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What If We All Entered The World To This Sort of Love?

This. This is why I teach baby massage. This is it. It is all here in this video.

 

A peace-filled, conscious connection possible with our hands, telling our little-est people that the world around them is a safe and nurturing place. Telling them it is okay to trust and that they are loved.

Who would not want this for themselves, for their children? (Can someone please do this to me?)

xo

Suzanne

My Crazy Is Showing

 

 

Remember being a kid and saying to your brother/sister/friend, “Your EPIDERMIS IS SHOWING!!!” and then laughing your butt off as they recoiled in horror and embarrassment, covering themselves but not quite knowing where to cover?

I do. I remember being on both ends of that joke. Oh the horror. How embarrassing. I hated being embarrassed (and still do. Who likes it really?)

That fear of showing my epidermis? It’s a lot like when I sit down to write. I read over the stories of my life fearing I’ve shown too much. And then ideally, I hit save anyway. Ideally, I resist the urge to edit me and my epidermis right out of my stories.  And it’s hard because, editing ourselves, isn’t that what we’ve been trained to do?

Hiding our “crazies”.

My friend shared a secret from her childhood with me this morning. She sent her story to me in a private Facebook message. She would not have called it a secret; more of a “deep-dark-secret”.

My friend thought I might not reply, saying I could un-friend her and she wouldn’t hold it against me. She thought in sharing her story with me, her “crazies” as she called them, I would love her less or go away all together.

Isn’t that is how we all feel? “If they only knew…”

My friend shared something *private* with me. Something she doesn’t love about herself. Something she was certain I could not love in her either. But I did. And really, I love her all the more for it.

I have these stories. You have these stories. My friend was brave to share hers with me.

This connection created through sharing?  This is the single reason I write.

I want to show you my epidermis.

I sent my friend a reply. I told her how much I loved her. How brave she was. I told her she was LOVE and that she was enough just the way she is. And even as I hit send, I was full aware, this reply was for me. It’s the message I am needing to receive myself.

It’s all smoke and mirrors, the messages we are sending. The emotions we think are for THEM, (anger, hate, annoyance, intolerance, jealousy…) let’s be clear, they say more about ourselves than anybody else.

Thank you friend. In sharing your heart with me you have brought me closer to myself. So much good comes when we simply share the stories of our lives.

xo

 

 

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I believe that when we follow our bliss, anything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here in sharing the stories of our lives because motherhood is better when we are holding hands. 

Related Posts:

How To Be Enough

How To Be Vulnerable

Listen To Your Mother: St. Louis

 

Time to Mourn

Today I mourn.

I set down my coffee, turn on cartoons for my two year old twins, move into a different room and I cry.

“Soldier on. Get back to life. Let it roll off. Carry on.

Those are all things we’re told to do by parents, coworkers, friends, society, and more. It starts young.

We skin our knee, our dog dies, an uncle passes. Carry on. Keep your chin up.

Today I don’t want to lift my head, square my chin, and move forward.

I want to stop, mourning the loss of life and the insanity of it all.

I want to stop, considering these children, their friends, school staff, and parents. Beyond that, the impact to all involved.For a moment, let’s stand still, bow our heads, and mourn. The world won’t stop because we take that time out.

If you pray, pray; if you cry, cry; if you dance, dance.

Mourn.”

These words come to me from a friend on Facebook. They say everything my heart aches to say.
Today as you move through life, I hope you will tear a page out of my friend Todd’s manual and simply allow yourself the space and time to mourn.
xo

Project SHARE: Add Your Story

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “Life is a journey, not a destination” and so it has been for me with loss and healing, more of a way I travel than a place I ever expect to arrive.

If you are a mother who knows the grief of losing a child or the dream of one to infertility, miscarriage, still birth or early infant loss; if you see your experiences as significant; if you feel that you are on a spiritual journey and that healing is more a way to travel than a place one arrives, I am writing this to you.

First, let me say, I am sorry. Ours is a group I wish no mother belonged to and yet here we are, together.

I know the pain of repeat miscarriage. I know the healing journey it has set me upon and I am writing about my experiences for other women that know grief, that in their loss they may feel less alone.

If you believe our lives are best when they are shared, please join in Project Share. Will you add *you* to the book I am writing? 

This is a picture of what I hope this book will look like one day soon. I have written to the artist, Monica Sabolla Gruppo, who created this beautiful handmade journal to tell her how much I love it and she has given me her blessing to post it here. It’s been an inspiration. This is what my book looks like in my heart even now as I am writing it.

One day soon this project will result in something tangible we can put our hands around. Something to be written in, to be shared with another mother who is having to say goodbye too soon. Here’s how you can be a part of it too.

To participate in Project Share: simply make some time to sit and reflect back on your journey. I have written a short list of questions for you to reflect on below. After you have had time to sit with them, write your thoughts down and send them to me. I am honored to be on the receiving end of these sacred stories.

Please send your reflections as follows:

1) Via email to tuckersuzanne(@)sbcglobal(dot)net, subject “Project Share”

2) Copy and paste your original piece into the body of the e-mail. No attachments please.

3) Please include your name, your baby’s name, type of loss, and a blog URL if applicable.

4) All submissions may be edited for clarity.

5) Submissions due by 12/31/12

6) I will write a thank you to each participant, mentioning you by your full name, first name alone or “pen-name” in the book’s foreword so please note how I might best thank you in your email.

By submitting your reflections, you are giving me permission to publish the entirety or portions of your submission in electronic (web-based and eBook format) or print publication. Introspection and gratitude are this project’s sole compensation and you retain all writes to your written reflections.

Here is a beautiful example from a mom who posted her reflections to her blog. Your responses may be a word, sentence or many paragraphs long. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and there is no right or wrong way to participate in this project. Here are the questions.

In your experiences with miscarriage: What happened? How did you feel? How did you grieve? How did those around you feel and grieve? How did your experiences affect you spiritually? What was your greatest challenge with miscarriage? What, if any, was your greatest gift or life lesson?

I will hold you in my heart as I read the responses you send me. Some of your experiences will be directly quoted in the book while others will influence my writing in ways I can’t even begin to know or express here in words, but if you participate, you will influence this book.

Blessings to you on your journey and thank you for being a part of this project by mothers who know grief for mothers who know grief. Together may we share our lives that another mother’s heart finds comfort and peace.

xoxo

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I believe that when we follow our bliss, anything is possible. If you know what it is to lose a child, be it to miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant loss, I hope you walk with me and other moms that have lost a child, because this journey we’re on is better when we are holding hands. 

Related Posts:

I Don’t Want to Do Something Wrong

Go Tell Them All I Did Not Die

How to Fall

Remembering

Magic Sprinkles

With enough mommy wisdom in the spotlight (for even just a day) I am fairly certain we can change the world. And that is just exactly what we are going to do.

Along with our future cast, our St. Louis Listen To Your Mother team of Co-directors and Producers are excited to announce, with your support we will be putting motherhood center-stage come May 2013.

Listen to Your Mother (LTYM) is a national series of live readings by local writers in celebration of Mother’s Day. For the past three years LTYM performances have been organized by local communities for local communities and they have a vast body of motherhood wisdom to show for it.

With over 200 video readings about motherhood on their YouTube channel and growing, LTYM is artfully and heart-fully capturing the truth, wisdom and wet-your-pants funny moments we all know and love as moms. This movement is making a difference for families one community at a time, raising funds for local charities and bringing people together to share their lives.

After seeing a few LTYM videos online and learning about the founder, Ann Imig, I knew I wanted to be involved. Ann and all the many other talented people that have made this movement a reality described in a single word? It would have to be: ROCK.

This movement. These women. They are the stuff of My Mommy Manual. Moms connecting. Truth telling. Sharing stories. I am so in love.

When we share our life’s stories from the heart, our stories come with magic sprinkles. Little yummy, brightly-colored, sweet truths. These magic sprinkles have the power to bring us together. To make things better. They have the power to change the world. Magic sprinkles. That is what this event is all about.

Our St. Louis production promises to take you on a WILD ride. My sistas in planning this crazy fun, Ellie Grossman, Laura Edwards and Naomi Francis are talented and equally passionate about this project. You will get to know them better in the months to come as surely I will be sharing stories with you from our production journey, because sharing stories is what we do.

So get involved. Sign up when audition time nears in February/March. If you are far from St. Louis (as many of you are) check here for a performance near you and if there isn’t one, make one happen in 2014!

Because magic sprinkles are a beautiful thing.

xo

 

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Suzanne Tucker, co-creator of My Mommy Manual.com. Join her and other moms on this journey called motherhood, because life’s better when we hold hands.

Happy Halloween

HAPPY HALLOWEEN y’all.

CONNECT IN THE KITCHEN

 

Halloween. It’s a big deal when you are a kid. Plans for what to dress up as can begin as early as July…

Here are three super easy ideas that don’t take a lot of supplies, talent OR time and are SURE to be a hit with your kids no matter their age – tots to teens.

 

Watermelon BRAIN: Just a small watermelon, a potato peeler and a knife will get you this good looking center piece!

Bread Stick Roll BONES: My kids had a blast making these femur bones and ribs out of a roll of bread stick dough. They ate ‘em up with a side of butter cinnamon sugar to dip them in. Get creative and make your own shapes!

Scary HAND Veggie Dip: Just cream cheese “glue” almond slices onto the ends of five finger-looking (peeled and ends cut off) carrots, then stick ‘em in a bowl of dip and you’ve got a spoooookie treat. Your kids will want to eat even their GREEN veggies with this one. (for the picture, check the video above.)

How to Bake Pumpkin Seeds

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xo

Suzanne Tucker is co-creator of My Mommy Manual.com and a proud mom of four. Join her and other moms on this journey called motherhood, because life’s better when we hold hands.

The Crayon Connection

I am so happy my friend Shanna agreed to write for us about crafts today. She’s a mom of two under age three and I am inspired, not only by her and her crafty-ness, but by the simple truth she shares with us today. Thanks Shanna!!!

(PS: Crayons rock. You two have inspired me. I have our crayons out today) … ;)

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I’ve done a million crafts with my daughter and for the most part, they have been really fun and educational. So when Suzanne asked me to write about crafts and connection, I must admit, I kind of panicked. As I thought back to all the crafts we’ve done, my mind kept going back to one thing…crayons. Silly, right? I thought so. I kept saying to myself, “Crayons just won’t do.”

I pondered and pondered what I could write about. What would be the best craft to help us connect with our kids?

Thinking…thinking…Crayons…Really? That’s still in my head?

After sleeping on it, I finally realized why crayons were so prevalent in my thoughts about this post. When I color, simply color and draw with my child, that is when I feel the closest, the calmest. I notice it in my daughter, Grace, as well. We clear the table and the excitement builds as she’s helping me. I go to our art station and grab the crayons and A LOT of paper. She asks me to let her carry them and she’s so proud to do so. We get ourselves set up and we are off to the races.

The crayons allow us to tell a story to one another…Grace has great stories.

The crayons allow us to talk about fear, love, sharing and caring.

The crayons allow us to learn together.

The crayons allow us to encourage and complement each other.

Grace is only three years old, but has a vast vocabulary. I enjoy talking to her and hearing what she has to say and I want her to know that I am always willing and excited to listen. But let’s be honest for a moment. When I’m cooking or cleaning, I’m not doing my best listening as to how she just saw the COOLEST ladybug. And when she’s really focused on her dolls and giving them checkups with her doctors kit…well, Mommy is the last person she wants to tell about the nice dragon that visited her and who would now like to be her friend.

But I want to hear about that ladybug and the adventures they have together. I want to hear about the nice dragon and I don’t blame him for wanting to be my daughter’s friend…she’s AWESOME!

When we color, I get hear those great adventures and she gets to know that I’m 100% listening…we’re connected.

I always stand from the table feeling like I know my daughter better than when we started. I always feel closer. We get to laugh together and tell secrets and share our creations together.

It may not be a huge craft with themes and glue and buttons and glitter and pom-poms…those are really fun and we do them all the time. However, there is something special about the connection I get with my daughter through a simple crayon.

That little waxy, colored tube gives me a window into my daughter’s heart and mind and I can’t help but think that somehow, in her own little three year old way, she gets an understanding of mine.

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By guest blogger Shanna C. of Momma C. Designs.

Remembering…

I am not the same person I was before miscarriage, before our angel babies Leo, Mary, Tucker, Lily and Nina forever rocked my world.

I feel my angel babies making a difference every time I sit down to write to you.

I feel them in my heart when my second daughter tells me how she feels her angel brothers and sisters are looking out for her.

I feel them when our eldest daughter, now twelve, draws her family portrait at school with me, her dad, her two sisters and brother and herself surrounded by five cupcake stickers; the stickers she only later tells me are her angel brothers and sisters.

And I feel them when, last month, celebrating fifteen years of marriage, I experienced a love there between my husband and I, stronger in spite of (or maybe even because of) the times we pushed away from one another, grieving so much loss together but more often, separately.

I am remembering my baby angels today, something I usually do privately or maybe here with you or with other angel mamas; but today I will do this publicly, with friends and family and some that may not quite understand why.

I will do this because October 15th is a day for the world to remember angel babies and the ones they left behind, that we may know we are not alone.

If you have lost a child, know that I and many, many others are remembering with you today. We want to wrap you in love and light. We want to listen to you. We want to say your baby’s name aloud.

Write your angels name below and we will say it aloud with you, that all those that come here know, your angel is remembered.

xo

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By Suzanne Tucker, co-creator of My Mommy Manual.com. Join her and other moms on this journey called motherhood, because life’s better when we hold hands.

Let’s Build Each Other Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was the best thing anybody said to you after you had your first baby?

Say that to new moms you know.

What was the best thing anybody did for you? Was it a friend that came over to scrub your toilets instead of coming over to hold your cute new baby? A meal dropped by without a visit attached? A card? A kind word when you nursed in public even though it was new and still uncomfortable for you?

Do that.

Was there ever a mom that listened to you complain without trying to solve your problem or make it bad or *wrong*?

Listen this way to other mothers.

Was there ever a mom that told you early on (when you thought you could do nothing right) “YOU’VE SO TOTALLY GOT THIS”?

Say this to other mothers.

Was there ever another mother that told you “Perfect is overrated” and “Don’t worry, when it comes to babies, there is no such thing as NORMAL”?

Remind other mother of this too.

Today, if you see another mother out and about, be kind. Smile at her even though you do not know her. Be for her what another mother was (or could have been) for you in those first few fragile days, weeks, months… years.

We are more connected than we are separate. Make a difference for another mother TODAY.

“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”

- Mother Teresa

xo

 

 

 

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By Suzanne Tucker, co-creator of My Mommy Manual.com. Join her and other moms on this journey called motherhood, because life’s better when we hold hands.

I Don’t Want to Do Something Wrong…

My friend Desi wrote to me last night wanting thoughts on how she might best support a friend:

My girlfriend just lost her baby. She was around 27 weeks. I don’t know what I need to do. I am going to mail a card tomorrow, but I don’t want to do something wrong at this sensitive time in her life. What can I do for her?

I love my friend. She is the mom of two, her baby just months old. She has never lost a child, but in her compassion, she is reaching out to learn how she might best support her friend. This is the sort of person everyone deserves to have in their life when bad things happen. I was (am) lucky enough to have friends and family like Desi, but so, SO many are not.

Here is what I wrote back, my immediate reply to a friend asking for advice. It took me all of about 48 seconds to write… and instead of adding to it or making it pretty, I thought I’d share with you just as it was, not in spite of its unedited-ness, but because of  it. (Sometimes our heads just get in the way…)

do listen. just listening, with your whole heart, without a need to make it better or make it go away… this is the most powerful thing you can do.

do be compassionate in your listening. you do not need to have had a loss to be of comfort to her.

do tell her you are sorry. that you are thinking of her. over and over, many times. those are really the best words. you can tell her in a card, in a gift, in a phone call, in a meal you drop by.

avoid fresh flowers. they die and can be a sad reminder when eventually they need to be thrown out.

ask her how she is. talk to her about her baby and call her baby by her baby’s name.

never feel you are best not mentioning it because you don’t want to “remind her” because, trust me, she won’t have forgotten and likely she is thinking about it anyway.

do not give her advice on how to feel. ever. things like “everything happens for a reason” or “at least you have another child” or “well, your baby is in a better place.” These words ring empty and do not comfort most in their loss.

do sit with her while she cries. drive over to give her a hug if she lives in town; even if she tells you she is okay and doesn’t need you to do this, hug her.

do ask if you can buy a plant or a tree for her to plant in her babies memory so she can see it’s life cycles and remember her sweet baby angel with each passing season.

do offer to help organize the memorial service. a balloon release or something of this sort where all can remember her baby with her. lots of ideas online.

do put this on your calendar for this time next year. remember this day with her then as she will be thinking about it. it may be a tough month even. likely nobody else in her world will be remembering along with her (unless she is really good at creating this sort of support in her life) and you remembering for and with her… this is a great, great gift.

give the gift of you. your heart. your listening. your tears. your understanding. your permission for her to grieve. she may denying these very things to herself. i know i did.
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you are a real gift in her life. you are a good friend to even ask.

 

What would you have replied? (And thank you ahead of time. I plan to add your thoughts to JOURNEY.)

xo

 

 

PS: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day is coming up October 15th. This might be a nice time to remember a friend’s loss for and with them.

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I believe that when we follow our bliss, anything is possible. If you know what it is to lose a child, be it to miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant loss, I hope you will walk with me and other moms here, because this journey we are on is better when we are holding hands. Join and receive email support and inspiration for the journey of life after losing a child.