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Archive for the ‘motherhood’ Category

Have you ever had someone say something to you that made your day? Maybe it was a compliment about your style, how you made them feel, or a job well done? What’s the nicest thing someone has ever said to you?

It used to be that compliments about my work made me feel best. When someone praises a photo I took, or tells me a story I wrote moved them to some emotion… Happiness, tears, action. I feel so grateful and appreciated.– Validated if you will.

As I’ve grown older, gotten married, and become a mother, compliments about my children feel like compliments to myself. Hey, I’ll take it. But lately, compliments about my mothering seem to be what brighten my day the most.

When we were on day two Disney World (are you tired of these stories yet?) Lil’ J had basically been scared of most of the rides. We canceled a fastpass for the popular new Mine Train roller coaster after the Peter Pan ride scared her to tears. (To her credit, she was fine until the ride stopped midway through and an announcement came on for us to stay in our seats. She wasn’t fooled, and thought we were trapped).

The best compliment every mom needs. Words every mother should make time to share with another.

We were at Epcot and I had another fastpass for the popular Soarin attraction, that takes you on a sensory ride with wind in your hair, and smells of the scenes around you. I didn’t want to force her on any scary rides, but I knew this would be something she’d enjoy if she gave it a try.

We waited in the fastpass line and were immediately brought up to get on with the next batch of riders since we were only a party of two.

I had a few moments to tell her we’d be pretend flying in the air like they did in the movie Rio.

“On a hang glider?” she asked me.
“Exactly like that!” I told her. “A pretend one!”

When we sat down in our seats she started to get a little nervous while I tried to adjust her seatbelt, and everyone was getting situated. I talked her through it, telling her to look at the big screen, and that we’d be watching a movie on it, and that she could hold my hand.

As the ride started and we began to lift up in the air she squeezed my hand, and I squeezed back, telling her how much fun we were about to have, and that she could look at me instead of the screen if she got scared. I told her we were about to pretend to be like birds and fly!

The screen lit up and we began flying over mountains, trees, the ocean and snow. I whispered to her the entire time. I stayed completely enthused and joyful, making her laugh as we tried to “kick” the surfers and snowboarders. I asked her if she could smell the California oranges and the pine trees. And I encouraged her to look for her Uncle Matt on the ski slopes, or Grandma’s house in what looked like Utah.

I watched her nearly as much as I watched the ride and saw her face change from nervousness to sheer glee.

She was having so much fun and started pointing out everything she saw. I was so proud of her conquering her fears. Right at the very end she saw Tinkerbell and got excited. Then that little fairy cued the fireworks–which we weren’t expecting–and the loud noise and sparks in our face sent her back into tears.

We were so close!

I tried to calm her down and reminded her of all the fun things we saw, and that we love fireworks, but man, we wish we had known those were coming! I was hoping that last tiny little surprise wouldn’t ruin her entire memory of the ride.

I was hugging her and consoling her as we walked out the exit. The older woman who was sitting next to us on the ride approached me. I wasn’t sure if she was going to make a remark about my talking during the experience or what. I didn’t expect what came out of her mouth.

“I just wanted to tell you that you are a great mother!” She smiled and glanced between me and my daughter.

Her words instantly touched me, warmed my heart. She continued.

“You were so great on that ride. She is so lucky to have such a good mom.”

Here I was feeling guilty for not making it through yet another ride without tears, feeling like I was probably being judged for bringing her (almost pushing her) on the ride with me, and this stranger (without a hint of sarcasm) went out of her way to give me the best compliment a mother can receive.

The best compliment every mom needs. Words every mother should make time to share with another.

I’ve thought about that moment several times since then. How it made me feel, and how it makes me want to be. When have I noticed a mother doing her best, maybe even clearly struggling to do so, and reached out to her with words of encouragement, or applause?

In a society with so much negativity and judgement, we need to offer more support and encouragement.

How can I make someone’s day? And I don’t mean by offering a backhanded acknowledgement of some sort like “my, you have your hands full!” I mean a genuine compliment on a stranger’s parenting.

Of course we are never seeing the full-picture in passing, but I think it would be safe to tell a mom she’s doing a great job, when we see a job well done. Especially if it can make her feel as good as I did, when I was feeling as bad as I was.

 

*This post was written as a part of a the #SisterhoodUnited campaign by Similac. Here’s my thoughts on mother’s supporting one another no matter how they feed their babies. All opinions are my own.

Many years ago I often wondered if parents were just being nice when they said they couldn’t choose a favorite child, or when said they loved them each for different reasons. Yea yea, you’re just trying to be politically correct, I’d think. But really, tell me who you like best, I promise I won’t tell anyone.

Now that I have two kids of my own I have something to say about picking a favorite. Actually, I regularly find myself choosing one over the other. And I wouldn’t be surprised if most other parents do this too.

It goes something like this:

He says: Oh you’re going to the store after the gym? Do you mind grabbing me some cereal and protein powder?

She says: Sure, but I’m not bringing both of the kids.

He says: Ok, which one do you want?

Choosing one kid over the other. Parents won't admit it, but we all do it from time to time.I stop and think. What kind of shopping experience am I feeling up to today? Going out with just one child significantly reduces the time it takes, as well as my blood pressure during the duration of the trip.

So, am I feeling up to a quiet trip, possibly entailing a little bit of whining (which would just ensure I don’t take to long down the aisles), but definitely a mental break? If yes, I’ll take my son. The challenging thing about taking him is he doesn’t always want to stay put in the shopping cart.

If I let him down, at any moment he’s guaranteed to make a beeline for daylight or the nearest fragile item within reach. The key is keeping some snacks and portable toys on hand to entertain him while I finish my shopping.

I most definitely will have a time limit, probably not to exceed 20 minutes. I’ll have to be swift and precise, but I’ll have nothing but my thoughts to listen to. And that silence is golden.

If I choose my daughter, I’m in for a good time with some guaranteed amusing conversations and about 3-thousand questions.—Questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. I’ll have to use more brain power than I prefer to for a leisure shopping trip, and hold a somewhat challenging conversation all while making sure I don’t forget the reason I came to the store in the first place.

I won’t have to worry about chasing her around the store, however I’ll deal with constant negotiations for things she wants.

The trip will most likely be prolonged with requests to play with displays and try samples, but I can take as much time as I need. Physically I won’t be worn out, but by the time we check out I’ll be mentally exhausted.

It’s a pick your poison kind of situation, and most of the time, either one will be significantly easier than both. When it comes to choosing one over the other? It all depends on what kind of mood I’m in, how tired I’m feeling, and if I’m wearing my running shoes.

Do you prefer to take one kid over another shopping with you? At what point is it easier to bring everyone?

I didn’t know it at the time, but the moment I became a mother the world as I knew it was forever changed. The smell and weight of this tiny human in my arms made me feel like a new person with so much responsibility. I felt so happy. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her.

With my son the story was much the same. I was so excited to meet the little guy and just as quickly as he came into the picture, it felt as though he had always been a part of our lives. We had no idea he was a boy, and the huge grin on my husband’s face at the realization made the moment even more special.

They were definitely two of the best days of my life.

Fast-forward three and a half years, and the day I became a mom is a pinnacle of my life. I love the tiny people they are becoming, and feel so blessed to be their mom.

When it comes to keepsake home videos I’m in charge of making them happen for our family. In the past I’ve made some for my husband with our daughter, but I want to be sure to be in some as well.

I recorded some moments with my kids, and gave Lil’ J a little Mother’s Day interview about her mommy. Big T can’t answer the questions just yet but I didn’t want him to be left out. One of my favorite things about him is his little raspy laugh. He’s had it since he was a newborn and I can’t get enough of it. So he’s on here just doing what he does best… Being cute.  Here’s our video:

If you want to make something similar for Mother’s Day, or any other day for that matter… Here are some fun interview questions for kids:

11 interview questions to ask your kids about you. Perfect for Mother's Day or other times of the year where you want to see what they really think of you. Number 6 could get some really cute responses.

1. Describe your mom.
2. What do you love most about your mommy?
3. What is your mommy’s favorite thing to do?
4. What’s your favorite thing to do with mommy? Why?
5. What does mommy like to play with you?
6. What does mommy do that’s silly?
7. When you’re scared or sad, what does mommy do to cheer you up?
8. If you could go anywhere with mommy, where would you want to go?
9. What do you do that makes mommy laugh?
10. What does mommy do to show you she loves you?
11. Why do you love mommy?

And going a step further, I thought it would be awesome to ask my own mom questions about Motherhood and document it in my journal.

Here’s a list of 20 questions to ask YOUR mom about motherhood:

20 questions to ask YOUR mom. An awesome questionnaire to document family history or put in your journal. Number 11 would get some really interesting answers from my mom.

20 questions to ask YOUR mom. An awesome questionnaire to document family history or put in your journal. Number 11 would get some really interesting answers from my mom.I made a printable you can take and add to your journal. You can download it here.

What did you think of Lil’ J’s answers? I’m a little disappointed she only loves me to the moon (right before I started the camera she held up her fingers about two inches apart to demonstrate how much she loves me, but then outstretched her arms as far as she could to show how much I love her), but what can ya know… Kids say the darndest things.

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If you’re still shopping for Mother’s Day ideas check out my eBay collection boards. I selected a variety of gift ideas, including some fun techie and journal ones that can help you make family keepsakes. Also, you can’t go wrong getting her one of these.

This was number 19 of the installment of 30 Things my kids should know about me.

Follow the link to play along and link up.

Every time I sit down at my desk to work the bright gold-foiled word “HUSTLE” framed to my left urges me to get to work. I’ve always pushed myself to work hard, and incidentally, that usually means through the night.

I used to stay up late working on my resume or portfolio while plotting my next internship. These days I’m staying up late sewing clothes for my children or editing a home video for fun.

new-dress-by-mom

(1 of 2 dresses I stayed up late sewing this week I shared the other here)

In college I was on top of my game. I won more than a dozen awards for my storytelling, and scholarships for my dedication. My dream was to become a prime-time anchor in my hometown of Atlanta, GA, or to get hired as a CNN correspondent… Whichever came first.

At 21 I was the youngest news anchor in Austin, TX. I was off to a great start and only had plans to rise quickly from there. I’m not saying this to boast—Far from it actually. Because my lofty goals completely switched gears shortly after settling into my new gig and becoming a mother.

A few years later not much had changed with my career. I hadn’t won any more awards, and younger talent continued to move into town. I felt like my resume was a reflection of my glory days, and I was so far away from this now. I’m tempted to say I’ve gone backwards. I’ve wasted six perfectly good years that I could have used to continue to climb the ladder towards my ultimate dream. Part of me feels like I’m letting so many people down—People who invested in me, encouraging me to go for it. Not many people know what they want to be when they grow up as early as 7. I did.

hanging on to mommyAm I taking a break from it all to raise a family? Or have my dreams completely changed? I used to get excited about things like scooping all the other stations with an exclusive interview with the district superintendent. Now I am thrilled when my baby waves goodbye, and by the fact that my daughter just drew a picture of people and for the first time it actually resembles people.

“LOOK AT THIS!” I declared to my husband, shaking the crayoned paper in his face “She drew eyes and hair and everything!”

I recently listened to a Motivational Monday vlog from a woman who urged us to stop being competitive. I’m an extremely competitive person, so touched me. The woman said if you must compete, compete against yourself. Be better than you were yesterday, and strive to be that person you dream to be 10 years from now.

Instead of looking at other friends I graduated with in high school or college doing things I see as bigger or better than what I’m doing, I’m beginning to look at myself and ask how I can become the woman I want to be. How can I push myself to be better?

Then, looking deeper into my dreams and aspirations—It wasn’t the lights and cameras that had me excited about being a newscaster. It’s always been the ability to tell stories that’s charmed me. That’s what I love about my career, what I’m still doing, and what I hope to continue to do.

mommy-and-me

I love meeting new people and asking questions (that’s where my daughter gets it from!) I love taking their stories and sharing them with the world. I love helping my community with the stories I tell. Even if the story isn’t Emmy-award-winning, each and every one has a special place in my heart.

I was born to be a storyteller. Born to journal as much of this world as I can, from my perspective. I was born to leave a mark in history for countless people I meet, and for my own family. I never thought I’d say this, but I think I was born to be a mother.

My dreams haven’t been put on hold; they’ve evolved.

Right now I am living (in the words of Rapunzel) my new dream. I’m doing what I was born to do. And I’m doing it with kids, which might I say, makes hustling 10Xs harder, and 20Xs more worthwhile.

What were you were born to do? Have your dreams evolved through the years?

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I’ve created eBay collections with some of the items I love to use for memory-keeping, and storytelling. Each collection featuring hashtag #ImBornTo created now until the end of the month will raise $1 for the March of Dimes. As of writing this post they’ve only raised just over $5,000 so far. We can do better!

If doing something good isn’t motivation enough, you’ll also be entered to win a $5,000 shopping spree. It’s easy to create a collection, I’d be happy to help if you have questions. Check all of mine out here. Once you make one share the link with me in the comments.

If my some miracle I have the most blog comments with eBay collection links I’ll win $500. If I win I’ll give $100 of my cash winnings to one my readers who comments with their collection link. Isn’t that nice? Now step to it!

*This contest is sponsored in collaboration with eBay.

These are five accomplishments I’m most proud of.

But first, let me just say I’m happy to be more than halfway through this series now. Adding in the digital scrapbooking element has really made it a challenge to complete, but a fun one. Erica finished designing the last of the graphics for the final week of this series. You can download here to decorate. They look like this:

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I want to give her a big HUGE thank you for working these up and inspiring me to do something more with these prompts. It’ll really be a work of art I’m proud of once I get this all printed out.

Here’s the one I designed for Day 16.

Graduating college was a huge deal. My parents drilled in my tiny little head that I would go to college, so there was never a thought that I wouldn’t. I did, and I graduated, and I was the first in my family to do so.

I paid for all of my college tuition, books, room and board, (and then some) with scholarships. It was a lot of hard work applying, but it paid off (literally). One was the prestigious Ed Bradley broadcasting award.

I obtained a job doing what I love and literally, changing lives. One of my segments highlights foster children looking for families. Most of the children I meet and do stories on get adopted. Every time I hear about one of “my kids” getting adopted I am overjoyed.

I created a blog and taught myself more skills than I can count. From social media, to photography, to crafty DIYs I could share. I essentially created a business, and cultivated another calling.

I birthed, and am raising two of the most beautiful children. I already consider this an accomplishment, but once they’ve grown up, and I can see that they’re still just as beautiful on the inside and out, I’ll have achieved the greatest accomplishment I could hope for.

This was Day 16 of the installment of 30 Things my kids should know about me.

Follow the link to play along and link up.

I’m constantly embarrassing myself so it was only a little challenging thinking of what to share in my journal for my kids. These two definitely take the cake though.

The email I accidentally sent to my new boss was sent to my internship coordinator right after I found out I got the job. I was horrified. Luckily, he was a really nice guy and laughed it off.

During my first pregnancy I went to work wearing two totally different shoes. I blogged about it here.

Today’s pages for my book aren’t too exciting but you win some, you lose some. I’m LOVING reading and seeing your posts. I’ve been trying to visit everyone’s blog and comment (turn off capatcha!!).

Don’t forget to link up on this post if you’re playing along. There you’ll also find the graphics to use in Photoshop or another editing program to design pages for a printable book. Erica just finished up and sent me the week 3 designs. There’s a preview below, and you can download them here.


This was Day 10 of the installment of 30 Things my kids should know about me.

I imagine “mother” must be on the top of almost everyone’s list. That’s made me think a lot this mother’s day about how I can do my best at being a good influence and role model for my son and daughter.

I actually came up with well more than 10 people so I tried to squeeze some together in groups, and I still came up with 11. Some of these people probably don’t even realize they had such an influence on me.

So in no particular order…

This was Day 9 of the installment of 30 Things my kids should know about me.

This page is probably my favorite so far. I really liked the look of chalkboard scrapbook pages so I ran with it, downloading some new brushes and fonts. I thought pictures were taking up tons of space on my computer but soon, they’re gonna be fighting scrapbook embellishments over gigabytes.

This was Day 8 of the installment of 30 Things my kids should know about me.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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