Boundaries are bae.

You’re like me right? Telling people no and standing up for yourself is physically painful and obviously anxiety inducing, right? No? Well please, share with the rest of us your secret sauce because I have a feeling you’re in the minority on this one.

I remember those first few months in therapy, and my therapist telling me it’s okay to tell people no, and they won’t like it once you start. All these years later, this has stuck with me. She was right, people did NOT appreciate it. But I kept doing it.

And guess what? It got easier, and less anxiety inducing. Is it perfect? Hell no, sometimes the struggle bus is out blocking traffic. Something else my therapist told me- you can’t be uncomfortable to make someone else comfortable. Read that again.

How often have you done that? Made yourself uncomfortable to keep the peace, to avoid conflict, to not hurt someone else’s feelings? Did it make you feel better? I was literally drowning in anxiety to avoid standing up for myself. Recently, I finally came to a breaking point.

I am DONE with trying to people please at the expense of my happiness. With everything that has been going on in the world this past year, I say F you to that noise. Imma do me. I want- no- I DESERVE to be happy.

And you know what happened when I started putting myself first? Everything seemed to fall into place. It’s been a few months and I am finally at the point where I feel like myself again. I’m happier, more active, barely napping anymore. Some days the happiness just bubbles over. It’s a feeling I haven’t had in so long and it feels incredible.

YOU deserve to be happy. No matter what that looks like. No matter who you have to tell no to get there. You matter, just the way you are. Go set some boundaries for yourself, and see what magic happens.

Dirty 30

Someone posted on Instagram recently about turning 30. It got me thinking about my own experiences as a 34 year old (midlife thanks to my kids #momlife).

My 30’s have been the best years of my life. I know studies show that women generally feel more settled and happy in their 30’s. We have gotten through school, we have careers, heathens, houses. My 20’s were full of relationship challenges I had to navigate-which taught me some ugly, hard truths about myself. I did the majority of my drinking in my late 20’s (now I hardly drink at all- don’t judge me). My silly, pre child self that was testing boundaries is someone I am glad to leave in the past decade of my life.

My 30’s have been filled with so much personal growth, largely due to my struggles with mental health. For me, my anxiety and depression have helped me find out who I truly am. I have seen how strong and resilient I can be, and I have tried new things, and let some of those things go, in the name of being happy. Would I get rid of my mental health issues if I could? A year ago, before being diagnosed with depression, I would have said no. It makes me who I am. Having gone through some dark times since, I am not sure how I feel now. I worry that if mental health wasn’t part of my story I would not be the same person I am now. That I would lose that part of me that helps me connect with other people going through the same struggle. Maybe I wouldn’t be as grateful as I am now, with what I have.

Having to face the darkest parts of yourself is the best life lesson money can’t buy. I have finally been able to face the demons that have eluded me for so long, and being able to face them is helping me in so many ways. Hitting rock bottom means the only way to go is up. This year I choose happiness over everything else.

24 year old me knew nothing about the world. I was a sheltered, inexperienced girl who found out the hard way that life tests you, and sometimes you don’t like the grade that you get. Now, at 34, my life feels fulfilled. I know who I am, even if I know I am still a work in progress. I have a family, a house and a career. I have a relationship that has been through the ringer, but because we always chose each other, is rock solid and steady. I have found friendships this year that are becoming something I hold close to my heart.

If this is 34, imagine what the next few years will bring. Have your 30’s been your best years?

Stay humble and woke.

You know those rare moments in parenthood where you feel like you are fucking crushing it, and finally have it figured out? And then the universe comes along and says “bitch, you thought” and totally pulls the rug right out from underneath you? That was us today.

Today we found out 6 had been lying to us about his schoolwork. Saying he was doing it for the last two weeks, and she just wasn’t giving them as much work. FAKE. NEWS. I got a message from his teacher today and his little scheme came crumbling down around him. I wasn’t even mad, I was hurt. He LIED to us! Bro, I shared my body with you for 9 fucking months and this is how you repay me?!

Honesty is a big rule in our house. We have been telling him for years that no matter how much shit you get yourself into, we will always be there for you- but the lie will always get you into more trouble than telling us the truth. We are honest with the kids as well, because trust is a two way street.

I am very aware that those of you with older kids are probably laughing at me right now. Like I’m sure this is a normal, developmental thing and we are just learning a hard lesson right now. But the other part of me is like- have we given him too much rope and now he’s trying to hang himself? Is it normal for them to lie at this age? I’m also humbly reminded that although he is my angel child, I cannot put so much pressure on him (even subconsciously) to be perfect. That happened to me growing up and I am very aware of how damaging that is.

I see you, parenthood. Forcing us to be humble and stay woke, because these little heathens are always trying to one up you. Stay vigilant, guys.

But did you die?

I want to start this off by saying we survived 2020… but that seems like a very liberal use of that term. Yes, we made it here, to 2021, but holy shit like we are not ok.

I thought I was done blogging, that I had found other things to take the place of what blogging did for me. Last year I found myself, then lost myself again, and finally feel like I have come out the other side of it all and here I am, needing this blog again. Sorry guys, it wasn’t you, it was me.

I started my own business last year, and thought that I would make that full time and all my problems would be solved. The funny thing about not loving yourself, is all that outside validation never gets you anywhere. So fast forward 6 months from starting my business, and I was lost AF and unhappy. Turns out you have to love yourself first, how crazy is that?

I was not ok last fall. At first quarantine was a chance to slow down, spend more time as a family, breathe for once. But the blissfully ignorant person I was watching Tiger King back in April enjoying the vacation is not the person I was last fall. Everything turned gray, I stopped working out, eating right… lost interest in my business, my hobbies, myself. I pushed close friends away because I thought I was wasting everyone’s time.

Is that depression? Of course it is. My therapist recommended changing meds, and the assessments my primary doctor did backed that up. According to them, I was very much NOT ok. We switched meds, I went into withdrawal because the switch wasn’t slow enough (HOLY FUCK is all I’m going to say about that). Coming out the other side, I still wasn’t at 100%, but I was way better. I realized it was my job to figure out how to get myself the rest of the way, and it caused me to have some tough conversations with myself.

I had to stop looking for other people to validate me. I had to stop doing things to make other people happy, or because I thought that’s what they expected of me. I remember talking to my husband one night and out my mouth came “ I want to be fucking happy.” And there it was guys- my truth. If I was going to be happy then I had to let go of things, and people, that were not filling up my cup. I had to do me, as the kids say.

In the words of our lord and savior Taylor Swift, “long story short it was a bad time.” So I’m back, blogging again, and it feels awesome. This year is going to be a lot about the relationship I am building with myself, and learning to love myself again. It’s going to be me, sharing with you guys, how I am learning to believe that I AM ENOUGH.

Slow the Fuck Down, 2020.

Disclaimer: 2020 is a SHIT SHOW, ok. Totally not debating that here. But I’m about to get real with you guys about some stuff, so strap in.

Before quarantine, our life was balls to the wall. Rushing to get kids after work and meeting at the mall food court for dinner before trading kids off so one could go to swimming and one could go home. Getting up early AF so we could get the kids to school before starting work at 7am. Ya’ll- like WTF. We were burning the candle at both ends.

Then COVID happened and we got sent home from work to work remote. Soccer and swimming and school got cancelled. No more play dates on the weekends. No schedule to keep.

And we actually had time to be together to move into our dream house we spent the last 7 months building. Yes, we closed on our house mid April- I’m so thankful we got it done because for a while I thought we were going to lose everything we had been working so hard for.

And now we have traded extra-curriculars and rushing for family movie night, bike rides and playing outside. 2020 has let us just BE. I am so thankful for the universe making us slow down. As awful as this year has been, how many people have lost so much- I am thankful for all that our little family has gained in the process. Sometimes it takes being forced to slow down to really gain perspective on what’s important.

Isolated in Isolation.

So I didn’t think I was going to be blogging again- hence no posts since June. I thought I had found another outlet for my anxiety and didn’t feel the need to blog anymore. But tonight I felt it, I missed seeing my thoughts typed across an iPad screen. So here I am.

I’m feeling strung out lately. I know most of this is rhetorical because fucking everyone feels like this in 2020. I work mostly from home, and both kids are home with us. One doing virtual kindergarten (and fucking CRUSHING it. I’m super salty and mama bear about the whole thing, but that’s a topic for another post.) The feral 3yo is home driving us all bat shit insane.

I feel like someone always needs something from me. I spend all day being a snack bitch and having battles of epic proportions over nap time. Being the one that everyone goes to when they want to know where something is, what we are having for dinner, etc etc. I am TIRED. Time to myself is basically just a shower or the occasional drive to work. I miss vacations. I miss play dates for the boys. I miss the luxury of options.

And despite how fucking thankful I am for the year that made us slow down, I still feel overwhelmed and god awful anxious a LOT now. If you’re feeling this too, hang in there. You aren’t alone.

Kids- nature’s wrecking balls

These kids need Jesus, and considering I’m an atheist that is saying something. I am not into that “boys will be boys” bullshit so I’m not going to limit this blog post to being a boy mom. Girls fuck shit up to, ya’ll. I said what I said.

So the boys have their own rooms, but end up sleeping together every night anyways. Smalls is always crawling into bed with his big bro. So I had the genius idea to combine their beds into one room and turn the other into a playroom. Sounds awesome, right?

That was YESTERDAY. Let me say it again- fucking yesterday- and today there is a hole in the wall and scuff marks in the playroom. Again- I completely understand why animal eat their young sometimes.

This on top of the Pet Sematary of broken toys we have that are constantly in some state of repair. If I bury them will they come back to haunt the kids and teach them to take care of their shit? I am now seriously considering this option. And it’s totally understandable why they are always broken- the only way they play is toy death matches that involve SO. MUCH. SCREAMING. Don’t try and tell them there is more ways to play with their toys than smashing and crashing- believe me, I’ve tried.

Someone take these children. I wonder if the zoo has any vacancies……

The 2020 quarantine awards.

I would like to take this time to thank the real MVP’s of quarantine. There was a three-way tie for first place, and all three of you are more than deserving of the gold.

First off, Starbucks. Thank you, delicious Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew with extra sweet cream. You nectar of the gods, you are the only thing wonderful about mornings. Thank you for always being there, and for not judging me lovely Baristas, no matter the hot mess condition I am in when I roll up to the window. Thank you for being patient as I try to order over the sounds of fighting children in my backseat. Thank you for then being nice to said heathens, as you are the only adults they see apart from us on the daily. And as Biggie tells the Barista “see you tomorrow!” thank you for not judging me my daily Kryptonite.

Secondly, electronic devices. I wouldn’t be where I am today (no, really) without you, Netflix and Disney+. Thank you for the mind numbing silence you allow me to have when I turn on Bluey or Mickey Mouse and pretend not to exist.

And third, but definitely not last in my heart- naps. My kids are psychopaths for not liking naps- I would nap to coma-inducing levels on the daily if I could. I would also like to give a shout out to my weighted blanket and eye mask. Thank you for smothering me in a way I actulaly enjoy.

Without the three of you, I would not be surviving this quarantine. Words cannot express the gratitude and love I have for you. Don’t tell my kids, but you guys are my favorites.

The bedtime routine is bullshit.

Let me start this off by saying as I am writing this, my 2yo is upstairs banging on his bedroom door. He was put to bed at least an hour ago. Yes we lock their doors, and if you don’t what the fuck are you even doing? If we didn’t lock their doors at night we would never get any sleep.

I know every parent ever could back me up on this- the nighttime routine sucks. I feel like it is easier to take care of these monsters all day than it is to put them to bed at night. The second you start even thinking about calling it they start the negotiations. The 2yo will tell you “it’s not fair.” Ok first of all you little tyrant- no it isn’t. But I’m bigger than you and would like to feel like I am actually the boss for once so GET YOUR BUTT UPSTAIRS NOW!

I hear him calling my name in that pitiful little voice they use to fuck with you. I will remain strong!

I could run the Boston Marathon faster than I can get these kids asleep. And I don’t even run unless I’m being chased. And even then I weigh my options. The bedtime routine doesn’t end when you finally get them in bed and go flop on the couch to veg out- oh no my precious. That’s only the first half. Now the second half begins, where you wait with anxiety to see how long it takes for them to start banging on doors, or figuring out how to unlock theirs and come downstairs (seriously you little shits- you can pick a lock but you can’t remember to wash your hands after you poop? FFS.)

How do kids never sleep and then never run out of energy? This has to be a genetic mutation. In the words of Samuel L Jackson- JUST GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP!

Fucking Mom Guilt.

Mom guilt is strong right now, guys. I just realized today how bad it’s affecting me. Like we all have mom guilt, but this is ridiculous. I’ve spent the last three months with the kids 24/7, and the Stockholm is so bad I feel anxious about being away from there. There was discussion with a friend about a girls trip for a long weekend- like we haven’t even fucking discussed a date yet and I already feel panicky at the thought of being without them! Is this how a host feels at the prospect of losing it’s parasite? It’s bullshit, is what it is.

I had two days this week where I was working my full time job all day one day, and my business all day the next day. I ended up standing in my office window crying to my husband on the phone about how I felt guilty that my new business was taking me away from the kids. I felt so selfish- like no one made me start my own business. That was all me. It’s not the kid’s fault that I’m busy with multiple things that take me away from hanging out with them. Anyone driving by that window probably thought I was a psychopath.

When did it not become ok for moms to want something for themselves? I have blogged about this before- we can’t show up for our kids unless we show up for ourselves, too. I asked Biggie later that day if he understood why I started my own business. He said “so we can have money to do more fun things,” because he knows I’m saving for a family vacation next year. I told him I’m also doing this for me, because I need something for myself.

I have big dreams for my business. For the things it can let us achieve as a family, but mostly what it can let me achieve for myself. I want to start a Podcast, I want to see this blog keep growing like it has. I want to be a successful entrepreneur. I think Biggie gets it, because he wanted me to get him some of the kid’s products and offered to pay for it out of his piggy bank. I need to dwell on that fact, and realize he is watching and is supporting me in his own little way. It means more to me than he realizes.

And I’m going to take that girls trip. Even if I cry when I leave the boys. Because I need to take care of me to take care of them. What will I do without anyone crawling up my vagina and calling my name a billion times? Not being a snack bitch for a day?! The possibilities are endless!