I don’t need help.

In a flurry of frustration my 11 year old screams at me…”I don’t need help.”

Over the past month, my world has turned its face to confront the reality that we all need help. In every and all different ways – I’ve begun preaching to all who will listen…at some point in life, we all need help – and not only that – but its ok to ask for it.

So here I am, with a frustrated COVID home schooled middle child who’s emerging into independence telling me…I don’t need help. The actuality of his statement after his teacher emailed me with his missing class work is…he needs help.

Is it our stubborn approach to life, or maybe our own pride that holds us back from asking – but life is FULL of challenges. I too thought I could do it all – and I mean IT ALL. A few years ago, I was at my breaking point when I decided to switch jobs to hopefully take  breath towards a more balanced life. When I interviewed I told my future boss – my real goal is balance. To find a way to pursue my career goals while being the best mom possible. And I thought I had to do this, without help.

I met with the CEO who I would come to look up to over the years and asked her, “How did you do it with kids and career?” She said – I asked for help.

Never before had I had I realized how much I needed to just say the words out loud. So I did it. I hired a after school helper to get the kids off the bus, get dinner going and get them situated for activities. And I felt guilty for this action. But I acknowledged that among that guilt was a breath I needed to feel. And so for five years I juggled different child care help, different schedule adjustments, and letting myself feel as if I was doing ok.

But I wasn’t. Or was I?

My friends would say to me often, “Lori, I don’t know how you juggle it all.” I would shrug and say, well this is life.

I took a plunge this year. And yes COVID had a huge impact on this decision to find REAL balance in life – but today I was home when my daughter couldn’t navigate what class to be in online and which papers she needed. Today I took a mid-day bike ride with my 1st grader and cooked my middle child lunch in between his classes. I felt my oldest son rest his head on my shoulder as I cooked them dinner – just because.

I don’t know if this is the balance I was looking for – but it seems to be something we all need. And so I purposefully put my career in a different direction – making new connections, seeking new inspiration – and more importantly take a breath each day beside my children who obviously “need my help”  – even if they don’t know they do.

 

 

When Kindness Matters – My Next Journey

Nearly seven years ago my belly was filled with our first baby girl…and so was my sister in laws. We dreamed of the days they would play together on the porch of the Vineyard home, ski trips they would take together, hair braiding and doll playing where they would imagine together.  We discussed our names for our daughters…and shared in our discomfort of our bodies as our bellies grew.

Four weeks before their due date, the dreams shattered.

I remember the moment my brother called to tell me. I fell to the floor and screamed holding my pregnant belly. My heart ached hard – and so loud. Layla, my beautiful niece never took her first breath. She was stillborn on November 11, 2013.

When you live across the country from your family, it is so difficult to find a way to grieve with them. This unbelievable pain they were experiencing – and I couldn’t hug them, I couldn’t cook them a meal, I couldn’t really call them either – the pain was too much for them to speak. And so each day, week would pass – my own body filled with constant fear if my own daughter would make it (after already experiencing an early loss of another baby.) It consumed my being and yet I felt helpless to be there for my family.

My daughter Samantha was born on December 12. And I’m not sure I ever held anything so tightly as she came into the world. My heart was bursting with love, and pain all at once. But she was here, and she would guide me forward.

Healing with love…

My brother and sister-in-law continued to grieve and on Christmas Day, they held my daughter sobbing. Nothing was ok. But it seems love finds a way to heal. 

In 2016, my brother James and sister in law Laura took their grief, love, knowledge and tech genius and launched Give InKind. A new way for people who go through good and bad times in life – to show their own way of kindness. They took the most devastating moments in their life, and are bringing good to others.

After many years in Corporate America, building my skills, leadership and ability to tell others’ stories, I am honored to join the team

New Beginnings

at Give InKind as my next journey. 

This is more than a job to me. This is growing at the core. 

Join me in the journey…follow Give InKind, use its amazing tools for people in your life…and find new ways to bring kindness forward. If there is ever a time in life where we all need it – its now. 

And if at any time you just want another mom to hang out with…join me at meatloafmom.com for a laugh or “yep, thats me too” moment. I will be adding more often! (I promise myself.)

So here’s to new beginnings – embracing the fear of the unknown – and becoming a better me. 

 

Run Forest Run

Run Forest….Run

June 21, 2017

Oh geeezzzz…I literally just said it out loud. My boys are off for summer vacation. First day. And they are running around the neighborhood with their buddies, and I am a nervous wreck! This is the first summer where they are given more freedom to explore the neighborhood with friends. They each have some way to communicate with us, Drew his first phone which was given to him after he finished his first year of middle school on the honor roll. Nate we got a watch that communicates with us so we can track him and call him. I’m not used to this. I’m not used to letting the reins out a bit and not have a literal eye on them at all times.

I’m not overprotective, just not an idiot about the realities of life and the scary possibilities out there.

It’s like the story I read to Sammi all the time – Rapunzel, you are never to leave this tower, the world below is dangerous and scary.

I feel like the wicked mother – I don’t want to let them far away from the tower, where I know I can shield them. The further their bikes take them, the more anxiety I get. Is this what letting them be kids and grow up a bit means. I just hope I prepared them enough to make the right choices if they encounter..well..anything I guess.

As I just yelled out the door to Drew – run as fast as you can if anyone ever grabs you!

I’m losing my mind.

Why meatloaf?

It’s all about the meatloaf.

June 20, 2017

That day when I went to Wegman’s at lunch, got a meatloaf, and cooked it at work in my toaster oven. Yep. I did that. Because why? Because I saved a whole hour of time at night when I will be running to the baseball field chasing a three year old trying to make sure some of my kids actually are fed. Just ano

ther day in the life of this working mom.

I work beside several women, and the thing I find the hardest is that I am the only one on my team with young kids. So when I leave to run to the fields for baseball, or rush home to get food on the table – I feel guilty. I actually feel guilty for being a mom. And I hate that.

Guilt equals meatloaf. Because I can’t be home with them, I channel my energies into making sure they are fed. And i mean full meals on their plates every night that it’s possible. Meatloaf, salmon, shrimp, chicken, ribs…you 

name it and I’m serving it up. Some nights there are two dinners because I am so picky with what I eat to make sure it’s not carb infused but want them to be more balanced. Again, my own craziness that has caused me to make meatloaf at work.

I’m hard on myself. Never feeling like the job I do – whether at my desk every day, or the time I am present at home – is never good enough. I think the question I hear most from people is, how do you do it? Well…for me, I chose to have three kids, and in that I needed to work to provide for them. I don’t have a choice but to keep going…keep cooking, keep running after them, and simply keep up with them. And tonight my keeping up simply means meatloaf.