Today is All You’re Guaranteed

I think one of the things that most of us take for granted is that tomorrow is never a guarantee. Yesterday has gone and tomorrow may come but today is always something you can count on. Living with the mentality that today should be cherished and today is all we have guaranteed to us is a positive way to live life. With all of the fears, worries and then anxiety to fuel those emotions it’s no wonder we all get caught into the trap of over thinking tomorrow. What a wonderful life we would all have if we could pause our fears of tomorrow and remember that today is all you’re guaranteed.

 

Mom Influence - How Eyebrow Piercing Showcased Unconditional Love

Today Matters in Motherhood

Why am I talking about today on this blog about motherhood? Well it’s simple really, just as you should focus on today in your personal and business life, today matters in motherhood. Many moments pass you by as your children get older, grow taller and grow smarter. Today they are wondering if you can spare just one extra moment to read to them, listen to them, talk to them. Your children usually focus on today because that’s how simple life is to them. While the past can create anxiety within children, just as it does with adults, today is what most children focus on.

Take Time Today For Your Child

Just the other night my youngest child asked me if I could lay beside him just a little while longer. Usually I have tons of work to do at the end of the night and will tell him that I simply cannot for work is going to go into the late hours of the night if I continuously lay beside him for longer periods of time. After saying that to my son two nights in a row, I quickly noticed that his face looked disappointed. My poor son simply wanted just a few more minutes of my time. He didn’t want me to lay beside him hovered over that top bunk so he could stay awake and talk or be silly, he simply wanted his Mama there beside him for a minute longer.

 

As soon as the internal switch clicked and I realized that today is all you’re guaranteed, I stopped giving my youngest excuses to not lay beside him one moment longer. Now, when my son asks if I can lay beside him just a little longer, I do it. This thirty to sixty seconds of today isn’t going to push my work load out by hours, not at all. Sure I may have to work just a couple minutes longer if I lay with him hovered over that top bunk beside him as I watch his eyes drift off to sleep but today is all I know I have with him. That moment, as I lay beside him I watch my young son go from the high energy child into a peacefully sleeping child. In that moment I realize that these moments will pass me by, before I know it he will be a teenage boy who may not want that one moment longer of Mama being around.

Bittersweet Reality of Raising Children

The bittersweet reality of raising children is that you are but in their life as their caregiver for only a brief moment of time. You work hard to raise that child to be something. You encourage that child to think for himself, to be confident in who he is and then as this child becomes an adult you send them off into the world. No more moments to lie for just a few more seconds hovered over that bunk bed, watching him drift off to sleep. No more moments of him asking you to sit and read a book before bed. Every moment you could have said yes instead of no, will be gone in the blink of an eye.

Remember this story when you are laying your child down to bed this evening, think about your response when they ask for just a few more seconds of your time.

Sometimes, in a house where this child has to share his Mama with siblings, those few seconds before bed matter to him. This child gets to have just a few more seconds of his mother beside him, without the siblings interrupting or needing something and in those few seconds, you mean the world to your child because you took that moment to be there for him. Remember, you only have today so go on and live for today and be the Mama you desire to be, because we can’t get back those moments of our children wanting us to lay just a little longer. Cherish today, for it’s all you’re guaranteed.

Signs I should Have Seen For Autism

It was 2006. I gave birth to my second child. This was my first born boy. My other child was a girl and age 4. The first born child was easily reaching all milestones, talking ridiculously well at age 2 and advanced in so many ways. I knew the first born daughter was advanced, so when it came to raising another child, I had no idea what the norm was. My son came into this world weighing 9lbs 5oz and being around 19 or 20” in length. My son nursed so frequently that I ultimately gave up on breast and turned to formula when he was around 8 weeks of age. The boy would eat 16oz before even being able to fall asleep for just a few hours at a time.

Life was hard. I walked around with little to no sleep most days for around four years. The struggle was real.

Looking Back – Signs of Autism

While I am not sure if the lack of sleeping was a sign of autism, I know that my son had other characteristics of autism that went overlooked. For example, my first born son needed to have a specific colored bottle for each type of drink. I am uncertain of the exact colors that were for each drink, but he had to have one color cup for juice, one for milk and one for water. If you handed him let’s say the red with juice in it, but the red was normally for water, he would have a total meltdown. He would throw himself down after tossing his cup and proceed to be immensely angry. This was a huge part of his life, often easily angered. We had no idea what to do.

Mom Influence - Signs I should Have Seen For Autism

Mental Health Questions

Since bipolar and other mental health issues run heavily in my family, I simply presumed he had a mood disorder. That’s all that made sense to me, for I had no experience with autism, only mood disorders as I watched my sister grow up being bipolar. Most of the signs my son exhibited to me, were that of someone who was bipolar. Funny thing is, he was actually diagnosed ADHD, Bipolar then finally around age 8 we received a high functioning autistic diagnosis.

Signs of Autism In My Opinion

  • The need to have a specific cup for specific drinks at all times – highly routine driven.
  • Hated Loud Songs, like Happy Birthday song to him, assuming this is part of autism? To this day you cannot sing him Happy Birthday for he hates it with a passion and he’s now 10.
  • Toilet training didn’t occur fully until he was around age 4 years 3 months, that’s only because the pediatrician said it’s been long enough of waiting, let him go diaper free.
  • A delay in fine motor skills. To this day my son is 10 and still has a fine motor skill delay. We had him attending Occupational Therapy once a week for years to work on this.
  • Inability to have empathy without being logical told how to be empathetic. This means he has learned to have empathy but it’s a difficult road to get him to continue to have this concept mastered.
  • A huge love of animals, his dog Jenny sleeps with him every night. Having Jenny the pug sleep beside him was really the first time he started sleeping fully through the night on a regular basis. To this day, my son loves animals, insects, etc more than anything else beyond YouTube!
  • The absolute need for routine, it’s better now that he’s older, but for most of his life he couldn’t have unexpected events happen. For instance, you could go tell him to get his coat on because we were going to head to the store if it wasn’t planned, he would have a meltdown.

My memory may fail me often, so each of these examples are just a few that I recall having to deal with and some days still deal with as signs of autism.

 

Just a boy waiting for his Dunkin donuts #breakfast #holidaybreak

A photo posted by Brandy Ellen (@brandyellen1) on

Not Every Child with Autism is the Same

There are many different signs of autism and the autism spectrum is long, it even includes some mood disorders. So let’s say bipolar is something you are figuring out, this happens to fall closely within the autistic spectrum from what one family counselor told us years ago. You see, my son had many signs of autism but not nearly enough to get a full proper diagnosis until we met with a psychologist whose son has Asperger’s. She knew almost immediately upon meeting my son that he was on the spectrum. The way he rocked when in the room with her, the ticks he has when excited about something and his way of speaking with lack of eye contact. Those are all signs he had back around age 8 when we met with a psychiatrist who specialized in this area of mental health.

Keep on Fighting – Your Child Matters

If you are struggling with some of the things I had struggled with and you see a sign of autism in your child, my advice to you is to continue fighting. Do not take medications for your child thinking it will fix it. Trust me – my son was placed on some heavy duty anti-psychotic drugs and others from ages 4 up until age 8 when we walked away from medications completely and simply made lifestyle changes. The medications have left this boy with everlasting side effects that I won’t disclose as that’s his personal medical information. The road was rough, but we continued to meet new counselors and psychiatrists until finally we had an answer and a way to move forward that made sense!

Keep fighting for your child, you are the only one who can influence what happens in their life and it is your job to continue the long, sleepless night battle until you feel resolve.

How Eyebrow Piercing Showcased Unconditional Love

My first born child is what I call my first “experiment” in motherhood. None of us really know if we are doing this mom gig right but all of us hope to be that mom influence on our children. With that being said, each new day as the first born child gets older I am faced with new experiences, challenges and heart felt moments. Most recently my first born child, Miss Ki, had expressed an interest in getting a piercing. It started with her showing me some photos of random body piercings such as an industrial. The industrial piercing is a long bar across the top of your ear, well that’s how I explain it anyway. Then she went on to show me other piercing ideas, all of which make me mostly cringe.

Mom Not Into Piercings

You see, I am not big into piercings, sure I had my tongue, nose and at one point my belly button pierced. This all occurred around age 16 through early 20’s. I outgrew that phase quickly and have found I am more of a tattoo person. I prefer small tattoos in areas not regularly visible so I still uphold that “office professional” look. With that being said, I am all about supporting your children in what they love. All three of my children are more artistic in self-expression, which is something I am happy about. I wasn’t so artistic, well I did write, but overall I went for the bad crowds. I am proud that, thus far, my freshman child is not interested in the drama, the bad crowd or what everyone else is doing. She remains her own self.

Deal For Eyebrow Piercing Made

After a bit of asking about permission to get a piercing and the eldest child doing her own research she approached me with a location in Nashua, NH called Precision Body Arts. She stated this location will pierce the eyebrow of age 14 and up. Apparently this is the first piercing, besides ear lobes that she wanted to go with. The funny thing is, she had the backup plan to ask for an industrial piercing if I said no because that’s “in the ear” at least and she knows I am cool with ear piercings. After much consideration, and procrastination, I said yes under one condition – she let me research the facility and that she pay for half of this piercing. The deal was made!

One of these pictures is not like the other. #teens #lovemydaughter

A photo posted by Brandy Ellen (@brandyellen1) on

We ventured over to Nashua, NH on the second day of January 2017 after I gathered up paperwork to prove that I am indeed her Mom and could give parental consent. The trip was nice, but long, about a two hour drive with the way I drive – slow. We arrived at Precision Body Art and were welcomed by the nice lady at the front desk. This lady checked us in, took our proof of identifications and had us sign paperwork for permission to get the daughter’s eyebrow pierced. I was shaking. I had tears in my eyes. This was a nervous time for me, for I never have seen anyone get their eyebrow pierced and this is my first born baby. She needs to stop growing, dangit!

The Process Was Complete

Then, before we knew it, it was over. My eldest child walked away with a cute little eyebrow piercing that actually looks cute on her face. This whole experience may not seem like a big deal to others, but to me and I presume to my daughter, this was a moment where she was able to realize that her Mama supports her and loves her for who she is. In this moment, this time in Nashua NH at Precision Body Arts, we bonded as mother and daughter over something that was important to her … not me. I showed Miss Ki that I will be here, regardless of her age and desires, to support her form of self-expression always and love her unconditionally regardless of our differences.

Be a Positive Mom Influence

This, my friends, is all that one should do as a mom. We need to be the positive mom influence on our children. Through our decisions to support and love unconditionally when it comes to our children, we are subconsciously teaching them to do the same to others.

Cheers to supporting our children for who they are growing up to be!

Mom Influence: My Great Grandmother

A mom can be anyone, really. There are many people who will say their step mother or their grandmother, maybe even an aunt was more of a mom to them growing up than their biological mother. While the person who gave birth to you will always be your mom be definition, there are many other moms in your life who may have helped mold you into the adult you are today.

Mom Influence Can be Anyone

I have seen many people online talk about how their grandmother is the one who influenced them the most. You see, you can be super close to your mom while still having more of a relationship with a grandmother because of who you are internally. I personally love my mom and while I wasn’t too fond of my upbringing when it comes to both of my parents, the day I became a mom myself changed my thoughts and feelings on my upbringing tremendously. With that being said, if I had to choose who was the most influential mom in my life I would select my Great Grandmother, Grena as I refer to her.

In January 2015 my Grena passed away and boy did I blubber like a baby. I had no idea the impact this lady had upon my life until that day of passing. As I stood there, graveside with my daughter, mom and relatives beside me I listened to everyone speak of Charlotte Maxham. My Grena had touched so many souls. Grena was a wife, a mom, a sister,  she was a poet and so much more. She lived at the farm with her husband and built it into a pretty lucrative VT business that serviced cheese and maple syrup all over the place. While I don’t know 100% about the business end of their life, I do know a lot about the motherhood and wife journey my Grena took part in.

Mom Influence My Great Grandmother #mominfluence

Stories of Great Grammy

Ever since I was a young child, Grena and I would write as pen pals. Sure we didn’t see each other often and I must admit I wish I had seen her closer to her end of days for one last hug and story. I will forever have the moments of sitting with her and listening to her share her love of cats, her children and her husband. Grena was a farmer’s house wife, she cooked and cleaned and often spoke about having an allowance. I never got the feeling from Grena that her life was horrible. I recall discussing co-sleeping with Grena, so many say it’s wrong to do but I was in fact co-sleeping with my first born child. Miss Ki and I were all we had for a lot of her beginning years, as I was a single mother.  Grena would talk about how she always slept with her “babies” and since her and Great Gramps were old fashioned, they had their separate bedrooms which made co-sleeping with her babies an easy decision.

Grena loved her husband, her babies and her cats. She taught me that you hold on and stay strong because relationships always take adjustments.

What Grena Taught Me

Grena talked about her love of her husband, I could tell that they had a long road for their nearly 75 years of marriage but within that remained a deep bond and connection as husband and wife. Surely my Grena didn’t disclose all of her private details of the marriage, and one could most certainly say that they had been through quite a lot in their marriage.

Grena lit up when she talked about motherhood. This was a woman who I could fel love radiate from as she talked about being a mom to all of her babies. Grena always referred to her now adult children as her “babies”. A loving mother who had this connection that I feel is similar to how I am with my own children. Grena was an amazing old soul who saw life a bit differently from me. I always admired her stories and views of life, I was simply intrigued by this lady.

The reason I selected my Grena as one of the most influential moms in my life is because she was strong, clever, intelligent, poetic, and full of love.

Grena Was Trust

Mom Influence My Great Grandmother #mominfluenceAs I sit and review the letters from my Grena, she never sugar coated her thoughts and feelings, I trusted her to always remain honest, even at the cost of hurting my feelings. When my Grena passed she was 93 years old and I will forever cherish the moments we shared through our common love of the written word.  There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Grena’s stories of motherhood and marriage. This woman influenced me in so many ways and now that I am 35 years old, those memories impact my current life of being in a relationship and raising kids.

I am often found discussing my memories of this amazing woman who lived long enough to have nearly 75 years of marriage and enjoy not only the role of being a great-grandmother, but also a great-great grandmother. This woman who had a small allowance each week still found some way to send each my children a small gift for their birthday.

R.I.P Grena, in my heart you will forever remain.

To this day, I have at least one item for each of my three children that they can go on to cherish in the memory of their great-great grandmother.

 

Grena was truly an influential woman to many and to me; she was the most influential mom I have ever had the honor to have in my life.

Debbie Reynolds Dies One Day After Daughter Carrie Fisher

During December 2016 the world lost two beautiful ladies; Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher. What is so shocking about this mother daughter combo is that Debbie, the mother of Carrie Fisher died just one day after Carrie’s passing. I have always believed that husband and wife have a deep connection, in that one will pass within a couple of years after the other due to a broken heart but what I never dreamed of is that this can also happen for a mother and daughter so deeply bonded.

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher in 1980
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher in 1980. Image Courtesy – AP

There are many stories surfacing about this mother and daughter combo, in fact HBO will be releasing a documentary about these two lovely woman in early January 2017 titled “Bright Lights”. Upon researching this duo, it seems Carrie grew up watching her mother perform and it was as if Carrie was just as mesmerized of her mother as the public was. Yet, just as it goes with most mother & daughter relations; their relationship was quite complicated. Truth be told a mother and daughter relationship is full of many ups and downs, it’s simply one of the bittersweet realities of being a mother to a daughter.

One could say that, although complicated, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds had a close enough bond that at age 84 just one day after Carrie’s passing, Debbie too passed away after suffering from a heart attack. Could the deep love Debbie held for her daughter be the cause of a heart attack? One couldn’t be too sure, but one thing is for sure these two beautiful woman were a huge part of history in the media and will forever be missed.

MTV Interviews Carrie Fisher About Her Mother

RIP Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, you were a huge part of history in the making and we are grateful to have known you through the spotlight. At MomInfluence we wish you peace and hope that you both are up in Heaven looking down below, keeping an eye on those you love who are still with us on Earth.

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Mom Influence Books

Iam an avid supporter and reader of Chicken Soup for the Soul Books. The originator of these books is Jack Canfield. Jack Canfield is a best-selling author as well as a motivational speaker; he is even shown in The Secret DVD. As the originator of the billion dollar book series, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfield is one of the many people I personally look up to. For those who are not familiar with the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, they are a series of books covering many areas in life, love and happiness that share real life positive, inspirational and uplifting stories. You will cry, you will laugh and you will feel the warm fuzzies within your heart when you grab any of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books to have a read.

Chicken Soup for the Soul

There is a Chicken Soup for the Soul for any type of person. You are surely able to Google “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and happen upon a book that will inspire you to purchase it and then read it from cover to back as soon as you possibly can. These books are inspirational and can help guide you towards seeing life in a different way. The heartfelt personal stories people have shared within these books from all over the world can truly inspire you to be a mom influence.

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Mom Influence Books #mominfluence

Chicken Soup for the Soul – New Moms

If you are in this whole new world of a raising a child for the first time, perhaps you would likely pick up Chicken Soup for the Soul – New Moms – 101 Inspirational Stories of Joy, Love and Wonder. As a new mom influence you are exhausted from sleepless nights and you wonder when you will ever see the light of day as joyful again. There are joyous moments as a new mom, but the newborn stage of motherhood can leave you wondering why on Earth you choose to have a child. Let Chicken Soup for the Soul – New Moms inspire you to find light within the life you lead right now.

Chicken Soup for Every Moms Soul

Perhaps you have been raising children forever, they are now grown and you have become a grandmother. Remember, a grandmother is also a mom influence but in a different way. Chicken Soup for Every Moms Soul is full of stories and love from moms of all ages. Surely you will pick this up and relate to a majority of the stories regardless of your age. Even though motherhood has changed over the years, in that we currently have a tech side to deal with, you will find assurance that you are doing something right as you read stories from new moms to seasoned mothers in this book.

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Stay-At-Home Moms

If you are a work from home or stay at home mom then you must pick up Chicken Soup for the Soul – Stay-At-Home Moms 101 Inspirational stories for moms about Hard Work and Happy Families. This book is full of stories from famous mothers to your every day stay at home and work at home moms.  You will surely need to sit down with a cup of tea, amidst the chaos you call home and read a few stories each day. Much like the single mom influence, stay at home and work at home moms play a huge role in mom influence for their children. Dive into these stories with an open mind and open heart as you start to realize you are not alone in your feelings and struggles being a mom who is home full time.

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Mom Influence Books #mominfluence

Use Chicken Soup for the Soul

Pick up a copy of one of these Chicken Soup for the Soul books today, start with one and move onto more. Trust that you will find inspiration, relatable stories and a new found view of motherhood after you read each of these books.

Renita Smith Saves 20 Kids

In September 2016 a bus driver in Maryland, Renita Smith, saved 20 children. This is a Mom Influence news story because, well even bus drivers are good souls who feel their little bus riders are their “babies”. I was amazed to hear this story that was featured on the Today Show and on Ellen’s show.

Renita Smith was quoted to say that she believes that moms are hereos, quoted in the article featured at Today, “You wear a lot of hats, and (motherhood) doesn’t come with a pamphlet, so you have to get right in there and just do it.” I second that Renita Smith. It’s so true, motherhood doesn’t come with a pamphlet and as a mom we wear oh so many hats.

The Story of Renita Smith Saving 20 Kids

During a routine bus drop off route, Renita saw the bus brake light come on. This usually indicates a mechanical problem, she presumed she had time to make it to the next drop off or two but little did she realize they would soon smell smoke. The kids informed Renita that the bus was smoking and soon enough she saw the fire. There wasn’t time to call her manager and get the manager on the phone, Renita had to use her quick thinking skills to save these 20 students on her bus.

The kids were told to get off that bus and a neighbor took the kids to a safe haven. From there Renita got back on the bus for one last check to ensure all kids were off the bus. A mom to an 18 year old son and 4 year old daughter, Renita was last heard to be taking some time off but her children are ever so grateful that both their mother and the kids on that bus were saved due to Renita’s quick thinking in the moment.

Do you have a Mom Influence story to share? We love showcasing stories of moms all over the world exhibiting these traits of being a positive influence on society and our children. Contact us today.

The Single Mom Influence

There are so many single moms out there in the world today. They struggle, they cry and they work to be stronger every day. Then there are other single moms who just give up, they focus on what failed and why they are now forced to raise a child or more than one child alone. The thing is, you can focus on anything you desire. If you are the single mom who chooses to focus on the difficulties of motherhood as you face them alone then chances are you will forever play a negative influence in your child’s life. This child will grow up to see that being a single mom means that you are less fortunate, that the world sucks and that you are not worthy of having a partner in life.

As a single mom you must remember one key thing –

You are the one person your child(ren) look up to and you are the one person your child(ren) will look back upon as a guiding light when they are adults.

I have been the single mom, the married mom and the dating mom. I have played many roles as a mom influence to my children. I have made mistakes.  I have curled up in a fetal position crying my eyes out ready to just give in. I have been exhausted; I have been consumed with self-pity. There are many chapters of life that bring to me sadness if I focus on them. I have been that single mom.  I woke up from those moments though as soon as I realized that I am the mom influence that my children look up to. I didn’t and still don’t ever want my children to look at me as a weak mother. A mother who couldn’t suck it up and be the provider then needed while growing up. I made a choice.

You, the single mom today, can make a choice as well. You can make a choice to be a positive mom influence on your child(ren). To rise above your circumstances as you learn to work with them versus against them.

The Single Mom Influence #mominfluence

Single Moms Have a Choice

I see you struggling to make ends meet. I see the heartache in your eyes as you hand your child(ren) off for a weekend with their dad. I see the hurt of that broken relationship flicker within your eyes while you watch your child(ren) exhibit signs of their father. These reminders you have to work through and live with, for your child(ren) are a beautiful creation of both parents. Like it or not.

The single mom works harder than any other mother in the world. The single mom develops this mentality that they will figure it out. The single mom often cries behind closed doors so that their child(ren) don’t feel and see the heartache that surrounds the lifestyle of a single mom. Regardless of what occurred to bring you to this place of being a single mom, you are still a survivor. You are still a fighter. You can still make the best out of this scenario.

Single Mom Influence

Today I invite you to find a way to work through the problems that you struggle with, focus on a solution and closure to current and past events.  Today is the day you need to tell yourself that you are brave, you are strong and you deserve to be happy even as a single mom struggling.

Cheers to the single moms out there who work through their problems, rise above and find a way to be that positive mom influence on their child(ren) day in and day out. Keep it real single moms. Be thankful that you are blessed to raise these little children you call yours and remember their love is forever, so as long as you raise them right.