Forgiving My Father

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By Veronica

“Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.”

Recently, I was fortunate enough to have some quality time with my Bestie Ryan.  She and I are often busy adulting, so I really cherish the time we have to catch up.  We talked about many things, but one thing stood out.  She brought up the importance of unblocking your chakras.  She’s becoming such a guru with this (and should totally write a blog about it).  In talking more, she connected the thought to one gleaming commonality her and I both share: we were raised by a single parent. 

Ryan spoke on how elements of your past can literally block your potential from being realized. The conversation stayed with me even after we parted.  So often you hear, “Forgiveness is not for the other person, it is for you.” But it is so true! The pain we hold on to affects our present health and relationships.  Another way to think of it is, in not forgiving, you pay the consequence.  Studies have shown that people who don’t forgive often have higher stress, blood pressure, anxiety, and physical pain.  They even live shorter lives!

It made me think about my own relationship with my dad.  Even writing that word “dad” hits me differently today, as it wasn’t a way I referenced him in the past.  Growing up, I knew who my dad was.  I knew where he lived, and had often visited with my (paternal) grandmother, brothers, aunt, uncle, and cousin.  My mother was very open and supportive in that she kept the doors open and the opinions neutral.  However, in thinking about the moments that made up my childhood, my dad wasn’t there.  As I became an adult, our interactions increased.  Looking back on it, it was me that was more standoffish.  I had support at that point, and had gotten over a lot of the hard stuff.  Why would forming and having a relationship NOW be a necessity?  So, the interactions we had at that point were often one-sided.  I’d smile and grin. Never really opening my life or myself.

When I told him I was pregnant with his very first grandchild, he told me she was his opportunity to make it right.  I realized he couldn’t really “make it right” until I unpacked and released my own feelings of resentment.  This process is teaching me a few things:

  •       Forgiving is not forgetting.  Moving on from hurt is not excusing or ignoring the infraction done.  One reason I didn’t fully forgive was because he was wrong, and needed to know it.  Freedom came for me when I realized that my feelings of hurt from his absence are completely separate from the act of forgiving.  Forgiveness is less about justice and more about grace. Grace that I pray my daughter will have for me when (not if) I make mistakes as a parent.

  •       Forgiveness turns a wall into a window.  Now that I am genuinely open, my dad has been present for moments that matter now.  I thought the hard stuff was over…I was wrong.  Forgiveness is truly a gift to my child and me as we both are blessed to have him to survive and thrive.

I am proud of the work that my dad and I have done thus far.  Moreover, I relish (to the point that it makes me emotional) the thought that my daughter has the opportunity to grow knowing him as the person he is now and not who he was.

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What are your thoughts on forgiveness?  I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

 

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

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Year of Wins

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By Veronica

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2019 is here, Besties!  Let me be the 100th person to say “Happy New Year” to you!  It’s something so special about the moment the clock strikes midnight on January 1st.  The new year is filled with such promise, such opportunity.  The beginning of a new chapter that is written, illustrated, and performed by you.  And I don’t know about you, but this fresh start is exactly what the doctor ordered. 

The past two years have been filled with challenges, growth, and transition.  I’ve lived through some of my darkest moments while experiencing miraculous blessings.  I’ve been strengthened in ways I didn’t even realize were weak.  Now, more than ever, I realize my potential to succeed.  This year, I am ready to win!

Now, I must be honest in saying that, in the past, I’ve often equated “wins” to luck.  I’d look at the successes of others and think, “dang, she always gets the good (man, job, body, trip, etc.)”.  I thought that maybe winning wasn’t something attainable for everyone.  Somebody’s got to lose, right? But, when I really thought about the people I consider to be in the winner’s circle, they all had some very similar characteristics.

  1. Winners have specific and measurable goals.  Winners are prepared for success.  They know where they are going, and how they will get there.  Winners study other winners.  Winners are always learning something new, and tweaking their craft.

  2. Winners expect to win. I am telling y’all!!  There is power in words.  You have the ability to envision and speak the things you wish to do/achieve, and those things will manifest. If I expect positive things to occur, I am motivated to persevere even when faced with challenges.  Perception is everything. 

  3. Winners work their ass off.  Winners try.  Winners do. Winners take risk.  In the end, your results come down to the amount of effort you are willing to put in.  When others are sleeping (figuratively and literally), winners are hard at hustle.

  4. Winners acknowledge EVERY win, big and small.  Small victories become big triumphs.  They are an important part of the journey. Winners build momentum by celebrating each step along the way.

  5. Winners looks for wins in moments of adversity.  Here’s the thing, the greenest grass comes with some hardship. Instead of seeing failure as a defeating loss, winners use the lesson as an opportunity to attain their goal on the next try. (Sidenote:  Winners stay in their own fucking yard.  Stop comparing your journey to those of others in 2019.  Seriously! You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.  Spend more time perfecting your own shit, and relishing in your growth.) 

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In thinking about these observations, I realized that winning is less about chance and more about intention.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Some people are in the right place at the right time.  But even if luck gets you in the door, preparation and hard work is what will keep you at the table.  So the real question I need to ask myself is:

How badly do I want it?

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Wishing you a winning year, Besties!  What are some of your 2019 goals?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

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In All Things Give Thanks

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‘Tis the Season…for Gratitude!

We are so fortunate to be partnering with Upscale Magazine. In the December 2018 issue (on stands now), we are featuring a few reasons we are so very grateful. Read below for a snippet from the article and get your copy today!

Eboni

Eboni

Eboni

“I stepped into this year with high hopes and landed in several pitfalls. From life changes in family dynamics and experiencing financial challenge to even loss of friends-each hit me like a hurricane. But I am grateful for it all-the setbacks, the uncertainty of my next steps, the tears. Who would be thankful for tough times? Someone like me.”

Tahlee

Tahlee

Tahlee

“Thank goodness for “framily”! One of my customers has adopted me into her family when I can’t get back to Chicago, and for that reason, I never have to worry about where I will spend the holidays.”

Ryan

Ryan

Ryan

“He has shown me what it really means to love and so much more! He is a true man, a great dad to our girls and the most fun travel buddy one could ever imagine! Terrance, thank you for helping me put things into perspective. Thank you for supporting me in my dreams.”

Veronica

Veronica

Veronica

“This year has taught me that, even though I try, I can’t do it all. Countless persons have stepped in and stepped up so that I can continue to work, get mommy breaks, and live life a little. They have made the load lighter, and that has made all the difference. “

Nikki

Nikki

Nikki

“The one thing that I live by-and challenge you to do as well-is to take the bumps and bruises that life gives us. Never sit in your grief, sorrow, anger, disappointment or whatever too long. You deserve happiness! Find the gratitude in it all. It’s there.”

Photographed by: Chuck Olu-Alabi

Why are you grateful? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Happy Holidays!

6 Things I Wish I Knew Happened After Having A Baby

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By Veronica

When I thought about having a baby BEFORE I actually had a baby, I visualized this cuddly, cute, small creature that smelled yummy and had the ability to literally change the atmosphere.  No one told me about all the other stuff!  The weird things that happen to your body after you give birth (as if labor weren't enough).  All the more proving that the woman body is a matchlessly amazing thing! 

I will preface these 6 things by saying while most of them may seem weird or outlandishly uncomfortable, this too shall pass and the joy received from your little one far surpasses any and all challenges.  Even with what I know now, I would gladly do it all again if it meant I got to be Bailey’s Mom.

1.  You are still pregnant…or at least it looks that way.

In the days and even weeks after your baby is born it is very likely that you will still have a very firm belly.  Do not be fooled by the Eniko Harts of the world!  Even with a relatively decent snapback situation, the after body looks very similar to the before.  I am presently 4 months postpartum and still on the struggle bus on the road to getting my body back.  I try to constantly be kind to myself, remembering that it took 10 months, a week, and a day to form this body…it’ll take time (a lot of time) to get it back.

2 Weeks Postpardum

2 Weeks Postpardum

2.    Bowels Be Trippin’!

Regardless of how your child comes into the world, be it vaginal or cesarean, the process of child birth shifts and changes the other organ's ability to handle bodily functions.  In layman’s terms, shitting is scary!  Like clinching the wall scary!  I have heard that some moms named their first poo because of the intensity and labor required!  Make Colace (stole softener) your bestie. 

3.     Fluids Runneth Over.

Mounds of fluids accumulate in your body to protect and sustain the life of your little one.  When that little one leaves your body, the fluids go too.  So the menstrual break you were on for the past 10 months is officially over…and it will make up for lost time as you will likely have a heavy period for the first several days.  Additionally, I had major feet swelling occur after birth for several days to the point that I could not fit my shoes.  Drinking water to flush the fluids out helped immensely.

4.     Breastfeeding is Hard AF.

Everyone talks about the benefits of breastfeeding…how it's good for your little one, how that bonding time in nursing offers a closeness that no one else has.  I wish I knew breast-feeding is NOT for the faint of heart!  First of all, latching is seldom a perfect process.  Bailey and I are just now getting a rhythm with it (4 months later).  And oh the pain of milk production (your milk “coming down”) and engorged boobs that leak!! If I didn’t know what a real contraction felt like, I’d say it’s the most painful thing.  And pumping…chile, that’s an entirely separate post!  Let’s just say, there are other things I’d rather do.  Try to find other breast-feeding mamas for support.  I attend a support group through the University of Chicago Hospital that has been very helpful.   There are several other support groups and lactation consultants.  You can also find support online.

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5.     Emotions! Emotions! Emotions!

The combination of imbalanced hormone levels and sleep deprivation will likely have your emotional state out of sorts.  Baby blues is REAL!  And it should be…you just had a WHOLE HUMAN for goodness sake!  Take time to rest when you can, step away from the baby from time to time, and talk to someone if it goes on for too long.

 

6.     There Isn’t ANYTHING Too Hard for Your Body.

A close friend of mine gave me some great advice before Bailey was born.  “It will be the hardest work you’ve ever done, but it won’t feel like it.”  Nothing in this process is too hard for your body to handle! You survived LABOR. You can survive ANYTHING!!  Even with my experiences as a new mom, I would like to have another baby(God willing).  It has truly been a wonderfully interesting ride, and I am so grateful to of had the opportunity to travel it!

Bailey and her PROUD Mama

Bailey and her PROUD Mama

What other things do you wish you knew about childbirth?  Or the process after?  I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments below!

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

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Valentineless Valentines Day

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By Veronica

February 14th is here again.   Valentines Day.  The one day of the year that highlights your relationship status.  For some, it is a day filled with flowers, cards, dinners, and edible arrangements from that special someone.  For others, it’s a reminder that there seemingly aren't enough fish in the sea.  I have found myself on both sides of this coin. 

On past Valentines Day, I can recall the feelings of joy I felt in receiving flowers at work or going on dates. It is wonderful being acknowledged for all your wonderful talents and the joy you bring to a loving relationship.  But what happens when you have no Valentine? 

I can attest to the mixed feelings felt when my relationship goals didn’t match the calendar date.  A day that is meant to celebrate love can serve as a reminder that you don’t have anyone or that the person you desire doesn’t feel the same way.  But before you delete all your social media apps as to avoid the timeline flood of love today, here are a few things that may aid you in surviving Valentines Day without a Valentine.

  • Celebrate the love you have in other relationships.

My mom has always done such a wonderful job of making Valentines Day special.  I still remember her bringing home my favorite candy and a card.  Think of those that pour into your life throughout the year, and use the day to thank them for the love.  This year I gave her a small stocking stuffer and a card to say I love you.

  • Celebrate you.

Schedule a mani-pedi today.  Enjoy a glass of wine.  Put on your cutest workout outfit and head to the gym.  Get your favorite latte.  Beat your face and take selfies for the gram.  Binge watch your favorite show.  Write a letter to your future self.  Catch up on sleep.  Grab a bouquet from Trader Joes.  Treat yourself to that outfit you’ve been eyeing (if its in the budget).  Find some way to remind yourself that Valentine or not, you are worthy and enough.

  • Celebrate with others.

Some of my best dates have been with my girls.  Plan a good ol’ Galentines Day to eat, drink, and be un-married as a needed reminder that your are not alone.

  • Remember that it is JUST A DAY.

My bestie Eboni wrote a great piece on the fallacies of Valentines Day (click here to read). Don’t allow Hallmark to have you trippin’!  You are not defined by how many gifts you receive (or don’t receive) on one day. 

 

The core of any loving relationship is the awareness of self.  The love you have for yourself far outweighs any amount of love you could ever receive.  So, regardless of which relationship box you check today, be good to you.

 

How are you celebrating this Valentines Day?

 

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

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Year Without Fear Review

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By Veronica

January

It all started with a haircut…

One year ago...

One year ago...

Reeling from a break-up, I wanted a change.  I needed a change.  Hiding behind the direction of others, I felt like I wasn’t living for me, afraid of living a life of my choosing.  In a lot of ways, I didn’t even know the life I wanted to choose.  I decided that 2017 would be the year I figured it out, my Year Without Fear (read about how clueless I was about the crazy year I was about to have). Challenging myself to fearlessly try new things, and believe in the impossible.  For me, at that moment, that was just a haircut!  That’s it! That’s all!  Be very careful of what you ask...the Universe is listening!!!  I didn’t know it then, but my fears (and tears) would be challenged in ways I never could have imagined!  Unbeknownst to me, I was about to  take an amazing ride full of great highs, lows, lessons, and blessings.

 

 

 

March

Presents aren’t always wrapped perfectly.

I learned I was expecting…a human!  While I always knew I wanted children, I definitely didn’t plan or expect to be become pregnant this year.  A time that should have been filled with excitement and joy was filled with fear and sorrow.  Would I be able to raise a daughter as a single parent?  Would I be able to still fulfill my own dreams with a child?  As the weeks progressed, she grew and so did the realities of the new life I faced.  I would be a mom…forever!  I couldn’t undo it.  As her presence in my body became more apparent, I realized the everyday miracles of a little life that (for reasons I still don’t know) chose me to be her mom.  What a privilege!  My pregnancy was the cornerstone of my year, and it was incredible!  It opened my mind and heart to be fearless in other decisions.  Welcoming my baby girl in December revealed a peace I never knew existed.  It exposed a new purpose for living, and boy did it make me fearless.  

Unknowingly Pregnant

Unknowingly Pregnant

April

All I have to do is commit.

36 weeks pregnant and deep end swimming!

36 weeks pregnant and deep end swimming!

I started swim lessons.  At the beginning of every lesson, I had to talk myself into it!  I committed myself to Just Keep Swimming.  In time, the techniques I learned started to make sense.  I was learning to swim!  By the end of November, I felt comfortable swimming in the deep end of the pool.  What a feat!  It proved to me that some fears require some time and practice, and conquering them are as possible as your commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

Just take the first step.

Closing on my 2nd Property

Closing on my 2nd Property

Knowing I would be adding to my household, my mother suggested that I consider buying a home.  I was completely reluctant!  I had enough on my plate, and (in the words of my grandma Ruby) nobody ever fell out of a house!  I went to view the property and only saw the work it needed.  I didn’t feel I was financially or physically prepared to purchase a home and move while pregnant!  Sometimes opportunities present themselves when you don’t feel you’re ready.  When something is meant for you, taking the first step is all you need to do, and things will come together.  So, I took the step.  By October, with a lot of help, I was moved in with some renovations already complete.  God is good!

 

 

December

I can do anything!

The greatest test of being fearless was definitely giving birth.  (Sidenote: there is a much longer post coming about my birth story…because it was that terrifying and amazing!) This experience took my emotions to places I have never even imagined.  It exposed an inner strength I didn’t even know I possessed.  It was completely imperfect.  Nothing like I planned, but in conquering this experience, I know now that I am capable of achieving any goal.  And when it was all said and done, a mommy was born!  Wow!  What a beautiful way to culminate the year.

I am a mommy!

I am a mommy!

As I reflect on this past year, I am so grateful.  I saw many low places, and shed many tears, but I made it.  Let me clarify.  I made it ON TOP!  A new home, a new life. and many new lessons.  I learned to trust myself.  I learned to lean on others. I learned to create my own happiness.  I learned to embrace the process.  I learned to believe.  If I can achieve all these things in one year…the future is limitless!  And I am ready for whatever there is in store!

How was your 2017?  What is the title of your 2018?

 

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

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Mama Bear

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by Veronica

So, it’s almost go time.  Baby has been cooking for nearly 40 weeks, and ready or not, she is coming.  These final weeks have been filled with anticipation, preparation, and so much love and support from those that care for me.  I can officially say I am nesting.  With preparing her room, my home, washing clothes, and installing car seats, all my energy has been centered on making sure that her arrival will be a smooth transition for her and I.  This time has also sparked other feelings.  A heightened sense of protecting this seed is slowly emerging, and despite all my pre-pregnancy constructs, the claws are coming out!

The mama bear syndrome is the instinctual beast that is released on anything that is perceived to attack or challenge a mama’s dominance or her offspring. In other words, DON’T COME FOR ME (or my baby) UNLESS WE SEND FOR YOU.  Being a new mommy in my mid-thirties has afforded me the opportunity of seeing many mommies come before me.  So, I know a mama bear when I see it.  Believe it or not, I had an open opinion of disdain for Mama Bears.  I can remember going to visit Bestie Nikki’s little ones as infants, and literally being put on a timer in terms of holding them! She’d sit less then 5 feet away, and just wait.  Then, after what felt like only 10 minutes, she’d say, “ok, I’ll take her now”.  I’d give her so much slack about it…in a loving, Bestie kinda way, of course!  And she could care less.  She was going to show me who was boss!  Then, I couldn’t grasp the need for protecting her cubs from even the closest of people.  I couldn’t understand how or why she went so hard for them.  Then,  didn’t fully get it…but now I do.  I’ve have to just admit it.

My name is Veronica…and I am a Mama Bear.

My little one isn’t even earth side yet, and I already feel a strong urge to protect her from ANYONE with even the potential of harming her.  I can see my claw marks showing up everywhere.  I am really trying to be remain calm, collected, and aware that I am not the first person to have a baby, and my baby is not the second coming of Christ.  I, however, understand now how a Mama Bear is created.  Pregnancy, rather it be easy or difficult, is an emotional roller coaster and a huge physical sacrifice.  You gain weight, you can’t drink, and you make substantial adjustments to ensure a tiny life is sustained and successfully enters the world.  Ain’t nobody changing their life for 40 weeks, laboring for hours, and pushing a watermelon out of a lemon to just “go with the flow”.  That tiny life is EVERYTHING to that mama.  She is going to move heaven and earth to make sure that child is happy, healthy, safe, and sound.  If that means she obstructs your feelings or your agenda, so be it.

They say recognizing something is the first step to recovery, so I am trying to keep a few things in mind as I continue on this journey.

  • Get a second opinion – The village has helped tremendously.  They help me decipher between moments where I might be over-reacting and moments when my attack is appropriate and warranted.  They’ve allowed me to vent…sometimes you just need to get it out. 

  • Lead with Love – In most situations, it’s not what you do but how you do it.  In the same way that parenting will require patience and understanding, maneuvering relationships surrounding me need patience and understanding.  Its a transition for everyone, not just me.  Generally, people just want to help, and regardless of the current feeling…the help is needed.

  • Do you – Motherhood is just one of life’s many journeys.  It is a learning and ever evolving process filled with lessons and blessings.  Mistakes will happen…so what!  Those that love and care for you will understand.  Savor every moment.  Be fully present.  Be fully you!

So when you come and visit my little love, and I am meeting you at the door with hand sanitizer and a live-in doctor to test you and administer a flu and whooping cough shot, smile, comply, and know that I just want the very BEST for my little girl!

Are you a mama bear? What are your stories?  I’d love to hear!

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

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#ProtectYourPeace

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#ProtectYourPeace

By Veronica

 

Lately, I have experienced many moments where I am completely in tuned with the energy around me.  I have been in many situations where I could completely feel the tinges of negative energy.  It’s so amazing.  I am not certain if its the effects of the growing life in my womb or a heightened awareness caused by increased hormones, but more and more I have had to be mindful of the energy around me. 

In the past, I have struggled with people pleasing.  Knowing that the energy around me is contaminated with the other person's self-absorbed and even malicious intent, I continued to welcome their presence in my space.  I listened to their words, and ignored their actions.  Each time, I'd continuously come out on the short end of the stick.  Each time, I felt greatly depleted, less confident, and less capable.  I gave them my gifts, my voice, my time, my encouragement, and was left feeling lower than when I entered. 

Recently, I watched the clip inserted above from my Aunt (in my head), Oprah Winfrey, again, and it shook me to my core.  Although I’d seen the video several times before through many repostings, this time was life altering for me.  I literally replayed the video several times, finding so many relevant and meaningful points.  I decided to breakdown this brief video into a couple mini life lessons that I unknowing have started doing and will boldly continue to practice. 

Veronica (and baby) for  BestiesandBrunch.com

Veronica (and baby) for BestiesandBrunch.com

Auntie O says “I realized (the energy) was not supportive of who I want to be in the world”.  The realizing is essential.  For a long time, I thought the “who am I, and what I want to be” answer was such a complicated one, but it really isn’t.  I know who I am, my talents, and my likes/dislikes.  I know the person I want to become.  What I wasn’t doing was standing firmly in the truths of those answers.  Last week, Nikki wrote a phenomenal post about leaving your humble at the door.  To her point, I’ll add that boldly standing in your glow gets you to your goals.  Moreover, it can literally save your life.  Some people are only out to get what they can get, and being on some meek shit will literally take you out.  Stand firm.

2.  Engage Defensively.  When I learned to drive, my instructor would say, “drive defensively”, meaning that I was responsible for my own actions and the actions of other drivers. Auntie says “I recognized there are people that are not going to take responsibility for their energy, so I now have to take responsibility for the energy I allow in my space”.  Wheeewww!! BAY BEE!!  Besties, when I tell you I shouted so loud!  Not all people are as reflective and mindful of the consequences of their energy as you are.  Some folks are out here living real foul….wrecking lives, and taking names...with no regard!  Some people are truly smoke and mirrors, perpetrating themselves as caring individuals when they are only out for themselves.  You have to be your own shield, protecting your energy by any means necessary.

3. Trees Must Be Pruned in Order to Grow.  There are some people that must be cut, so that you can continue.  She says “you cannot continue to move forward in your life, if you are surrounded by energy that brings you down”.  This statement instantly centers me.  If your energy is not conducive to who I am and where I’m going, you’ve got to go.  In other words, its not you…its me! Bye Felicia!

Being of sound body, mind, and spirit is necessary to maintain the life you have and achieve the life you want!  Don’t allow someone else’s agenda to infringe on your peace.  Understand that who you are and what you want to be is of great importance.  You are the gift!  You deserve to be nurtured and empowered.  If there is energy that is not encouraging of that, it’s your responsibility to remove it!

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Love Without Fear,

Veronica

What are your take-aways from this Oprah quote?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Mommy Goals

Mommy Goals

By Veronica

It has been a while since I’ve sat down to write.  So much life has happened, so many surprise turns and twists.  I remember writing about the Power of Words.  But I never could have expected the Universe to respond in this way.  I always knew I wanted to be a mother.  What I didn’t know is babies come in their own time.  Nonetheless here I stand, half way into my Year Without Fear, expecting a baby girl.  If that ain’t a testimony, I don’t know what is! 

Yesterday, I made 20 weeks pregnant.  That’s the halfway mark (for those not hip to the ins and outs of pregnancy life).  While the first half was a breeze physically, the emotional journey was completely different.  I spent so much time questioning.  Why me?  Why now?  I spent so much time worrying.  What will people think?  How can I afford this?  I spent so much time mourning.  Mourning relationships failed.  Mourning for so many things left undone.  I spent so much time falling into old habits of self-doubt and trying to appease others.  I felt such guilt because at the end of the day, I asked for her, and, although it didn’t come packaged how I wanted, here is my shot.  My opportunity to have my life forever changed for the better, and I was wasting it.  In the midst of this emotional world wind, there was and is a question constantly looming, “what example do you want to set for her?”  What kind of parent do I want to be?

This little life, so innocent and deserving of all this world has to offer.  For reasons I don’t understand now, she entrusted flawed me, to be her mommy.  What a gift! Now is her time and mine to relish in the joys of her amazing creation and growth.  Now is our moment to bask in the beauty of this crazy ride called motherhood.  So, as a spin on one of my favorite post Squad Goals, I am spending the second half of pregnancy focusing on Mommy Goals.

  • Goal #1: Lead with Love

    In reflecting on all the mommy models that have come before me, love is always at the core.  At the beginning of trust, discipline, or growth is love.  Everyday, every decision, every word will be led in love.  In our days together, love will be our legacy. 

  • Goal #2: Be and Show

    Motherhood, while still very new to me, is growing me in ways I’ve needed to grow a long time ago.  It’s changing my decisions, my actions, all for the better.  In thinking about the woman I want her to become, I have to be that woman.  I have to show her beauty, empowerment, love, and forgiveness.  The way to be the best parent is to be the best person.

  • Goal #3: Mistakes Happen

Learning is messy.  I won’t be perfect, nor should I be, this is my first time!  But more important than every decision being the “right one”, is the commitment to try and try again.  When mistakes happen, and they will, I will share openly, apologize freely, and move forward.  I will openly share my story, so that she sees how imperfections are a necessary part of the journey. 

  • Goal #4: I am Her Guide, not Her Guard

Everyday I commit to always remembering that she is her own person.  While I will always hold and cherish our moments, I won’t hinder her from exploring this great world.  Such an important part of ensuring that she has a full life is helping her believe in herself.  I will offer her my world, but more importantly I will listen to her desires.  I will value her voice, keeping in mind that part of parenting is empowering her to show her gifts and be the person she chooses.

As I type these words, tears welling in my eyes, I am so amazed by this little life.  Still in the womb, she is shifting my life and the lives of others.  I look forward to meeting her, and feel so very blessed that she chose me.  While I don’t have all the answers, and will surely not get it all right, she will always get my best.  I don’t know that I am fully prepared for the love I will feel for her, but I look forward to sharing in her journey.  The best is yet to come!  See you in 20 weeks, sweet baby girl!

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

Any words of wisdom for a new mommy?  I would love to hear your thoughts!