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.  

  

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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.