To the Mom Hurting Now -It’s OK to Cry

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo via website Unsplash

 

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we are all in this together.” – Brene Brown

In this era of social media and photo editing, everyone’s life looks perfect, at least on the surface. We edit what the world sees. No one likes to admit when it’s all crumbling or there is struggle – kids behaving badly, spouses plucking our nerves, the fear which lives alongside regret.

Besides, some of us hop on Facebook and Instagram to forget or reinvent ourselves. The reality we construct online is more palatable than facing who we are, minus the filter.

Several years ago I spoke with a close friend who admitted to wrestling with postpartum depression. She didn’t want anyone to think less of her so she suffered alone. How many of us, I wonder, mask our sadness? Wouldn’t it be powerful if we allowed our pain to serve as a place of connection, not isolation?

As a child, I rarely saw my own mother cry. She appeared to me as a paragon of strength, always holding everything together. Only later, as I grew older, and our relationship matured, did her vulnerability emerge. Our deeper connection, particularly now that I am a Mom, has given me the courage to cry.

It is OK to cry. I remind myself of this often, particularly on those challenging days when I am swimming in anxiety, despair, or frustration.  It is OK to sit within these emotions, ingesting their weight, without wallowing in them or succumbing to self pity.

As Moms – especially  for African-American women – we are taught to embrace a certain toughness. Feminity remains inextricably linked to whiteness. Vulnerability feels like a luxury we cannot afford, but clinging to this “super woman mythology” deeply wounds us, burying our voices.

Years ago the poet Audre Lorde said: “Women of Color in America have grown up within a symphony of anger, at being silenced, at being unchosen, at knowing that when we survive it is in spite of a world that takes for granted our lack of humanness, and which hates our very existence outside its service. And I say symphony rather than cacophony , because we have had to learn to orchestrate those furies so they do not tear us apart.”

And, indeed, so many of us do, suffocated by long-exalted stereotypes and misperceptions.
But Mamas, as you read these words, hold fast to this truth: tears do not weaken us, they liberate us. We release what we can no longer carry. Releasing is an essential part of humanity; we cannot move into new seasons and places of development without it.

Today,  tomorrow, or the next day, if you feel the urge, go ahead and cry. It’s OK. I understand. Not one of us can navigate this parenthood path completely alone.

If we walk together, our sorrows, frustrations, and those moments of joy become the building blocks for a community of Mamas determined to embrace truth and love, not merely for themselves but generations to come.

🔽
Do you cry, or hold back your tears?  

How about sharing your frustrations or fears with other Moms? Does it help when you do? 

3 Easy Toddler Activities For Indoor Play

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Our Nai having fun at Port Discovery Children’s Museum Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

Any Mama with a toddler knows our kiddos need variety! And being stuck in the house during a major blizzard – bye Jonas – doesn’t help. 

But if we’ve learned anything over this past week in my house, it’s creative play to the rescue. 


Here are a few of our favorite snow day / cold weather activities:


Finger Painting  & Water Colors – 
Most kids love to make stuff, and get their hands dirty, right? Break out the finger paints and water colors. 

You can use this activity to teach your kiddo how to identify a variety of colors, complete a project from start to finish, and work on a team! 

Nai painting Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

Sand Play – Think warm thoughts, right?  

Yes. I say this to myself a lot these days (as this is not my fav. season). Nothing brings summer within reach faster than playing with sand. 

A few weeks ago we headed up to Lakeshore Learning and picked up an awesome sensory sand play set for Nai. This moldable soft sand comes with mini castles and tools so kids can build their own village. 

This is such a fun and low-key way to work on those fine motor skills. You can also buy sand in numerous colors at Lakeshore so this hands-on-activity never becomes old! 

Lakeshore Mold & Play Sensory Sand Set Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

Water Play – Grab a small bucket, fill it with water, and let your little one choose which toys should go for a swim! 

You can even add shaving cream in the mix for more of a sensory experience; its another cool way to let kids experiment with touching various textures.  

Nai enjoying water play Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

I hope you all are enjoying your little ones this winter! 

What fun activities do you all do when it’s to cold to head out? 

Cultivating Creativity When You’re a Mom

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

Anyone with small kiddos knows you can barely pee in peace most days, let alone create! Ha! It’s tough. This business of being someone’s Mom and wanting a piece of freedom for yourself. How dare you?

When I think back to my pre-kid life and time management, I just laugh. Some days moments seemed to slip away.  In actuality, I amassed an abundance of hours and minutes.  The key to unlocking them? Recognizing those windows to create.

Now I am a productivity ninja! Pockets of free time become blog posts or photographs (sandwiched in between chores & homeschooling Nai of course). Last Sunday, I won the Mama lottery –  a few hours to myself.  I pushed beyond a desire to curl up in the bed with Netflix, and instead chose a long nature walk and photography.

Breathing in natural beauty transforms us and it’s absolutely essential to self care. When I produce  something – poetry, photography, an essay, blog post or article – there is an overwhelming sense of liberation afterwards.

It’s so easy to lose our identities as Mamas. But rebelling against convention, and making it a priority to create moves us into a broader purpose – beyond ourselves, our kids, and instead, extends these gifts to the world. As much as I love our daughter, I cannot allow parenting to swallow my identity – and neither can you. Seize those sporadic minutes here and there, and make something lovely.

What do you create? How do you make time in your busy life to keep going?

Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

 

Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau
Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau
Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

 

Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau
Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau