Third time is not the charm.

So the topic of a third kid is something I have been talking to DadingWITHOUTanxiety about a lot lately. When we had Smalls, we weren’t sure how we would feel about any more kids in the future, so we didn’t do anything permanent at the time of my C section just in case. Now we’ve been talking about making it permanent and I have felt so conflicted about it. He does not want any more kids, because he feels fulfilled with Biggie and Smalls.

My feelings have been more complicated. I think in this instance it has a lot to do with biology. I am still at prime baby-having age, and I adore my children. (Just because I complain about how annoying they are, doesn’t mean I don’t love them guys. Facts are facts.) It’s scary to think about closing that chapter of our lives permanently. Who doesn’t love babies?!

So I have been doing mental lists of pros and cons about baby #3. Because I need to feel at peace with the decision also. There are a lot more cons than pros. Firstly- the cost. We desperately need to be in a bigger house. The kids share a room and that’s becoming a logistical nightmare at bedtime. Childcare- moving ain’t happening if we continue to have to pay preschool tuition. If I told you how much we paid a month (assuming you aren’t in the trenches with us) you would vomit. How can we have another kid when we are so strapped as it is?

Then of course there is the fact that our hands are full (literally and figuratively) with these two little beasties. We want to give them the world, and being more financially stable would make that a whole hell of a lot easier.

Last night, I made my final decision. I decided I also do not want any more kids, because I have been unhappy lately with how little time Dading and I get to spend together. We barely have any time and/or energy to commit to just us, and it’s also really hard to get time away from the kids to do that. I told him last night that I don’t want to sacrifice our relationship by having another child. I want to be able to enjoy the boys as they grow and can do more things with us as they become more independent. I want to be able to have more date nights and mini childless vacations with just him. Our hands, and hearts, are full with the boys. And writing this, I feel at peace with the decision. I don’t want the boys to grow up too fast, I love them at every stage they have been at so far, but I am excited for the adventures that lie ahead. The baby stage is over for us, but I realize maybe that is not the bad thing it feels like. Because now, there are a lot of things in the pro column for what is to come.

My bank account has favorited this blog post. Probably Dading, too. πŸ˜‰

Hello anxiety, my old friend.

It’s been a rough couple weeks, folks. Of course there was Dading being in Nashville, but even since I have been feeling very stressed and anxious. Today was a perfect example- I went to get my monthly massage after work, which is amazing. The car drive home, in the rain, in traffic, was very stressful. In that hour plus it took me to get home, I was thinking how I had to pick up take out on my way home, and that we had to fix the water heater that wasn’t working. (Yes, I took a cold shower on Saturday like a fucking primitive Neanderthal. Don’t talk to me about sacrifice.) I thought I would be home earlier, and it was nearing Small’s bedtime, and I wanted to be able to pitch in to help with the kids. I felt guilty because I was running late due to a luxury, not a necessity.

Yes, self pampering IS a necessity- I know I need to listen to my own advice. We are back to not getting a lot of sleep lately. Basically I hope someone out there takes my advice, because I certainly am not at the moment.

I’ve also taken a lot of time off work lately. Sick kids, mental health day, etc etc. My job never makes me feel for a second that it is an issue, but I have that guilt. That working parent work-isn’t-my-primary-focus guilt. I know I’m not the only one.

And money- it really is the root of all evil. We aren’t anywhere near moving back in with our parents, but money is tight. DadingWITHOUTanxiety’s professional camera died and we are saving for a new one. For those playing the home game, that shit ain’t cheap. So he’s working overtime to help pay off credit cards (the Devil’s plastic) so we can get a new one. Which makes me feel guilty about the money I spend. For someone who is not religious, I have an abundance of Catholic guilt.

Not dieting and gaining back the 20 pounds I lost last year is always on my mind. I don’t feel like dieting. I am trying to get back into the gym routine to offset it and also get strong again. Again, having a hard time following my own wisdom that I am not the number on the scale.

All these things together led to tears, wine, and back up anxiety meds tonight. And me sitting here with my half empty glass blogging about it. I am not sure why I am having a rough go of it lately. Leftover from the week he was gone? Lack of sleep? All the above? I don’t have panic attacks, but my anxiety will just come on strong all of a sudden and I feel nervous and overwhelmed when it does. I know my therapist told me that anxiety is going to walk parallel to me my whole life, and sometimes it’s going to get in the way. It’s just really hard for an overachiever perfectionist to accept it when it does.

I’m not sure how I’m going to tackle it this weekend, but I’m going to put in a solid effort.

Love is Love.

I’ve had this potential blog topic written down for a while, but since it is Pride Month, I thought it was fitting. There are so many things that we have to teach our kids that I feel like our parents didn’t have to worry about. The world is a bigger and more diverse place- or maybe the world is the same but freedom of expression is more prominent and tolerated than it was back then. I’ve already blogged about consent and other things like that, but another big one is the LGBTQ community.

We teach our kids to love, and embrace those that are different from us. That what’s on the inside is what counts. We haven’t yet really had the talk with Biggie about how boys can like boys and girls can like girls, but it’s something that is coming.

A few months back, a boy in Biggie’s class wanted to wear a dress, or was wearing one, and Biggie got upset. He told him that boys don’t wear dresses. Our response to him was that if the boy wants to wear a dress he can, and it’s ok. Biggie already knows that pink isn’t for girls, and blue isn’t for boys. He knows colors are for everyone.

It’s so important to us to have tolerant kids. I don’t want my kids to have to learn it later in life, like I feel like I had to. My upbringing wasn’t necessarily as diverse or tolerant as I feel it could have been, and I am proud of where I have come. I want acceptance to be a natural part of their lives. It’s important to us that they feel comfortable in their own skin and their own opinions.

One day Biggie is going to ask the question, and I want to be prepared with the answers. I have good examples for them of what non-heterosexual love looks like, and I hope that helps them understand, as it did me when I was younger. I want them to feel as I do- that the world has a lot of hate in it, and love is love, no matter what it looks or doesn’t look like.

I am nervous about explaining it to them. I feel the weight of the important teaching moment, and how it will help mold the type of people that turn out to be. All we can do is lead by example and trust that when the time comes, we will be ready.

Have any of you had that talk with your kids? I would love to know the details, so drop me a message πŸ™‚

The sound of silence.

So DadingWITHOUTanxiety made it home, albeit 5+ hours late thanks to flight delays. He’s home and life is attempting to go back to normal. I ended up having to get a prescription for my stomach issues last week, and she thought they were caused from stress, not a virus. My stomach hasn’t hurt since he got home, and I think my insides are back to normal. It’s crazy, the physical reaction my body had from the stress and break in our normal family routine, but that is how my body works so I guess I just have to accept it and move on. Sounds good on paper, doesn’t it?

I was also taking my backup anxiety medicine this past week again. I haven’t had to touch those in months. Cliff notes version: he’s never allowed to leave again. It isn’t good for my health, I have documentation. πŸ™‚

Tonight I went and got an hour foot massage. Just me, my thoughts, and soothing zen music. In that silence I thought about this blog post I was going to go home and write, how Biggie needs more attention away from his brother, and how my anxiety had reared its ugly head again. I was thinking about the extreme stress I found myself under last week and how my body responded to it. The answer- not well. Of course Shark Week decided to come Friday also, which has always been a huge anxiety trigger for me. (I heard someone call it Shark Week once and I am never going back. Get on board, people. Feel free to steal it like I did.)

I realize too how far I have come in being able to recognize when I am struggling. I know now, after the therapy and medication, that this isn’t just “normal me.” It’s insane to me that I used to just live like that every day. That doesn’t mean I don’t still get down on myself, but now I can step outside myself and say “hey bitch, you aren’t doing so hot today, huh?” and recognize that things are not the way they should be.

So many of you have texted me the nicest things in response to my last blog and I appreciate it so much. You told me how you struggle also, and I was being too hard on myself. It meant a lot to me, and I was yet again reminded how therapeutic this blog continues to be.

I’m trying to untangle myself from the stress, which has taken most of the weekend. It’s just a huge reminder also that we have to take care of ourselves. I ended up taking last Friday off of work, and my mom took the kids Thursday night. She was my lifeline, because I was running on empty. Reach out for help, even thought I know it sucks to have to ask. And if someone offers it, accept it! And if you need someone to get a foot massage with you, you know where to find me πŸ™‚

Single Mom Week: a memoir.

Dear Diary, it’s day 3 (I think?) of being solo. The day we took Dading to the airport is the day I got a stomach bug. Since then we have done swimming lessons, and a zoo trip, errands and the day to day hustle.

And I have been struggling. Oh, how I have been struggling.

Today was also Therapy day, which was much needed. I told her how I felt like a failure- my single mom friends do this literally every day and they aren’t sucking like I feel like I am. Everything is thrown off. There is this big absence that even Biggie is struggling with. We all miss Daddy.

But she had a good point: co-parenting is OUR normal. It’s what we are used to. She told me if I’m going to judge it, judge it in the positive. We are a strong family unit, and we function better that way. I totally agree.

I know as parents, and especially moms, we always feel like we don’t measure up. So you can imagine how I feel being a hot fucking mess after 3 days of being on my own (2 were no school days they count for double right?) I feel like a failure. I should be rocking this, nbd. But I am so NOT doing that right now. I am exhausted from this stupid stomach bug. Exhausted from having a 4 year old that could argue a Supreme Court Justice into a homicidal rage.

I feel pathetic writing this, but I have to live my truth. We are a two-parent unit and that’s how we roll. I am not superwoman, and I am tired. And for now I just feel like I don’t measure up. It’s not a comforting feeling. I feel like if Dading was home he would be crushing it, and wouldn’t be losing his shit on the kids as much as me.

I thought I would enjoy the free time at night after the kids went to bed, and getting to work on some of my hobbies. But I did not factor in not feeling well, or how disruptive it is when your family has a major schedule change. We’ve been apart before, but never this far away or for this long. It permeates literally everything. And it’s upsetting to see how much it affects the kids.

I’m glad that this is not our normal. We are all very much looking forward to Friday when he comes home.

Adulting is hard, guys.

So as I have mentioned, I have been working on opening my own Etsy store. I have been building up inventory, designing things to sell, getting business cards and getting ready to promote my brand. This has been going on for a month or two. Last night I was working on some designs and I realized something-

I don’t want to open an Etsy store anymore. I realized there is totally something to a job vs a hobby. I love designing things and making things for people. I love planning all the decorations for the kid’s birthday parties. I love being able to create something instead of having to buy it at the store.

I was losing that excitement in the stress of trying to get the store open. So I’m going to forget about the store and go back to doing what I love instead. So if you need party decorations- hit me up!

Does this count as an adulting situation? Feels like being a grown up to me.

All the single moms…

So DadingWITHOUTanxiety is flying to Nashville on Sunday for work, and will be back on Friday. For those doing the math, that means I am going to be flying solo next week, and the adults in the house (ME!) will be outnumbered. See also: Monday is Memorial Day and school is closed, so I will not be able to ship the heathens off to school. Is this making you anxious just reading it yet?

I feel ridiculous when I think about my single mom friends, and how they #MomHustle all day every day. You guys are amazing, and I tell you all the time I have no idea how you do it. Sorcery, I imagine.

Dading deserves a vacation, even if it’s just for work. He works hard for our family, and has picked up my slack many, MANY times when I was down and out with anxiety. I want him to go have a good time. That doesn’t mean I am looking forward to having no backup with Biggie and Smalls. Part of me is excited to rise to the occasion, to show myself that I can survive with the boys on my own. The other part, possibly the more sane part, asks me what I’ve been smoking.

I may win the Favorite Parent award, because you guys know there’s going to be multiple nights of Chick-Fil-A and lots of screen time for Biggie. #SurvivalMode.

If Dading comes back and we still have two kids and I didn’t kill one, I’m putting that in the win pile. Thoughts and prayers and sage burning for me, guys. I need all the help I can get.

The struggle (with self-care) is real.

I have officially been overdoing it lately. Like, wayyy overdoing it. The kids have been going through various bouts of illness ( this shit always comes in waves as you know) and we are totally over it. I have picked up some freelance transcription work, some “take surveys for money” stuff, and have been pushing to get my inventory posted to my Etsy store so I can start telling people about it. The survey stuff is pennies and really annoying, but I try to use it as filler for dead time. The transcription work is really fun, because previous jobs and training have made me a speed typer so I figured why not get paid for it? However fun, it is time consuming and has to be done at night when I should be getting ready for bed.

Which brings me to the major issue- SLEEP. The phrase “you can sleep when you are dead” is actually a threat when you’re a parent. You actually spend time contemplating how little sleep it will take for your body to give you the finger and tap out. I went at these freelance jobs all at once and too hardcore. I was looking to spread my entrepreneur baby wings all at once, and didn’t pace myself. So for now I’m trying to put most of my efforts into the Etsy store to give my brain a little break.

I am totally not a perfect mom, so please don’t think because I have my hand in many different cookie jars right now that I am succeeding at life. I am paying for it, guys. I am TIRED. Like jealous of animals who eat their young tired. Like full Mommy Monster “I will unhinge my jaw and lose my shit” tired. My anxiety is starting to sniff around and my heart races. And I KNOW better! I know the vicious circle of stress-anxiety-sleep and still have not managed to grab sleep by the balls and make it my bitch yet.

Nor have I been eating right or exercising. I will never understand why moms of small children don’t have the bodies of Olympic athletes. Like literally ALL we do is run after small children. ALL. DAY. LONG. Someone needs to do a case study and explain to me the science behind this. I’m not the mom that finishes what her kids eat all the time, I’m the mom that just eats on the go, and that’s my downfall. Those 20 pounds I lost last year have come back, if not more.

And tonight is the Games of Thrones Finale so of course early bedtime isn’t going to happen today, either. If someone out there can help me figure out how to get to bed earlier I am totally open to suggestions. For all the #MomBoss #SuperMom #DoingtheBestTheyCanMoms out there- take care of yourselves. We are busy with just the kids alone, before we add on all the extra stuff we have to or want to do. So tomorrow I’m going to try to get to the gym for the first time in forever- send positive vibes!

Raising boys in 2019.

I have had this as a potential blog topic for quite a while, but it feels especially relevant now. The older I get the more I have opinions on women’s rights legislation, and politics in general. I don’t claim to be a feminist- I really just feel like a mama, trying to raise decent human beings in this ever increasingly hateful world I feel like we live in. I am anti-Trump, believe love is love and this world needs more of it, and I firmly believe no one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body.

I am also an Atheist. I do not say this to exclude anyone from my blog, because this is a safe space for everyone and of every faith. I am trying to be as honest as I can on here, and my religious preferences shape how I live and raise my kids. I used to be a Christian, and struggled with my views on abortion. Now having kids of my own and having different religious views, I feel so much different. I also work in an industry where I see what happens to children born to parents who don’t love them, and this has also greatly altered my perceptions. If you totally disagree with my political and religious views, I ain’t even mad! We can all still come together under the common umbrella of “raising kids is hard AF” and voila!- we are back on the same page again πŸ™‚

No matter what views you have, raising boys in this era comes with a lot of challenges. Not including the normal “boys are less drama than girls but harder to keep alive” mantra, of course. If you have girls at home, please leave comments below on what unique challenges you face, I want to hear them!

How do you raise boys to be respectful of women in a world where women are fighting for equal rights, equal pay, and personal safety? Dading and I already know we have to teach the boys about consent- this is NOT something they just know on their own. That if you have to buy a girl a few drinks before she accepts your advances, that is NOT consent. That their bodies and that of their partners (boys or girls) are to be respected and treated as something of value.

I want to raise boys that hold open the door for a mama with a stroller. That help an elderly man that fell on the sidewalk. That don’t bully and give into peer pressure about what they should or should not have done with a girl yet. I want boys that LOVE hard and fearlessly and without prejudice. I want boys that are tolerant of all religious and spiritual beliefs, no matter their own preference. I want boys that will stand up for what is right, not give in to what is easy.

So how do we do this? In a nutshell- kids learn by example. Society doesn’t seem to be setting a good one, and that bar is set pretty low right now- so we have to work even harder. It doesn’t matter what parental units you have or don’t have at home- work with what you got.

Biggie and Smalls aren’t old enough yet to ask about politics, or understand gender pay gaps. But when we watch The Greatest Showman and Biggie asks why Zendaya’s and Zac Efron’s characters are sad, we have an amazing conversation about diversity and acceptance, and how the only thing that matters about a person is what’s on the inside, not the color they are. (Seriously this movie is an amazing teaching moment, watch it with your heathens).

So we lead by example. We weed out negative intolerant people from our children’s lives. We surround them with love and structure and boundaries. We encourage reaching out for help when it’s needed, and never to lash out in anger. If you ask Biggie what family does, he will automatically tell you “watch out for each other.” We ingrain in their heads that as brothers they are responsible for each other and will always have each other to rely on.

And when they are older, I look forward to their questions about politics and legislation. I hope by that time we have put in enough hard work that they can see for themselves where the issues are. I hope they fight to change them. The world isn’t ready for them πŸ™‚

Cool story, bro

I’ve been home all week with Biggie, who has MRSA on his leg. Today is the first day he’s been able to walk on it, and will be going back to school tomorrow. I’ve enjoyed this time with just the two of us, but the kid is also driving me nuts. It was also scary because it’s the first time one of them has had something like this, and I had to draw back on my vet tech days of abscess draining. If that grosses you out, you’re a wimp! πŸ™‚

So yesterday I’m doing wound care in the bathroom with Biggie while DadingWITHOUTanxiety has Smalls in the shower with him. When he took him out, he pooped on his towel. Then in the toilet (he’s started showing interest in the potty so we are looking forward to a #DiaperFree2020). Then ran out of the bathroom, where he pooped on the rug. And the couch. The dog had also peed on the floor during all this. Basically I’m saying it was a shitshow, literally and figuratively.

The impressive part was that Dading and I didn’t go full assault on each other in the chaos. Although over late night Taco Bell after the kids went to bed I did ask him why he let the baby shit on the floor. LMAO.

Life is crazy people, laugh or you will cry. Hope this helps some of you laugh through your mid week hustle.