Growing Together: It’s Not About Me from Love, Life, Surf


I don’t remember where I first found Christine but I do remember feeling awe at the sight of her blog. Yoga and surfing and a level of fitness that I aspire to but that always feels so far beyond my reach. As I kept reading, my awe just grew. Christine’s writing makes me feel as though we are sitting and chatting over a cup of coffee and whether the topic is yoga, marathons, or life parenting small children, I always come away with a fresh perspective.

Christine’s words here struck a very familiar chord for me and inspired me to remember, once again, that we Moms write our children’s childhoods and the role of ‘memory creator’ is one that deserves our effort and energy.

Read on here and then go visit Christine at Love, Life, Surf to feel the awe.


The box arrived from my mother – souvenirs from her recent trip to Germany and the Christmas markets. There was a wooden Santa truck that has 25 doors to count down the days to Christmas, a small wooden Christmas tree with tiny ornaments and a ceramic incense burner in the shape of a gingerbread house.

If you know me, you know that I don’t burn incense and our home decor veers more towards modernist than kitschy-cozy. I’m not the type to decorate my house for the holidays aside from a Christmas tree and stockings. What was I going to do with all this stuff?

Before I could put it all away in a box and shove it under the bed, my son caught sight of it. “Oh Mommy. These are beautiful. Where can we put them?”

I was about to make some excuse for why we didn’t need to decorate the house and why we didn’t need more stuff. Instead, I stopped and asked him, “Where do you want to put them?”

It’s not about me.

Growing up, I was always considered the selfish one. I was the youngest of three kids and used to getting what I wanted either because I was the baby or because my parents had already spent all their energy on my older brother and sister.

As I grew older, that selfishness grew to be considered independence. I learned to do things by myself from an early age and to rely on myself instead of others.

When I first became a mother, I had a really hard time. All of a sudden, I had this tiny little baby boy who was completely dependent on me. My schedule no longer matched my own rhythms but was dictated by his waking, eating, and napping schedule. It may seem like a rather obvious change when one becomes a parent but it was one of the biggest and hardest adjustments for me – that loss of autonomy and of doing things just for myself. While I rationally understood my new role, my gut had a harder time adjusting.

It’s not about me.

A month ago, we decided to take the boys to Disney World for the first time. I really really really really did not want to go. All I could think about was how exhausting the trip would be, the hassles and the huge potential for epic meltdowns, not to mention the expense. I was not looking forward to it.

Then we arrived. My boys’ eyes were as big as saucers and their jaws literally dropped to the ground. Seeing their faces and their pure joy made it worth it. And I was reminded once again – it’s not about me. It’s about my children and creating memories with and for them.

While our role as parents is to protect, nurture, raise and support our children, I think that our biggest role is that of memory creators. And our children? Their role is to help us look outside of ourselves and to see the magic again.


cy boys

Christine is a Brooklynite, wife and mom to two boys. She is the author of the blog Love, Life, Surf where she shares her love of fitness and stories about her experiences as a mom of two young boys trying to balance work, family, fitness and healthy living. She’s a runner, yogi and fitness enthusiast who has become obsessed with surfing. She can make a good risotto and prefers mint chocolate chip ice cream.

You can find me at:







  1. Pingback: Growing Together and Creating Memories

  2. Thank you Tricia so much for having me over here today and for the opportunity to remember these moments of growing together. xox
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Growing TogetherMy Profile

  3. So true! Now that I’m on the other side of creating Christmas traditions (with college-aged kids), I think it is important to create traditions. I’ve stuck with the advent calendar tradition, too many Christmas cookies, stockings filled with little gifts from Santa, and of course a family gathering and family dinner.
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  4. Oh, Christine! What a beautiful post. I can relate to this in so many ways – as I have reluctantly pushed myself to do things for my kids that I myself would rather not be bothered with – such as going to Disney! But like you, I get how important it is to create these memories – even if I have to get out of my own way to do so. Thank you for your lovely words!
    Ilene recently posted..Coming HomeMy Profile

  5. Great post!
    Kierston recently posted..No Regrets Holiday!My Profile

  6. I’m right there with you Christine! I was having a similar conversation with my youngest brother very recently. I’m married with 4 kiddos, but where he is in his life he’s just starting to think about the family he’ll start. I tried explaining the whole “it’s not about you anymore” thing. But it’s one of those changes you have to feel and experience for yourself 🙂 Great post. I’m picturing your boys’ jaws hitting the floor at Disneyland! Mine would have been ecstatic too 🙂

  7. your take on being the youngest one and being considered “selfish” and then “independent” is interesting. we always teased my lil bro about getting whatever he wanted because he was the baby, but i suppose it did make him pretty independent (and me too as i’m the third out of four)
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  8. Love this message–and it is so true. I wonder all the time about which memories will be the ones that stay with my daughter and what memories we will make in the future.
    Elena recently posted..Training for the runDisney Princess Half MarathonMy Profile

  9. What a beautiful post. I am so inspired by Christine Yu, she is hard working, bright , funny and above all an awesome Momma making incredible memories for her boys inspiring us to do the same!
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  10. Beautiful post 🙂 I don’t have kids of my own yet, but I must say, my favorite memories of Christmas always include my family, no matter what we are doing! There is nothing like a mom to make you and the holidays feel special and comforting.
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  11. Very well said. And a nice reminder. I try to see the world from my kids’ point of view every now and then. Puts things into perspective!
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  12. Such a lovely post. It IS about the shared experiences and the memories and the little things that bring and keep us together.
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  13. Oh Christine, if only we’d found each other when both of us were new moms… I have felt (and still continue to feel) the same sadness over my autonomy from time to time.
    I had to laugh at your response to your mother’s gifts! Been there!
    Tamara recently posted..Eat, drink and be merry | Christmas over fitness, not fitness over ChristmasMy Profile

    • Oh Tamara, I definitely still feel it. I used to feel extremely guilty about it but realized that it’s a part of me that needs nurturing too in order to be happy and healthy. And frankly, I don’t know what to do with all my mother’s “presents.” I’m running out of room to “store” them!
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Growing TogetherMy Profile

  14. Lovely and moving post, Christine. I too have found that it’s not about me anymore. Thanks for the little push to start planning for Disney too. 😉
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