Lots of things have changed over the course of parenting four children in eight years. The core of my basic principals have remained the same, along with our approach to parenting in general. We believe in holding them close and protecting their hearts as much as possible until they’re old enough to untwine their hands from ours.
We play often, work hard and maintain balance as much as possible. As our big kids get older, their little souls are so exposed to the emotional challenges that come with relationships with other kids, their confidence academically and the basic social structure of elementary school. There is a valley as vast as the Grand Canyon between my oldest, Jack and his littlest sister, Evvie. 8 years is an eternity when you’re a child, but as their parent I’ve got one foot firmly planted on either side and it’s posed so many intricacies between mothering both of them. Evvie demands so much of me physically; She nurses on demand frequently, requires my presence as often as possible, wants my hands to help her to walk and my arms to carry her when she is tired. Jack is now making his own breakfasts and lunches, he rides his scooter to school and asks me to leave during his little league practices and at drop-off at school. He needs me emotionally, though, to listen to his dreams and his conflicts at school, to go over his vocabulary words and sit with him during times of stress and anxiousness.
As much as my children pull me in each different, unique direction, it has become increasingly important that I maintain sense of my own self. I prioritize swimming laps at our local club, keeping up with my morning smoothie routine, making sure I give myself time to work on projects that I love, and by personally celebrating my own sense of style. I love to wear things that make me feel good, from shoes to special jewelry to my favorite jeans and I’m not willing to sacrifice personal style for the label of “mother”. It is, to me, something that goes hand in hand in the most beautiful way possible. Motherhood to me is the ultimate celebration and I feel so honored to embody that.
My days and weeks have me running all over the place between little league practices, school events, work meetings and lunch dates, the grocery store and more recently mommy & me music classes. I have to be prepared at all times for anything, and that means I have to have one bag that runs along with me that can hold diapers, wipes, pacifiers, extra onesies, snacks, soccer cleats and my wallet and lip gloss. Lily Jade makes the most gorgeous leather diaper bags that don’t actually look like diaper bags at all. They are made of soft, high quality leather with an organized, removable interior that is easy to store big and little things and is easy to clean on top of all of that. The Shaylee cross-body strap is a really necessary option for me, as I always want the arm-free option so that I can be ready to carry anyone or anything else in a moments notice. The two shoulder straps are also a nice option for every day use, when I’m out shopping, meeting someone for coffee, or sitting with Evvie during a soccer practice. I appreciate having a functional, beautiful option for carrying around the various different necessities that parenthood demands, and some that I just feel comfortable having with me at all times.
So much as changed about our lives as each child reaches these new and spectacular stages in life. I feel somewhat equipped emotionally, even though as much as I think I know, motherhood is about learning and adapting, living and loving. We move through these days and these seasons on the waves that carry us, and I am grateful for the tools I’ve grown accustomed to having with me ease us into each new experience and circumstance. Lily Jade has been a welcome addition to my life, style and repertoire for a couple of years, and will be with us for many more.