World Mental Health Day.

If you have Twitter, you know that today is #WorldMentalHealthDay. 2 years ago, this day would have meant nothing to me. Today, it makes me pause and take stock. Accepting and embracing (sometimes unwillingly) the fact that I have anxiety has opened up more doors for me than I ever knew were closed.

In my job, I see the effects of mental illness and the hopelessness it can bring on a daily basis. Old me would have thought nothing of it. Wondered why everyone gets diagnosed with some disorder or another. Like can everyone really be bipolar and depressed? Now, I know better. I see now how devastating mental illness can be for a person. How improper diagnosis or inadequate medication can lead people to self medicate with drugs.

Learning to live with a mental illness, no matter how mild or severe, takes a fuck ton of work. You have to look at the deepest, darkest parts of yourself and accept that the person in the mirror might not be who you imagined they would be. And maybe the harder part- believing that you aren’t a failure for your struggle.

Take inventory of yourself today. If you have been putting off seeking help, go get it. Make the call, schedule the appointment. Tell someone you’re having a hard time. Admitting you need help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong. Everyone has shit they are dealing with, so know you aren’t alone. When you are honest with yourself, and living your truth, it makes you a better, more compassionate person. Don’t let your fear hold you back. You got this, now go get em tiger.

The parroting of parenting.

Think you’re ready for parenting? Repeat everything you say at least 4 times in an increasingly more annoyed tone until you don’t even give a fuck anymore. If that sounds good, parenting might be right for you. 90% of parenting is just repeating yourself over and over until you die inside. (More than you already are as a sleep deprived adult responsible for keeping little monsters alive).

Why do we have to repeat ourselves so much? I know I tend to rapid fire directives at the kids, so I try to slow down and give one instruction at a time. Does it help? Depends on the day. Does it make me homicidal? Abso-fucking-lutely. And don’t even get me started on the distraction of TV or iPad. The house could burn down around Biggie and if he’s on his iPad he wouldn’t even look up. I have caught the dog having an Iron Man action figure lunch on the carpet right in front of him and he was totally clueless. Listen dude, we give you the electronics so we, and you, can check out, but don’t you dare ignore me when I talk to you.

I know for a fact if I mentioned ice cream, or pizza, or something along those lines they would hear me. Or god forbid Dading and I even THINK about having a conversation- the needs and demands come out of the woodwork. So obviously it’s selective hearing.

One of my pet peeves in life is having to repeat myself…. so yeah. This is not where I thrive in the parenting department. Polly wants a glass of wine, not a cracker.

Momster.

I lost my SHIT on Biggie yesterday afternoon. He got a splinter in his toe at the park, a pain more excruciating than being eaten alive by a gator, if his reaction was any indication. When we got home and attempted to remove it, he went crazy. Blood curdling screaming, fighting and crying. This is why people get put under for surgery. I think what got me was the screaming. We had the boys birthday party the day before and I was tired, people. I was trying to get down for a nap with Biggie but this damn splinter was preventing that. I was so angry with him, and I said angry words and things I shouldn’t. I lost control of myself. We had to hold him down like a screaming banshee (literally what he was) and finally got it out. I was so white hot angry that he was carrying on about something so small.

After calming down, we talked. About how mommy’s and daddy’s lose their temper, and make mistakes. About how he was being very dramatic and making things difficult when we were trying to help him. About how he didn’t need to be scared because we would never hurt him or let anything happen to him. We explained what forgiveness was as the three of us snuggled in bed, and we forgave each other. And I cried. And I let him see me cry. I hope that by seeing that we make mistakes he will give himself the grace to make his own. And I want him to see us say we are sorry, too. When we woke up, the first thing he said was he was sorry for how he acted.

I was stuck between feeling like a shitty parent and forgiving myself for being human. It wasn’t the first time I had lost my temper, and lets be serious, it won’t be the last. Kids and cool heads don’t always mix. The amount of pressure on parents in today’s society is huge. We are expected to do it all, all the time. And kids I’m here to tell you, I don’t always measure up. And dammit that has to be ok because I am a human fucking being, and I am doing the best I can. I hope my kids see that, even when Momster rears her sleep deprived head.

All Time Low: me, not the band.

If I was to describe myself at this present time, I would not say I was doing well. I try to remind myself that our family has gone through a huge transition- we moved to another city, and are trying to establish new routines. There’s lots more commute time now, because the beasties still go to school in our old city.

I tell myself this, I tell myself to give it time, that new routines will be established. I should give myself the understanding that we are two full time working parents raising two toddlers. Is a 5 year old still a toddler? I’m going with it for the sake of this pity party for one.

Yet here I am, crying almost every night. Feeling so overwhelmed I don’t know what to do. By the end of the night there is no time or energy to spend with my ride or die, and I feel so lonely. I’m actually crying writing this. I’m stressed, ya’ll. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I could blame Keto, because we are back on the sauce (mostly, please keep me in your thoughts during this difficult time) and the amount of cooking I am doing reminds me why we ate out all the time.

I guess it’s everything. Lack of sleep, which is obviously the lot of every parent out there. It still sucks, and you never really get used to not being able to sleep BECAUSE IT ISN’T NATURAL CHILDREN ARE THE DEVIL.

Did I mention I had to get on the scale at the doctor the other day (nurse, you bitch) and I am the heaviest I think I have ever been. I’m putting this into the ethos because maybe some of you are struggling with weight like I do, and know that I get it. Hence the Keto. At this point I am giving up on exercise, because by the time I have time, I am too tired. Why don’t parents look like The Rock, with all the lifting and running around we do? I call bullshit.

So hello internet, here I am. Sleep deprived, lonely and stressed. What to do? Honestly, I don’t really know. Please send me your ideas, I am totally open to suggestions. I want to get back to feeling happy again, because we are on an adventure and I would like to enjoy the ride a little bit more.

Becoming a good person: a horror story.

I have been thinking lately how my attitude towards others and the planet as a whole has changed. I am more conscious about the environment and am currently trying to get my family as plastic free as humanely possible without losing even more of my sanity. I go out of my way to compliment a stranger, to help out a fellow mom.

Ya’ll, I have a love/hate relationship with people. I go from “hang out with me” to “fuck off leave me alone” like a beer pong ball. I love my kids but don’t like other people’s. And if you don’t use your blinker in traffic- holy shit I go bananas.

But it’s been my mission lately to spread love around as much as possible. To be nice to people (mostly). To be less judgy to other moms and help them out.

Why am I like this?! Who am I?! I really do blame my therapist for this. She’s corrupting me. I like the disgruntled me, we have a long standing relationship and you can’t make me break up with her!

I think getting control of my anxiety was the catalyst. But I think the bigger answer is that happier people spread happiness to others. We all know those people who are totally miserable, and they make you feel terrible just by being around them. I am not happy go lucky all the time, quite the opposite in fact. Between the hurricane, closing getting delayed on the sale of our house, and totally uprooting our family to move temporarily while we build our house- I have been stressed the fuck out. I cry a lot. I am short tempered and say nasty things to Dading out of frustration. But OVERALL, I am a happy person compared to where I was before I starting talking to someone about my mental health. And I think that’s why I have more patience for others, feel like I can invest the time in other people. Probably a big part of that is that I am learning WHERE to invest my time and WHO is worth that time, which keeps me from burning out.

Maybe it’s part of being in your 30’s? Maybe it’s because the world is full of people in power who are horrible, and it makes me feel like I have to resist the man, figuratively and literally. Or, more likely, it’s a combination of all of the above. All I know is that it’s kind of a nice feeling (don’t look at me, I feel dirty). I feel better about me when I make time for someone else who deserves it or needs it.

Be nice to someone who could use it. Guaranteed it makes you feel better about yourself, and have a little more faith in humanity. This does not apply to shitty drivers- I hope a pterodactyl peppers your windshield. Or telemarketers. It’s important to have standards.

Hurricanes are bullshit.

So I live in South Florida, any as some of you might not be aware, we only get one season- Hurricane Season. And we are in the thick of it. We spent all day yesterday boarding up the house that we only own until next Thursday. When I tell people that they laugh with disbelief. We close on the sale of this house on the 6th, so to say we’ve been stressed the fuck out is an understatement. Luckily for us, it looks like we are in the clear for this hurricane. (Dorian? Seriously? Who names these things?) And although I don’t want anyone to get hit with this storm (just stay in the ocean where you came from, bitch), I am grateful that our house is going to be ok.

For the past few days we’ve been out and about at various stores and restaurants, trying to get groceries before the storm and make sure we have what we need in case we lose power. I have made sure to tell every server and employee that I speak to to stay dry and be safe. I have checked on friends and family, making sure no one needs help and everyone is set to ride out the storm. (My therapist is making me into a nice person, and I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.)

Hurricanes suck. It’s already as hot as satan’s anus here, without the power outages and general cluster fuckery that is a major storm. The least can we do is be civil to each other. It is honestly what has made this whole thing bearable. It’s amazing how something so small can make such a big difference.

Life hack: Just be nice. Don’t be a dick. It isn’t that hard.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to being the disgruntled, internally 80 year old woman I normally am.

Stay safe and dry, guys 🙂

Dear therapist.

I’ve only been seeing you for about a year and a half, but it has changed my life. I’m not a stranger to therapy- I saw someone when I was in college and I remember it helped me then. But this time was different. When I came to you I was a mess. I had finally seen that straw that broke this camel’s back. I was stressed out to the max, still coming off the fourth trimester after Smalls was born. And god was my anxiety bad. I was terrified I had post-partum, that there was something seriously wrong with me for being such a train wreck when my life was really good. I did not really confide in anyone but my husband, and one person can only take so much before they start charging me for 45 minute sessions.

I have always been anxious. I see now how crippling it has been in my life, even when I just thought it was my “normal.” It got in the way of so many joyous things. It tainted everything with shades of gray, things that should have been in rainbow colors. It was normal then, but now I can see it from the outside for what it really was- debilitating. I owe that new perspective to you. You have helped me see that, although this is something that will never be “cured,” that it is something that does not have to define me. That I can be Momingwithanxiety, not a mess of an anxiety riddled mom. Seeing you has led me to start this blog, which has been a form of therapy and release that I cherish like a third child. (One doesn’t talk back or wet the bed).

You have helped me see people and situations for what they are, not what my nervous predisposition makes them out to be. You have helped me learn to say no, and to be confident in who I am, and who I am trying to become. I feel like I am living my best life, even though the days I know I’m coming to see you are a big relief for me still.

Your support of my ambitions, your wise cracks and honesty have done so much for me. I feel like I have my life back. That I am in control of it again. I have found the confidence to be myself, to stand up for myself, and to strive to better myself. I am a better wife, a better mom, a better person thanks to you.

For anyone out there on the fence about taking that first step to go and talk to someone, don’t be afraid to take that leap. I cannot put into words what it feels like to always know there is someone in your corner, there to listen and laugh with. To work out problems with. Someone who sees the very best version of you, even when you can’t see it yet yourself. So go- make the call, schedule the appointment. Don’t be afraid. The best version of you is out there- the one under all the stress and fear- go grab that person, one 45 minute session at a time. I promise you won’t regret it.

And to my absolutely amazing therapist who I consider a friend- I know you’re going to read this because I’m going to send it to you 🙂 I want you to know that in this girl’s life, you have made all the difference in the world.

Ozzy ain’t got nothin on this crazy train.

Well, move one of two is complete. In the last two days we have completely moved out of our old house and completely moved into our temporary home for the next nine months while our house is being built. It was an insane amount of work and sweat (really why did we decide to move in summer and not like March? Idiots.), but we are done. Today, I am actually starting to feel settled. It’s such a relief after the last month. The kids are happy and even the dog seems less stressed.

It’s funny that the most exciting things are also the most stressful. But no risk no reward, right? It is hard to imagine not having our own house for nine months. We have a ton of space with Dading’s parents, and we are very thankful. They have allowed us to create a space that feels as much as home as possible in this situation. We are in another city, and that is going to take some getting used to, because we have been laying down roots, and our new house is in the same area the one we just sold is. The kids go to school back that way, so it will be lots of traveling.

I don’t want to rush the next nine months, and I am hoping that watching our house being built and sharing that with the beasties will make it not seem so long.

So this is me, checking in. And now to get some rest!

Ride or die.

So today I let Dading sleep in. I took the boys to breakfast, and to the park, and then to visit their grandparents. While we were at breakfast, Dading called us to say good morning, and then later sent pics as he swam laps at the pool. He texted me multiple times how nice and relaxing his morning was, and how appreciative he was of it. When we saw him later, he looked so relaxed and happy. I don’t remember the last time he smiled so much.

I recently saw a post on Instagram about taking care of your partner. And how worth it it is. That post was written by a husband about his wife. But it works both ways. Dading works a lot of overtime, and gives me a lot of time to myself when I need it. He handles the dreaded bedtime routine, aka HELL, by himself many nights so I can go out for dinner with a girlfriend, or go get a massage. He lets me sleep in and takes the boys out many Saturday mornings.

In this partnership of marriage and parenting, it’s important to take care of each other. Sometimes I take for granted that he needs time to himself, too. Hiding in the bathroom for 30 minutes will never be acceptable (seriously what do they do in there?!), and his PS4 is now in a box ready to move, so please keep him in your thoughts during this difficult time. 😉

It’s easy as a mom to feel like we do more, that we work harder and are harder on ourselves than our partners. Being a mom is absolutely different than being a dad, but it is no less important. The sacrifices he makes for our family do not go unnoticed, and it was nice to get to show him a little thanks this morning. Take care of each other, show up for each other. It’s us versus the kids, so take care of your teammates 🙂

The day my 4 year old killed me.

Yesterday was the first day of VPK for Biggie. He was so excited and we were so proud. (And overjoyed at the drop in tuition!) We have an app for school where we get sent pictures and updates throughout the day. As I am headed to the bank on my lunch break, I see that they took pictures with a board with their age, their teacher’s names, and what they want to be when they grow up. And when I read what Biggie said he wanted to be when he grew up, I almost cried.

He said he wanted to do what I did when he grew up.

I thought my heart was going to explode. We always tell them about our jobs, but the fact that he remembered and said it on his own when asked was such a big deal. Because Daddy has a cool AF job too- but he wants to do what Mommy does- that floored me.

I spend so much time wondering if I am getting it right, if Biggie will get anxiety from me, if I yell too much or lose my patience too much with them. And I guess that one picture tells me that I am getting it right. Something else he learns from me is that Mommy’s work too, that they have important jobs and work hard for their families. My kids will only ever know a dual income family, and I hope that teaches them so much about gender equality, and team parenting. They listen guys, and they see our efforts.

Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.