Happy New Year from Owen & Sophia's Mom!

New Years is such a heavy time.  I'm always filled to the brim with excitement, love, gratitude, wonder, reflection, and some sadness.  Not to mention the 5 bottles of wine and 10 extra pounds of holiday goodies I'm toting around!

However, the calendar is not the only reason I've been mulling things over lately.  As the holidays approached this fall and winter, our happy little household seemed to change a bit.  Our 8 year old son, began showing signs that life in the crazy Compound was not working for him any longer.  For the first time since going back to school & starting Julie Stephenson Photography, I realized my busyness was really affecting my sensitive little boy, and not in a good way!

I remember when I was, like 10, my mom went to work at nights.  I hated it!  I felt like we never saw her anymore. We were at school all day and when we came home she was already gone.  I remember one night, she came home from work and was filling the wood furnace.  I went to the basement bawling and begged her to quit her job. I told her how much I hated not seeing her.  I told her I wanted her to be back where she was supposed to be, taking care of me and my siblings.  Although, I don't really remember much else about my childhood, I remember that night vividly.

Now I'm in a very similar situation with Owen.  Although, Owen has a much more internal way of dealing with things, and I have many more options than my mother had. Owen desperately wants me to be the mom that I used to be, the one that snuggled every night and read stories until I feel asleep with him and Sophia.  The mom that was better at making sure the laundry was done so he would have long socks clean, instead of just short socks.  The mom that went outside and drove him crazy with my camera stuck in his beautiful little face.

Although 2010 was a banner year for me in terms of getting outside of my comfort zone and proving to myself that I'm a smart, capable person. It also taught me: you really can't do it all!  Sure, I did all the photo shoots, volunteering, studying, veg-acating and yes my kids were fed, clothed and schooled just like always, but underneath things were not going so smoothly. Trevor & I felt it, but we didn't realize just how much Owen felt it.

He wanted me to be Owen & Sophia's mom again, not just their caretaker.   Their mom was the one who read stories until she was sleeping in a twin bed with an 8 and a 5 year old. Their mom put on layers and layers of clothes to be outside with them, and came inside with frost-bitten fingers on her gloveless camera hand.  Their mom made sure Owen's favorite socks were washed and dried even if the rest of the laundry waited...and waited.

I don't regret the craziness of 2010! No harm was done to my great kid and our lives are changed for the better in ways I never even imagined a year ago, but I've decided for 2011... I'm going to be their mom before everything else.

Owen's Mothers Day gift from 4 year old kindergarten.