I am many things this morning. One is proud.
That is not easy to write; in all honesty, I have almost chickened out of this post entirely a few times.
But I am going to try.
This is not a post about all of the things and people who are making me proud in my life right now.
Let me just say, though, that there are many. There are some extraordinary people in my life who are currently doing extraordinary things, professionally & personally, in every field imaginable, and I feel blessed to know (and love) many of these fine individuals. In the past week alone I have been close to so much greatness, and have felt SO proud of some incredible accomplishments…
this is not about that.
In the past week I have also noted a few times when I have been proud of myself. Even typing that makes me feel nervous. We are not supposed to say, “I am SO proud of myself!” and if we do, it should be behind closed doors, to our nearest and dearest. I have written dozens (and dozens) of posts here about guilt. That feels more safe. I am comfortable writing about the times when I fall short, or feel less-than, and that seems–for lack of a better term–messed up. I feel like we are taught to have humility and so we can only post our accomplishments with sheepishness or with a #humblebrag buffer.
I want to change that. They say not to “sweat the small stuff”, but can I celebrate it? Can I pause for the tiny victories that I have during a long, hard war? Can I work on my touchdown dance?
I am many things this morning. One is proud.
And, I am also trying to be brave. Because telling you why I am proud takes guts. You could think that I am being presumptuous. Silly. You could read this post and say, “Oh, ok, great, but what about the people around you who are doing real things? What about real accomplishments?”
If that is your reaction, then that is ok; if that is your reaction, though, then I do not think that you understand my point. I am trying to normalize confidence. I am trying to pick myself up. I am trying to lead by example.
And so, as my daughter so wisely said, “fear is just another reason to try harder,” and it is for her that I am going to tell you why I am proud.
I am proud that we got to school on time this morning. No tardy slip! No racing or rushing! On our drive to my daughter’s elementary school she said, “It was nice to be more relaxed this morning,” as she settled into her booster seat, and I agree. I won’t be able to accomplish this every day, but today I did.
I am proud that I made two different breakfasts and packed two different lunches and wrote two different notes all before 8:30 this morning. For my daughter I packed a grilled cheese sandwich, cut into pieces, each piece wrapped in tinfoil and then placed in a stay-warm container along with greek yogurt, cashews, Ninja Turtle gummies and one of those gosh-darn pouches of organic lemonade. For my son I packed just one tiny piece of the grilled cheese sandwich because he will not eat it, a stay-warm container of cooked peas, a bag of Doritos, apple juice and watermelon. That’s weird, right? Well, so are his eating habits. So 89% of the time I pack him plain noodles and today I decided to change it up.
I am proud that I did some more self-care this week, as I am trying to make my health a priority. I have literally gone to four different therapeutic appointments of some kind and it is only Thursday morning. I am going to make myself a green shake after I hit “Publish” on this post. YES. You read that right. Kale and I have reconciled. (You can read here about our divorce and many kale-amities.)
I am proud that I have been working very hard, professionally. I have been working on the book, I have been giving it my all at my new job and I have been doing a lot behind-the-scenes for this blog here.
Speaking of which…I am proud because this morning I went into the back end of this site and I checked out my most recent analytics. I have been tossing around numbers, but I wanted to be able to give a reasonable update. I am VERY proud to say that Mommy, Ever After is now read in:
All 50 states
over 148 countries across the world.
(I say “over” because there is this whole “(not set)” thing where they can’t account for the data accurately if people are reading from a hidden IP address or they come from some sort of other kind of landing page blah blah blah and now you’ve just fallen asleep so wake up! 148 countries!) There are approximately 195 countries in the entire world, which means that this little blog here is read, in some way, in about 76% OF THE WORLD. I am not even trying to humble brag. I am humble, most certainly, and I am not at all bragging. I am astounded. I am incredulous. I am supremely grateful. Thank you.
And on the topic of this blog, I am proud (/moved to tears) that I was able to speak to some readers, quite unexpectedly, at the Emily’s Entourage Gala on Saturday night. (Note: Do you know the restraint that it requires to NOT talk about how proud I am of Emily, her family, her siblings, my friends, my mom, the doctors…when it come’s to EE and the amazing night that they had last weekend? It’s a lot. But, as I said, I am SO proud of SO many, and they are amazing and I am so proud to know them and I could write about it forever.) While at the Gala, I spoke to several women who thanked me for writing. I am not going to share any personal details, but I will say that I have tears in my eyes as I type this because I cannot even begin to fathom that these people are thanking me. I spoke to readers–some of whom I know, some whom I have known in the past, and some whom I was meeting for the very first time, but it was amazing; they each came up to me and said that they read my blog and that ________ and the ________ was always too moving for words. THANK YOU to every single reader who shared with me that night, and every single reader who is reading this post and every single person from Lower Merion to Zimbabwe who reads this. I cannot even begin to tell you how much it means to me.
Segueing back to Saturday night. I am proud that I decided to wear the oversized menswear-inspired vest that I got at our Revive, Ever After event, belted to prevent it from falling off of me, and that, because of my outfit choice, this happened:
To see more information on this, check out my original Instagram post, but in case it isn’t clear…
Sarah Jessica Parker liked my post. The one that is a split screen of the two of us. The real SJP. Like, forreal real. Sarah Jessica Parker, on a break from building her new shoe collection and hanging with Andy Cohen and saying, “Rabbit Rabbit” was like, “Oh, that girl Becca looks super cute NEXT TO ME! I LIKE this!”
I am proud that, right before last month’s election, I published a very personal, raw, honest, scary, personal piece on a political website. I did not post it on here, as I felt that “The Land of Mom” was not the proper platform, but I am proud of myself for finally coming out with the words/feelings/emotions/opinions/stories that I have been holding inside for so long. If you are interested in reading this piece, you can do some Google sleuthing to find it or you can just send me a message and I will pass it on. I am incredibly proud of the support that this piece received.
I am proud that I have recently learned how to make a proper cup of coffee pour over cofee. I can TOTALLY nail the #millenialbreakfast now.
I am proud that I have stepped up my mom game. I have been working with my daughter on her values; making new, good friends; legit homework; expressing her emotions; taking responsibility in her life; understanding how fortunate she is; overcoming fears. I have been working with my son on his stubbornness; his self confidence; trying new foods (see above); what it means to say “I’m sorry” and what it means to actually feel regretful (RIP red & gold Jonathan Adler canister); his letters and numbers and the things that interest him about learning; listening.
[Editor’s Note: Apparently I need to work a bit harder on my son’s listening, as the plumber just left…and when my son was angry and said, “I flushed the Play-Doh shovel down the toilet!” he had, indeed, flushed the Play-Doh shovel down the toilet, which caused the powder room toilet to overflow on Tuesday, which caused a leak in my basement ceiling last night. Problem solved, but this is an event that I would not like to repeat.]
For me, being a mom is both the most natural, effortless thing in the world and also harder than it is for others. I can nurture all day. I have a ton of patience and I never yell. I have an endless amount of love and I know how to express it. But making a plan-filled weekend involving trips to the grocery store, Target and 3 parks?
No. I don’t do that. I can’t. Our weekends are quieter. I am trying to find a balance.
I am proud of myself that I am still standing. I briefly touched on this last month and then again in my most recent post, just referencing the fact that I have had a very hard several weeks. I have not shared a thing about it on here (except the fact that I was in a major car accident, but, as I said when I wrote that, the accident has been the least of my troubles). This is not a cry for help or a call for attention, but I am coping with some really hard life stuff. Heartache. Loss.
But I am still standing.
Finally, I am proud that I just wrote a whole post about being proud of myself. I am hoping to find the courage to publish it, as this is scary. I have not done anything extraordinary. I have not pioneered a new treatment for a disease or had huge, tangible successes and, let’s be honest: I just paid a plumber for 2 hours of his time to get a Play-doh shovel out of my pipes. But I hope that my willingness to acknowledge the things that I have done and am doing will inspire you to do the same.
All my love to you, dear readers, in all 148 countries plus you “(not set)” folks. It means everything.