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Sunday, November 15, 2015

STRONG MOMMAS 2015 - part 1 - Liz Lajoie & Lindsay Harrington

This month of November is full of gratitude and generosity on the Mommy Stories and in our Facebook group with the #MommyStoriesKindnessChallenge. We moms are so busy, super women, for sure! It's difficult to stop sometimes and realize how great, hard working, dedicated and STRONG we really are. 

Every single mom has a difficult journey in parenting, every single mom goes through tough times. Some are in the midst of their challenges right now and I wanted to have all of us join together to support those amazingly strong mommas. Thus, the STRONG MOMMAS initiative was born. Fellow moms nominated other moms who they know are going through a difficult time or who just need a pick-me-up and to know they are GREAT. 

My goal in featuring these mommas is to help them feel as strong as we think they are, to remind them they are AWESOME, as well as to inspire other moms to shower them with love and generosity, to make their busy mommy day a bit brighter with small tokens of sunshine. 

If you want to send one of these moms something small ($5-$10 is the max OR free, a note of encouragement is priceless!) please email me at themommystories@gmail.com for the address. 

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Congrats to our first STRONG MOMMA LIZ LAJOIE!!! 

Liz Lajoie was nominated by a couple of people, including Morgan Leeman, who shared: "Her mom died of breast cancer around 15 years ago, and her sister just got diagnosed with breast cancer too. She's been a rock for her sister, keeping her emotions to herself and just really being there for her. She's in school full time, and is an awesome mom to her daughter. They also recently closed on their house and are working on doing some small updates."

I know this momma is strong, courageous and a fighter for sure. She can do anything and survive anything, especially with supportive moms behind her.



Images shared from Liz Lajoie 


LIZ LAJOIE

1. What do you think makes you a strong mom? What would others say makes you a strong mother?
I would have to say a quality that makes me a strong mom is my drive to push through really tough moments and come out on top for my family. I am not afraid to share my feelings with the ones close to me, but I try to not let them have a lot of weight on my being a mother. I try to be really strong for my daughter and she gives me a lot of strength. 

I think others might say my ability to take from my past and learn from it and not let it define me is what makes me strong. I have suffered a huge loss in my life and I try really hard to not be angry about it, but to see a lesson in my circumstances and make sure I am acting in a way I want my daughter to be proud of. 
2. What helps you get through the difficult moments as a mother? 
To get through difficult moments as a mother and a wife... I would have to say breathing and writing gratitude lists. When I feel like things are spinning  I sit and breathe I have done a lot of yoga and this is something I learned from my sister . This is how I made it through a lot of the tough moments in my life.  

For my gratitude list I either write down on paper or just say it in my head all things I am grateful for, It could be as simple as stating I am grateful for this sunny day. I feel this helps get my mind back on all the good things in life and away from what may be bothering or upsetting me. Its also quick and something I can do at anytime. We all know that time is very limited as a mommy. I also recently started seeing a counselor who is amazing and has helped me cope with some of my more recent events in life and I tell myself all the time why didn’t I do this sooner?
3. What is your advice to another mom going through a tough time? 
My advice to any other mom going through difficult times is to not be afraid to open up to people. That was one thing I did at a very young age when I lost my mom is I did not bottle up my feelings when I was sad I told my friends or family and I talked about it …  some of my friends and family may say I talk a little too much ;) but it really seemed to be my best coping method. Also try the gratitude list it really does seem to help retrain your mind to the good rather than the bad. And lastly, absolutely do not be afraid to seek professional help one of the best things I did for myself was found a third party unbiased opinion to listen to me.
4. What are 5 of your favorite things in the world (color, food, drink, candy, store, song, flower, etc.)
5 things that are my favorite would have to be I love pink roses they are my mom's favorite flower and I get them for everything they remind me so much of her and I just love that. My favorite colors are pink and purple. I am currently a full time student in cosmetology school and love everything hair and makeup. Chocolate is my best friend ;) and I love all kinds of music and dancing.

I want to also say that any mommy who is feeling down or has had a loss or tragedy or just needs someone to talk to you can message me any time.  I am an open book and love to share all the things I have learned along the way through my journey and can be a good listening ear as well.  All the moms in this group are amazing and I am so blessed to be able to be a part of it. Thank you so much.


Congratulations to our next STRONG MOMMA Lindsay Harrington!!! Morgan Silva Hotham nominated her because, "Just wanted to message you about a strong Mom- Lindsay Harrington. Her husband works away 5 weeks at a time, so she is home alone with her (almost) 2 year old daughter. On top of being a loving, kind, and involved Mom she is a: handyman, financial advisor, chef, organizer, cleaner, food planner, teacher, pet owner... and runs a photography and design business on the side! She is always willing to lend a helping hand- even when they are full. She gets no sick days, no paid holidays, no time to shut down. She does it all and rarely takes time for herself, although she definitely deserves it! She is awesome, appreciated, and loved."



Images shared from Lindsay Harrington

LINDSAY HARRINGTON

1. What do you think makes you a strong mom? What would others say makes you a strong mother?
Hmm, yikes I'm not really sure I believe I'm a strong Mom. I feel like I struggle a lot!! I could maybe say I'm a little toughened because I survived a year of screaming, pulling and feeding struggles with our daughter who had terrible reflux. Feeding time should be the most enjoyable when they're so little and it was a huge struggle. Heartbreaking! We all cried a lot. 

Others would probably say I'm a strong Mom because I am alone a lot without my husband. He's worked 5/5, 5/2 and been away months before. He's been in Africa and more, so we can't pick up the phone and call him. It can get lonely... And frustrating when things go wrong without him (and they always do). Among many many things I've dealt with, a recent flooded basement was just one of them. I don't have a Dad to call for help so it's always figuring it out solo. Proves to yourself what you're capable of!

2. What helps you get through the difficult moments as a mother? 
I'm not sure what pushes any of us through. Heart, thick skin... I have a lot to be thankful for and I've been through a lot of crap so I just try to put it all into perspective. When all else fails, I have a good cry and call MY Mom. Ha-ha!

3. What is your advice to another mom going through a tough time? 

Breathe. Regroup. Find resources. Ask for help. Try and put things into perspective. Don't worry about the future, just get through the moment and do damage control until you can regroup and refocus. I'm also a huge advocate of taking YOU time. I think as Mommas we sacrifice (happily) a lot and we are so far beyond burnt out when we finally realize we needed a break.

4. What are 5 of your favorite things in the world (color, food, drink, candy, store, song, flower, etc.)
Favorite food: pizza! Favorite color: red/orange Favorite pastime: crafting or organizing (type A right here). Favorite pamper (but who EVER gets time to go?!): manicure or massage. Hmmm... Um... I'm not good at this!! Favorite go-to outfit? My Bean boots and a flannel.
No I know!!! My last favorite is favorite job I don't have!! Renovation + decorating!! I'm a Joanna Gaines wannabe and I love renovating, diy-ing, antiquing and decorating our house.








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