Category :Guests

What Will Your Six Things Be Today?

Meet Michelle of Adding Bliss.  She’s a woman to admire – diagnosed with ADHD as an adult and a newlywed to boot!  I put those two together because becoming a newly wed can mess with your head almost as much as anything else I know, but she seems to have just gotten better.  I definitely want in on her secret, and she’s totally sharing with her Adding Bliss Journal Project.   She’s an organizational expert who can help people sort themselves out regardless of any challenges they may have, and she’s a driven woman intent on helping other women reach their own dreams. 

That’s her on the left here!

Plus, she’s an amazing DIY-er if I’ve ever seen one.  Seriously, how cool are these homemade wedding invitations? It’s a freakin’ scroll!!

Right now she’s spearheading a wonderful entrepreneurial project, The Adding Bliss Journal. It’s a journal that helps to focus the creative mind without being rigid.  This is such a great idea!  I often try journalling but I am faced with exactly the problem she brings up – a blank page – and I have no idea what to write about.  The Adding Bliss Journal helps you to focus your goal making and your energies towards those goals daily; hence the question, “What will your six things be today?” What have you done today to get you to where you want to go?  There’s pages for you to fill out, as well as free writing pages for moments of inspiration, and also inspiring quotes and original artwork.

“I want people to use the Adding Bliss Journal to connect to things
that are really important to them. In today’s society we’re so over
stimulated and busy that we tend to fall into routines that make us
forget our dreams & goals and also how creative we are.” says Michelle.

She’s holding a campaign to help fund her project through donations and pre-sales *anything from $1 to $40* and get this journal published.  Check out the details here, and see some of the fun artwork!

And if you decide to support her, the first 250 people get the journal for $15 inc. shipping.  Oh, and if you mention that you came from ModaMama to get an extra special reward! So fun!

Mamahood Exposed: Hello Crazy

Mamahood Exposed continues with an open and honest post from Lindsay about her experience with PPD. 

When I found out I was pregnant with Oliver, I was thrilled.  Ecstatic. Over the moon.

All I ever wanted was to be a mother. When I was young and the teacher would ask what we wanted to be when we grew up, my answer was always, “A Momma“. I mean why couldn’t I be?
So when the opportunity came to actually become a Momma, I dove in head first.  I read books.
Some serious ones like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”which scared the crap out of me by the way.  Some may disagree but I think that book does more harm than good.  And some silly books like, “The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy” and “Belly Laughs”. Those were more my speed.  They were true, honest and got down to the nitty gritty.  If it wasn’t for those books I wouldn’t of been prepared for the ugly.
I had an amazing pregnancy with Oliver.  I was never sick, I felt wonderful.  I was growing a human being.  I was grateful.  Sure I had my moments of irritability.  And moments of shear crazy.  Just ask Ryan about the ice cream incident.  But for the most part, it was good.  I was good.
Fast forward to February 16, 2010. 4:48pm to be exact.  I was a mom.  He was here, and he was perfect.  And I loved him. I loved him right?  I thought I did, but I wasn’t sure.  It wasn’t an immediate feeling.  If anything, I felt like I was in shock.  Shock from my not so pleasant delivery.  Shock from just having a baby. And shock for becoming a mother.
A Momma. His Momma.

Someone completely responsible for keeping another human being…a very tiny human being alive.  I began to feel very anxious.
What should of been a joyous time for me, wasn’t.   I laid there in the delivery room with so many people around me and I felt so….alone.  While everyone commented on how adorable, and healthy…oh so healthy Oliver was.  No one asked about me.  While I laid there quiet and still, I was screaming inside.
It hit that quickly, the PPD.  The depression that is still such a secret.  A dirty little secret.  I didn’t realize it the time. I just thought it was The Baby Blues.  Ya know, what those pregnancy books just graze over.  It wasn’t serious.  And it sure as Hell wasn’t happening to me.  But it was.
I loved my son. At least I thought I did.  I felt he deserved someone better than me.  Someone who could really love him.  Ya know like they show in TV and movies.  She has a baby and bam immediate love.  He deserved that.  Not this shell of a woman, going through the motions pretending to be a mom.
A mother. His Momma.
I never wanted to hurt my son.  If anything I wanted to protect him.  From everything and everyone.  The anxiety I felt for him, towards him was crippling.  If we left the house I had to drive.  If we had plans, I’d cancel at the last minute.  I couldn’t leave him.  With anyone. At all.  What if something happened to him?
I would sit and watch him sleep.  Fearful for him to stop breathing. Always listening.  I would jolt myself awake the minute I began to doze off.  I needed to stay awake.  I needed to constantly watch him.  Must. Not. Fall. Asleep.
The sleep deprivation does some crazy things to you.  No wonder its used to torture people.  I felt like I was being tortured, by my own self. 
I knew something was wrong.  This feeling wasn’t going away.  It was past 3 weeks wasn’t I suppose to start enjoying this time by now?  When would the horrible thoughts go away.  Thought of me falling down the stairs with Oliver in my arms.  Or someone breaking in.  Or the big tree in the front yard falling into our house.  Or Oliver falling off the counter. Why would he be on the counter?  Or me forgetting to put him back in his pack n play and rolling over him in my sleep.  Or something happening to my husband.  To Ryan, my lifeline.
Hello Crazy.
I knew it was time.  Time to make that call.  Time to admit this was bigger than I was and I needed help.  The doctor had me fill out this depression questioner.  “Circle one in each row” she said,  always, sometimes or never.  As she walked out of the room.  Leaving me with the questioner and my thoughts.  My crazy irrational thoughts.
Final verdict: PPD with mild anxiety.  Yup, I could of told her that.  She wrote me a prescription for Zoloft and sent me on my way.
The pharmacist told me it would take a week or two before I would feel the difference.  I felt it after that first day.  I felt better.  Not quite “me” but I felt closer to being me.  The next day a little better.  After a week, I was up. Getting dressed and leaving the house.
Months went by and the anxiety continued to lessen.  It was there, the thoughts were always there. still are.  But they didn’t stay very long.  And I didn’t dwell on them.  And I didn’t let them control me anymore.  It was working.  Thank God, it was working.
By the time Oliver was 3 months old. I felt like myself.  I felt happiness.  I enjoyed my son and my new life, as a momma.
His Momma.

I was accepting it and not fighting it anymore.
Having a baby changes you.  You start out as a woman, you give birth and you break down.  You bleed, and break and shed a lot of tears.  But its the only way to be rebuilt into a mother.
PPD can happen to anyone. You.  Me.  It doesn’t discriminate and it doesn’t let go.  But it doesn’t have to control you.  It doesn’t have to control me.  This was just my story on the “secret depression”.  Something one may not even understand unless they have been there.  It goes beyond hormones and being an emotional girl.  It goes beyond “sucking it up” and “tomorrow is another day”.  It’s real and it’s scary.  But it doesn’t have to last forever.
When I was pregnant with Landon I was worried it would happen again.  I spoke with my doctor about about my options but in the end opted out of the prescription he offered to write for me after I delivered Landon.  I felt different.  I felt that immediate love for my child.  And I didn’t for once feel alone.

Are you an honest Mama with a story to tell? 
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Mamahood Exposed: Being a Mama

Mamahood Exposed continues by asking the question, “What is it to be a Mama?”

Hello Moda Mama readers!  I am really really excited to be guest posting on Joanna’s blog today! I work with Joanna over at RevolutionizeHer and I know in just our short time working together that she is an amazing woman, mother, and role model! I really look up to her and her passions {and fashions!} about motherhood. I feel so honored to be sharing her blog today!

I guess I should introduce myself.  My name is Megan Robinson and I am a wife, mommy, random dance party-er, joker and wannabe yoga master! I blog over at {And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson} and I love it!! I have had my little bloggity-blog for a while but just recently started developing a real passion for it. I like to talk about everything from my family, marriage, my chubby boy and my every day struggles that we can all relate to.

Today, I wanted to share something that I have learned about what it means to be a mother. For a while after my son was born I started really suffering from depression. And my emotions took an even sharper turn south once I started criticizing myself about how I was {or am} as a mother.  I would get even more down when I would listen to how other people seemed to define mothers and their purpose, both with people who don’t have children and other mothers themselves. Obviously we are all in different situations and have different perspectives of what being a mother entails.  But I realized it was important to define what being a mother means to me.

To me, a mother isn’t just someone who has children but someone who cares for, nourishes and appreciates her children’s individually.
To me, a mother doesn’t feel obligated to spend time with and take care of her children. But has an overwhelming desire to nurture her children.
To me, a mother doesn’t just love her children, she enjoys them.
To me, a mother is someone who is there for her children not just physically but psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.
To me, a mother doesn’t only teach her children how to learn and grow, but in in the process progresses herself and finds her own fulfillment through her children and learning how to be a mother.
To me, a mother knows who she is aside from being a mother. Being a mother doesn’t limit her but instead stretches her abilities to help her become a stronger and better woman.
Most importantly, a mother isn’t a way to define yourself. It is a way to lead you to something better.

There have been days/weeks/months where it’s really hard for me be the best mom I knew my son deserved.  A lot of times I feel obligated,
I feel emotionally unstable to nurture him,
I feel like I’m just going through the motions to get through the day,
I feel unfulfilled,
I feel limited,
& some days I feel so frustrated that even though I know I love my son, I don’t take the time to fully enjoy his sweet spirit and energetic personality.  Through my process of rediscovery, I have been learning that as I figure out who I am, love myself, and find what helps me feel fulfilled and accomplished, being the mother that I know I want to be and hope to be seems to fall into place.  I have learned what it means to be a true mother and what I need to do to be the mother I want to be for my children. Instead of settling on being the obligated, emotional, limited one.

Thank you again for allowing me to share a personal story with you all! I really hope you all stop by and share some of your stories with me so we can all learn to be the best people we can be together!

Are you a Mama with a story to tell?
Send your submission to

Mamahood Exposed: Lessons In Love

Our children can drive us crazy, but they can also be our saving grace. Here’s Megan from Absolute Mommy with her story.

There is
something to be said for first love.  The
immediate ache in your heart.  When you
know you will never feel this way again. 
With first love you know that no matter  what happens in your life, this moment, this
person, this instant was it for you. 
First love, I thought I knew you. 
I had no idea.

I fell in love
for the first time the day Caitlin was born. 
She isn’t an only child, but it’s that crazy kind of first love. The
kind that makes you stay up all night just to make sure she is still breathing.  Love that makes you do and say the most
ridiculous things.  Things like of course
I’m breastfeeding (I wasn’t); no the night waking doesn’t bother me (smiling
and delusional through exhaustion); and my favorite, of course she sleeps
through the night (with me in the same bed of course).  The kind of love that makes you go to three
different stores in a panic to find the last Buzz Lightyear in stock.  The Buzz Lightyear that is going to make or
break this birthday, which is tomorrow, and you still have 2 dozen cupcakes to
bake.  That crazy first love that makes
you forget you had a life before.   The
kind of love that changes you without your permission.

Four years ago I
became Mom, Mommy, or WAHHHH, I answer to all three.  I was caught between scared out of my mind
and utterly happy.  Labor hadn’t killed
me, so the rest had to be smooth sailing. 
I was ready to tackle this thing called motherhood.  That natural instinct that is in every woman
who becomes a mom.  I had read the books.  I took the childbirth class, and even
properly diapered a doll.  I had bought
the most expensive breast pump on the market, just in case.  I was ready for that little bloody bundle of
joy to be dropped onto my chest… and there she was.  My first love, screaming at the top of her
lungs and mad at the world.  It was just
the beginning.

Caitlin and I
did not enjoy blissful days of early motherhood.  I wanted everything to be perfect.  I tried in vain to breastfeed, over and over
again, until I tearfully gave her a bottle. 
I started pumping because that’s what “good and loving”
mothers do, and hated it and resented it every time.  The less Caitlin slept, the less I slept,
until it was just one continuous day after another.  I think I held her in my arms for 36 hours
straight, because every attempt to lay her down was met with blood curdling
screams.  I was a crazy lady in stained
sweats and dirty hair.  All because I
just wanted to be good.  I just wanted
her to love me back.  I just wanted her
to know that I was in this for the long haul, better or worse, tired or

For months I
struggled to make sense of my failing attempt at motherhood.  I loved her, I was giving my 110%, and still
I felt like I was just subpar.  I drove
myself crazy with trying to be the ‘best’ instead of just focusing on doing my
best.  Through it all, Caitlin could have
given a flying fig newton!  She wanted to
be in my arms.  She just wanted me to
give her a bottle.  She wanted to see my
face as she screamed at 2 am.  She just
wanted me, very much in the same way, I just wanted her.  For better or worse

How odd that I
didn’t recognize unconditional love.  I
know unconditional love.  You don’t grow
up an only child and feel unloved. 
However they were my parents. 
They had the same infatuation and instant love that I now had for
Caitlin.  My husband loves me, and I
believe unconditionally.  My husband
however had a choice.  He chose me.  Caitlin had no choice.  She didn’t get to pick whose uterus seemed
inhabitable.  If so she could have picked
J-Lo or Ann Coulter.  So by the luck of
the draw, she picked me, and somehow she loved me regardless.  

The hardest year
of my life also turned out to be the best year of my life.  It was the journey and the lesson.  Caitlin was a lesson in love.  Her love validated me as a mother.  I had spent a year hating everything I did, focusing
on every failure, but Caitlin’s love was constant.  Caitlin still loved me even though I could
not breastfeed.  She loved me when I
couldn’t take the cry it out sleep method. 
She loved me even when I no longer believed in or loved myself.  It didn’t matter to her whether I was wearing
make-up or had taken a shower.  I was her
mother, and as long as I held her and fed her, and smiled at her, she loved me.  I had read an article once that said
consistency was the key to great parenting. 
For Caitlin and I our only constant that first year was love.

Caitlin’s love
changed me.  It made me realize that no
matter my faults, I’m still deserving of love. 
I still deserved to be happy and enjoy motherhood.  Caitlin became my reason to smile, to try
harder, to love better.  No longer the
self centered only child, I was now her mother. 
I’m sure I will always be her selfless to a fault, over reactive, still
sometimes negative mother.  She started
to sleep longer and more peacefully.  I
put the breast pump in the back of the closet. 
I’ve decided that being perfect isn’t as important as being happy.  So what?   I’m not perfect, she doesn’t expect me to
be.  Her love is, as it was from the
beginning, constant and unwavering.  It’s
through her love that I rediscovered myself, and the mother I’m supposed to
be.  A mother that can relax if we are
eating cereal for dinner.  A mom that can
ignore the Oreo cookie stains.  A mommy
who giggles when she’s covered in popsicles kisses.

lessons in love continue.  Now it’s a
juggle of the “Mommy would you play with me”, and the dishes piled in
the sink.  It’s convincing a four year
old that no matter how quickly Mommy loses her temper, it’s really not her
fault.  It’s the tears in my eyes when
she tells me “Mommy I’m sorry you yelled at me, I love you”.  Yes, she does apologize to me when I lose it
from time to time.  It’s just another
lesson in love, and I’m humbled to be her student.

Are you a Mama with a story to tell?
Email your submission to

Mamahood Exposed: It’s a Marathon Not A Sprint

Sometimes we forget that Mamahood is for the long haul and that in order to finish at the end we have to figure out ways to take breaks.  Here’s Esther’s story. 

Hi there! I am Esther from Lovingly Thrown Together where I blog about my life with two incredibly handsome dudes, recipes, crafts, and some real-life mama stuff. 

I am so happy to be here for this Motherhood Exposed series.


When Joanna first asked me to contribute to the series, 
I wrote this feel-good post about how angelic my son looks 
when I hold him in the middle of the night if he wakes up scared or sick.  
But in proofreading that post I realized that I was painting a picture that truly did not fit my reality. 
So I highlighted the entire thing and quickly hit delete before I could reconsider.


My journey as a mom started on September 21, 2010. 
My son Jacob was born at 11:04am and turned my world upside down (in a good way).
I have since been a stay-at-home mom and work from home part-time as a freelance writer. 
Jacob is a great kid. He’s slept well since the beginning and has always been good with transitions. He plays well and eats well.
But the truth is sometimes how good he is doesn’t really matter 
and I need alone time. Sometimes I need an afternoon of coffee, computer, tv, and a book.
The problem is that when I signed up to be a mom I had to agree to die to myself in every single way. I read once that being a mom is realizing that you don’t matter anymore. 
Your child’s needs come first… all the time.
Let me tell you, 
that becomes exhausting pretty fast.
Sometimes my son is walking around with freshly washed hair, an impeccable pair of pants, 
and a spankin’ new t-shirt. Me? My uniform includes uggs, jeans, and a forgiving long-sleeve tshirt… when I am lucky enough to have gotten out of my pajamas. 
Most days he eats breakfast, snack, and lunch before I even get a sip of my coffee. 
True story.


His needs are at times overwhelming but they need tending to. Yes I scream sometimes 

(and no joke I apologize to him every single time) 
and I cry a lot 
(I don’t apologize for that because usually I feel so much better after a good sob sesh).
When I need breaks, which is pretty often, I have to remind myself to take them. 
I have another cup of coffee, I sit to watch a show, I get a babysitter so my husband 
and I can go out for date night, or we drop him off at his grandparents.

You see, my son is going to be my son forever and ever. I think I better take some breaks now 
so I can finish the race with my sanity (somewhat) intact.

Are you a Mama with a story to tell? 
Email your submission to

Mamahood Exposed: Time Off

We can do it all right? We’re selfless, self-sacrificing saints who are always there and never need a break, right?  
Am I right? 

There’s a certain piece of advice for mothers that I’ve always had a very hard time following. It’s crucial to a properly functioning household and without it, all will go berserk.

As mothers we must take time for ourselves.
Plain & simple, right?

For me, not so much. As of late I’ve been in this funk. Just going through the motions and doing my best to maintain my patience with a toddler who insists more and more on asserting her independence and doing things her way. (Hmmm… I wonder where she gets that stubbornness from?) I became increasingly more and more stressed until I just broke down.


I was picking up toys after I tried (and failed miserably for the 4th day in a row) to put Alea down for her nap and Cory got her down in ten minutes, maybe less. I just started crying and poured my heart out and let all my frustrations out while Cory listened on with wide eyes.

He replied with: “Maybe you should take next weekend off.”

And this is just proof how bad I needed it. I thought twice. I hesitated. It took just a little more convincing, but I agreed.

Even just having some mommy-time-off to look forward to can put a little more pep in your step. I’ve been doing a lot better this week just knowing that some me-time is on the horizon. I just have to make it through a couple more days and I can take a deep breath and regroup.

What will I be doing with this time off you ask? Staying at my mom’s. Sleeping in. Uninterrupted homework and blogging time. Reading. Meeting a friend for coffee and most importantly, enjoying the peace and quiet.

The moral of this (somewhat pathetic) tale is that as mama’s, we need to remember that in order to be there for our families, we need to be there for ourselves as well.

So, take some time away. Get your hair done, wander aimlessly around Target or take yourself out for a cup of coffee.

Take time to reflect on the wonderful mother you are and how much more you can be there for your family by giving yourself time to reboot. You won’t regret it!

Are you a Mama with a story to tell?
Email your submission to

Mamahood Exposed: To Laugh

Sometimes we take our role as Mamas very seriously, and sometimes you just gotta throw your hands in the air and say, “To heck with it!”

Hey there, I’m Beth and I blog at Through the Eyes of the Mrs.  I’m a mother to three ages five, three and two.  You could say I’m a pretty busy person. I try to do it all and usually have a breakdown once a month. You know how it is? We are expected to be super hero’s.  It’s tough to meet every one’s expectations.
So today instead of telling you how I do it all.  I’m going to let you see how imperfect I am and let you know it’s okay.  We are our biggest critics and sometimes we need to give ourselves a break.We can’t always do it all and it’s okay to laugh at ourselves.
 Did someone say Cheerios? Whoops I think she got carried away.  All the while I’m desperately trying to finish the dishes.  What are you going to do?  
Call the dog and grab the vacuum.

Yes he wore two different colored flip flops.  Even though I say I have eyes everywhere we both know that isn’t true.  Let me tell you about another shoe story in the summer.  We had a busy day and last minute decided to go and grab dinner.  We arrived at the restaurant and realized our oldest wasn’t wearing shoes.  
Yes, these are the things that happen to me.

 Brianna with her worm friend.  She held onto him while spending an afternoon outside.  Sadly this is the only picture we have of her with her wormy.  Right after I took this she decided to eat him.  Now what kind of mother allows her daughter to eat a worm?  I will tell you… A speechless one!
Who dressed this poor boy for preschool?  Well his entire class realized he was a size 5/6.
I felt terrible but at least he was wearing underwear.  
Of course he didn’t care, not one bit.  Harmless mistakes happen. 

I’ve decided I should never walk out of a room.  The kids covered our golden in their macaroni and cheese.  The sad part was she was trying desperately to have a bite.  
Needless to say she needed a bath.

I guess I shouldn’t have left the butter on the counter after breakfast. Note to self, a two year old will wash their hair with butter.  It is the worst to try to get out of their hair.  Especially if it hadn’t been brushed yet.  
Guard your butter!
If you spend a lot of time on a cake just spare yourself the trouble.  Give them a piece!
Never say “don’t touch the cake it’s for after dinner.”
Do yourselves a favor and listen to this important message.
Just buy stock in Kleenex already.
I’m sure this is a regular occurrence in every house with toddlers.
Now most of these are cell phone pictures but you get the idea.
We have to laugh and quit being so tough on ourselves.  No one is perfect and mothers have a tough job.  Face it we are all pretty amazing!

Are you a Mama with a story to tell? 
Send in your submission to

Mamahood Exposed: Hearts Outside Ourselves

This beautiful poetic piece from Melissa of Mama STYLE shows exactly the pain and joy all Mamas feel, all the time.
Mama hood…if there was ever a ‘hood I wanted to be in, it was
that one.  In the mama hood, with my
little bebe in one arm, and his/her daddy in the other.  We tried.  We were successful.  We grew
that baby from pea to pumpkin and when the clock struck 16:16 on December 21st,
2009 my little pea entered the whole and my heart shattered in a million
An emotional explosion occurred, and through my morphine
high, I tried to gather up the pieces of my heart: joy, worry, pain, pride,
hesitation…everything. I tried to stuff it all back in where it was safe…to
where I wouldn’t have to worry; to worry about this life…this sweet little soul
who was now mine forever.  As day grew
into night, and the hospital filled with dim grey light, and no one was around
but our little family, I knew it wasn’t possible. My heart would never, could
never, be the same.  My heart does not
beat for me anymore, it beats for him. 
At times the emotions were choking, I thought I was
prepared…I wasn’t.  I wanted more time,
I was overwhelmed.  Regretful that our
lives were now rushing on and slowing down wasn’t possible.  I wanted time to stand still…I pictured
myself in a room, frozen, with little balls floating around me, the pieces of
my shattered heart. I wanted so badly to capture them and make peace with every
one of them.  I wanted to make sure that
I was going to make this journey in the ‘hood. 
I wanted relief, safety, hope…it didn’t happen. Well, not all at
once.  Physically, I made it through;
while my vision clouded in an emotional fog. 
Slowly, while they didn’t make back into my heart, they exist along with
me, surrounding me, letting me know that things will be okay.  The jagged shock of it all slowly began grounding
down into softness, allowing me to breathe, to live and accept that I can, and
will, do this.  My life would never be
the same I can’t go back. I won’t go back. Our life, our future…now that the
fog has lifted; it’s bright and sunny out there.
Like two tectonic plates, my life was shifted.  It was sudden and I had no idea, zero
preparation for that emotional attack, and I know that I never, ever, want to
be in that state of mind again.  But as
I watch my sweet boy grow, I’m grateful for every tear that I spilled…every
question I had…grateful because without it all, I wouldn’t have him.  It was my path that led to a mountain and
I’m proud to be at the other side.

The quote isn’t the happiest…but it’s one of the
truest I’ve read.  “Through the
blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did –
that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions,
whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in
the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not
designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just
that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” (Debra

Are you a Mama with  a story to tell?  
Send in your submission to 

Mamahood Exposed: Seeking Answers

When our children are aching we ache with them, and when they struggle we struggle with them.  Here’s one woman’s struggle.
Hi everyone!  I am so happy that Joanna asked me to be a part of her motherhood series here on ModaMama!  I love her blog, and I look forward to connecting to other mommy bloggers!

First, a quick introduction.My name is Lena and I blog over at Mom2MemphisAndRuby.  I am a mom of two, married to a great guy & living in a small farming community in Quebec, Canada.  Ruby is our spunky 4 year old drama queen, in a nutshell.  She takes ballet
& loves it!  She’s a bit of a diva, but is also very sweet
& quite artsy. And hilarious!  She comes out with the strangest things!  She loves sugar, the color pink and anything that sparkles…She is definitely a free-spirit and keeps us on
our toes!  My son Memphis is 6 years old, very bright, charming, funny… and has very recently been diagnosed with ADHD… this is where my journey through motherhood took a turn I hadn’t expected it to…
You see, Memphis is our first.  To us, he is {and always has been} perfect.  Sure, there were signs that he was a little “different” ever since he was a baby, but we chalked these up to being little “quirks” that were just part of his personality.
He was a very content baby & young child.  He rarely fussed or cried.  He could sit & stare at books for hours.  Very independent & well liked by other children.  He was always happy, gentle & well-mannered.
He has never been good at maintaining eye contact.  When he was younger, he was very “OCD-ish”… everything had it’s place. And although he has sort of outgrown this, routines are still very important to him.  Everything needs to feel like it his idea or done his way.  He’s not spoiled.  It’s hard to explain, but it’s like he can’t move forward until his has thought everything through.  Everything!  And then, only then, can he continue.
These “quirks”  were always “there.”  But he was thriving and functioning well.  We thought he was a very well adjusted little boy.
The winter he turned four is when things started to get a little “crazy” for us.  All of a sudden he was exhibiting aggressive behaviors with other children & staff at the daycare he has attended since he was barely 10 months old.
He was still acting mostly like his normal self at home, so to be honest, my husband and I thought there were factors at the daycare that were influencing his behavior.  We know that there was a little boy he didn’t get along with, part of us felt like he had been bullied (yes, at four!) and decided to put his foot down.  It wasn’t an excuse, we didn’t condone his behavior, but it was a way to explain what was happening.  We worked with the daycare very closely, we maintained very similar routines and discipline tactics and thinks were going better at daycare and we thought the worst was behind us.
Then last May, he snapped.
I can’t explain it any other way.  One day, something {I wish I could tell you what, but I still have no idea} upset him and he flew into a rage.  He was screaming horrible things, crying, throwing things, threatening to hurt us.  Nothing we could do or say would make him stop.  I broke down… he saw me crying and just cringed.  He started crying even more, apologizing, saying he didn’t know why he was feeling that way.  It broke our hearts.  It scared us since we’d never seen him that way before.

At this point, we knew something was wrong.  From that day on, things weren’t the same.  His moods could shift at any moment and go from 0 to 60 in a split second.  We tried identifying triggers, but it seemed impossible.  We noticed he became a lot more restless.  If he wasn’t focusing on something, then he was bouncing off the walls.
My husband & I were at the end of our ropes.  The feeling of not being able to help your kid is something that breaks your heart day after day.  I wasn’t sleeping, and my husband was heading towards a depression… I’m sure of it.  My friends & family were worried for us.  I was too worried about Memphis to think too much about how it was affecting me, and the rest of my family.  Happily, we have an amazing support system… they’ve got our backs.

Just before starting kindergarten this summer, we met with the school to explain what we were going through.  They were happy to have been given an advanced warning…and I’m so glad we had that meeting.
Since then, Memphis has had a lot of difficulties at school.  Academically, he’s thriving.  He really is a bit of a smarty pants.  We’ve called him our little professor and our human database for years!  But socially, he’s having a very hard time.  Again, if things don’t go “his way” he has a hard time functioning.  Noise seems to be a trigger as well… he has a lot of problems during recess and lunch hour in the cafeteria.

The teachers & aides are amazing.  The Principal has gone above & beyond to help him, to help us, and I’ll be forever grateful.  Even prior to his recent diagnosis (read about that here), an extra aide was hired to help him in class and a little room was built especially for him… a place to go & calm down before things get out of hand.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably Googled these symptoms & behaviours.  Aspergers, on the autism spectrum, is what jumps out at us the most…but maybe that’s not it.  We don’t know yet.
We have started Memphis on medication for the ADHD.  We had exhausted every other measure.  Having him home over the holidays has been a blessing.  We are monitoring his prescription and giving him the lowest dose possible that helps him focus, & function well during the day.

The hope is once the ADHD is under control, a complete psych evaluation can be done. {since the hyperactivity has subsided since he’s been on the meds, we’re noticing more extreme version of those little “quirks” he’s already had}  With all his “quirks” we are pretty sure there are underlying issues that need to be addressed.
I wish I could have fit our story into a simpler, shorter post… I thank you if you’ve made it this far.  It is a relief for me to be able to talk openly about our recent struggles with Memphis.  I have made friends with many women who have gone through similar situations with their children, and knowing that we’re not the first family to go through this provides tremendous comfort.

Being a mother is something I always wanted to be.  I never thought it would be this difficult this early on.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way… he is ours, and he is perfect.
We are happy, we are optimistic.  We are in a better place now since his diagnosis.  We look forward to a day when we have “all the answers” but until then we’ll take it one day at a time!
Thanks again, Joanna for inviting me to share my story on ModaMama.

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Mamahood Exposed: She Saved My Life

You fall in love, get married and have babies, and everything is perfectly arranged like that right?  Wrong, things don’t ever go as we planned, but that doesn’t mean things can’t be amazing…

Hi, I’m Liz. I blog over at, The Blue Eyed Owl, about all things vintage, handmade and my life as mom, wife and indie business owner. Since my blog is more business centered I have yet to tell the story of my journey to motherhood with any of my readers. It was very therapeutic to write about this and I have a feeling I’ll be sharing more of my life on my blog as a result. Here is my story…

My daughter saved my life.
I was quiet in high school, introverted. I had extremely low self-esteem. I had popular friends and was with that crowd, but never really in it. I tested my limits. I did everything I could to escape. I had a supportive, loving family, but I pushed them away. My parents did their best with me, but it was clear I needed to figure life out on my own. 

I was smart, in AP and honors classes, but I far from reached my potential. I “Cliff Notes’d” my way through those classes and was the Queen of BS essays. By some miracle, I managed to graduate with honors and a scholastic diploma and was accepted to every university I applied to. I chose Arizona State. It was close to home. I wanted a new beginning, but was terrified to leave my comfort zone.
I thought graduation was a fresh start. I was going to take control of my life and do something great, the new me. Enter…the boy.

The summer before I started at ASU, I was introduced to a boy who would end up being the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. He had a cool car, cool friends and was a master manipulator. I was hooked. He had never had a girlfriend before. I thought I was special. It turns out I was just the only girl who had ever fallen for his act. I was putty in his hands. 

To this day I don’t understand how I stayed with someone so emotionally abusive, controlling, jealous, and terrifying. My friends tried to talk sense into me. They went to my parents and asked them to forbid me from seeing him. My parents knew better. I was 18 and I was rebelling and had blinders on when it came to this boy. They needed to stay close, so they could protect me. I cried more tears my freshman year of college than I had my whole life prior. I drowned my sorrows and escaped with alcohol and partying. I was on a fast track to nowhere. I should have been in jail or even dead. It was the darkest time in my life and there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
In the fall of my sophomore year, I found out I was pregnant. The boy accused me of cheating and said it wasn’t his. He left and went out with his friends and didn’t come back for days. I was on my own.
I made a decision right there and then that I was better than this. This baby, no bigger than an apple seed, saved me. I stopped drinking and smoking and lived a healthy lifestyle. I chose a major, elementary education. I reconnected with my family and eventually moved back home. I worked full time waiting tables, went to school full time and was pregnant. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
The boy went to jail. He had been hiding several arrests from me and was gone. 

On July 15, 2004 my Bailey was born. She almost died. God still wasn’t sure if I deserved her. Her heart stopped, and she was ripped from me via emergency c-section. The prayers that came from that OR and that waiting room convinced Him. This child was needed more on Earth than in Heaven. 

She was healthy and happy. I was even more determined to be good for her. After a rocky year of trying to involve the boy in her life and have a “real” family, I gave up. We had my family and his family, but he would never change. 

Bailey was raised by a village. I went back to school a month after my c-section with a handicapped parking pass and a breast pump. Grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and friends gave Bailey more love than any traditional family could have. It turned out she didn’t only save me, but my whole family.

For 18 months I didn’t even consider another relationship. It wasn’t until I was okay with myself that I could even fathom it. One day I realized, I was a great person. I was proud of myself for the first time of my life. This child made me see that I deserved to be happy.

Enter…the man. I met Matt when Bailey was two. I’ll spare you the details but trust me when I say he is OUR soul mate. I was so worried that Bailey would never have a “real” family. She has so much more. 
 I continue to live every day for her and my future children, but more importantly, for myself.
 My daughter saved my life.

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