What’s marriage supposed to look like? We all go in to it (if you’ve been married) with high expectations. Did you imagine the white picket fence life? Maybe, you envisioned conquering the world as a team? Did you expect to be happy? I mean, your hopes and dreams, the perfect guy, the family, the whole shebang! What was it?
Looking back, was it realistic? Where did we come up with these sitcom marriages with trivial issues and blissful unions?
I know at 23, I was looking at parents married for 30 years. Though not picture perfect, the naive girl in me thought I could somehow do it better. I saw grandparents married for over 50 years and thought THAT is what true love looks like. However, I only saw the surface of a marriage I hoped to emulate.
My first marriage was far from my fairytale bliss. Hell, my second marriage isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Looking back, I can remember the first time around and what I remember is having hope for a happily ever after. By the second, I was far too grown up for fairytales and fantasies.
I’m still considered a “newlywed” as my husband and I have only been married for a year, together for three. However, with 15 years under my belt in a extremely toxic and abusive marriage I consider myself much more aware of what marriage entails. The good. The bad. The ugly.
In spite of everything I had (and he) suffered in previous relationship(s), I wasn’t jaded. I was determined to show my threefold what marriage SHOULD look like. I am convinced I have found my person, my soulmate, my twin flame, and my best friend. I truly believe we were always meant to do life together. Nonetheless, we had to wait until we could love each other the right way.
Now, I can finally be the example my children need to see. As a mother and as a wife. I can show my children how a woman should be loved. God knows, they’ve been party to the wrong way for long enough.
Furthermore, I have learned how a person can flourish, grow and be healed by the right person loving them. You become your most authentic self, a better person, and you feel safe.
I don’t know that my expectations were lower the second time around, but definitely more realistic . Nonetheless, this love has thus far exceeded my hopes of what marriage ‘should’ be like.
Now, I look at my husband and I am immediately grateful. I am appreciative of the man who has loved me through some of the hardest moments I’ve experienced with my children. Who has fought for me instead of with me when I’ve lost my fight. The man my girls consider their “dad” even if he isn’t their father. I have a million reasons to be thankful, but today and everyday I am thankful for this man that has shown me exactly the love I’ve always needed, but never knew existed. and that ass though! 😉 This is my forever. I truly pray you each find that in your lives. ☮️❤️😊~M
There is a song that plays incessantly on the radio. You’ve heard it either via TikTok, your own indulgence in pop music or because your children also control your play list when in the car. If not, then consider an upbeat tune that has a happy and fast pace beat. Once you’ve got that down, listen to the words. “Do you ever get a little bit tired of life? Like you’re not really happy but you don’t wanna die?” That’s the one. The song, entitled, “Numb Little Bug” by Em Beihold.
If it wasn’t a hypothetical question I would scream from the rooftops; “YES!” However, it is hypothetical, and no one actually cares when a mom says “I’m over it!”
Honestly, that phrase is a daily mantra spoken at my house, and expletives can be added for a more realistic and dramatic impact where needed. I’ve decided, therefore, I’m in need of an over haul. Welcome to my over it over haul and my decision to make 2023 for ME!
Over What? Over IT!
I am so over “it”! Over what? All of it. The constant battle for balance. The incessant worry. My insecurity. Obsessing over money, kids, and work. I am exhausted. I have completely pushed myself to burn out. I am burnt out and ready to burn it down to the ground. It’s time for an overhaul. An over it over haul!
Imperfect and Inspired
I’m getting absolutely nowhere waiting for everything to stop being so difficult. I’m not perfect, but this “all or none” attitude I have adopted is hindering my ability to make the changes I need to and stick with them. If change is what needs to take place, then I’m where it has to take place.
I’m an old fan of the quote “BE the change you want to see…” A quote that came from an interpretation of Gandhi’s quote about being a mirror to the world.
Another inspirational quote that I use often to motivate me to be more present and positive is, “You can’t wait for life to not be hard anymore, before you decide to be happy!” Which is a quote from Jane Marczewski. In addition, it is one that reminds me of my brother, as he introduced me to this quote amidst some an extremely difficult time for me.
You may remember a previous post I wrote back in 2021. It was entitled Journey to Positivity. My other creation was my Goal Getter Guide, in which I shared how I managed to reach my goals despite the challenging circumstances that were complicating my daily life.
The previous posts I have written and the steps I took prior to this point are all relevant to this process. They were designed to help me level up and guide me through my journey. They served me well. This overhaul is designed to help rediscover that path. I am looking to realign with my desires. I am looking for opportunities, risks, and actions I need to take in order to make forward progress towards catching my dreams; not just chasing them.
Now, I am giving the objectives I plan to accomplish with this overhaul. I’ll say that healing and self growth are an evolving process. I am constantly thinking of ways I can better myself as a person, be more content, and how I can keep momentum in my self-awareness journey. There is no “quick fix,” and life doesn’t come with an “easy” button.
Realign with my purpose, goals, and desires.
Find a routine/schedule that is prioritizing my needs and allowing balance in all aspects of my life.
Set and achieve goals that are important for my continued success.
Create more opportunities for my future and the future of my family.
Communicate with an openess to receive criticism, improve, and to grow.
Continued healing and mental health improvement
Finding peace of mind, contentment, and positivity by silencing the inner critic.
Create solutions to the problems that weigh on me that are in my control.
Learn to better control my emotions, my reactions, and my assumptions.
In short, I am capable of making changes to reach my desired destination. I am stubborn. I am competitive, and I am driven to be the best version of myself for myself and also for those around me. I am particularly passionate about my self growth and healing journey. I will accomplish my goals. I am deserving of more than what I give to myself. I am in control of my narrative, my attitude, my actions, and reactions. I am ultimately responsible for overhauling any behavior that is not aligned with my desired path.
Now I plan. I will let you know how I propose to meet these objectives and reignite my passion without burning out. It’s time to say “I’m in it” and not “I’m over it.” Therefore, I’m ready for this overhaul. I wish you all the peace, love, and happiness in your journey! Check in on Facebook for my daily updates on the over it overhaul. As always, me and you, we’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊 ~M
The Christmas Comedown, otherwise known as post holiday dysfunction at my home. I wrote about something similar last year and called that post The After Christmas Crash. I must not be alone in this aftermath effect of the hustle and bustle that leaves us feeling a bit like a deflated balloon after a party. Obviously, it is a reoccurring event that now I must find my way through each year.
Post Holiday Dysfunction
This is not a diagnosis in the DSM or even an actual medical term in any way. Its just my description of the feeling that comes after being hyped on Christmas cheer, chaos, and anxiety for weeks and then suddenly the crash happens. We are no longer amped up with this adrenaline, increased serotonin, or oxytocin that our bodies have produced to get us to Christmas day. The side effects of our bodies not producing the same amount of chemicals that our crazy Christmas countdown did leave us feeling in a slump.
The hustle bustle of the holiday season is what keeps us going. The days right before we are overstimulated and overwhelmed with all of our to-do lists. However, the days after, it’s almost like we are missing something. In my opinion, we are. We are lacking those stress responses that keep us energized enough to wrap 27 gifts in the early morning hours. We know longer have the alarm bells of moving elves, finding that last minute deal, or scheduling the seven Christmas visits we need to make.
Substitution or Satisfaction
As a mom, I know, there is always the next thing to start doing. Eventually, a new problem to solve will arise or a child will have something else for us to figure out. The slump of emptiness and unmotivated restlessness will fade away probably sooner than we realize. In the meantime, we are forced to find a way to either substitute the lack of endorphins or find a way to be satisfied with the slower pace.
I will be the first to admit that relaxing and just allowing things to settle isn’t my strong suit. I wish it was. I’d love to be more like my husband who can find peace in a TV remote and a comfortable bed. For me, I’m looking for the next thing I need to do.
I don’t just relax very often. I feel restless, stagnant and pretty irritated when there is nothing to do. I can also admit that although I don’t want to get out, I want to not sit still. I don’t want to clean my house, but I want some tasks to do. I’m not sure that makes sense. However, I think that is me thinking that doing nothing is equal to laziness. I know there are many things I could do, but I am just looking to procrastinate those as I wait for the motivational push to actually get them done. That usually only comes with those stress chemicals our brains release when our back is against the wall.
Instead of relaxing into the moment, I overthink myself into this ball of stress and irritation. I find the fight instead of just allowing the battles won to be celebrated. I look for the substitution in order to get the fix of adrenaline and endorphins that my body became accustom to receiving during the stressful holiday season.
Contentment is one of those things I long for, but to be honest, it also sounds boring. I want a lot, I expect a lot, and I do a lot to try to get what I want. However, I do want to learn to be present and just enjoy the now. I don’t want to plan out the next 5 years daily nor make lists of all the things I need to accomplish. I don’t want to plan for unlikely hypothetical situations or assume the worst. Hello anxiety. I want to be able to just be. No strings attached. Unfortunately, this is a skill that has been elusive to me for years.
I should be counting my blessings, celebrating my wins for this year, and enjoying some time where the kids all are happy and content playing with their new gifts and gadgets. How do I curtail this Christmas Comedown and post holiday dysfunction?
Combatting Christmas Comedown
You guessed it. My own concoction of how to combat this Christmas Comedown.
Take some time to do something for yourself.
Buy yourself a gift
Read, write, or take a nap.
Enjoy time with family
Accomplish a to-do you’ve been putting off.
Get out of the house for fun instead of out of necessity.
Celebrate your wins.
Go on a date.
Meet up with a friend.
Have a dance party or scaryeoke.
The short and long of it is to do something fun both for yourself and with others. Enjoy your holiday successes or just celebrate that you survived another Christmas! Either way, it’s done and we have nearly a whole year before we have to be all Christmas Carol, the elf moving, Christmas magic making, PTO participating, merry and bright decking the halls Santa’s helpers again. Count your blessings. As always, we’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M
I feel like it wasn’t too terribly long ago that I looked into your beautiful baby blue eyes and saw this new life in you that made me a mom. A little nose like mine and strawberry fuzz that covered your crown. You were magnificent and I knew that I too was reborn that day. You made me a momma, and in your little face I had found my truest love to date.
I was only 19, barely on my own path and I was suddenly diving headfirst into a world that previously had involved the occasional messy diaper and few other minor inconveniences that my babysitting jobs entailed. I had no experience with your tiniest of frames at 17 1/2″ and 6lb 8oz you were much like a baby doll i had once drug around as a small child.
I was just a baby myself, much like you are now, my sweet little love. I was freshly plucked from my fast life as a teenager and tossed into this world of Motherhood. I was grateful beyond measure for a family that a seasoned pro ready to spoil her first grandchild and a poppa who thought you hung the moon. Foe the first time, I saw how hard it was to be the mom. It was an appreciation I hadn’t known prior to your arrival.
Here we are, a mere 18 years later and I’m standing the shoes your Nana once wore, without her here pushing me on. I watch as your still tiny frame tries to accommodate your own little girl. I never thought about being a Nona, Mimi, Nana, or a Mamaw past that “one day” assumption. Yet here we stand. Footsteps that I didn’t wish for you to follow. A path that’s hard to tread at your young age.
Everything will be harder. It will, however, be clearer. You’ve already decided certain aspects of this little person’s life that will impact their life for the future. A name, a nickname, where you’ll live and all things you want, hope, and dream she will be. However, who she is will be shaped and determined by the paths we as the family who surrounds her chooses to take. As you know, my little love, children are most often along for the journey chosen by those who raise her.
I hope with your own journey in mind that you know this much is true. I am here. I am still your momma even as you become a momma yourself. I can still kiss the boo boo’s, but I can’t take the falls. I can hold you as you scream, but no matter my desire I can’t shoulder the pain. I can guide you, show you and teach you the lessons I’ve learned but I can’t transfer the experience. I can be like the grandmother that was taken from you 14 years ago, but I will never be Nana you knew, nor the momma you are now.
Life has thrown us a lot of punches. We’ve taken the hits and learned to fight back. You and I grew up together, myself as much as you. I was forced to walk this road down Motherhood lane much on my own. I haven’t been the mother you deserved, nor always the one you needed me to be, but I’ve been the best I knew how to be. You, my little love, will too. Mommin’ aint easy, but I’ll be here for you, with you, and loving you through it as long as I live. You’ve got this, my sweet little love! You’re as tough as a mother. I can’t wait to see the amazing person you’ve created and watch you become the momma you never knew you were destined to be. I’m proud to be your momma. Soon, you’ll understand just what a mother’s love truly means.
Holding back tears I asked, “DOES she have SOCKS?!” This was my BIG worry tonight as we walked through Walmart at 9:00pm on a rainy, random Wednesday night. College. My daughter is leaving for college…tomorrow and I’m worried about socks!? She is 18, dreams of being a psychologist, and the world is at her feet. Me, I’m the mom worried about if she will have socks as she goes out to show this world what striving for success and strength looks like!
I looked to the man who is my calm in the storm, casually walking a few steps ahead, he nonchalantly answers “yes.” I questioned him again. After all, I knew nearly every day, no matter how many pairs I buy, my girls are going to come steal my socks. In that moment he looked at me and calmly said “yes, your baby has socks.” I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.
Why was I crying in Walmart over socks? I’m sure I looked and sounded ridiculous. I was irritated. I was emotional. I was thinking about 18 years of time that came and went far too fast. I was happy and I was scared. So I was worried about socks. Silly, I was a wreck…but why socks?
It’s ironic, that a little over 18 years ago I was in labor. In fact, I vividly recall getting “new mom” anxiety at the hospital about socks for my new baby girl. I was asking the same question then as I was this very night. Of all things I was worried my baby wouldn’t have socks!
My mom rushed out to buy socks for my sweet baby and her tiny feet. In addition, she bought clothes to fit her tiny frame. My first was so little. My beautiful red haired, blue eyed, baby girl was full term, but weighed 6’8 and measured 17 1/2” long. So small. My first baby girl of my threefold, and my first true love.
Looking on as moms do, I saw my oldest daughter, with her two little sisters bickering. I laughed and tried to let them do their typical back and forth banter. I played the pull mom every direction and make sure she pays attention to each child. I tried to remain patient and calm as I listened to each tell me their “needs” or “wants”. My anxiety was growing, but not due to worry about her or even the other two of my threefold. I was forgetting something. Had to be.
As the night passed on I noticed my emotional state was becoming so high that I was becoming overly anxious. All the needs, wants and reminders flying around for all three girls. Then the little fights. As my anxiety increased so did my oldest daughter’s. I could see her feeling like she was getting “more” than her younger siblings. In addition, I could see her insecurity surrounding money start to make her flustered. As a result, I saw firsthand, that she was feeling all the anxiety I was trying to push down. Instead of her knowing why, I saw her viewing herself as the cause of every bit of my increasing anxiety.
I got her nearly everything she has needed over these past couple of months. We only have a few last minute needs to tie up. Yet, she still felt like she was causing my anxiety. That wasn’t it. Not at all. I was proud and wanted nothing more than for her to feel confident as she began college. Yet, I felt like I was failing her as our anxiety climbed together.
What I didn’t tell my oldest is that I wasn’t anxious over buying what she needed, her sisters bickering, or even the growing list. I was missing something, but I couldn’t place what.
This feeling was unshakeable. Maybe I was just being a mom and scared. However, I’m not scared of her making the wrong choices, failing, or getting into trouble. I know her on a level that goes beyond a typical mother/daughter relationship. We talk about everything. Above all, even if I don’t want to hear the truth, she doesn’t lie to me in the way most teenagers do lie to their parents.
Finally it hit me, right in that Walmart aisle and with those socks sitting on sale. I didn’t forget to make sure her feet were covered in clean socks. She had her toothbrush and pj’s. This went beyond the superficial level of material needs. I was forgetting the person who once inhabited that tiny frame.
She was moving beyond her past. I no longer saw a scared girl with anxiety standing in the aisles going through the mental checklist she made a year ago of everything she needed. I saw the person who had worked hard to find her own voice again. I saw a woman who was funny, kind, and a genuinely good person standing worried about her abilities.
My daughter deserves all things good. I want this for her and every good thing in life. She has sacrificed more than many. Furthermore, my oldest daughter has been my coparent even if she didn’t ask for that responsibility. She endured the hardest circumstances in submissive silence to avoid making life harder for herself, her sisters and I when the abuse we all endured was aimed in her direction. She suffered and sacrificed her childhood, her teenage years, and her own blood, sweat and tears to help her younger sisters and I survive .
Her strength isn’t only in the survival it’s in the story she is writing in spite of the circumstances she was raised in. That strength is in her smile that is contagious. The confidence in her own abilities and the goals she has chased, regardless of the people along the way who tried to tell her every reason she would never reach them.
Her complete transparency, self awareness, genuine kindness, and inclusive nature all are part of the backbone of her identity. It’s takes bravery to walk through the fire, but it takes perseverance to walk through that fire and not allow your entire life to be consumed by the pain.
It’s takes courage to love with your entire heart and give of yourself to others, even though that love and gift has been taken advantage of since you were young. It takes commitment to make a plan and to speak it to others, but it’s the determination that carries you across the finish line. It takes fight to face your worst fears, but it takes ferocity to overcome those fears.
My daughter is just another girl to the world, but she is going to change the world of the people who have the honor to know her. My daughter is beautiful, smart, and talented. However, she is more than any pretty pictures or my bias words could convey. My oldest daughter is the smallest of my threefold. Nonetheless, at 4’11, the truth that she has learned is “dynamite comes in small packages…BOOM!” Get ready, because this girl of mine is about to blow up on your scene.
She is my daughter, my first love, and I’m so incredibly lucky she calls me mom. She definitely has more than just socks these days, she has a whole suit of armor that she forged in the fire of her past. That armor is her success story. The one she has written each day along the way and will continue to write until it reaches completion. I am just happy to be on the sidelines cheering her on and supporting her through this crazy train ride called life. To my threefold, to my first little love. You’ve got this! Together we’ve got each other, always. ☮️❤️😊~M