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Something special | 13th of June 2017

So, guys, today is a VERY special day. Three years ago to the day, our son was born.

•11:12am on a Friday the 13th of June•

After being induced into 18 long hours of drug-free labor; (I gave into the epidural at “last call”), we met our son Everett for the first time.

That day was raining & overwhelming- yet complete bliss. He had a full head of black hair, the bluest eyes & was a total momma’s boy. He was such a perfect, easy, dreamy newborn. I always referred to him as my “angel baby”. Now; he’s a wildly brave, self-aware, risk-taking, adventure seeking “three-nager”- what my husband & I call him. Three going on thirteen.. but I wouldn’t wish him any other way (at least not most days haha).

Being a parent is crazy.. literally. Kids don’t come with any sort of “playbook”. My husband & I are also completely alone when it comes to parenting. Not like this is a bad thing by any means- in fact, we prefer it this way. It just means simply, that we haven’t had the luxury of “family help”- or help of any kind. Even when we lived in FL (where our family is), we hardly took advantage of the help that was offered. We always just felt like “this was our child, our responsibility, we are the parents & we got it”. Even from day one of Rich & I moving in together- we made our own path. We knew if we were gong to “play house” we were gong to own it. Trust me when I say- Nothing in life is easy & nothing easy is worth having.

Marriage & Parenting is hard. Throw in being business partners & owners, who share an office space & being secluded in another state halfway across the country from all your family & friends- & you’ve hit the trifecta & for most- impossible. My husband & I could have very well been a part of the all too familiar statistic, otherwise, knows as “divorced twenty something’s with a young child”. Somehow, we overcame the darkest & most challenging days thrown our way (knock on wood!); & are growing stronger as individuals, as a couple, business partners and best of all, as parents every day. Marriage is something that needs to be nurtured just like anything else. Going on date nights monthly (without our son) has significantly helped our marriage & is a priority. We also found that on our date nights- we like to be intellectually stimulated or challenged. Dinner doesn’t cut it for us guys. If my husband & I go to a dinner- all we do is work or talk work, or talk about our son, call the sitter to check on our son & then check more emails. So, Instead of spending $50 & an hour of our time on dinner- we invest one hour of our night & the same “dinner bill”, into doing activities together or learning something new. Phones off & entertainment we can submerge ourselves in. We enjoy going to race tracks, a shooting range, horseback riding, taking dance lessons or painting/ ceramic class. The last date night we had, my husband got us tickets for an escape room- $15 per ticket guys. These activities won’t “break the bank”. Eat a meal at home together as a family, drop your child off with a trusting sitter, & go spend an hour or two having some real fun with your spouse. Get a beer or two & go ride a “go cart”, you’ll laugh & kiss, you’ll feel spontaneous & carefree for a moment- which is NICE- especially if you’re always on “work” or “parent” mode like us. From personal experience, these styled dates have drastically improved our marriage. We were so guilty of bad dinner dates or no dates.- Now we make it a priority to go on one quality date a month (& hopefully more as time progresses).

Life, marriage, parenting- it’s all a learning experience. No one knows “how to be themselves” in this day & age it seems- let alone “a wife” or “a mother”.. Sure, we have basic ideas, morals & understandings- but until you live these roles, you never really understand. Even me, I’m living these roles (as mother & wife)- & it’s very seldom that I ever feel like I “have it all together”- & when I do, it’s usually short lived. I can easily list at least 10 fingers worth of “mom fail” stories in the three short years I’ve been a parent.

I find encouragement & comfort in my friends who have been parents longer than myself. Whenever I feel burnt out- they are the first to say, “it means you’re a good mom”.

Before I was a mom- I never thought my favorite complement would be being told that I’m a good mom. Now I strive for that compliment. I make sure I do my best to truly earn it from my son. Not every day is a great one, I’m not always a “great” mom. Sometimes I’m a tired mom who needs extra coffee & a lazy day of no housework. I can’t always get what I need or want, but no one can. I think it’s a benefit for my son to see both my husband & I working, cooking, doing chores, holding down the fort- together. Just as it’s important for him to see mom & dad happy, or mom & dad exhausted, but still making sure he’s safe, provided for & most of all loved. There’s no such world where people are perfect.

For all my fellow mommy pals out there, married or making this journey on your own- know that you’re strong. Remain patient and live in the moment. I can tell you for sure that the last three years of my son’s life went by WAY too fast. I’m fortunate that I get to spend every day with him. When I’m not a photographer, blogger or a podcast host- I’m a full-time mommy. I’m beyond fortunate that for the last three years of my son’s life, I have been at his fingertips from the moment he opens his eyes each day until he closes them each night. I always say “don’t blink” & I always mean it. Time is the only thing we can’t ever get back & every day is a new day.

⁃ something my dad always tells me.

If you would like to share a comment below, please feel free! I love reading feedback, or learning more about your personal stories.

Erin.

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