Do The Hard Things.

Tonight, my oldest child walked into my bedroom after I got out of the shower. He nonchalantly told me he was glad that he heard me singing in there again. He told me he’s missed it. I asked him what he meant and he said, “I always know you’re really happy when you play music and sing so loud.”

Gut check.

I didn’t even realize I stopped. I mean, I knew that the extra effort to connect the speaker and pick a few songs hasn’t felt necessary lately. Mostly because I usually hold my exhausted body up by leaning against the shower wall at 10pm just long enough to wash my hair and ass before crawling into bed for a few hours of restless sleep.

I really can’t remember the last time I sang in there.

I have spent the last few years, specifically the last year, consumed by deconstructing every single thing I’ve ever known to be true. My religion. My sexuality. My relationships. I’ve always done what I thought was expected of me and then I ended up having to fix the brokenness that came in the aftermath of not meeting those expectations.

Those expectations were bullshit. Glennon Doyle said, “when a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.” And when I read those words, it was like a switch flipped. I stopped caring about making everyone else happy and focused on my own happiness.

I decided just to stop giving a fuck about what people expect from me.

In the last month, I “came out” on social media and immediately felt the effects. I worked at a preschool in a church that preaches loving people where they are, but sends pastors to “come alongside you” while you try to pray your gay away. I quit my job there, even though it meant having to leave kids and their families who have become like my own. The next morning I woke up with this overwhelming sense of relief that I wasn’t expecting but that simultaneously brought contentment and broke my heart.

I felt free to finally be authentically myself for the first time in my entire life.

And you know what? The God that I believe in created me to be this person and still loves me unconditionally.

Just a year ago, some of the words spoken to me in the last month would have absolutely broken me. Instead, I’ve found so much happiness.

So basically, what I’m saying is that Glennon was right. Don’t be afraid to do the hard things. Quit the job. Date the human that makes you happy. Be authentically yourself. Choose the joy.

11 Things Moms Should NEVER Say.

I have a million things going through my head this week and feel like I may EXPLODE if I don’t do some blog-venting.

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In the three and a half short (long) years that I have been known as “Mommy,” my role has changed about five times.

First, I was a teen mom. (Not to be confused with one of those girls on MTV.)

Second, I was a kinda-sorta-stay-at-home-mom-full-time-student. (Yeah, it was as exhausting as it sounds.)

Third, I became a single-working-full-time-student-Mom. (Also exhausting.)

Fourth, I became a non-single-almost-married-full-time-working-mom. (Still exhausting, but what part of parenting isn’t? It’s all worth it.)

Now, I’m a stay-at-home-Mom-and-wife. (And I am soooo thankful that I’m able to do so.)

I’ve been pretty much every type of mom there is at least once, so maybe that’s why I really, REALLY hate the so-called “Mommy-Wars” that exist between all of the “sides.”

There shouldn’t even be “sides.” Just Moms.

The SAHMs think the working moms choose to be away from their kids, the working moms think the SAHMs are lazy and sit around eating bonbons and watching shows on Netflix all day.

The crunchy moms think the silky moms are killing their children slowly with cow’s milk and crying it out, and the silky moms think the crunchy moms are just a bunch of hippies who walk around with their amber necklaces and milk-filled breasts preaching about knowing better and doing better.

Moms with more than one child think that moms with only one have it so easy, and moms with one think the moms with many are being overly dramatic because it can’t possibly be that hard, right? The Duggar’s have 19. They survived.

Me? I float around somewhere in the middle of each of these. I cannot stand to see a mom put another mom down because she is choosing to parent a different way.

Here are eleven Mommy-War comments that I’ve personally heard a mom say to another mom, and sometimes to me!

1) You’re not breastfeeding? You know how bad formula is, right? (Breast is best, sure. But it’s not always the BEST option for every mom.)

2) He sleeps in your bed? How do you and your Husband/Partner ever have sex?! (None of your damn business, that’s how.)

3) You circumcised him? How could you mutilate your perfect little boy like that? (Again, it’s not your business, so don’t ask.)

4) You DIDN’T circumcise him? Imagine how he’s going to feel in that locker room in fifteen years! (See number 3.)

5) You let her cry it out? Do you know how emotionally abusive that is to your baby? How will she know you love her? (CIO, when done the right way, helps some moms/babies establish a normal sleeping pattern. It’s not for everyone, and it’s not your business.)

6) You’re going back to work? Do you WANT to miss all of her biggest milestones? (Thanks for the salt in the wound.)

7) You’re a stay-at-home Mom? So what do you do all day? (Let me stop doing what I do for a week and show you.)

8) You’re a single mom? Why did you even have kids of you weren’t going to stay married/together? (Yes, someone really asked me that. Because clearly I PLANNED on becoming a single mom at 20.)

9) You’re a silky mom? So you knowingly let your kid(s) have cow’s milk/fruit juice/produce from WAL-MART? (God forbid he have those Walmart-apples.)

10) You’re home schooling? So you know your kid is going to be an introvert/weirdo right? (Or possibly brilliant from the one-on-one.)

11) PUBLIC SCHOOL? Do you want him to SURVIVE until eighteen? (I mean, algebra is hard…but not lethal.)

WHY do we as moms feel the need to belittle other moms for doing things differently? WHY is our way the only way?

WHY can’t we just end these Mommy-Wars and get back to raising all of our happy and healthy children?

Mean Mommy.

I was a mean Mommy today.

I was lacking sleep after patrolling for the boogeyman for a few hours in the middle of the night, lacking caffeine thanks to having not gone grocery shopping yet, and most of all lacking patience from all of the above.

My sweet little baby boy is growing into this sassy, opinionated, little man who is capable of thinking for himself and I’m just not ready for it. Every other word out of his mouth is now, “Why?” Somewhere around the 72nd time that word left his lips before 10:00am, this particular time as he followed me into the bathroom, “Mommy, why can’t I have some cookies for breakfast right NOW!?!” I snapped.

“ARRRGHGHHGHHHHHH, just go to your room and let Mommy have five minutes of PEACE!”

Of course, it was much louder and angrier than my writing portrays it. And, of course, it shocked him enough to make him retreat to his room, and to make me feel like the worst mother in the entire world. Instead of following him, and smothering him with hugs, love, and kisses like I wanted to, I sat in the bathroom for a few moments and cried while praying for someone up there to hand me some more patience.

Being a mom is overwhelming.

I was forced into teenage motherhood after a few stupid decisions I made at nineteen. I chose to keep the baby instantly (BEST decision I’ve ever made), and the moment the word “pregnant” popped up on that test, I became a mom. I loved the little life growing within me, even though at that moment, he was only the size of a tadpole.

That was the EASIEST decision I have had to make since then. Cloth diaper or disposable? Breastmilk or formula? Circumcision or intactivism? Spanking or time-outs? Or both? What if neither work? Stay with my five month old’s biological father, even though we detest one another? Or end it, and become a single mom at twenty? Start dating? What if he dumps me and Aiden gets hurt? Should I let him meet Aiden? When? Will this guy be a good stepdad? How can I be sure?

And every decision I have made has been scrutinized that much more BECAUSE I’m so young.

So, at first I was terrified to even write this post, because I’m sure it will be criticized. But for any moms out there who snap from time-to-time:

YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE. 

I took a deep breath and walked to Aiden’s room, prepared to smother him in kisses, apologies, and cookies to hopefully make up for what I was sure to be the hot, emotional mess I had created with my momentary lack of control. He ran up to me and hugged me tight as I had to fight back those stupid tears again.

“MOOOOOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY, I MISSED YOU!!!!!!!! Is your pee-pee empty now?” 

Clearly, he was traumatized.

I told him Mommy was so sorry that she got frustrated, that I loved him very, VERY much. His response?

“But Mommy, why are you ‘fusrated’?” Oh, the irony.

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