On raising my monster…


Day 3 of Becky’s writing challenge. Wednesdays are always my easiest days to get writing done. Godzilla is usually in daycare and I spend the day investing in myself. It’s also maybe the hardest day of my week. Why? Because as much as I love my solo time, I absolutely cannot wait to see those chubby cheeks again! I start missing her after about an hour. It’s ridiculous.

So that leads me to today’s topic: My favorite quote.

“A Mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance actually VACCINATES her daughter against low self-esteem.” ~ Naomi Wolff
This has been one of my favorite quotes for pretty much as long as I can remember. I mean, I listed it as a favorite quote on my MySpace page (hi, I’m old!).
Now that I actually *have* a daughter, it’s an even more important quote to me. I look at her and all I see is sheer perfection. Literally nothing is wrong with her. She has bright blue eyes with eyelashes that likely won’t ever need mascara. Her hair is this incredible golden straw color that has volume for days. Her nose is perfect. Her cheeks and lips are unbelievably kissable. Her tiny tummy is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen (especially when it’s full of peanut butter tortilla roll-ups). I mean, seriously. She is objectively the cutest human alive!
But she’s also fierce. Man, that kid is a firecracker. Ain’t nobody gonna tell her what she can or cannot do. If she wants something, she’s going to get it. She’s determined. She’s capable. She’s funny. She’s wicked smart. She’s kind and gentle. She’s brave. She’s everything.
Eventually she’ll grow up and someone will say something mean to or about her (because the world is a harsh place), so I have to do whatever it is I can to vaccinate her against unbecoming self-talk.
I’ve stopped talking about how chubby I am (well, okay, I don’t say it in front of her, but I laugh about my post-partum gut with my husband). I never say the word “diet” in front of her. I will not say that something I’ve said or done is stupid. I won’t talk about feeling lazy. We go on walks every day and eat fresh produce all the time, because these things are important to me and I want them to be important to her. I want her to know that taking care of herself – emotionally, phsyically, spiritually – is something we should do. The best thing I can do to vaccinate her is to treat myself with the same respect I’d expect someone to treat her with. Sometimes, it’s a “fake it til you make it” situation, but eventually it will become my reality and then she and I? Oh, man…watch out, World. We’ve got things to do.

On airing it all out….


The other day, I made a pretty bonkers statement and a friend said I should write a book based on it. Well, I have no intention of writing a book any time soon, but blogs I can do. So that’s what this is. Despite my best efforts to not write solely about parenting and children since having a baby, that’s what I’m doing. And I’m owning it for now, because…

“Today I Didn’t Put My Kid In The Dryer and other parenting wins”

Let’s be honest. Having a kid is a pain in the vagina ass. It is really hard on a person’s psyche. No one is immune to it. Not one parent has had a 100% easy time with their child(ren). Anyone who says otherwise is a liar who should be punched.

It all sounds so magical when you first start talking and thinking about this new person you’ll have around (all the friggin’ time). The midnight feedings will be peaceful and I’ll get caught up on Netflix or maybe even a book! The baby will take to pacifiers or bottles or whatever easily. She’ll have the cutest little cry and the sweetest giggle. Even diaper changes will be the greatest thing ever. And ohmigod the clothes!

It’s fun to imagine what things might be like. It’s good – healthy, even – to set it in your mind what you want you experience to be like. But let me tell you: the odds of it being this dreamy, angelic experience are so, so slim…you’d have a better chance of winning the lottery while being struck by lightning.

And that’s when shit falls apart for so many of us. At least, it did for me. But what made it exponentially worse was feeling like I was alone in the way I felt. I didn’t have some glorious, overwhelming sense of joy and love when she was born; I was terrified and couldn’t figure out why she was crying so much for so long. I felt sticky and sweaty all the time. I’m sure I smelled like a barn. It was exhausting to even think about going to the bathroom. And you know that feeling of wanting the one thing you just cannot have? Yeah…that was me with sleep. Adding insult to injury was the fact that I couldn’t successfully breastfeed for almost five months and didn’t lose an ounce of residual baby weight (I’m still carrying around about twenty pounds of baby making flubber).

But this isn’t about my post-partum depression or the struggles I had/have every single day.

This is about saying all of this out loud. This is about airing all that dirty, sticky, sweaty laundry.

Because being a parent is hard. It sucks for all parties involved. But it’s the “not feeling okay saying it out loud” part that sucks the worst. Holding all that frustration and pain and anger and fear inside, it’s not okay. Even more than that, it’s not okay that we’ve been tricked into thinking it’s not okay to talk about it, let alone feel it.

One of the most freeing things I’ve ever said out loud was, “Sometimes I think about putting her in the dryer.” The response was nothing short of shocking. My friend just looked at me and said, “Me, too. But we didn’t do it! So yay for us!” Suddenly, I felt a little more normal. I felt like I could unleash my caustic humor on my current situation and people would laugh (rather than call CPS) and say, “Holy crap, me too!” I started to realize that my situation isn’t all the unique, that other people go through this with far more frequency than I’d initially thought.

More importantly, other mothers actually want to say the same things I was am saying. Most of the time, we find the humor in it. But on the odd occasion, there’s a need to just come unhinged and cry and say we hate doing this right now, that we’re not cut out for it, that the guilt is too much, that I hate that I only wear leggings and tank tops anymore, but I can’t muster the energy to put on real pants, that our husbands are driving us batcrap crazy despite all their best efforts, that sometimes we wonder what the hell we were thinking having babies?!

That’s just real life, y’all. Find me one person who loves his/her job (and all the tasks and people it involves) every. single. day. and I’ll show you the person who *actually* needs some psychiatric help.

There are wins in parenting…big, huge ones (like those first steps) and small ones (like not having to change a outfit seventeen times in one day). But there are also the devastating losses (like when your kid tumbles down the stairs because you forgot to latch the gate and weren’t paying attention because he’s finally quiet) and those are the ones we need to be more willing to talk about with abandon. Those are the ones that damage us when we hold them in, thinking we’re the only person that’s ever happened to and that the sanctimommy in your life is going to judge you (even though you know it happened to her just the other day).

Those “bad mommy” moments? Those are the ones that can make or break you as a parent. Those are the moments in which you have to make some pretty hard choices. You have to choose to walk away from a crying, tired baby because you are also crying and tired. You have to choose to call the doctor because you didn’t read the manual and you’d can’t remember what they said is a “too high” temperature. You have to choose what’s best for you sometimes…because sometimes, that’s what’s best for all of you. You have to choose to give up breastfeeding because it’s too hard or painful or whatever reason. And you we have to put away the damned shame about doing any of those things. Walking away means not shaking the baby. Calling the doctor means being safe, not sorry. Getting a pedicure means going home refreshed, ready to face the next challenges. Buying formula means feeding the baby.

Shame is a bullshit emotion that doesn’t have any right to show itself in the space of motherhood. It doesn’t benefit anyone. It won’t make us better people or better mothers. All it does is whisper to us during our weakest moments and tell us all about the shortcomings we already knew we had. And who needs that kind of reminder? You know what we really need in those dark hours is a good laugh and a safe space.

Find your safe space, wherever or whatever or whomever that is, and rest there often. Voice your fears, concerns, failures (which are probably more like “failures”), frustrations, and angers. Say them out loud to someone who will listen without judgment. Don’t let those things fester and rot inside your soul. Get them out and get on with your day.

We are all scared and tired.

We are mothers.

We are badasses.





On lessons learned (so far)….


The idea of raising a daughter instills a certain amount of fear in me. There’s so much to teach little girls about life and so many things that could damage them (including, but not limited to, me, unfortunately). In a perfect world, I could either protect her from any and all harm or that harm would just never exist in the first place. Sadly, that’s just not going to happen. I’ll be raising a daughter in a broken, hurtful, cruel, amazing, and wonderful world. But what I can do is offer her some of the things I’ve learned in my mere 30+ years on earth, things that I have found to be true and things I hope will ring true for her.

1. Don’t save your best or most expensive or favorite jewelry for special occasions. Wear it whenever you want. Pearls looks amazing with jeans and boots.

2. Be friends with lots of different people. But choose wisely those whom you call your BEST friends. They should be people that challenge, inspire, and motivate you to be the best version of you.

3. Go to college. Just do it.

4. Once a year, really commit to doing something you’ve never done. You never know what you might fall in love with.

5. Your soulmate may or may not be your spouse. That’s okay. You might also have more than one soulmate.

6. Never let anyone tell you you’re not capable of doing something. Prove them wrong.

7. Sometimes your head will lie to your heart and your heart will lie to your head. Don’t do anything until they agree. In the meantime, go for a run and eat a cupcake. That usually speeds up the process.

8. Church is like family. You won’t always like everyone and they won’t always like you. You won’t agree with everyone all the time. You might feel like throwing in the towel. Don’t give up on your church or your faith. Ask questions, read, pay attention, and eventually you’ll reach a place that feels comfortable even if you don’t have all the answers (you never will).

9. Don’t let anyone tell you what kind of music you should or shouldn’t like. But give all of it a chance. You never know what might strike your fancy.

10. Go to dinner and to the movies by yourself from time to time. It feels good to be confident enough to do it (even if you’re faking confidence for a little while).

11. Twirling will never get old. Living room dancing can solve a host of problems and be the best way to celebrate or let off steam. Never stop dancing.

12. Let your dad help you. He needs it and so do you.

13. Put down the camera/phone long enough to actually experience something.

14. If it doesn’t feel right, stop. This goes for romance, food, and fashion. If something doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

15. Do not ever drink cheap, crappy beer. Opt for craft whenever possible. If craft beer isn’t available, get a lemonade. Trust me.

16. Any time is a good time for champagne. Champagne is like the pearls of wine. It goes with everything and makes everything just a little more special.

17. Cheerleading is a sport. It’s one hell of a hard one, too. I’d like you to give it a go, but regardless of if you do or don’t, know that it’s no less challenging or competitive than basketball or football.

18. Speaking of football, the Denver Broncos are the only NFL team worth rooting for. People will try to tell you otherwise. Don’t listen.

19. Wear sunscreen like it’s your second job.

20. Steak should always be eaten at a maximum temperature of medium rare. Hamburgers are best at medium.

21. Glitter is about the worst and most difficult thing to clean up. Don’t let that stop you from wearing it or decorating with it.

22. Trampolines never go out of style. It feels fantastic any time you jump on one.

23. Get a tattoo if you want to. Get a hundred if you want to. Just have a reason for getting them. There will never be a good enough reason to justify Tweety Bird on your ass.

24. Never stop reading. Always look for something new to read and ask for recommendations from someone who is more well-read than you. That person will always exist and you will someday have the pleasure of being someone else’s go-to for suggestions.

25. Learn another language.

26. Travel. Experience other cultures. Fully immerse yourself in another country. You’ll learn a lot about yourself by doing it.

27. Six inch heels are too much fun not to wear. Wear them. Wear them often.

28. Don’t ever let a man get away with whistling at you or cat-calling you. Take them to task on it.

29. Camping is one of the most enjoyable things you will ever do.

30. Wear dresses while playing in dirt or fixing the car if you want. Clothes can be washed. You should feel fabulous no matter what you’re doing.

31. Learn to build something.

32. Sunday afternoon naps in the fall will never not feel amazing.

33. Be ballsy, but know your limits.

34. The question “What would my dad think?” will solve a lot of problems.

35. Get involved in politics and know what a candidate stands for. You never know who you might end up supporting, but you better know why.

36. Roller coasters will change your life. Ride as many as you can for as long as you can. Learn different techniques for getting the most thrill. And, especially, put your hands up!

37. Learn to embrace silence and solitude.

38. If you think it’s cheesy, it probably is. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying it. This especially goes for game nights and karaoke.

39. Be friends with (or better yet, marry) someone who makes you laugh so hard you can’t breathe.

40. Almond extract is a baking necessity.

41. Learn to drive a stick shift and be good at it.

42. Remember your friends’ birthdays and anniversaries. Send real cards in the real mail.