Tag:

motherhood

sisterhood, motherhood, similac

The sisterhood of motherhood, isn’t it a beautiful thing? Seriously, without it where would we be? My mom friends, that unbreakable sisterhood of motherhood, is what got me through those early days of motherhood. They were my tether to sanity.

When I first became a mom, it was the single most amazing and simultaneously most isolating thing that had ever happened to me. There is just something about bringing life into the world that takes a woman and elevates her expectations of the world. My first decision was to stay huddled in our home, safely away from any and all germs, until I absolutely had to leave the house; six weeks later for my check up.

Immediately, I began to hold everything to a higher standard, including myself. My mission in life became to not break the baby; the perfect, amazing, beautiful creature whom I had just brought into the world. It’s a lot of pressure.

Motherhood gives you a new perspective of the world; more insight, more tolerance, more love and bravery like you’ve never known before. 

Suddenly, I was fully aware that I was the keeper of this miracle. She was given to us perfect and any defects from here on out, was strictly on us. I was responsible for what kind of human being this sweet smelling, cooing, and loving little soul would become. It was overwhelming.

My first responsibility was to my child but once we left our bubble and went out into the real world, I realized that there are a million different ways to be a mom and how could I know for sure that my way was the best way? Keep the baby alive. That was my mantra.

Those first few years of motherhood felt like a constant “do I cut the red wire or the blue wire?” situation.

Only the ramifications were much worse than a simple explosion, I could ruin an entire human being’s life by making the wrong choice.

Okay, who thought it was a good idea to let me leave the hospital with this baby? I want to see some credentials because, clearly, they had no idea what they were doing giving a baby to me. Breathe!

I didn’t get much sleep in those days. It took a lot of time and effort doing the best I could and even more time comparing myself to other moms, not because I thought I was right but because I was sure I was doing it wrong.

By the time we started Kindermusik classes at 9-months, because a mom at the pediatrician’s office gave me a crazed look when I told her that my baby wasn’t taking any classes, I couldn’t get enough of what other mother’s had to say about the subject of motherhood. I wanted to be the best that I could be for my daughter so I was open to anything but there were so many conflicting parenting techniques. Every mom I met seemed to have a handle on parenting her child and still I felt like I was floundering, now more than ever.

Every other mom seemed to be better at motherhood than I was in those days. 

I took mental checklists in those days. Breastfed. Check. Tried to anyways. Had problems producing and used an SNS to help. Check. Drank all the Fenugreek. Failed miserably. Check. Formula. Check. Bad mom. Double Check.

I used disposable diapers. Check. Never used a binky but she could not be parted from her lovie. (Still can’t.)Check. Co-slept. Check. Never stopped. Double check. Rolled over at 3-months. Check. Rolled right off the bed. Double Check. Bad mom. Check. Sat up at 5-months. Check. Started crawling at 7-months. Check. Crawled backwards. Check minus. Started talking at 6-months. Check. Started walking at 10-months. Check. Never wanted to leave my side. Check. Frequently woke up during the night while teething and demanded the Wiggles. Double check. I let her because the crying at 3 a.m. was killing me. Bad mom. Check again.

But every mom I met seemed to do everything just a little bit better with a little more ease and looked a lot better doing it. I met several moms who went back to work and had amazing careers and parenting seemed effortless while I, on the other hand, was completely overwhelmed, always tired and looked the part. The only thing I knew was that I adored my daughter and there was nothing I wouldn’t do to be the best parent possible to her. Really, I think that is how every mother feels.

Motherhood is hard, no matter who you are.

 

We’re just scared to let the other mothers know that we don’t know everything, it’s not all easy and some parts we don’t like or even understand. We pretend it’s easy because we don’t want to be labeled the “bad mom” the one who doesn’t know what she’s doing or worse, the one who is breaking her perfect child. It’s our biggest fear.

I’d like to think in times of true need, we would all rush to one another’s rescue. As I’ve moved past the new mother stage to the mom of elementary school aged children, I realized the truth and that was that we are all exactly the same. We’re all just trying to do our best and it’s hard for all of us at times. Some parts are easy for others and some parts are harder but in the end we all just really love our babies more than we know how to handle. We all just need to give one another a break because if we helped one another out rather than compared ourselves or judged each other, we’d all be happier and better moms. You’re not alone. We all make mistakes. Just keep loving your baby and doing your best.

When is a time that you felt at the end of your mommy rope and another mom came in with a kind word or action and made your day better?

05142015

This post about motherhood is sponsored by Similac. I was compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.

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mom low point, parenting, motherhood, doing your best, parenting fail, judgement

Have you ever had a mom low point that was so rough that it knocked you right back on your butt and made you feel like you were doing absolutely everything wrong? Being a mom is hard. I mean question yourself, cry after they go to bed, guilt-ridden, love them so fiercely that sometimes it feels like you might die…hard. Sometimes it’s so hard that I just want to throw my hands up and walk away and other times, I want to crumple up on the floor and assume the fetal position but other times, like tonight, when I feel like a complete failure, my instinct is to fight as hard as I can for what is certainly the most precious and important thing in my life, my girls.

As you may have noticed, I didn’t post too often during the holidays. I was in a proverbial Nutcracker dug hole. You see, I had this dream of what my daughters’ childhood would look like and it was the complete opposite of mine. I wanted them to have extravagant parties (because I had none). I wanted them to be well rounded and that meant culture so there needed to play an instrument, play a sport and learn a language and on top of all of that, I expected good no GREAT grades. Okay, I had some of that but I had a lot of hard times and dysfunction and I never wanted any of that for them. Bottom line, I wanted to protect them from any hardship but I’ve realized hardships come in many different forms.

My rule was if they wanted to try it, I was going to support it but still, I had expectations of my daughters but I was mindful not to put labels on them or to compare them to others or to be too hard on them. When I was a small child, I was labeled “gifted” (I hate that stupid term. It’s meaningless.) because of my IQ but all that did was pigeonhole me onto the college prep FastTrack, from about 7-years-old on, I had no choice in the matter. My life was laid out for me.

Even when all my grades were A’s, the unavoidable, “why aren’t they A+s?” always followed. I never felt good enough and there was no time or budget for me to do frivolous things like extracurriculars unless they were school provided. In fact, when all of my friends were taking things like typing and art in high school, I was taking what today would be considered AP everything, plus on the newspaper, the yearbook and taking 2 foreign languages. I graduated with a gold seal on my diploma but I hated school because it was just layered upon layer of expectations for me. It wasn’t about experiences; it was about winning. What the prize was, I never figured out. It must have been that f*cking meaningless gold seal. In return, I have never felt adequate enough. Ever. That is the last thing I want for my children.

I’ve been keeping my mom shit together pretty good over the years, sure it’s held together by duct tape and bubble gum like I’m the effing mom MacGyver but I thought I was doing a good job. Sure, I have an occasional mom low point but mostly, I thought my mom skills were on point. I tell my kids not to measure themselves against others, and yet, I almost constantly measure my failures against my friend’s perceived triumphs. I tell my girls they are perfect but all I do is see my own flaws. I am parenting the do as I say not as I do way and it’s not what I wanted. Not at all.

Anyways, the girls are, by all accounts, thriving. They play the violin, dance in the city’s ballet youth company, they tap and do jazz, there is gymnastics and cheer and oh, yes, choir plus the grades are always all “A”s but there are no recesses, no playdates, no rest and no down time. Every minute is filled with STUFF and for what? In 12 years, who is going to care if they did all of this? They’re missing experiences and for the first time ever, the report card didn’t show all “A”s. I’m failing my children again. Alert: Mom low point!

I know that is not the end of the world but the thing is it wasn’t because my kids aren’t smart enough, it’s because they simply didn’t have the time to dedicate to their homework because they were so overbooked. They had to miss school for performances and then they got sick because they were so run down. Now, I’m sitting here feeling like the world’s shittiest mom because I let this happen to them. I allowed this perfect storm of disappointment to come into their lives when I’m the one who should have protected them from it.

Friends and family (including the Big Guy) have been telling me for years to cut it back to save myself a headache but I would not relent because it felt selfish. Now, I see that I need to cut things back because it’s too much for them and that’s all it’s ever really been about. So today, I’m getting rid of things in our lives. I’m cutting the fat so that we can enjoy these few years they have left at home. I don’t care if they are not doing all the things.

Parenting today is nothing like when my parents raised me. We did less and they were accountable for less. My God, I grew up in the time of no seatbelts and riding in the back of pick-up trucks. I played outside until the streetlights came on and I walked all over town with my friends, with no cell phone or chip. The goal was graduating high school without going to jail or ending up pregnant or a serial killer. By the standards, my parents did a bang up job. But things are different now, parenting is not about getting by. It’s a measure of your worth as a human being, especially if you’re a stay-at-home parent because if it’s not about the kids…what’s it all been for? That’s not just my own opinion, it’s societies. If you’re a stay-at-home parent and your child is not perfect, you suck. Well, I SUCK.

Some days I feel like I am failing so hard at being a mom but then other days, I feel like I am absolutely killing it. You know those days when everything goes smoothly and no one is throwing a tantrum, stomping or arguing? The days when you are so happy to be their mom that you feel like your heart just might burst wide open. All the terrible mom low points are worth those days. The days when you are driving in the car singing at the top of your lungs and laughing and loving each other so hard that you feel invincible. Those days rock my world. For me, happiness is this.

mom low point, parenting, motherhood, doing your best, parenting fail, judgement

My goal is to be more present, more engaged and focus on moments with my children not all the things or all the benchmarks of what is expected of a “good mom”. I am a good mom. I love my girls. We just got so caught up in doing what was expected of us that we forgot to do what feels best for our family; what actually is best for our family.

Have you ever had a moment in parenting that made you reassess your entire process? What was your mom low point?

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mommy coma,motherhood, coma, parenting

I feel like I’ve been in a mommy coma for the past 10 years. While all of you are trying to find your way back to who you were before you had your kids, I think I’ve spent so much time putting out fires that I forgot to enjoy the last 10 years of motherhood. I know I was there, I saw the photos and I have the wrinkles to prove it. I just wish that I could have actually been in the moment more.

There’s been so much “getting by” that I completely forgot to be present. I’m not sure what suddenly jarred me awake this week. I think it was the funeral Tuesday that reminded me of how temporary life is. Nothing is forever and time is ticking away whether we’re enjoying it or not. I know I can’t be present for every single thing but I want to at least be mentally present for those things I am there for because if not, what’s the point of any of it?

Why am I wasting my time putting out fires and worrying about what other people think my life should look like? I should be having tea parties and soaking in every single second that I am privileged enough to have with these amazing people I get to call my daughters and my husband. I should be creating experiences not worrying about having all the things or capturing the perfect photo. I just want the perfect moment of being there. Life is messy and beautiful and not always picture perfect.

motherhood, coma, parenting, mommy coma

I should be writing from my heart not overthinking things? When did this all happen? Sometime in my coma, I became someone I don’t even recognize. I’ve put myself into a prison cell made up of what I thought my life should look like instead of following my heart and making this life of mine, this world I live in look and feel the way I want it to; the way my daughters deserve. I’m a grown up, I can choose my own way; my own happiness. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to but for some reason, I’ve put these rules and expectations in place of what I think I should be by other people’s standards and not meeting those standards means failure and, anyone who knows me, knows I hate failure.

I’ve been angry disguised as disgruntled by the status quo when really I could just choose to be happy doing more to be the change and talking less; being less filled with angst. Who am I tantruming for anyways? Certainly not my children.

They need me to be their champion not a martyr. I’ve spent so much time trying to teach them to become who I think they should be that I forgot to just listen and appreciate them for exactly who they are because really, they’re pretty fucking great.

I’ve spent years telling them to be who they are and to never let anyone make them into someone else when all the while they were, only I didn’t see it. I was blind in my mom coma trying to make this picture perfect childhood and life, when there is no such thing. There is only happiness. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for them.

Once again in motherhood, as in the rest of my life, I’ve found myself in my own way. I’m the one stopping me. So, I’m reprioritizing. There’s going to be more listening, more laughing and more doing and a lot less talking, and less yelling and being frustrated. I’m letting go a little bit.

The goal is happiness. Period.

How do you avoid the mommy coma and find your happiness?

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tallulah, parenting, mom wars

Sometimes, I’m not going to lie, I want to quit this shitty job. Being a mom sucks hard… but then it doesn’t. There are other moments when it’s so amazing that I just want to smother mother the shit out of my kids as my helicopter parenting skills buzz above us because they are so freaking, heartbreakingly awesome. We’ve all been here, both here’s, right? But then there are other moments when I miss the hell out of Debi BC (before children), you know, that glorious broad who got to sleep in until she just woke up, roll out of bed and went to lunch with friends and got to eat actual hot food, pee alone and not worry about keeping anyone alive but herself? Oh that lucky lady. I’m so jealous of who I used to be, but then I couldn’t be who I am, the mother to two of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever known. Most days anyways.

When you have kids, your life doesn’t just change, your perspective on everything changes. You are living life looking at everything through mom goggles. That is where I am now and it’s where I’ll always be. Things that didn’t seem to register before (what school district I lived in) are now big deals, and things that were really important to me (having a night life with friends and being in the know) are so unimportant to me now that I could care less what’s cool and what’s not. I just want a good world for my children.

I want to raise good children and I want to be the best mother that I can be. You might be better or worse at being a mother but I’m trying my damnest not to measure myself against you because the truth is if we all measure ourselves against each other life is shit for all of us, especially our kids. I don’t want to make myself feel like a better mother by shaming another mother, I’d prefer to just do my own best to be a good mother in my children’s eyes.

I just had the pleasure of screening the movie Tallulah written by Sian Heder and all I can say is WOW!

No matter what kind of mom you are, aspire to be or thought you would be, you can relate.  And better than that, you can get a little perspective by living a moment from the viewpoint of someone else’s shoes, while knowing a little about how they got that perspective in the first place. Honestly, there were three main characters; Margo, Tallulah and Carolyn; and I could identify with each one of them. I have been all three of them. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I found myself wanting to hug and shake and then hug again each woman.

Tallulah is the story of three very different women whose lives intersect through the impulsive and well-intentioned kidnapping of a child. It’s a story about motherhood, about looking for a mother and becoming a mother. But mostly it’s a story about humanity, about the blurry lines of morality and deeply flawed human behavior. It’s a story that has no clear answer or cut and dry solution, but instead makes you care about each and every person involved, no matter how wrong their actions seemed. It’s a conversation about responsibility.

Tallulah is a movie that lives on the fringe of judgment, that feeling that not all women are meant to be mothers. As a mother, we all have times when we feel like we are flailing and failing. But that doesn’t make us a villain or a bad mom. Tallulah doesn’t have good people and bad people. There were only people doing their best with the limited emotional tools that they had and often making bad choices. Lonely people. People whose families had failed them; who were looking for some kind of connection in an increasingly disconnected world.

Tallulah is about motherhood from different perspectives because no two mothers are alike, just as no two children are alike. We are all just trying to do our best. There is no time for shaming one another. We need to take that energy and direct it towards helping one another do our best for our children, not judging and condemning one another.

Motherhood is hard enough as it is without us judging one another. For better perspective, check out Tallulah.

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Intuit Quickbooks, self-employment, freelancer

I am unbreakable. This is what I tell myself every day. Bendable, certainly but unbreakable. It’s been a crazy week. I’ve been completely and utterly useless. I was at an amazing conference last week but unfortunately, due to jetlag, my brain is fried this week. It’s the price I pay for one amazing conference full of learning. You know how they say beauty is pain? Well, learning is exhausting. I’ve been trying to take all the excitement that I’ve brought back with me and focus it into results.

Then Monday morning, my back went out. I was, literally, flat on my back for most of this week. So I was forced to let my brain and my back rest.

I reminded myself, ” You are unbreakable!”

Obviously, I turned to Netflix. I mean, who doesn’t binge watch House of Cards when they’re jetlagged and immobile? How lucky was I that its debut of season 3 would coincide with my return from Los Angeles and wonky back?

Not going to lie, I’ve not finished yet. Deadlines, ya know? This week I’ve felt like I needed one of those astronaut pens (in laptop form) because I’ve been typing from flat on my back. House of cards has been good so far. Lots of unexpected plot twists and turns and of course, the madness that is the interworking of the twisted mind of the Underwoods.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Unbreakable, motherhood, Netflix

But today, I turned my attention to Netflix’s latest original series by TINA FEY (how could this not be good!)Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It is awesome! I don’t want to give too much away but the plot is about Kimmy Schmidt a 20 something from Indiana who has been locked in a bomb bunker for the past 15 years with 3 other women and one crazy preacher under the belief that the apocalypse had happened in 2000. She finds out that her “savior” was actually her kidnapper. The show picks up as Kimmy and the others are rescued and they begin life above ground.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Unbreakable, motherhood, Netflix

She is definitely unbreakable.

I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but the preacher is someone who you would NOT expect and *Spoiler alert* Tina Fey might make an appearance! I binge watched the entire season in 1 day. I love Netflix but I really have to learn to pace myself. I found this funny, sweet show to be uplifting and inspiring and it made me think, why shouldn’t we live every day like life is new and wonderful?

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Unbreakable, motherhood, Netflix

Kimmy emerging from her 15 years underground reminds me a lot of motherhood. I’ve been a mother for ten years ( on Tuesday) and on some days, I feel like I have been living in a hole for those 10 years; a beautiful, cozy, full of love, void of sleep and regular meals hole but a hole just the same. For the past 10 years, my entire life has selflessly revolved around my two young daughters and that’s okay. It’s everything I ever wanted. I’m proud of that. They truly have made my life better and more purposeful. My priorities have shifted in ways that I couldn’t even have comprehended before I gave birth.

I put my career and my life on hold, to stay home and be their mother because it really is the most important thing that I will ever do. Growing and raising human beings is a miracle and a privilege but it takes your everything, especially when children are young. I willingly give everything. I see the dividends in my daughters, every single day.

But now, the girls are getting older and they don’t need me as much. They can do almost everything menial for themselves. I am only here to guide the way, be their constant source of continued unconditional love and support and their biggest advocate. Suddenly, I’ve found myself with a few hours a day of quiet, personal time. I’m able to attend conferences and travel for work.

It’s like a fog is lifting and while I may not be needed to kiss booboos and scare away things that go bump in the night as often, I am now becoming the example of the kind of woman I want my daughters to look up to as a role model. The fog of exhaustion has lifted and I can clearly see what my purpose in life is and it feels incredible to be able to know something so certainly with such clear perspective. I will always see the world through mom colored glasses, I am a mom but the role is evolving and so must I adapt too.

What has been your biggest defining moment in life so far?

Disclaimer: I am a member of Netflix Streamteam but all love of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and House of Cards are all my own.

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motherhood, #promisetobaby, johnson and johnson

What was your promise to baby?

I am partnering with JOHNSON’S® Baby and Latina Bloggers Connect to share with you avery special campaign that Johnson’s has undertaken to make moms feel safe.JOHNSON’S® Baby always listens to moms and although their products have always been safe, they took a stand and changed their formulas to give moms peace of mind.

We all make promises to our babies. From the moment we know that they exist, we make an unspoken promise to care for them and love them until the day we die. It is the single largest commitment we will ever make in our lifetimes. From the moment we hear that first heartbeat, until we draw our last breath, we promise to love our babies and keep them safe. That’s what we do as parents.

Before we ever got pregnant, I would pray to God to let me be a mother someday. I promised myself that when I had my own child, there is nothing I wouldn’t do to protect her and keep her happy. Mind you, we weren’t trying at the time. We were planning to plan and I wasn’t in a hurry but I knew that I wanted to become a mother, I wanted to love someone “all in” the selfless, fulfilling way that only a mother can.

I remember each time that I found out that I was pregnant, I promised myself that I would love my baby unconditionally every day for the rest of my life. I promised myself that every moment would count because, every moment is a gift. Even if that moment has you in tears over a colicky newborn and your heart being held hostage by a toddler,  those are the moments when we keep those quiet promises that we make to God and to unborn children.

From the moment that I first held my daughters, I looked into their sweet faces and remember thinking what did I do to deserve this? I don’t deserve this. This precious and perfect little person is more than I deserve. I remember feeling, for the first time in my life, that I was not the center of my universe and that I had a much greater purpose. Motherhood fulfilled me. It completed me. I believe that motherhood is my true purpose, everything else just exists comorbidly.

I promise to always love my daughters, even when I don’t necessarily like them. I promise to listen, even when I don’t like what I am hearing. I promise to always be there, no matter how dire the circumstances because I am a mother and my most important mission in life is to make sure that my babies are safe and know they are loved completely. I don’t take chances when it comes to my children. There is nothing more important in the world to me and if that means sacrifice and inconvenience, it’s all worth it to me to get the honor of being their mommy.

Thankfully, JOHNSON’S Baby always listens to moms and to give us peace of mind and eliminate any doubt of the safety of their product for our little ones, they changed the formula. They made a sacrifice so we could trust and know that our children’s health are not at risk.

The seven newly reformulated products:

○ JOHNSON’S® Baby HEAD-TO-TOE® Wash

○ JOHNSON’S® Baby Lotion

○ JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo

○ JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo & Conditioner for Thick and Curly Hair

○ JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo & Conditioner for Thin and Straight Hair

○ JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo with Calming Lavender

○ JOHNSON’S® Baby Soothing Vapor Baby Bath

This video concept was inspired by a Japanese legend that folding 1,000 origami cranes will result in a wish granted and a promise fulfilled, which is thought to be a big labor of love. Changing Johnson’s baby products was their labor of love for moms and babies. The Johnson and Johnson’s family made 1000 origami storks in their video because they represent the delivery of babies, and the hopes and promises of families. I think the sentiment behind the video is beautiful, as is every mother’s commitment to her child.

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INternational Women's Day,#tbt, Throwback Thursday, The TRUTH about Motherhood, Motherhood

Today is Throwback Thursday #tbt and I’m doing it parenting style. It’s all about the motherhood. There will be a Throat Punch Thursday post here on The TRUTH  later today. But since it’s my 5-year anniversary week,  I have decided to do a little Throwback Thursday post #tbt.

This was the first post that I EVER wrote.I am pretty sure that no one ever read it:)  I had no idea what I was doing as a blogger and was definitely still figuring out motherhood. I knew what I wanted this blog to be. I wanted it to be a place where other mothers could come and get the real nitty, gritty down low on motherhood. I was tired of feeling like a failure only to find out that other mothers were only telling me the good parts of their experience and never the hard parts.

As I got to know more moms, I realized they were just trying to protect themselves because all they were hearing were the good parts and in the end…we all felt like failures. I never wanted another new mom to feel like a failure again. That is why I started this blog. I figured if I shared my highs and lows, if only one other mom felt better about herself or felt like she wasn’t alone, I had made a difference. I was trying to be the change.  Here is my #TBT post complete with Throwback Thursday Photos. Enjoy.

Parenting for beginners.

motherhood,the truth about motherhood, pregnancy, babies, parenting

There’s a club, more exclusive than the Junior League, the country club, or any other social/philanthropic women’s club, it’s called the Mommy club also known as the bliss/insanity that is Motherhood.

Welcome to the TRUTH about Motherhood where parenting gets really real.

Yes, there are many, many women in this club, from all countries and walks of life. Do you know of any other sorority where the initiation rite is growing and producing a human being? Seriously, that’s a little steep. It’s a never ending membership. Once you’ve joined, you’re a lifer and believe me it’s more stringent than any other club I belong to. It’s like being jumped into a gang. There is no way out. It’s a ’til death to we part sort of situation.

motherhood, mother

 Motherhood is hard. Parenting is not for the weak.

Once you are in the “Motherhood”, you are continuously scrutinized for your choices; from conception, to delivery, what you wear, what your child wears, how you speak to your child, what classes you take and the lists goes on to infinity and beyond. Worse still, other mothers seldom tell you the whole truth about motherhood. Parenting is the best kept secret there is. No one wants to admit how challenging it can really be.

The secrets of parenting are securely hidden from the newbies under lock and key by other parents. Being careful not to reveal an inkling of the real truth for fear that the species may cease to exist. You won’t be told the hard truth about pregnancy, labor, subsequent siblings, bedtime, discipline, after baby body or any of the other gruesome aspects of motherhood by your friends and neighbors.  You will hear all about the awesomeness by your mom friends. You will have rainbows and unicorns coming out of your ass. But that’s not reality.

The reality is that parenting is the hardest job that you will ever love.

I’m Truthful Mommy , also known as Deborah to other adults, and this is the truth that your mothers, sisters, and girlfriends never told you! This is the beginning, so if you are ready for the TRUTH about motherhood, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as it happens to me, put on your mom goggles and have a seat and stay awhile. I’ll be giving you the good, the bad, the ugly of motherhood. I’ll be irreverent and brutally honest, so hold on to your hats. Sh*t is about to get real. Welcome to The TRUTH about Motherhood.

motherhood, parenting, mother, the TRUTH about Motherhood

My TRUTH about Motherhood is that parenting is everything.

I hope you will come back tomorrow and check out my new series This Blogger’s Life... My first interview will be with my friend, Jill Smokler,  the awesome force behind Scary Mommy! It will be live at 8 am EST. 

Okay, lets see those #TBT photos on Instagram. Leave your Instagram name in the comments and I will follow! I’m Deborah Cruz on Instagram.

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choice, children, pro-choice, pro-life, pregnancy,motherhood

People like to say that a child is not a choice but I think that’s a lie. I think every single child is a choice. But the reader board at my children’s school screams loudly that a child is not a choice. I get it. They are pro-life. Being Catholic, I’ve seen the words a thousand times but I never really knew the weight of those words; not personally. They are the self-righteous indignation of people who’ve never had to make “that” choice. Children should not have to think about whether or not they were a choice. It bothers me that those words greet my children upon their arrival at school every morning because my children were never a choice for me, they were always a blessing. I always knew that I wanted to be a mother.

I’ve always spoken openly about my belief in a woman’s right to choose.The woman in question making the choice was always some theoretical woman in some hypothetical situation that resulted in an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. I never thought I would have to consider those words, to be in a position to make a choice about my own child.

I’m not going to shock you with a story from my youth about how I found myself in a bad way after a night of young love or how too much alcohol at a frat party left me to make the most difficult choice if my life. No. That never happened. Though it does, all the time. I won’t tell you a story of being molested by a family friend only to find myself 13 years old with nowhere to turn and no one to believe me. That never happened either. But it does. I won’t tell you of a break in during the middle of the night where a stranger forced himself on a young woman across the world from her family, terrorized her before beating her and using her for his own pleasure and her defeat, before leaving her for dead only to find herself carrying her assailant’s baby. That never happened. But it does, every day. These women and so many more have a right to their choice.

What brought me to my choice was less sensational but still the most difficult decision I ever had to contemplate. When we found out that I was pregnant with our last baby, the sweet baby that I miscarried, we were not expecting to be pregnant. It was not planned. We were living with my in laws, confined to only a bedroom’s worth of personal space. I was 39 and all I could think of were 1000 reasons why being pregnant at almost 40 was a terrible idea. My biggest fear was that there would be something genetically wrong with the baby and if I were to die in 30 or 40 years, who would take care of that baby. But there was one overwhelming reason to have that baby, from the moment I knew I was pregnant, I was completely in love with this child and all that he could be and do.

I remember after a brief moment of pure joy after seeing our baby on the monitor the doctor began rattling off potential threats to the pregnancy and saying things like advanced maternal age and preparing me for genetic testing at week 11 to make sure everything was “ok” and talk of amniocentesis to know if we wanted to continue with the pregnancy. It all became white noise, the soundtrack of terror, as my heart sank and fear set in. What if I failed this child? The Big Guy and I left the appointment in shock and fear and it was all tinged with sadness. For a moment, it felt more like a tribulation than a celebration.

We went to lunch to discuss the inevitable. What should we do? We discussed all the possible outcomes and I was angry; angry that I had to even consider anything other than just having this baby. I was mad at a world that filled me with so much trepidation. I was pissed off that I had to think rationally about a life. I wanted to celebrate my miracle not weigh options like I was buying a house.

With my 2 previous pregnancies, all genetic testing and what ifs were never even considered. I vehemently refused because no matter what, I was having those babies. Now, I had to consider ever possible option; for the baby, for our children, for the Big Guy and I. I just couldn’t reconcile myself to anything other than having this baby and loving and caring for it forever. Concerned and worried, the Big Guy agreed. It isn’t who we are. Even though I am 100% for freedom of choice for women, there was no choice for me because, you see, it wasn’t some abstract fetus; it was a Bella or Gabi.

Even though I had never met this sweet baby yet, I already loved him because I knew what he would become. I knew the love my heart would feel. I knew how my heart would swell when they lay him on my chest for the first time. I knew how when he held me in his gaze while I fed him; it would be just the two of us. I knew a lifetime of kissing booboos and “I Love You”s would never be enough to encompass the love a parent feels for their child. I wanted that again, so much.

We left that lunch excited for the future. We were giggling and discussing what ifs and name choices and how we would announce it to everyone? We were terrified of what might be ahead of us but we were thrilled at the idea of another child to love, to watch grow up together. It was our secret miracle and we couldn’t wait to tell the family when we surprised Gabi with a big sister t-shirt at her 5th birthday. All the worry I had, left me in the sureness of our choice. Then three weeks later, my choice was taken away. It was the worst day of my life.

Every child is a choice.

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It’s been one of those weeks. You know the ones where you are bone tired but at the same time there is something inside that won’t shut off. It’s like your flight or fight response has kicked in and you have no one to fight and nowhere to run because the cause follows you because it is within you.

The week started with a midnight ding on my laptop; a comment on a blog post about my battle with anorexia. God that seems like a lifetime ago in the miserable state of affairs my body stands in today. The comment was left by a 15-year-old girl in New Zealand who is struggling with eating disorders. She is crying for help but no one believes her. I know how this turns out if no one pays attention; the story ends with her dying. Gone. No more because even her own parents wouldn’t take her seriously. I reply. I give her some number and emails to a hotline. I am triggered. I want to swoop in and save her but I can’t. I am here. I can only offer assistance, listen, believe her and hope she takes the next step. Fight.

Then a couple days later, I hosted a twitter party. I was really excited about it because it meant that I could giveaway  a prize that I thought would make some little girl’s Christmas morning. That meant something to me because I know there are mothers out there who can’t afford to give their children anything for Christmas and I could help a mom give her child the best Christmas ever. It took a lot of work. I’ve been planning and negotiating this since August. Then I even got to give away 2 houses and then after it was all said and done, I was called a liar and a cheat by two participants who didn’t win. I know I shouldn’t take it personally but I do. Fight.

Then I read a post by an asshole man called, Five Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder. You know, the disease that kills women, the disease that might be killing a 15-year-old in New Zealand right now and the disease that could have killed me. He makes light of this disease that I suffered from for 8 years; the very same thing that I will be in recovery from for the rest of my life; the disorder that kills women. He obviously has no understanding of it or is the most callous and unkind human walking the face of the earth. Fight.

Then today, November 24th, what would have been the first birthday of the baby I lost. I accidentally watched a 1st birthday video of a friend’s daughter and that’s when it hit me like a MACK truck. I should be celebrating but instead my lap is empty and my heart is heavy today. The air is thick and it’s hard to breathe. I don’t know when this will stop happening. I don’t know if we ever really get over our hurts in life. I think maybe they grow to be a part of us and change us. Flight

I’m here, hammering out deadlines and avoiding my reality. My heart is pretty fragile this week and the slightest push of pressure in the wrong way may break me completely. But in this moment I thank God for what I have; a man who loves me with all my flaws, children who I can hold in my arms a little longer than I need to today, a best friend who reaches out from across the universe to make sure that my heart is still in tact and work. Work that keeps my mind occupied and tears at bay.

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motherhood, mommy wars, Stephanie Metz, bad parenting

You know how sometimes you read something and it just rubs you the wrong way? Well, this post by Stephanie Metz rubbed me the wrong way. Her sanctimommy antics have caught my attention and not in a good way. Apparently, these days, to be a good parent we are not supposed to give a shit about our kids and sit back and just let life happen to them. Do them a favor and let them learn about life the hard way because that’s the way God intended it to be.

Don’t let those entitled little snots think they are the center of your world. Life is hard and if you want to raise good citizens of the world, you have to make the hard choice and go against your maternal instinct and ignore your children’s needs, put your own needs first and to hell with what any tree hugging, baby-wearing asshole says about you. You have to do your children the favor of showing them just how hard life can be. Hey kid, you are born alone, you will die alone and I am not your mama..oh wait, I am. Anyways, don’t count on me either. I have things to do. Well, at least that is what all the anti-attachment parenting, baby bjorn burning, ferberizing people of the world might have you think.

I say if you had them, take care of them. I am not saying to put them in a damn bubble but you can’t just toss them off to the wolves as toddlers because it’s too “inconvenient” for you to have to exert yourself to raise them; to parent them; to protect them. If you didn’t want to be a parent then maybe you should have passed on the whole “having a kid” thing in the first place.

I’m not advocating that children should have their mommies and daddies do all of the heavy lifting but we have to at least teach them to stick up for themselves not just abandon them in the line of fire and hope they figure out how to bob and weave. Look, I have learned, the hard way, that kids outgrow the protective bubble so we have to teach them to live outside of our bubble of protection. We absolutely have got to give them a little space to figure out who they are and how to exist in the world when we are not there. If not we are doing them just as much of a disservice as those crazy moms who throw their kids to the metaphorical wolves. The point is we have to be present to teach them. There’s got to be a happy medium somewhere between attached at the hip, wearing a helmet and free-range, do whatever the hell you want because I can’t be bothered.

The rules of parenthood keep changing so quickly that my head is spinning. First, if you weren’t crunchy all the time, you were a shit parent. So we all ran out and bought all the organic food in pouches and cloth diapers we could find. Then it shifted and we were supposed to give our kids the freedom to be who they are. Who the fuck are they? Isn’t that part of the joint journey of parenthood and childhood to help them find out? Now, all the free-rangers turned on the helicopters and a parenting civil war ensued. So many casualties, what’s a new mom to do?

Who is she supposed to believe? Poor thing she’s standing there in a corner huddled with her newborn swaddled tightly, crying because today changing a diaper is like deciding which wire to cut; is it the blue or the red? If you’re wrong. BOOM! The whole damn thing will blow up and you’ve ruined this perfect person’s life forever. Don’t you know which diaper a kid poops in could be life altering? Bad.Parent! And now, the tide has shifted again and there has been an onslaught of mom’s shouting their battle cry at the children of the world, “YOU.Are.NOT.the.Center.of.my Universe!!!” just to prove to other mothers, and maybe to themselves, that they are more than just someone’s mommy. Look, I understand. We all begin to feel like were drowning in motherhood from time to time but I don’t think the answer is to throw our kids in the deep end and tell them to sink or swim.

My kids ARE the center of my universe and while, I am not going to fight every battle for my children I don’t think I have the stomach for watching them learn things the hard way. That’s my job, to be there to protect them and teach them how to live in the world and if all else fails, I want them to know mommy has their back.

We are better parents when we prioritize ourselves because over-exhausted and overwhelmed in martyr mode, renders us pretty much useless to everyone including our children. Everything ends up half-assed.

Sure, I miss peeing alone but I signed up for the “no pissing alone for 5-10 years zone” when I decided I wanted to be a mom. I knew kids needed my time, attention and love. What I didn’t count on was my own obsession with keeping them safe and happy. Can’t we all just get along for our kids’ sakes. Parenthood is not a pissing contest. Motherhood is YOUR journey with YOUR children.

motherhood,mommy wars

 

 

My girls are the center of my universe because I love them enough to let them be.

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