An Open Letter to My Son’s Absent Father

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You were never much more than a bandaid I was using to cover the hurt from my marriage imploding. I think you knew that. I was broken. Broken really isn’t a word strong enough to describe me in those months. Crushed, hurting, shattered, devastated, furious. Broken. You knew that too. And you used it to get close to me. I can see that clearly now.

So from the moment the pregnancy test turned positive, I knew I would be raising my baby alone. People assured me you would step up once you knew, but I was confident you would not. And I was right.

The day I told you I was pregnant, your response was to tell me “we can go dutch on the abortion.” There are very few people that know that until now. That moment solidified what I already knew.

I tried to keep you informed. I shared the first ultrasound with you. You asked me to stop talking about it, as if that would make it go away. Finally, around seven weeks into my pregnancy, you made a threat to hurt yourself if I remained pregnant. You told me it would “ruin your life.” You said that you may as well just end your life because it was over anyway. That was the last time I spoke to you. You never reached out to see if he was a he or a she. You never asked me his birthday. I don’t even know if you know his full name.

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I spent the last year equally leaning on God and being angry with Him. Why would He think I’m equipped to handle this alone? Why would He bring a child into this situation? WHY? But this little boy that I didn’t know I needed, along with his brothers, helped me heal my broken heart. God used them to help me become whole again. He used him to help me put those shattered pieces back together. He provided.

He is six months old now. He is the most beautiful little boy. There are moments when I see you in him, but I mostly see his brothers. And me. Sometimes I wonder if you think about the baby you’ve never met. He crawls everywhere and gets into things he shouldn’t at his brothers’ encouragement. He’s eating real food and learns more about this world he lives in every day.

And he is loved. So much. And so wanted. You were the mistake. He is not.

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Dalmatian Costume DIY

For Halloween, Aiden wanted to be a fireman so I decided to dress Asher as a dalmatian. I couldn’t find a cute one anywhere that wasn’t close to $100 and I am just too cheap to pay that much for a Halloween costume. I decided to make him one using items around the house. I only had to purchase white tights (boy mom), black felt, and fabric glue.

Materials:

  • White onesie
  • White pants
  • White tights
  • Cotton balls
  • Black headband
  • Black felt
  • Fabric glue
  • Needle & white thread
    IMG_2364 IMG_2365 IMG_2366 IMG_2368All I did was cut out various sized felt circles and glue them on. Then cut out two ear shapes and glued them to the headband.
    IMG_2457IMG_2501Then I cut off one of the tight legs, stuffed it with cotton balls, and then hand sewed it to the back of the white pants.  IMG_2370IMG_2502Easy peasy. And turned out to be super cute on him! 🙂IMG_6651See both of their costumes in my Halloween post by clicking here 🙂

Asher • Six Months Old!

Height: 27 inches

Weight: 16lbs 5oz

Clothing size: a few 3-6, but mostly 6 months or 6-9.

Eye color: Greenish Hazel (like Mommy!)

Teeth: Zero

Eating: Breastmilk, oatmeal, avocados, frozen grapes & broccoli, and he loves puréed foods, unlike his brother! Favorite things: Mommy & Daddy, the pupdog, but Aiden is his favorite person/thing in the world!

Dislikes: The car seat. And currently, sleeping longer than a two hour stretch.

Sleep: see dislikes…

Milestones, etc.: Crawling! Pulling up on everything! He’s gotten up to his knees many times and his feet once or twice!

Follow our family on Instagram to see more frequent updates!

My Facebook is Full of Lies.

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I have a few confessions to make about the photos you see on my facebook feed.

In this picture, you see two happy, smiling little boys. What you don’t see is my Husband, not home, because he’s busy working his tail off to provide for our family. You don’t see me on the other side of the camera, running on fumes and counting the minutes until bedtime so that I can do something as simple as pee without someone crying for me. You don’t see that Aiden was showing his stubborn streak and was fighting every request I had of him, all night long. You don’t see that Asher hadn’t napped all day, and this photo was snapped in the thirty seconds of contentedness he experienced while snuggled up to his favorite person.liarIn this photo, you see my babes staring into each others faces, seemingly overwhelmed with love. You don’t see that Aiden is only wearing underwear, because I had given up the fight to get him to keep on any other clothing. And you don’t see that two seconds later, Asher nailed him in the eye with a finger.  liar2 In this one, you see a happy, relaxed baby. What you don’t see is the pile of laundry to the left of the frame that I STILL haven’t finished sorting through days later. I’ve pretty much accepted that I won’t get caught up on laundry until all of my children have moved out. liar3 In this photo, you see my squish gumming the heck out of a pickle. And loving it. What you don’t see is the loud, screaming, and embarrassing meltdown that followed moments later because he was overtired. liar4 In this picture, you see my overachieving 5.5 month old pulling himself up on the leg of my yoga pants. What you don’t see is that I’m wearing yoga pants because I still can’t button my pre-baby shorts, and they are showing no signs of fitting comfortably before this summer ends. You don’t see how much pressure I put on myself to lose the baby weight, and how upset I get when the scale doesn’t budge.liar5 In this one, you see my ham of a five-year-old, grinning from ear-to-ear. You also see the pile of books I’ll never have time to finish reading on the end table. What you don’t see is the aforementioned pile of laundry to his right, the thin layer of dust on the bookshelf behind him, and the reward chart in the background that still says “June.”

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I’m never trying to be something I’m not when I post these pictures to social media. I put our happiest moments on social media to show our friends, family, and acquaintances, and accidentally, it paints a picture about our lives that just isn’t true.

I’m not a perfect housekeeper. My house appears cleaner because I’m good at keeping the toys, and the laundry, and the books, and the mess out of the shot. (Did I mention the toys?)

I’m not a perfect wife. My Husband almost always comes home in one of the two craziest hours of the day. First thing in the morning when I’m trying to get Aiden to school, or during the pre-bedtime witching hour full of baths and books and everyone pulling me in 20 different directions. He usually becomes the focus of my frustration and I snap at him and then I feel like the worst wife because it’s not his fault I’m so frustrated. Luckily, he usually sees that frustration and gives me some grace, but that doesn’t mean he deserves it.

I’m not a perfect mom. My kids are loved. SO loved. Overwhelmingly and unconditionally loved. But sometimes, before bedtime hits, I am just so ready for them to go to sleep, and for a moment of peace and quiet that I find myself counting away the minutes. Aiden’s whiny voice grates my nerves and Asher’s clinginess, instead of feeling like a special bond between us, starts to feel like I really wish he would be a little more independent sooner rather than later. Then they’re finally asleep and I sit in the quiet and try and decide what the heck is wrong with me because I start to miss them. I think about how quickly this season of our lives is passing, and my heart aches for more time.

My photos often portray me as having it all together, but I’m human. I’m exhausted, I’m behind on almost every household chore with zero sign of being caught up anytime soon, and I make it through each day with a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus. But where there is so much chaos and exhaustion, there is also so much love and so much happiness. It’s a beautiful mess. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Asher – Four & Five Month Updates

Ash4Height: Just over 25 inches

Weight: Approx 16 1/2 pounds

Clothing size: 3-6 or 6 months

Eye color: Greenish hazel. Just like Mommy!

Teeth: None yet.

Eating: Still nursing. Letting him play with some foods now since he will be 6 months in a few weeks! (What…?) ash 5Words: He “talks” constantly. 

Favorite things: Rolling all over creation, knocking over buckets of legos, & watching big brother’s every move.

Dislikes: Riding in the carseat and not being fed fast enough.

Sleep: Usually just up once per night!

Milestones, etc.: Rolls all over the house, pulls himself into my lap, almost sitting unsupported!ash Where did the squishy newborn go?!

Follow our family on Instagram to see more frequent updates! 

And Then You Went to Kindergarten.

aid3 2Dear Aiden,

Tomorrow is your first day of kindergarten. I don’t plan to sleep much tonight. My head is so full of all my dreams and wishes for you. It feels like I have been counting down to this day forever, yet I still can’t believe it’s already here. What I wouldn’t give for just one more year before I have to share you with the rest of the world.

Earlier tonight you told me that you were nervous, and that you couldn’t go in without me. I felt such guilt-ridden joy to know that even now, you still need me. I promised you that I would hold your hand, walk alongside you, and stay there as long as you want me to.

I’ve spent the last five years protecting you, keeping you in this little safe bubble where I’m sure that no one can hurt your feelings or break your heart. You are so excited about this new adventure, so unafraid. But your Mommy is terrified. I haven’t let you see me shed a single tear, but I think you sense it anyway. 

On the other hand, Mommy is so incredibly excited to watch you come home every day with that joy in your eyes that always appears when you learn something new. You’re so eager to learn, and so curious about everything. You are going to thrive in kindergarten, Aiden.

I want you to know that I am so proud of the little boy you have grown into. You have become an amazing big brother. A tenderhearted, inquisitive, and an independent little man. You can bring a smile to anyone’s face, and constantly keep us laughing with your silly jokes that only make sense to you. I am so thankful that God chose me to be your Mommy.

All day long tomorrow, I’ll be worrying, praying, and thinking about nothing other than how you’re doing. If you’re making friends. If someone has hurt your feelings. I’ll hope that you will remember all of the manners that I have drilled into your head over the last five years. Say please and thank you. Yes or no ma’am. These simple little things will go such a long way in your life. But, I know I don’t even have to worry, because I know you will be fine. You’re going to make some awesome friends, you’re going to learn some amazing things, and you are going to kick kindergarten’s behind.

Aiden, my hope for you is that you will always be happy. I want you to be eager to meet new people and to learn new things, not just today as you start kindergarten, but always and forever. I am so incredibly proud of you, Bubba. I love you to the moon and back, times infinity. 

Love always,

Mommy

 

I Suck at Being a Mom.

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You know how in the movies, after the woman gives birth, and everyone is smiley and happy and joyous all the time? Yeah? I get it. Ideally, that’s how it should be. Everyone is happy. Everyone is smiling. Spouses don’t fight. Babies don’t cry. Older kids don’t get jealous.

Sometimes it’s not.

Sometimes, the baby cries nonstop for no reason. Sometimes, the spouses are at their wit’s end with exhaustion and take it out on each other. Sometimes, smiling takes too much of the ounce of energy you have left that day, and it’s not worth it to waste it. Sometimes, the older children turn into little jerks thanks to jealousy stemming from no longer being the center of attention.

Sometimes it sucks.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love both of my boys more than anything. I thank God everyday that I get to be their Mommy. I would not change a single thing.

When Aiden was about 4-5 months old, he didn’t sleep. He started having awful reflux issues that caused him to violently puke 90% of what he ate at each feeding. I was basically caring for him on my own, exhausted, frustrated, and to top it all off, I was in a horrible relationship with an apathetic partner. I constantly felt like I wasn’t good enough. That Aiden wouldn’t love me. That I wasn’t cut out to be a Mommy.

I started eating my feelings and I cried myself to sleep more often than not. I remember thinking, ‘how could something so little, that I love so much, make me so miserable.’

It wasn’t until just before Aiden turned six months old that I realized that I needed to talk to someone. Things were super rough. My ex and I fought endlessly and I felt isolated and overwhelmed 100% of the time.

I was diagnosed with postpartum depression.

Fast forward four years. I’m older and more prepared/less overwhelmed over the needs of an infant. Asher is here and about two months old. Aiden’s almost five and ready to start school. Hubs is working in a different city during the week. Our marriage is great, but we rarely have time together. He’s not home, not because he doesn’t want to be here, but because he’s working his bum off to provide for our family. Totally different dynamic.

But I started feeling those first signs of PPD again almost as soon as the last visiting relative walked out the front door. Crying over nothing. Overwhelmed. Insecure. Started eating my feelings. [I swear I’m the only person in the world who gains more weight AFTER having a baby than she does while pregnant.] Getting frustrated when Drew would come home and mess with our routine on the weekends. Getting even more frustrated when he would leave for work again when the weekend ended.

I began feeling inadequate. Like I wasn’t good enough to be these boys’ mommy. Like I wasn’t good enough to be a decent wife to Drew. Overwhelmed by the neverending dishes and laundry and feedings and laundry and cleaning and did I mention laundry? I tried to hide it from Drew for weeks, thinking that he already had enough on his plate and shouldn’t be worried about me.

A couple of weeks ago, he came home to find me completely disheveled, unshowered and still in my PJs with my hair and face a hot mess, crying, and holding Asher as he nursed. Asher had a long day with no sleep the night before, and Aiden is in this phase right now where he wants to challenge everything I say to him. I’m tired. I’m frustrated. I’m overwhelmed. I looked up and word vomited, “I have PPD again.” at him. He said, ” I know, let’s get you taken care of.”

Turns out, he already suspected I was struggling. I assume he didn’t know how to approach me about it, in case he was wrong and I was actually just crazy. We talked about making sure I had some time to myself more often, and working through it together.

So now, my boys are at home having some QT with Daddy while I sit in this Starbucks and reach out to any other moms who might be struggling with the same.

To the mom who feels overwhelmed, it gets easier.

To the mom who feels inadequate, you are enough.

To the mom who hasn’t showered in 3 or more days, your kids don’t care if you stink.

To the mom who swears she’s failing her kids, I’m willing to bet their world revolves around you.

To the mom who thinks she can’t keep up, the housework will wait. babies don’t keep.

To the mom who doesn’t want to admit she’s struggling, asking for help doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It means you’re strong enough to know when you can’t do it alone.

To the mom who believes she can’t handle being a mom AND a wife, let your Husband love you.

To the mom who feels isolated, you are not alone.

To the mom who knows she sucks at being a mom, don’t let your brain tell you a lie that your heart knows isn’t true.