Deep in the motherHood: Random Anxious Mom Thoughts.

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I have no shame in saying I’m my own person. I’m not one to conform to fit in. I’m not one to stray away from what I like just because other people might not get it. I’m not afraid to meet new people, but I am afraid I’ll never quite fit in. All of these things also apply to me as a mom, and with it comes a weird jumble of thoughts I stress about almost daily. Nonexistent scenarios that may or may not happen in the future that make me question every decision I’ve ever made for my son, and all because I feel like I’m not what a “typical mom” should be.

Here’s an example: My little dude played T-ball for the first time last Fall. He loved it, and I was glad to get him some fun time with other kids his age since he’s normally home with me. But from the first practice, I could *feel* the judge-y eyes on me. Why? Could it be that I wore flannel instead of chic workout apparel? Could it be that my tank had a Fox Racing logo on it and not a monogram? I think it was all those things, combined with the fact that the state I’m living in, the life I’ve chosen, and who I am as a person will always make me look like an ugly duckling in a pond full of mom swans. Or at least that’s how I feel.

I wish I could be a Pinterest Mom. I really, truly do. All of those preciously creative decor, food, and favor ideas are surely enviable by every other person at the party, except by who the party is for, who is a small child and could care less if you tied handkerchiefs to string to make a rustic carnival banner for your living room. My kid is happy with pizza, presents, and cake, so why not keep it as simple as that? Maybe I decorate some cookies with skulls & bones because he loves pirates, and I’d consider that a huge victory. I’m just not built to put on a beautiful display of perfect motherhood, with a perfectly kept house and perfectly effortless ‘I just came from the gym’ look, and a perfectly clean car that doesn’t look like it lives at my husband’s messy job sites. Even if I put in enough effort to look like a functioning human, I still feel like an oddball. My style is different. My speech is different. Who I am in my soul is different. I blame it on moving to the bible belt, but I’d probably feel this way anywhere.

And then there is the mistake of thinking too much about the future. Financial thoughts make me most anxious. The thought of always having plenty of money for anything my son could want or need at a moment’s notice fills me with fear. We’re not slumming it, but we’re not riding a wave of financial freedom, either. Not by a long shot. I have big dreams for my smart little prince, but can I keep up? Universe, if you’re listening, we got this. But whew, even writing this has me nervous. I’m a stay at home mom not just because it’s what is best for our family, but because the cost of daycare is OUTRAGEOUS to me. Absolutely OUTRAGEOUS! To all of you who make it work for you, I am filled with applause for you. But honestly, if I were to start working, my check would literally be sucked up by childcare every single week. Might that change when little dude starts school? I’d never say never, but I think for any mom at my age and in this stage in their family’s life, money is a CONSTANT anxiety trigger. It feels like we’re all stuck on some kind of hamster wheel. ‘Real Adult’ things like a retirement plan or real life savings? I mark those thoughts with a big ol’ “?”. For now, I’ll pat myself on the back that the bills are paid, there’s food in the cabinet, and my kid wants for nothing (at least through his eyes). 

The saddest part of all of this is that at my age, it feels like all of this should be figured out, or even nonexistent, by now. Our real, actually *somewhat* attainable goal is buying what we feel is a real home, but it feels like we’re so far beyond. I take solace in knowing we all figure it out eventually and everyone grows at their own pace, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get down on myself. I see moms younger than me with a full blown ‘real life’ going on and I feel like a failure, or a struggling child. Or I see women my age who do so much more than me with elegant ease, and feel both a sense of rebellion and envy. But as a mother, and a loving, real mother at that, I know deep in my soul that everything will work out as long as I love my child and my family with all I have and keep striving everyday to figure it out, no matter how murky the water I’m barely treading in may be. When my child reaches for my hand, I instantly feel like I can do no wrong; that I can overcome any monster. I will reach shore. The wind will stay in my sails. I will ride these waves of life.


Random Thoughts From My Twitter Hiatus.

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Woke up with my back feeling like I’m 85 years old. Did I get kicked by a horse? Or a toddler?

I don’t insist on many things as a mom, but you HAVE to give me a few moments to rip the bong before grocery shopping. HAVE to.

Husband hustled like a boss last night. Treat yo’ self funds for the whole family! Aka candy at the store.

I can’t be the only one semi excited for the Independence Day sequel, right?

If I let little dude play in the front seat while I adjust his carseat, it’s like wrestling a wild bear to put him back in it when we leave.

Hubs referred to himself as “hub” last night in a txt. He’s never allowed to make fun of me for it again.

You can make fun of me all you want, but I watch enough Housewives to start a trivia gameshow about it. I’d win EVERY SINGLE ROUND.

Just spent ten minutes staring at various outfits to dress little dude in. I’m definitely not stoned. Definitely not.

Why do I have a bunch of songs from Clueless stuck in my head? Probably because I’ll love that movie forever and always.

I hope my son knows I need him probably more than he needs me. He is the light in my heart.

No person should ever deface a war memorial. And that’s coming from someone who is normally obsessed with graffiti.

I think hazelnut coffee could be the most addictive substance known to man.

Life is rad but it really does suck sometimes, ya know?

It’s not childish to hold onto hope. It’s actually very, very hard.

IITS TIME TO DAB! Yassss!

I think my body type is ‘small, but slightly squishy in some spots.’

Yep, completely engrossed with the Roots mini series.

Why is gravy like super glue on my stove. Literally tired from cleaning it.

Hummus and black pepper sea salt pretzel crisps might be in the running for my new favorite combo.

*Hears thunder outside* “Hear that, little dude?! You know what that means! NAP!”

I feel a special kind of happiness when little dude watches Winnie The Pooh. He’s my silly old bear. And Tigger, tbh.

Hubs just came home with quite possibly the most beautiful buds I’ve ever seen. Life is good.

Why do I feel zero shame in finding myself funny? I laugh at my own posts constantly but I feel like I’m the only one. Lame.

“Sorry I called you a pedophile. I hope you’ll come to my holiday party.” Only on Housewives.

Little dude now refers to every thing that rolls out as “yoga-r!” because of my yoga mat and this makes me happy. I’m glad he likes that I do it and it actually keeps me motivated!

Hazelnut coffee and hits from the bongggggg is basically the divine breakfast of champions.

Cannabis is truly an incredible gift, dude.

Hubs got little dude his own smart tv and he couldn’t be happier about it. I literally walked in on him this morning dancing to rap videos on YouTube. But at least it’s not those damn surprise eggs.

I have a crush on my husband and that’s a nice feeling. And I’ll admit it, this small break for my usual social media world hasn’t been TOO bad. Don’t tell him I said that.

Baking blueberry muffins and watching American Dad. The life of a stay at home mom is sometimes a strange one.

It has been raining at various levels of intensity for a WEEK. A freaking week!

Losing myself in bong rips and Bloodline.

I really should post videos of little dude and his imagination for everyone to enjoy.

Having no one to talk to most of the time makes my head feel like its swimming with random thoughts no one really cares about. Le sigh.

Just had a really funny moment with hubs and little dude where we were all laughing hysterically. I love those times.

Aww. People love the treasure hunt game I made for little dude. Adorable.

Sometimes you just need to sit in the sun with your bong and think nice thoughts.

Every time I look at my child, I’m so happy to be alive!

We’re All In This Together!

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I feel like every time I leave the house with my son, people look at me like I’m a young, single mom who is should be pitied. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m ALWAYS in sweatpants and usually sans makeup (because it’s errands with my toddler, duh) but it makes me laugh because let’s face it: they couldn’t be more wrong. Not only am I NOT young, but I’m also far from single. Married, in fact, if you’d bother to notice the ring on my finger. No need to pity me, especially with a kid as obviously delightful as mine.

But I think these assumptions actually help me be better at being the kind of mom other moms aren’t as scared to reach out to, like I’m more approachable than one of those Stepford Wife moms that seems to always have her shit together. I can relate to every woman who has ever had a child, something that I am proud of and think of as a great quality. But none of this is obvious if you really look at my life, since my true mom friends are extremely few and far between. But nothing scares me more than a mom feeling totally alone: we’ve all been there, and quite frankly, it sucks.

And yet, the judgement is EVERYWHERE. Between mothers, between women, between people in general. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to embrace every parenting style, embrace every bedtime routine, embrace every way of teaching and learning. What works for one parent definitely doesn’t always work for another, and we as a whole need to accept that THIS IS PERFECTLY FINE. But always be open to asking for advice and always be open to giving it, because you never know how a simple “Oh, me too! Here’s what I did that might help you…” may do for another mother who might be struggling.

I think all parents need to have one thing in common: an open mind. If you remain open to relating to all parents, despite their age, their gender, their marital status, their income level, or their way of life, we could bridge so many gaps on this terrifying journey of raising miniature human beings. And hey, open minded parents breed open minded kids, which can give us all hope for a sunnier future for our little ones.  

  

So Will the Real Stoner Moms Please Stand Up?

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Being a mom is the hardest, loveliest, weirdest job on the planet. Seriously, think about it: you basically exist to be at the beck and call of a human being you created, while somehow making your own life still exist, but basically only because that human being you created needs you to. There’s nothing else you’d rather do, but there’s also a million things you WANT to do (most of which you’ll never have time for, anyway). Any tiny moment of relaxation that mothers get should be celebrated and encouraged by everyone, especially when that moment does such wonders for her mothering abilities. Yet here we are in 2016, with so many advantages that we never thought were possible, still shaming moms for their choice of relaxation methods. The mom who drinks too much and is so hungover by morning that she can barely function, let alone engage with her kids? Somehow perfectly acceptable. But the mom who smokes a joint while her child is napping and does nothing except be MORE involved in her child’s play? CRIMINAL! HOW DARE SHE?! BAD MOTHER, ALERT! It’s honestly shameful and honestly needs to change, for the good of our (and our children’s) future.

I live in a state where cannabis is still considered a Schedule 1 illegal substance. It’s getting a little better over time, cops may not throw your ass in jail if they catch you with a small amount, but the fear for mothers who choose cannabis to medicate is still very real. We have one of the highest percentages of prescription drug abuse in the nation, and I happen to know plenty of people that not only abuse these dangerous legal drugs, but also know plenty of people prescribed to an ungodly number of these pills for reasons that could all be treated with taxable, natural medicine. Any mom I know could waltz into any hospital and get prescribed what is literally heroin in pill form, but I can’t smoke A PLANT without fear of legal action against me? It’s obvious what is SO HORRIBLY WRONG with this picture, right? I am a great person, a great mother, and I happen to smoke a little pot. Anyone who thinks it’s a big deal needs to WAKE THE HELL UP. Living in the ‘bible belt’ can be wretched. It’s so unfair that the ‘good Christians’ who drink too much beer and whiskey every single night but still judge others, won’t open their minds that cannabis could be anything more than evil ‘reefer madness’. The opinion seems to be slowly changing, and I am optimistic about the future, but one of the greatest reasons I am so open about being a mom who uses marijuana is to hopefully change the stigma attached to what a real stoner actually looks like.

I welcome any person who doubts these claims to personally interview my son. He may be only three, but I guarantee his words are true. Ask him if he has a good mommy. Ask him if he’s healthy. Ask him if he’s safe. And ask him if he’s happy. I know and can gaurantee all of his answers are a resounding YES! Now ask him if his mommy using marijuana is endangering his life. He won’t know what you’re talking about, but I’m sure he’ll laugh hysterically. Because he thinks I’m his greatest gift in life, that I’m his best friend, and that I’m his whole world. I personally admit to spending basically one hundred percent of my day stoned, and it has NOT ONCE affected my ability to be a good mom and a smart parent. In fact, it makes me BETTER. It’s true! I consider all mothers, those who stay home and those who work, to be superhuman. Seriously, we do it all. We should ABSOLUTELY be allowed to smoke a little ganja when we get the chance, and we deserve NOT to be considered a criminal for doing so. Imagine if Prohibition was still in effect: the masses would go INSANE if their alcohol was suddenly illegal. Now think about it from a stoner’s perspective, and take a moment to think how INSANE it really is: the government has made NATURE illegal. Everyone, quite frankly, should be PISSED.

I’d never agree that cannabis should be totally unregulated and come with no laws or rules attached to it. I truly believe that it should be controlled just like alcohol, as a substance strictly for adult consumption and controlled by laws put in place to protect minors. My son will absolutely know about the benefits of marijuana, but he will also absolutely know that this plant is for adults and not to be used as a kid without the possibility of facing consequences. My parents were definitely aware when I started smoking regularly in the beginning of high school, but luckily for me, my family definitely shares my positive views about marijuana. My grandpa has been a serious stoner all his life, as has my father, so it wasn’t necessarily allowed but it wasn’t something frowned upon, either. But when I was 17, my friends and I were stopped by a cop who ultimately found weed and a pipe on us. Panicking, I thought I was in BIG trouble. But in the end, they took the stash and called our parents and that was the end of it. But I’ll never forget my Dad (who was probably stoned himself) trying his hardest to be mad, saying things like “What do you think this is, Sarah? That 70s Show?!”  But it COULD have been a much more serious situation that marred my then oh-so-bright future. Small marijuana charges are NOT a productive use of law enforcement, but kids DO need to held accountable. If (hopefully not) legalization has not happened country wide by the time my son becomes a teenager or old enough to experiment with weed, he’ll definitely get in trouble at home if he’s ever caught with it. But if you ask me would I’d rather my son be smoking pot or drinking alcohol?  The answer will always be smoking pot, without a doubt. Let’s think about it: my son out at a party drinking too much and possibly getting in the car with someone who’s intoxicated, or sitting in the basement with his friends smoking weed and probably listening to music or watching a movie? If anyone in their right mind chose the first option, you need to reevaluate more than a few things. 

It really goes so much deeper than a mom who just likes to smoke cannabis. It is up to us to end the negative stenotypes that plague this natural medicine, to end the oppression against it, and to show the world that the face of the marijuana movement might just belong to a woman who happens to also be an outstanding mother. To us, this is not a drug. To us, this is about so much more than freedom. We need to collectively stand together against anyone saying that mothers using cannabis is wrong, because who else will?! It is beyond unfair that those of us who are wonderful parents could ever be classified as a criminal because we indulge in something that thousands of people have praised and used long before we as a country ever existed. 

There is NOTHING wrong with a happy mom who keeps her child happy! There is NOTHING wrong with children whose parents smoke pot. And there is NOTHING wrong with choosing a plant to get you in the happy headspace that you know your child incredibly appreciates. We moms are powerful beings of love and light, so let’s be the voice that gets our natural medicine available for EVERYONE! And remember, if mom is happy, the child is happy! ☺️

  

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. ✨ 

 

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! ☺️

  

Suggestions from a Stoner Mom: Random Lessons Learned On This Crazy Ride.

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I joke around a lot about writing some sort of Stoner Mom Handbook, not only because it’s time we end the stigma attached to cannabis use by loving, real life mothers, but because we stoner moms really do exist and sharing our experiences with eachother is BEYOND important. But I think it’s really so much more than that: we tend to take an open minded, judgement free, ‘see what works best’ approach to parenting, which is a voice I truly believe could benefit the mom community as a whole. I’d NEVER claim to be an expert, nor would I offer advice claiming that I am. But I’ve seen the positive impact that real, honest words from real, honest moms can have on all of us. Why not share in our successes and our failures? We’ve all been there.

Moms learn something new everyday. It’s true. Whether from parenting articles, fellow parents, or your children themselves, you’re constantly finding new ways to make your family’s life easier. Or let’s face it, harder, depending on the day.

In my three years in the company of my tenacious toddler, I determined early on that I would find what works for us and roll with it. Whether it’s considered normal or not; I refuse to let others’ opinions sway my motherly instincts. So here’s a few random things that I’ve learned so far on this crazy ride. If nothing else, I hope it helps any mom realize we’re all doing the damn thing and we all know what you’re going through, sister! 

1. Kids can be your biggest stress, but also your biggest comfort.

I’ve always been a night owl, so strict bedtimes are almost nonexistent around our house. Yes, a time will come that obligations will require a normal bedtime and wake up routine, but for these sweet younger years, I’ll gladly take an extra hour of cuddles than an hour of fighting with a small bear cub about going to bed. And if that means I get an extra hour or two of sleep in the morning, that’s just freaking wonderful! But even if my little man goes to sleep peacefully, I’m always left mind wandering and over thinking. Luckily, I’ve discovered a restful technique that is heavenly: if I’m having trouble getting sleepy, a few minutes of matching my breathing to my sweet, sleeping prince relaxes me instantly. Just try it; I swear!

2. Sleep is everything, regardless of who’s bed it happens in.

Stop beating yourself up and bring the kid into your damn bed already! I know I’m in the minority that praises cosleeping but HELLO?! I love sleep and I love my kid. So from the day we brought our son home, I held him all night. Yes, it’s a bad habit. Yes, it will be harder for him to have a real sleep routine. But you know what? My little boy won’t be little for long, and I’ll soak up every sweet moment of him snuggled up against me sweetly dreaming. And I’ll relish in every awesome morning where the first thing I see is his sweet face staring at me bright eyed and happy and ready o start our day. And before you start your hating, he WILL sleep on his own. I just prefer him in bed with us, and quite frankly, I don’t care what everyone says about it.

3. Just let them watch the tv. 

Your kid watching a few cartoons isn’t going to rot their brains. You’re not a bad parent for letting them watch Disney Junior while you get ready because that puzzle holds his interest for literally a quarter of the time a cartoon would. Think about you as a kid: you watched plenty of tv, right? I know I did, and I turned out fine. I love to read and learn and my brain didn’t turn to mush. Just let Mickey distract them and enjoy that cup of coffee and 20 minutes of rare peace. Enough with the guilt trips! Give yourself a break. You deserve it, lady!

4. Little boys will be little boys.

I’m sorry to my fellow moms that have girls, but bare with me for a moment. I am forever worried about the bumps and bruises on my son’s shins, and it’s always because I’m afraid of judgment from other people. But sometimes you need to be reminded that BOYS WILL BE BOYS! They’re brave and impulsive and will constantly climb, jump, fall, push and force themselves in silly situations that may or may not hurt them. Give yourself a break and keep band aids on hand.

5. Don’t force yourself to like kiddie things if you don’t.

I can’t handle most kid songs. Nursery rhymes, classic sing alongs, variations on the alphabet, whatever: it’s not my bag. More than that, it’s like torture. The solution? Not up in here! Sorry, son. There’s no ‘Wheels on the Bus’ playing in mommy’s car. I might listen to an edited version of a rap song depending on who’s around (emphasis on might), but otherwise, I’m jamming to MY tastes. If you really believe that my child will grow up to become a criminal because he heard some trap music or hippie lyrics in his younger years, you need to get out more.

6. Don’t let your environment pressure your parenting.

This isn’t a problem I personally face yet, but I can tell it’s coming in the years to come. This topic is obviously broad; it could refer to any number of things. Personally, I foresee our issue being about the lack of stress we put on religion in our household. I was raised Catholic when I was very young, but my parents were never super religious and never pressured me when it came to church. My husband was raised Baptist (the norm around here), but has always felt as I do that church or the Bible doesn’t necessarily determine spirituality. We both follow the “Do good, feel good. Do bad, feel bad” mentality and are very open to all the mystery in the universe when speaking of a higher power or whatever happens after life. (Don’t even get me started on my ‘our souls are really stars’ theory!) But our friends, our community, and basically our entire state are almost solely Bible bumping, holy rolling, Jesus’s way or the highway Christian warriors, and it honestly terrifies me. Will my kid be ostracized because his parents don’t force him into Sunday School and insist he devotes his life to the Lord? Will he be forced to learn from a school curriculum that was built with Christianity in mind? Will he suddenly meet a girl whose parents might not like him because he’s not necessarily their idea of a “good Christian man”? And on another note, don’t even get me started on the anti-cannibis propaganda. Please let that not even be an issue when that day comes.

7. Every kid is different and every kid will “get there”…eventually.

I’m about to reveal, for the first time, the absolutely embarrassing parenting issue I’m currently experiencing: potty training. Our son is three, well into the age bracket of kids that should be fully toilet trained by now. But it’s just not happening, and it’s frustrating as hell. I’ve tried the tricks and tips and nothing is working. Seriously, my kid just has zero interest in using the toilet. So day after day, I question every move I make and everything I do, wondering what’s wrong and if I’m failing as a parent in every way. But I need to take my own advice and relax: he’ll get there. One of these marathon sit-on-the-toilet-for-nothing sessions will pay off and I’ll have a ready for society child. But every mom needs to hear, “It’s ok. They’ll figure it all out.” because we’re not failures, no matter how much we’ve convinced ourselves otherwise.

8. Just chill, man.

Things not going right? Demon child suddenly replaced your little angel? Picky eating making you silently scream multiple times a day? Wearing the same pajamas you’ve worn for five days? Take a deep breath, and just chill. I’ve lived most of my life in a “just chill” state of mind: I hate confrontation, I don’t like my happiness to waver because I’m stressed, and I don’t like my anxiety to have any power; therefore, staying chill makes my world feel right. So even when my son is making me want to hide in the closet and hope a black hole swallows me up, I remind myself to “just chill“, because this too shall pass.

9. Pay no mind to those haters who judge when they themselves have no kids. Karma is sweet and they’ll see. Oh, they’ll see alright…

Remember that father who posted a picture of him and his daughter enjoying a bath a few months ago and basically got torn apart by the internet? While I do agree that he probably shouldn’t have posted that type of picture in such a public forum, and that sickos are very real, I definitely felt for the dude. Newsflash, childless humans: it’s not weird to grab a quick shower with your kid. Quite frankly, if I didn’t bring my son in the shower with me, I’d never be clean. Seriously. It’s not like you can leave a toddler to their own devices while you take twenty minutes of steamy heaven. My little man loses himself in his toys and occasionally sings me the SpongeBob theme song, just in case you were thinking something more scandalous. It’s a young CHILD, fools! They’re not ogling your goodies in any inappropriate way. You’re getting clean, they’re getting clean, they’re entertained for a semi extended period of time, and your hair finally gets washed! (because lets face it, it might have been awhile…) Clearly you don’t plan on bathing with your offspring when they’re old enough to let you have your own shower without the possibility of them harming themselves, so pay no attention to those “ew, that’s weird!” naysayers. Just let them experience a week or two of that motherhood curse of the missed shower opportunity.

Same goes to showing affection to your kids. Reading articles about why some parents choose not to kiss their children or be overly affectionate to them is absolutely INFURIATING to me. Could a child be TOO loved? Could they be TOO aware that their mother loves them? Could they somehow be hindered by a parent’s warm embrace? (Just typing this made me angry, fyi!) I have three words for you cold hearted souls: CUT THE BULLSHIT. My son gets all the kisses he wants, all the hugs he can handle, and every cuddle, with our hands held tight and boo boos made better by a ‘momma kiss’. There will be a few years in the not so distant future that that little being begging for your love right now will suddenly want nothing to do with you, let alone let you show them ANY kind of affection whatsoever. We’ll probably be lucky enough to get a wave goodbye, to be honest. Also, think about this: if a child thinks that they’re not even worthy of being shown affection by their own parents, don’t you think they’ll search for it elsewhere? Or maybe even be left with a kind of twisted view of basic human intimacy? And further down the line, be unsure how to show love to the people in their life, like their own children, thus repeating a vicious cycle? It’s heartbreaking to me. This is 2016, folks. There’s no need to raise children to ‘be seen and not heard’ or to ‘keep a stiff upper lip’. I kissed my parents and told them I loved them every night before bed growing up. I’m a full blown adult and I still give my mom a huge bear hug every single time I see her. I tell my dad I love him randomly whenever I feel like it, because my parents are not only awesome, but raised us to know we were loved and cherished. By denying a child’s basic human need for affection, you’re not raising a ‘tough guy’, you’re just being a monster. Who could seriously find something wrong with loving on that sweet nugget you made?! 

10. Appreciate that side of you that didn’t exist before your child.

We all have days as moms that we’re flooded with ‘what if?’ moments. What if I hadn’t had a kid? What would I be doing with my life? I am 100% guilty of this; and I’ve been known to get downright sad for a minute or two, thinking of all my plans I had for myself, all the free times full of laughter with long gone friends, and being known as ‘just a mom’ instead of that published novelist I just knew I’d become in no time. But all it takes to snap me out of it is one silly thing said by my son, hearing him say “Aw, Momma so cute” while stroking my cheek, or singing a killer duet with him while dancing barefoot in the kitchen. To my son, I’m the funniest person on the planet. I’m the heart that makes the world he sees everyday somehow keep going. I’m the coolest person that ever existed. And in his eyes, I’m fantastic at everything from cooking to cutting tiny fingernails (I’m not good at either, by the way), because he’s just delighted at every little thing I do. I may have had fun in those years before motherhood, but never has my life literally felt like one big inside joke that never gets old. And I might still be that published author one day, and the dedication on my first printed page will be for the tiny soul that has really made me someone I am happy and proud to be. Lots of questions were answered for me when I became a mom, like why I get so excited about the littlest things (so that my child knows to always find joy in whatever greets him day in and day out), and why I always knew having a boy was the only plan for me (whether its my appreciation for football and motocross, my disgust with pink and frilly nonsense, my inability to be prim and proper, or my flare for little boy style, I was truly made to raise a cool little dude). And I’m also far more patient than ever before. I’m way more aware of money and what it’s spent on. I know how powerful a good night’s sleep really is. And I know that being a stay at home mom (who happens to smoke pot, because it’s not like I’m TOTALLY lame these days 😉) with a hard working husband and a gorgeous child is a really great life that I’m pretty damn grateful for. So I thank you, son, for showing me who I was always meant to be.

So maybe none of these are traditional ‘important’ parenting tips, but the little lessons we learn daily sometimes give us the most peace in the longrun. No mother is perfect, but together, we might just all come out alive, with precious beings by our side. And remember, life is so full when you’re loved by a little soul 💚