Peeing on a stick

We’ve all done it. It’s the “oh shit where did my period go?” Or “Why do I all of the sudden have the urge to murder a human over a pickle?” or “my boobs hurt…… oh no.” or on the other side of the spectrum “oh god please be a positive this time” “please let this one be real…”

The little signs that urge us to the drug store to buy an over priced piece of plastic that we will be urinating on. We either take it home and let it burn a hole under our bathroom sink or can’t wait one more second and run into the bathroom in the CVS and whip that sucker out in a stall.

Results in five minutes…. don’t read it for five minutes.

What if it’s a false negative? What if it doesn’t work?

I could be pregnant.

Your heart is racing, your mind is in sheer panic mode. If this is something you have waited for or something you’re terrified of, we all have a panic moment.

My husband is a filmmaker. He read a short story my sister wrote for a college assignment about a girl waiting for her pregnancy test results. After he read the story, he knew it needed to be told on a much larger platform. We did the research and found that this story is rarely told. Lots of stories about the moments leading up the the peeing on a stick, and more stories about the aftermath of a pee stick moment… but hardly anything on the moments during the wait. Those long five to seven minutes a woman rarely forgets. So my husband, the filmmaker, wrote a short film about these few minutes.

It’s beautiful and perfect and the most wonderful way to tell this story. He gives a voice to women without getting political or religious, it’s just a human moment.

We want to capture this perfectly and give it justice. We want as many people as possible to see this story.

So we need you, my dear readers. This could be a project you would love to donate a few bucks to or simply share on your facebook, or it could be the thing you’ve been looking for that helps get you started in the film industry! We are still looking for Associate and Executive Producers!! Either way, we need your help to reach our goal and make this film something that can be seen.

Please go to the link below, read all about the story and our plans, consider donating, and share the link on facebook. A share goes a LONG way!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/amen-a-short-film-by-clint-howard-ii-women-drama#/

 

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I am a postpartum depression survivor

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My middle name is Joy.

I embodied Joy my entire life and everyone knew me as the loud comedian. I loved that about myself, it felt like no one or no thing could ever take away my joy.

Then I had postpartum depression. It was with my second born and it came out of nowhere. I had gotten my birth story I wanted and nothing wrong happened with me or my baby. Since the delivery was my biggest concern, I assumed I was in the clear of “baby blues”. My midwife would check up on me a couple of times and I just told her no, and that I was still in awe of my awesome delivery and my happy, healthy new baby girl… there were no signs of postpartum depression in my mind.

Four months went by and my mom was told she had stage four breast cancer. Our world changed and everything shifted. I knew I was sad, but I always justified my sadness as I was mourning the news of my mom’s cancer. But it was more than mourning or just a sadness. I was lonely. I was trapped.

Sleep deprived, baggy eyes, hurting breasts, crying baby, and jealous toddler adjusting to big sister life… it all came crashing down on me.

Before I knew it, I was hiding away from the girls and going into my closet to self-harm. It felt like the only thing I could do. This was a new feeling for me – I had thought about it before when I went through a hard childhood but this was different. I wasn’t doing it for attention or even an escape. I was doing it because I felt physically trapped inside my skin. It felt like my brain was going 180mph and my body was at a halt. I had to move, I had to run, I had to feel something other than despair. I did this for about a month before I told anyone. My husband had no idea and I worked very hard to keep it that way. I was ashamed, I had major mom guilt, and I was irate with myself for not enjoying my new perfect healthy baby girl. Telling someone meant I was showing them how awful of a mother I was.

Finally, in a moment of weakness that I can’t explain, I described the trapped feeling to my sister, who had yet to be a mother at the time. Of course she was immediately concerned for my well being… and I didn’t even tell her the whole truth. She told me I had postpartum depression and I needed to call my midwife immediately….

Postpartum depression…. me?? No way… I am always the happy one. Could it be depression? What else could it be?

I let that sit for a couple of days before I spoke to my husband or my midwife about it. I didn’t want to alarm anyone (… so irrational and I should have shouted it from the mountaintop). It wasn’t until my first panic attack that I had a glimpse of my reality.

I was trapped. Like I needed to escape my skin again. I couldn’t breath. My heart was beating out of my chest. I was in pain. I thought I was going to die and my biggest fear was that my dying would be an inconvenience to the strangers around me.  Wow… there it is. The moment of clarity. I’m not okay. Something is wrong. This isn’t me.

It would be another six hours before my heart felt normal again. I should have gone to a facility that night but I didn’t want to burden anyone.

The next morning I finally made the phone call, made the appointment, got the meds. I was put on a low dose of Celexa to help with the depression and anxiety… it was a whole new world for me that I had so much to learn about. I did the research, spoke to the midwife and the doctors… it saved my life.

Once I was transparent and told everyone about the anguish I was in, no one was mad at me. Crazy, right? No one was angry that I had to spend the money on the doctor or the medication. No one took my children away from me. My husband didn’t leave me. My family still loved me… I only received amazing support  from every person I told.

I stayed on my medication for two years before I was given the green light to ween myself off of them. It should also be noted that I could not have done this without the help and guidance of my therapist.

I still have anxiety and moments of slight panic… I still have a rare urgency to hide in my closest from time to time… but I am happy to report that I have found natural ways to pull myself out of those high anxiety moments. This is extremely difficult and something that took me years to learn with weekly therapy sessions… and not for everyone! But it worked (and still does) for me if I am consistent with it.

I am telling my story for you, momma. Don’t sit in this. Don’t assume you’re this huge burden on society… the stress of momming is SO REAL and lonely. Get out there and get some help. Talk to someone, anyone. Message me! I’ll understand!

I’m also telling my story for you, friend or family member. You just saw the strongest person you know give birth and own motherhood in a beautiful way… don’t assume she is okay. Check on her! Don’t just show up with a meal and leave. Talk, ask questions, get nosy! You could literally save her life and never know it.

You’re not alone, momma.

Survival Tips for Motherhood

Photo May 22, 12 09 20 PMThe following tips are for any moms in any walk of motherhood. Newbies, toddlers, tweens and all the in between… I’ve got you covered. However you should know… this is just if you want to survive. Like for real tho – surviving is all you’ll be doing here. These tips are for the days where you just can’t anymore. Survival is all that is gonna come out of this day. There will be days like this… a lot of them. And when they come, just embrace it and be proud that everyone survived the day. They may be gross and your kitchen is a wreck but there is a glass of wine waiting for after bedtime and that’s all yours, girl. Congrats on survival.

  1. Mac and Cheese… you’ll need a lot of that.
  2. Parks – I know it sounds like a lot but once you’re there they’ll most likely leave you alone long enough for you to sit and scroll on your phone in silence and if you’re lucky they’ll tire out and go to bed early!
  3. Either a garage you can go into and scream where no one will hear you, or a good pillow will do. We don’t want to scar the children but sometimes we need to let out a lil scream or two.
  4. Diaper Genie. This is God’s gift to new moms. Get that. Make the man take it out tho cuz ew.
  5. Wine. I mean duh. Hopefully you’re already on your second glass by the time you get to this one.
  6. Wipies – these are universal cleaning wonders. Poop? Wipies. Peanut butter? Wipies. Dropped the paci? Wipies. Last night’s makeup still on? W I P I E S.
  7. Netflix. This is an $8/month babysitter. INVEST INTO THIS.
  8. Laundry baskets – I’m assuming you already have at least one for the dirty clothes but think ahead… where you gonna put the clean clothes, girl? Get another basket for those to sit in until you can get your shit together long enough to fold it and (dare I say…) put it away in the dressers that you spent money on. 
  9. Delivery. Thank god for those little zit-faced hormonal teenagers whose only job is to bring pizza to your door. Not all heroes wear capes, right? Tip them well, momma. They’ve got moms out there wondering where college funds are coming from, too.
  10. Paper plates – we don’t use them enough as a society. As moms, we should only function on disposable items for everything. They’re going to ruin it anyway? Might as well feel okay with just throwing it in the trash. Also – less cleaning. We can recycle and take care of the planet in all sorts of ways. This isn’t one of them, yet. Mother Earth gets it…

 

It’s a mess out there, momma. I hope this helps. If I need to add anything, feel free to add it in the comments. It takes a village! 

Dear Netflix

First off… on behalf of mothers everywhere – thank you for giving us at least one episode’s worth of extra sleep. We sincerely appreciate your ability to retain the toddler’s attention on our phones while we get just a sweet 21 more minutes before the day really begins.

But… we need to talk.

I think you’ve heard us by now… and you have ignored it for long enough. Stop judging us, Netflix. Stop asking if we’re still watching after 3 episodes automatically play. The kid freaks out when that screen pops up and we have to stop the cleaning/folding/sanity composing/coffee reheating/wine guzzling to push “continue watching”. Also… of course I’m still binge watching my garbage TV show with cuss words after bedtime. I’m only on my third glass of wine. I’m not a quitter!

Besides all of this, Netflix, why on earth do you have random nonkid’s shows on my kid’s profile? Seriously. My daughters share a “kids” profile. At first I selected the option “little kids only” and that caused literal riots in my home as that option does not contain Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell, Netflix… my six year old daughter needs Tinkerbell. Come on. So I upgraded her account to “for older kids and below” and wow, Netflix. Chill. Once Upon a Time is hardly kid appropriate. As is Hater’s Back Off and Star Trek Voyager just to name a few that are way above her level. What gives? I’ve gone to the website and tried to figure out how to change this but to no avail. The only “Parental Controls” you have is for me to add a pin for their profile… my two year old also needs to be able to work Netflix on her own, guys. I mean that’s literally why I own you. For the two-year-old. We all know toddlers run this place, anyway.

With all of these frustrations, it’s important for you to know that no matter what happens, I’ll always have and appreciate you. You could literally jump your prices through the roof and I’ll still be loyal. Like I said, the toddler runs this place and she needs her Netflix… sooooo it looks like we’re in this together. Just hoping you could get more on my mommy level and stop catering to the millennials who really are just using you to Netflix and Chill… I promise you, more moms are using you than you will ever know.

I’ll leave you to fix this. I trust you will. But I mean either way you’re still getting my money so this isn’t a threat or anything… just a tired mom.

Love always,

the world’s okayest mom.

“Don’t You Regret It?”

This one here needs a little introduction. My good friend from high school wrote the following words. I have known her for well over a decade and remember watching her have her baby girl, marry her high school sweetheart, and have a few of her ups and downs – y’all… Liz is one of the strongest people I know. If you ever get the chance, have a conversation with this woman. I have always valued my time with her. That being said:: I think this is such an important post right here. There are so many expectations society puts on a woman, and we can use all the encouragement we can take. Get some encouragement from my dear friend, here. There is so much value in these words.

“Are you having any more kids?”
“No, my husband got a vasectomy.”
“Oh my gosh y’all are so young aren’t you afraid you will regret it?”
“Im good either way, he really didn’t want kids so I respected his wishes.”
“But what about you? Didn’t you want more kids?”
“I’m okay either way.”
“I think you will regret it when you’re older, maybe you can talk him into reversing it.”

Fast forward 7 years later….
Do we regret it?
No. We. Do. Not.
Do I regret it?
NO!

Having a kid is hard but I am constantly pressured about having another one. How could I not want another one, they say. Aside from the whole other issue I would have to write about on respecting my husband’s wishes, this one is for mom’s who only have one kid and are okay with it. Even when we are constantly made to feel guilty about it, even if it’s unintentional. You are not weird for only wanting one. When people asked me in the beginning if I was upset he got a vasectomy the only reason I ever said yes was because that is what I felt I had to say. From the way I was asked, I felt like if I said no I would be a bad person or judged. Internally I was okay with not having another baby, and now that my daughter is older and I have had motherhood experience, I am so happy I don’t
have another kiddo. I am not a kid person. I have never really been a kid person.

I am constantly fighting an internal battle about how I am not a good mom because I don’t like to play with my kid, or how I don’t do enough stuff with her, or how she is late to bed again because I am just not paying attention.

We recently found out that she has ADD and to be honest I was so relieved I wasn’t crazy! I thought I was doing something wrong because she couldn’t focus, she couldn’t sit still, and she could never finish anything. She literally has 6 alarms in the morning to keep her on task and 4 in the evening. Not being a kid person, this is very hard on me. I lose patience fast, I get annoyed fast, I can’t understand why she can’t just put her dang shoes on the first time I ask, or brush her teeth the fifth time I ask.

I am an okay mom.

The question is, am I okay with this? Yes and no. Do I want to just be an okay mom? Actually, no. I want to be an amazing mom. I want to constantly work on the habits I have towards my kid, such as not snapping at her and having more patience. But in the mean time I am an okay mom. The fact that I WANT to improve myself for her is great, and I give myself credit for that. I want to raise an amazing human being.

The deal is, my mom feels like she was an okay mom. She was overworked and stressed.
Constantly under financial pressure as a single parent. She had two kids, my brother and me, and yet I feel like she was amazing. I could not have a more amazing mom in my opinion. I feel like she did a great job. I am a good and kind person. I have a career, dreams, goals, and an amazing kid. I have to remember that as long as I’m present and doing the best I can, my kid will feel the same way about me.

With all that said, did you just read what I wrote?

OMG I could not imagine all these thoughts, insecurities, and pep talks with more than one child! It’s hard enough going through all of this with one kid. I applaud all moms who have more than one. You are freaking amazing and I honestly don’t know how you do it. Just thinking about raising two decent human beings stresses me out. I only have one kid and I am at peace with that. No regrets here. I love being able to give all of my focus to my daughter and honestly she needs it.

Never let anyones opinion affect your peace.

Written by our fellow Okay Mom – Liz Edmond

How To Be Happy (Really)

There is a common misconception in the world, that if a person is sad, they have no happiness, and vice versa. If a person is happy, then they are never sad. I think for moms this misconception is even more prevalent than for most others. If a mom is struggling, having a bad day, or even if her house has one iota of dust lying around, she must be unhappy. She isn’t doing her job, she may even be -dare we utter the word- *depressed*…. Or if a mom has everything in order, her kids perfectly match, her own clothes are immaculate, and her hair and makeup are done beautifully, she is obviously the picture of what it means to be happy. The truth is most of us have our good days and our bad. Some days we are happy, and some days we are sad. Sometimes we have depression, or anxiety, or are just so exhausted we can’t even identify what we are feeling. Sometimes that exhaustion is how we know that everything we go through, everything we do, is worth it.

Moms have so much going on. Other people, even other moms, may not understand what you, specifically, are going through. You have hormones, and lord knows every kid is different, not to mention differences in circumstances, and husbands, and personalities, and even the way you yourself were parented. I need you to know that you are not alone. There are other moms out there, who although they may not be going through exactly the same thing as you, they do understand. Somewhere out there, someone understands. And really, chances are, somewhere out there, someone really has been there too.

Now being happy, and I mean really, truly happy, is a hard thing. It is difficult to even know exactly what “happy” is, or what it feels like. Personally, I think happiness is different for everyone. There are so many versions of happiness. You have to figure out which one is your real, true happiness, and then figure out how to keep making it happen. Is your happiness a euphoric feeling, is it pure joy, or maybe bliss? Is it the feeling you get when you look at a beautiful sunset, or when you drink a glass of your favorite wine? Or maybe it is that feeling of holding your baby for the very first time?

Whatever it is, find it, remember it, and hold on. For me happiness is a little of all of those things. It’s nostalgia, and remembering how things used to be. It’s letting the sadness in just enough. It is also remembering to put away my selfishness (because I am a very selfish person, who likes things my way), and remember how good it feels to just be nice to other people. It is looking in my husband’s eyes and knowing how much he loves me, or spending the day wrapped in the embraces of my kids. It’s even letting go of my frustration, and letting my kids get away with something that would normally make me mad, just because (like them playing soccer with our Christmas ornaments, don’t worry, they are plastic).

I have to give a little nod to the Disney Pixar movie Inside Out. They really hit the nail on the head with that one. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly encourage you to make it a family night. It is well worth it. The thing is, all of our emotions are important, and the only way to be really, truly happy, is to find the balance. Let your anger out and feel the sad with the happy. One of my favorite, and completely hormonally controlled, feelings, is when I nurse my son. I don’t feel a rush of euphoria, like some people. I also don’t experience a deep sadness like some others. I am filled with an overwhelming love for my son and that makes me laugh and cry all at the same time. Yes, my husband looks at me like I’m crazy… however, it is one of the happiest times of my day. I get the same feeling every time one of my older boys tells me “I love you mom”, or when my husband looks at me and tells me even after giving birth 3 times, and even weighing drastically more than when we got married, he still thinks I’m beautiful.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that to be happy, and again I mean really, truly happy, you have to take it all. Find your balance. Figure out the calm inside the storm. To paraphrase one Charles Xavier in X-Men First Class, true focus lies between rage and serenity (yes, I’m a nerd, I know). I believe true happiness lies somewhere in there also. It is a fine balance, but without the sadness and the anger and the gloppity gloop of hormones and other emotions, true happiness wouldn’t be attainable. You may suffer from depression, or anger, or anxiety, or maybe even something like chronic joy. Just remember that real, true happiness is out there, and it may look a little different than you expected.

-Written for you by Okay Mom Brittany Rice

When You Finally Grow the F Up

Another post written for you by one of our Okay Moms ::

KT Kinsey

I have never been the socially acceptable “normal” person I was intended to be by the people in charge of my education and upbringing. I’ve always taken the road less traveled, and that was usually the more difficult path. Baby was never meant to be put in a corner and was never meant to be told what to do! Painfully awkward, filled with incredible amounts of pent up rage from tragic events of my childhood, and lost in a big world with no real role model, I spent the first almost 30 years of my existence, well, lost.

My life never had a clear path. I didn’t have much in the way of future goals, I couldn’t see past the end of my nose and the borders of my small hometown. You know the type of place, small town, booming in population growth, where everyone either works for a plant or teaches school and everyone knows everyone else’s business.  I knew I wasn’t meant to be there, but I had no clue how to get out unless prison was involved, and I’m too in to my self-preservation for that shit. The opportunities for me weren’t plentiful and I had no idea how to get out there and make things happen myself. I was usually shut down before I could even try.

I was forced to attend college even though deep down I knew I wasn’t ready. I was too naive of the real world and had absolutely no clue what college involved or what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Seven years, three majors, three minors, and three institutions of higher learning later and I finally trucked out a half decent degree with a $40,000 price tag in student loans. I was finally done with the monotony of “formal education”, married and on my way to the state of New York for my husband’s first duty station with the Army.

The first tastes of real freedom, and what did I do with it? Immediately had a baby. Don’t get me wrong, I was so ready to have a child and I love my little boy more than anything else in the world, but I never gave myself time to consider options for just what exactly I would want out of life. By the time my husbands first contract with the Army was complete we had spent three years in the frozen tundra of upstate New York, racking up credit card debt, and doing nothing but hiding at home with my baby and eating. I was “that” military spouse. I made a couple of friends and tried a few new activities but my only true solace was junk food and fighting with imaginary people on the Internet. I was just a miserable person living a closeted miserable life.

All of the education and training and experience I had built up in the first 25 years of my life were going to absolute waste. This impasse basically slapped me in the face in 2013 when I decided to compete for the last time in an International pageant system I had been involved in for almost 10 years. I was aging out and decided to give the International competition one more go of it. I prepared my vocal selection for talent, shopped for the clothes, got in shape, had professional headshots made. I was ready! Or so I thought. I was 27 and aging out of the system and the part of the process that I hadn’t given much thought to was also the part that always came so easy to me, the Interview competition. About a month before the pageant I started thinking about things I could potentially be asked in Interview. It didn’t take me long to realize I had messed up. Questions that came to mind were things like “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” “What is your greatest accomplishment” or “How do you plan to make an impact on the world”.

That’s it, time to call the whole thing off, I’m doomed. I can belt out a song and glide across the stage in a gown all day but I had absolutely no real substance to back it up. I am not a person who cries easily. I am also that solid rock in a rocky storm type of gal. I went into sheer panic mode. I ended up in tears during a conversation with my mother, whom I was living with at the time while my husband was deployed. I realized that while I had gone through the “expected” steps of graduating high school, graduating college, marrying a respectable man, and having a beautiful child, I had absolutely nothing to really show for myself that was any indication of who I was as a person and absolutely no future path in sight other than to raise my child.

Now, before anyone wants to rake me over the coals for my last statement, I’m not saying raising my child isn’t respectable. I consider it the hardest and most rewarding job I have ever had and will ever have. This is merely my way of saying that I had never given any thought to being capable of anything other than being a wife and mom. I love those parts of my life, but in this epiphany mess of tears I realized that I was a capable human being who really did want more than what I had settled myself to.

My mom talked me off the ledge, we managed to collaborate on some believable bullshit to put on my introduction card for the pageant, and off we went to spend a week in Vegas full of hairspray, rhinestones, and memories. I ended up pulling off my second trip to the Top 10 for my age group, and while I didn’t return home with a crown I did come home with a new found thought: I am not done living my life yet.

Fast forward four years and we now live in Tennessee where we own a home, send our son to a nice private school, I have an incredible job, and now know what I want to be when I grow up. In those four years I took a long look at where I came from and decided to embrace what I was capable of rather than wallowing in my pathetic past. I cut myself off from a lot of Internet connection, a lot of toxic “friendships”, even more toxic family relations, and decided to be who I really am.

I now rock purple hair, I got my first tattoo recently, I embrace my full on love of Harry Potter and all things nerdy, and decided to stop letting everyone else tell me who I am supposed to be. I saw a picture on Instagram recently with a quote on it that I have really fallen in love with. It said, “Teach your daughters to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and more about shattering glass ceilings.” I’m done trying to fit myself into the molds I was never meant to fit into. I may not cure cancer, save Social Security, or win Miss America but for my child I’m going to be the best example of living my one and only life exactly the way I want to with absolutely no shame or doubt involved. If I can encourage one other person to be who they are without apology, then my work here is done.