See the woman walking
light as air–
her wings filling up with the wind,
canvas shopping-bag sails dancing in the sun.
An easy, breezy escape
for 10 minutes,
popping over to the corner gas station
to pick up lemonade ice-tea
for her temporarily bed-bound husband
who had this special request.
She walks along in the sun
smelling the city scent of spice and cement,
free enough to notice such things
without the usual tangled parade of double stroller,
the baby in snuggly
and other kids marching two by two.
She wonders what the chances are
that she’ll get to capture
the poetry of this ordinary moment
when she arrives home
to 80,000 questions
like “Why is blood red?
What is the sun made of?
What do we do before we are born?”
and “Can I have a ‘peeburrer samich’ nooooooow?”
An obnoxious car cuts her off to turn through the crosswalk on her light
–keeping it real–
lest in her pondering she float off into the brilliant blue sky
to alight on the snow-covered mountain tops that beckon in the distance
to this winged creature:
a woman alone for a walk.
So many times
life in a large family
is like swimming in the ocean
tossed about by salty waves,
trying to catch your breath between tantrums.
Then there are those moments of glory
when your kids are all getting along
and the baby is sleeping while your eldest girls
do a duet on their ukuleles.
That moment is one of perfect rest,
like you’ve climbed upon a wooden raft,
the waveworn wood smooth against your skin,
the sun’s warm weight on your back.
At that moment you question nothing.
Self-doubt sinks below the waves
and you float there
trusting for that moment
that everything is grace.
Which mystery is greater?
That the eternal, ineffable God,
the uncreated source of all being,
created us and gave us the gift of life,
or that he chose to become small enough to fit
on a woman’s lap
in order to come share our life?
Oh, Woman, what a great mystery you are,
sharing in the work of God!
Beautiful pink rose
with a sweet Heavenly scent–
as I cannot kiss your face
I’ll kiss it instead
and you’re working round the clock
like a donkey round the threshing mill–
sacrifice in each step.
Working like your dad,
but long hours away instead of long weeks at camp.
we celebrate our eldest daughter’s 12th birthday–
a dozen years of parenthood–
building a life together bit by bit.
I think of the early days of motherhood,
pregnancy and giving birth for the first time,
and those inexpressibly precious baby snuggles.
Remembering I rejoice
and celebrate having made it thus far.
The day, says my classy and clever friend Laura,
calls for champagne.
And although it takes two,
often moms get all the credit
for building their children’s bodies,
knitting them together in their wombs.
But I think of you, honey
working away in the office each day
so I can order in groceries–
paying for each apple, cake and curry I prepare.
And I realize our children’s cells
are built upon your sacrifice.
They are nourished by your love,
strengthened by your resolve,
encouraged by your perseverance
to believe that anything is possible.
So thank you…for working so hard
so I can be with our little ones
and celebrate with them
all the mess and glory
of being alive.
Today my new nursing chemise arrived from Cake Maternity. I was so excited to try it but I thought I’d wait for a special occasion and put on my regular bedtime attire…and old t-shirt and plaid pyjama pants.
This outfit lasted less than an hour as Miss Baby decided to decorate it with a rather generous helping of milk. This may not have been been the special occasion I was hoping for, being far too frequent to be deemed special in any way, but it was reason enough to change, so I decided to try my new nightie on.
I carefully snipped the Cake Maternity label off and put in on my bathroom shelf. I liked the motto: Love The Body You’re In. It was symbolic for me as a mom…love the body you’re in now, as it is, with all its changes, and similarly, love the life you’re in, now, as it is…embrace it and appreciate it…this time with tiny people running about and a chubby baby smiling on my hip or snuggling into my neck with her fuzzy peach head.
This also means embracing and appreciating myself. Not waiting for later to wear the smooth, comfortable chemise that had arrived wrapped so prettily in tissue paper as if it was a gift from a friend earlier that day. Saying, today is special enough, because everyone deserves to be treated with gentleness and love every day, even me, a mom…and perhaps, for mothers, who dedicate their lives to making others feel special, it is even more important that we fill our well and do things that make us feel special also...that we love the body that we are in…that we honour it as a place of generous creativity, a place of love and of life.
Yes, this is all a fancy way of saying that we moms deserve pretty pjs! But it’s because they symbolize something much greater…self-respect, feminine dignity, comfort…and the humility to know we are merely human and need to take care of ourselves in order to be able to serve our families.
While I pondered these things the baby began to squawk a bit and needed a snuggle dance to settle down. I discovered that the skirt flits about nicely just above the knees as I rocked the baby to sleep…and feels elegant and cheerful…as opposed to the tired old plaid pj pants which drag on the floor, in great danger of picking up stray Cheerios, dust bunnies or stickers.
With a sweet empire waist and easily adjustable shoulder straps, you can make it fit just right…whether you’re expecting a baby or already nursing one. And what makes this a nursing chemise is the fact that the straps have little hooks that open, just like a nursing bra, so you can nurse properly without having to stretch your pajamas out of shape…the sad fate of other non-nursing nighties.
The sporty back gives it a nice “I can do this!” feeling, which helps for night wakings or those endurance “please, go to sleep, baby” dances. Also, the straps can’t slide off your shoulders, so you never need extra hands to pull them back up, risking waking baby in the process.
It so helps that I could order the chemise online, rather than trying to buy clothes with my 7 kids in tow. Last time I bought pjs it was after about 2 hours of chasing kids through Value Village and another hour of waiting while they tried stuff on in the limited change rooms (my four eldest are girls!).
When it was “my turn” to find pajamas I just grabbed the first thing I thought could work and hurried to the cash, with my overflowing cart and procession of tired hungry kids. What I grabbed off the reject rack were soft orange and white striped capris joggers…or as the kids call them, my pirate pants. I usually wear them to bed with my black t-shirt that says, “Sarcasm loading…please wait.”
Charming right? So given that my options are looking like a sarcastic, washed up pirate or a sweet, elegant mother, I’m so glad to have my new chemise from Cake Maternity! Bed is my favourite place at the end of a long day–may as well dress up for it! 🙂
This lovely chemise was given to me in exchange for my honest review of it.
Thanks, Cake Maternity!
A baby is the best decoration for any room…and makes even a pile of clean laundry into a throne from which to beam at the world!
I’ve been in bed with a sore throat reading Jennifer Fulwiler’s hilarious, inspirational book “One Beautiful Dream: The rollicking tale of family chaos, personal passions, and saying yes to them both.” It’s amazing…I can so relate the struggle and beauty of a writer mom with a large young family trying to be present to her kids while digging deep to pursue her “blue flame”…her passion for writing. I love how she’s integrates them both with such honesty and humour…and leads you along her journey of discovering that perhaps a loud house full of little people is a place of inspiration and growth, rather than just distraction from her craft. If you ever wonder if only your house with kids is a little crazy…I highly recommend it!! I laughed and cried and shouted…you might, too! 😉
Anyway, she inspired me to share this moment from our own beautiful chaos…
Nap time with baby
Dreaming of coffee ice cream
I almost get up
I’m honoured to share with you a guest post by Tracey Montford of Cake Maternity. I had heard that breastfeeding could lower your chances of getting breast cancer, but didn’t know why. If you’d like to understand more about the amazing natural power of the female body, read below!
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, apart from skin cancer.
Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the breast begin to multiply and form a tumour. If caught in time the chance of surviving breast cancer is much higher. It is imperative that you take the time to regularly check your breasts for any unusual lumps or bumps and that you attend scheduled doctor’s visits to screen for breast cancer.
Who is at risk?
Some studies have suggested that an unhealthy lifestyle; a diet high in processed and fatty foods, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, drugs and stress are the leading causes of cancer.
On the other hand, some men and women are more genetically pre-disposed to developing breast cancer and will be aware of their Mother’s, Aunt’s, or Grandmother’s battles.
Does breastfeeding reduce my risk of getting Breast Cancer?
Thousands of women in recent years have participated in numerous studies conducted to investigate breast cancer and its cause. Each study reached the same conclusion. Breastfeeding does lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
Why does breastfeeding lower my risk of getting Breast Cancer?
It is thought that because lactating women have fewer menstrual cycles, they are less exposed to estrogen. This hormone has been linked to the growth of some forms of breast cancer in cells.
Breastfeeding can make breast cells more resistant to mutations. It is during pregnancy and breastfeeding that your body sheds breast tissue. The process of shedding can help to remove damaged cells with DNA prone to breast cancer. This process can help to lower your risk of developing it.
Generally speaking, breastfeeding women tend to be more conscious about the food we eat. Eating a well-balanced nutritious diet will help to ensure that a woman produces enough nutritious milk for her child. A healthy diet will also help to maintain a healthy weight, which is important as obesity has also been linked to cancer. It has also been said that breastfed children are less likely to become obese. Breastfeeding helps to reduce their chance of developing cancer, too.
Some studies suggest that women who take part in regular vigorous exercise lessen their chances of developing breast cancer.
Breastfeeding mothers are also less likely to consume alcohol, smoke or take drugs. Alcohol, smoking and taking recreational drugs can cause damage to the body and lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. An unhealthy body can be prone to developing cancer.
Whilst breastfeeding may take some time to get used to and the journey is difficult for some, it is always advised to push through the initial struggles. Breastfeed as long as your baby wants you to, or as long as you feel physically able to.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful gift that nature has provided us with to nourish our children. Not only does breastfeeding provide our children with the best start in life, it also helps to protect our bodies.
For more information and a more in-depth read into the studies undertaken, click the links below:
Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at https:/ca.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity