BY JAMIE STUM
I’m raising two young children. Actually, I have two young children; I’m raising a man and a woman. Most days it’s a roller coaster of calm and chaos around here to sculpt the big personalities filling those tiny bodies into the impactful adults I see inside of them.
I have hazy memories of the first few months when I was adjusting to caring for two. My youngest was a newborn; my oldest wasn’t even 18 months old. I remember baby snuggles at sunrise and my son proudly toddling toward the playground in the fading afternoon sunlight. I remember disorganized boxes of diapers, lost binkies and anxious nights peering first over the bassinet, then over the crib in the next room.
I was incredulous at and overwhelmingly grateful for my two healthy babies who approached every moment with wonderment. I was also bone weary, emotional and isolated. It’s not even the slightest exaggeration to say that I could rarely get us all out of the house before 4:00 p.m. We went through an average of 150 diapers per week. Home cooked meals were things we only saw on The Food Network.
Maybe it was the spit up aroma, the months of inconsistent sleep or the lingering pregnancy pounds but it’s safe to say I rarely felt like the organized, stylish, competent person I used to be. I think we’ve all been there.
Here’s what grounded me: I remembered I had a third person to care for, once a child, now a woman. I remembered myself. I read a book by Anna Quindlen about her days in a similar situation and how she took a few moments to read every day, just to do something that helped her feel replenished. I took her words to heart and realized that finding that moment where you are more than a mother somehow makes you a better one.
When the Mommy Mailbox team talked about starting a business, we had lots of ideas. We all knew we wanted to do something that would refuel women in a way that we often deny ourselves. We wanted to do it in a way that was convenient, affordable, exciting and most of all, special. And Mommy Mailbox was born to three mothers.
We’re not saying that opening your door to find a beautiful package full of surprises will solve all your challenges. (Well, maybe a bit ;) At least we hope it will make the hard days brighter and the good days into ones you treasure forever.
Being a mother is joyous. Sometimes it can be lonely. To this day, I remain equal parts overwhelmed and content at my decision to create a family. Like all of us, I know I wouldn’t change that decision, not once, not for anything in the world. I just need a moment for myself to feel equal to the task.