Posted on Leave a comment

Shaking Off the Scrooge

It’s Christmas! For some it’s all falalala and a partridge in a pear tree. However, for others it’s anxiety, insecurity, and mood swings that are on full display. You guessed it, I fall on the latter side of the spectrum. Even so, I’m shaking off my scrooge and trying to be all merry and bright.

100% THAT Grinch

Let’s be clear, I don’t have the answers. Its honestly a bit hypocritical for me to even write this post considering my own inner scrooge has been showing up more so here lately than I had anticipated. It’s Christmas eve and I slept until noon and still haven’t taken my non Christmas pajamas off or finished my last minute errands. Yes I’m a 100% that grinch today. However, I have a plan to shake off the scrooge so I’m going to share it and hope it may help someone else do the same.

Yes, I know, the Christmas lists aren’t getting shorter or cheaper. Nor will your house clean itself. The elf on the damn shelf is still a priority. The money isn’t growing on the Christmas tree. Additionally, auntie is still going to be continuing her diatribe on how you eat, parent, and/or your spouse. So we have every right to be the bah humbug b!tches we become. The question stands, how do we make Christmas magic without the mayhem?

Shaking Off the Scrooge

Shake it off. It’s easier said than done! That’s the damn truth! There are Christmas lists that are miles long and the shopping that is endless. Add schedule changes, traveling, anxiety, and the debts you’ll be paying off until next Christmas. Obviously, we can’t forget dear auntie Gertrude picking that moment to tell you exactly how many calories are in the chocolate cupcake just as you’re stuffing your face. It’s no wonder we are 100% that grinch come Christmas morning.

The Anti-Scrooge Assignment

  • Take time for yourself. Pause. Take a breath. Meditate. It will ALL get done and they will ALL be just as happy and excited as they are every other year.
  • Look at the good stuff you’ve done! The tree is probably up, right? You’ve bought gifts. You’re going to get them wrapped or just say Santa got caught in an icestorm so he doesn’t wrap when that happens! You’ve accomplished so much more than you’ve given yourself credit for.
  • Take your time and delegate out the projects you are working on. Older kids can help out. Your significant other is able to do some running. If your single mommin this Christmas then let door dash be the baby daddy and help with delivering last minute items!
  • Be flexible. You know your plan, but no one else really does. It’s most likely not going to work out according to what you thought. Its OK! Roll with it!
  • Have a drink! It’s Christmas! I am not saying get sloshed and say screw the rest of it, but you can relax!
  • Let those kids have your presence. They don’t expect Mrs. Claus as a mom! They expect their mom to be exactly the person you always are.
  • Make lists. Chunk it up. And get it DONE. Put a stop time on your preparation and whatever is left over is just that.
  • Eat. The. Damn. Cookies. I’m awful about getting so busy with stuff that I forget I need food. Hangry is grinchy. Diets are for new years NOT Christmas.
  • Debt is not how you want to start 2023. Don’t make magic out of money you don’t have. I have $22 to my name and a truck on its final leg. Guess what? I am not about to open a credit card for stocking stuffers and crap my kids won’t even like next year. I’ll be a bargain shopping baddie and coupon my way to payday. It’s not worth stressing out my future self for today’s wants.
  • Finally, have a Merry freaking Christmas! This the freaking season!!! Remember it’s your Christmas too! Don’t make about everyone else so much you forget you matter too.

Christmas Magic

I LOVE Christmas! I really do. I have fond memories growing up of beautiful decorations, presents galore, and family gatherings. I took for granted those days. I wish I had known then how much work it took to make Christmas magic. I probably would’ve been a hell of a lot nicer to my mom!

One day, you’ll be appreciated for making Christmas magic even amongst the struggles. They’ll remember these days fondly. All of the Christmas headaches will be worth their smiles and eyes lighting up. Don’t forget to breathe. Be present and don’t just give presents! Mommin’ ain’t easy, but you’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

Posted on 2 Comments

An Open Letter to My Daughter Becoming a Mom

Dear Sweet Little Love,

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.

☮️❤️😊 I love you!

~Momma

Posted on 1 Comment

What I Wish My Kids Knew Now

What I wish my kids knew? Phew. A LOADED question for most moms, I think. Mommin’ ain’t easy and my crazy train is on the bipolar express, which makes our lives extra complicated. I’ve got a list, so I figured I share it with my tribe. Ready or not. Here are all the things I wish my kids knew about me, their momma.

My Wishlist

  1. I’m only human. I make mistakes. I mess up. I forget important stuff. I lose track of time. I am just a regular person who is imperfect like they are.
  2. I am inspired, motivated, and intrigued by them. I am in awe of the masterpieces of these little creations.
  3. They hurt my feelings. The mean words, the hurtful actions, or disrespectful behavior genuinely hurts me. They cut me the deepest.
  4. I want to protect them. Sometimes from others, but sometimes from themselves. I hurt when they hurt.
  5. I cry for them, I worry for them, and I obsess over every single decision that will affect them.
  6. All of them are my favorite. Some days it’s my oldest, other days my middle or my youngest. Some days it’s all three. They all hung the moon in my eyes, so there are no trophies for “favorite”.
  7. They make me better. I wouldn’t be who I am without them, individually or collectively. They have changed me in ways they will never recognize.
  8. They’ve saved my life more times than I can count. I struggle with mental illness and I admit I have had many times where I wanted to give up. I’ve always fought through because of them.
  9. I have trauma, too. I have a messy and complicated history. I’m damaged, broken, and haunted by my past. My struggle is just as difficult for me, however, I’m healing.
  10. My life doesn’t revolve around being a mom. I am more than just that title. It’s not always about them. It can’t be.
  11. My frustration is not their burden to carry.
  12. Being the primary parent who is responsible for every aspect of three human lives is extremely difficult. I may not be “single”, but I am the main source of support emotionally, financially and physically.
  13. I pray everyday for them.
  14. I believe in them more than they will ever know. I don’t want to see them struggle. I try to ease that struggle each day.
  15. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be right there for every moment until the day I die. Beyond that…it will be in the music.
  16. I always love them, but sometimes I really don’t like them.
  17. I’m sorry for every minute of pain, hurt, trauma, and horror they ever lived. My mom guilt is heavy, and I swear to never allow them to experience any more of that pain.

In My Feelings

I’m not crying! You’re crying! Shut up. <sniffle> Don’t look at me! My experience, their lives, and our family gets me in my feelings sometimes. Not to mention, this momma is exhausted in every way imaginable. Between hospital admissions for 2 and now 3. To the new baby on the way. My vehicle deciding that she has had enough of us, and working all the damn time, it gets very hard.

One day, when these babies have babies they’ll get that we weren’t joking when we said mommin’ ain’t easy! I’m sure you have a few to add to the list! Feel free to share your thoughts on what I missed or missed the mark on! In the meantime, we’ve got this, all of us! Because, that’s what we do! ☮️❤️😊~M

Posted on 4 Comments

Stop the Insanity

I’m screaming. Why am I screaming? I know it’s not going to help. However, nothing I’ve done to this point has helped either. Here we are again. I’m sitting reading and re-reading the suicide note from my 14 year old daughter. Asking myself again, how we got here, what did I miss, and why she doesn’t want to be in this world anymore. I just want to stop the insanity.

Missing the Signs

I missed the Signs? AGAIN. She didn’t confide in me. AGAIN. I’m calling the crisis hot line.https://www.samhsa.gov › find-help
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline | SAMHSA I’m calling the psychiatrist. I’m calling out at work. She is bleeding. Inside and out. She is hoarding medication. Planning her suicide. AGAIN. She is deciphering if jumping off a cliff or overdosing would be a quicker way to end her existence. I’m lost. I’m confused. I’m angry.

Blame Game

I’m so incredibly angry. I’m not sure where to place my anger. Who can I blame? Why is this happening to her? To us? I choose to place blame on everyone, especially myself. I blame her, too, which isn’t fair. I bought the act. I handed her the weapon. I chose, yet again, to believe the pretty picture she had painted to cover her pain. I wanted so much to believe it. However, I should’ve known. Why didn’t I know? We’ve been through this before.

I Should’ve Known

I should’ve learned how to catch on quicker to the cover up. The first hospitalization in 2020 taught me to take it more seriously. The hospitalization in 2021, that lasted 18 weeks, should’ve been enough for me to understand the gravity of it all. After the hospitalizations earlier this year, I should’ve known that she would hide the hurt until it was nearly too late. Now, here I sit asking myself, what are we going to do this time?

What Now?

Another hospitalization, more medication changes, intensive therapy, inpatient, residential, intensive outpatient, or something else? There is no cure, that’s what she told me just last week. I know. I wish there was. In conclusion, I’m lost, but I’m thankful that I haven’t lost her to this battle.

Keep Fighting

Regardless, what the statistics say, I won’t stop fighting. No amount of money or time is going to stop me from finding her the treatment she needs. I’ll keep fighting her demons, and my own, for as long as I live. I’m not giving up. I’m never going to surrender even while I scream how unfair this is for us. My pain is no match to the pain she is living with. Pray for us all. Pray for #2. Pray for my threefold. Pray for this mom who is trying to mom mental illness. Together, we’ve got this. ☮️❤️😊~M

Posted on Leave a comment

Kids Aren’t ‘Mini Gods’ to be Worshipped. They are Human and Deserve Respect.

This post has been floating around the social media scene. I’ve seen it shared many times already. I have posted it in its entirety for you to form your own opinion on the piece and it’s message to the parents of the world. However, it’s my belief that this type of post leans towards conditional love in parenting and how we as adults set unreasonable expectations on kids. No, Mr. Merrell, kids aren’t ‘mini gods’ to be worshipped. However, they are human, and deserve to see their value, be respected and loved.

You are your own worst critic

The Original Post

O/P by Walt Merrell, District Attorney: If you raise your child to believe that they always deserve a trophy; or that they always do a great job; or that they never fall short or do a mediocre or less than job; or that they lost the game because the ump stole the game; or that the failed because someone wronged them; or that they don’t have to go to practice; or that the teacher is always out to get them; or that the coach is always wrong….

Then one day when they have a boss who doesn’t accept their less than eager efforts, then your adult child will be frustrated by the constructive criticism… and then they will steep in their own pride of believing they couldn’t possibly do any better because they are always right or they are always the victim, and that their boss is wrong and just out to get them.

And then they will get fired and never understand that you lied to them far too many times, and to their own detriment.

Children are minds and souls to be taught and molded. They are not mini-gods meant to be worshiped.

Don’t build their future in false beliefs, for it will only result in resentment based on yesterday’s lies. Instead… teach them well. End of O/P

I don’t agree with people who are wrong

A Different Perspective

If parents are overly critical, whom only show affection to the child when the parent feels the child has ‘earned’ it or ‘deserves’ such positive attention, where does this leave the child? What happens when a child doesn’t feel the unconditional love and acceptance from their parent(s). When a child always feels not quite good enough? If a parent doesn’t express pride for the child doing their best even if it is second best or twenty first? How does it affect the child when a parent can’t make a child feel they have value in this world? Isn’t it the parents’ responsibility to help their children find their strengths versus always notating their weaknesses?

The Other End of the Spectrum

As a result, the likelihood of children who grow into adults who have self confidence, are independent and secure, and able to go after their true passions is hindered substantially.
Instead, you have children who become adults who aim to please others. They can grow up to believe they deserve mistreatment, abuse and aren’t worthy of praise, respect, acceptance or love. Furthermore, they have that same negative self talk inside their heads that they heard growing up.

They don’t feel accepted by their peers, colleagues, or partners. These children have grown to believe their family doesn’t even value them. In turn, they don’t feel comfortable being themselves nor do they gain a sense of autonomy in the world.
In conclusion, there is a higher chance that these adults will give up all hope of success because they feel they will fail before they start. Therefore, what’s the point of trying? Another path this could take is they will become perfectionists who pursue external validation from others and are discontent with the trajectory of their life.
As you can see, it’s not all option ‘a’, ‘b’ or ‘c’. It’s child-specific. It’s a balance of reward and consequence.
It’s an ever changing process this parenting game and NO ONE hasthe guidelines or rule book. You can mess your kids up by being hard and strict. Guess what? You can mess them up when you’re parenting style is soft and lenient.

Kids are human and deserve love

Unreasonable Expectations

I feel as parents we are often holding our children to unreasonably high standards. In most cases, I would say these standards aren’t even attainable by the adults who are setting them. How many times have have you held the bar above your own capabilities and expected your child to jump?

I have done it. I’ve fussed over my child not keeping their room tidy. Yet, my room may be in disarray. In addition, I’ve told my kids a million times to lose the attitude or even to suck it up. In all honesty, I would catch an attitude or get upset over that same situation if I was the one in their shoes. Furthermore, I’ve given my kids hell over a bad grade or performance. Guess what, if I was the one graded on my work each day, ha! I doubt if I would have ‘A’s’ marked on every single assignment.

Failure is part of life. It doesn’t mean we throw up our hands and say ‘to hell with it’ or don’t figure out how to fix it. We do have to teach our kids to be responsible for their actions, but they will fail. It’s inevitable. My goal is to show my kids that failure is only the beginning of the journey, not the end. This is when they need us to help them to embrace the challenge of getting back up.

Kids are Humans Too

To pretend there is some science behind predicting a child will be hyper sensitive to criticism if never criticized is just as plausible as its counterpart. That being said, is it not as plausible that a child is just as likely of becoming hyper sensitive to criticism after being constantly criticized?

Do they always deserve a trophy? NO. Do they always need to have an excuse or a bad guy to blame? NO. We can teach accountability and responsibility. Meanwhile, we need to also teach finding the strengths within oneself with the ability to identify weaknesses. This is how they learn to improve upon both of those aspects of themselves. We teach accountability and acceptance of their shortcomings. It’s equal parts of both praise and constructive criticism.

There isn’t a one size fits all parenting strategy it’s like folding a fitted sheet.

It Ain’t Easy

Mommin’ ain’t easy! Being a parent is hard! Regardless if you are a mom, dad, step parent, foster parent, adoptive parent etc…it’s a struggle and a lot of hard work. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows with glitter glue embellishments. It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love. In addition, being a parent is probably also the most underpaid and under appreciated blessings you’ll ever curse at times. There isn’t a one size fits all way to get it right when parenting. The emotional and mental needs of a child are just as unique as we are. While physical needs are mostly standardized, the other facets of parenting are much more complex.

They aren’t ‘mini gods’ to be worshipped but they are people who are deserving of love and respect.
Teach them to be humble and to hustle, while also teaching confidence and character. No worship required, just respect and positive reinforcement that outweighs the negatives the rest of the world will be shoving in their face.

Teach them right, not well.
Teach them they’ve got this, because they’ve got someone who believes in them.

☮️❤️😊~M

Mommin’ ain’t easy we are the glue that holds it all together.