Keeping the Peace, Life, Photography

How a Decade of Mommying Made Me a Better Me

This year my first born turns ten years old! It’s hard to believe I’ve been a mom for that long now. Kids teach us a lot about themselves and a lot about parenting. Sometimes the lessons are about how parenting is the toughest role in the world, but the majority of the time they are about how rewarding it can be. One of the more surprising things being a mom of two kids has taught me is how to be a better me. Granted there is still plenty of room for growth. It’s definitely a sort of continuing education that never ends. But being a mom for almost 10 years, while challenging at times, has truly made me a better person in so many ways.

First and foremost, I definitely have way more patience. It may not seem like it some days, especially when I’ve had to raise my voice after repeating an instruction for the 10th time. But hey, that’s an improvement. I would have cracked after the third request in my early mommy days. Progress, right?

I’ve learned how to live more in the present and be more intentional with my time. Sometimes you just have to stop whatever you are doing and spend time with your littles while they are still little and still want to spend time with you. When you understand our time is short here, you don’t want to waste a moment.

Being a mom has made me so much more peaceful. Sure it has also driven me completely nuts at times and has brought my anxiety to a whole new level, but it’s because of the challenges we face as parents, and my two extraordinary children that I have found a better way to manage my stress and anxiety. Now I can live more in peace than in chaos.

My children have also taught me how beautiful I am as a person, inside and out. Sure I have my flaws and weaknesses, as we all do. In the past I would focus on those more instead of looking in the mirror and seeing a beautiful, unique child of God. When you realize you’ve helped to create and have given birth to two beautiful children by God’s grace, then you know that same love and grace is what made you. Watching your heart walking outside of your chest on a daily basis forces you to realize your own beauty and the love that created it. I know my kids are watching how I talk about myself. So I am as kind as I can be to me, so that when they realize the beauty they possess they will also be kind to themselves and others.

I never knew how tough I was until I became a mom. I seriously feel like Wonder Woman on some days when I think of how resilient I have been and what I’ve been able to accomplish. I think about the challenges we’ve faced and how I have become stronger because of them and I haven’t let them break me. Mommyhood definitely exercises all your muscles and helps you to grow a pretty thick skin. It can also turn a once doormat girl into quite the assertive lady.

Over these years of being a mom, I’ve also discovered a lot of the little, less important details about myself. For instance, I love to cook for my family and wish I could do more of it. I’m an avid reader when I can find the time. When the kids are reading, I have to pick up my book too. I really enjoy having privacy at times and just being with myself (I’m not saying I get this often, but I never knew how precious it would become). I like to play with home decor and design. I’ve become pretty darn crafty. I love both coffee and wine equally. I’m obsessed with photography. Peonies are my favorite flowers. I am passionate about writing. I’m pretty particular about where things go around the house (that’s all I will say about that). I have a pretty positive outlook on life.

I’ve also learned that I need to keep working on being more flexible, more uplifting, more grateful, even more patient, even more positive, more loving, and even more faithful. That’s in no particular order, but they are all equally important because I always need to be the example to these two little blessings that have taught me a lot of what I know.

I know I am blessed with a wonderful husband & two great kids that were put in my love and protection. I pray every day in thanks for that.

I know I can bend without breaking.

I know how to be a bucket filler and not a bucket dipper.

I know that we have so much to be grateful for, even the smallest things we someties take for granted.

I know that saying “hurry up” doesn’t need to be in my vocabulary.

I know I can get more from being sweet than being sour.

I know a positive mindset is key in every struggle.

I know there are never enough hugs, kisses and I love yous.

I know that I’m never alone, no matter the challenge.

But the most important things I have learned from my kids over these many years are that I have a purpose in this world. Part of what I was called to do is be a mom to these two gems. And by being a mom, I have discovered many other ways I am here to serve. I am called to support our autism community. I am called to share God’s love and be a beam of light to others. I am here to share our story in a way that it may help others. I am here to advocate for and educate on autism, anxiety, peace, safe and healthy self-care, and above all I’m here to love.

Because loving these little people unconditionally for a decade really gives you a small idea of how much we are each loved by our creator and our own parents. It has taught me that love conquers all and that we are here for one main love and be loved. I hope that I can teach these two beautiful souls about this part of their purpose so they can be even better adults some day too.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there who continue to learn and grow along with their kids and who live a purpose full life every single day!

Much Love,
Darlene xo

Special thanks to Courtney Studios for capturing this wonderful moment between my kiddos and me. The best gift for a mom is always a piece of art centered around her family and Courtney always nails it!

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