This is Real Life

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Ain’t No Hood Like Motherhood!

I’m a social media person — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (even though I’m still learning how to “tweet”), and my favorite is Pinterest.

I love sharing a little piece of my family and my life, but at the same time, social media can be deceiving. It’s not real life. It’s little snippets of life and most times we don’t get to see the whole picture. 

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Recently, I posted pictures of a “mommy and me” photo shoot. A friend is starting a photography business and asked if we would be a “practice” family — I’m always up for taking pictures and happily agreed.

The pictures are beautiful — but the hour leading up to the photo shoot was madness. 

What you didn’t see behind the perfectly posted Instagram pictures was…

My youngest, Piper, refusing to wear anything I picked out for her — she’s in the midst of the terrible twos and has a certain “style”, which consists of mismatched t-shirts and tutus —my head-strong child grabbed her favorite faded Snoopy shirt and a tutu out the hamper insisting, “Mommy, I wear dis…k?”  After bribing her with munchkins and pink lollipops, Piper changed into a dress with the promise of Snoopy shirts and tutus when we got home. 

Real Life Parenting Tip: Don’t ever judge a desperate mom bribing her child. We have all been there. Sometimes bribery is how I survive the week.

Meanwhile, in the other room, my older daughters were bickering over the same dress and who would wear it.

But that one twirls…No fair…

But… I’m the oldest!”

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I secretly listened, hoping the girls would work out the disagreement — my oldest, a master manipulator, attempted to work her magic on her equally manipulative younger sister — My middle daughter, Parker, is even better at bribing. I could hear her enticing Peyton… “You can borrow my American Girl Doll gymnastic outfit, like for the whole month, if I can wear the dress that twirls!”

Not quite sure who the winner was here… Parker got to wear the twirly dress, but Peyton got something she’s had her eye on for weeks.

Regardless, situation diffused. Mom wins!

Real Life Parenting Tip: Sometimes you need to let your kids figure it out on their own (as long as they are not injuring each other) while you eavesdrop and quietly laugh at the adorable and innocent conversation. 

Beyond the outfit dilemma, one daughter wanted her hair curled and the other wanted wavy hair — I’m a girl mom…This is my life and this is what happens. Meanwhile, I was still in my robe, trying to remember if I had anything other than coffee so far that day. I wish I had somebody to bribe ME with munchkins and pink lollipops.

These are the real moments…the moments that aren’t captured for Instagram or Facebook. Social-media-free moments, where moms are losing their minds, praying their neighbors can’t hear them yelling at their kids!

Real Life Parenting Tip: Find neighbors who sometimes yell at their kids — this way they won’t judge you when it’s your turn to yell at your kids. Make them your friends…create a mom tribe…hold them tight…plan mom nights out. 

Somehow, we made it out the door and in a shocking twist, we were only five minutes late, not an hour late for the pictures —  In another, not so shocking twist, by the time we arrived, curled hair was flat and wavy hair was crazy hair… 

I warned my friend that this experience could be disastrous.

To my amazement, the girls were complete angels…I mean…seriously? How do they do that?img_4299

I wasn’t sure whether I was proud…or pissed…what smart little sassy divas!

Despite the sass, stubbornness, and high-spirited personalities of our girls, when my husband feels outnumbered, I remind him that these challenging personality traits will be advantageous. Our girls will grow into determined, passionate, and strong young women.

Real Life Parenting Tip: Karma is a bitch — accept it.  Everything we ever did to our parents is coming back tenfold.

 

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My point is this: Real life isn’t a series of perfect pictures posted on Instagram…

Real life is messy and chaotic.  

Real life is days filled with school projects, dance classes, lacrosse practices, skinned knees, occasional tears, and at least six trips to the grocery store in a four-day time period. I mean who actually remembers their grocery list?

Real life is wondering how you’re going to make it to the end-of-the-year picnic or Mother’s Day Tea when you have job responsibilities and already used your days to attend the Holiday Party, Spring Party, or to be Mystery Reader.

Real life is trying to remember which kid has to wear a superhero shirt one day of the week, while the other has to bring in a show-and-tell item and completing forgetting to do all of it.

Real life is the intense mom guilt after yelling at your kids for leaving their socks next to the laundry basket, but then— stopping… putting it into perspective (usually when you are watching them sleep peacefully) and realizing that it doesn’t really matter.

Real life is embracing the messy, embracing the crazy, and living in the real.

Post the perfect Instagram pictures, but don’t forget to post the “not so perfect” pictures too — because these are the crazy moments that we are going to miss one day.

Parenting is hard — like really hard — but we got this…

Treasure these moments, support other moms, and remember…

The days may be long…but the years are short.

Here are some “real” not so perfect Instagram moments — or as my parents say…”poor parental supervision.”

Hey…it happens.  We can’t be “perfect” moms all the time!

(Disclaimer: This is my blog. My story. My “real life” experiences and my parenting tips. I am not an expert and I am not a perfect mom. I am just like most moms trying to balance it all and trying to raise good people. Take it or leave it…Don’t like it…don’t read it)

 

Continue reading “This is Real Life”

Real. Strong. Women. And Why I Hope My Daughter Becomes a Legacy.

Sorority Life

Since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be in a sorority. I also knew that I would be very selective about the sorority I would join.

I knew I would pick the sorority with the most genuine, the most real, and the most down-to-earth women…women who strive for values, morals, compassion, and genuine friendships.


Fast forward to fall of 2001… Rutgers University Rush Week. I was excited, a little nervous. Mostly, I was really looking forward to the experience, but more so, I wanted to be selected — I wanted to be a part of either Gamma Phi Beta or Alpha Chi Omega.

Sorority Life

At the end of a remarkable week filled with rush parties and meeting countless women, I actually received bids to both sororities — one more popular and larger, the other not as much. I can still remember “Bid Day”. The sorority sisters came cheering and chanting to my dorm room. My fairy god brother, as I called him, came running out of his room. He was SO delighted for me.

You don’t have a lot of time to make a decision and I was torn between the two choices. I was also humbled that I was asked to join my top two choices, which made the selection all the more difficult.

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Some of my sorority sisters at my engagement party.

I didn’t look back and I accepted my bid to Alpha Chi Omega. I knew that I really wanted to get to know all of these women on a personal level. I also knew that I was really passionate about the philanthropy for the smaller sorority.

Sorority life lived up to all my expectations. We had fun, at times maybe too much —but we also had mandatory study hours and formal weekly chapter meetings where important issues were discussed. We volunteered our time helping others, and we participated in numerous fundraisers for various charities and for our philanthropy: domestic violence.

img_1177I wasn’t hazed. I didn’t have to walk around campus in ridiculous outfits or do outlandish and inappropriate things during “hell” week. The week before initiation was far from hell.

I didn’t stay in my dorm that week. I had the privilege of staying in my soon-to-be sorority house. It was during this week that I bonded with the women in my pledge class. We studied the history of our sorority. We studied our founding sisters. We studied all things AXΩ.

I won’t lie…we did go on some fun scavenger hunts that week. We also created lasting memories and took some pictures that need to stay in a vault. FOREVER!!!

Sorority Life

When I look back at college, I remember the bond. I remember the laughter. I remember the tears.

I remember the homecoming games. I remember the bid days. I remember watching new episodes on Sunday nights of “Sex and the City”.

I remember decorating for rush week. I remember the bid days. I remember formals. I remember the Derby Days and Dance Marathons.

These women became my family— and they are still my family to this day.  Even though the years have passed since graduation, there is an unspoken bond that can never be broken.

These women are strong. They are published authors, psychiatrists, editors for prestigious magazines, fitness instructors, lawyers, teachers, and more.

These women are amazing.

These women are my “sisters”.


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Shari and Gordon’s engagement Party

I can only hope that when my daughters choose their lifelong friends, or maybe one day, a sorority, that they seek out strong women. Women who support them, no matter what. Women that speak the truth, and not behind their backs. Women that encourage and value strong, healthy friendships.

Women who are just like… my sisters.

Together let us seek the heights


The Alpha Chi Omega Symphony

To see beauty even in the common things of life,
to shed the light of love and friendship round me;
to keep my life in tune with the world that I shall make no discords in the harmony of life;
to strike on the lyre of the universe only the notes of happiness, of joy, of peace;
to appreciate every little service rendered;
to see and appreciate all that is noble in another, be her badge what it may;
and to let my lyre send forth the chords of love, unselfishness, sincerity.
This is to be my symphony.

BY CELIA MCCLURE