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?

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.

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.

Anxiety, pandemics and real estate, oh my!

So we moved 3 weeks ago into this house we built- FINALLY. Pro level- try and close on a house when the country gets shut down due to an apocalypse/pandemic. Is it ok to laugh/cry on here? I spent at least 2 full weeks scared out of my fucking mind that our house closing was going to get shut down in the last few weeks of the construction.

I went to get my anxiety meds refilled to make sure I was stocked up. They make you take a questionnaire on how your anxiety is and how you are feeling. Then the doctor and I laughed and laughed. How is my anxiety during the age of COVID? Less than awesome, is that an acceptable answer?

I was a fucking train wreck. I was terrified and imaging our dreams going down the toilet. I thought we might lose the house. I didn’t know what to think or what to do. I was eating back up anxiety meds like candy. I was a level of stressed out that was really concerning my husband.

And then… we closed! We actually fucking did it. And we moved- not in the two week vacation while the kids go to school way we thought. We moved while working because we couldn’t take time off. And our parents were self isolating so we had the kids, too. How is moving with small children all by yourself? No- imagine it harder than that. It BLEW.

But now, sitting on this new couch in this new house and feeling mostly settled, I finally stopped taking back up anxiety meds. I think I’m going to be ok, guys. I hope you are safe and ok, too.

P.S- wash your fucking hands, this shit ain’t over yet.

Who’s the boss now, bitch?!

Guys, I did a thing! I started my own business! I’m about 3 weeks in, please excuse my absence as I have been learning all the things. This is something I have wanted for the last year or two- basically ever since reading “Girl, Wash Your Face.” If you don’t pray at the alter of Rachel Hollis who are you and what are you doing with your life?

So it’s a lot, starting a business. You hit the ground running, and there is so much to learn. I am finding out so much about life and myself and how far I can push myself. Am I still wondering if I did the right thing, as my plate is already full? Duh- but I also want to go back to school and that isn’t going to be a cake walk either. So I’m working hard and putting myself out there and I know it’s going to pay off. I’m playing the long game, and I’m having fun.

One thing they tell us is to know your why. Your why is what is going to draw people to you and keep them coming back. So I’ve been thinking about it. Your why isn’t money- obviously money is a bonus. I’m fortunate that I already know who I am, thanks to my journey through anxiety. And I know a little about putting myself out there because of this blog.

But WHY did I start my own business? Well one of the reasons, the biggest one probably, is my family. I want us to be able to live comfortably in this beautiful new house we built. I want us to be able to take amazing family vacations. I don’t want us to struggle ever again.

I need a strong, supportive female presence in my life. I have learned that over the past year. This team I am on is full of amazing, boss women that cheer you on and push you to push yourself. This is what keeps me fighting to make this business successful. I am surrounded by constant support and enthusiasm that I never want to live without again. Call me spoiled, I don’t care. 🙂

I know I am made for more. I was meant for more- I need to push myself farther, out of my comfort zone. As Rachel Hollis says, “if you are the smartest person in the room you need a new room.” I am a little fish in this big pond and instead of making me feel insecure, it is making me feel like I can reach the stars.

Challenge yourself, guys. Believe in yourself, and find other people who believe in you too. Cut out the bullshit and negativity, even, and especially if, it is coming from yourself. You can go get any goal you want. Go grab that dream by the horns and tell it how it’s going to be. Go find your room, and don’t look back.

When quarantine gets ugly.

Today was it, guys. Actually, it started last night. Smalls kept crying in the middle of the night. After the second time I put him in bed with us. Which means I spent the rest of the night and next morning with him perpendicular to me in bed with his hard ass head wedged in my boobs. Lovely.

Biggie came in after daylight because he had an accident. He changed and got into bed with me. Dading had already left for work (I’m working from home, he’s working every other day at the office). When we finally get up Smalls has wet OUR bed. So now I’m washing sheets like we’ve got a headlice epidemic. The dog puked on my new rug. Maybe the kids are making him sick. I can relate.

Cue the usual sibling fighting, Smalls fighting me to go poop on the potty, and then the straw that breaks this mama’s back- Biggie LIED to me.

He tells me his brother got into my pens and is writing on my work boxes. I go upstairs to see toddler scribbles, along with the first two letters of Biggie’s name. If you’re going to lie to me, you little shit, at least cover it up better and don’t tag your graffiti with your own name.

They got sent to their rooms, Biggie lost his shit. Like if anyone is entitled to lose their shit around here it’s me, tyvm. I called Dading crying that I had had enough and needed him to come home.

So yeah. I’m tired y’all. I’m frustrated with kids acting out even when I understand their reasons and wish I could extinguish their boredom. I’m tired of the fighting and the ear shattering screaming that never stops. I’m tired of someone needing something from me every goddamn minute of every day. Did I mention I was tired?

Check on your friends with small children. We may not be doing virtual school, but we are in the toddler trenches and it’s getting ugly down here.

Validate me, damnit!

We all know those people- the ones that talk AT you. The ones who suck at listening. The ones who always play devil’s advocate to whatever you are saying. The ones who don’t just let you feel what you are feeling. Correct me if I’m wrong (I’m not) but it is the most exhausting thing to be around these people. They always know better, They always know what’s best, they always have all the answers. They just. Don’t. Fucking. Listen.

When I am pissed, get pissed with me or get the F out of my way. When I am happy, be happy for me! Can we just support each other in this ever increasingly fucked up world we live in?

It isn’t hard to just be supportive of someone else. Don’t be a dick, just be nice. It seems like I am always being talked down to. I don’t need your parenting advice, or your house building/decorating advice, or you diet advice. I am doing just fine on my own, tyvm. People give their opinions way to freely, and forget that no one asked them for it in the first place.

So before you try and tell someone how you think it should be done, take a step back and just listen to them. Understand that the only person who knows what’s best for me is me. And my therapist, obviously.

New decade, zero fucks to give.

I made a resolution to be better to myself this year. I thought this meant not be so hard on myself about my physical appearance. Maybe take better care of myself. What really ended up happening this year is I stopped caring what other people thought. I stopped putting energy into people who don’t deserve it. I put up my ballistic shield around my mental well-being. I don’t know if my initial resolution was the catalyst for this, or if I have just gotten so fucking tired of dealing with other people’s bullshit that I just grew a pair.

I talk about this a lot but I think a lot of it is the support system I have now that I didn’t before. Maybe it’s because I finally know who I am and what I stand for. Probably it’s all these things combined. And I can tell you that it is absolutely exhilarating. To not internalize everything, or absorb everyone else’s bullshit is so fucking empowering!

I still slip up from time to time. I forget not to let the negative shit in and I have to work hard to get back on track. But I am on to something here, and I won’t go back. For those of you who already wake up every day feeling like this- dude. You are the real deal. For those of us who are working on it, keep going. Keep pushing forward. And for those of you who haven’t taken the first step, no time like the present. Think about how much free space in your head and heart you would have if you controlled the flow instead of letting others control it for you. How much happier would you be if you kicked negative people to the curb and just did you? Let’s all ring in this new decade only giving a fuck where a fuck is deserved.