Why Women Need Other Women

I remember when I was in high school saying, “Girls are awful. I don’t need girlfriends anyways. Guys are so much better.”

I was tired of the emotional warfare that girls, especially adolescent girls, are so good at. This statement stemmed from a place of hurt, a place of not knowing how to work through the drama surrounding my female friendships, of being attracted to the apparent ease of intimacy with men.

In many ways, men are far easier to have friendships with. They don’t typically have a lot of expectations for emotional commitment, they {usually} just say what they mean, they are great at easy compliments, the kind that are awesome when you need a quick-fix confidence booster.

But men have no idea what it’s like to be a woman. They don’t battle the massive attack on body image, the constant criticisms of every role we fill {wife, mother, employee, etc.}, the oversexualization of our persons and paradoxical expectations of purity, the deep desire to be at once nurtured & protected, as well as nurturing & independent.

When my friend Melissa published a feature about the kids and I on her blog, I was completely caught off guard by the sweet things she said. My initial reaction was disbelief: Superwoman? Me? Yeah right.

But as I read & reread her post, something changed in my heart. I couldn’t help smiling, a swelling sense of being seen coming over me. Melissa is one of the most joyful souls I’ve ever met, you can tell she has so much love in her heart, and it’s infectious. I knew, even if I wanted to deny it, that she really saw in me the things she wrote about. In this little article I suddenly saw myself differently.

I realized, we need other women to tell us we are strong.

We need other women to tell us we are capable.

We need other women to tell us we are beautiful.

We need other women to tell us we are worthy.

We need other women to cheer us on.

We need other women to acknowledge the struggles of motherhood.

We need other women to pray for us.

We need other women to laugh with, to cry with.

We need other women to remind us who we are.

We need other women because we will always be looking at other women to see where we measure up, we need those authentic friends to come along side us and say “I see you. I see your beauty. I believe your truth. You are right where you need to be, let me walk with you. Let’s have a cup of coffee and focus on who we are today, not who we should be or could be.”

We need other women because there is a unique & special ability we have to understand the common hurts we all experience and the incredible gift of being able to empower each other with the things we admire in each other.

In the last couple weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed by the love I’ve received, the vulnerability I’ve been able to share, & the empowering affirmations I’ve been given. As someone who spent years with absolutely no sense of self-worth, the healing that has started even in the midst of heartbreak has been God sent. The effort it takes to find women of authenticity is worth it. I’m thankful for each and every one of you who has come into my life & made it a better place.

xoxo, B

The Monster Mommy

Today started out terribly.

A quick nap turned into a hulk-like rescue attempt to get Tiny’s leg unstuck from between the bars of her crib, in which the end result was me tearing the bar from the crib and scattering my room with small wood fragments.

Needless to say I lost my nap.

And my patience.

 

Black and White Baby Snuggles

The Monster Mommy came out.

The one who loses her mind over every little toddleresque thing Tiny does.

The one who throws fits over thrown food.

The one who cries in the bathroom because the cat is sitting on her lap and the toddler is screaming from her playpen and she just wants to pee.

The one who yells “JUST TAKE YOUR NAP!”

The one who wants to throw something.

The one who really wishes she could just drive away.

The one who finally swaddles and snuggles the thrashing, wailing, exhausted child who just. won’t. stop.

The one who holds her as she finally calms down and starts to breathe peacefully.

The one who starts crying again because the sleeping innocent has lost her fierceness and nuzzles her head into mama’s neck.

The one who stares at the precious, sweaty features of the little creation she’s been given to nurture and wishes she could take back all the harsh words.

Black and White Baby Profile

So often I let my feelings of failure as a mother define my day. I allow myself to be overtaken by the guilt and frustration that is just part of the job description. I forget to ask for help.

I don’t take the time to look — really look — at the incredible creation that is my daughter and instead I growl and roar because I am afraid that I am failing her and if she could just let me have a moment to myself, I could figure it all out, right? Right? Maybe?

But this evening, during her nap, I took the time to just look. To just look at all the sweet pieces that make up this feisty little mountain shaker. Shakespeare didn’t even have a clue. And my angry, monstery heart just melted.

Black and White Baby Feet

When she woke up, Tiny didn’t yell at me. She didn’t pinch me. She just rubbed her eyes and laid her head on my shoulder. I said I was sorry and she just nodded.

And I realized, despite everything, if Tiny can forgive Monster Mommy, so can I.

So here’s to the days when we mamas lose our humanity amidst the accidents, and temper tantrums, and exhaustion, here’s to the supermoms who keep going even when they seriously consider leaving their identity behind and permanently locating to the Bahamas, here’s to the precious little ones who love us despite it all.

You’re not alone.

xoxo, bcb

 

xoxo, B

Hello Sunshine

Does anyone else just fall in love with the sun every time it comes up?

Even though February isn’t even over yet, I’m already in full on spring mode. 3 straight days of sun? Sorry winter, we are officially breaking up.

I like my winters short, sweet, and to the point. Give me some barren chill for the holiday season and then it’s time to move on. I’m one of those weirdos who can drink hot coffee, cocoa, and cider all year long, I don’t need the cold for an excuse, but I have to admit that Christmas wouldn’t feel like Christmas without some snap in the frosty air.

Spring, on the other hand, could last forever in my ideal world. It always feels to me as though the earth is stretching, there’s a cosmic openness that begins to happen, and I love watching the earth dust herself off and start to bloom.

For this little household, spring started on Saturday when this mama finally got to bring some Pike Place Market blooms into the house, along with a birthday party for a very dear friend.

Pike Place Flowers

What better way to welcome in spring than with good company, sunshine, and cupcakes. For the occasion, I tried out a new recipe: Paleo Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry frosting. Thankfully they turned out perfectly, moist and flavorful, and so clean that I may or may not have let Tiny eat one for breakfast two days in a row…

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Don’t tell me you don’t want one.

With the new season, I’ve also started to feel a renewal in my soul. Struggling with the many curveballs life keeps throwing wore me down over the winter, but I’m finding a lot of joy in little things. Yesterday I took the time to make some broth with a leftover chicken and also fixed a tuna-casserole-sans-tuna-with-chicken {haha} for a quick dinner tonight.

Homemade Chicken Broth

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Being in my tiny kitchen, listening to my Tiny person playing princesses, with the sun streaming in my huge dining room window does good things to my heart. Having company, fixing healthy, flavorful meals, and enjoying fresh flowers does good things to my home. I have found a lot of healing over the years in just taking these quiet moments and savoring them.

So here’s to the quiet moments of spring — the smell of raw, raw earth thawing, the snippets of color as daffodils show their faces, the embracing warmth of sunlight, the soothing beat of rain nurturing the growth enfolding.

Welcome spring, hello sunshine.

xoxo, bcb

xoxo, B