Listen to Your Mother… that’s me!

I am still full of awe and honor to have been a part of the 2014 Providence Cast of Listen to Your Mother….

Listen to Your Mother Providence Cast 2014 #aisforadelaide

(My intro written by the talented Carla Molina at All of Me Now):
Chelley Martinka is a Philly native with a little thing for Game of Thrones. A closet drummer, she’s a mom to one awesome kid living with dwarfism and is expecting her second daughter this fall. Chelley is up next with “Do It Ugly.”

Do it Ugly

Everyday, when I look at my planner, I see this quote, Dream so big you’ll look like an idiot if God doesn’t step in!

It’s a reminder to do it ugly. To get in in past my ankles, waist deep. To get dirty, cut- go full throttle.

Growing up, I was loud. I would sneak out. I smoked cigarettes and overly enjoyed cheap beer. I played a lot of sports and I was rough when I did it. I got injured. I suffered from depression. I liked a good party. I liked to study so much I graduated college with a 3.5 in 3 years with almost no friends. I got tattooed. And then got some more. I got dermal anchors before they were a trend. I dated. I over committed to people that needed “saving” and after they were saved, I moved on. I broke hearts. I uprooted myself a lot, took on a lot of jobs, was reckless with my emotions and other people’s hearts.

Doing it ugly was more about how low I could go. How many problems I could fix of someone else’s while ignoring my own needs- uselessly helping others chase their desires. I knew I’d never stick around long enough to see the ending. Like the friend who needed money for car payments… a loan I would never see the repayment of- I worked weeks of overtime. I’m not quite sure why, except it seemed like the right thing to do. I was a wild one with a sucker-streak- looking to take care of all the people surrounding me, and sleeping as little as possible while doing so.

But then it happened. I was approached by a lion tamer with the patience of a kindergarten teacher and heart of a saint. Some have come to call him Dave. So here I was married. A wife. Together we ripped apart the money pit and created a home. We both worked long ours and enjoyed uneventful hikes with our dog and nights by the firepit with friends.

Gone was the Chelley of the past, replaced with this woman who quit smoking, ran half marathons, was letting someone else take care of her once in a while, learned to enjoy wine over whiskey and, for whom staying up late lost its once alluring appeal. Who the hell was I, now?

Not looking for redefinition, she came- The reason I had to get all riled up again. My reason for getting my hands dirty- I was ready for parenting. Here I was, rolling up my sleeves and spending late hours burning the midnight oil- literally- we have oil heat. But I was more than prepared, I’d been practicing to parent this special lady since my days as a rebellious teen.

I knew everything I did from the moment I heard her cry would be things she would be proud of. My perseverance would be her life lesson. I would work hard, and when she was diagnosed with a high-functioning disability, I knew I would dig harder than I’d ever imagined. With letters, videos and a blog, I would educate about our life as a family. I’d take attacks and hard words and fight to change the stigma. I’d create a team consisting of specialists in Massachusetts, Delaware and Rhode Island. I don’t know the answer to that, would be an answer I’d never settle with.

I would allow no one thing would define my sweet girl, a lesson I’d learned from my own mother. Dwarfism, gender, religion or a favorite band would simply be aspects.

I would raise her to be generous, dignified and tough. A woman who could do whatever she pleased, in jeans or a skirt, at a bar watching the game or in the courtroom arguing her case. With my biggest dream being a world that truly sees no difference between my Adelaide and any other human. Recognizing her disability as something about her, not something that defines her.

I spent two days bringing her into the world… and I will give my life to give her dreams so big that she never knows what the ground looks like with her eyes closed.

And while most of my days are beautiful- I work hard to make sure they are. Everything in life that feels like it’s too much is all the more reason to get in there. To do it ugly. Everyday isn’t a fight, but when it is, I make sure it’s worth it, to go hard.

This life is my one shot to make it what I want and give that power to my future warrior woman- and no one will lessen my gusto or dampen my dreams- not even God, herself.

Listen to the cast:


Filed under Educate/Adovocate/Make Change

58 Responses to Listen to Your Mother… that’s me!

  1. Jacqueline F

    “Recognizing her disability as something about her, not something that defines her.”. That quote gave me goosebumps. A perfect description of how I would describe myself..but never knew how to say it until now!

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    This is truly awesome. I missed the one in Boston back in April because I was in San Diego and I had no idea there was one in Providence, either. Dang.

  3. That is pretty neat that you were a part of this. Such a beautiful and powerful story.
    Elizabeth @ Being MVP recently posted…Only High Chair You’ll Need for Your Growing Family + #GiveawayMy Profile

  4. Very inspirational and beautifully written. Definitely made me teary eyed.
    Christine recently posted…Keeping Your Athlete Safe on the FieldMy Profile

  5. Your writing is so special. This is so inspirational, thank you.
    Stefany recently posted…Enter to win $500 from Southwest Airlines!My Profile

  6. Daisy

    You are such an awesome mom. It also took me two days to bring my son into the world and I look forward to giving him everything that I am able to!

  7. Wow, what an inspirational mother you are! It’s mothers like you who make me want to be a better mom. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Meagan recently posted…10 Essential Safe Trampoline RulesMy Profile

  8. beautiful and inspirational! Thank you!

  9. What a great story!! Its amazing how much motherhood can change you.
    tammileetips recently posted…Cure what ails you at the Alchemy Bar on Carnival CruisesMy Profile

  10. Clapping. Seriously, clapping. This is one amazing post Chelley. I think a good life is a full one, jam-packed with experiences that gain wisdom and power. Yours – overflowing!
    Tammi @ My Organized Chaos recently posted…Come to the #LetsTalkBums Twitter Party!My Profile

  11. What an inspirational story.
    Nolie recently posted…Walking WIth Dinosaurs ReviewMy Profile

  12. Wow, how awesome! I’m so local that I could have watched you live too! Way to go!
    Amy D recently posted…Nature Valley™ Bistro Cups: Premium Oatmeal You Make in Your Keurig® #BistroCupsMy Profile

  13. Shauna

    That is truly beautiful. I felt like you were speaking about me. I totally was obsessed with codependent relationships for way too long, taking care of everyone else, until I met the man who leveled me out… HA! this is great

  14. Ugly’s never looked so good. This was great. Really touching. You are a GREAT writer.
    Jennifer recently posted…Chocolate Tiramisu RecipeMy Profile

  15. You go girl! That’s an awesome piece of prose. So touching.
    Dawn recently posted…Tips for Keeping Cats Healthy #PerfectWeightMy Profile

  16. That’s awesome! I love listen to your mother!
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  17. Ann Bacciaglia

    What a great thing to be apart of. What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Your a fierce mama and I love that you will stop at nothing to do the best for your family and daughter! You rock!
    Liz Mays recently posted…Tips To Simplify Your Morning RoutineMy Profile

  19. You’re such an inspiration! Bravo to you and what an accomplishment being part of this.
    Lori recently posted…Fallen LeavesMy Profile

  20. You were the perfect mama for that little girl, that is for sure! I’m so inspired by you and sharing your heart!!
    Debra recently posted…To Dream – Helping Save the Children One Word at a Time #FindtheWords ($100 Gift Card Giveaway)My Profile

  21. This was so beautiful. Inspiring!
    kristin recently posted…Bingo Lingo for Ordinary PeopleMy Profile

  22. What a wonderful piece. So nicely written – you really have a way with words!
    Liza @ Views From the ‘Ville recently posted…Have You Checked Out the Starz Outlander Series Yet?My Profile

  23. What a touching post and a beautiful little girl!
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  24. Daisy

    You are inspirational! I need to surround myself and read about more people like you with positive attitudes.

  25. What a great and touching post. You give a lot of us inspiration with your words.
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  26. Wow – awesome and inspirational. Life needs more moments like this!
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  27. You are amazing. An advocate, but more than that a damn good mother. I loved this quote “I will give my life to give her dreams so big that she never knows what the ground looks like with her eyes closed.” I think that is something that will stick with me for a long time.
    Emily recently posted…Letting Go Isn’t As Easy As It SoundsMy Profile

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