Little Moments with Little Minds

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I can probably put myself at the head of the ‘chill moms’ table. I’m the queen of “Ok, whatever!” and brush all any sort of negative connotation that one parenting technique is any better than another. But I’m always worrying about keeping my son home with me is keeping him from fully developing parts of his mind that comes with being away from me and our usual environment. And now with him starting preschool this fall (which if you follow me on social media, you know I can’t stop talking about ☺️), I’m wondering how he’ll measure up among his peers.

Until, out of nowhere day after day, he surprises the hell out of me. He’ll blurt out phrases that I had no idea he knew. Or maybe he’ll grab his favorite book and read it to me (in his own way, of course!), or sing me lyrics to whatever song we’ve been blaring in the car recently. He’ll converse with people at the store, call his Nana just to chat, or stack his blocks up so high I wonder how he could have possibly done it without super glue. 

And I feel myself beaming with pride when he asks for something and immediately thanks whoever fetches it for him, or when I do something as simple as changing the channel on the tv and he throws his arms around me with a gleeful “GREAT JOB, MOMMA! Wow!” I mean, what could I possibly be worried about? Maybe I am doing a good job. Maybe I really am figuring this parenting thing out. Maybe I’m not just a good mom is his eyes, but in anyone’s. Telling myself this makes me feel slightly better as I continue drowning in this current living hell known as toddler potty training with a tiny demon that thinks there’s no reason to use the toilet. *Sigh* I’ll get my shit together someday, right? 

Find solace in the little moments that remind you that that little human being you’re responsible for is doing just fine. They and their minds are forever growing, and don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back for ANY small moment that makes the harder ones a little less miserable. 

That being said, if you’re listening out there, universe: tell my son that although he’ll always be “momma’s baaaaby”, she’s tired of messes that should be easily flushed away. Please and thank you. ✨ 

 

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Appreciate Your Weird 👽

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One of my friends I cheered with in high school posted this adorable and hilarious story about a conversation with her young son on my facebook:  I told her that it made my night that she specifically thought to share this moment with me and how funny it was because let’s face it, kids say the most hilarious things without even realizing it. But it also made me realize something else: I am an open book. About many things. And completely unafraid to talk about things that some close minded people might call crazy. It made me smile, knowing despite how silly I might sound when I talk about aliens or conspiracies or cannabis legalization or who knows what else, there might always be someone who appreciates it enough to reach out to me when the subject comes up, and to me, that’s cool as hell.

When other moms who smoke weed reach out to me and tell me that my thoughts or advice have helped them in any tiny way, shape or form, my heart swells to 10 times its normal size. I am unapologetic when it comes to who I am, so to have someone tell me they appreciate any part of what I have to say is pure gold to me. Instead of being criticized, I’m greeted with admiration. My favorite teacher, Mr. Fulton, once told me something along the lines of my writing had a relatable quality to it that made my words feel really genuine (the best compliment I’ve ever received) and that’s always stuck with me, even when I’m just blasting my opinions about everything from the JFK assassination to what makes a good mother. Even these simple blog posts I write might mean something to someone, and that in turn, means everything to me.

For instance, this casual facebook status from last week:  Now, I always say these kinds of things on twitter. That’s where I can honestly have no fear about what others think, and where my real friends are (even those who live thousands of miles away!) because we all communicate on a truly personal level. As best as you can with 140 characters, anyway. But imagine my surprise when SO many people ‘liked’ this status, told me how funny and accurately I described myself, and that they’ve always appreciated how unique I am. Quite a confidence booster, considering the bulk of crap I usually see on facebook is people’s highly annoying prayer requests, memes about anything from Jesus to Obama to being a redneck, or highly off putting political views. I speak openly about my opinions, no matter how different from my peers here in the Bible Belt, and it makes me happy to have anyone appreciate it. I’ll never be afraid to talk about something I like, no matter how people might see it. Want to know why I sage and use crystals? Want to know if I (obviously) believe in aliens? Want to know why I think weed should be legal? Want to know who I think was responsible for Kurt Cobain’s death? Want to know if I think ghosts are real? Just ask! I’m always game for a weird conversation.

The point of sharing any of this? To encourage anyone to just ‘BE YOURSELF’. Whatever you’re into, own it. Because not only is it part of who you are, but it makes you awesome, no matter how different it may be from the next person. And remember, there’s always someone somewhere that will say “Me too!” or “Same here!”. In a world as weird and unpredictable as ours is today, those little bonds are a necessity. Own your weirdness. Own your geeky. Own your spooky. Own your magic. Whatever your story, there is always someone who will want to read it.

Infinitely Young and Ultimately Old.

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When did I get so old? Seriously? I feel like my younger years are so far behind me, yet I know I’m nowhere near what is considered to be truly ‘old’. But when I look back to just a few years ago, I wonder not only how I’m still alive, but what happened to my life AT ALL? The obvious answer is my son, who for as much love as he gives me in return, has basically sucked every ounce of younger life from me until he moves out (or so I figure). But in not such a literal sense, life really DOES take a toll on you after awhile. Being an adult is exhausting.

But then again, do I consider myself an adult? I’d like to say absolutely, but honestly: not a chance. There are so many people my age or younger that to me, are the perfect examples of how to ‘adult’ properly: a ‘big kid’ job, house, money in savings, concrete plans for the future and, last but not least, somehow manage to look like they have their shit together every single day. 

Then there’s me: who is lucky to get a shower, let alone put makeup on and pick out a good outfit, went to college but has no serious direction of my future plans, and panics when it comes time to actually face most of my responsibilities. I always tell myself we’ll eventually get it together, but I can’t help but be clouded by my own doubts. And honestly, I think this stems from always allowing myself to enjoy the fun side of life and living by not taking anything too seriously, which I don’t think is always a bad thing. Mind you, I’m always wondering if growing up means accepting defeat of some part of yourself.
But no matter how my responsibilities differ from day to day (aka mom life), from the easy ones all the way to the ‘is this what hell is?’ category, I’m still that teenage weirdo, smoking too much in a random fox racing tshirt and holes in my jeans, wearing too much eyeliner and not giving a damn about much of anything. Even if I’m now setting an example for a little miniature human, I can’t pretend to be something I’m not. I can’t pretend to have it all together, but you know what? That means I NEVER have to pretend to be a good mother, because regardless if I’m in a hoodie with a messy bun at the store surrounded by Betty Cleavers, my kid is the happiest of all. This much I definitely know for sure.

I guess the point of this is give any mother a pat on the back, no matter what age they are and what doubts they face day in and day out. Don’t find yourself feeling so old that you lose your ‘you-ness’; don’t hide whatever little version of yourself might be lurking underneath all that ‘adult’. Seems like everyone has it all together? Maybe they do, but maybe they aren’t as vivacious as you are. Maybe their glimmer is a little duller. Embrace every little thing, and your little mini thing will thank you! ☺️

  

Don’t Worry, Mom’s Just Lonely…

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Words can’t express how much I love spending every day with my son. I love watching him learn, I love him napping beside me on the daily, and I love being the one who’s always there, no matter what. But people don’t always realize how incredibly lonely motherhood can be, especially in the early years. 

Let me explain: Yes, moms are never technically alone. We have social media, our significant others (if we’re lucky) and of course we have the company of our beautiful children. But you have no idea how many days go by that you’re left thinking: “Does anyone care about ME?”, “I wish I had someone to talk to”, and “Who can I talk to about [insert topic here]?” For us stay at home moms, days spent with a toddler leaves you desperately searching for someone, anyone, who understands your struggle. Toddlers don’t want to talk about adult stuff. Toddlers don’t want to discuss what happened on last night’s Real Housewives. They love you, they need you, but they don’t care about your stuff (as it should be). 

All the awesome friends you had before you became a mother are still awesome, but it’s inevitable that you will lose touch with most of them. It’s not that you or they don’t care about each other anymore, but until they themselves have a child, they won’t understand how difficult it really is to be social in the way you were before a kid took over your world. There’s certain people who will try to still reach out to you to do the things you used to, and you deeply appreciate them for trying, but eventually they’ll give up, and it’s heartbreaking. I miss my best friends SO much, but my priorities have completed shifted and I no longer am able to drop everything to go have a blast with them.

And even if there is a chance we get to escape and see our old gang, it’s still different than it was before. WAY different. Your suddenly find yourself wondering hopelessly if your child needs you, or (like me) would rather take this time for some much needed relaxation alone. But without being social, you find yourself desperately seeking interaction with anyone that’s old enough to care about fashion or wine or current events. Unfortunately, motherhood is a struggle that constantly have us balancing who we used to be and who we must become for the sake of our children. 

Sometimes I sit on the couch and think to myself, “Wow. I went to college for this” and “Geez, my life used to be pretty damn cool“. I try to remind myself daily that this is what I was meant to do, and that all of myself I sacrifice is deeply, hugely appreciated by my precious son. In no way do I wany anyone thinking I’m unhappy, because I’m not. But am I lonely? Yes

My fingers are crossed that when my son starts school, I’ll find kinship with other moms that have felt alone like me, though so many ‘mom cliques’ feel like groups of mean girls and that is my nightmare. But maybe I’ll find some other lonely moms deep in the struggle. Maybe I’ll find those friends that expect nothing of me other than what I can offer at that moment, because maybe they’ll understand how motherhood works. I have so much love for the people in my life, and I’ll always be searching for more friends to share it with: more weirdo moms, just like me. 👽❤️ 

 

Do Your Thing, Momma…

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Any mother, at any stage, from pregnancy to raising teenagers, seems to thrive on sharing information. We flock to books, scour the internet, call our own mothers, bother the doctor: if something crosses our mind that has to do with our child and we don’t have an immediate answer, we suddenly become as questioning as Sherlock Holmes himself. And while thank god for the wealth of information we are blessed with access to these days, but it can be straight up overwhelming. While we’re quick to reach out for help from others, we often forget that WE and WE ALONE know our children and ourselves better than anyone. It’s a mom superpower, and it’s real! Trust me! 

It starts from the moment you tell anyone (literally, anyone) that you’re expecting. Don’t be surprised if people say “Congratulations! *insert advice you didn’t ask for here*”, or immediately start their next sentence with “Well, when was pregnant…”, and of course “Have you bought your copy of What To Expect When You’re Expecting yet?” UNSOLICITED ADVICE WILL RUN RAMPANT, PEOPLE! But this is only the beginning, so put your game face on. While most people are trying to get all up in your mommy business because they truly do care and are trying to be helpful, you will undoubtedly feel judged, worried, and suddenly feel like second guessing every decision you make. But as my son gets ready to turn three (where the heck did the time go?!?!), I look back at the very beginning of this journey called motherhood and realize one thing I did (and still do) that helped mold me into what I would consider a good mom (some would say ‘cool mom’, which I also consider myself, with zero shame) was that no matter what anyone told me about what I should and shouldn’t do, I trust my heart and do things MY way. Is it the way every mom does things? Probably not, but judging by my always happy son, I’m doing something right.

Not every choice we make would work for every child: it’s SO important that every kid is fantastically different, and there’s not necessarily a “right way” to do things. Motherhood is really about learning as you go alongside your little one, so together you find out what works for BOTH of you. 

There will ALWAYS be hot issues in the parenting world: Breastfeeding, sleeping, diapering, diet, vaccines, child care; I could go on and on. It can be SO overwhelming when you think you’re doing the right thing, only to get a snooty look from another mom because she does it completely differently. Feeding is probably the best example of this: no matter which way you choose to feed your child, there’s going to be someone who finds something wrong with it. Breastfeeding? Wonderful! You’re giving your baby an amazing start! Bottle feeding? Great! Your baby is getting what he needs! I was personally horrified at the thought of breastfeeding until I was semi ganged up on by certain members of my family (See what I told you about unsolicited advice…☺️) who couldn’t believe that this was even a debate and OF COURSE I’ll be breastfeeding! Looking back, I’m glad I did (he was actually a combination baby, both boob and bottles!) but I’m not going to lie and rave about how special breastfeeding was for me and how much I loved it, because quite frankly, I didn’t. I was not at all sad when he decided he was done with the boobs. My goal was three months and I made it through six. Boo Ya! But here’s where the second guessing comes into play: if you breastfeed and happen to (gasp!) feed your baby in public, you’ll get judged. If you pump like a maniac at work or while away for the night, you’ll get judged because you’re not home with your child. If you use formula and are mixing bottles of powder like a baby bartender, you’ll get judged because you’re not breastfeeding for whatever reason. We forget that with any of these methods, we are FEEDING OUR CHILDREN, but someone will ALWAYS think you’re doing it wrong. As long as your kid is eating and healthy, you’re rockin’ it! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Let’s talk sleep. I am always ready and willing to discuss my son’s bedtime routine, because I admit it: we do things our way and we love to co-sleep. Period. If that means an adorable toddler in our bed basically every night since the day we brought him home, so be it. Or maybe it means that same toddler is up till 10:00 at night, in jammies and bedtime ready, but up watching Family Guy with his parents because we know he likes to sing the theme song. We have a slightly regular schedule, but I don’t apologize that my child doesn’t do specific things at specific times. “You’re just making your lives miserable in the future! He’ll NEVER get out of your bed!” Actually, I’m just enjoying every moment my little boy is still just that: little. I promise you, the day will come too quickly that your kid will want less and less to do with you (atleast for a few years), and you’ll miss that sweet little one that always wanted your cuddles. Plus, YOU MADE THEM. That’s right, you are responsible for creating that amazing little being that everyone is so concerned about. So if you want to hold those tiny hands and snuggle up all night, DO IT. Don’t let ANYONE tell you you’re loving your kid too much. There’s a difference between being spoiled and being loved. You can never show your child too much love. There is NO such thing.

Diapers are an interesting (and often terrifying and downright nasty) child experience: you will quickly realize that no matter how disgusted you may think you are cleaning another person’s gross-ness, it really is “ain’t no thang“. You are a boss woman and a little stinky toddler is no match for your power. But be prepared for the inevitable when it comes to what your kid poops in: “Disposable diapers?! Someone must not care much about the planet!” This argument is ridiculous enough to me that I barely feel the need to mention it, but I will say Kudos! to you if you’re a cloth diaper momma-you impress me greatly! I, however, hope that I do enough for the environment elsewhere that I’ll still have good karma with Mother Earth, because I know nothing about that cloth magic. I used disposable because that’s all I knew and what was convenient. But thank the universe those days are almost behind us!

Some parenting issues are deeply personal. Choices you make for your child are yours and yours alone, and it’s SO important to trust your gut and know your child. Nothing will always work out the way you think it will. There will be bad days, but the good days will far outnumber them. I always say that you’ll drive yourself crazy comparing your child to others (Her son is three months younger than mine, why isn’t mine progressing that fast?! But the baby books said NOT to do that! I wish my child would sleep like that child!) and it’s definitely true: remember that they are all COMPLETELY different human beings! Don’t feel bad if your child doesn’t have the newest, fanciest new child rearing fad of the month, and don’t worry if you don’t have ALL of your shit together ALL of the time (I can’t tell you how often I feel like a slimeball in my sweats and messy bun next to the impeccably dressed SAHMs I see at the grocery store), because guess what? Being a mom is hard. But STOP getting down on yourself! After all, if your child refuses to eat anything but mac & cheese for three days straight, is it really going to hurt him in the long run? OF COURSE NOT. 😆

No matter how often someone tells you how you “should” be doing something, or how often you stress yourself out wondering if you’re doing a good job at this whole parenting thing, or how embarrassed you are when your child melts down in public to the obvious annoyance of many, JUST BREATHE. You are a superhero, a genuine badass and a giver of life and love. Do your thing, Momma. Whatever your way of doing that thing may be.

❤️ gonzo momma  

  

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.