Sunday, July 29, 2018

Stepping into Motherhood Is Moving

Stepping into Motherhood is growing up and moving onto a more professional platform with Wordpress. I started here over six years ago in which I started as Time with A & N with probably like two dozen readers.

But years later as I'm starting to get my words on bigger publishing sites I felt I needed a more professional blog platform to support my growth as a writer. Though now I may get my words seen by thousands; I'm still not in the millions yet, it was my readers here that gave me the confidence to keep putting my words out there.

I hope you'll follow Stepping into Motherhood on the new website. Though I am throwing more of my time and words onto paying websites as a freelancer I will still write about life, family, and chaos when the mood strikes me.

I love hearing from readers and can always be reached at Take care, mommas, and I hope to see you on the new site.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sixth Blogiversary: Taking My Knocks and Getting Back Up

May is the month of my blogiversary of starting this blog here which originally started as Time with A & N. But then as we were getting ready to add to the A & N family which ended up being an L I changed the name to Stepping into Motherhood, which I think is much more fitting anyway because my focus more times than not anymore is about motherhood.  Now this summer I'm looking into updating the site by hopefully moving posts over to the wordpress platform rather than blogger and actually having a website name that either includes my name or Stepping into Motherhood. This move will hopefully make the site look more professional and content easier to share.

Though this little blog of mine remains pretty miniscule small, I love the little motherhood community here that it's become. I only have about 200-300 readers on average which is also reflective of my facebook following which is my go to platform to use for social media as I am not very good with being active on twitter and I cannot remember my Instagram login.

Like with many things in life my failures and successes here are all about perspective. I could look at it as this is all I've accomplished in six years of hacking away at this writing thing and focus on all the rejections from editors I've received. Or I can focus on the fact that the blog has slowly but steadily grown over the years, as well as my publishing portfolio. Sometimes our successes are in the fact that we just keep showing up even when we've constantly been knocked down. If there's anything I'd like to think I'm good at it's taking my knocks and getting back up. This writing thing, though a true passion of mine since I was ten years old, is not without its tough moments of doubt. People can be critical; editors can be harsh, and it's quite easy to get down on myself and doubt what I can accomplish.

The first time I had an essay published in 2012 I was so excited to be "published" I happily handed my writing over to websites and magazines for free. However, six years into this and I've reached a point finally where if you're not paying me you're not publishing my work. Unless it's some huge giant well known platform of course because of course I'm not going to turn them down over something like money.

Throughout the past six years I've managed to get over 50 essays published for around $1300. I've also almost sold 200 books. After Chicken Soup for Soul in which millions read their books I'm to be published later this month on my next biggest platform with That's Inappropriate who has almost 1.4 million readers. They just added a parents content platform to their website in hopes of being the next Scary Mommy and invited myself, along with over 200 other parent content writers, to submit monthly for their 30 or so publication spots per month. They've bought three of my essays/articles so far, and I of course plan to keep throwing my hat in the ring to get more of my work published with them.

There's pretty big competition out there so I've dealt with a lot of rejection. It's just part of the game. Most times I get that but it's definitely had its discouraging moments. Too many rejections and I often take a bit of a "break" for myself. I love to write and I don't want frustration with it to take away my love for it.  I totally get every single thing I write is not publication worthy, and also that everything I write is not everyone's cup of tea. I feel everything with strong emotion- whether it's my anger or my joy, my frustration or my happiness, and I know no matter what emotion I'm running with at the moment I'm possibly coming in too hot with it. But one of the frequent compliments I get is that I keep it real. Motherhood is this incredibly raw emotional journey where we're gushing in happiness at how incredibly sweet it is one moment to barely holding our shit together and going scary mommy crazy on someone in the next moment. It's all here in this space- the highs with the lows and the joys with the struggles.

I use this space as my sounding board where I'm sure I ramble on and say too much probably too often. But my rambling list of ideas and thoughts here is where everything first takes shape before some things are cleaned up and moved on to be published elsewhere. Some posts on here are just my therapy when I need to sort some shit out, and more times than not the women that read here are amazing at giving the feedback and insight I need to hear.

For those that have shown up at some point in these six years and decided to hang out despite my numerous typos and grammatical errors, crazy rants, self indulged pity parties, boastful moments of success and happiness,  thank you!  My writing life really does start here with you! Thanks for sticking around.

Want to help me as a writer?

Buy my book Moms, Monsters, Media, and Margaritas or download the ebook here.

Buy my interactive journal for mothers and daughters Letters to a Daughter

Follow, share, and invite friends to follow my Stepping into Motherhood facebook page

Share any posts from the blog here at any time that resonate with you.

Share any of my published articles and essays I share on my pages.

Want a copy of the two Chicken Soup for the Soul books I'm published in email me at glennbabies@gmail to get your copy for $8 plus shipping:
    Chicken Soup for the Soul Survival Guide for the Multitasking Mom
    Chicken Soup for the Soul Curvy and Confident

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Come Home

I've been away from home this coming summer for 13 years already! Though there are times I get incredibly homesick and there are certain things I really hate missing out on from not being closer to home, I also love the life I've carved out for myself . But there really is no other feeling quite like coming home.

I've traveled a lot of places, and the anticipation of an upcoming trip is really an addictive high that those with s traveler's soul understands.  Yet one of my most favorite places to always be headed is HOME. It's been a destination I've traveled more times than I can count these past thirteen years, yet the thrill of heading home never gets old. I anticipate it just as much now as I did when I first left years ago.

Though we only get to see and spend time with family a few weeks out of the year, we do our best to always make the most of that time. We love how, no matter which home of ours we're headed to, it's always like a week long party as everyone also tries to make the very most of that rare time we get together. Through all those snippets of time we've captured over the years we've created these lasting memories of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins for our kids that despite the distance they get to grow up knowing as if the miles weren't so far away.

There are many things I hope our kids taking away from how we've chosen to raise them, but the choice to come home is one that I hope runs strong in the roots of who they are.  As much as I want to foster their independence and encourage them to chase their dreams, no matter how far that may take them from us, I hope if there's anything they've learned it's to always come home. I hope they find their wings and as much as we may not want to see them go, I hope that wherever their journeys may take them that one of their most favorite, frequent destinations to head is always home.

Home is where family is. It's where those that love you for you, despite whatever your failures and successes may be, are always waiting to welcome you with open arms.  Coming home is where you snag the precious gift of time. It's time to spend with those that won't always be there, time to see those that will grow up all too soon, time to  reflect on memories,  and a time to make new ones. Home is where a part of your heart will always live.

So, my children, we will give you your wings but remember your roots and no matter where the roads in life may take you I hope they always lead you back to coming home.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Spousal Wars

I never knew committing to spending a lifetime to share your life with someone would also mean preparing to duke it out over the same petty battles day after day. Almost thirteen years into this living together thing and we still continue to fight over the following things:

1. Laundry: We disagree on everything with the laundry from how to sort it to how to fold it. He says we sort clothes based on water temperature and I say we sort them based on color. I am also notorious for forgetting to clean out the lint thing in the dryer. So between my cooking skills and this if the house ever catches on fire it probably is my fault. It's not just that we disagree on how to fold one thing in the laundry. We disagree on how towels, pants, and t shirts all get folded. At this point I have consented to folding pants and t shirts his way, but I totally refold all his towels otherwise they wouldn't fit in my cabinet.

2. The heat in the house: He's constantly turning the heat up to 70 or higher and because I'm constantly moving and like to sleep cold I'm constantly turning it back down to like 65. Then he'll ask who touched the heat as if he doesn't know. Then I'll shrug my shoulders as if I have no idea how the heat got turned down or off. And almost thirteen years later this comical ridiculous battle of wills still continues between us and neither of us are willing to consent to a happy temperature in the middle.

3. Socks: So apparently I own no socks and they are all his. It seems like every pair I put on he claims are his. I know he buys himself socks frequently. I don't really remember the last time I bought myself socks but socks are socks, right? I'm sure I own socks. I think. Unless they're all the mismatched ones in the basket. It's even gotten to the point where if I'm sitting in my chair with my feet up, wearing "his" socks he'll walk by and snatch them off my feet and throw them across the room just to antagonize me. However, this has not convinced me to go buy my own package of socks so I share continue this ridiculous battle of the socks with him.

4. Bathroom: Really, it sounds like this is a spousal battle in every house. But in particularly in mine it never fails just as I'm getting ready to take my shower in the evenings is when he decides to do his business he's supposedly been holding off on doing all day. I swear a must in our next house is going to be one of those toilet closest things for the bathroom where the toilet is closed off from the rest of the bathroom. It's going to have double sinks too because he may complain about my long hair clogging up the shower drain but his razor sharp facial hair clogs up the sink and I swear he spends more time in that bathroom getting ready than I do. And he has no hair so I'm not quite sure what takes so long.

5. The Car Charger: I'm not really sure why in this day and age but our cars always seem to only have one car charger. Because he's usually the one to buy them he claims first dibs so I usually wait until he's not looking and then switch the charger to my phone. Whenever we're fighting over who gets to use it on our long road trips he'll stop and pick up another one. Except they never seem to last very long because supposedly I break them all. Because they always seem to quit working right after being left in my car or after my phone has used them does not mean necessarily that I broke them. He always tells me I'm going to buy the next one. But I know I can outlast him on the whole sharing thing so he always ends up buying the next one.

I'm sure the ridiculous battles between us that have continued for the past thirteen years is longer than these five but these childish spousal battles are some of our favorites. What do you and your spouse fight over constantly but find too much humor in driving each other a little crazy that you don't see the battle ending anytime soon?


Monday, April 2, 2018

Doing the Hard Things

When I was seventeen the other pitcher on our team took a ball to the face and was out the rest of the season right before we were headed to Regionals. Everyone it seemed was pleading with the coach, who happened to be my dad, to pick up another pitcher before the big tournament. Without her I was the only pitcher they had left. Now to give them the benefit of the doubt I had struggled that season and though my younger self had gone out there and pitched a whole tournament I kind of doubted myself whether I could do it or not at this time. But the old man believed in me when even I doubted myself. I threw eight games that week and took us up through the loser's bracket to medal third in the semi finals game. Though we were one game short of the championship I did what I didn't think I could do.

I remember when I was twenty-one and headed into my senior year of college and it felt like between working and schoolwork I was just drowning in work. I remember telling my ex boyfriend that I didn't think I could do it. My parents didn't pressure me into going to college as they didn't so surely they wouldn't really care if I didn't finish. But he said something to me that I still remember to this day when I think I can't do certain things. He told, "You will finish because you always do the hard things you or others don't think you can do." He was right. I was just being whiny and dramatic. I finished as the first female in my mom's family to earn a college degree. My sister, cousins, and even my aunt would follow not too far behind me but I did show that it could be done. 

When I was twenty-three I told my family and friends I was moving halfway across the country with my boyfriend of the past year. That line of haters and critics stretched clear around the next corner, and I was the first one in that line. It would never work. I wouldn't last a month away from home and my family. I was a stupid, naive kid that didn't know shit. Well, that naive kid that didn't know shit was fairly accurate because well wisdom at twenty- three isn't exactly the smartest time in any of our lives. If building a life with someone else with nothing but two empty bank accounts,  two broken down cars, a newly crippled dog, a microwave, and TV 1100 + miles from home didn't teach me a little perserverance and grit then there isn't much hope for me, but here we are almost thirteen years later. 

When I was thirty-three I had just suffered through my second miscarriage in an attempt for a third baby after barely gaining a sense of balance with career and motherhood of two after a year long PPD episode as it was. Well meaning people told me maybe it was best to not try for the third and to give up that dream. The loudest voice to just give up was my own voice but we all know how that story ended with baby boy Glenn.

Now here I am at thirty-six struggling personally and professionally. Some of it is due to the declining of my hearing and some of it is because honestly I get in my own damn way too much probably. A few years ago I think I thought I was reaching a point in life where I had nailed this adult life thing. I climbed my mountains. Now I could sit back, relax, and cruise through the rest of the ride that's life. I did the college and even  the grad school thing, I started a career with great benefits, I was doing this whole marriage and family of five thing, we even got out of the paycheck to paycheck living and had our finances on a better path than those poor kids that came out here. Getting here with all of that was A LOT of work, overcoming a lot of doubt, uncertainty, and setbacks. So why the hell does there have to be more shit to work through and figure out? Why is there not a cruise control in life. It's just like driving down the interstate. I get the cruise control all set and then before I know it something is in my way and I have to take it off.

I kind of think I've let the car stutter and die on the side of the road at this point. I've just been sitting here, looking this way and looking that way, trying to decide even what direction I should be heading in. Here's what I've realized of late of why I'm not getting the car back on the road headed in any definite direction. I'm sitting here, looking for the road ahead that is flat and smooth. It's not there. Every darn road in front of me, contains some kind of mountain that has to be climbed with no clear certainty of what's on the other side. I'm looking for a clear easy shot with a clear view of what's ahead on the horizon, and it's not there. It's not going to be there. No matter how long I sit here it's not going to just suddenly be there.

 Like too many times before I am my biggest obstacle in my own way. I don't want to consider the roads and the mountains ahead because I don't think I can do the hard things. At some point when we stare at the hard things- at the mountains and obstacles looming in the distance, uncertain of whether failure or success awaits us on the other side- we have to realize the loudest voice of criticism and doubt is all too often our own. We can do the hard things we don't think we can do. I can do the hard things I don't think I can do. No the road to those things is not smooth, flat, and easy. There are two things-one professional in regards to my career with my struggles with my hearing loss and one personal in regards to myself and relationships- that are going to require doing some hard things. But I've come to see the only thing standing in my own of doing the hard things is myself.

So when we don't think we can do the hard things we have to remind ourselves of all the hard things we have done, and then we have to get out of our own way because we can do the hard things.

                                                  Photo provided by Willow Grove Church