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.

#JudgyMomSquad

There are two kinds of moms in this world: judgmental moms and fucking liars. We all judge- it is the nature of the beast. Own it, embrace it, and try to keep it in check.

How can we not be judgmental? Being a mom is your whole identity in the beginning, and it takes work to remember that’s not all that you are. The world judges us for EVERYTHING we do. We all think we are raising our kids the best way possible, and how dare you have an opinion that differs from mine?!

With something as wrapped up in our DNA as fully as parenting is, how can we expect anything less than passionate, tired AF parents who have strong, sleep deprived opinions on how to best get these monsters to adulthood successfully?

I’m not saying I am proud of it, but I do it too. I think the most productive way to combat it is to surround yourself with a tribe of like-minded parents. That way you have a good support system that you can be yourself around. It creates a safe space for all involved to share freely.

For example, I surround myself with moms who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. I need that kind of honesty to help get me through. I would not do well on Mom Facebook groups, and I’m ok with that. If you can, that’s awesome! I need to have a tribe where I can say my kid is being an asshole and they commiserate and get me. Isn’t that what it’s all about- having a support system for whatever walk or mindset of parenting you are in?

So own your judgyness! Accept, embrace, and try to find ways to chill the F out when you can. Don’t alienate people, and if you are you need to figure out how to slow your roll. I think it’s a little unrealistic to assume a tell-it-like-it-is mom and a crunchy helicopter mom would do much for each other support-wise, but we don’t have to be dicks to each other because of that. Be nice, being a parent is hard enough.

The danger of “boys will be boys.”

I legit cannot stand this term. It’s 2019, that term should be banned from the Urban AND Oxford Dictionaries. I think it is so dangerous and debilitating in society, and to our children. Obviously, there is a biological and hormonal difference between boys and girls. Venus and Mars, all that noise. Boy moms and girl moms have such different experiences and frustrations. Like one of my favorite memes from the internet I am always repeating: Boys are less drama than girls, but harder to keep alive.

This phrase isn’t talking about any of this. It’s implying the “boys club” mentality. It’s the mentality that got Trump elected, that gets rapists a slap on the wrist, that victim shames. It’s the mentality that gives boys a pass for acting in a way that society deems “normal to their gender.” It widens the gender gap, and teaches our kids that there is one.

I know I already talked about raising boys in 2019 in another blog, but bear with me.

As a boy mom, and damn proud of it tyvm, these are the things my boys will know:

1. Consent. How to get it, and what to do if you don’t.

2. A girl can do ANYTHING you can do, and there are times she is going to do it better.

3. There is no such thing as gender specific jobs or chores. This is not 1950.

4. Absolutely nothing you do is excused because of your gender.

How about instead of saying “boys will be boys,” or “typically dramatic girls,” we just say “typical asshole kids?” It rolls off the tongue so much nicer, doesn’t it? The world is going to try and fit our kids into as many little boxes and check marks as it can, for their whole life. How about we don’t help it out?

So yes, you will proudly see me on the Gram posting #boymama- but it will never be an excuse or pass for anything they do or say. The only thing it will do is make me crazy, which it totally has. 🙂

The shit show of family outings.

Today we all went to Home Depot, including the dog. First of all, I live in South Florida and it is hot AF right now. Going outside is limited to a “needs-only” basis at this point.

So of course, per the laws of the universe, someone immediately started being unhappy. Smalls was pissed he had to sit in the cart. And once we got in there, he shit his pants. So I trekked him back to the car for a diaper change in the thousand degree heat. Then back to the store, where he continued to scream about having to be in the cart, being held, the injustice of his situation. Because I no longer wanted to hear the screaming, I took him and the dog back to the car, so Dading could finish shopping with Biggie. Again, long trek across the store back to the parking lot.

What do I look like at this point? Like a hot fucking mess. Covered in sweat, hair all frizzy and crazy looking. I pass a mom with her maybe 9 year old son in tow. The conversation went as follows:

Me: I thought the dog would have been the bad one but nope, it’s the baby. He’s been tantruming.

Mom: I would put him in the cart and let him scream. I have 4 kids. You gotta do what you gotta do. Are you ok?

Me: Oh yeah, I’m good. Dad is with the other one shopping.

Mom: I’ll put you (looks at Smalls) in my cart and push you around the store and let you cry.

I know I must have looked like a frazzled new mom. She doesn’t know I’m not. But she asked me if I was ok! That was so awesome. You always read about moms looking out for each other, but that’s the first time it happened to me with a stranger. For a hot minute, we were allies in the shit show that is parenting. So thank you, Home Depot mom. For taking one second to check on me.

Moral of the story: avoid taking children out in public at all costs. Next time we’ll leave them in the dog crate and just take the dog 😉

Stitches: another rite of passage

We hit another parenting milestone on Friday, people. Biggie got taken out by a toy to the head at preschool and had to get one stitch. Dading and I are getting way too good at restraining children for medical purposes. Luckily, their aunt is a doctor so she was able to stitch him up, and the stitch comes out tomorrow. Is it bad that I kind of hate the kid who hit him a little bit, even though it was an accident? Considering he is 4, Biggie was very brave about it, and I was proud of us for handling business.

It does remind me that parenting life can change on a dime. One minute your Friday night plans consist of dinner with friends, the next you’re fighting a toddler in an exam room. That part of parenting can be really stressful- the times when it hits you in the face and you just have to hold on and get through it. We’ve been through way worse with Smalls and his asthma and hospitalizations, so this wasn’t even on the spectrum of “oh shit” moments.

It does reiterate my belief that when they turn 18 you should get a big ass trophy, for getting them to adulthood without killing them or allowing them to kill themselves.

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. 😉

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 🙂

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.

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!