Not Today

It’s everything I ever wanted:  three beautiful, healthy children and the opportunity to stay-at-home to raise them. But I’ve been doing this for four years straight and I am so tired.  As selfish and ungrateful as this sounds, today I don’t want to do this anymore.   And yet, I have no choice.  Or, do I?

Have you ever worked hard on something and later felt guilty anytime you resented it?  Perhaps it was getting through school to get the job you thought you always wanted or maybe it was caring for someone in your family- someone sick or frail.  And when you are at that job or at the hospital, you know it is where you are supposed to be and yet, you feel tired.  And you think, “Not today.  I just don’t want to do this today.”

But there’s no one to take your place.  There’s no substitute for you.  And you feel trapped. You need the job to pay for the things you own or the person you are caring for truly needs you by their side as they battle whatever it is that is ailing them.

Today,  the two and four year-old argued so loudly they woke the baby.  I knew I wouldn’t get another break from her for at least three hours and I felt the despair setting in.  I called my sister and lamented that as much as I didn’t want to do this, I had no choice.  We chose to have three children back-to-back and now, here we are.

But as I said it, I could hear my devil’s advocate chiming in.  “You do have a choice, Lauren.  You can put them in daycare.”  The thing is, I don’t want to put them in daycare and in deciding that, I have made a choice.  I chose to have them.  I am actively choosing to stay home with them.

You chose to have the things you need that job to pay for- a home, an education, a car, the things you purchased on your credit card.  You choose to be the person at your loved one’s bedside.  Sure, you could choose to leave them, but would you?  No, you wouldn’t.  You choose not to.

By tweaking the way we perceive our hardships, we are more-able to handle them.  After the baby woke, I went for a brisk run.  I burned off the stress, I released my exasperation so that I could jump back into the ring.

I felt trapped until I remembered I chose this life and I continue to choose it every day that I stay home.

I love my children, I do.  But I’m tired.  And today, I didn’t want to do this anymore.  Still, I found peace in the realization of my choice to stay.  I hope, you, too, find peace in yours.


Photo by Camille Vaughan Photography




Just Say No

How many times in your life have you begrudgingly said “Yes” when you really wanted to say “No”?  You had good intentions.  You didn’t want to hurt their feelings by saying “No”, so you said “Yes”.  And whatever it was, a birthday party, an event, a good deed, a visit with friends or family, it should have been fun.  It should have made you feel good.  But it became an obligation and you were angry with yourself for the resentment welling up inside of you, leaving you wondering “to what end?” Continue reading

Riding the Marriage Strugglebus


Do you remember that moment?  That moment when you looked at your significant other and you thought, “This is it.  I’ve found you.  I’ve found my lobster.  The one I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with.”  Emmett and I knew it of each other very early on, too early if you asked us individually.  We had both recently ended serious long-term relationships.  We weren’t looking for someone and yet, there we were.  Under a beach umbrella, sharing shade for an afternoon that would last a lifetime.   Continue reading

Going with Your Gut

You know what I am talking about.  It’s not just the voice inside your head, it’s that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.  Your gut, your intuition, something almost palpable.  Whether we like it or not, we tend to feel more “balanced” when we go with our gut.  Unfortunately, we don’t always like what it is telling us, which leads us to put our blinders on to the blaring red flags, leaving us feeling inharmonious.  Today, I went with my gut.  Today, I pulled Harper out of school after just one day.   Continue reading

Growing Pains

It’s the gray area.  The wait-and-see how it goes.  The not-knowing.  Four years ago or even two years-ago I would have been crying in exasperation, frustrated that my “plan” wasn’t working.  Now, I know better.  These are growing pains and no matter how much you wish to fast-forward through them, there is no way to avoid them.  You cannot control the fact that they are happening, rather, all you can control is the way you react to them.

My tummy feels butterflies, my heart rate a little faster as I navigate a new school year with two in school and a baby whose nap-time is inconsistent.  I’ve been a diehard Stroller Strides member for 4.5 years and I want nothing more than to attend class at 9:30 a.m. with my friends.  Unfortunately, this coincides with Emma’s general nap time which wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t have to pick up the big girls at 11:45.  Unless she concedes to nap-on-the-go, I may have to take a break from my exercise class.

This would have sent me into a tailspin a year ago, but now, I have learned the value of adaptability.  There’s no “right way”.  What works for other families may not work for mine.  What works one day, may not work the next day or week.  My Type A personality hates this wishy-washy feeling.  I thrive on schedules and these last minute decisions leave me a bit breathless; but I’ve experienced these growing pains before and I realize the earlier I surrender and let the current take me where it may, the better off I will be.  Fighting it, forcing it, swimming against the current will only exhaust me further.

So I am going to take it one day at-a-time.  One day I may go for a run in my neighborhood with Emma, the next a workout video at home, the other a Stroller Strides class or a day off.  The plan is to embrace the unknown.  To thrive in spite of it.  To overcome these little obstacles that will pass in the blink of an eye leaving me wishing, twenty years from now, that I had babies in preschool and at home napping.  I choose to cherish these growing pains.  I choose to surrender-all.

Camille Vaughan Photography

Reinventing the Horcrux

Blog Aurora Momma Dress

Here they are, my three little horcruxes, my seeds, my offspring.  I’m reinventing the horcrux.  The evil genius Voldemort in Harry Potter defines them a powerful object in which a dark wizard has hidden a fragment of his or her soul.  I define them as Aurora, Harper and Emma; pieces of me.

With each child I’ve birthed, I’ve preserved a portion of myself.  Perhaps this is why we care so much for them- truly, we are caring for ourselves.  Nurturing and preserving them, ensuring they represent the best of us even after they have long left the nest.  The more we have, the more we give and yet when there is only one, we invest our all for it is all that we have outside of ourselves.

They say the more horcruxes you have, the closer you are to immortality.  I say, the more you have, the more you surrender.  And the more you surrender the more you realize how little you matter to you anymore.  It’s them.  It’s watching your babies grow into their own souls; nurturing their individual identities, caring for their sweet feelings.

I have all the horcruxes I need, indeed I am fortunate to even have one.  And I intend to nurture these souls individually- to recognize and appreciate each of them as they are, not for what I wish them to be.

I am flawed.  I am positive I will take missteps along the way and yet I can only hope and pray that I will keep their dreams in sight as I also mind my parents- my mom, my dad and my God.  What do/did/would they want of me?  What have I given, what do I have left to do?

My past is behind me, my future in front for me to write.  My soul encapsulated in three little girls who look to me for guidance and reassurance.

Run.  Dream.  Create.  The world is your canvas and I am your biggest fan.   You were created in love and in love, I present you to the world.  Grow.  Flourish.  Bloom.

You. Are. Invincible.



Photos by Camille Vaughan Photography.  Horcrux info from Wikipedia.