Welcome to Between the Lens…

I’ve gained quite a new following since I’ve introduced myself to my readers, so I figured I’d go ahead and reach out to some of you that have recently started following my page… This post is for you!

First off, thanks for following! I’ve been posting on this blog since February of 2018. I haven’t always been consistent on when I post new content, but I don’t like to force my writing or write about things that I don’t take an interest in. So I may go offline for a bit, but I’ll always return. I’m constantly looking for inspiration out in the world, and when I find it, I always make my way back to put it into words.

What kind of content do you share?

I use WordPress as a journal, of sorts. Sometimes I vent about life’s mishaps and sometimes I write abstract about nothing in particular. I have a broad life view and I like to use words in an experimental and creative way.

When I was a young girl, my sister and I were taken from the custody of our mother, and taken to live with our five cousins, aunt, and uncle. I was raised alongside my cousins in a big, blended family. I like to write about my experiences of trauma, heartache, and growth throughout this period of my life, so you’ll also find many posts speaking about addiction and its impact on my family, motivation tips to move past family hindrance, and how that time in my life changed who I am today. I also talk a lot about reflection – something that I do a lot. I believe it’s vital to becoming the person you think that you truly are. Because a lot of the time, you may not be the person that you’d like to be, or even that you thought you were. Honest and deep reflection into yourself and the relationships that you have with others is important for growth.

I’ve always been a lover of words. When I was a young girl, I spent a lot of time with my grandma. She was (still is!) the best because she filled our lives with the love of drawing, writing, painting, and creative play. She would sit back and let us express ourselves in a way that we chose. I’d ask her for a notebook and she would head to her bedroom and pull out a tote that would be FULL of new, clean notebooks, new markers, colored pencils, drawing books, canvases, paints, anything you could think of. I’d sit at her dining room table for hours writing, drawing, and painting. She still has the notebooks from my childhood and she can still pull them out to this day (She is going to be 97 years old next month).

I like to write poems and abstract pieces that flow the way I want them to. The great thing about language, is that there is an endless amount of creativity that you can inject into it. The words can flow however you like them to, because, like a painting, you are the artist and you have your own style and flow you prefer.

I also have always loved research and learning new things, so I often also write up articles sharing interesting information that I’ve found. Most of these kinds of articles are linked to further information you can look into on your own if you share the same interest as I do.

I’m also a mother and am pregnant with another one – due in October around Halloween. So I also like to write about my kids and our experiences. I like to write a lot about pregnancy, motherhood, and parenting – it’s one of those difficult but rewarding experiences that are fun to write about.

So let’s chat!

I’ve made a plethora of pals on WP, and I’m always looking for more! Let’s link up and let the words flow!

Please reach out if you’re interested in partnering on some work – I’m still searching for another blogger to interview for a new series!

It’s so nice to meet all of you and I can’t wait to hear from you!

EOD Thoughts: 02.09.2021

Motherhood tested me tonight.

I had really an overall okay day at work. The day seemed to go by fast, but I was in meetings from 10am to 1230, so days always seem to fly when I have a lot of meetings.

Everyday I get off of work and go pick up my daughter from daycare. This morning was rough when I dropped her off because she just screamed MOMMMYY when I tried to walk out the door. I hate mornings like that because I feel so guilty leaving her behind when she’s screaming for me, but sometimes that’s just what you’ve go to do.

When I picked her up today, her babysitter said she had been in and out of timeout all day because she was hitting and pushing down some of the other kids.

My daughter is definitely an alpha female. I can already tell she is a leader instead of a follower, but I’m beginning to wonder how in the world we are going to teach her the limit not to cross with her personality type.

Tonight putting her to bed was awful. She did not want to lay down so we had to just leave the room and let her soothe herself. It took her probably less than five minutes to quiet down, but the guilt of leaving her to cry always eats at me.

Parenting is hard. And the fact that it’s never going to get easier is exhausting to think about.

Regardless, I’m soaking in every moment we have together now- even if she almost pushes me to my breaking point sometimes. She makes my life better even on her worst days and I wouldn’t trade it for a second.

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Tonight’s Reflection Quote:

EOD Thoughts: 10.29.2020

I’m currently sitting on the couch next to my daughter as she watches YouTube Kids on my phone. I have mixed feelings about letting my daughter consume a lot of technology, but when it comes down to it… Sometimes I just need a break. And I did a bit of research on the topic of technology and our children last night because I want to publish something regarding it. I don’t really want to get too deep into the topic until I finish my other article, but it just seems fitting tonight because here we are… Both on the couch enjoying ourselves through the Internet.

YouTube Kids is actually a really great app if you have kids and are weary about letting them on your phone. When you first open the app, you’re able to create a profile for your child that includes their age, so all of the videos that show up are age appropriate. Unlike the regular YouTube app, YouTube Kids has no advertisements or pop-ups that are often frustrating to the average user. This ensures that they are unable to click on bait or advertisements that redirect your child to a potentially inappropriate website.

I don’t let my daughter on too often, but sometimes you’ve just got to pick your battles. The other night we had to run into the grocery store for a few things. I got her out of the car and as I tried to sit her in the cart, she stiffened her legs and refused to get in. I mean, I literally couldn’t even get her into the store, so I figured if I wanted to be able to shop in peace, I may as well let her win this round. I turned on YouTube kids and didn’t hear a peep out of her the whole time I shopped. I know it is a difficult battle – making sure your child doesn’t get too reliant on tech while also staying sane. My child gets maybe 20 minutes a night and that’s after she has played all day long with no screen time.

We are living in a technologically advanced world. There are certain battles that we no longer have to fight. If you are against screen time for your children, I urge you to consider this before you judge or shame mothers for not feeling the same. If 20 minutes of quiet is all I get in a day because my child is watching videos of nursery rhymes on a phone, I don’t feel bad for giving it to her in exchange for my own peace of mind.

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Tonight’s Reflection Quote:

The Beauty of Fostering

One of my dear friends and her husband have been going through the process to foster kids since 2019. They made the decision after they realized that they wanted a family, but couldn’t have kids of their own.

This woman is one of the kindest souls I know. We’ve known each other since I was pregnant with my daughter and I remember the days sharing the excitement for Della to arrive. After my daughter was born, she begged and begged to “steal” Della for a Saturday. She would pick up Della on a Saturday morning and bring her back Sunday after church. Della would often come back wearing brand new clothes holding multiple new toys. I knew this woman and her husband loved my daughter like their own, so I had no doubt that their decision to become foster parents was the right one.

Today she walked to my desk right at 5 o’clock as I was getting ready to pack up and leave work for the day. She took a deep breath and said, “Sooo I’ve been wrapped up on the phone for the last half hour because our case worker called.”

I felt the excitement well inside of me. They just finished the entire certification process about two weeks ago. We’ve been waiting for the go-time call.

“We’re getting kids tonight.”

A smile immediately broke on my face and I asked her how many.

“We’re getting a 9 year old boy, an 8 year old girl, a 6 year old boy, AND a 3 month old baby girl.”

My jaw dropped.

She laughed and said, “I had to take a deep breath before I came over to tell you because I knew that would be your reaction!”

I clasped my hands together and shared my excitement for her. We talked more about it for awhile and then I packed my things and went home.

I have been smiling ALL NIGHT!!

To think that all of this is finally coming together is so exciting! Not only because we now have new kids to shower with love, but also because I know that they did not take this decision lightly. It was a huge, incredible, life-changing choice that they contemplated and worked towards for a very long time.

I feel proud to have stood by their sides in support through it all.

And it’s all finally falling into place.

To think that there are people out there that are willing to drop everything to provide for children that are being raised in less than desirable conditions makes me feel an immense amount of respect and admiration. Stories like this one give me hope that society is far better than it’s often betrayed because there are people that are full of compassion and understanding in circumstances like these. There are people that are willing to open their doors for others in need. There are people that do the right things for all of the right reasons.

And it’s worth admiring!

Mom Guilt

Mom guilt is such a bitch

I put my daughter to bed and then crawl into bed myself and look through all of my old photos of her

It’s like… When she’s awake I’m excited for her to go to bed so I can do things for myself

But

Then I put her to bed and all I can think is ‘I wanna go wake her up so bad’

It’s an endless game of guilt

And it sucks

But it goes without saying, I’m soaking up every second of her innocent youth because she’s growing up so fast and someday she’ll leave the nest! 😇😍

Raising Curious Kids

We are lucky enough to have found a house with a small extra room where we can store all of Della’s toys away from guests and avoid a house where cars, balls, and baby dolls line the carpets (Not to say that still doesn’t happen, but what house with kids doesn’t?).

This room is Della’s space to play creatively and explore her imagination and it’s right next to the living room where I can sit on the couch and still see her play.

I peered into the room and saw Della sitting on the table playing with some toys and looking at some books. My first instinct was to jump up and get her down, because ya know… the drop.

But then I stopped.

I just stayed where I was on the couch and let her test the water.

Within a few seconds, she turned around to look at me and began to wail.

She had leaned for a book that was just a little out of reach, felt the discomfort in her balance, and she asked for help.

Mom. WIN.

In all honesty, I’ve been waiting for some blogging inspiration for weeks now, and after this happened, it reminded of a video I watched about a week ago of an interview with Neil Degrasse Tyson.

If you are into astronomy or physics, I highly suggest you check out some podcasts or interviews that he’s done. But the particular interview I’m referencing is one where he talks about a child’s innate desire for exploration. In this interview, Neil explains,

“You don’t have kids with the intent of retaining a clean house. These are non-commensurate goals.”

“Your task is less to instill curiosity in your kids, than it is to make sure you don’t squash what is already there.”

Let them play. Let them fall. Let them learn. We, as parents, owe it to our children the opportunity to explore and interact with their surroundings. We may know what the outcome could be, but how will they if we take away their chance to learn?

Whether it’s jumping in a puddle or dropping an egg or even reaching for a book on a ledge, be committed to letting your children learn the causes and effects of interacting with their environment.

Raise curious kids.

Be cooperative with their education.

Let them learn on their own.

Watch the interview here:

https://youtu.be/hs3ORQllJoA

Gun Violence & A Parent’s Love

With the tragic and horrifying mass shootings that took place in the United States this week, everyone has been in an uproar about gun control. I get it. Let’s do something. But I think the one of the reasons we have such an awful gun violence issue in the United States is something that gun control simply cannot fix. None of what I want to talk about today has anything to do with gun control or taking away anyone’s right to bear arms. 

It’s easy to argue that the person pulling the trigger is responsible for the damage they cause, because that is the normal conclusion to come to when you hear of someone committing such a heinous act. And I would totally agree with that statement; however, there is another side to this that I feel is worth at least considering.

We have a gun problem. But more importantly, we have a HOME problem.

Since when did we become a nation filled with careless parents? Since when did we allow our nation’s children to be so disrespectful, lazy, and so careless about life? Since when is nearly 60,000 kids locked up in jails across America something that we are okay with?* Since when?

I know that most of America’s mass shooters haven’t necessarily been teenagers, but according to an article in The Washington Post, they are getting younger. Since the shooting in Charleston, more than half of shooters were under the age of 30. You may be quick to imply that it’s the younger generations’ fault that all of this is going on since they are the ones pulling the triggers. True. Ehh, kind of. 

What if I told you that children are have higher self esteem, communicate better, improved academic performance, and are less likely to have psychological and behavioral issues when they are exposed to love and affection at home? In 2010, researchers at Duke University Medical School found that children with loving and conscientious mothers grew up to be more resilient and happier adults. The study followed 500 children from infancy to their mid-30’s.**

I know with 100% certainty that I don’t have to fill this post with a ton of statistics, links to articles, and sparkly, mind-boggling information. You have the ability to google any topic you choose, so I urge you to go read up on just how important we are as parents in shaping loving, gentle, and soulful children.

It is absolutely critical that we show our children love and affection, and that has absolutely nothing to do with guns. Life can be busy and adulthood is overwhelming at times, but we cannot forget that we are raising tomorrow’s generation. Let’s raise a generation that is loving and passionate and gentle and open to talking about mental illness. Let’s love our children fiercely and show them that they have caring people that they can rely on – no matter what.Let’s raise a generation that knows that pulling the trigger of a gun is rarely a necessity.

You want to end gun violence? 

Quit teaching hate from within the walls of your own home. 

Stop whatever you’re doing that you think is more important (it’s not) and go love on your kids.

 

 

 

* – https://www.aclu.org/issues/juvenile-justice/youth-incarceration/americas-addiction-juvenile-incarceration-state-state

** – https://www.mother.ly/child/how-a-parents-affection-shapes-a-childs-happiness-for-life

Photos from Washington Post.