To eulogise someone you’ve never met in person may seem odd to some, but to not pay tribute to Melissa Matters of Wading Through Motherhood would be a disservice to the impact she has had on my life. Melissa Matters and I “met” about a year and a half ago through a mommy blogger facebook group. To those of you who aren’t bloggers, unlike other industries, the blogging community is one with countless forums set up to promote one another. There is nothing “dog-eat-dog” about the world of blogging that I’ve encountered. We share experiences, tips, tricks, and each other’s work. In amongst community of already very supportive, engaged, and heartfelt women, Melissa was a stand-out. When two other bloggers (Tarynn and Rachael), she, and I inherited the blogging group we met in, my friendship with Melissa grew stronger. Behind the scenes, we worked on the blogging group, shared in our highs and lows of blogging, motherhood, and life. When life got harder for my family and we were on the verge of moving across the country, Melissa was there to offer support. Her blog is a favourite of mine and so many. It often covered some of the more trying parts of motherhood. Melissa had a remarkable ability to write about these events with a sense of humour and heart that made these annoying toddler tendencies seem little more endearing and a little less stressful. Her posts on parenthood demonstrated that she was undoubtedly high calibre, thoughtful mother. While these posts were exemplary, they were also unassuming. There wasn’t the slightest element of pretension or judgement towards other parenting styles. To other bloggers, her steadfast support and encouragement were unparalleled. Melissa was a woman of heart, faith, and grace. She had a pragmatism, sense of humour, and warmth unlike any other. She leaves behind her husband, daughter (7), son (almost 4), her parents, in-laws, expansive network family and friends, as well as a blogging community that will never be the same without her. Below, I have shared a quote from her first post (thank you, Tessa for originally sharing it since her passing) and several of my favourite posts of hers.
When I was about 16, we took a family trip to Hawaii. In Waikiki, the water was warm and shallow; I felt as if I could wade for miles through the clear water. It was then that I cut my ankle on some coral reef. Now, in my mid-30s, I still have a few faint scars on my ankle. The scars are a reminder of the fun I had that day but also remind me that even wonderful things have their drawbacks.
Motherhood is often like wading through unknown waters. You don’t always know what lies beneath the surface, however you keep going. One day, the water may be clear and warm. Other days, it may be frigid and rough. And, sometimes, you may get hurt or even scarred from a bad parenting experience.
Living in Southern California, I’m often wading through the shallows at the beach. My daughter is getting older and venturing out further into the ocean. My toddler son, still timid, likes to splash in the wet, muddy sand. I love experiencing all these firsts with them. As I “wade” through motherhood with my children by my side, I realize there will be highs with the lows, just like the rise and fall of the tides.
When Your Emotions Take Over, Just Breathe: “When salty tears are bathing your face because you feel like you’re the worst mom and you’re not doing anything right, just breathe… As parents, we need those slow, deep breaths to calm us down, to remind us that this is just one moment in the book of life.”
How To Tell If You’re An Introverted Parent: “Introverts thrive on alone time. So, after a crazy week of school functions, chit-chat, and soccer games, you might decline an invitation to go out with friends for a mom’s night out. After all, if you don’t get any time to be alone with your thoughts, you might start feeling overstimulated and drained.”
Through The Eyes Of A Child: “And, then I think back and remember what it’s like to be a child, through their eyes. Through your eyes, I remember what it’s like to be curious, to lift up rocks and wonder what was underneath. Through your eyes, I remember the thrill of rolling down a grassy hill and stopping at the bottom dizzy, and wanting to do it again. Through your eyes, I remember that books can open up a whole new world.”
The 12 Emotional Stages I Go Through When My Kids Break Things: “Fear: No one move! I don’t want anyone to step on a piece of glass. That would hurt, plus urgent care is a nightmare on the weekends. Go put on shoes and stay out of this room until you are 18.”
5 Reasons Parents Stay Up Too Late: “I love the stillness of a house at night. My kids are blissfully sleeping….like little cherub angles that aren’t capable of doing anything wrong. And, minus a few late night cat shenanigans, I am alone with my thoughts, just me and an empty document begging to be filled with words.”
A Letter To My Son On His 3rd Birthday: “I’m still the one you turn to when you’re hurt, sad, scared, or just want a hug. I’m still one of your favorite people to cuddle up with and read a story. Part of me wants to push the pause button on life and make it last a little longer. The other part of me is eager to see what type of little person you’re going to become.”
For The New Mom: “I see you, you with your little bundle and heavy eyelids. You’re tired, your stitches are sore, and you feel….. different. The last few days have been like nothing you’ve ever experienced.”
If you would like to help support the Matters family during this tough time, a Go Fund Me account has been started on their behalf
“The light that dims near has another birth afar. When doubt assails uplift your eyes, God has lit another star.”
You will be in our hearts always, Melissa <3