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.
I love this picture of O from behind. We went on an impromptu walk to Rite Aid and then on the way back we went to the park. What was supposed to be a quick trip turned into a 4.5 hour excursion. And it was pure bliss. Even with the scorching hot sun. I loved it.
Prior to our departure, I asked O what she would like to wear for our walk. I was thinking shorts and a T-shirt. But nope. Girlfriend said (and yes, she’s been copying me using the word “hey girlfriend… dude girlfriend.” Really, I need to stop talking to her so much… ahahahahahahaha)… “Momma, I need to wear my beautiful, wedding dress for our walk.”
I said, “Boo, we are just going on a quick walk.”
O: But momma, I NEEEEEEEED to wear my wedding dress.
How do you say no? You don’t. Actually, I try not to get too involved in her outfit coordination because it’s a freedom she should own. So even with the crazy hair pins and what not… I try to let it go.
Exhibit #1: See this…done exactly as the boss ordered!!!
Her dad, on the other hand, says… “don’t you think she’ll stick out too much? Draw too much attention and take away from the class?” Ahahahahahahaha. I’m sure she does to a certain degree, but I don’t care. It’s her freedom to express herself.
Anyways, I loved this day. It reminded me of what childhood is all about. To explore. To learn. To live without fear of scrutiny and judgment. I loved that she didn’t care if her pretty dress got dirty. I loved that she let go of her OCD tendencies to not like getting dirty and took her shoes off and ran into the sand. I loved that she looked exhilarated while throwing sand into the air. It was a moment of pure joy. And a reminder of innocence and love. I hope and pray I never forget this feeling.
This kid… she gives me so many gifts daily. Yes, headaches too. But I am so immensely thankful she walked into my life.
Side note: ****And a quick shout out to my sister for stepping up as a Cancer Survivor Mentor!!! Yay. My sis feels embarrassed when I say she’s a survivor. But she is. That’s fact. She down plays her cancer bout because she thinks she had the easy one. No one has an easy battle with cancer. Cancer (that bitch… ) is cancer. I’m so proud of her for becoming a mentor for a young 36 year old woman who is going through her own battle against this A-hole disease. It has spread from her thyroid to her lungs and hips due to improper diagnosis… please keep her in your prayers