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erin

erin

I'm Erin Jo. I'm thinking, writing, dreaming, mothering, loving, living, praising, BLESSED to be Fiona to my Shrek and Mommy to my four amazing kiddos.

dave

dave

Shrek is "like an onion with many layers" but has a heart of gold. He's my husband and my friend, and we just get better all the time.

lily

lily

Lily is my first baby and only girl. She's smart, funny, tall and kind. Keeping up with this girl is a challenge and a joy. She's terrific!

max

max

Max is one part ogre, two parts lover and all boy! Our little man has a temper but gives the best hugs of anyone I know!

colby

colby

Colby is as ornery as he looks. He flirts shamelessly, even with strangers. He's all mouth and curls and the loudest by far.

luke

luke

Luke is the baby of the family, but holds his own. He's happy and adorable. And he's a terrible sleeper. =)

Assessment

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I’m just not sure what to say about the fact that I’m posting a photo from September. It’s one of my favorites from last year. And, really, last year is a bit of a blur. But we made it!

I talk about this all the time–out loud, in my head, to my mother, to my friends. Motherhood is busy! There’s always a job to be done, a sitter to find, a child to soothe or encourage or correct. And we mothers today are so many other things, as mothers always have been, but with even less flexibility in our roles.

I had to let a ball drop in 2013. And that ball was this blog. Although I love to write, or perhaps just reading what I’ve written, it takes time and is relatively thankless and certainly unpaid. I know some of you have missed it, and I have missed it from time to time. But mostly, it existed in a vacuum of my mind that I had to create to get the other things done.

That helped me live the life of a modern mother–to not worry about this thing, to let it ride, so to speak, until I could come back, though I make no promises.

So, hey, let me tell you about this photo. This was snapped by an amazing friend of mine on Labor Day. In spite of the obvious awesomeness of it, she pointed out to me later that the kids are in that perfect stairstep and that maybe they wouldn’t be this way much longer.

While I am a mother who tries to be aware of these types of things, that struck me. How true! They will remain, always, the same difference in age. But this amazing stairstep pattern? Not so everlasting.

All of them continue to impress me. I see these little people, and I can’t help but marvel at how lucky I am to be their mom, in spite of the sometimes hardships. These perfectly imperfect little people… they have my heart right out there in the open. They are my heart.

As I look to this new year and my goals and dreams, I think I’ll shoot for about 75%. I have so many things I want to do and, more than anything, I want to be less stressed, less short with the kids, less of a yeller and even more of a snuggler. I want to be more gentle with my husband and my own feelings. And so, I will not strive for perfection or total mastery in all areas, as I often do. If I were able to lose 75% of the weight I would like to lose, pay off 75% of the debt I wish to tackle, and generally keep all areas running at a solid 75%, I think that would be good enough. Scratch that. It would be phenomenal!

Sometimes I’ll hit the perfect mark, while other times I’ll fall miserably short. When I see another mother appearing to rock her entire gig, I will not envy or self-destruct or wallow. I’ll realize that sister is hitting her stride that particular day and that I’ll hit mine in good time.

And, more than anything, I’ll be the kind of mom I want my kids to remember. I’ll urge myself to be patient with this fourth-kid potty training. I’ll let this blog drop when needed without the heavy burden of guilt. I’ll count my blessings and not my bruises.

Above all, I will make the amazing children, family and friends in my life my true focus and my treasure. The rest will take care of itself.

2 Responses

  1. Jessica Yost says:

    I like the idea of 75%! I too, need to set smaller goals, it also struck me when you write about not wallowing when seeing another mom who totally has it all together. I have always been bad about comparing myself to others and it will be a goal of mine in 2014 to CELEBRATE these mother warrior victories and know that I have victories of my own to recognize! You ARE rockin it! What an amazing wife, mother, woman, sister, and friend you are:) Love ya!

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