The truth

When I was pregnant it seemed that everyone felt the need to fill me in on every bit of advice that they could. “Sleep when the baby sleeps”, “breast feeding is better than bottle feeding”, “take advantage of the newborn phase”, etc.

This appreciated advice had me worried about things to do with motherhood that just seem so simple compared to what I know now. Because now that Lincoln is here, it seems that I am wide awake when he sleeps, breastfeeding isn’t always an option, and I’ve regretfully spent moments wishing away the newborn phase.

What a lot of people don’t tell you about is the worry that comes with parenting. Of course I’m not trying to scare people away from having kids, but it wasn’t something that I had thought about before having Lincoln. I didn’t realize how much I would worry about the unknown.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve searched Google for answers, complained to John because all the other babies I see don’t seem to be having the same issue, or racked my brain for reasons why he was crying uncontrollably. I know that this is only my side of motherhood so to some people these thoughts might not occur, and this advice may not be helpful. But I will tell you now, you are the lucky ones.

In Lincoln’s short 5 months with us so far I have filled my brain with about a bajillion questions and found maybe 3 answers. Lincoln was colicky and had reflux so of course I was always searching for remedies to soothe these things. And what I found was that there really aren’t certain ways, it’s just whatever your baby likes. Sometimes it’s to be walked around for hours on end, and other times he just really wanted to sit in his swing. But another thing I found when scouring the Internet was that I was not alone. I was not the only mother asking the web these “silly” questions. And in these moments I felt peace. I wasn’t going crazy, and I’m not the only mother who felt that way.

The evenings that were spent walking Lincoln around in circles while he cried would have me thinking I wasn’t doing something right, or maybe there was something more wrong with him than I could figure out. The fact that babies can’t tell you what’s wrong leads your brain to come up with your own answers, no matter how outrageous they may be. And after nights of endless crying, those answers seem to cloud your head.

I found that a lot of my worry would come in the evenings, because that was the hardest time of day for Lincoln. But every morning he would wake up with a great big grin on his face and he would let out a big giggle when I tickled his belly, and that’s when all the worry would go away.

Colic is hard. Being a new mom is hard. But each day brings new blessings, and hopefully each day brings more smiles. There may still be some hard evenings, and I definitely won’t say I’m not worried anymore, because really I don’t think I will ever stop worrying. I mean eventually he’s going to be a teenager right? I can’t even imagine the worry that comes with that! Of course there will be more evenings of crying (he’s a baby not a robot) but there will always be days full of giggles, and for that I am thankful.

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From the daughter of a hockey coach

Lately I’ve been seeing numerous posts called “my goodbye to hockey”. These posts are all written by players of the game or parents who were involved because their children were playing. Well, I figured I would try writing my side of the story, as the daughter of a hockey coach. Although, this is not a goodbye to hockey because whether I still know the people who or playing the game or not, hockey will always be a part of my life.

Since I was born, I’ve been surrounded by hockey. My brother is 11 years older than me and was already into his hockey career when I was born. My father has loved hockey since he was a child, playing when he was young and then into his high school years. He had two children young and had to stop playing, but that did not take him away from the game. He grew up with 4 older brothers who all played hockey, too. So when he was young he got to share the love of the game not only with his teams, but with his own family as well. Now that he had a son himself, he chose to share that love with him as well. My brother started to skate, and then as most young hockey players do, he also found the love of the game. My dad decided that he was going to become a coach, and he coached every team my brother has played on. Around the time my brother was going to be starting high school, my dad applied to be an assistant hockey coach of the team. He got the job and began to coach with someone who became a great leader to him. Even though my brother did not make the high school team his first two years, my dad still encouraged him to keep playing and keep trying out. Eventually he made it his junior year, and his senior year the team won the state championships. Even after my brother graduated and went onto college, my dad could not leave coaching because he now found a love for this side of the game. He eventually became the head coach in 2006 and is still today.

My dad and brother both have continued to play hockey over the years, whether in different rentals or random pick up games. A couple years ago, my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, which started to make it difficult for him to skate the way that he used to. Even though this was the case, he never lost a love for hockey. Rather, hockey became his escape. When he could focus on hockey, he didn’t even think about anything else that was bothering him. I’ve honestly never met a person who loves hockey more than he does, and I know whenever he has to it’s going to be a heck of a hard time to get him to walk away from the game.

Now, this technically wasn’t supposed to be such a long story about my family’s hockey timeline, and I could actually go on and on talking about all the family members I have who played hockey or are actually still playing hockey, but I digress… I can’t begin to count how many hockey games I’ve seen over my lifetime, how many busses I’ve travelled on, how many teams I’ve felt I became a part of, how many tears I’ve cried because of a loss, and how many screams I’ve cried because of a win. Hockey is not only an escape for the players, but also for the spectators. I’ve been in so many different hockey rinks over the years; I’ve travelled many places to support the teams that I love. Heck, I even got a concussion once from watching a game! (I took a hockey puck to the head, not one of my favorite moments!) The sport of hockey has brought my life to a stand still so many times, and pushed my problems aside, and it’s brought me closer to my father than anything else really could. We’ve bonded so many times whether it was him looking into the stands after a win and seeing me waving like crazy, or the two of us sitting on the couch cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks. My father and I could talk about hockey for hours, and we could watch games over and over again even if we already knew the outcome.

Even though I’m already 4 years out of high school and no longer know any of the players on the team, as long as my dad is coaching, the Hancock Bulldogs will always be my favorite team. I will still scream at their games, and still feel heartbroken after a loss, because my father has taught me to love the game of hockey as well. Hockey is not just for the players, even though they share a different side of hockey that I will never know, I will never lose my love of the game either, just like the players.

So this is not a goodbye to hockey. Whether I have family playing or not, whether I am still in school or not, and whether my dad is still the coach or not, hockey will always be a part of my life. I know that the love of the game, and the bond my father and I share because of hockey will never ever leave my life.

From,
the daughter of a hockey coach

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Back in 2010 when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup

I didn’t plan on being a stay-at-home-mom

Before I had Lincoln I knew that I was going to finish school so that I could receive my Bachelors degree. When the semester started it was decided between John and I that it would be best that I didn’t go back to work and just focused on school and Lincoln for the time being. This was something that I was totally fine with. I knew that I would need as much time as possible to complete my assignments and still be able to spend time with Lincoln.

Since it was such a busy time, I never had the chance to job search for when the semester was over with. So unintentionally, when graduation was over, I sort of took the role as a “stay at home mom”. It’s not that I don’t want to work, or couldn’t find work if I tried. But I really enjoy getting to spend these precious moments with Lincoln while I can. Soon enough he will be walking and talking, and not long after that he will be off to school. Childhood is such a short time in a person’s life and I believe it should be shared with many people.

There are days here and there that I feel useless because I haven’t found a job yet, or to be more honest, actively looked for a job yet. But last night as I was scrolling Pinterest I saw a quote that caught my eye.

“When in doubt, choose the kids. There will be plenty of time later to choose work.” – Anna Quindlen

I believe that this is so true. I have the rest of my life to be caught up in work, but Lincoln will only be little for so long. This quote made me feel a little bit better about those thoughts that I frequently have.

Granted, I know these days it is very hard to be a SAHM because of financial reasons, and I am very lucky that it is something that I can do at the moment. And I give lots of credit to the moms that work and take care of their kids. Someday that will be me, and it will probably be very soon.

So as I said, I didn’t intend to be a stay at home mom before I graduated. But I will enjoy it as long as it lasts.

4months

Dear Lincoln {4 months}

Dear Lincoln,

I’m pretty sure I can start each one of these posts saying “wow, I can’t believe how fast another month went by!” But it’s true, time with you is really flying by! It’s amazing to see how much you’ve grown in such a short amount of time.

This month sure was a busy one! I finished up my last couple weeks of class and your dad started working day shifts again so we got to spend a lot of time together!

Even though you seemed to hate tummy time at first, you actually got the hang of rolling over now! One day we just put you on your tummy and there you went, right onto your back! A couple weeks later you mastered the art of rolling from back to front as well. So now anytime we put you on your back you roll right to your belly. Sometimes you get a little angry and confused as to why you’re on your belly then you just quick roll yourself over again! Thats one great milestone you accomplished this month. I don’t think it will be long until we find you crawling all over the place!

It seems that now you want anything you can get in your mouth. Especially your hands, those are your favorite. I can’t quite tell but I think you might be getting some teeth in there.

We had our first trip to the ER this month because we thought you might have had an ear infection. One day you decided to be extra crabby and continue to tug on your ear so we got worried and brought you up there. Turns out it was nothing, and some of those symptoms are just signs of teething as well! Better safe than sorry though!

You sat so good through my 2 hour graduation! I think the speaker cried more than you did.

Your grandparents from downstate even made it up this month and got to visit with you too! They just moved down to Florida now, so we will go visit them in the spring and you can take your first plane ride, and see the ocean! You sure are lucky!

We got to celebrate your first Christmas this month and it sure was fun. We went to church on Christmas Eve with your grandparents, uncle Mark, aunt Laura, and cousin Ann.

On Christmas morning we got to open all your presents from Santa, just little things for you to play with! But you definitely liked all of them!

This month you got to go to Grandpa’s holiday hockey tournament! You were mesmerized by all the players on the ice. Someday that will be you out there!

We also celebrated New Years a couple days ago and you decided you wanted to stay up until midnight to celebrate with all of us. Either that or we were too loud and kept you up, sorry!

It really was a busy month full of lots of fun stuff. Next month might not be as busy but I’m sure it will bring many good things!

Love,
Mom

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