Until You Have Kids…

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We’ve all been there: a younger, child free version of ourselves, enjoying a night out when *shudder* you suddenly see the hostess setting up a child’s seat at the table next to you. Ugh, there goes our peaceful dinner, you might have said. Or maybe Why would you bring a kid to a place like this?! Even if the child didn’t make a peep, you were horrified at the thought that this little creature could have possibly interrupted your evening. 

Fast forward to today, and suddenly you’re that table that the hostess is setting up a child’s seat for, the one that the patrons are glaring at for possibly ruining the kid free atmosphere you just walked into. A few weeks ago, my husband and I were enjoying a Saturday date night without our son at one of our favorite restaurants. The weather was nice so we sat on the patio, listening to music with a pitcher of sangria. An adorable girl about my age sat down next to us with who was probably her mother and sister, along with her precious toddler, a little boy who I soon learned is two (the same age as my little dude). He immediately didn’t want to sit still, and popped his head up at our table. His mother immediately apologized, to which my husband and I replied: “No worries, we have one too. We get it!” A wash of relief rushed over her face and we traded toddler stories back and forth. I said this to her because I do get it, and it really does make you feel better to know that not everyone in the world is out to judge you as a mother. I’d heard the phrase “Until you have kids…” a million times, but it couldn’t be more true. You don’t know until you have one, so cut us a little slack until you really know what we’re going through.

Lately I’ve seen lots of babble on social media like “Maybe parents should put the phone down and play with their kids instead of posting about them!” or “Don’t you think a mom should only talk about certain things once she has kids?” Let me ask you something: when you woke up this morning, did you decide what you’d be doing with your day? Ok, maybe you have a job, but did you simply wake up, get dressed, and begin your day? That must be so nice; I definitely remember those days. Want to know how my day starts? From the moment I open my eyes, my day is dictated by a two year old. What I’m doing, when I’m doing it: all in the hands of a two year old child. 

Adult conversation? Forget about it! An hour of reading with my coffee? Haha! Riiiight! A real shower everyday, whenever I want? Dear God, I wish! And don’t think I’m complaining, because I’m definitely not. I am well aware that there are definitely chunks of my day spent in sweats catching up on Real Housewives. But being a mom, even one whose happily married, can be SO lonely. Your interactions with your child are amazing, but they can’t chat with you about real life; about the big stuff or the stupid little things. So I’ll use that “Until you have kids…” line to tell you: if I want to take five minute breaks out of my kid friendly day to escape on my iPhone, I will. And until you have kids, you’ll probably keep judging me, but I’ll be there to reassure you that it’s ok when it’s your turn, regardless. 

What topics are off limits for moms? Oh, you gave birth, so no swearing. And no talking about drinking. Or drugs. Or anything remotely inappropriate. Tell me why people (especially younger people!) without kids get to decide what’s right and wrong for mom conversation. I understand not blasting your personal business for everyone to see (especially because there are some nasty souls out there who threaten moms with CPS calls. I’ve seen it and find it disgusting. How dare anyone just loosely throw around such a thing?!) but guess what: I’m still a cool person with a rad opinion to offer the world, and I just so happen to have a precious sidekick to do it with. Stop making moms feel like they are only defined as a parent and nothing more! Because again, until you have kids, you have no right. None. Zilch!

Things are tough enough out there. Protecting our children from all the sick things that unfortunately exist in our world these days is hard enough. Don’t make mothers feel like they have to shield their and their childrens’ lives from judgement from those who don’t even know what they go through. 

Next time you’re at a restaurant, smile at the family with the kid at the next table. You have every right to be annoyed when the kid starts wailing, but until then, just stop and think how to go to dinner that night, you got dressed and drove there, simple and easy. But I promise that that mother you see had to change two sets of clothes atleast twice, put on two sets of shoes, remember to pack a bunch of nonsense, wrestle a mini sumo wrestler into a carseat, and listened to mostly incoherent child babbling for most of that day, all to simply enjoy a meal outside of her own house and feel like a normal person for a few hours. 

Until you have kids…” don’t be so quick to think you know what it’s like to actually have one. Us moms you’re busy judging will be here to answer all those questions you’ll definitely have, and to make you feel less bad when people (like the current, judgemental  you) question every move you make.

  

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Pregnancy and Pot: The Magic of Mixing Motherhood and Marijuana

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First thing’s first: There’s no denying that my love affair with marijuana began long before I’d ever even considered having a child. While my high school friends were always searching for a place to get drunk, I was the girl perfectly content with driving around on the (supposedly) haunted backroads of my hometown, puffing on some green leafy magic and feeling like that very moment was the happiest of my life and that the universe was alive with wonder just for me. Sure, I’m sure part of that was knowing I was young and alive and had no real worries in the world. But my almost instant realization that this substance that everyone treated like a terrible drug wasn’t really a drug at all but a miraculous product of nature, was instantaneous and everlasting.

Even long after the days of typical rebellious teenage behavior had run their course, I was still very much ‘proud to be a pothead’. I didn’t really know when I was young, but my love for marijuana didn’t actually begin with me. In fact, it seems to be in my blood: there’s more relatives that use cannabis in my family than there are that don’t. I didn’t exactly ever have my parents’ ‘permission’, but I know they knew what their oldest daughter was up to and were actually much happier knowing I wasn’t out drinking and driving. But it makes me think back to one particular incident when I was 17 and was pulled over and ultimately found to be in possession of a small amount of pot. Looking back, I was beyond lucky (they confiscated my stuff and called my parents) and understood why my daddy yelled at me from the front seat “WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS, SARAH? THAT 70’S SHOW?! YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS JUST OUT GETTING HIIIIIIGH?!” in his best angry tone. But no matter what the situation, I just didn’t see things that way. How is it possible that anyone could see anything wrong with getting high? Or with using a resource provided to us by nature, with zero chemicals (or destroyed livers)?! I knew my choice to use marijuana was the right one and I’d tell that to anyone who asked (which is EXACTLY what I’m still doing today!). I truly believe I found cannabis for a reason, as did so many others, and it hasn’t left my life since, and never will.
I mentioned my younger self’s brush with the law because it makes me think of what the future might be for our children. Fast forward ten years, and here I am with a husband and a child of my own, something that I wasn’t exactly sure would ever be in my future. My family teased me for years about my lack of maternal instincts (all because I hated babies on airplanes and constant annoying questions!), but learning I was pregnant really was incredible. I was a different from other typical expecting mothers from the start (that’s just how I roll!), like finding the need to make a ‘birth plan’ utterly ridiculous and reading my unborn son Hunter S. Thompson while I felt him kick and wiggle in my belly. But I did the obvious: took my prenatel vitamins, stopped all alcohol consumption (which was basically nonexistent anyway), and tried to eat and sleep better than usual. But what about smoking weed? The thought of stopping literally NEVER crossed my mind and I felt no shame in it. I know pregnant women who would never admit to using cannabis, but I was proud of my choice and I’ll tell anyone who is willing to listen. 

My pregnancy was literally the perfect example of why EVERY woman should have cannabis in their arsenal: I had no morning sickness. I actually had an appetite. I was chill and happy literally all the time. I slept like a champ and I had no postpartum depression issues afterwards, which can be so heartbreaking and scary.

Unfortunately, because the only information out there on marijuana’s affects on growth and development of a child and/or mother during pregnancy is almost never relevant or even factual. Information online ranges from old school, moral biased ‘preaching’ about fearing the reefer, to articles basically shaming any expecting mother for even thinking of using a *gasp* illegal drug (that we all should accept is classified incorrectly by now!) When my doctor asked me the normal questions about my lifestyle, I didn’t lie. Instead, I told her outright that I use marijuana on a daily basis and have for basically over 10 years. I expected a look of judgment at the very least, but to my surprise, she embraced me and said that telling me to stop outright would be much harder on my now ever changing body and that I should keep doing what makes me the most comfortable. If I had previously had any sort of doubt in my decision, it was now dead and buried. 

Fast forward nine long months and my husband and I were blessed were a perfect, healthy, beautiful baby boy, weighing in at a whopping 10 lbs 11 oz (so much for all that nonsense I read about the dangers of underweight babies with cannabis use!) with big bright eyes and dimples identical to his daddy’s. From the moment we brought him home, he blessed us with his forever happy demeanor and love to sleep, even through the night. All that shaming I read about pregnancy and weed? Nonsense. My baby was healthy, happy and would only continue to do so. He didn’t get a cold till he was almost eight months old, barely cried and would eat and sleep like a grown man, all without that gross spit up phase most babies go through. Then, before we knew it, he was a year old and walking, absorbing every word and place we went, all while always maintaining such a pleasant and sweet personality.

My only slight point of questioning myself was earlier this year while I waited for what seemed like months for my son to really talk. He said lots of single words, but would never string them together or fully express himself. And because all moms seem to love to torture themselves by comparing their child to others, I was worried that somehow something I did or was doing was contributing to his lack of speech. I read to him everyday, and tried my best to speak slowly on his level, often naming every object in a room. My family always reassured me, explaining that my husband and I talk so much that Carson didn’t really need to speak much (truth!), or that all those crazy noises he was constantly making were the verge of a ‘word explosion’. And just like they predicted, he literally woke up one morning and decided to show off all those conversations he’d be saving to have with us. And now we can’t get our friendly little chatterbox to stop talking, he’s even been known to show off his singing skills.

I felt the need to share my personal experience because the subject is still so taboo, and perhaps with more awareness will come more acceptance, which could very well lead to that big social change in perception that the marijuana legalization movement needs. I’m a firm believer that moms are the key in the ending of cannabis prohibition: now more than ever, moms are taking matters of their childrens’ health into their own hands and witnessing incredible results with the use of medicinal cannabis. It’s use to battle some seriously traumatic health issues experienced by truly suffering children is amazing and has been known to literally reverse the effects of multiple diseases and injury, improving quality of life and sometimes curing them all together. More mothers need to support these amazing results and push to move away from the chemicals pushed on us and our families by Big Pharma. Recognize that this beautiful gift of nature is about so much more than getting high, and stop making families live in fear because they are doing whatever possible to help their children, even if that way is not yet legal nationwide. And if you’re like me, a mother and wife who discovered long ago that marijuana was just meant for me; don’t be ashamed that while other mothers drink a glass of wine or three to wind down, you simply smoke a bowl. After all, I dare anyone to say they’re more ‘in the moment’ with their kids than I am, and I dare them to claim that alcohol is safer than marijuana in any instance, kids or no kids. My amazing bond with Carson is the only reassurance I need that I’m doing NOTHING wrong.  

 

Happy mom, happy kid: from conception, to toddler, to teenager and all the years in between. Do your thing, marijuana loving mom! You’re doing it right, I promise!

Whatever It Meant.

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Any day is the right day for some HST! As obsessed as I’ve been with his work for years, I still read his words in his Gonzo style with great wonder; not before or since has a writer been able to capture a feeling, a memory, or a moment so vividly for his many avid readers.
I wonder what my son will think when I tell him I read Fear and Loathing for the fourth time out loud to him while he was still in my belly ๐Ÿ™‚

Mixing Motherhood & Marijuana

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It’s about time I touch on the subject of being a stoner. And a mom.

That’s right. I admit it. I smoke weed. A lot of weed. It’s a part of my life and I have ZERO shame in saying it. You know what else I have zero shame in saying? That yes, I’m a mom whose also a stoner. (GASP!) But you know what? I’m damn good at being both.

From the very first time I tried marijuana, I knew it would always be in my life. I’ve never been a big drinker, but I will ALWAYS be down to smoke. And even used in a recreational way, it truly does wonders for me. It tames my anxiety almost completely, puts me in a wonderful headspace, boosts my creativity, and just makes me plain old happy. Hell, I just love it. I’m just proud to be a stoner. And mostly, just proud to be a free spirit who loves her life.

Before anyone gets all preachy on me, let me be clear: I’m not partaking in marijuana in an irresponsible way, especially around my son. And I’m not frying my brain or doing anything that could inhibit my abilities to care for my child. I’m not advocating anyone who puts their own lifestyle decisions ahead of the needs of their children. But I’m not ashamed to say I don’t feel the need to hide it, either. Granted, he isn’t even two yet, so its not like I’m influencing him or enabling him in his decisions. And I wouldn’t go so far as to say something along the lines of “marijuana makes me a better mom”, although it does make me happy and carefree, both irreplaceable qualities of a good mom. I just get so frustrated with any person who could dare to look down on me, who I am as a mother or any other moms like me, just because I choose to partake in a product of nature (that happens to be ridiculously regulated) as a consenting adult for my own benefit. That kind of thinking literally baffles me.

Being a mom means living every single day for the little being you created, and it changes your life in seemingly infinite ways. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to change EVERY part of who you are. I think more women should be more open-minded towards their fellow mothers, more understanding and come from a place of understanding instead of judgement. Some people may do things unconventionally, and guess what? IT WORKS FOR THEM! No mother should be ashamed of something they do for their own benefit and the benefit of others, whether it be co-sleeping, feeding practices, or even finding joy in partaking in a little cannabis while your little one naps. I promise you, if you’re happy, your child will be happy too.

So to all you marijuana moms out there, feel no shame in your love of the green. We can hope for a day the rest of society will be as stoned as you are ๐Ÿ™‚

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Who We Once Were and Where We Might Go

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I should probably start off by saying that I don’t consider myself a religious person. I was baptized Catholic, but my parents were always open-minded; I have almost zero memories of being at church on Sundays, and our version of saying grace before dinner was the classic “God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food…” rhyme said by my sister or me. I guess we were the kind of people who showed up for the important stuff (I still enjoy a beautiful midnight mass on Christmas Eve!) but church just wasn’t a priority in my upbringing. As I got older, there was never an ounce of pressure from my family to live the way the Lord wished, or to do the ‘godly’ thing and go to church every single Sunday and stay after for a session in the confessional (to this day, I’m extremely thankful for this, and will allow my son to make decisions on his faith in the same manner.) But although my faith isn’t a huge factor in my life, and being Catholic technically means you’re Catholic and ONLY Catholic and ALWAYS will be, as well as your entire family (if you’re a crazy Catholic as well, you know what I’m talking about…) but I would say there’s bits and pieces from various religions or spiritual beliefs that I find very intriguing. And although a lot of the teachings are practically the opposite of what I may or may not have learned being Catholic, I seem to most identify with a lot of the beliefs of Buddhism or Hinduism. I find peace and comfort from the universe, nature, positive vibes and good karma. It actually kind of blows my mind how the messages resonate with me; there’s nothing complicated to the spiritual philosophy ‘When I do good, I feel good and when I do bad, I feel bad type of religion.
I’ve always had a fascination with the concept of a “Past Life”. I think it’s possible that our soul is so much more than the body it happens to reside in: it feels possible to me that I may have existed elsewhere at another time, and may even exist again, even though I’ve got plenty of life left to live, of course. I went through a lot of ‘phases‘ in my younger years; for instance, I basically lived each day for Catwoman. I had a Catwoman theme birthday party, a Catwoman bike, Catwoman footie pajamas and some days even made my mom call me Catwoman at all times. (Oh, for the love of funny memories…I’m chuckling like a school girl thinking about that). I was in third grade when my “hippie phase” hit me. Hard. I loved the Gerry Bears (a Grateful Dead icon) and bought the plushes in plenty of colors. I immediately wanted anything with a peace sign or a VW Beetle on it. I dreamed of rocking at Woodstock and putting flowers in soldiers’ guns while protesting Vietnam. I wanted every T-shirt in my closet to be tie-dye and all my jeans to be flared, with a ying-yang patch on the knee for good measure. I was definitely a suburban flower (very young) child. It was funny to my parents, and went on for quite some time, as did other phases. But then, years later, my dreams started to take on a 60s-like feel. By this time, I had learned a little more about that point in history and felt drawn to the events that unfolded during those times and places. But there was definitely more to it than make-believe: I’d wake up and fully remember my surroundings (including watching Jimi Hendrix play the ‘Star Spangled Banner early in the morning at Woodstock, or exploring the theories of Timothy Leery) and believed whole-heartedly in being ‘Far out, man. But even beyond that, I feel a connection to that time in history. The music, the culture, the revolution, the rebelliousness. Not to mention the weed. Do I one hundred percent believe I was really there? Maybe not, but I don’t think it’s totally impossible, either. Buddhists believe in reincarnation, and I feel I can identify with that (far more than I find myself identifying with Catholicism, anyway). Plus, I’m a big fan of enlightment through experience, instead of ‘repent for all you’ve done, and you might reach nirvana. Ugh.
Plus, I’m a big fan of belief in the unknown. Conspiracies, ghosts among us, aliens-I love to theorize about what goes against the norm (by the way, if you actually think that our tiny planet is the only place with life in the entire gargantuan universe surrounding us, then you are an idiot. I hope someday you have an experience like Christopher Columbus when he did NOT sail off the edge of the ‘flat’ Earth. No offense โ˜บ๏ธ) and wondering about the sort of powers the universe holds that those who aren’t looking would never see. I think that’s why I have some disdain towards organized religion: I don’t like the “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality, the “none of this incredible beauty around us would be possible without God” riffraff, or the “This is what the Bible says, therefore it MUST be true!” rantings (If ANYONE thinks I’d be totally down for being “beneath” my husband because that’s the word of the Lord, or that it’s ok to burn books because their content might go against the moral guidance of the Bible, let me tell you: THERE IS SIMPLY NO WAY IN HELL.) I feel connected with a higher power when I see a beautiful night sky full of stars, when I’m quietly meditating and reading something fabulous, or when my son points at the sun and smiles back at me. Heaven means something different to everyone, but especially to those who choose to look at it beyond pearly gates or God perched on a cloud. To me, I see heaven every time the night is clear and millions of twinkling stars shine brightly with the moon, a mere glimpse of the improbable beauty that lies beyond it.
I seem to be rambling, but all that really needs to be said is imagine the possibilities if others weren’t so confined by their particular set of beliefs. Whether you see a higher power is a magestic man watching us from above, or believe that with good karma comes Samsฤra (cycles of rebirth), life is what you make it, so enjoy it while you’re here!
…I know my hippie self did, and so shall I! ๐Ÿ˜„

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Lullabye

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Until recently, lullabies were hardly a crucial part of my son’s nightly bedtime routine. I’m not exactly the most “structured ” mom around (how could I call myself a gonzo momma if I was?!), so he’s never had an EXACT bedtime with an EXACT night after night ritual. But cuddling with me is an absolute MUST, for him and for me. And on a few of the more challenging nights we’ve had since he’s hit his toddler stage in stride, I’ve opted to softly singing a song or two, which is met with my precious boy nuzzling into me and smiling as he drifts off to dreamland. It’s honestly incredibly beautiful and calming for me to be a part of.
But at no point did the familiar ‘Hush Little Baby‘ or ‘Hushabye Mountain‘ ever pop into my head. Honestly, I probably couldn’t even tell you 1/4 of the lyrics. But there’s plenty of songs that we find just perfect for our bedtime compilation, most of which I originally chose because of their soothing affect on me and my restless mind.
So in case you’re a gonzo momma too, or maybe just enjoy to put your own spin on this whole parenting thing, I thought I’d share a few of our favorites. Enjoy and sweet dreams!

1. Incubus- “Aqueous Transmission” (our HANDS DOWN favorite! It is so beautiful that I have trouble explaining why, really.)
2. 311 “Amber”
3. Van Morrison “Through the Mystic”
4. Buffalo Springfield “For What its Worth”
5. Slightly Stoopid “2 AM”, “Mellow Mood”, “Wiseman”
6. Jefferson Airplane “White Rabbit”
7. America “Ventura Highway”
8. The Wallflowers “One Headlight”, “Heroes”
9. The Beatles “All my Life”, “Across the Universe”, “Strawberry Fields”
10. Bob Marley “Is This Love”, “Three Little Birds”
11. Led Zeppelin “Thank You”
12. Modest Mouse “Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset”, “Fire it Up”
13. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Hard to Concentrate”, “Otherside”, “Snow (Hey Oh!)
14. Dave Matthews Band “Crush”, “Crash Into Me”, “Where Are You Going”

And with those few examples, I hope you all find yourself happy on this peaceful night!