I have lived in Birmingham for almost twelve years now. I consider it my “home away from home” (as home will always be a small town about an hour and a half away from here called Alexandria.) Growing up in a small country town, I was yearning for big city life. I used to write things on the inside of my closet in the house in which I grew up. I wrote about how I hated “small town living” and how I couldn’t wait to get to the city (ahh teenage angst.) But after college, something in my head shifted. I no longer wanted to be far away from home. I didn’t want to be in a super small country town, but I also didn’t want to be very far from family. Birmingham ended up being the perfect mix of country and city. It’s a place where there is opportunity and growth, but you can still see deer standing out in the yard in the dawn of any given day.
My family and I have made a home in the Liberty Park neighborhood of Vestavia. We are surrounded by wonderful neighbors, and we fall more in love with the community every day. My husband and I love raising our children in Birmingham, because not only will they have the opportunity to receive an education from a great school, they will also be able to enjoy the “medium-paced country/city living”.
I am a mom to two adorable boys, John Michael (four), and Jack (almost two.) They have changed my life in the most wonderful and profound ways. Seeing how they react to me is like seeing a reflection of myself at all times. One of the things that I didn’t expect from motherhood was the self-reflection that would come along with it. Did I know I would love them like crazy? Yes. Did I know that my needs would automatically take a back seat? Yes. Did I know that I would realize that I really didn’t know myself at all? No. As we all know, the challenges of motherhood are NO JOKE. And sometimes those challenges bring out a side to me that I didn’t know existed. I’ve always been a crier, but LORD did the waterworks start (and pretty much never stop) when I became a mother. And all of the sudden I had all of this patience that I never had before! But then my oldest turned four and started saying “butt” just to make me mad, and boy did that patience fly right out the window! (And he puts it in sentences where it doesn’t even make sense! Like, “Can we please BUTT watch cartoons?” Ugh, I’m getting mad just thinking about it.)
My perspective on motherhood is that it’s the most difficult but most rewarding thing I will ever experience. There are days where I JUST NEED A BREAK (but then as soon as they’re gone I miss them, and scroll through pictures of them on my phone. What is that??) And there are days where I wake up smiling because I get to be “Mommy.” I don’t think there is a “right” or “wrong” way to be a mother. I think we’re all just stumbling through it and learning from our kids. I’ve never been one to judge, and I’m open to all suggestions! I am well aware that I still have SO much to learn, and I look forward to reading the stories that these other amazing moms share!
When I saw that the Birmingham Mom Collective was accepting applications for contributors, I immediately knew that I wanted to apply for two reasons. The first reason being that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE organizations where women lift up other women! For whatever reason (actually, there are some interesting theories that I’ve read about), women usually are instinctively very hard on other women. I remember realizing this when I was in college. I started to recognize and pay attention to my “mean girl” instincts whenever they would kick in. I would re-direct my brain to supportive thoughts vs. judgmental thoughts. I’ve noticed this movement happening a lot in recent years, and it brings me so much joy. Women are strong, brave, and unbelievably resilient. I love that we are all raising each other up vs. tearing each other down. And the second reason that I knew I wanted to apply to be a contributor for the Collective is because I recently ventured out and started my own business where I do a lot of writing! I need to hone my writing skills, and the best way to do that is to practice and surround myself with brilliant writers, which I believe I have now done. I look forward to sharing my insights on motherhood, life in Birmingham, and the trials and tribulations of being a mom and a business owner!