We all kinda suck

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My bad.

I am totally the worst.

 

A hypocrite to the MAX.

I spend my entire time worrying about how moms are being judged or shamed – trying to give okay moms a voice. Trying my hardest to tell moms from every walk of life that it’s okay to be okay – to ignore the perfect instagram mommies because there’s a lot we don’t see behind their perfectly filtered pictures.

 

But at the end of the day – I took that voice away from the okay moms and used it for harm.

I digress.

My eyes were opened to my hypocrisy because of a peanut butter sandwich.

Not just any peanut butter sandwich… but a peanut butter sandwich made from a professional. It was for a peanut butter ad and it was targeting moms who pack their kid’s school lunches. The ad showed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with perfect tiny star shapes cut out of the top of the bread so you can see the perfectly smeared thin layer of (I’m sure) organic jelly and the thick layer of the protein packed peanut butter. No mess. Crust not even cut off – because of course this kid eats crusts. Perfect little lunch packed for a perfect little kid by a perfect mom. Every time this ad popped up on my Facebook feed, I wanted to throw my middle finger up. OVER IT. STAHP. No one is that perfect. No one takes the time to do this. And if they do take the time to do this – it is for a filtered instagram pic and not for their kid. Right??

 

Well I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.

 

For nearly a year I have ran a mommy support group on Facebook called the World’s Okayest Moms and it’s pretty freakin perfect. We’re coming up on almost 2,000 members and it is a well oiled machine – so far there has been very little drama (WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE HELLO) and a huge support from all over the world… literally the world. It’s amazing and encouraging and I couldn’t be more proud of it.

A few weeks back, one of the world’s okayest moms took a screenshot of said peanut butter ad and posted it in the group with a caption along the lines of – who actually does this. The comments were hilarious. A bunch of woman, including myself, got on the thread and bashed the ad for being so fucking perfect and not messy. It was exactly what I thought would happen. Until a mom commented something I hadn’t thought of :

 

I won’t quote her directly but basically she was hurt. She said that her child had the hardest time eating and would go through bouts of refusing food for days on end (who doesn’t have that every once in a while). So in a desperate attempt to get her child to eat some protein, she made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Perfectly, no mess, cute shaped cut out of the center of the bread, and it was beautiful. The kid ate the sandwich and she finally found something that worked. It became a ritual for her to make these special sandwiches for her kid who she was worried wasn’t getting enough nutrients. She said that the comments on the post hurt her directly and she was debating leaving the group over it – she thought this group was a place without judgement and here she was, feeling completely judged. She was hurt. We hurt her. Suddenly a memory hit me that four years ago I had an extremely stubborn two year old refuse to eat for days on end with the exception of cheerios. So I did this! I used cookie cutters and cut her sandwiches into shapes for months. It was the only thing she ate and I was relived she was getting some protein so it didn’t matter to me that I had to go the extra mile for my typical two-year-old.

 

I wrote her back an apology and validated her hurt. I thanked her for not leaving the group but I think my apology was too late. I never got a reply back.

I felt terrible.

I had set out to create this environment for mommies who felt like they didn’t belong and here I am shaming mommies.

Is it possible that we are so worried about not judging and shaming okay moms that we end up shaming and judging the instagram moms?

We hate their perfect yoga pants and their skinny bodies and their avocado toast. But aren’t they doing what they need? They need the marathons, they need the cookie cutter sandwiches, they need their protein shakes in the morning. Some of them even need the likes. They need to post their filtered devotional and coffee pic in the morning so that they feel validated and noticed. It’s their way to feel creative and appreciated. Who doesn’t want that?

 

I am a creative but not with my instagram pics… I am not a photographer and I don’t spend 15 minutes working on the perfect placement of my latte on the cafe table for the perfect picture. But these women who do are only expressing their creativity in a different way than I would.

Point is – we don’t know. There is no way we could ever possibly know their life. We don’t know why they feel the need to post Breast is Best or Fed is Best posts. We don’t know why their house is pristine and their coffee always hot. We don’t know why their kids wear name brands and eat their perfect organic sandwiches every day. Just like they don’t know us.

Isn’t it time we push through that divide? Can’t a mom just be a mom? At the end of the day – we all have the same end goal…

 

don’t raise an asshole.

Right??

Let’s chill out, mommas. It’s okay to be okay and it’s also okay to be sub par and it’s also okay to be spectacular. You do you. That’s the best we can do, right? We all kinda suck – there’s some common ground!

 

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I spent $60 on my toddler’s birthday party and she actually SURVIVED.

Crazy, right?

She didn’t die.

She didn’t resent me.

She didn’t turn around while we were all watching her blow out her candles and tell me that she hates me and need to find her a child psychologist stat.

I mean… this was her second birthday so I guess those things aren’t a total surprise. But you wanna know what is a surprise? That suddenly, our generation believes that it’s exactly what is going to happen!!

I blame Pinterest. Completely… totally… irrevocably all Pinterest’s FAULT.


Why do we kill ourselves for one day a year?

I’m gonna go with we do it because we want to look like we have our shit together.

Being a creative mom is like a right of passage…

You simply CANNOT be a good mom unless you know the value of mod podge and have you own check out lane with your name on it at Party City.

WHY THO?

We end up getting so caught up in this bullshit that we can’t even enjoy our child’s birthday. You know what a two year old wants for her birthday??? NOT A DAMN THING. SHE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW IT’S A THING.

Having a huge birthday celebration for babies is a complete selfish, stressful, waste of time. They won’t remember it. They don’t need it. Aren’t there still starving kids in the world somewhere? Why are we spending THOUSANDS of dollars on this? Yes. Acknowledge the birthday. Enjoy it. Get a cake, get the pictures that last a life time, have the cousins come and bust a piñata. Sounds like a great day. But I refuse to spend more than $100 on an event they won’t remember.

I promise you, they will survive.

 

 

Teen Angst and Facebook

social_media_freakFacebook :: the central hub of teen angst. The Mecca of drama.

It has been brought to my attention that everyone acts like a bunch of hormonal teenagers on social media. ((I AM NOT EXCLUDED FROM THIS))

Grown adults are using Facebook to reach out to old flings that happened DECADES ago even though they’re married.

Grown adults are using Facebook to post pictures of themselves at dinner with their close friends so that their not-so-close friends will see that they weren’t invited.

Grown adults are using Facebook to prove how wonderfully picture-perfect their lives are in hopes of getting the most clicks of a button on a thumbs up.

Why do we do this? Can we all just agree to be adults for a min?

What is the point?

Trust… I am no better. I am petty. I am annoying. I am a self-admitted attention whore.

But at the end of the day… what is this all for?

Deleting Facebook doesn’t seem logical. It’s amazing to stay in touch with friends and family outside of our daily lives. It’s a perfect way to be in constant contact with those we love. We love being able to make announcements, ask for help from friends, and show the latest pictures of how big our kids our getting for those who don’t get to see them everyday. I don’t wanna delete it…

So for now… can I just confess to you real quick?

I can get pretty teen angst-y. Truth. I mean… it’s hard not to. There are a lot of things that happened to me as a teen that I still need to get over and grow from. I still harbor a lot of bitterness towards people who I felt hurt me or abandoned me. ((Hence my last post entitled Sorry I’m Not Sorry)) I could go back and delete the post entirely but it’s still so much a part of who I am and what I am currently dealing with even as a grown adult. There are parts of me that are still straight up 15 years old. I hate it, but it’s true. I am currently working on growing those things about me but for now, it sounds a lot like teen angst.

As a mom, the biggest offender is the standard. You moms know what I’m talking about. The Instagram filtered, Pinterest pinned life that no one can match up to. It’s excruciating trying to live up to those standards… because they AREN’T REAL. It’s impossible. Since when do we have to spend millions on the perfectly painted nursery and the perfectly themed first birthday party ((both of which our children will NOT REMEMBER…….)) I don’t have the time or patience to make my own baby food and yet I assumed that’s what I needed to do to ensure my child grows and lives a healthy life forever and ever amen…. because of social media. Since when did we stop making our own opinions and judgement based on the pretty filtered moms on Instagram to raise our babies? It’s impossible.

Can we all just agree to be a lil more real on social media? Cuz that’d be great…

Hell, I’ll even give it a try.

 

sorry… I am NOT sorry.

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You may have liked me better before, but what you didn’t know is that was when I was the most dishonest I have been in my entire life.

You may have thought I was the perfect Christian from the perfect family in the perfect pew, but I wasn’t caring one bit about the perfection I was and only cared about the perfection you thought you saw.

You may have sat there and admired my lack of profanity, my sincerity as I raised my hands during praise and worship, my lack of public display of affection with the perfectly Christian boyfriend I had.

You had no idea.

I was a liar. I loved the attention and I wasn’t going to stop. I loved hearing praises from you and others about how much of a good example I was to the youth. I was hungover nearly every single Sunday morning. You were oblivious. I was sleeping with my boyfriend and you thought my purity ring meant something. My boyfriend would drink and party with me and later rape me… but now he sings on your stage and denies everything. You wanted me to lead others by example… but you never took two seconds to find out if I was dying on the inside. You only cared that I was perfect on the outside. You only cared that the children who wanted to grow up to be like me someday never found out the real truth. You didn’t care about my heart. You never asked, because you were afraid of the answer.

I got caught and apologized, I said everything you all wanted to hear

I will never do it again

I learned so much from my mistakes

We broke up

I’m done drinking

God replaced that in my life

…only to never change and continue whatever it was I was doing and not feeling any remorse for that.

So here I am now. An adult. A wife. A mother.

I use profanity.

I drink.

I am not perfect.

But you know what… I’m not a liar. I never pretend to be the person I am the furthest from. I don’t look you in the eye and tell you I believe one thing when in my mind I know it is laughable.

I love people, yes – even you dear church. I am in love with humans. All the humans. More than you know. My heart aches for the innocent and the guilty. I don’t care about their past, their “criminal record”, their shortcomings… I don’t even care that you hurt so many people so that you can feel more righteous. I care that you are a breathing human being with a beating heart and I care that you, just like me, have power. Power to heal or power to steal.

You don’t call me now that I don’t attend. You unfollow me on Facebook because the word “shit” appeared one too many times. You blocked me because I shared my opinion on bullies in the White House. You even go so far as to call my Christian parents to tell them how disappointed you are in who I have turned out to be.

But here is the ironic part. You loved me so much when I was a liar. You bragged about me when I was a thief. You showed me off on a stage when I was abusing your trust. Now that I am nothing but honest and loving to myself and others, it’s too much for you. You hate me. You cast me down into the pit. You call me names and tell me where my spirit will go when life here on this earth is done. Am I hurt? A little… it stings. Some of you, I thought, were good friends. It turns out you are just as much of a liar as I used to be, if not more. Am I sorry? Hell no. I am not sorry that for the first time in my life I have gotten rid of the poison that is hypocrisy. I am not sorry that I am more confident in who I am as a human than who I was as a “believer”. I am not sorry that I will do nothing but tell you the truth. Not sorry.

Church, you hurt me. You hurt me by only loving me when I was a liar. You hurt me for hating me when I became my truest self. You hurt me for telling me you love me only to stab me in the back when I turned the other way. You hurt me when you talked about me as soon as I left. You didn’t call to seek truth for yourself. You just unfriended me. On social media and in life.

Christ didn’t do that. Christ still loves me and now more than ever I am receiving of that love because I know that he knows my true self. I’m not hiding from him anymore. Or you.

I’m not good enough

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Stay at home momming is the hardest thing I have ever done. I’m not sure if I’m cut out for it.

My whole life I assumed  that I would be a stay at home mom and raise all the perfect babies and have the perfectly clean house. Why in hell did I think that? Who told me that? That certainly wasn’t how I grew up.

They make it look so easy. Commercials, billboards, mommy bloggers with all the know hows, beautiful friends with their beautiful babies posed beautifully on their couch not covered in cheerios with their 5 month sticker on their onsie…

I don’t do that. I have two kids, 5 and almost 2. I’m lucky if I survive a whole week.

There is no secret formula. There is no one answer.

If only I get up every morning at 6:00

If only I make the bed first thing

If only I make this chore chart 

If only I work out everyday

It’s just not that simple or easy. It’s lonely, it’shard, it’s exhausting.

Making sure the five-year-old can spell her name and knows her birthday, following the two-year-old around the house while she messes up literally EVERYTHING you just cleaned… it never ends.

I’m not good enough. I never will be. I can’t do it all. Not today. I can’t make everyone happy and still have time for myself.

So what? What is the answer?

Knowing that it won’t ever be good enough… by your own standards.

My kids have no idea. They just know that they’re fed and happy. They have no idea that I am up at 6:00 just so I can write uninterrupted. They have no idea that I feel like I have failed them. They’re just content. They know they are loved. They are so loved. So loved that everyday I get up and do it over and over again. So loved that I hide my insecurities from them and read them that extra bed time story even though I am so tired I can’t see straight. So loved that I will spend my last penny on whatever they need and make sure they don’t see my struggle. They have a great life. Not just one, but two parents who love them unconditionally… which unfortunately isn’t the  case for so many children.

Sometimes I even let her pass out on my bed in her ballet outfit and let her ruin the sheets while she’s working on her “science book”. That’s what she knows. That’s what she will remember.IMG_8162

You are good enough, momma. Stop comparing yourself to the friend with the perfect instagram filter… she doesn’t have her shit together, either. I promise you. There is no one answer, believe me if I knew it I would do it and tell you over and over again. Just be okay with being okay. Forgive yourself everyday and just continue to love the mess out of those crazy life-draining babies. They’re worth it. And so are you.

 

mommas on the crazy pills

LET’S BE REAL MOMMA’S!

This is a hard job. It sucks… a lot of the time. There are days where I just sit there and wonder if this is it for me. Some women out there were born to be mothers and feel all the validation they need from their children – I am not one of those women. I love my kids dearly, but I didn’t have them so that I can become a mother. I had them to make a family with my husband. To raise tiny humans into functioning adults for the next generation.

As I’m sitting here trying to type this, my one-year-old is in her crib crying it out, and my four-year-old is being brain washed by Netflix and a tub of cheese balls just so that I can do this somewhat uninterrupted.

It’s 2016. Pinterest is a thing. If you follow any moms in Instagram at all, then you see their perfect clean children in their perfect clean home, sometimes even doing impressive yoga poses… THE PRESSURE IS TOO MUCH. I’m sitting here, wondering if I should shut them up with a beautifully filtered picture of my antidepressants I take with my morning coffee… which I can’t have too much of or the anxiety will just become too much for one pill to handle.

I realized that I had postpartum depression four months after my second baby was born. It came out of nowhere! I even had a perfect birth, one that other moms are jealous of. Stay at home mom life had just begun, it was everything I hoped could happen. I expected everything to be so simple and wonderful with my now family of four.

My emotions were just out of control. Out of nowhere, my 4 year old’s voice became like nails on a chalk board to me. I would immediately get impatient with whatever she came to talk to me about. I thought I just needed to work on my patience with her and try to sleep more… right? I found myself fascinating about hurting myself. The worst I ever did was punch a wall but I thought about self harm everyday. I didn’t want to tell anyone. I would be a …. god forbid… bad mom. Just thinking of other mothers judging me was enough to keep my mouth shut. This went on for about a month until I finally decided to tell my sister about my anger. She was very sympathetic and didn’t judge at all. It was great to get it off my chest. The ironic part of this is that she doesn’t have any children of her own yet but she still could recognize that it was postpartum depression. I was shocked. I had no idea. The only signs I ever thought to look for were if I wanted to jump into traffic or if I ever wanted to drown my children. I didn’t want to do either of those things so I thought I was fine. Women just don’t talk about their emotions with postpartum depression. It’s scary and… well, depressing! No one wants to talk about that.

I still wanted to let the idea simmer before rushing to seek professional help… which I shouldn’t have done, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t making any rash decisions.

I finally realized what it was the day I went to the fair. I told my husband that I was going to get my car fixed that day while the girls were being watched by my sister in law. I had to run by my parents house to pick something up while I was kid-free and my dad mentioned that they were on their way to the fair. Let me back up a bit and explain that this was a tough year for my family. My mom had just been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, and my dad was scheduled for an open-heart surgery the following month. For my parents to just want to go to the fair and forget everything for one evening sounded amazing to me. He invited me to tag along. I couldn’t help but say yes impulsively. I asked my sister in law if she would be willing to watch the girls a few more hours and she said it wasn’t a problem.

On the car ride there, the anxiety hit. I was short of breath and kept shaking my feet, like I was in a huge hurry for something. We were stuck in traffic and it took a long time for us to finally get to the fair. Once we were inside, my dad kept offering me food or something to drink, I just couldn’t focus. My thoughts included:

Maybe my sister in law really doesn’t want to keep the girls and she’s just trying to be nice.

Maybe my husband is irate with me for going to the fair instead of fixing the car.

Maybe the dog I was supposed to be dog sitting for my husband’s parents has shat all over their beautiful home and they come home early from their trip and see that I neglected their dog and thus begins a massive family feud to last through the decades.

It was too much. I couldn’t focus on anything. My heart was pounding, it felt like I couldn’t breath. Even typing this now is making me anxious.

I had to go home. I couldn’t enjoy anything. I took the train to my parents house and got my car to get the girls. My husband was agitated that I didn’t get the car fixed like I said I would but he wasn’t anywhere near irate with me like I had assumed he was all evening. My sister in law was fine, like she said she was, and I picked the girls up at a good time. I got to my husband’s parent’s house and there was not a turd in sight, the dog was happy and just fine. Nothing happened. I went to the fair. That’s all that happened. I got the car fixed the next day and everything was totally fine. I had created the worst possible outcomes in my mind to the point where I completely lost control. I couldn’t get a hold of my brain.

Do you know what that’s like? You feel like you’re an actual insane person. To not be able to rationalize for anything. It’s like you’re in a constant poker game with your brain. Just intensely waiting on someone to make their move and throw the better hand down. You’ve already lost all your money and your brain is just taunting you at this point. Your brain can see right through your sad little attempt at a poker face. It’s over. Your brain will win every single time. It’s hopeless.

That morning, I called my midwife and my family doctor to make an appointment. It was unanimous – postpartum depression. I started medication right away. A mild antidepressant mixed with a non-habitforming anti anxiety that I can take when I feel out of control. Sometimes that’s every day, sometimes it’s twice a day, sometimes I go a whole week without taking one… it’s anyone’s guess how the day will go.

I am tormented by my brain everyday and it seems impossible at times to get a grip on reality. This is depression. Losing all control. I’m sure it’s different for everyone but this is just a small glimpse into what we deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Adding children to the equation is a whole different story. They sleep in and my brain tells me that they’ve been dead for hours and I’ve just been sleeping away like the terrible, selfish mother that I am. I get on Pinterest and Instagram and see how these other “functioning” mothers must love their children more than I do.

This is why we need to tell the truth on social media. Let’s be honest for a change. Let’s post our Facebook statuses to something honest like:

Thank God my mom agreed to keep the terrible children I gave birth to for the night so that I can get some precious and rare sleep

There isn’t enough wine in the house to undo the poop I had to wipe earlier today

My kid keeps biting at school…. it’s easier for me to assume the other little shit deserved it.

 

Let’s ban together, momma’s. Let’s tell it like it is with no more sugar coating perfectly themed birthday filtered pictures. This is motherhood. It’s hard. Some days suck. Some days suck more than the others. It can be rewarding but sometimes it’s hard for us to see the rewards.

You’re gonna make it momma. Even if you have to take the crazy pills or drink that bottle of wine… you’re gonna make it. They love you. They need you. You love them. You need them.

Here is my perfect filtered Instagram pic of the day. Enjoy.

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