although not super close to me, close enough to meet for coffee or a playdate.

When Mr. Incredible picked me up, he asked me how it went. I began to sob and cry for at least fifteen minutes while he drove trying to explain how great it was through my blubbering. Luckily he “gets” me and didn’t need translation. He also gets that for me to be the best mom, wife and child of God I need interaction outside of my four walls. It is outside those four walls that I can be challenged when I am being stubborn or unreasonable with my husband. It is outside of these four walls that I can be encouraged that I am the best mom for these children that God has trusted in me. It is also outside these four walls that I can allow God to love and speak to and through me, use and grow my gifts and talents and where “iron can sharpen iron.”

God values friendships. He wrote about it a lot.

I have a close friend who I do not have the privilege of seeing as often as I (and she) would like. It’s nothing personal just life. Family life and other things scream for our attention and sometimes it’s just really hard to align your schedules. We occasionally catch each other on the phone but mostly live on texts, emails and blog posts. One day I left her a voice-mail and said, “it’s been too long…I just gotta get a look atcha.” She loved that statement and I believe it spoke to her because social media is wonderful and it has its place, but there is nothing like a real hug. Locking eyes with someone. A side squeeze. A warm hand on the back. And seeing someone share your pain and joys in their real life tears.

What about you? What do you do to seek out and cultivate friendships in your life? I’d love to hear about what you do.

Also, if you are interested, the dvd’s from the weekend are available for purchase here.


MOMH Update April 12-23, 2012


Seed, Time and Harvest

I have a desire to garden but I have been trying to deny the urge. I really enjoyed my square foot gardening a few years back, I called it “Garden Therapy”. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed the labor of getting on my knees, playing in the dirt, watering and even weeding. Every morning when the sun would rise I would jump out of bed (sometimes still in my pajamas) and look at what had grown. I was like a little kid checking on it every few hours. It helped me appreciate being outside no matter what the temperature or weather conditions were because I knew the sun, rain and even wind was purposeful.  Read more…

Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause – Post-Operation Update

Deciding to have surgery on your kids is never easy, you’re always questioning if it’s the right thing to do. Today is day five for Beaner’s recovery from his surgery. It has been a long week as you can imagine and I thought I would show in picture how the day went.

Read more…

(in)spired Review

I know from where I have come from. It is a place that is a thorn in my side keeping pride at bay. It is a past that is only seen on the likes of Lifetime Movie Network, a past that makes me cringe at the very thought of my children inquiring about, a past that can leave me awake at night, a past that threatens my future daily. But God…  Read more…

A Woman’s Design

If you are or have had a great experience with a local midwife (home and hospital), Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, Childbirth Educators, Lactation Specialists and other professionals that work directly with pregnant women, in the East-Central Metro area please send me a note at natalia@awomansdesign.com. Would love to connect with you (or them) in the next few weeks to have trusted resources for my clients.

Love, Marriage and Finding Our Way


Love, Marriage and Finding Our Way

Mr. Incredible and IThe longer I am married and a mom the more I realize that my family is unique (as all are) and that we shouldn’t try to mold our lives to fit others’. Before, when we were trying to make any decisions we would measure them against what others have done and succeeded in, and in some instances that is a necessary and valuable method. Our problems stem from always using that method. The truth is, my husband and I both bring to our marriage our individual upbringings, ideas, dreams and behaviors. Throw in the mix, three children who have their own personalities, needs, temperaments and you don’t have cookie-cut answers. They require examination from all angles sometimes, wisdom, prayer, most of the time patience and sometimes a leap of faith.

I love a comment Jessica from the Leaky Boob made about their decision to continue to have more children in spite of her horrible history with hyperemesis graviduram, “Every one of us has a different path in life, the choices may appear the same but the reality is with our various circumstances and priorities we can’t imagine making the choices someone else does and we have to just figure out what works for us in our situation.” 

I couldn’t agree more.

Who Am I? Finding Me In The Midst Of It All


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Recently when I am asked, “What kind of things do you like to do for fun?” or, “What do you do to relax?” I am at a lost. I usually sit there dumbfounded because 1. I can’t think of anything and 2. I realize that I have not made me a priority in a long time. I mean a long time.

The last few years, fun for me has been taking a nap, playing apps or reading or getting through a 30 minute show uninterrupted. I have been thinking a lot today about (my life in general) in this area and had a real heart to heart with Mr. Incredible.

Why is it that we as women lose who we are when we get married and have children? There is something about when children enter the picture that we begin to invest every thing within us into them. Your whole world can become consumed by them. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant your every thought is about them and how what you are doing or not doing is going to affect them. I’m exhausted by the end of the day and when the opportunity comes to go out and do something for myself I have to choose between catching up on sleep or doing something I would love; something that would feed my soul, my womanhood, the adult me. If only I can remember what those things were…

I know this is not the case for all women, some have managed to find a balance between you as an individual and you the mom/wife. This is not my reality. I would suspect that the things that attracted your spouse to you are things that he would love to continue to see in the marriage. He probably misses that…I know mine does. But more importantly, I feel a sense of revitalization when I do tap into something that is true to my (other)self. I adore my children and my husband but I have been watching me, the me he married, the me I knew before, slowly disappear and it is not beneficial to anyone.

So I would like to reconnect with me:

The me who would laugh so loud and hard that the back of my head hurt and tears would stream down my face.

The me who plays air guitar at Third Day concerts and screams…every…single…word…to each song.

The me who would drive without an agenda, without a map, without a care in the world never afraid of being lost.

The me who would sit up and write until the sun rises.

The me who would go to an art museum and sit and stare for hours.

The me who loves history and learning about other cultures, willing to try anything once.

The me who loves until it hurts without abandonment, without fear.

The me who took chances, who didn’t question why, but wondered why not?

The me who would lie in the grass, staring up at the sky with the wind blowing against my face and the smell of grass tickling my (allergic) nose ; )

The me who saw a challenge, looked it square in the eye and plowed right into it.

I love to compete, meet new people, learn new things, old homes, new ideas.

My frustration with life has been not allowing her to be seen.

She’s always been there, along with the mommy me, the wife me.

This is me…too.

MOMH Weekly Update March 4- 10, 2012


Not One, But Two Kids Needing Surgery!!! Part 2

Although we can visibly see that she was improving, she had a quick check up with the pediatrician to make sure things were healing well and they were. Poots became aware of what we all were aware of the last two weeks. Her breathe. The surgeon warned us during the post-op consultation that her breath would smell worse than death. We thought, oh no biggie we have a dog whose breath can bring you to tears. The surgeon assured us that her breath would be worse. He didn’t lie. Read more…

Who Am I? Finding Me In The Midst Of It All

Why is it that we as women lose who we are when we get married and have children?There is something about when children enter the picture that we begin to invest every thing within us into them. Your whole world can become consumed by them. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant your every thought is about them and how what you are doing or not doing is going to affect them. I’m exhausted by the end of the day and when the opportunity comes to go out and do something for myself I have to choose between catching up on sleep or doing something I would love; something that would feed my soul, my womanhood, the adult me. If only I can remember what those things were… Read more…

A Woman’s Design

I have updated my availability for the remainder of the year. These dates can be found on my website www.awomansdesign.com, Doulas.com and DoulaMatch.net. If you have any questions about what a birth doula does and what we don’t do I’d be happy to chat via email , on my Facebook fan page or (612) 801-9886. I love talking all things birthy…just ask my poor hubby!

****I still need to complete my Birth Doula Certification through DONA, which was also put on hold when I couldn’t take on any clients during my pregnancy. I would love to have this completed by July 1st, and just need to attend three more births between now and then. If you know anyone who is due in the next few months, please feel free to pass my info along and I would love to see if I may be able to meet her birthing needs.*** I will be offering a discount because of my time restraints.***

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