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.


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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. ✨ 

 

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