I’m no professional at this called, “life.” I’m a forever student learning to navigate through the ups and the downs that life throws at me. I wasn’t aware at how I was playing the game of life. I was sitting back being a bystander in my own life… pouting as to why… I wasn’t more. Not taking any responsibility for anything whenever possible. Why? Because then I wouldn’t have to own any responsibility for something that could possibly go wrong. I sat back and watched my life unfold the way “others” wanted it to unravel. I gave up my power to the world. I let my emotions be dictated by someone else’s thoughts and hungered for validation anywhere I could get it. “See me, see me… please. Hear me. I’m here.” But I come to realize … I would never be seen or heard unless I started accepting my own worth. Why would anyone see me or hear me… when I couldn’t even see myself. I gave love but I couldn’t even love myself.
Today, I am a “FEARLESS, RESPONSIBLE, WORTHY WOMAN.” Am I completely reformed because I am going through Choice Center? No, I have struggles and I lose my sh!t still, but I know how to sit with those feelings. I can decipher why I’m feeling this way… but more than any of that… I no longer play VICTIM because I will not relinquish my power over to anyone. As much as I hated it… I put on my big girl panties and am learning to take on life.
I am worthy. I am not an inconvenience. I am a nine cow princess and I will carry myself as such (if you want to know why I keep referring to myself as that… ask me!). I will not always say the right thing, I will not be accepted by everyone, but I am loved and I am love and that’s what I have to constantly remind myself every second I get, especially when old thoughts try to creep in.
Watching my husband transform makes me know, that while I am one person just as my Angel (Renee) helped transform my life, I have helped him enroll into his own vision for himself. It only takes a spark to cause a fire and I wish to be the change I want to see in this world.
I talk to my best friend and friends all day long. We are each other’s lifeline to sanity. One day, my BFF and I were talking. It had been a particularly trying week with my kids and I was at my wits end and feeling inundated by noise and the sense of drowning was becoming overwhelming. I needed a break. I have yet to go away anywhere by myself since my six year old was conceived!!! This is in no way a woe-is-me type of blog. Rather, it’s a blog to show you what is possible and why guilt should not wear you out when all you are trying to do is stay afloat and not just survive… but thoroughly enjoy this one life we are granted. My husband gives me every arsenal I need to conquer the day, conquer my demons, and win over what my mind sometimes (and very often) tells me I cannot accomplish.
So on this day, I was texting with my BFF and I was telling her I need to get away, but giving her all the reasons why I couldn’t. She then just said, “why? why can’t you? It’s not like you can’t afford it. It’s not like you don’t have help with the kids, so why don’t you just go or go buy yourself those shoes you’ve been wanting?” She continued to tell me, she is all about “self-preservation parenting” because if she doesn’t do that, she wouldn’t be useful to herself or to her family. (She’s a little wise one, that best friend of mine… she really is). And so, it clicked. It made so much sense.
I pour on guilt because my husband works hard so I can stay home and raise my kids, so I don’t want to spend his hard earned money on “extravagant things,” just because I can. I can. Yes, to a certain degree, my life has been blessed but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a sense of consciousness and gratitude for the amount of work my husband puts into affording us this lifestyle. That being said, I do feel like what all parents need is to allow themselves certain freedoms and pick me ups here and there just to make this journey more manageable and fun. My husband needs his friends and Vegas as much as he needs air and water… I need alone time and my girlfriends just as much with an occasional splurge on something nice. I believe not every day has to feel like a sacrifice for the kids. No, it doesn’t make me selfish. It doesn’t make me less of a mother with no sense of priorities. It makes me a happier mother, wife, and woman. And that is worth its weight in gold.
Here’s the catcher, always live within your means. Do not compare your lives to others. My husb and I were just having a conversation during dinner with some friends last night, and it’s so true that everyone else’s lives seem prettier and greener from the outside but that is not always the case. Live within YOUR means. Do not crucify yourself or your spouse if some things others have isn’t in your cards. Appreciate what is yours.
People get so caught up LIVING OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES that you really forget to just live your own. That is so disingenuous to the life you were meant to live. That steals away from your sanity and your ability to preserve a sense of authenticity in your life.
Life is good. It’s meant to teach you about YOU. You can’t do that when you are living a life that is not organic to you. So while I’m all about leaving something for yourself, make sure it’s something worth the effort, time, and money. Because if it’s not, it’s just not worth wasting moments with your family and loved ones. It just isn’t for me.
If you look at my Nook or home library, it will be full of three types of books. Books on self-help, parenting, and nursing textbooks. Okay, so Fifty Shades of Grey may be entwined some where in between. 🙂
Some of my favorite books are Drama of the Gifted Child, which was actually mentioned in The Battle Hymm of the Tiger Mom, Real Marriage, and Loving Kindness. I read four or five books at a time. Right now, I’m reading Reviving Ophelia, Raising Cain, Wild, and just finished Battle Hymm of the Tiger Mom.
In my quest to become the best parent I could be, I realized that WHILE reading these books, I stress out. The stress seems to stem from the notion that I feel like I haven’t done anything these books are suggesting I should do. I start thinking “OMG, thee impressionable first five have gone with my daughter!!!! Is she doomed? Will she resent me for the rest of her life??? Will she suffer from depression due to my parenting??? Will puberty be my payback?” That’s when I have to put the book down and try to convince myself that I can’t look back at what I’ve done.
I always tell O (my daughter) “don’t make the same mistakes momma does or just because someone else says something or does something dumb, doesn’t mean you have to.” Unfortunately, I have made duplicate mistakes with her a number of times. Namely when my patience runs thin or my own frustrations get the best of me and in that moment… I can’t control my own emotions or reactions to the situation. I’m praying daily that I practice what I preach and control myself by giving myself a timeout and a chance to breathe.
I don’t think we should coddle our children from emotions though. We are human and like I tell my mom and sister all the time, “the world is not going to cater to my kids like you guys do.” Tough love. It’s hard, but I refuse to raise entitled and spoiled children.
My daughter is a mini replica of my husband and myself. I see how she gets frustrated sometimes and it sends chills up my spine because I feel like I’m staring into a mirror. Those are the moments I pray she hears my voice again saying “O, do better than momma, teach kindly and patiently.”
The postcard photo I posted rings so true for me and most of my girlfriends I’m sure (J. Peddy… I know you feel me). I think we all think we are damaging our kids to a certain degree especially when we read these books and aren’t doing half of the suggested material. What I come to learn is that I can pick and choose what works in MY household and reiterate to myself every second of the day that I am doing the best that I can and reinforcing more than anything else that “I love you, O. I love you Husb. I love you, Will.”
These books are tools and guidance materials, not the bible.
It’s been a long time since I last posted. Lots has changed. I’m expecting my second baby in about two months. The pregnancy was easy and hard at the same time for various reasons. I was expecting twins, but one did not make it. That will be something I get into at a later time.
But I’ve been practicing the art of putting “me” first. I don’t have time to worry about what other people are doing. I keep trying to make other people happy to the point where I leave no reserve for myself and that turns out horribly in the end.
This was the interview. It says to only give 70% of yourself to your children, because if you give 100% you will end up hating them. Haha. But I really think that this rings true. No other person will understand this feeling unless you are a parent.
My therapist says I tend to guilt myself too much for things I have absolutely no control over. Things like other people’s happiness, their health, their wealth, and I tend to feel guilty if I am not able to provide those things for them. So I have to now make a concerted effort to really not give a sh!t when there is nothing I can do. I literally have driven myself to physical exhaustion and at the end of the day, I don’t even get a “thank you for helping me.” Life lessons are hard learned sometimes.
I can’t even put into words the magnitude of grief I feel for all those affected by this senseless act of violence. I won’t even probe on gun control at this time. I just want to express my deepest of sadness and condolences for those poor kids and staff who lost their lives to someone who was afflicted by mental illness. It does not even make sense to me why he had to go to the school to do more damage after he had already killed his mother. WHY???? WHY???? WHY???? The kids? They were merely 6 years old. What did they do?
While my mom and I sat in pure shock… she told me an old Korean adage. That “life without children is freedom from stresses and fear.” I told her, but a “life without children is a life without knowing love.” What’s worse? I can’t even fathom the grief the families must be going through because I am sitting here still in disbelief and tons of sadness. To know such pure love of innocent youth and to have that unconditional bond be so abruptly taken away is the worst form of punishment on earth. But to seek comfort, I hope they feel blessed to have known each of those pure souls for even those short six years.
I ache wondering if the children suffered. If it hurt. And I pray that they didn’t. I pray they didn’t have enough time to know fear or to feel pain. And I hope that all twenty children and seven adults closed their eyes and went to heaven immediately.
He did the cowardly thing taking his own life. I hope he is burning in hell and feeling the wrath of all those he affected. And yet, I wonder too… what torment did he go through in his lifetime that he so viciously and maliciously wanted to afflict the same grievous amount of hurt onto the world.
It’s crazy that in my last post, I prayed for a more evolved, positive world… and just a few short minutes later… this tragedy was on the news. I prayed to God that He would help me understand this. Why things like this happen, because right now, I still can’t seem to find a justification. Not for this one, not for the Wisconsin, Virginia, Columbine, movie theatre, mall or all the other mass shootings… I need to know why.
My friend, George Mitrospetros, wrote it best on his Facebook wall:
Sorry for all the errors, but I wrote this truly disturbed and in a state of utter disappointment at the world we live in.
It is true too, that the media needs to stop sensationalizing this situation. Because it is going to prompt the next idiot to do something worse to top this and become a household name. Remember the innocent people and their sacrifice. Not the killer.