beautiful - a gift for casey mullins

This is the beautiful Casey Mullins...
(I stole this picture from her beautiful blog, Moosh in Indy)

This is Casey's beautiful daughter (and this is also an example of Casey's beautiful photography)...

(yes, I also stole this picture.)

Casey is having another beautiful daughter (currently known as Mozzi) in May and so today I want to do something special for her as a part of the Mozzi event being brought to you by Casey's lovely friend, Emily. Today is my day to honor Casey as a part of this event and I'd love it if you would keep reading because I need your help. Please...

The first time I got to spend time with Casey in person we spoke on a panel together (while we ate Skittles). I loved her a lot right away and I always will. We talked to a room full of people about writing about hard things like depression and then it turned into a very honest conversation about how we handle life. It made me think about how we're all the same in so many ways and I loved the way Casey validated the people there, the way she softly spoke encouragement and grace. She's a class act, that Casey.

We've both struggled (struggle) with depression. We both know that our hormones and chemicals and all that jazz get really wonky when we have babies. That can be scary, but we both also know that we're good mothers.

All of that to say that as I was thinking about what I could do to make Casey's day today, all of you came to mind. I thought about how much it would mean to Casey to hear you say something good about yourself as a mother. I know how much it matters to her to tell her story honestly, to inspire mothers to see the beauty in themselves. So we're going to do something I've actually done here before (a long long time ago) and I'm going to ask you to tell me something beautiful about yourself, as a mother. (I realize not all of you are mothers. Please feel free to say anything you'd like, as long as you're saying something positive about you.)

You do (and you ARE) a lot of really good things, you know. You just forget sometimes because we're just so hard on ourselves. So today we're giving Casey the gift of focusing on the good--the beautiful--in ourselves.

I'll start....

One thing that makes me a good mom is that I validate my children's feelings a lot without patronizing. I really want them to know I respect how they feel, and I think they know! Also, I let them eat Peeps, but not in excess. Congratulations, my dear Casey-Moosh. You are doing so many things right too. xo

See? Easy peasy. Now. Your turn...

P.S. You can keep up with the Mozzi party at Emily's place. (pssst...there are GOOD (beautiful) giveaways involved!)

48 clicked right here to comment:

Kate said...

My mom experience is reaching his 17th birthday next month, and he is turning into this extraordinary creature that I don't dare breathe too hard around for fear that he will disappear in a wisp, like he doesn't really exist.

I'm a good mom, and not because I taught him manners (I did though, and he uses them well) and not because I taught him to always put the seat down (which he does, all the time) and not because I taught him to do his laundry, clean his bathroom and wash dishes, but I did teach him all that and that makes me a good mom. I didn't let him slide his way through life, picking up after him, waving away his responsibilities, giving him a free pass to be lazy and irresponsible. I didn't make excuses for him when he fell short. I didn't shine a light on him and coo over how perfect he was, I just stepped up to the job I was given and I was his Mom. I did my job, I raised him well. And I continue to do that.

I am a really, really good Mom. I loved him enough to make him into something, and to be someone that is likable, helpful, courteous, kind, generous and giving. This boy will make a lovely mark on the world because I cared enough to truly be his Mom.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

This is such a fabulous way to start this day.

I love you and Casey very much.

I feel beautiful as a mother when I think of how I love with a very soft heart (possibly the softest!) but I have a ferocious spirit, Mama Cat tendencies to protect my children. I look upon my children and it takes my breath away. And they see me the same way- they know no other mother-beauty than me. And I need to soak that up, and believe it. I really do today.


Heather of the EO said...

you guys are making me weepy in the best possible way. thank you!

ExtraordinaryMommy said...

I LOVE this.

Heather, I LOVE you for doing this.

And, I DO so LOVE me some Casey....

As a mom.... I'm extraordinary because, no matter what, I LOVE - truly and deeply. Every day, I wrap my small people in huge hugs and remind them that, no matter what I am proud of them and I will always love them. I also work very hard to teach them to be polite and to love each other.

Love to you all....

Anonymous said...

I'm at my best as a mom when I'm opening the minds of my children. Taking them on adventures. Reading aloud from books. Playing games. Going on walks. Motherhood is a journey we should all take time to appreciate - whether that little adventure is inside of us or pushing their way out of our nest!

Katherine @ Postpartum Progress said...

I am a kick-ass mom because I show my babies how much I love them every day, with words and hugs and kisses and good food and comfy beds and high expectations and conversations and laughter and discipline and the kitchen candy drawer.

Also? My bedtime routine is the WORLD'S GREATEST (as I wrote about here: http://www.parentdish.com/2010/11/24/stop-capital-punishment-say-no-to-official-parenting-philosophi/ ).

Amelia Sprout said...

I am a good mom because I have fun with my daughter. We laugh together, a lot. She loves to be goofy, and silly, and I feel like I've helped her learn that doing that is important. Which sort of makes up for me accidentally teaching her how funny farting is.

Katherine @ Postpartum Progress said...

Oh, and lest I forget, LOVE YOU CASEY!!!!!!!!

happygeek said...

I know my kids. I treat them as individuals. I recognize their uniqueness and parent accordingly. I kick butt at that.

Amy said...

Thanks Heather - this is wonderful!

Casey - you know I love you honey.

I am a good Mom in one important way that my kids don't see - I pray for them every day. For their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. That they always stay open to God's will for their lives. That they stay generous and funny and loving. That they make themselves a gift to God and this world as they've been such a precious gift to me.

Wendi@EveryDayMiracles said...

I am a good mom because I am sometimes a light saber wielding princess Leia to my four little clone troopers.

But mostly because when I mess up as a mom? I sit down on their level and I look in their beautiful, big, trusting eyes and I tell them I am sorry and ask for their forgiving hearts to be generous to me.

Sarah @ Momalom said...

I acknowledge--out loud--for my kids, and for myself, when I haven't been the best me and the best mom that I could be. I say it aloud and I apologize because I want them to know that I am a work-in-progress as much as they are. That we all are always changing, always trying to be better, always working on how to do right, feel right, be right.

I believe that in doing this consistently my children will come to see that even moms make mistakes, and that is okay. I want them to know that it's okay to mess up and that the most important thing is to be honest about it--with ourselves and with the ones we love.

Life is hard, yo. Being a mom is hard, yo. I need my kids to see that I don't have it all figured out and I don't expect them to, either. But that if we keep moving, keep evolving, keep honoring our mistakes as much as our triumphs-- with honesty--we can do anything together. Together. As a family. As a community.

(It's nice to have a small space to focus on saying something good about ourselves. We are, as we all know, too damn hard on ourselves as mamas.)


cheairs said...

Heather this is a wonderful idea. What an amazing gift to a friend.

Casey, we do not know each other. I am new to the blogging community.
I wish you only the best as your family grows and expands..

ok...let me give this a try. I am a good mom becauses two years ago I stopped drinking....this is the biggest gift that I could ever give to my children. I think I am also a pretty awesome Chief Operating Officer of our household. My husband calls me the Big Cheese and I think I may just need to have them printed on a business card.

Thank you for the opportunity to share.

Anonymous said...

And this is why I love you.

Casey so lovely to meet you. I'll be buy to visit your blog, because I too struggle with depression.

I am good mom because I try to always give my children comfort, and to show them that they are valued no matter what. I want them to be believe that the they are good enough just as they are. I think I'm good at showing them that.

P.S. This was HARD!

Amy said...

I actually recently started reading Moosh in Indy and I know she's having a hard time right now, just like I had a hard time in my pregnancy.

But now I know that I am a good mother because I push myself out of my comfort zone to make sure my daughter has great experiences, and to make sure she's comfortable reaching beyond what she thinks are her limits as she grows up.

I've been dealing with depression since I was in high school and I was terrified of how it would affect me as a mother, but it turns out she makes every day a little bit easier just by being here.

Angie said...

Nice to "meet" you Casey, and what a beautiful gift for your friend, Heather!

I am a beautiful mom because I value everything about my children--their person, their presence, their words, their heart. I honor them and speak well of them to them and to others. AND I hold each moment with them as a sacred gift all wrapped up in this unique package of child. I love unwrapping them and seeing their gifts and strengths, failings and weaknesses and walking alongside them through life LOVING them deeply each and every moment. Always and forever. No matter what. (The words I speak to and over them every night at bedtime.)

Meagan @ The Happiest Mom said...

I looove this. I thought of two reasons I'm an awesome mom: first of all, I'm very physically affectionate with my kids, even though I'm not a super huggy person in general (though hanging around with midwives for years did cure me of that a bit...) Second, though I screw up a LOT I am quick to apologize for over-reacting or admit I was wrong.

Casey, hang in there!

Debbie said...

Perfect, Heather! This year has been so yucky - I need to focus on the good.
I'm a good mom because I really do devote my all to it. I'm always there for them and they know it. They might not always want me there - but they are stuck!

Michelle said...

Oh, Heather, this is incredible. Thank you.

I am a good mom because I see them. I am present with them, I hear them, I love them.

I make tons of mistakes, but I too, fess up and say I'm Sorry.

When they make mistakes I try and see what is going on behind the mistake, focus on the feelings vs the actions. I want them to feel better far before doing better.

I feel them. That makes me a good mom.

Dawn said...

I am a good mom because…

I do the best that I can.
I let them believe in fantasy,
and I get caught up in the fantasy too.
I help them recognize the beautiful things in life,
while also not shielding them from the bad, it is a part of life.
I teach them compassion,
for every person,
for every kind of creature,
for everything in nature.
I let them experience things.
I encourage them to express their feelings.
I recognize they are only this age once,
and I enjoy it, the good and the bad.
I let them see if I am frustrated, sad, angry,
because mommy isn’t perfect.
Mommy feels things too.
There are good days and bad days with them,
but, it’s OK, again, it’s a part of life.
I am a good mom because I love my children
with my entire being.
And did I say? I do the best I can.

Kaycee said...

I love this. What a beautiful gift.

I am a good Mom because I enjoy my daughter. I giggle with her when she's funny (and at almost 3? that's OFTEN) and make her laugh in return. I love to watch her play, listen to her make-believe, encourage her, and play with her. I enjoy her personality, her tenaciousness, her quirky-ness, her silliness, her seriousness. I am a good Mom because I am raising her to be polite and have respect for others, to have responsibilities, to try her best, and (hopefully) to have empathy for others. Because I apologize when I am wrong. Because I try to remember when I get frustrated that she is such a beautiful gift, and such a beautiful responsibility. Because I try to remember that everything I do affects and effects her.

I am a good Mom because I love her, always.

Becca said...

I read to my kids. Out loud. Even though every one of them can read alone. It's something I love to do, and even though high school schedules shake our ability to do it very often, we have at least one evening a week that we read together. (Sometimes with pedicures in the living room.)

WordyDoodles said...

Sending lots of love and encouragement to you Casey, even though we are total strangers. But I know how hard this mama gig can be, and I support anyone brave enough to take this lifelong project on.

Ok, why I'm a good mama: I'm patient, even when I don't want to be. I try to put myself in my little ones' shoes and have a "welcome to the planet!" attitude instead of "why don't you already just GET IT?!" I try to slow down and appreciate what they appreciate. I respect them and I ask for their respect too. I forgive them and myself. We get to start over a million times daily. Peace, patience, kindness, goodness, la la la, self control. All those fruit-of-the-spirit things. Sometimes I need a break. Occasionally I take a break-- and that is a good mama thing to do too. xoxo

Andrea said...

I don't know you, Casey, but I have been where you are. I am a mom to four kids and I am a great mom because:
1. No matter what else is happening, if one of my kids brings me a book to read, I will stop what I'm doing and read it to him/her.
2. I am teaching them that it is okay to eat candy bars, but that candy bars are for sometimes, not everyday.
3. I tell each one that he/she is my favorite.
4. I am completely goofy with them.
5. I tell them everyday, "I'll love you every minute of every day for the rest of my life, and when I die I'll still love you."

Ann Imig said...

Beautiful Moosh and such a sweet idea.

This is a hard assignment, I'm sorry to say.

Here are some things I feel proud of in the mothering department: I allow my children to be who they are and respect their limits. I might offer basketball and piano and Spanish classes, and Six will express his desire for "archery." I don't send him along to basketball and piano and Spanish. I've yet to find the archery class.

More important I'm not afraid to tell them "I was wrong. I'm sorry. Sometimes grown ups make mistakes too."

That is all for now. Much love Moosh!

Young Mom said...

I'm a good mom, because I listen to my kids. I validate their feelings. I give them healthy boundaries without hurting them. I give lots of hugs and snuggles. I'm not afraid to say "I was wrong, I'm sorry."

Thanks, this was good to read.

Amy @ Never-True Tales said...

I'm a good mom because I genuinely believe in my kids. I expect a lot of them, but that causes them to expect a lot of themselves. And I think they have positive self esteems because of it!

andrea said...

Hi! I've been a lurker for a while. This is a great gift idea! I'm pregnant with my second, and I think I'm due around the same time as you, Heather (I'm June 30th).

I'm a good mom to my just-turned-two-year-old daughter because I understand that she doesn't wake up every morning wondering how far she can push my nerves today. That's NEVER her goal. What she needs are new challenges, lots of patience and encouragement, and sometimes just a smile to let her know she's got my attention and that she's doing a wonderful job being two.

Anonymous said...

This is also a hard assignment for me today, but I'm going to give it a shot: I'm a good mom because I recognize when my brain chemistry has gone wonky and am therefore keeping an appointment with a doctor tomorrow to see about alleviating it. I'm a good mom because I'm not afraid to let them know that I make mistakes and that I'm not afraid of apologizing. I'm a good mom because I encourage them in whatever they are interested in (should they want to study basket-weaving in college, I will be all for it). I'm a good mom because I hug them tight every single day, and be sure to kiss their noggins every single night, and I tell them every day that I love them, no matter how bad a day it's been. I'm a good mom because I am still here and I keep trying to do my best.

Cathy said...

I shine as a mother in the kitchen making my son special treats that he'd otherwise miss out on due to his disease. He has rarely felt left out because of it.

Arianne said...

Oh you are a sneaky one, Ms. King. To stop and make me do this?

I'm a good mom because my number one focus is to teach my kids to love others. Instead of asking them to be a "good brother" I ask them if they are being a "good friend" to each other. Peace is my mission, I guess.

On top of that, I've always been proud of how I never ever give up in finding ways to make their lives easier as they grow up being on the autism spectrum. It isn't easy for them, and the least I can do is help them be their best selves along the way.

Love you {THIS MUCH} Casey babe. And you too, King.

KLZ said...

I'm a good mom because I get down on the floor to play with Alex often. My house is a mess but we're playing and the trade off is so worth it

Sluiter Nation said...

Oh how I love Casey...and if digging in to find the good in me will make her smile? I will do it...because Casey has a beautiful, true smile.

So here it goes...

My best mom quality is that i recognize my limitations and I can ask for help. That wasn't always true. Casey was one of those who helped me know that is ok to have limits. Also? I will drop anything I am doing if Eddie comes to me with a book. Unless the house will burn down? Reading is more important than anything else.

designHER Momma said...

So I've been in a funk lately. And I read this earlier today, and didn't know what to comment with.

But I'm back, and I can do this. :)

I'm a good mom because I do a really good job meeting their basic needs. I'm a good cook in the kitchen, they are clean, get lots of rest, bring them to and fro school everyday.

I let them be individuals.

I'm teaching them what it means to be children of God, even if that means that they sometimes might see me when I'm broken.

And at the end of the day, I hope they know that I love them. Because I do, and I tell them often.

Laura said...

Okay...this is hard to do, but I'll give it a shot.

I find that my adoration of my kids and how beautiful they are to me helps me to see that I am beautiful, too. I have struggled my whole life to find beauty in myself, but when everyone is saying how beautiful my children are, and in the next breath how much they look like me, it helps. a litte. I keep trying to see it, because I know it must be there.
I also tell my kids I love them every.single.day. & kiss & hug them goodnight (at a minimum!)

moosh in indy. said...

Whew. You are wonderful you Skittle sharer you.

I'm not even sure what to do with this, it's as if someone just ran up to me, filled my hands with gold and precious jewels, kissed me on the cheek and ran away skipping.

This is a hard one to answer, because I fall short so many times. But I pick myself back up, and she sees that. And I love her so fiercely.

And what Emily said...

I let her be an individual. That she knows the "rules" of kindness and Godliness and friendship and chooses to exercise them of her own free will because of the example I'm working on every day for her?

I'm not doing to bad at all.


Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

First - just THRILLED for Casey. I know the journey to this place has been hard and hateful at times. Your honesty and transparency in the midst of struggle is so welcome.

Okay, good mom stuff.

As someone wrote above, I admit to my kids when I am wrong, when I have wronged them. I say at LEAST once a day: "Mamas aren't perfect. I'm sorry. Will you forgive me?"

My girls know they are loved. From morning snuggles to books before bed and tucking in with kisses and all the adventures in between, they hear and feel love.

Bridget said...

I let my kids eat under the table every now and then. We rush out to play in the rain when other moms are calling kids inside. We craft and cuddle and create. We tell stories and jokes and laugh a lot.

I am a fun mom.

But at the same time I am firm and they know the limits. I am serious about the things that require me to be the grown up...even when I don't really want to.

And that balance between fun and serious isn't one that I've perfected, but most of the time I'm pretty good at it. And I think that makes me a good mom.

Anonymous said...

I am a good stepmom because I'm not afraid to be real. My stepson has lived through some really tough experiences in his 16 years, and *I* am the person he talks to about it. No matter the topic - sex, drugs, rock and roll - I will get right down in the middle of it and tell him the truth.

I am a good stepmom because I am not perfect and can cop to my mistakes. I teach him how to respect women by showing him what a strong woman looks like.

And I am a good stepmom because I have resisted every urge single urge I've ever had to strangle the boy because holy crap can he be annoying in all his teenage glory. But I'm always here, and that too makes me not only a good stepmom, but an awesome mom.

Much love to the fabulous Casey!

Sarah said...

I'm a good mom because I make sure to tell my kids daily how much they mean to me - despite the times I feel I drop the ball as a parent, I write them both short notes each morning. Sometimes it's meaningful, sometimes it's a riddle, sometimes it's just "Hi you! I thnk you're neat." I never want them to question how much they are loved.

Also, I have taught them the importance of cookie baking.

<3 Love to casey.

Marketing Mama said...

this. is. so. wonderful.


me? honestly i'm at a loss and struggling really hard at this moment. i try to empower my kids and teach them how to think through situations. hmmm.

Angie @ Just Like The Number said...

Oh Heather, this is so fantastic. I'm reading through these comments and my heart is so happy for all these children with such wonderful mommas in their corner. And of course I adore Casey. She is the wonderfulest.

I am a beautiful mother because I take such loving care of my children when they are sick. As I type this out, I have a feverish, pukey boy lying next to me. My kids know that I will sit by their sides and stroke their hair and hold their barf bowl until they are all better.

I am also good at letting my kids have their feelings without trying to fix it or discount what they are feeling. Just this weekend my daughter had a really bad experience while out with another mom. Like the mom lost her temper and got kicked out of the mall. I wanted to put words in my daughter's mouth, wanted to judge this mother in front of her, express my frustration. Instead I listened to her tell her experience, hugged her, and told her, "That must have been confusing for you. I'm so sorry I wasn't there to help." I could see the worry drain from her body and several times later in the day she'd randomly come up and tell me she loved me. And that makes me feel beautiful.

Thanks, Heather.

Candace said...

LOVE this. So Casey-esque.

One thing I love about my mothering is that I sing to my kids probably more than I speak to them. It's something I inherited from my Mom. She could make whatever words she wanted fit into any song she wanted. So I am silly singing all day. And what makes it more fun is that my kids are picking up on it! That takes some intelligence for a 3 year old to sing about going pee pee to the tune of "Alouette" and actually make sense AND be funny!

Heidi said...

This is amazing! <3

You know what? I am a good mom. I have a spirited intense child here, and I'm good because I never stop learning and trying. When I get it right, it's great! And when I get it wrong, I'm eager to try something new in the hopes of getting it right the next time. I also have my sweet babe in Heaven, and although I didn't get a chance to mother her here, she showed me I'm a good mom because I'm strong. I used to think of myself as weak and fragile. And in a way I am fragile. But I have tremendous strength beyond what I knew before her, and it makes me proud every time I think of it.

Mom in Vernal said...

Many years ago when I first started being a Mother there were many days I wondered if I was being successful. Today as I see 4 wonderful capable children who all contribute to society in very productive ways I am amazed to see that I was a good mother. All my children love each other and are extremely supportive of each other. Casey married child #2, my only son. I look at his ways of being a father and husband and I am amazed and often wonder where did he learn that. I can only take credit for part of the job. He had aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, a father, neighbors, scout leaders, teachers, friends with parents who all contributed to the process. It takes a village to raise a child. There are a lot of mothers who helped me. We are not alone even though at times we wonder.

@RiaSharon said...

I'm a good mom because I give them time to do "nothing" -- just hang out and play sometimes and resist the urge and pressure to get them in structured activities.

Love you girls!!!!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I'm a good mom because I'm willing to keep learning- about myself, about my kid, and about how I could do things differently or better.

sara said...

Heather, what a great idea. This was so fun to read all these comments!

I am a good mom because I had the courage to be a "mom" to my children and not their "friend". Now that they are adults, I can be their friend!!!

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