When A Blank Page Becomes The Next Chapter: My Thoughts On Preschool 

Friday morning… another blog deadline and I have nothing written. It’s 7am; I have a baby climbing on me and I’m typing this on my phone. Lord knows there’s no point dragging out my computer cause the kids think it’s  a toy. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on TV… that’s our staple first TV show of the morning.

I’ve been feeling completely uninspired as of late for my blog posts. Nothing comes to mind about what I should write about. My youngest brother got married at the end of last month and my mind was busy focusing on that. Then there was our annual family camping trip immediately after and my mind was busy packing for that. But those are over now. I suppose you could say my mind is now focused on back to school for my son. More accurately first day of preschool. Yes, it’s a big step. Next month my oldest will be going to preschool. I’m excited for him… I’m anxious… I’m a little sad. Another big step means another milestone means my little guy is growing up. Of course that’s inevitable but still, it makes my heart feel a little bittersweet. Even though he talks and acts like he’s a teenager, he still is so little. But he’s so ready for school. He’s been showing us plenty of signs: asking us to point at words when we read at night so he can learn them, pointing out letters he recognizing out and about in the world, acting up at home because he’s bored in the afternoon when he’s been stuck at home all day.

In my heart, I know he’s ready. I guess I’m wondering if I’m ready… ready to let him go out into the world. School is an overwhelming place. He’s going to face other kids and the cruelty that sometimes comes with it: being laughed at, being excluded, being bullied. Yes, he will experience all the good that comes with it too: learning, sharing, making friends. I just don’t know if I’m ready as a parent to help him face all the bad in the world. There will come a time when he will ask why someone  won’t be friends with him, why someone will be mean to him, why he can’t just stay home with Mommy and play. How will I answer those questions??? I believe in being open and honest with my kids but sometimes I struggle to understand the world let alone explain it to my kids.

I want to keep him a child for as long as possible. Kids grow up too fast these days. I want him to stay in the security of his familiar surroundings where he’s comfortable to be himself truly. All the yelling outbursts, the tantrums, the cuddles and kisses. One extreme to the other. I know here he feels safe enough to express all his emotions fully, be it good or bad. But that would be selfish of me to keep him. The world isn’t always a safe, comfortable place and my job is to prepare him one day to thrive on his own. So step one is preschool. I know he’s going to do amazing. He is destined to conquer great things in this world. He’s driven and convicted.

In a few weeks, I will put my brave mommy face on and walk him to the doors of his new school. I will hug and kiss him one more time while I reassure him that he’s going to have a great day. I will smile and blow a kiss while I walk away all the while holding back my tears.

Wish me and more so him luck as we navigate these uncharted waters together.

Until next time,

❤ Melissa

No I Don’t Need A Daughter: My Open Letter To The World

What I am about to say is probably going to ruffle some feathers, but it needs to be said. I need the world to hear me out. Let’s talk about gender when it comes to having children. In my first pregnancy, we found out we were having a boy at my twenty week ultrasound and when we shared the news everyone was happy. In my second pregnancy, we found out we were having another boy at the twenty week ultrasound and when we shared the news, everyone was happy, but as their excitement faded I knew there was a question lingering… so are you going to try for a girl?

My life has been blessed with two beautiful little boys and I couldn’t be any prouder that they are mine. I have the incredible opportunity to nourish and raise them. Our house is symphony of chaos: Cheerios scattered on the kitchen floor, toys strewn about, pillows and blankets in a pile on the floor, kids laughing or screaming depending on the moment. As a parent you’re always wondering and imagining what kind of people your kids will grow up to be. Will they be strong? Will they be happy? Will you have given them the tools they need to survive and better yet thrive in this world?

Boys get a bad rap for being rough and reckless. And sometimes they can be. Wrestling and rough housing is encouraged in our house. I rolled around on the floor with them; I smash monster trucks; I investigate bugs. But boys are also sweet and affectionate. Every day at least once my oldest son will come up to me and give me kisses just because. He asks if I will sit beside him to watch cartoons while holding his hand. We cuddle, snuggle, hug and kiss all throughout the day. There is never a second of the day when either of my boys are within arm’s reach that I’m not hugging or kissing them. It is my goal to encourage their softness; to make them believe that showing physical affection and telling someone how you feel every moment you can is just normal. I don’t want them to ever hide their feelings because ‘they are a boy’. My oldest and I talk about feelings all time; we talk about why we get mad, sad, frustrated in different situations and I always let him know that no matter how he feels or I feel in the moment I will always love him. I want him to feel safe to express himself. I want my boys to feel special and to treat others with respect and kindness. I want them to know their value and to treat men and women as equal as if gender doesn’t mean a thing.

But how am I supposed to build them up to be confident and self-assured men when the world keeps asking me if I’m going to keep trying for a girl? As if my two boys aren’t enough… as if my life is incomplete because I don’t have a daughter… as if having boys isn’t equally as wonderful as having girls. All the Moms I know who have sons have been asked time and time again if they are going to keep going until they have a daughter. And it’s frustrating and angering. So I ask of you- STOP ASKING! STOP COMPARING! Ask me if I’m thinking of having another baby… ask me if I feel my family is missing another child. Do not ask me about having a daughter.

I was blessed with the immense responsibility to raise two boys. I am going to teach them about gender equality, race equality, human equality. Step one to that is never ever letting them wondering if their Mother was disappointed because they didn’t turn out to be girls. That seed will not be planted in their head. I won’t let it. Because it is the furthest thing from the truth. I would chose my sons time and time again if I had to do it over. If I decide to have more children, I would take a hundred more boys. I treasure my sons and our special bond. Did you know boys implant their DNA on their mother’s brains during the pregnancy? They do. They are just as much a part of me as I am a part them.

So the next time you have the urge to ask if someone is going to keep going for a daughter… just stop. Keep it to yourself. And I’ll thank you for showing my kids that boys are equal to girls, girls are equal to boys. Then we can stop placing stupid expectations and restrictions on gender going forward. Maybe, just maybe, the world will then have a glimmer of hope for a better, more accepting future.

❤ Melissa
*exceptionally proud mother of two CHILDREN

Special Mother’s Day Edition: Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day weekend everyone! I hope you have special plans to celebrate your Mom. Trust me she deserves it! I can honestly say that I have learned two very important things in life.

1. You never stop needing your Mom, no matter your age.

2. After having kids, you will appreciate your Mom more than ever.

You won’t stop needing your Mom, ever. At least as far as my experience goes. When things goes bad in life, I want my Mom to hear me cry. When things goes right in life, I want to tell my Mom how great it is. You want to hear your Mom is proud of you, that constant reassurance that someone no matter what is always on your side cheering you on.

Being a Mom is just about loving your kids unconditionally. That’s it. Just love ’em and tell them that every chance you get. And to the kids out there, just love your Mom. Forgive her for her shortfalls because believe me she did the best she could. There isn’t one perfect Mom I know… we get tired, frustrated, angry, but I know we are all doing the best we can to give everything to our kids.

So to my Mom whom I know will be reading this not knowing I am writing this. Thank you for being a great Mom! I consider myself lucky to have you. I know if and when I needed you, you would do your best to help me the best you could. Thank you for loving my sons equally as much (maybe more… haha) as me and for spoiling them as you do. I know one day when they’re older they will look back on all the gingerbread cookies and think fondly of those memories. Over the years I know we’ve maybe not always seen eye to eye, but I want you to know that I will always love you and appreciate you for everything you have done. Being a mother is the hardest and greatest gift in the world and now that I am a mother I see you always did the best you could to give me a great life.

To my mother in law whom I’m sure will also be surprised to be reading this… thank you for raising a wonderful son. The reason my life is great is because one day he was kind enough to invite me to come hangout  with him, my brother and their friends. His kind heart is the reason we became best friends and eventually fell in love. Thank you for always supporting me and being there. Our boys are so lucky have a Nana who cares so deeply for them.

To my two special little boys Dylan and Ethan… thank you for making me a Mom to two of the best. Dylan, in the three years we’ve had together you have challenged me, pushed me to be a better person but more so you have simply filled my life with such joy. I love that you are full of such energy and life; that you are so driven to accomplish things or should I simply say you’re stubborn. I secretly love the fact that you challenge me, argue with me and are set in your ways because I know it means you won’t take shit from anyone and won’t stop short of reaching all your goals… I admire that about you. I also admire your kind heart for it is filled with so much love. You are always sharing food or toys with all those around you and you show such compassion when someone is upset. I hope you keep that sensitivity to spread kindness to the world around you. To my sweet little Ethan… we’ve only had six months together and already I see your sweet soft nature. You are my happy-go-lucky little man and your sweetness fills my heart. I can’t wait for each day ahead to see more and more of your personality come out. Your cute smile is unmatched in this world.

To all the Moms out there… Happy Mother’s Day. Though every day you are and should be celebrated… you created, carried, birthed, loved,  nourished, protected, kissed and hugged us. That is more than anyone could ask for. So make sure all of you out there, take time for your Moms this weekend. That’s all she ever wants… just your time. Presents, flowers will never ever come close to just being with you or hearing your voice if you can’t be together. Never take her for-granted!

Happy, happy, happy Mother’s Day!

❤ Melissa

Children, Masters of Time: What They Taught Me

2016-03-31 10.51.32Kids are purely amazing. They will teach you so much about yourself if you are humble enough to let them. I read this quote by Lao Tzu once that really resonated with me, “If you are depressed, you are living in the Past. If you are anxious, living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the moment.” It explained so much about myself.  As someone who has suffered with anxiety throughout my life, I finally made the connection that I was all too often living in the future.

I am guilty of over scheduling myself. I sit every Sunday and look at my week ahead to ensure I have something planned for every day. Multiple events in a day are not uncommon in my life. I get bored sitting around the house even if for a few hours; it feels like a waste of time when I could be accomplishing so many other things. I prefer my schedule to be packed almost to the point of being overwhelming because to me that feels like I am making the most of my life, getting the most out of my life. No wasted time.

During the week I have errands to run and chores to do. Most times I have to drag my two sons along for the ride, much to their dismay. Of course by the end I have tired, grumpy kids to which I am saying just a few more minutes; just one more stop; stop whining; just let Mommy do this last thing. It always ends in bargaining and pleading from both parties just to get through my mile long do-to list. My mind is focused on the future, on the things I have to do, the events coming. Cards I need to buy for birthdays coming up, screws I need to buy for the project I am planning, those pajamas I need to buy cause my eldest has grown like a weed lately. But when I stop and look at my kids, I know they are miserable. They are living in the present moment and that moment sucks. Who wants to go grocery shopping to actually buy groceries? They want to go because there’s  awesome fish and cool lobsters to look at. Who wants to go to the mall to shop for that birthday present when you could be riding the glass elevator or pretending the stroller is a race car. Kids live in the pure and innocent present. If you are able to get out of your head and into the present moment, magic will happen.

Tuesday I decided was my ‘present’ day. The glorious sun was shining and I’d planned to take my boys for a walk to the nearest coffee shop and after we’d spent the rest of the morning playing in the backyard. During our walks, my boys are always calm and happy; my eldest and I talk about all the trucks passing by and my baby just plays and smiles at me. We reach the coffee shop and I pay for my coffee and muffin. My son says to me, “mom can we sit at a table outside?” He’s never asked me that before. “Sure, of course we can,” I reply. We find a table for two outside and he climbs out of the stroller and into the chair across the table from me. There is a special twinkle in his eye as he sits there chatting and eating his muffin; he is so excited to be a big boy, my coffee date, but he is nowhere near as excited as I am. There is no one else in the world right now that I’d rather be sitting across from than him. This is a coffee date I want to remember forever. Bashfully he asks me if we can go to the park on our way home. I figure he thinks there’s a 50-50 chance I could say no cause we don’t have time. Today we have time, so I say yes. Immediately he gets so excited and wants to jump back into the stroller to go to the park right now. I follow his lead. At the park, I stand back and watch him climbing, running and admire how fast he is growing up; pondering how he doesn’t need my hand guiding him up the chain ladder to reach the top of the slide. There’s no one else at the park except for the three of us and in that very moment I know why. This is my precious reward for just living in the moment with my boys. I get this time just for us and don’t have to share. They don’t have to share my mind with my lists; they have all my attention. We are perfectly at peace together. Happy, pure happiness in these moments.

Kids have the amazing ability to live in the moment and do whatever strikes them. It’s truly magnificent their pureness. My kids are certainly showing me the best and not so best of myself. They are the happiest when I ignore the rest of the world and just play with them. My love and attention is all they ask.

So I humbly acknowledge that I am aware scheduling every minute is not truly living life at all. Life actually happens in the unscheduled moments while living free. Those are the memories we make, the ones I treasure. My kids are teaching me more about life than ever before; they make me aware of what is important. There will never be a blessing greater than my two amazing boys. I hope one day they grow up to read this and know firstly how much they are loved by me, but how their Mom was humble enough to admit that sometimes maybe they did know better.


“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

(John Lennon, 1980, Darling Boy)

❤ Melissa


Having Baby Two: My Revelation

2016-03-03 16.02.11Hello lovely people, thanks once again for coming back this week. Another blog post, I’m impressed with myself. Funny though, talking about parenthood is easy as breathing for me right now. I am in the thick of it; treading water hard to keep my head afloat. I have yet another confession, well let me call it more of a revelation actually. This is something I discovered about myself as my little one was turning three months old. Now, only now, I can I officially say I know what busy is. With one child, I felt like I never had time to do things and even felt like I never had time to myself. I remember when my first was three months old, I had come to my breaking point. I cried to my husband that I felt like I was drowning, never having a spare moment to just be by myself. I was breastfeeding my son exclusively and was desperately starting to feel suffocated by it, so we agreed that every night at bedtime he would give our son a bottle and put him to bed while I had an hour to myself. Just to myself. That moment changed everything for me. It was amazing. The boys had time to bond together and I got my sanity back. Now, I look back and laugh at myself. No freedom… honey you had lots of freedom! Today I struggle for ten minutes to shower (though let me tell you when I get those ten minutes it… is… pure… heaven).

Nowadays I let my newborn son breastfeed for an hour on and off at night to keep him quiet while my husband puts our older son to bed. Yeah that’s right I have my son sleeping on me with my boob out and should he wake up again he quietly goes back to nursing and I get a chance to sit and watch MOMMY’S TV shows instead of bloody Paw Patrol for the millionth time. Now I’m sure there are plenty of people out there judging me or wanting to lecture me on how bad it is that I let my son nurse on demand like that at night, but honestly I don’t care what anyone thinks or says. That is my sanity time, though I might not be alone; it is quiet. My husband and older son are happily reading stories upstairs; the toys are still spilled all over the floor to which I choose to ignore and I sit down on the goldfish crumb filled couch to watch my recorded episode of “The Bachelor” or “Long Island Medium” or whatever I choose because it is my time. Sure it would be nice to sit down without having my boob out, but for now I like to say having children is only about survival. Yours. Theirs. So I do what I need to do at the time to ensure everyone’s survival. If that means I rent out my boobs at night time, they are all his!

There you have it… my revelation. Having your first baby turns your life upside down, inside out over again and it’s rough to adjust at first, but having your second is so much easier given that you are now a practiced parent; however, there is no time. No time. No time. No time. I have never been so overwhelmed, so tired and so happy. I, we, are surviving the best we can and that is enough for now. 

So I am throwing my hand up in the air and high-fiving any of you parents out there with one, two, three… ten kids. You are doing a great job! You are doing the best you can! None of us hear that enough. Awesome job day after day doing what you need to do to give your kids the best of yourself. Keep it up!!!!

Until next time,

❤ Melissa

Return To Words: Big News!

QuoteWow… having a newborn can really make time fly! Five months have passed since my last post. I can’t believe it. This is the first moment I’ve had to sit down and open my laptop to my website. Yes, I also forgot how much work babies are. They are glorious, amazing, time and energy absorbing people; so demanding and rewarding. My second sweet boy arrived October 14th, leisurely at his own pace after over twenty six hours of labour. It almost felt like he was never going to come out. But he did. He has filled our lives with perfect little smiles and laughter; his easy going personality is so welcomed; however, he still requires so much of my love and attention. I have been so enjoying adjusting to my life as a mommy again. I get to love two fantastic boys, watch them grow and reciprocate love for each other. I feel incredibly lucky. Of course these two boys consume 99% of my time, day and all night, so that doesn’t leave much time for myself. Here is my blog… standing idol… waiting for me. I miss it terribly. I miss writing. I miss reading. I would miss my time with my boys more, so I wouldn’t trade a second. Somehow having my second son, I appreciate the time with my kids way more than I did before. I see how increasingly fast time goes and how it slips so quickly through my fingers. There will come a day where they both won’t need me at night time to feed and cuddle them; there will come a day when they don’t need help bathing; there will come a day where they won’t grab my hand and ask me to come play trucks and cars with them; there will come a day when they will grow up and I will just be left with the memories of my precious moments with them as babies. I will not rush it. I won’t wish it away or try to make them grow up faster than they need to. I am relishing every single second with them, every morning I get to bring them into my bed and snuggle with them while the world outside waits; every night I go into their rooms one last time before I go to bed to kiss them and tuck them in. I love it, love, love, love it. I love being a Mom more than I could have ever imagined possible. Writing is my hobby… maybe one day my career… but being a Mom… that is my calling. I truly feel like being a Mom to these two special little boys is what I was brought here to do. They are my everything. With that said, I will be back when the mood strikes and words come spilling out my heart. For now, my boys are sleeping… yes at the same time… YES that is super rare these days… and here I am with rare time on my hands thinking of them. Which leads me to, I have added a new category to my blog, “The Mommy Chronicles” because I’m afraid as much as I love talking about reading and writing, babies and baby stuff are all consuming right now on my brain, so perhaps I will go with it and write about it. Mom life. My life. Let’s see where it goes! Thanks for coming back again! Stick around.

❤ Melissa

Charlotte Kitley’s Final Words

Happy Friday again. Hope you are doing well. This week I’d like to dedicate this blog to Charlotte Kitley, a writer for the Huffington Post UK and blogger of  http://lifeasasemi-colon.blogspot.co.uk/.

If I am being perfectly honest, I hadn’t heard about Charlotte or read any of her work until after she passed away a few weeks ago. I actually happened to be scrolling through status updates on Facebook when I stumbled upon a Huffington Post recommendation to read the last article she wrote; well more accurately, her husband posted her last words after she passed away. You can find her last post in its entirety here http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/charlotte-kitley/bowel-cancer-charlotte-kitley_b_5836238.html

Something about the title, “And so there must come an end”, grabbed hold on my attention and refused to let go until I read it. Her words were so beautiful, so tragic. I was crushed and inspired by what she said all at the same time. The first thing that struck me was the fact she was 36, had a husband and 2 children and was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. 36, she was 36! Only a few years older than I am right now. She faced the horrible truth that most of us couldn’t bare to think about happening to us; she was told she was going to die. As a mother, I couldn’t imagine the devastation I would feel knowing I would never see my son grow up.  “And so I leave a gaping, unjust, cruel and pointless hole… I have so much life I still want to live, but know I won’t have that.”, are her words from the last post she wrote before she passed. By this point in her post, I was already crying, yet sadness was not the message she wanted to portray. Hope and a love of life was her message. “So, in my absence, please, please, enjoy life.  Take it by both hands, grab it, shake it and believe in every second of it… Life has a lot of grey and sadness – look for that rainbow and frame it. There is beauty in everything, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to see it.”

I didn’t know this woman before at all, but I found her words inspiring and so brave. Her final thought, besides obviously her love of her family was to remind all the rest of us that life is frail, precious and to never take it for-granted. I am tearing up just thinking about it right now. I am in awe that she didn’t say, ‘why me, why now’ and be angry and resentful- all the emotions I certainly would not fault her for. It is senseless for anyone young and with so much life still yet to live to be taken from this world all too soon. Instead of being bitter, she ended her blog post with humor, “And when you close your curtains tonight, look out for a star, it will be me, looking down, sipping a pina colada, enjoying a box of (very expensive) chocolates.”

I didn’t know her, but her story and her words touched me deeply and for that I felt I had to share her story to spread her message of living and loving life as hard as you can while you can. I hope you will go to her website http://lifeasasemi-colon.blogspot.co.uk/, read her words and maybe they will remind you as they did for me that life is short, most of the time against our will, too short. Never ever, take a single breath for-granted. I treasure every second of this difficult yet profound life. It truly is a gift.

Thank you Charlotte Kitley for sharing your story with me and for your encouraging words. I promise to hold my son a little tighter, a little longer and as often as I can. My thoughts will be with your family and I wish them strength in this very difficult time.

If you want to know more about Charlotte, her bio  can be found here- http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/charlotte-kitley/

Thank you for reading and connecting with me again this week. I wish you a very happy weekend, spent with your loved ones, embracing life for all it’s worth.

Until next week.

❤ Melissa