Ornaments, Candles, Tees and More! Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

 
I remember walking on the Point Pleasant Boardwalk with my mom, helping her push my brother in the stroller while my two sisters skipped alongside us. An older woman stopped us and asked “are these ALL your children?” My mom laughed and told her “yes.” The woman gaped at us as if we were a circus side show and said “God bless you” before walking away. Or really, running away, as if my mom planned to hand one of us over and ask her to “take care of that.”
 
I’ve had that memory for more than 25 years, but the significance has changed. For years it made me so mad. How dare that woman?! We were good kids, right?! My mother had it easy. Strike that, my mother was lucky. She didn’t get a terror squad. She had a dream team! How did that woman not see that immediately?!
 
Fast forward to June 2012, when my twins so gracefully tumbled into this world. Within 24 hours I came face to face with a harsh reality: being a parent is hard. And unlike other challenging careers, there are no raises, bonuses or awards for everyday mommyhood. I seriously think that might be half the reason we love social media; you are guaranteed to get lots of blue thumbs for everything from a home run to a loose tooth.
 
Well mommas, I’ve got you. I hear you. I am you. I want to be celebrate you {and me} for these 7 reasons, and many more!
 
Being lazy
 
Social media has created an unhealthy expectation of constant action.
 
Playing at the park! #getoutside
Checking out the ocean! #sandyhairdontcare
Soccer practice! #littlekickers
 
We see it all day long and we assume that everyone is doing everything 24/7. It’s exhausting.
If today is the day you choose to stay inside and take a nap, I applaud you.
 
Get it, momma. #sleeptight
 
Saying NO
 
I don’t mean “no” to the kids. That happens all day long. “Can I cut Patrick’s hair?” No. “Can I open Logan’s present?” No. “Can I paint Fiona (our dog)?” No. “Can I sleep outside?” No.
 
I’m talking about saying NO to other people. Saying NO to the PTA president who wants you to run the Breakfast with Santa. To the old boss who keeps trying to drag you back in for one last assignment. To your friend who wants to “do lunch” once a week when all you want to do is curl up with Netflix and pinot.
 
Moms are busy. Saying NO to the stuff we don’t want to do is as healthy as eating 6 bags of kale. Be proud of your NO. It gives you the space and time to say “yes” when you really want to and do a great job.
 
 
Talking to your kids like adults
 
We have all wondered if the movie “Look Who’s Talking” is based in reality. Are all babies laughing at us? Are they connecting telepathically with each other?
 
I like to believe that it does happen. That belief kept me from goo-gooing and cooing all day long before my two started talking back.
 
If you are engaging in a full on dialogue with your child, even if she can’t talk back yet, be proud. Best case scenario, you are helping their future speech production. Worst case scenario, you aren’t getting John Travolta-ed.
 
 
Refusing to Watch Kid Shows
 
Please don’t mistake this one as a plea for all families to toss their televisions in an effort to increase intelligence and cultivate creativity with their kids. I am sure that’s possible, but I cannot in good conscience tell anyone to do that. I legitimately DVR 10 things a week.
 
This is simply about turning off the “junior” stations for good. I truly do not mean to offend the creators of children’s’ television by saying this but, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? The vast majority of your age appropriate, brain stimulating programs are absolutely murderous to my mommy eyes. I am by no means an expert, but there must be a way to inject some of that Frozen, Shrek, Zootopia watchability into the daily stuff, right? Until then, we are proudly tuning OUT.
 
Getting out the door on time
 
Remember when you only had to get yourself ready and you were still 5 minutes late? Well now you are bathing, dressing and feeding at least one more human before go time. If you get out of the door on time, that is nothing short of a miracle. If a representative from the Vatican shows up on your doorstep, don’t be surprised.
 
Doing your hair and makeup
 
I’m not talking smokey eyes here. I’m talking the basics. Blow dry, quick straighten or curl, mascara, concealer and bronzer. Those 5 things can turn your “before” into an “after” within 12 minutes.
 
Making time for your girlfriends
 
I keep seeing a post that reads self love is the new #relationshipgoals. I totally get it, but for me friendship is the new #relationshipgoals. 
 
I am guilty of shading out on my girls and using my kids as the excuse. Mommas, let’s unite and make 2017 the year of friendship. Yes, I know that sounds corny. Let’s do it anyway. Dinner dates, glasses of wine, Pilates classes, whatever. And don’t limit it to the mommy set. Reconnect with your fabulously dressed BFF from college who is still crushing it in the city and your favorite hippie who just posted a picture of Phish tickets. It is good for your soul!

Bridget Riepl

Bridget is a recovering perfectionist and former lawyer who recently decided to drop her fears {and her filter too} and start writing about anything and everything that ignites her fire, from potty training to politics. She blogs at http://www.bridgetriepl.com// and her work has appeared in MindBodyGreen and TheDisorganizedParent. Bridget currently lives and works at the Jersey Shore with her twins, Sadie and Patrick, and her husband Joe who supports her spontaneity with a smile. You can find her on Instagram at @bridgetriepl or visit her on Facebook at Bridget Marie Riepl.

Don’t Fear the Gap

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Baby lying on mother's chest, black-and-white photo

I was afraid of the gap. You know, the one where you have some kids and then wait several years to have another? That gap. When we moved here, we kept all the baby things because we weren’t ready to say we were done but weren’t ready to start over. Moving to the farm brought wayyy more chores than our neighborhood home and adding a tiny human to that mix felt a bit crazy. RELATED: I’ll Always Want Another Baby There were months of back and forth . . . talk of barefoot baby feet stomping all over this place...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, If Something Feels Off, It Probably Is—Trust Your Intuition

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter black and white photo

A few weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter was playing at a friend’s house when she messaged me on her game tablet to come pick her up. I didn’t ask why I just went to get her. I asked her once she was home how it was, and she told me she had a weird feeling and she was just “trusting her guts,” which I loved hearing her say. Apparently, her friend had a bunch of extended family show up at the house that we were unaware of. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and confident so she thought nothing of listening...

Keep Reading

10 Lessons I Hope You Learn Playing Youth Sports

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy dribbling down basketball court, black-and-white photo

Last night was my sixth grader’s last basketball game of the season. He played with many of the same gang of boyhood friends he has known since kindergarten. This year, however, they were introduced to a traveling team, older players, and much stiffer competition than they had encountered in the past. They stood the test and played their little boy hearts out. I am proud of my son, his team, his coaches, and all the familiar faces we came to know in the Greenwood Laboratory School cheering section each week, sometimes two to three times in one week!  Here’s to...

Keep Reading

I Love You At Every Stage

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three children at park, color photo

Confession: I love the 1-year-old phase. Our youngest is one and such a joy to be around. He’s still so cuddly, finds such joy in the smallest things, is learning new things every day, and smiles at every little thing his big brother and sister do. I love the 3-year-old phase. Our only girl is three. She has a flair for the dramatic, but she is very forthright with her feelings. “I’m having a hard time.” “I just miss my daddy when he’s at the Fire House.” “I’m a princess.” “God made me beautiful.” She is quick to be a...

Keep Reading

Simple Moments Shape Childhood

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy in shallow water of beach

Sometimes it’s the little things that can turn out to be the biggest things. Motherhood has made me appreciate the everyday moments, the simple moments, differently.  Being outdoors with my boys can be simple in theory, but I absolutely love the adventures we take. Whether we are hiking, biking, swimming, exploring, or checking out a new park, this momma knows it is time well spent.  RELATED: I’m Watching You Grow Up in the Little Moments Because whether they realize it or not, these memories being made are the special ones. The ones my boys will carry with them in their...

Keep Reading

I Promise to Show Up for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in garden

My child, I hope you know you can count on this: I will show up for you. I will show up when you wake in the middle of the night, when you get up too early or stay up too late. I will be there to make your meals, read you a story, and tuck you into bed. I will show up when you are sick—taking time off work, bringing you to the doctor, cleaning up your throw-up, and sitting up with you. I will show up at every game, sitting in the stands or a camp chair, freezing or...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Growth Is Tangible, and When It Is You Hold On Tight

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom putting bike helmet on child

I never expected my sign to come in the form of a plastic bag. As a parent, you’re told over and over how fast it all goes, to cherish these times because they’re gone in a blink. You see the gradual changes in your kids as they move through milestones. One day, they can hold their own spoon. They begin stringing words into sentences. Their ages are counted in years and no longer months. You watch these things happen every day, but I didn’t realize some transitions would come in tangible ways, like a grocery bag filled with wet swim...

Keep Reading

Some Nights They Need You a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping, color photo

Some nights they need you a little more, mama. Because of the bad dreams or the bogeyman they are adamant is under the bed. Because firefighter daddy’s schedule leaves him missing goodnight tuck-ins and bedtime stories several times a week, sometimes leaving them a little needier and more emotional. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. RELATED: I’ll Lay With You As Long As You Need, My Child Because they are sick. Because they feel safe in your presence. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. It’s not always easy. It’s not always (okay, hardly ever)...

Keep Reading

Sweet Babies, I’ll Be There

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children lying in bed, color photo

When your world is calm and peaceful, I’ll be there. When your world is chaotic like an ice cream shop on the hottest day of summer, I’ll be there. When you need a Band-Aid applied and a boo-boo kissed, I’ll be there. When you want to perform in your Frozen microphone like you’re performing for a crowd of 20,000 people, I’ll be there. When you feel lost and alone, I’ll be there. When you feel you have nowhere to go, I’ll be there. RELATED: I Will Always Be There When You Need Me, My Son When you need a pep...

Keep Reading

I’m in the Big Little Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
black and white photo of little boy and little girl standing in a window together

I’m in the big little years. It’s when you’re no longer in the tender season of babies and toddlers—those sweet, smothering, exhausting years of being constantly touched and needed . . . . . . but you’re not yet in the big kid years—navigating boyfriends and driver’s licenses and bracing your heart for the impending ache of an empty nest. I’m somewhere in between. I’m in the years of having littles that aren’t so little anymore, but still need you for so much. They have big feelings. Big ideas. Big dreams. But they have mostly little problems (even though they...

Keep Reading