The Women I Work With Are Warriors of Love: They Are Teachers and They Are Mothers

The women I work with are warriors of love.

The women I work with are teachers.

And they are also mothers.

 

By the time I see them enter school around 8am, most of them have already clocked in at least 3 hours of “work” at home. 

 

They’ve fed the babies, they’ve cooked the breakfasts, they’ve packed the lunches.

They’ve dressed the children and then brought them to where they need to be for the day. 

They’ve somehow managed to get themselves ready along the way.

 

They didn’t sleep at night, because, well… motherhood.  They were up answering the cries for mom in the wee hours of the night or were tossing and turning either planning for or worrying about a laundry list of items pertaining to their kids. 

 

And still, when the women I work with come into school, they continue to sprinkle morsels of kindness and patience over every other child they interact with. 

 

Sure, their job is to educate, and of course that is what they do – but, in the hours of a school day, they do so much more. 

 

They listen to children’s stories that seemingly never end with open ears, answer questions that have already been answered with open minds, and facilitate learning with tender precision. 

 

They take care of children’s boo-boos with bandages and walks down the hall for water, their shaken egos with life lessons and inspirational stories, and their broken hearts with quality time and understanding.

 

They notice and care about the little details within the personalities, behaviors, and lives of each and every one of the children they work with so they can help them to learn in a way that makes sense for them and socialize in a way that feels comfortable for them.

 

They plan with special thought and care, they lead with diligence and meaningfulness, and they communicate with compassion all day long. 

 

The women I work with do this while simultaneously still keeping their own children in the forefront of their minds. 

 

They do this while thinking about all the things relating to them—what they are doing, who they are with, how they are feeling, what they are eating, what they need to do later in the day—all the things.

 

They do this and then return home to care for those children. They take them to their activities, they feed them dinner, they give them baths and read them bedtime stories—but most importantly, they become a soft place for their little babies (even those that are not so little anymore) to fall.

 

They listen to the stories of their children’s days.

They ask them who they sat with at lunch.

They problem solve the things that may be bothering them.

They comfort them when something is upsetting them.

They hold them as often as possible, tell them they love them over and over, and consciously try to stop amidst the chaos and enjoy every single moment they have together.

 

I see the women I work with come and go from work on leaves after having a baby, caring for a child or a family member, or grieving a terrible loss. I see the women I work with come and go from work each day carrying the invisible, emotional load from home and from work on their shoulders 24/7 – a “load” that holds the hearts of all the little (and big) people in their lives that they care for day in and day out. 

 

I feel the women I work with come together to support one another in all of the ups and downs with hugs, prayers, and support in such an astounding way. They are all so busy constantly taking care of children that they often forget to take care of themselves; yet still, they never fail to be there for one another. 

 

When I think of all that the women I work with accomplish in a day’s time – all of the physical and mental checks off of a never-ending list—I am truly amazed.  But, within the four walls of our building, I see this truth: next to every strong woman is a group of other strong women holding her hand and encouraging her along the way.

 

The women I work with make the world go round… one child and one mother at a time. 

 

The women I work with are superheroes.  They are peacekeepers.  They are enlighteners, they are listeners, they are supporters, and they are inspirers. 

 

The women I work with are warriors of love…and of all things good. 

 

The women I work with are teachers and they are mothers.

 

 And I am grateful to know them.

 

 

Dear Daughter: I Pray You Always See the Beauty in Your Reflection

Dear Daughter: I Pray You Always See the Beauty in Your Reflection

Tonight, my three year old daughter wore her Elsa AND Anna dresses with her way too big, dress-up, pink high heel shoes on the wrong feet, three beaded necklaces, seven fancy hair ties worn as bracelets that made their way half way up her right arm, and a super sparkly purse perfectly placed over her shoulder.

She commanded, “ALEXA, PLAY FROZEN!” and when her trusty friend obeyed, she went near her and whispered, “Good girl, Alexa. Let’s dance.”

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I Am a Millennial Mom and I Call Bullshit on This Shame Game

I Am a Millennial Mom and I Call Bullshit on This Shame Game

I am a 32-year-old middle-class, millennial mother of two and I call bullshit on this “millennial shame-game.”

According to many articles and memes that have recently inundated my newsfeed, there is an entire cohort of entitled, unmanageable, lazy, and narcissistic young people scuffing up the shiny gold standard of those who walked this Earth before them.  And, apparently, I am one of them. 

Now, I am not a politician, an economist, an analyst, or a sociologist studying the trends of generations.  But, I am just like so many of you.  I am a smart, well-educated, hard-working woman and a mother who loves her children more than anything else on this planet.  And so, as I look back on my journey to where I am now and consider what I do every single day presently, I can honestly say that I would like to confidently and as politely as possible tell anyone who called me any of the adjectives listed above to please knock it off.

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GUEST POST: A MESSAGE ON MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH Written by Allison Curci Werner

GUEST POST: A MESSAGE ON MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH Written by Allison Curci Werner

When you look at that photo, you see a bad ass mom breastfeeding her baby like it's no big deal. I know better. That woman is me, and that woman is barely hanging on. 

I originally planned to share this photo during National Breastfeeding Week, a cause I want to believe in. Instead, I know I need to send a much more important message: Maternal Mental Health. 

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A Story of A Vanishing Twin

A Story of A Vanishing Twin

“So… this was a twin pregnancy?” she finally said with a twinge of sentiment.

I’m not even sure how I responded, but I think I said something along the lines of “What?”

No longer cool, I was suddenly freezing, stuck in a moment of a million thoughts as my mind tried to make sense of her question to me.

In a half-empathetic tone, she told me it looked like there were twins and I lost one of them.

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To My Baby On the Day of His First Steps

To My Baby On the Day of His First Steps

You've taken your first steps. Your first steps all on your own! As your mother, I will always remember this milestone in your life. I will write it down in a little book and tell your grandparents with pride: "He did it! He is walking all on his own!"

But you don't know any of this right now. Sure, you recognize the joy on my face and in my voice and we exchange great, big smiles; but, what you don't know yet is that this new skill of yours will take you to places you cannot even comprehend in that sweet little head of yours. 

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While They're Sleeping...

While They're Sleeping...

When they’re sleeping, nothing else matters but the sound of them breathing...softly and ever-so-sweetly. 

When they’re sleeping, we choose to forget the trials of the day, forgive ourselves for the things we could have done better, and try to let our stresses go.

When they’re sleeping, we get down on our knees and thank God for choosing us to be their mamas. 

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18 Lessons From My Dad (That We All Can Learn From)

18 Lessons From My Dad (That We All Can Learn From)

1.     If you ever have a gut feeling that something is wrong with a person you are with or a situation you are in, trust it the first time. I have a very close friend that my dad adores greatly.  One day years ago I started to tell him about a particularly terrible situation of betrayal that she was in.  I started with, “She had a feeling…” and he cut me off there.  He said, “Honey, if you ever feel like something is not right, you need to trust that feeling the first time you’re aware of it and do something about it immediately.  Don’t wait around for things to get worse…because they will.”  It was a reminder that my own intuition is like a built-in compass that will always point me to my “North” if I am paying attention.

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May His Heart Always Spread and Receive Love

May His Heart Always Spread and Receive Love

May his hair always blow in the wind and his wavy wisps always point him in the right direction. 

May his head always be a sponge for new knowledge, perspective, and ideas piqued by his own interests and curiosity. 

May his eyes always lock with others who love the soul behind his piercing hazel hue, and may they always see the beauty in what surrounds him. 

May his ears always receive messages of peace and endearment, and may they always remain open to listen to the words, woes, ways, and will of others. 

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Dear Mom, I Still Need You

Dear Mom, I Still Need You

It is our beautiful relationship, my connection with you now, as an adult, that also gives me hope. I know now that if I do what you did, if I love my children with all of my heart, there is a pretty good chance that when they’re adults, they will still need me, too . . . the way I need you.

It will be a different kind of “need” than the kind it is now, but it will be an important, bittersweet, and beautiful kind of need, for certain.


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