When I was 19 years old I wasn’t sure if I cared about anyone.
Deep down, of course I did.
Yet, watching my parents marriage conclude. Seeing my childhood home get sold. Regularly assuming that I could possibly find my alcoholic Mom dead in the house any day now.
Unsure what I was meant to do in this world.
Just found out my college boyfriend was breaking up with me cause I noticed he had spent the evening untagging every Facebook photo of us. Sick communication skills dude.
My Sister Anastasia in Spain studying abroad before the times of skype.
*Look at me playing my tiny violin*
Armed with an impulsive wild spirit and a typical teenage lack of emotional regulation. I looked out at the world.
I decided everyone sucked. I decided to become a victim to my circumstance.
I didn’t have to make brave decisions.
I just could make fun ones. Having fun. Socializing. Dancing. Drinking. Searching for those easy endorphins. That way you can continue to fuel the lie that you are telling yourself that you are okay at this particular point in time.
Why sit with hard moments, when you can be off on your parade of proving to everyone that you are happy.
The good news is that life is ever changing. At any moment you can jump on board with bettering yourself. It’s completely up to you.
Sometimes all it takes is time and 587 bad decisions. I’m a “hands on learner.” Don’t judge me.
Just remember, deal with your shit or your shit deals with you.
Luckily, I did deal. I did learn. I did grow.
I now believe I make a lot of great choices every day.
I get to look back at that unrecognizable girl, smile and laugh.
That brings me to the issue at hand. I had help becoming brave. The woman who stands before you today is product of me falling in love with my husband and children. I’m better everyday because they deserve the best version of me.
I met a man. He became the steady to my chaos. He told me he wouldn’t ever leave and I believe him.
Up until this point I had assumed everyone was full of shit. But I believed him
That changed the game.
Two more baby men showed up and one very strange dog.
I became the president of the feminist frat house.
Most importantly, I became Mom brave.
Long gone were the days of me overthinking what decision I should make. Where I should be. How to support others. Would I even show up? How to stay and sit with someone when it’s hard and there is nothing to say. How to feel all the pain of your broken family and not avoid it.
Growing up I tried to avoid the pain. But as a Mom I learned to quickly rush toward the pain, Glennon Doyle style.
I quickly got Mom brave.
What is Mom brave?
Mom brave is the crazy deep love you feel inside for your small humans. This love fuels the bravery to do anything in order to try and better your kids’ lives and keep them safe.
I will lay awake in your hospital room while you finally sleep after 24 hours of being awake because you have croup. Pretty sure I have a buzz from the gas mask stuff they were giving you.
I will stay on hold with any amount of doctors to get where we need to go. I am your biggest advocate while you don’t have a voice for yourself.
I will sleep with a toy shark digging into my back as I don’t dare move because you are finally asleep in my arms.
I will reach out to people who hold information valuable to our family. Medical support groups. Books to become knowledgeable on a subject. I will ask for help if it will better our family’s lives.
I will attend community events even if they are kind of boring in order to get current information involving my kids’ lives.
I will wear spanx and try not to judge myself so hard.
I will remove people from my life who would not be a good influence on you. Building a community of support.
I will read to you every night that it is possible.
I will not allow you to disrespect me. I will discipline you even when it’s hard. You will tell me I’m mean and I won’t flinch. I’m teaching you how to be a person. How to treat other human beings. That starts in our home.
I will drive around for hours drinking coffee if it’s the only way you will sleep.
I will know everyone at the grocery store by first name because we go there so much.
I will sit by your side. Wherever you need me. Outside a CT scan machine. In a pediatrician’s office overflowing with sick kids. On a bus with vomit down the entire front side of me from you.
I will be the ultimate support system to you in times of crisis.
Crisis comes from a Greek word meaning “to sift.” So in times of crisis you quickly sort out what’s important and what is frivolous in life.
Medical, emotional, or whatever comes our way.
I will be there and never think twice about it. Mostly because I have to be the one telling you..
“I see your fear and it’s big. But I also see your courage and it’s bigger.”
Some call it maternal instinct. I call it my Mom bravery. Either way, I’ll be there.