I’ve been a mother for only a month shy of 2 years now. I’m not an expert or even all that experienced on motherhood. But, I am most definitely a member of the club and I learn what it means to be a mother more each day. Even though I lack much life experience, I can say that the confidence I have in myself to be a great mom has skyrocketed since the day I brought Mia home, and that grows more each day as well.
When I think about what it means to be a mother and how to define it, I don’t even know where to start. It’s a word with such a broad interpretation, and that I’m sure has hundreds of different definitions. There’s definitely a universal understanding to what motherhood is all about but the specifics of it are particular and personal to each and every mother, making it nearly impossible to pinpoint a single meaning.
Motherhood can only be defined from the heart where it is felt, experienced and enjoyed. It’s unique to each woman who wears its crown. A mother has countless characteristics and qualities that not only separate her from the next mother, but also relate the two of them together. Our own definition of motherhood is based off of our own individual experiences and comes from a very personal level. It’s pretty cool to be apart of such a hugely shared experience that is so unique and so similar at the same time.
My own definition of motherhood is just starting to form and is constantly changing, evolving and strengthening. It’s important to me to determine my own meaning of motherhood and what kind of mother I want to be so that I can better exemplify it through my words and actions. Why is this important? Being a mother carries with it so much responsibility. My daughter is watching, listening and absorbing all I do, and will do so for years to come. As if us mothers didn’t already feel enough pressure, right?
How I represent motherhood will resonate in my daughter when the day comes where she is a mother, too. I’m modeling one of, if not the, most important roles there is. The example I lead will, in so many ways, carry on into my future grandchildren and their children as well. I’m continuing the work of my mother, her mother, her grandmother and so on. Of course, with each new generation comes new patterns, teachings, lessons, and understandings. But, the solid groundwork that was laid down before me and that I am laying down for Mia will hang on tight for the ride for decades to come. I may not be passing down my last name to my children, but I’m passing down something so priceless, important and lasting that will reach many new family names that I won’t live long enough to know or see. That’s pretty powerful.
The role of a mother isn’t one to be taken lightly, as your family and their future depends on how you establish it. It’s also one that shouldn’t be taken too seriously, as it’s very easy to get caught up with worry, competition and expectations that will only distract you from what’s most important: the needs, happiness and well being of your family.
I can only figure out what motherhood means to me, and will dig deep to uncover the kind of mother I want to be. I am confident in the fact that staying true to my goals, morals and principals will make a lasting impression on my kids and their future as parents. I don’t think motherhood can or should be defined for anyone. It’s something each mother has to define for herself. It’s not anything that defines me, rather, I define it.
“Defined” is the March writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Gillian of Comes in Colours. A few words from Gillian — Hey, I’m Gillian and I blog at Comes in Colours! I am passionate about motherhood and passionate about photography. I am married to my middle school sweetheart and we are now raising our two boys, Roman and Asher, in northern Colorado. My life is real and far from perfect but my blog is a place where I celebrate motherhood through pictures and words. Connect with Gillian on Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin and pop by her blog to say hello.
“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014. My goal for the year: highlight her most recently acquired and/or favorite skill, activity, or milestone, in hopes to document her blossoming personality and mind as well as her physical appearance. ” See my series HERE. Girl’s first coloring book. I’ve given Mia crayons, highlighters and scratch papers to doodle on before. But for about a week now, she has a coloring book. It’s a Dora coloring book that we picked up from Target. Coloring in this new book is her most favorite activity, now. We prop it on top of this little toy box (she could really use a small toddler desk instead) in the living room and we store her crayons in a bag (recently been moved into a plastic container). Who am I kidding, the crayons are scattered across the floor 80% of the week. I guess dumping the box out, putting the crayons back in, dumping them out again, and repeating this process multiple times a day is just as fun as coloring with them. And this, is why half of them are broken in half. They don’t stand a chance against the weight of an almost 2 year old, stomping and dancing on top of them.
Introducing the coloring book to Mia has given us another opportunity to strengthen her color recognition with each day. I always verbally identify the color that I’m using or that she’s using. I say things like, “Dora’s hair is brown. Where’s the color brown?” and “Let’s color the leaves green. What else should be green? The grass is green, too.”
And in the short amount of time that Mia has been coloring with this book, her coloring skills have improved. At first, she’d grab a crayon at random and would basically scribble aimlessly all over the page. Of course, this still happens BUT…I’ve noticed that she chooses appropriate colors more often that match the item she’s coloring. And I can tell that she’s actually trying to color in the lines like Mommy and Daddy do. She’s not successful, but still, she’s focusing more on her hand movements and making more conscious decisions about how and what she’s coloring, strengthening her hand-eye coordination.
This book is just about full already. Daddy Dom and I have decided to keep this book permanently. I’m thinking (and this is merely an idea for now) that every year I’ll save one coloring book, take a few pages from them, scan them and turn them into an “art book” where I label each year and age so we can see just much her skills improve over the years. If you have other ideas on how to keep, save or display your kid’s coloring, please share!
And just for fun, this is the portrait from last year’s week 10 in 2013. I do not remember this photo. I do, however, enjoy seeing how my photography skills have improved over the year. Though the photo below is taken with my phone (I think).
Like last year, each of my weekly posts will include the following list of my favorite few portraits from the week prior at Practising Simplicity’s linkup. You can check out the rest of the entries from week 9 here.
- Little Red Vikings: I’m very drawn to real moments in the everyday life. The absence of color brings the focus of each to their simplicity and emotion.
- Good Day Little Sunshine: I always love a photo of a smiling little lovely, held up high above by their smiling parent.
- The Beetle Shack: Amazing sibling sandwich! How beautiful, soft, warm and fuzzy is this sweet embrace! Oh, so much love.
- A Piece of Sweet Moment: The first photo! I mean, those eyes and that expression. My daughter loves helping in the kitchen, too.
- Yellow Finch: The angles, the lighting, the different perspectives in each photo are so perfect. Simple, solitary moments captured so well.
Happy Free Friday, folks! And a happy birthday to me! I’m celebrating by baking my favorite cupcakes…red wine cupcakes! I’ll be sharing the recipe soon so stay tuned. You don’t want to miss this one. Seriously, they’re raved about and may even have their own fan club. And I know, super mellow with the birthday plans, right? Birthdays don’t seem like such a big deal after you have a kid (or maybe it’s after you turn 30? Eh, that’s probably it).
When Mia woke up, I went in her room and told her that it’s Mommy’s birthday today. She responded with an excited, “Happy!!!” Seriously? How the heck did she know to say that? I think Grandma sings the birthday song to her occasionally. I certainly didn’t teach her that. This was a sweet little surprise to hear. Definitely put a smile on my face.
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”We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” ~Stacia Tauscher
And that someone that my daughter is today is a vivacious, strong willed, humorous, beautiful little person. Her tenacious spirit is what directs her through most of her days but it’s her affectionate heart that slows her down enough to appreciate the beauty that is all around. And, slows her down enough to give her Mama and Dada kisses and hugs by the dozen each day. It better stay that way, kid. It better stay that way.
This headstrong spirit of yours, Mia, is what guided you and me through the grounds of Descanso Gardens on the day you turned 22 months old. It was a “this is your world and I’m just living in it” kind of day where I followed your every whim, exploring nature’s sights and sounds. You were the leader of our 2 man pack and I happily followed you down any path you chose and stopped whenever you saw something that interested you. What didn’t interest you, was allowing Mama to get a picture of your face! What a stinker. Instead, I captured what was mostly my view for the hour we were there. That is, your backside. And a cute one it is. You thoroughly enjoyed leading Mama around and you even escaped a few times in fits of laughter for spontaneous spurts of “chase.” Basically, you thought it was a hoot to run away from me and dodge my attempts to grab a hold of you.
What a beautiful day it was for some greenery, fresh air, flowers and being with this sweet little girl. As a parent, I get it when they say that for us the days are long and the years are short. The months are definitely short, too, as yet another one just passed us by. Now here we are, 2 months shy of her 2nd birthday. Let the stressful and exciting birthday planning begin.
Since the last update, nothing major has changed. Mia’s vocabulary continues to rapidly grow. She’s now saying small sentences and using more commands like: “Mama, sit. Dada, sit.” “I got it” or “I got you.” “Come, Roxi!” and “Come, Rancho!” She also commands them to “no bark!”, “eat” and “drop” when they’ve got a toy in their mouth. Her longest sentence so far has been, “I got a hair bow”, while holding it out to give it to me.
She frequently requests pancakes for breakfast, has taken an interest in the movie “Despicable Me”, climbs up our step-stool at every chance she gets to help Mama cook or bake in the kitchen and to help Mama put dirty clothes into the washing machine in the laundry room, colors with crayons like it’s her last day on Earth, dumps out her basket of wood blocks and bag of foam blocks all over the living room floor like a boss, scoots around the hardwood floors on her back like she’s a human mop, chases the dogs around in the house with her toy shopping cart like they owe her money, shuffles around the house wearing Mommy’s and/or Daddy’s shoes like it’s her job, reads and flips through her books like they’re going out of style and I…
…well I love her. I love her more than a fat kid loves cake.
“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014. My goal for the year: highlight her most recently acquired and/or favorite skill, activity, or milestone, in hopes to document her blossoming personality and mind as well as her physical appearance. ” See my series HERE.
I’ve said this before, but how I wish we had our own bath tub! I know I would have accumulated at least a thousand bath photos by now. This portrait comes right out of Grandma & Grandpa’s tub. Daddy Dom was out of town and I was able to stick around a bit longer after work to assist in her bath while snapping a few photos on this particular evening.
Mia loves bath time, which is no surprise given her obsession with water. She doesn’t get a bath often, either. She showers with Daddy Dom 90% of the time (which she enjoys, too). I think she’d dump a bucket of water on herself everyday, multiple times a day, if I let her. Since I don’t (such a mean mom), she nudges me to help her wash her hands a few times a day. Just another way to get her hands wet and to fill up whatever’s in the sink with water.
Mia also has a thing for bowls and cups. Of all the toys she had in the tub (plastic giraffe, 2 dinosaurs, cut-out sponges, polar bear, small whale and frog) she only cycled through 3 items: clear tupperware bowl, green dish and green watering can. She could spend hours just filling up one with water, followed by pouring out its contents into another bowl/dish and then repeating that sequence. Forget the toys, we just need to get her more cups of different sizes and colors. Hey, at least she’s simple.
And just for fun, this is the portrait from last year’s week 7 in 2013.
Like last year, each of my weekly posts will include the following list of my favorite few portraits from the week prior at Practising Simplicity’s linkup. You can check out the rest of the entries from week 8 here.
- Nalle’s House: It looks like these two brothers are having a serious meeting in their office (or, the crib) in the first photo. Too cute.
- Life of TOI: I’m such a sucker for sibling affection. This big sister cuddles up with her infant brother so sweetly.
- The Red Cat Inn: See what I mean? Again with the sibling affection. I mean, the hand holding with these two makes me smile from ear to ear.
- Lamb Loves Fox: Her talent continues to wow me. The first shot on the swing is one I wish to somewhat replicate at some point in my daughter’s life.
Happy Free Friday, folks! It is down pouring with a side of strong winds here in southern California this morning and is supposed to last until tomorrow. Thank you, rain Gods! We desperately need this rain. It’s actually scary how badly we need it. I wish all of you a lovely weekend. No plans for us here, given the weather. I predict cleaning, organizing, more cleaning and hopefully more painting of our living room (white, btw).
To access your free printable (size 8″ x 10″), click on the link below the image. You will be taken to another page where the link will be the main body of the post. Clicking the link again will take you to the print friendly page you’re looking for. Please, my printables are meant for personal use only.
Speaking of dreams. I wonder if my almost 2 year old has them? And if she does, what does she dream about? Our dogs? Her blocks? Bath time? Her bunny? Our chickens? I mean, her world consists of so little, and I’m so curious if and what she sees when her eyes close each night. Such a bummer that until she’s able to communicate them to me, I’ll never know.
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