Charlotte’s Setting Her Own P(e)ace Being a Parent Over the Holidays…

…and how it’s different, but in a great way.

Holidays change when you’re a parent

Christmas 2019 marked our second Christmas with our little one. The first one was kind of a blur as I was only 3 months postpartum but family came to visit  and it was so nice to have them cook a hot meal and do laundry haha

This Christmas we decided to go back to my home state and celebrate with my family. It’s funny how things shift when you become a parent. I was the baby of the family growing up and holidays were so special. My  mom and dad would always leave a gift on my bed, we  had Christmas breakfast of bacon and eggs and crescent rolls. Mom and dad took pictures of my sister and I  opening presents and walking down the stairs while Nat King Cole Christmas cd played in the background. 

Now my mom and dad are the grandparents to my  baby and the  whole focus is making it special for her. Passing on family traditions to my kids and making memories with them too. It’s a different dynamic yes but one that is so much fun and heart warming to see and experience first hand. 

Seeing your fiends and family love your child like they love you is so beautiful . I’m not one to get overly emotional but the holidays are fun in a new light.  My husband and I still exchange gifts and cards but we also take the time to look around and spend it with family and live in the now. The older I get the more I realize how many holiday dinners i complained about or asked  to leave to watch tv or play video games are different now. Now I don’t want to miss a minute of it. 

Being parents over the holidays is like being a kid all over again. You get to run around act silly , make a mess while frosting cookies , rip open presents and sing silly songs out of key all to make your child smile and believe in the magic of Christmas. 

I’m happy to exit center stage and hand it over to my child and let them enjoy it. I’m excited to pass on traditions and also make new ones with my family all in the spirit of writing your own story and your next chapter. 

If you always hated Aunt Sally’s meatloaf on Christmas Day dinner than heck make a new tradition and make beef stew or steaks or baked ziti, don’t feel obligated to carry over ALL the traditions you grew up with. Make sure the ones you pass down to your child make you smile and remember all the fun times growing up with you family when you were a little kid. 

Put down the cell phone, sit back and enjoy your new perspective on the holidays. 

Happy 2020! 

Charlotte’s Say On…

…the societal pressure on women today.

photo credit:

Women face a lot of pressure from family and friends in all stages of life sadly. I was always told to get married before you’re an old maid, or have kids before you are too old, and well you should quit your job and stay home with your baby. I didn’t do what was expected but I did what was best for me and my family.

I didn’t quit my job even though many thought I would after my baby was born. I went back to work and plan on working my 30 years until retirement. Friends and fellow mom’s kept telling me that I might change my mind once I’m home with baby or when I have to send the baby to daycare. They kept telling me “how could you allow a stranger to raise your child?” I would always pause and think about this and even started to doubt myself four months after my baby was born. I thought was I not a good mom because I didn’t want to stay at home with my child 24/7?

After getting back into a healthy workout routine, I looked around one day and said no, I KNOW I’m doing the right thing by being a working mom. So many stay at home moms (SAHMs) keep telling me I don’t know what it is like to be a full-time mom and it’s harder than having a job. I just let them vent and I moved about my life. I asked one SAHM mom once well, what is your plan once the kids are in school? Will you go back to work? She replied no, why would I do that?

Being a mom has made me re-evaluate my priorities in life.  I decided the top things in my life are my marriage (spouse, myself and our health), my kid(s), my family and friends, and lastly my job (in order to have the means to live the lifestyle we want and to travel the world).

I’m not just a mom but I am so much more, I am a wife, a daughter, a friend, an individual, an athlete, a pet mom, a cook, etc. I didn’t let starting a family define who I am and that being ONLY a mom. I don’t like that the mom community forces you to choose a side of being a SAHM or a working-mom. Why can’t we all just be called a MOM, plus so many other things? It could be written Mom+

I know my child will be stronger and well-rounded because they have two working parents. Two parents that will be able to provide for them and show them the world. If that makes us BOTH selfish parents then I guess we are and that is okay with us. Why you ask? Because we decided our OWN path.

In today’s world I don’t see the need to RUSH everything. I don’t understand why people RUSH to get engaged and are in a RUSH to have kids and a RUSH to buy a house and etc. Why not slow down and enjoy life and do it YOUR WAY and SET YOUR OWN P(E)ACE. Make your own timeline and own path and NEVER apologize for it or let alone have people tell you to settle, don’t ever SETTLE.

This is the last post I have from Charlotte, but she may agree to write more for us if you show here some love in the comments section!

Meet My First Guest Writer…

…friend, wife, mom, career woman, and setting her own p(e)ace. I love writing this blog for my little readership but there are some perspectives and life experiences I cannot speak too (many but in this case marriage, motherhood, and being her). So please enjoy one of three posts coming from Charlotte.

Growing up, Career, Marriage, Starting a family

I was born in the late 80’s and enjoyed the era of music and movies in the 90’s. I did well in school and graduated high school with honors. I graduated college while working part-time and even finished a semester early. After undergrad the job market was not that great so I went off to graduate school. Starting grad school in 2008 I began to notice my email and mailbox was starting to get flooded with wedding invitations. I thought to myself getting married at 23 years old, wow that is young but I thought to myself each their own. As the years went one I started to look in my closet and paused and thought to myself, “WOW, I am like Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses.” I had a closet full of bridesmaid dresses.

During this time I saw friends announce they were having a baby, some were getting separated/divorced, some were on their second marriage and some were still searching for Mr/Miss Right. Through it all though I did the best I could to be there to support my friends through the ups and downs because that is what friends do! Many of them had done that for me after my many heartbreaks, school setbacks, running injuries, and family tragedies. I’ve always made it a point to always reach out to my friends via calls, emails or texts even if its just to say hello. Life gets busy but its always important to put the effort into friendships.

I was about 24 when I realized I would most likely not get married before I was 30. Even though according to many of my colleagues/friends they felt I should try to get married before I’m 30 as the “biological clock is ticking.” I just rolled my eyes at those people. I also had some people in my life say that “hey you have been dating Mr. X for 3 or more years don’t you think you guys will get married?”

That is one thing I never understood why people assumed that just because you have been with this guy/girl for years that you were “owed” an engagement ring. I don’t understand why or how society puts this pressure on relationships – decide if you are on the road to marriage within the first few months and/or year(s). I was always one to make my own way and to choose my own path even though it wasn’t always socially the norm. Just because friends/family of mine were getting married right out of school didn’t make me feel any more pressure to do so. One thing I learned growing up from my parents is that you’re an individual and you are not a follower, do what you believe is right and follow your heart.

I always knew I would get married later in life. I felt this way because to me I worked by butt off in school and wanted to have my own career before settling down. “Settling” that is a unique and sometimes hard word to explain to people. I think a lot of people in life “settle” and that can be good and bad but for me I didn’t want to settle down and get married until I knew I met the right person and I was ready as an individual to get married. I think some people push the “EASY” button and settle with their high school/college/first serious relationship because it is easier to do so than start over.

I will tell you this, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to walk away from someone you could have “settled” down with based on the years you were dating because in the long run YOU KNEW they were NOT the match for you. Always remember YOU deserve to be with someone who loves you and give you respect. Starting over in the dating world in your late 20’s is not easy and many may avoid it and stay with someone they are comfortable with but may not be completely happy with. My motto was always why settle with someone you could be “okay-happy” with in life when you can find someone to be “thrilled and over the moon with?”

It is okay to always be a bridesmaid and never a bride until YOU feel like you are ready. I am now in my early 30’s and I can tell you that I am NOT the same woman I was in my early 20’s. I’ve grown intellectually, emotionally, and physically in order to be ready for all of the challenges of life. In my late twenties after being in my career for 5 years I finally felt like I had arrived. I got a few promotions at work and felt that I knew who I was and what I wanted in a potential partner and was ready to start dating again after the big breakup of Mr. X.

Dating when you have a career is not easy but sometimes it is what is best. I didn’t know this then but there is truth to the saying “once you love yourself others will love you too.”

Once I felt comfortable with who I was in my life, in my career and as an individual I was ready and open to share my life with someone. Through it all sports have taught me life lessons through injuries, training and competitions have all showed me to have confidence in myself and my abilities. These past experiences have helped me where I am today in my career and relationship. Stand up strong, and show the world how amazing you are and always smile as you never know how your smile can bring joy and happiness to someone.