Mom of Fame – Brooke: Girl Mom of a Toddler & a Teenager

Brooke is another amazing mom that we are lucky enough to add to our Mom of Fame. She is a *girl mom* of a toddler and a teenager (and she is still alive to talk about it!) She tells us about the overwhelming moment that finally made her ask for help, what losing her sister at a young age taught her and how becoming a mom made her love herself more than ever. Please show Brooke some momfaming love!


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

I am a Health, Wellness and Life Coach. My husband is a therapist, we live in Rochester Hills and have 2 Daughters Gabriella (14) and Paisley (4).  My husband and I love to spend our free time with the kids, either going to the park, to the local hot spots or travelling up north. Gabriella plays Club travel volleyball and that takes up a lot of our time as a family traveling to support her at her tournaments. We enjoy family game night and Friday Pizza nights. Our youngest is obsessed with dance and we enjoy watching her nurture and develop that. We try to have a date night twice a month so that we stay connected, because if we are in sync everything else sort of falls into place. We are just your typical family of girls, all things pink.  We really try to have fun as a family and laugh as much as possible.

What is the best piece of advice you were given about motherhood? Did you take it? Would you give that piece of advice to someone else?

The best piece of advice I was given about motherhood was to be like water and go with the flow [and to] remember to enjoy the little moments because in the end those are the biggest moments.

I continue to take this advice, I’m not perfect at it but having kids whose ages are farther apart I see the value in it.

I give this advice to any mom who asks for it.

How is motherhood different than you imagined it would be?

Motherhood is a thousand percent different than I imagined it. I think when you are pregnant with your first you sort of start planning things out and imagining how they will look. Then when baby comes it’s like WOAH, this isn’t what I signed up for! HAHA. But, It ends up being everything you never thought you needed and more; truly incredible. Even on the most challenging days, the love you feel and the connection is more amazing than anything. At least for me, that’s how it has been.

What are your three strengths when it comes to motherhood?

I’m caring and loving; I lost my sister when I was 13, so I really show my kids how much I love them and make a point to tell them daily..

I would say I encourage my kids to be uniquely themselves and independent, by showing them in my actions.

I’m pretty good at making them laugh either with me or at me and we love an impromptu dance party. I really try to be fun but with a side of responsible.

Describe a time where you were completely overwhelmed as a mother.

A time I was completely overwhelmed as a mother was when I was sick with gall stones and a blocked bile duct. I had multiple outpatient surgeries with a baby and tween. I was sick and I was in pain and exhausted. I felt guilty for not being able to keep up with either kid’s schedule and I had an emotional melt down. This forced me learn how to ASK for help and receive it. Something I don’t think many of us are very good at. Learning that has been monumental in my ability to feel confident reaching out to family and friends when I’m in over my head.

Is there anything you feel that you have lost about yourself since becoming a mother? What have you gained?

I would say I lost some of my feisty free spirit; but, what I’ve gained is so much more than what I felt I lost. The beauty about motherhood is that things about yourself can be lost, but they can also be found again and when those things come back it’s better than you remembered it. I learned unconditional selfless love because of being a mom and it is what defines me now. Honestly, the thing I am most proud of today, is being a mom and my kids.

What do you want your children to learn from you?

I want my kids to know that they can be anything they want to be, and not to dim their light for anyone. I really take to heart that kids will do what you do, not what you say, so I just try to show them that it’s never too late to do the things that light you up.

To my tween daughter: What I’m not giving you is the greatest gift

Dear tween daughter,

I know what you want. It comes in a clean, white box with a silver apple on it. It is a window to the world, access to anything at anytime, a real-time digital autobiography for the world to read. I know that it seems like everyone else has one. I know that the first year of middle school without a smartphone made you feel left out. I know that you think it will connect you. But I want to give you a different perspective. Please hear me out.

Everyday at 3:18 pm I would start to see your middle school peers filing out of the bus and making their way home. Some had their heads down, eyes locked on a screen, fingers swiping and tapping methodically. They would pass our house silently, one by one, not noticing me with the cooing baby or the doodle wagging his tail so hard that he might fall over. Their faces were blank and focused, like a zombie parade. I wondered what kind of circus show would pull their gaze away from whatever was pulling them into their phones.

Then I would hear an eruption of giggles at least four houses down. I could see two girls happily skipping down the walk, their hands making silly gestures and their faces lit up with expressions that no emoji on earth could ever replicate. Their eyes would be locked on each other and they bounced their words back and forth like a ping pong match. My heart smiled first when I saw that it was you and your best friend, and a wave of pride and relief would come over me.

You, my sweet daughter, are a curator of a dying art. The beautiful symphony of voices fluctuating to express feelings; hands enthusiastically conducting an orchestra of emotions; the crescendo of laughter at the end. It’s a slowly dying art but you are keeping it alive and it cannot survive inside a screen.

You don’t know how to take the perfect selfie; or the hashtags that will attract the most likes; or the feeling of scrolling through a social media feed to discover that you were one of the only kids left out. I know you feel like the only one without, but I’m giving you a gift.

You know that Polaroid picture of you and your best friend hanging from your string lights? That’s the only copy that exists in the world. It’s priceless. It’s an original. You and her were in that moment and now that moment is happily displayed where only you and your closest friends can see it. There’s no hashtag, screen capture, digital copy, filter or comments to augment that moment. It belongs to you. Your life and moments should be made for yourself, not for an audience. Your beautiful and brilliant mind cannot make all the right decisions right now because those parts of your brain are not even close to being developed. I cannot expect the science of that to change for you, so I will not burden you with the choice of how much of your life you should share with the world.

Please accept this gift. Keep it in your pocket. It is a treasure but you might not realize its value until you are older. Keep lugging that big Polaroid camera everywhere you go and capturing your moments for that beautiful string light gallery in your room.

There will come a time when you get to open a clean, white box with an apple on it, but for now, the greatest gift I can give to you are these memorable, awkward, explorative years without a smartphone.

Love,
Mom