Real Life Mama: All of me


By Sarah Shrader - Guest columnist



“What if we obsessed about the things we loved about ourselves?” I ran across this question the other day and it resonated with my soul. Not only did it make me question the self-doubt that I too often bury inside of myself, but it also made me think of my girls and how I want them to love — and own — exactly who they are.

It was then that I decided that I needed to reflect on who I am — my beauty and my flaws — and “obsess” over it a bit.

I’m not the girl hiding out in the shadows. I have never been. If a thought comes to my mind, it is spoken, sometimes to my detriment, but never dislodging my truth. I have never had a filter.

I ask a lot of questions. A lot. I want to learn and know more. Constantly I am digging for more information, more education. Call it nosy, as I often do, but I just seriously want to know and learn it all.

I am loud. You will hear me. My opinion. My thoughts. My suggestions. My fears. My breakfast. My child’s breakfast. All of it.

My kids are my world. I never stop talking about them. They are amazing. They will always take precedence, and that is just the way it is.

While my laugh can be overbearing at times, I love completely losing myself in laughter — especially with great friends — and the therapy it brings me.

Oh, and I cry. Typically, my emotions are about two wrong words from tears coming down my cheeks. Anger. Joy. Sadness. Excitement. Frustration, definitely frustration. But, it is freeing and relieving.

Every single thing I do, I want to be the best. And if I can’t be, then I hate doing it. All or nothing. Desiring praise and “atta-girls” used to make me think that I was broken or needed attention, but it’s actually what drives me. I like to be noticed for what I am contributing. But honestly, don’t we all?

Most days, I pray 10 to 12 times a day. It’s the only thing that gets me through. Sometimes they are long drawn out pleads to God and sometimes they are quick “thank you’s” or requests. I love God and am not afraid to share that with anyone.

Some days, I also substitute the “s word” for “crap.” It’s called balance.

I love hard anyone within my reach. If you need me, I am there. No matter what. No questions asked. Even if you were never there for me or I know you would never do the same for me. I don’t hold grudges even when I probably should.

I struggle with saying no. I want to do all the things and will find a way. Sometimes — many times — I stretch myself way too thin. But, I figure it out. And sometimes I thrive on figuring it out! I love a challenge. Throw in a little disbelief from a third party and you can consider it done.

I am late, for everything. But not because I don’t respect other’s times. It’s simply because I was way too optimistic about what all I could get done before the deadline.

And yes, procrastination is my middle name. However, I do my best work under pressure. Truly, if I have too much time, then my mind just gets in my way. Let me wing it. It will be better for everyone.

If I am wrong, I apologize. I struggle with finding the shame in apologizing which, ironically, a lot of the self-motivating books I have read promote. If I’m wrong, I’ll say I’m wrong. And I’m OK with that. (I mean, not thrilled, because I sure do like to be right. Ha!)

Everything I do is fast-paced. Heck, I even walk fast and have trouble slowing down to match someone’s gait. My mind goes just as fast and rarely if ever slows down. Sometimes, I feel like I literally have five different thoughts at once and they may be completely unrelated. But, I can sort them out, and that’s all that really matters.

Look, I realize that I am too much for some people — too loud, too talkative, too anxious, too late — but I have also realized that those are the things that have shaped me throughout my life into the person I am today.

And I am OK with who I am. No, I am proud of who I am. I own it. It’s me. Rather than writing my flaws off as failures, I think I’ll just rock them. After all, my girls are always watching and, if nothing else, I want to show them that there is beauty in loving all the things about oneself.

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By Sarah Shrader

Guest columnist

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

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