Good books, modern motherhood, and other ramblings

It finally cooled off around here yesterday, enough for me to change out of my short-sleeved t-shirt into cozy flannel and put socks on! Who knows how long that will last (it could be back to 80 tomorrow) but I am loving it while we’ve got it. I have the office window open, a cup of coffee at my side, and I want to fill you all in on what’s new.

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children was mentioned recently by a friend of mine and I got it at our library. It is mind-opening new science… new perspectives/studies on child development: why children lie, sibling relationships, the inverse power of praise, race relations, sleep patterns, and more good stuff. Check it out for sure.

The other awesome read is Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed (author of the memoir Wild). All I can say is “wow.” These are humorous but kick-butt advice columns that get right to the crux of the matter… that life is hard but you do your darndest.

  • I am feeling the inevitable slump that comes after a flurry of activity and am trying to go easy on myself. We have a ridiculous number of people coming to my daughter’s fourth birthday party and I’ll need to gear up for that.
  • I decided to give you guys more time to enter the giveaway for the awesome free book. There are lots of ways to enter and doing more than one of them (like leaving a comment AND sharing it on Facebook or your own blog) earns you more than one chance to win. Enter by midnight tonight. I’ll announce the winner in Friday’s post.
  • Since I’m not crazy busy with classes, I’m working on my daughter’s scrapbooks again. Somehow I stopped about a year and a half ago when my laptop decided to break up with me and I just couldn’t face recreating the book I was working on. In safe mode, I was finally able to pull at least some text of what my two-and-a-half year old did every day (I’d written weekly summaries… how awesome of me) and I started from scratch on my mac. I’m smiling the entire time I work on it… her cute young self was so little!

Perspective is a funny thing. It catches you totally unaware. I remember feeling so frenzied then, but the pictures don’t convey that at all. We definitely did lots of running around, but she was happy with just about every adventure and I was right there with my camera, recognizing and capturing it for future (like now) enjoyment. How cool.

I should tell you, as a Blurb affiliate, that they are continuing their holiday deal of 25% off until December 3. You can make custom planners, calendars, recipe books, wedding albums… the options are endless. Use code HOLIDAYTHANKS to get your discount.

  • Speaking of kids and perspective… I really can’t fathom how it’s possible to hold two completely different emotions simultaneously. I completely adore my sweet girl and would do absolutely anything in the world for her… and yet I am constantly trying to escape her. I need her and love her and value what she teaches me… and yet so much of what I struggle with right now stems from her. The sense of responsibility I feel and the fear of the future practically knocks me over sometimes.

So many emotions… pride, awe, tenderness, closeness, but also annoyed, impatient, stifled. Luckily the good ones outweigh the not-so-good ones. I’m sure I can’t be alone in this, but I wonder why I don’t hear other people saying these things. The closest thing I hear is from my friends who resumed their careers soon after having a baby say, “I could never be a stay-at-home mom. I’d go crazy.” Yeah. I fear the judgement that may be running through your head as you read this so I’ll just leave it at that.

I think maybe I just need chocolate.

  • And finally, I must admit that I’ve been haunted by feelings of inadequacy lately. I absolutely hate promoting myself AND no one seems interested in purchasing my photography products. Perhaps I’m forcing the issue too much. Something isn’t quite right so I’m going to stop thinking about it so much and see what evolves on its own. Because every time I do think of it, I wonder what’s wrong with me that nothing is selling. Who needs that?!

That’s the latest, friends. I hope you are all being nice to yourselves out there. See you here on Friday.

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8 Responses to Good books, modern motherhood, and other ramblings

  1. Naomi bless you, what you are saying about being torn with boundless love and resentment , can I say that that is perfectly normal I felt exactly the same 26 years ago when my daughter was 4. I would cut my arm off for her but …… As far as selling your products I think this is something that takes time I take my hat off to you my friend for putting yourself out there…

  2. Naomi says:

    You got it!

  3. Naomi says:

    Oh thank you, thank you, thank you for saying all that.

  4. Christine Barker says:

    Naomi, YOu said it first….the slump after so much activity…. Motherhood never sleeps!!! Children do, but not when we need them to. Fatigue grows proportionately. It is exhausting and tiresome and it is really lonely staying at home, trying to maintain a sense of someone other than Mom. Mom’s who choose to go back to work struggle with the am I giving enough to my kids… so there are positives and negatives on both sides of the equation. Neither choice is easy. You have to decide which place you are happy now, breathe and remember these two things, that always helped me and continue to do so thirty years later.Yes my eldest daughter is thirty.
    I read once that when you make a decision that is in line with your character, you feel a burden being lifted from your shoulders, wise words written by a sculptor Anne Truitt. I read this when I’m holding my breath and dithering about just what I have accomplished, for it often doesn’t feel like much! I sigh and take a good deep breath and I’m happy again well perhaps at least content! The other phrase…. I may be capable of great things but Life consists of small things. Don’t have a source for that one, but it keeps me calm.

    Selling your work will come,just enjoy having it out there and ready! It is a often just a good feeling to tell others when you meet that yes you do have work for sale… Most people dream of selling their own work but often don’t get it out there to do just that, you are already ahead so… keep smiling

  5. Anne Camille says:

    First: Your interview at Moms Who Click is awesome!

    As for your conflicting feelings about your daughter: I’d say that anyone who doesn’t feel this at some point isn’t doing something right with their parenting. I felt the same way, even as a working mother. So often, I couldn’t find any space in my life for “me” time that wasn’t when the entire house was dark and I should have been asleep hours before. When I remarried after a decade of being a single parent, it didn’t get any better. I used to joke that I spent every evening beings “Mom-ed and Tom-ed” (though the calls were “Mom” and “Anne”, but I liked the rhyming :-).) Even now, with my son grown and living across the country, I sometimes wonder if I did enough and have to slap myself back to reality. And I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Grab those few spare moments for yourself when you can, set your boundaries and enjoy it all — before you know it your sweet daughter will be grown up. She will still be she & you will still be you.

    Oh, and this: chocolate always helps!

  6. stacie says:

    Again Naomi, I so relate to all of your feelings. I still have moments with my kids where I think I just want quiet, then I look at them and keep telling myself over and over that I know I will miss these days. All of your feelings are so normal. Just keep on going on the track you’re on and continue to always take care of yourself. You will never regret these years you spend with your daughter.

    As far as sales go, it takes a long, long time to get any kind of business going. When I started my Etsy shop 5 or so years ago, I hardly sold anything. It didn’t really start picking up until about 3 years ago and has been continuously growing. Don’t give up! Also, believe it or not it may be slower for you around the holidays. Your photography may be more of a gift people buy themselves. It may pick up after the 1st of the year. Just keep at it. Keep adding products, more selections always help.

    And definitely eat chocolate!

  7. RnR says:

    I thought you were going to go low-key for her party?!!?!!

    If you ever need a chocolate (with peanut butter!) pick-me-up, just say the word and I can happily bake something up for you!

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