Monthly Archives: September 2013

HIMYM & A Message to Moms

Last night M and I were trying to catch up on HIMYM so we can watch the final season right along with everyone else. I don’t know if you watch HIMYM…..wait, who doesn’t watch HIMYM???? That’s just crazy talk. Anyway, it was the episode where Lilly shares with Ted a thought she has that’s “even worse” than Ted admitting he’s not happy about Robin and Barney getting married. She said, “Sometimes I wish I wasn’t a mom. Sometimes I want to pack a bag and leave in the middle of the night.” My eyes filled with tears instantly as I knew exactly how she felt and M said out loud as if speaking to her “What parent doesn’t feel that way sometimes?”. He is absolutely right.

M has always been my rock. We are able to share thoughts and feelings like this with each other; even the ones we sometimes label as “bad thoughts”. I have always felt like we had to and if we didn’t have each other to share these thoughts with, what would we do? Would we keep them all bottled up? Would we be filled with guilt and self-loathing? I don’t think M would because he is a very grounded and confident individual.But me? That’s a different story.

As a new mom, I find that I lay so much guilt upon myself on a regular basis. I know “mom guilt” seems to be the norm and just part of being a parent, but sometimes you just need someone to say it’s okay. And while we are on the subject, why is it the norm? Why are women so hard on themselves? I think it’s because of the supposed to’s that somehow form in society and embed themselves in our minds. We all somehow still have the picture of the perfect mother in our minds. It’s usually looks like this woman:

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We also see perfection as this woman:

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When what it really needs to be is just YOU! You ARE perfection!

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To all the moms out there, let me say one thing:

It’s okay.

It’s okay to sometimes wish you weren’t a mom. It’s okay to sometimes miss your life as it was before children. It’s okay to not be perfect. No one is perfect. It’s okay. Tell yourself this when you are hardest on yourself. Trust me, we are all feeling the same way. Did anyone think Lilly was a bad mom when watching that episode? Maybe….there are always a few judges out there. But the majority? No. We cried. We could relate. We understood and felt her pain not only in having the thought, but in sharing it.

And, if you are really feeling down and it is overwhelming, talk to someone. Talk to your spouse, a friend or seek counseling because you may be experiencing postpartum depression. Heck, message me if it helps! PPD is a sneaky monster and it is absolutely nothing to ever feel ashamed of! Take care of you. Love yourself. Your kids already do and they always will.

And one more thing, you may not be the epitome of perfection in your eyes, but I’d be willing to bet you are exactly that to your sweet kiddo.

great kid great mom

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Unexpected Connections

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Many of you know all too well that as a new expat, one of the major obstacles you have to overcome is meeting new people and establishing new friendships. I’m sure this comes to no surprise to any of you who have been following my blog for any length of time. It’s a subject I mention often as it is the one most often on my mind. I can’t help it. I’m a social person who loves to spend time with her friends. I love just having coffee and chatting it up. I love entertaining and inviting people into our home. And I love just getting to know someone. That being said, each time I have moved to a new city, state or country it is always hardest for me to adapt to instantly not having these people in my life. It is always a huge adjustment for me to go from having friends close by to having no one near by and watching those I have left behind go on with their lives without me. In all honesty, looking at it objectively, it is kind of an interesting experience to go through; one many will never have because they won’t willingly choose to leave everyone they love behind to pursue a different life unlike us expats. Wouldn’t you agree my fellow wanderers?

What I have found to be so fascinating, however, is the community within blogging. I started writing for the same reasons most others do; to document my travels and share my journey hoping to have regular readers to follow along. I hoped my blog would reach out and connect with others and they would find some sort of meaning or entertainment within it.

I never expected to find support.

I never expected to find friendship. 

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I’m not sure why I didn’t have these expectations in a community full of others writing for similar reasons. Sometimes the things you write really speak to someone on a personal level. In some posts, you bravely put your heart and soul out there wanting to be heard; wanting to share it with someone else; wanting to feel a connection.

With such vulnerability and openness, how could we not connect with one another? 

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These unexpected connections have given me motivation and support when I was lacking, direction when I was lost, hope when I was full of doubt, laughter when I couldn’t smile, and gratitude when I was disappointed. These friends I’ve never met, but I look forward to their posts. I look forward to their comments on my posts. And one in particular, she has been there from the start. She is a constant commenter on my posts, a source of inspiration and as she so eloquently referred to me, she’s my 3B (blogging bosom buddy). She’s one of those people who I feel just “gets me” and we have been on such similar paths in our lives. {I hope life settles down for her soon because I miss her and I’m expecting an update on Tom Jones in Qatar! :-)} And this is only listing a few of the many, many wonderful bloggers I have had the privilege of getting to know!

I know many bloggers talk about their “blog crushes” and going on “blates”. I adore this silly stuff! I simply love how connected we all are in this huge community within “blog land”! Isn’t it fascinating that we can develop these types of relationships having never even met in person? 

I haven’t gone on any “blates” yet as many of those I am connecting with live far away. But I am expecting that to change soon! If you’re wondering about any of my blog crushes, simply click on the links of unexpected connections above. :-) You’ll meet some great people. I can promise you that!

Who are some of your unexpected connections? What do you think about the friendship among bloggers?

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Five Simple Things #4

Happy Wednesday lovely readers! Hope this Wednesday finds you all doing fantastically. As for me, well as I mentioned in my last post, everyone is sick around here. I thought I had escaped its path, but then I woke up to a sore throat. So much for my super human powers of resistance!

I’m so surprised that I’m already on my fourth week of practicing gratitude and linking up with Erika. Reflecting on last week will be a bit hard. You see, ever since I moved here in the end of May, every set of plans someone has made with me have been canceled. Every. Single. One. Last week was just another example. I made plans with two different people who both canceled due to illness. Not to suggest their reasons were not valid because clearly they were as everyone has been catching colds here in Germany. However, one of these people has always canceled on me so I’m starting to assume it’s just me. I’ve been trying to make friends and even when plans are initiated by someone else, they have ended up canceling. It really starts to do a number on your self-esteem. So friends, it’s hard for me to look back on last week with anything other than disappointment, but I’m going to still be thankful.

I have so much to be thankful for in this life regardless of any hardships along the way.

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1. I have the most wonderful, supportive and loving husband who is my best friend and an excellent father.

2. I have been blessed with a child I thought I could not have. He is happy, healthy and adorable.

3. I have a loving and supportive mother who is always available no matter what time it is and who texts with me almost every day. (And sends me stuff!) :-)

4. I am healthy and thriving despite suffering from a significant chronic illness.

5. I have a few great friends in the states that continue to stay in touch with me despite the distance even planning to visit.

What do you have to be thankful for this past week? Did you also have some hardships or disappointments that made it hard to be thankful?

GRAD-ITUDE 101: A Linkup By Chimerikal

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Monster Momday: Type A’s Unite!

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Happy Monday everyone! I can tell you, mine is starting off like a real peach! Both my son and husband are sick. Both coughed most of the night. None of us slept much. Have you tried to get a 16 month old to blow his nose? Well, just in case you didn’t know, it sucks and it sucks big time. I’m covered in more snot today than I could have ever imagined and I feel so bad for my little monster who can’t sleep and feels miserable.

So, are you wondering what those words are for up there? Ummm, Deanna do you have a point? Yes. Yes I do. I’ve been thinking lately about the things in motherhood that are the most frustrating for me and I finally realized it all comes down to one issue: my personality type. All the words up there are ones commonly used to describe Type A Personalities. Apparently, I very much fit; however, I am a bit of conundrum apparently because most people describe me as laid back and easy-going. I guess I am to a degree, but I require a certain amount of structure in order to be able to function at the top of my game.

For instance, I can’t blog or work at a messy desk. I can’t sleep in a messy bedroom. In general, my house is never clean enough, even if I just cleaned it. I hate things out-of-order and every item should have a place. I don’t like things on the countertops. I’m not a collector. So, you can probably see why I have a difficult time having a toddler?

IT IS UTTER CHAOS ALL THE TIME.

What do other Type A’s do?

I try so hard not to be “rigid” and “impatient” with my son, but it happens. I can’t lie about it….not on the internet where everything you read is supposed to be true.

Is there a compromise? Or do I just have to shove my Type A Self way in the back of my OCD closet and wait it out?

Well, this doesn’t just apply to my life as a mother, but also as an expat, a blogger, a wife and so on. As you may have noticed, there are some changes going on around here. I needed my blog to be more clean. I need it to be more of a representation of me {it’s not there yet, but definitely closer}. The more my blog has grown, the more I have grown as a blogger. Isn’t that nifty how that works. So clearly, I am learning more about how to make this look more like me and sound more like me.

Going back to everything having a place, you will notice a new lovely menu up above. Because of this, I think it is redundant to continuously state in the title of these weekly posts “Monster Momday”. Instead, these posts will be neatly filed under the tab “Mommy Musings” in the sub-category of “Monster Momday”. Clever right? I can even add other “mom stuff” if I am so inclined. {insert virtual pat on the back here}

I also realized that Monster Momday just past it’s one month anniversary and I’m wondering what everyone thinks about these topics. Do you like them? Take it or leave it? Let me know!

So, that pretty much sums it up all of my Type A Change for today.

Please other Type A’s out there, speak to me! Let me know I’m not alone in this and feed me some of your wisdom!

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St. Laurentius Parish Church

One of the things I fell in love with when I first came to Germany in 2008, were the churches. Every city and small village has its own church. The architecture is always so ornate and beautiful full of history. I was always overwhelmed by the silence, sanctity and spirituality felt upon simply standing inside.

On Sunday, this day of worship for most, I thought it fitting to share this piece of gorgeous architecture in the village where I live as well as the place we intend to baptize our son. The St. Laurentius Parish Church was constructed around 1771 in a Baroque style with a Romanesque tower.

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The center high altar (1772) features the patron saint Laurentius in the middle with St. Peter and St. Barbara on the sides.

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Inside the altar is the communion bench with has been decorated with rococo ornaments originating from the time period in which the church was constructed.

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From the center altar are two side altars with figures of the Virgin Mary and St. Catherine.

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Along the side is the baptismal displaying Roman architectural elements.

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Each side also has identical confessionals (the church is still in use with weekly Mass).

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And finally, a view of the back of the church (and some other tourists!)

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I’ve always wanted to take day trips all over Germany to small villages and the large cities and photograph the churches. Big and small they are all so beautiful. I have had the opportunity to visit some of the large cathedrals and they leave me in awe. I hope someday to make this wish a reality! {Hopefully by then I will have improved my photog skills!}

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