To be honest, all I’ve ever known is the big, little city of Birmingham. As a child, I understood it wasn’t the most exciting place to grow up, but the comfortability and predictability of small, Southern life felt like a soft blanket to cover up with after my crazy college years just down the road in Tuscaloosa.
Since I planted post-grad roots in Birmingham, the charm and social scene have exploded. Now Birmingham feels more and more like a badge of honor instead of a blurb of regret when people ask where I’m from.
Birmingham truly boasts the best of both worlds–the incredible food, entertainment, and sports scene are enough to fill a socialite’s calendar. But, to me, the real reason to love living here is that it is such a wonderful place to raise babies. Quintessential suburban bliss is everywhere you look, and I absolutely love it.
I love the fact that we all monogram everything, everybody plays park ball, watches football on Saturdays, and goes to church on Sundays. I can’t imagine a better big, little city to live in.
As a (sometimes painfully) independent person, motherhood was a scary proposition that I did not enter into lightly. Well, I’m sure it is a daunting prospect for most women before they hold their own child in their arms, but it’s like a new part of your DNA opens up when you give birth.
When I had Presley in 2014, she made me better in every possible way. She was born intuitive, introspective, and affectionate. She still has all those qualities in spades and has also proven to be an incredible athlete and student. She’s the ultimate first kid: rule follower, people pleaser, family-oriented, and over-achiever. She’s the perfect mix of girly and gross. She will tuck a frog she finds in her glitter backpack and never skip a beat. Presley’s imagination is unmatched. She is spiritual in a way I wish I was at her age. And her love for her friends and family will serve her so well as she graces the world with her beautiful spirit and curly hair.
Knox is, well . . . Knox is a whirlwind of landscaping equipment, tall tales, work ethic, and hand gestures. Born in 2016, he has been smiley and unbothered every day since. Our silly son never meets a stranger, is impressively intentional with the people he loves, and honestly never has a bad day. He loves to read, work his farm, track local construction projects, and cuddle with his mom. He’s hilarious and charming and will eventually give me heart palpitations when he fails to take anything seriously ever.
Motherhood is such a complex topic and nobody really ever feels like they know what they’re doing. Being able to read and fellowship and learn from so many different women with their unique perspectives and approaches to raising their kids is such a necessary exercise for me as a mom.
My emotional feelers for being a good mom are especially sensitive since I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer when Presley was two and Knox was only five months old. In the early days of my diagnosis, all I could think about were all the big moments, small moments, and medium moments I would miss when I died. My unshakeable commitment to staying alive was and still is purely for them.
Every time I wanted to give in to the dark side of cancer, I fought to be there for PTO meetings, soccer matches, first days of school, and first dates. I couldn’t be the reason any of those things were less shiny because their mom wasn’t there. I will always fight for them, which I think is something every mom does in her own way every single day. We overcome circumstances, we make their milestones our milestones, we try every day to make things a little more magical, and we continue to grow up ourselves as we raise them.
Birmingham Mom Collective is a beautiful distillation of the beauty of all those things, and I’m very proud to be able to contribute my voice and our story to the narrative.