A Pledge

There has been something crawling under my skin ever since I realized how much I loved kids (this was way back before I had any of my own). That something was the “under the surface”, back biting, mom-petitions that seemed to go on as I watched interactions between moms. There are moms (and dads) out there who think their way of parenting is the right and only way to parents. Guess what? They are wrong.

When you become a parent, you quickly find out that the books, advice, and “practice” with other kids couldn’t prepare you for the journey you have begun to embark on. You find yourself testing new waters, figuring out what is right for you and your family.

You may even be tempted to compare your family to another family similar to (or in some cases VERY different from) yours. Stop right there. It’s not worth it. Your family is unique, your parenting style is unique.

This weekend, I decided to take “The Mom Pledge”. I want to be a supportive mom, offering help when asked, but understanding that what worked for me won’t be what’s right for another mom. I want to chose relationships with parents who are not worried because their daughter is younger than mine but isn’t meeting milestones at the exact same moment that A is or that the their son is older than E but did it so much better. The pledge will help me to remember this:

The Mom Pledge

I am a proud Mommy Blogger. I will conduct myself with integrity in all my blogging activities. I can lead by example.

I pledge to treat my fellow moms with respect. I will acknowledge that there is no one, “right” way to be a good Mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.

I believe a healthy dialogue on important issues is a good thing. I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind.

I stand up against online bullying. My blog is my space. I will not tolerate comments that are rude, condescending or disrespectful.

I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks from my blog with no mention or response. I can take control.

I want to see moms work together to build one another up, not tear each other down. Words can be used as weapons. I will not engage in that behavior.

I affirm that we are a community. As a member, I will strive to foster goodwill among moms. Together, we can make a difference.

Keep me honest. Fellow moms, bloggers or not, I urge you to take The Mom Pledge. Let’s be a team of moms who truly work together–some many parts of life are competitions, but being a mom doesn’t have to be one of those.

What do you say? Are you with me?

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(If you have Twitter, you can follow @TheMomPledge for links to other moms–great support source!)

Twenty Eight (Part II)

One of my favorite country artists, Tim McGraw, has a great song called “My Next Thirty Years”.

I think I’ll take a moment to celebrate my age
The ending of an era, and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord, have mercy on my next thirty years

In my next thirty years
I’m gonna have some fun
Trying to forget about all the crazy things I’ve done
Maybe now I’ve conquered all my adolescent fears
And I’ll do it better in my next thirty years

In my next thirty years
I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doing here, in my next thirty years

Although I now 1 year 364 days away from being thirty, I am prepared to live up my “next 30”. Taking it a step at a time, here’s a few of my goals for to get me to that first thirty. Consider it a mini-bucket list (even though I don’t think any of these are on my actual bucket list…yet).

1. Bake my own Red Velvet cake.
2. Travel to Texas.
3. Plant something in the backyard.
4. Read 15 books.
5. Walk/Jog a 5k (bonus if for charity).
6. Have a yard sale.
7. Finish Arianna’s 2010 scrapbook and start Evan’s.
8. Go to a Penguins game at Consol.
9. Sew.
10. Bake a pie (my pie dish hasn’t been used in 2 years…).

Twenty Eight (Part I)

A few years back, I had a “Sixteen Candles” moment where people forgot it was my birthday. Admittedly, one’s birthday shouldn’t be a huge deal, but since then, mine has been. Here’s the thing (believe it or not), I am a “Blue” according to the True Colors Personality Test, so typically everyday I worry more about others than myself. On this day, however, my theme song is definitely “Wanna Talk About Me”. It’s MY birthday (ok, I share it with another great Northerner turned Myrtle girl and the Hef and a few other greatnesses). It’s MY day. But I still worry about what everyone else wants just a little. (Tonight, I asked over and over again where Mr. Burgher wanted to eat dinner since I have a problem deciding AND worry about pleasing everyone I am with. I wasn’t above changing a few diapers, but not too many.) Anyways, since I usually talk about the kids on this blog, today I get to talk about me (sort of)!

Today, I turned twenty-eight. In 28 years, I have accomplished some great things in my life–getting my Master’s before turning 23, having 2 kids, gaining 3 promotions in a year (to name a few). Without the love and support of my family and friends, none of those things would have been possible. There have been mistakes (plenty) and heartache. There have been friends gained and friends lost. I have traveled a broken road, and not always felt like I was living life to its fullest potential. But, it is my life to live, so I am at peace with all of it.

Today, I turned twenty-eight. I celebrated those relationships. Thanks to Facebook, I was wished Happy Birthday by a number of people, all who have been involved in important steps in who I am today. There were notes of love from my family, who have known and loved me through good times and bad. There was a note from the best friend who helped me heal after the loss of my dear friend Wendy, and although we don’t always get to spend time together, we pick up right where we left off. There was a note from a friend in elementary school who was in our charter Buckeye Y “troop” when I lived in Ohio. There was a note from a friend who is in her last stretch of law school (and has no reason to stop and take time to wish me a good day, but she did!!!). There were notes from people who have become family, sisters I never had but now do, aunts and cousins I have never met in person (since marriage). There were so many more, and I was blown away. At dinner last night AND tonight, the servers sang Happy Birthday to me while I was surrounded by family and friends. This was definitely not a “Sweet Sixteen” birthday, thank you!

Today, I turned twenty-eight. I was reminded of how precious life is. Mr. Burgher and I looked at Lil Man and remembered how he choked in his sleep during our first night at the hospital. Without quick action, we could have quickly lost our precious gift. I thought about how I attended a funeral of my best friend’s mother in law this year–we are not even 30 and having to go through this, too young! I had dinner with two dear friends and their sons, and had tears in my eyes because their parents (my parents best friends), have gone before us (but I know they were looking down in love). As I went to visit my grandmother, even for a few minutes, I thought about how blessed I am to have a living grandmother and to have known all of my grandparents and two of my great-grandparents. I thought about how my dad was told by doctors that he was at risk of losing both his wife and soon-to-be born daughter as they wheeled my mom in for a c-section at 8:00 AM 28 years ago. Today, I was reminded that I am blessed in more ways than one.

Today, I turned twenty-eight. I looked back on year that has brought me a lot of happiness. In the last 365 days, I have made some new friends (one of which bought me red velvet birthday cupcakes at my favorite ‘burgh bakery!). I’ve watched my daughter grow from a little baldy to a kid with hair. I found out I was pregnant, then gave birth to the *almost* 4-month old cozied up beside me. I traveled to Canada, West Virginia, Ohio, DC, OBX, and Vegas. I got to watch (on tv) my Steelers go to yet another Super Bowl. I watched a the ‘Skis, “Baby Spice”, and a 2nd cousin get married. I got to meet a little boy who was born to a cousin who fought (and won) a battle against cancer. I got to hold two little boys who were born three months early and are two of the happiest babies I’ve ever seen. I spent Christmas with both my parents and my husbands parents (what an amazing day that was!). I was given so much to be thankful for.

Today, I turned twenty-eight. I truly am thankful for today.