“Be Brave Enough to Suck at Something New”

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I’m not very good at this. Yup, I said it. Blogging and talking our journey does not come easy to me.

You spend your entire life working towards the future. You spend your high-school years learning all the basics. You move on to college and find out who you are. You find your passion. When you get out of college and start your true adult life (I know, what a millennial thing to say right?), you find what you are truly good at and what works. You hone your skills. You earn a paycheck. 

This is the path I followed, with a few bumps along the way. I was always sure to pick subjects to study that I could excel at. Whether it was political science or speech and language, I absolutely loved earning both degrees because they lit a passion in me and I was good at them! My brain works in a black and white way when it comes to learning. Facts and ideas go hand in hand. I thrive following a directive and knowing the end result. 

1. Go to undergrad for Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences

2. Get my masters in Speech Pathology

3. Provide speech therapy to people

Clear cut directions to follow to achieve my goal – My kind of plan! 

But, when life throws lemons at your face, you pick them all up and make Lemon pie! 

When we got Olivia’s PFV diagnosis, we were also told we would have to patch her for at least 2 hours a day. Then she was diagnosed with 14 food allergies. So needless to say, our life changed and finishing graduate school at this time just wasn’t in the cards. And that’s okay! If I’ve learned anything with my career change it’s that the universe is going to push you in the direction you are supposed to be facing, you just have to have the courage to accept a new perspective.

But here’s the thing, my perfect plan, my perfect timeline of how to be successful, went out the window when I withdrew from graduate school and started my blog. I have always had a true love for writing and have a burning fire under me to advocate for other people with eye related issues and life threatening food allergies! But, I have no clue how to create a media platform that people want to read. I feel super uncomfortable in front of stories and really insecure that what I am talking about, is of no interest to anyone else but me!

And then I read this quote yesterday on social, “Be brave enough to suck at something new”

I realized right then that well, thats me! I do suck at this! And that’s okay, because this is something completely new. There is no manual telling you the 1, 2, 3’s of how to take off in blogging – if this exists, please DM the link! 

The good things in the life, the parts worth fighting for, are not going to be easy. You are not going to be good at this right away. I have learned so much in the past year about blogging sites and instagram platforms. Ive met lifelong friends that I’ve connected with on such a personal level. 

What I hope more than anything, is that I can create a platform that other food allergy moms, pfv moms, moms in general who might be struggling at this entire mom thing, can come to. I want my blog/instagram to be a place of support and a place to find a new perspective on life. No, it usually doesn’t go the way we planned. But that’s why life is so beautiful. Never in a million years would I have imagined I would be a stay at home mom, making homemade safe food for my amazing, beautiful toddler while she does her patch therapy. That I would spend my afternoon nap times (attempting) to create content and writing about how I feel in a blog that someone might want to read! I never imagined that this new way of life would leave me feeling fulfilled but here I am. A mom struggling to find her way, sucking at a new career but with each passing day, getting a little more confident in this new space (cue new baby, am I right?) 

So, here’s to a new beginning. Here’s to fully sucking at something new. A new perspective into our day to day life. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Pregnant in a Pandemic

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Who can relate? As of today, I am 17 weeks pregnant with our second baby and I couldn’t be more excited. But the excitement I feel is met with a lot of uneasy feelings and anxious thoughts about what’s to come in this current climate.

I found out I was pregnant in January of 2020 and just four months later, we went from planning the Disney trip of a lifetime to figuring out if we can even get to the grocery store. At first I found being super informed eased my anxiety but with so much uncertainty in the media surrounding this ominous virus, information hasn’t done more than make me fearful for what’s to come. This virus is scary enough when it affects you or your family. Its a new type of fear what it affects a small being that only you feel you can protect. You are no longer staying indoors for yourself to stay safe but so you can keep this little baby safe as well. It is an immense sense of pressure that is put on families to stay safe during this crisis.

When information starts to fail me, here is what I remind myself in an attempt to keep my anxiety at bay and this little baby happy:

Try to control only what is under your control – we cant control what is happening outside our windows. We can’t control the rules the hospitals make about visitors. We cant make people stay quarantined or stop bulk buying, but we can control how we treat ourselves. We can create a safe space at home (if you are able to stay home – thank you to all those working to keep us safe!) where we have what we need to feel as calm as possible.

Give yourself grace – allow yourself to feel nervous, anxious and excited. It’s okay to be excited about your new baby in such uneasy times! It’s okay to be terrified of what state the world will be in when you deliver. And, its okay to eat 2 cupcakes in one sitting while you binge watch The Tiger King (have you watched this show yet?!).

Remember, that you are doing all you can for your family and this baby – Whether that means staying home in quarantine or as an essential employee; you are doing the best that you can and that is all that matters. Remember that when this all passes, this will feel like only one (brutally long) chapter in your story.

Talk about how you’re feeling – talk to your husband or wife. Talk to your friends. Talk to your parents. Or even just talk to you in a journal or to the mirror. Let out the feelings of frustration, of anger or fear. Sometimes it may feel like the Corona virus is over shadowing this monumental time in your life and that is so frustrating! Maybe talking out how you feel will alleviate some of that pressure or at least it will bring others onto your raft, so you don’t feel so alone.

Being pregnant is exciting and stressful already! Add into the mix a global pandemic and yikes, it can get a bit overwhelming. I have been kept up at night with the uncertainty of whether or not I will be allowed to bring my husband in with my to give birth to this baby and the idea of missing out on that first look, when Olivia meets the baby in the hospital. I just keep reminding myself to only worry about what I can control, and that everything else will fall into place. The nurses will be there to comfort and care for us and the new baby and remember mommas – we are all stronger than we ever give ourselves credit for. Im trying to implement these ideas of giving myself grace and room to feel sad, of eating that second cupcake and taking out how I feel.

We will get through this, supporting each other. Talking about how we are feeling. Finding support in others. Please, message me and talk to me about how you’re feeling. I am going through the same thing. We got this.

The Night Before…

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March 19, 2020

For the last eight years I have taught seventh grade social studies. I love what I teach. I have always been fascinated with exploring people and events of the past, the decisions that people make when faced with challenges, and the consequences of their actions. Today I find myself on the precipice of history itself. Today, instead of reading about history, I get to live and create history.

COVID-19 is all you hear about on the news. The anchors talk about the effect on the stock exchange, the decisions that local, state, and the federal government are making, and the increasing number of people that are sick and dying. You hear about the loss of jobs, the effect it is having on the elderly, the irresponsible college kids who are still out on spring break spreading this virus to those that are more at risk. 

For a short while you heard on the news about the schools that were closing. On March 15th, Connecticut Governor, Ned Lamont, ordered the closing of all public schools until March 31st. As of today, it does not look like schools will be opening on the projected date. In the instance that this is the case, and students are forced to stay home for a longer stretche of time, my school has decided to begin the implementation of Distance Learning. Tomorrow will start a fundamental, groundbreaking, and revolutionary evolution of how educators examine the role of technology in the instruction of our students. This shift in educating our youth will also undoubtably impact the way our students and children learn, communicate, and absorb information, regardless of how long this Distance Learning happens for.

I am anxious. As an educator, we fall into a rhythm from year to year, mastering our content and refining and improving the way in which we get our students to engage with the information, as well as refine their skills related to our content disciplines. This new directive for teaching sends us all back to the white board. We need to examine the instruction of our past and adapt it for the technology of now. 

I am also very excited. My classroom is already a digital classroom. I do not pass out papers to students, rather, I share the documents with them in Google Classroom; an online digital education platform. This change though, is not very drastic. While there is no physical paper, the digital document and activities are designed with the same concepts in mind, a place for note taking, a place for answering questions, and a place for reading information. Students in my classroom flip their chrome books around to show their work to their peers or to share information. Really, nothing different than a piece of paper, except with the access to the computer and the internet, students have the world of knowledge at their finger tips. This new learning we are about to embark on, surpasses the digital bounds of how I even viewed learning in the classroom.

Tomorrow, the faculty at my school will gather online in Google Meet, to begin our conversation about what this digital learning can look like. I purposefully used the word ‘can’ instead of ‘should’, or ‘will’, because we are embarking into uncharted territory. The ideas that are created over the next unknown period of time have no ceiling, and allow us as educators to embody the creativity that we hope for and demand from our students.  

I have so many hopes and dreams, fears and anxieties, related to this endeavor. Many of you who have read this far probably have children of your own who are about to engage in some form of digital learning themselves. I am going to be honest, this is going to be a struggle at first. It is going to be hard to manage a schedule, to split time between your work and keeping your child focused. But we are in this together, you, your child, and us educators. We will learn from each other, and while I will never get to meet you personally, I hope that if you choose to follow this, it gives you some insight into an educators perspective.