Feb 9

The Best Challenge

IMG_8577

Two years ago I sat in a chair in my living room as my sister kissed my belly. “This is the last time I’m going to see this belly,” she said. It was like she knew. She knew that the very next day we would start our adventure with our son.

Jimeson_51

That next day I went to the hospital prepared to welcome our third child into the world. As with my other children, it was love at first sight. My heart grew and filled with love for yet another child that I was blessed to call my own.

Jimeson_38

We took him home days later and were ready to start our life in the city as a family of five. I spent those newborn days snuggling with him and embracing every single moment that I had with him. As he grew, so did his personality. As a mom who had done this twice before, I thought that I’d been through it all. Macks proved that I hadn’t. I am convinced that he was put into our lives so that we’d know that we are capable of doing so much more than we thought we would.

10291320_10104434834482993_3674413939900822059_n

photo 1-1

I never thought I’d be able to go without sleep for an extended period of time. He showed me that I could. I never thought that I’d try so hard to continue to breastfeed. He showed me that I would. I never thought that I’d be open to new adventures in the suburbs. He showed me that I would. I never thought that I’d pray so hard for time to slow down. He showed me that I would.

IMG_0241

IMG_6693

1011082_10105154403815283_8422787326310802314_n

When people ask me about Macks, I always tell them that he’s a challenge. And it’s true. Out of all three of my children, he’s been the one that’s given me the biggest run for my money. He did everything the exact opposite of the way that the girls did. He took everything that I thought I knew about motherhood and completely flipped it upside down to show me that it’s never what we expect it to be.

IMG_7454

IMG_9386

FullSizeRender-1

IMG_4082

In these two years, Macks has has shown me a new side of motherhood. He’s shown me a new side of me. The me that is much more willing to take on anything. The me that has the confidence to know that I can take on anything. The me that feels like I can take on the world.

IMG_5384

_MG_0671

morganpansing_2332

morganpansing_3571

IMG_7978

IMG_2116-2

IMG_8583

Happy Birthday, my sweet little boy. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being a challenge. Because if life’s going to give me a challenge, you’re the best kind there is.

Jimeson_2015_094

Comments
Feb 8

Facing My Fears

head-700x651

I suffer from anxiety. I’ve struggled nearly my entire life. It’s not something I’m embarrassed or ashamed to admit. It’s a part of me and as much as I hate it, I have to live with it. I’ve worked on it my entire life and will continue to do so for the rest of my days.

Yesterday I saw the weather reports that called for yet another snow storm this today. They kept upping the snow totals for the day and while I was dreading yet another snow day, I figured it was better for the kids to be home safe with me than at school with all of the snow coming down.

I went to bed knowing I’d probably get the text from the school district early in the morning that school was cancelled for the day. Rather than a text from the district, I got a text from a friend who lives just north of us and said schools were closed for her kids today. But to my surprise, school was still on for us. It wasn’t snowing when we woke up, but I knew it was coming.

Having grown up in Florida where it never snowed and then in NYC where we didn’t have a car and relied on public transportation to get around, it wasn’t until we moved to Connecticut that I had to drive in snow for the first time. Let’s just say I wasn’t a fan. Feeling the car swerve around and me having little to no control, watching other cars veer off of the road because the roads were so slippery, it was an immediate anxiety trigger.

I thought about keeping the kids home from school. Knowing that I’d be able to keep them close to me and we would avoid getting on the snowy roads at all cost. But if the school district and our local officials thought the roads were safe enough to drive on, then they were safe enough to drive on. That’s what I told myself anyway.

It wasn’t until after I dropped both girls off at school and was on my way home that the snow really started to pick up. It was accumulating in the street and no plows were in sight. Everything inside of me just wanted to stay in that parking lot of Avery’s school until it was time for her to go home. Butterflies filled my stomach, my heart raced, and I couldn’t focus on anything but knowing I had to get home in this weather. Macks was with me in the car and he wouldn’t be happy with us staying there for a couple of hours. I had to do it for him.

I drove slowly on the drive home. Both hands on the wheel, my eyes focused on the road ahead. We made it home safely only to get the call an hour later that both girls’ schools were being dismissed early because of the snow. It was intensifying and coming down the hardest it had all morning. So much so that I had to shovel the driveway before I left to get them.

As I prepared to go get the girls, I just kept telling myself it was going to be fine. My car was made the drive in this kind of weather. I knew to turn on my all wheel drive, drive slow, focus on the road. If I did all of those things, we would all be fine. But anyone who’s ever suffered from anxiety knows, while you try so hard to focus on the good, the negative still sticks his head out as much as he can so he can get the final say.

If I continued to focus on what I was scared of most, the girls wouldn’t be picked up from school and the snow would only get worse. I had no choice, but to suck it up and do it. And so I did. I might have been going only 10 mph the entire way, but I made it.  I faced my fears.

This might not seem like a big deal to many of you, but to me this was a huge leap. As someone who lets her fears consume many of the decisions in my life, I finally shot it all down. I took control. I beat it.

There will be many more “snowy drives” in my life. And sometimes even several times a day. But knowing that I am capable of taking control of my emotions and my actions, I will get through it. I take it day by day. But I’ll get through it. No matter what.

Comments
Feb 5

I Am Enough

MacKay left for New York City just nine weeks after Harlan was born. I dreaded him leaving, but knew that it was best for us if I stayed behind and finished out the final months of the school year. At nine weeks, we had merely dipped our toes into the sea of parenthood. We were still trying to decipher what the cries meant, what schedule worked best, how to juggle our life with a baby. We were still in the midst of chaos. To add to the mayhem, my maternity leave was ending, Harlan was entering daycare and I was about to be a working mom.

When MacKay left, I was a wreck. I felt like my head was barely above water. I’d go to work, pick Harlan up, spend a couple hours with her before putting her to bed, fix her stuff for the next day, eat dinner, and then spend all night up with her (she was the worst sleeper,) only to wake up the next morning to do it all over again. My confidence in myself and my ability to do this all on my own was pretty much non-existent.

When we moved to Manhattan when Harlan was nine months old I believed in myself just a little bit more than I did the previous months. I’d built up the courage to think that I could do this motherhood thing, but I was still terrified at our new life in the city and navigating the concrete jungle with a baby all on my own during the day.

Slowly but surely as I started to get out more and meet new people, I felt more secure. I was doing it. I was breaking down the walls of fear and self-doubt that had been built over the past year. They were crumbling down, bit by bit. New motherhood had nothing on me.

When Avery was born, those walls started to build up again. I was terrified to stay with both girls on my own. Worried that I couldn’t handle a newborn and a toddler by myself. It took time for me to get used to the juggle of both of them needing my attention, but I proved to myself that I could do it. And that I could do it well.

Adding three kids to the mix when Macks was born was pandemonium, but that fear that once lived inside me was so far gone. It was shortly after Macks was born that MacKay had to go out of town for his first business trip. While this normally would have me terrified to have him gone that long to do everything on my own, I wasn’t nervous at all. Without a doubt in my mind, I knew I could do it. And I did.

MacKay just left for a week-long trip yesterday morning. This was the first time in a while that he’s been out of town over a weekend. Weekends are always the toughest because all three kids are home from school and the chaos is more present than ever.

Of course the day after he leaves, we have a major snowstorm hit our area which leaves no school for the kids and me in charge of all of the snow removal in our driveway. I laughed at the irony of the situation. We’ve hardly had any snow all winter and as soon as MacKay leaves, we get much more snow than they were expecting.

But rather than sulk in how unfortunate the situation was, I told myself I was going to make it the best snow day for all of us. And so that’s what we did.

IMG_9850

IMG_9772

The girls put on their best winter attire.

IMG_9773

Hudson jumped around in the snow outside.

IMG_9785

IMG_9792

IMG_9793

IMG_9796

IMG_9799

As soon as the snow stopped, the girls and I went outside to play while Macks took a nap. Their laughter was contagious as they ran around, made snow angels, and just had good old fashioned fun.  IMG_9805

IMG_9809

IMG_9813

IMG_9820

IMG_9826

IMG_9829

IMG_9831

When Macks woke up, he pulled up a chair and watched as the girls played in the backyard with all of the snow.

IMG_9832

IMG_9835

While he wasn’t up for playing in it outside, Harlan and Avery made him a part of the fun.

IMG_9840

IMG_9842

IMG_9844

IMG_9847

IMG_9848

This day will go down as one of the best snow days for us. For the laughter, being care-free, and for the genuine fun.

I’m no supermom, but I am a confident mom. I know my value as a mother. I know that I am doing the very best that I can every single day. I know that I am capable of doing what my kids need me to. I know that I am enough.

Comments
Feb 1

Attached

This little boy was the only one cozy enough to stay inside my belly well past his due date. He’s clung to me since the day he was born and will do so for just a little bit longer.

Comments
Jan 25

Snow Day

Photos from our day of sledding after Jonas gave us the perfect landscape!

Comments