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The Christmas Comedown

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.

Substitution

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.

Satisfaction

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.
    • Meditate
    • 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.
  • Exercise.
  • 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

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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

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A Heartbreaking Letter to Santa

Dad is the REAL Grinch

My heart is broken. I am angry and sad. Tonight, my daughter {#3 of my threefold, age 11} wrote her letter to Santa. She admitted she wants a lot for Christmas, but what she wanted most was to be able to see her dad. This shouldn’t be a request, a gift, or even a thought. You would assume that it would be an easy Christmas wish to grant. However, it’s not. This is because her dad, is the real Grinch.

The man she calls dad is not going to see her this Christmas or any of the three daughters that bear his name. It’s sad. It’s sad, because while he lives and breathes and walks this earth each day, he has chosen not to be a dad. The calls are rare, the visits are nonexistent, and the manipulation is heavy. Instead, drugs and toxic cycles of abuse and manipulation are his legacy.

Snapshots of Dad

The man she knows as dad chose drugs over being a parent. He chose his own selfish desires over being a dad. He chose a life that has no place for children and no room for a relationship with them. Its sad. Tragic and heartbreaking. My 11 year old wants a dad that he cannot be for her or her sisters. She compares him to the grinch. Bad on the outside, but deep down he is good. However, no matter how much we struggle even in “recovery” he refuses to be a participant in parenting.

A year ago he had money to spare from his 100k  inheritance and sat unemployed. He smirked as he bought a new motorcycle, drums, camera, phone, computer and the list goes on.He went on vacation and to concerts. He bought drugs and partied regularly. Meanwhile, I struggled to pay our rent and buy Christmas for my threefold.

6 months ago, he had already pawned everything he owned. The one thing he had left was the car that he traded his 2022 Harley in for. That car became his home.
This man who had physically, emotionally and financially abused mythreefold and I called ME for help and because I wanted to be better, I helped. I checked him into rehab. Drove him to the facility and even bought him the things he needed. I housed his belongings and kept his friends updated. I had divorced him, moved on with my life, but still tried for my threefold.

After Rehab, I got him into a sober living facility. A week in and he left. He showed up at my door and demanded his belongings. I told him we were done. I stood strong as he towered over me in my own yard. I called the police and he left.

All of this followed by a week of hell and we were scared as he sat stranded without gas money just a few miles from our home. Finally, he was rescued by a friend and he left town. He had vanished 500 miles away to live with his younger brother on the opposite side of the state.

Wish Ungranted

Months went by and we hadn’t heard from them. Last month, he began communicating with #3, the only one that still has affection for him. The one that still wants to believe his lies and sees hope in his darkness. The one that sees the good inside the grinch. I wish I could fix the bad, but I can’t. Mom is not made of magic.

Now, this. A letter to Santa. After 28 weeks of combined trauma care and crisis intervention for my youngest two daughters. I work my life away to provide the life we have. Up to 50 hours per week, side hustles, and resourcefulness. I don’t receive financial support from the government, nor do i get support from him. This is my hard work, blood, sweat and tears. Its that of the man that stepped up. This is 50k in medical debt, scrounging for grocery and bill money, a vehicle with a blown engine and prayers for a Christmas miracle that includes gifts under our tree. This. A gift I can’t give. The Christmas wish I won’t be granting. Although she understands, she doesn’t see how much I want to give her the dad she needs him to be, not the grinch he chose to be.

Per the request of readers & followers of My Threefold donations for My Threefold can be made via cash app $mythreefold or venmo @my3threefold. ☮️❤️😊~M

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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

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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