Tag Archives: Life Decisions

Two Means You Choose

I love my girls….A LOT! Some days, I wish I could spend every waking moment breathing in their essence and watching them do those silly little things that make them them. I don’t want to miss a second of their big moments, whether that’s their first steps or the first time they discover caterpillars.

I admit I sometimes even get jealous of the time T-Daddy spends with them. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate when he takes them off my hands because they have said “Mom” 5 million times in 15 seconds. Even this mom needs a break. But I feel like I’m missing out on something when he gets to experience something with them that I didn’t. I even feel a little guilty and left out when he does those things with them that I don’t like or suck at (like video games…).

So imagine my excitement when I found out that TD1 was going to the Museum of Science and Industry and wanted me to chaperone. In fact, I was at her school doing Girl Scouts stuff when she ran in the office to make sure I saw and signed the permission slip. Now imagine my anxiety when the very following day, I picked up the TDs and there was a permission slip in TD2’s mailbox for a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry on the same day. I asked both of their teachers if I could chaperone for both of them. One didn’t care. The other didn’t say no, but I could tell she didn’t want to say yes. They both directed me to the office. I was told I’d have to choose. My heart sank to my toes.

I didn’t want to have to choose. I wanted to share this experience with them both. MSI is my favorite museum. There’s always new and cool stuff and I wanted to be there to see the look of bewilderment and amazement as they discovered something new. I was going to have to choose whose experience I would miss. I knew whose. It wouldn’t be easy to tell the girls. There would be sadness, probably tears, lots of rationalizing and explaining and maybe even some bribery. There would definitely be bribery and buttering up.

I wish someone had warned me that having two kids meant one day I was going to have to choose between the two. And while it wouldn’t be a representation of my love for them, it would most certainly feel like it. And if this field trip is just the beginning, I am not looking forward to the future plays, recitals, games, competitions, etc. Two means you choose. And if I have to choose, does that mean one of them loses? Or do I?

*Of course, I know that none of us really loses out, but it’s hard to reconcile that with my desire to want to be there for everything.

9+6=15+1=16: Our First Year of Marriage

Today marks our one-year anniversary, and I must say, it went by fast. In honor of our first year of marriage, here are 16 things I learned about Wifedom this past year:

  1. I’m selfish. Before I got married, I considered myself a very loving and giving person. Right before we got married, T-Daddy and I went through pre-marital mentoring (I highly recommend some sort of pre-marital counseling or mentoring for all engaged couples) with a lovely older couple at our church, and we continue to sign up for coed Bible study groups. I also did a 30-day prayer challenge on FB, which led to me joining a small-knit wives’ support group. What I’ve taken away from all of this is that I’m a lot more focused on “What’s in it for me?” than I realized. When T-Daddy doesn’t act the way I think he should or do what makes me happy/comfortable/etc., I get upset and conversations take place. My view on our marriage revolves around how he makes me feel. I’ve done a few marriage challenges that required I focus on T-Daddy – his happiness, his likes, dislikes, worries, dreams, goals, etc., and each time praying for him or affirming him when I was upset at him caused me to act outside of how I felt. The result was a change in my own heart and feelings, and sometimes it even shined an inward mirror causing me to re-evaluate my own self.
  2. I know nothing about marriage. See #1. Seriously. I’m the product of divorced parents and I made a vow to myself when I was a pre-pubescent child that I would never get divorced. I’ve grown some and learned a little about relationships, but that sentiment is still very strong. So I’m determined to make my marriage work. In my quest to learn as much as possible about successful marriages, I’ve realized I don’t know anything. Most of the ideals I had about marriage came from a variety of places, but I can’t say that many of them came from the right places. There are these ideas about marrying the person that makes you happy or is “the one” and they pretty much set you up for failure.
  3. It takes three. For five years, T-Daddy and I tried to do this by ourselves. And we failed miserably. There were a lot of mistakes, heartache, blame and immaturity floating around to end a thousand relationships. It wasn’t until we both started earnestly working on ourselves and our relationship that things changed. During our pre-marital mentoring, we were strongly encouraged to get serious about our relationship with God – consistently going to church, reading the Word, praying (with and for each other), asking for God’s direction and then heeding it. So we did. And I can honestly say that we are leaps and bounds further and better than we were just a year ago.
  4. My marriage is as good as what I focus on. Pretty self-explanatory. When I focus on all the ways T-Daddy annoys me, I can easily find myself wondering why I’m with him and if I made a mistake. Is there somebody else out there that’s better compatible with me….blah…blah…blah. When I focus on all things I like about him or the things that he does that makes me happy, I find myself wanting to shower him with love and praises. What I focus on dictates how I see him – World’s Greatest Husband or World’s Worst Man Ever. And how I see him determines how I treat him, which plays a part in how he treats me.
  5. My marriage is my business. Not everyone will agree with how T-Daddy and I choose to live our lives. Some people will just nod and keep their thoughts to themselves, but others will gladly voice their opinions. A few may even try to persuade us that we’re wrong and need to do it their way. It can be so easy to get caught up in others’ opinions of our lives that we lose focus on who we are as individuals and as a couple. Also, we’re human and sometimes we do some pretty messed up stuff. Unfortunately, when we’re ready to forgive each other, our friends and family may not be so ready to forgive. Things are just easier if we keep some stuff to ourselves.
  6. Time together is a must. We have two kids under the age of five. Free time is a magical unicorn with three horns. We work. Friends want to hang out with us (and not always the two of us together). We have individual interests. We want to sleep. So it can be pretty hard to squeeze in time together – even with a standing weekly date (hey, sometimes we fall asleep on each other. Not sexy, but real). But whenever too much time has gone by without us spending some real quality time together, it shows. We get out of sync on small things like our daily routine. We become at odds with each other. A little QT and most of that gets fixed.IMG_6592
  7. Sex still feels a little taboo. We’ve lived in sin for the majority of our relationship, and sometimes it can be hard to remember that we’re legit now. I don’t have to be ashamed about talking about birth control methods with my midwife. I don’t need to get sheepish or bow my head when sex comes up in therapy, a church sermon or a study group. Yet, I still find myself going “Oh yea, it’s okay now. We’re married.”
  8. Being married doesn’t mean that birth control is no longer a problem. It’s no secret that T-Daddy and I had kids before we were married, and most of the conversations we had with family and friends all centered around why we weren’t using some kind of birth control if we weren’t married (we were…they failed, but that’s a totally different topic). The assumption being that our unplanned pregnancies were only a problem because we were not married. However, we have two beautiful girls that we love so much, and we’re satisfied. We don’t want anymore kids, and now the same problems we had in choosing a birth control method that works for us pre-marriage are the same problems we’re having now post-marriage.
  9. We made things a lot harder than they had to be. T-Daddy and I have been through some things that really rocked our relationship. And the worst part is that we didn’t have to go through that stuff. We could have avoided a lot of drama and stress if we both had acted differently. But hey, you live and you learn.
  10. I’m actually grateful for a lot of the stuff we went through. Don’t get me wrong, it sucked. I have some serious emotional PTSD behind some of the stuff we both did. (Guilt and regret are horrible bedtime companions). But, now that T-Daddy and I are older and more mature, I’m able to look back and learn from a lot of that. I can see our mistakes and our resiliency. And I’m grateful we made it through the storm. I’m grateful that we went through some pretty bad stuff early on and made it because it gives me reassurance and hope that we can make it through whatever obstacles are yet to come.
  11. I want TD1 and TD2 to marry a man like their father. T-Daddy’s pretty awesome. He loves me and he’s committed to our family. The girls will choose whoever they choose, but if he’s at least half the man their father is, I’ll be proud.
  12. Respecting and submitting to T-Daddy is pretty important to me. I may not always get these two right, but I always strive to do them. It’s important to me that I’m a living example for my daughters of what it looks like when a wife respects and submits to her husband.
  13. I didn’t just marry him; I married his friends and family. They’re mine now and my love for him has to extend to them. The more I love them – flaws and all – the more I allow them to enrich my life and I’m able to fully appreciate what he sees in them.
  14. I’m a better wife to him when I’m a better me to me. All that to say that I have to do a better job of taking care of myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. When all parts of me are balanced, I don’t unload my baggage onto him and we can actually enjoy our marriage.
  15. T-Daddy’s laugh is the best medicine. I love his smile and his laugh and I love being able to share in it with him. Nothing feels better than when we’re just hanging out and one of us does something funny and we just erupt in that deep belly gut laughter. No matter what’s going on in life, at that moment, everything is just A-OK.
  16. T-Daddy is the one…I’m married to and that’s all that matters. I’m committed to continuously striving to be my best self for him and our marriage. We’re a team. Partners for life.

When Mental Illness and Friendship Collide

I don’t know about you but when I picture a person suffering from depression, I picture someone who has cut off all communication with the outside world and is now cuddled in a corner of their apartment with tear-stained cheeks. Their hair is disheveled and they probably reek of decomposing bodies. Even as someone who suffers from anxiety and desperately wants my friends and family to not judge, but have empathy and understanding. My views of mental illness is probably on par with the stereotypical images we are bombarded with – even though I have an elevated awareness of the need to ignore those images and offer compassion.

My first day of high school, I met a girl and we clicked instantly over our love of JT. It would be the cornerstone that years of friendship were built upon. As time went on, we remained really good friends and were accepted by each other’s families despite traveling in different social circles. When I first started dating T-Daddy, she was the first person I thought of because of something she said to me that first day we met. It would become an inside joke that never grew old no matter how old we grew. Ironically, our friendship also started to disintegrate around that time.

Friendship-mentalillnessThe exact timeline of events is fuzzy now, as I don’t remember what happened first. My friend told me she was shaving her head. Her mom called to tell me she was in a mental health ward for evaluation and asked me to go visit – I did and was told no one by that name had been admitted. My friend called me to tell me that I was a “horrible friend” that constantly talked down to her and always made her feel bad about herself and she could no longer have a person like me in her life. She reached out to me to tell me that she wasn’t herself when she said those things but was getting the help she needed and very much so wanted me to be a part of her life. She shared some pretty shocking and unbelievable things about her family life. She reached out to me after the birth of TD1 and said she couldn’t wait to meet her. I had to silently decide if I thought my once close friend was a threat to my child – I didn’t know. She called me on my birthday and sang me a very entertaining and heartwarming birthday song. We connected on social media, where more than a few of her posts were borderline disturbing.

Eventually, I determined that she had me on a yo-yo and for my own sanity, I needed to cut the cord. I couldn’t discern what was truth and what was a result of whatever she was dealing with. It wasn’t hard at first, she never made an effort to call and neither did I. Then one day she did. I didn’t know whether to accept it or decline. It went to voicemail before I decided. I listened to the voicemail and decided I wasn’t ready to let her back in my life. She never called again. And just like that, a decade-long friendship ended. Even as I write this, I’m fighting back tears. She was one of my closest friends and I’m saddened by the path our friendship eventually took.

When I was diagnosed with anxiety, she was one of the first people I thought of. I can’t remember what her exact diagnosis is (it wasn’t anxiety), but I wondered if she felt the way I felt at that moment. Would my friends now decide that, for their own sanity, they could no longer deal with me? Did I act too hastily or unempathetically in how I handled the situation? Should I reach out to her? Was it too late?

I didn’t reach out to her. I’m still struggling to understand what all my anxiety entails and the last thing I need to add to my life right now is more confusion. But I do think about her from time to time. Not all the time. Not even once a month. Just when something reminds me of her or the jokes we shared or the time I spent in her apartment. And when I do, I pray that she’s okay. That she’s getting the help she needs to deal with whatever she’s going through. And I wonder if I really did handle our friendship in the best way. Was there something I could have done differently? Not so much that we could still be friends, but so that she knew I really did love and care for her.

And it makes me wonder: in dealing with my own struggles with anxiety, what am I teaching my own daughters about interacting with those that have internal wars we don’t understand? I hope that I’m teaching them how to draw appropriate boundaries, but also to care about others. To lend a helping hand, but also know when someone needs more help than they can give. And to love them regardless, even if it’s from afar. It’s a delicate balance. And as someone that’s been on both sides, I know how sad it is to lose a friend that is going through something you don’t understand and how lonely it is to feel like no one truly understands so you have to go through it alone. I don’t want TD1 and TD2 to be on either side of that war.

But it’s a war that more people than we realize fight, so how do I prepare them?

*May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Let’s each do our part to spark a much needed conversation.

TnT Born Again

On April 24, 2016, T-Daddy and I got baptized again. We had both been baptized as children, but this time we were taking this step, making this decision as adults committed to becoming the man and woman God wants us to be.

We hadn’t planned to get baptized. In fact, we forgot that it was Baptism Weekend. Our church is in the middle of a series on emotions called “Emojis.” The series kicked off Easter weekend and we thought this weekend would be on anxiety, so we cut our weekend in Peoria short and rushed back so I could experience the sermon live. Imagine my disappointment when we got there and the weekend bulletin listed anxiety as the sermon for the following week. I was mad. So I went back and read my notes from the sermon on disappointment, which reminded me that disappointment can either lead to depression or opportunity. It was my choice. So I asked God to change my feelings so that I wouldn’t miss the opportunity that He had for me.

Pastor talked about baptism and what it was and wasn’t. In short, it’s an expression of faith, it’s an immersion and it’s important to Jesus. Then he went into a list of frequently asked questions and expressed reasons for not getting baptized. Among those he mentioned were: waiting for family, being baptized as an infant/child and just getting your hair done. Somewhere in between his sermon and the questions/reasons, I felt a pull in my spirit to get baptized. They even made mention several times that “Some of you are thinking about it, and are still hesitant. It’s okay. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t plan for this. If God’s telling you to do this, we want you to do it. Even though the group has walked out, your time hasn’t passed. You can still come up. Anytime, even at the end.” I knew I wanted to, but I was scared. Of what, I don’t know.

I motioned to T-Daddy and told him I wanted to get baptized.

T-Daddy: You should
Me:
I’m scared.
T-Daddy:
You don’t need to be. You want me to go with you?

baptismI nodded. He took my hand and led me out the sanctuary. We met individually with counselors and then we were given a shirt and shorts to change into. Every step of the way, there was someone that we have grown to know at the church cheering us on and telling us how happy and proud they were of us.

We stood in line and talked about how this was the right thing to do. T-Daddy even revealed to me that he too was feeling the pull and I gave him the extra push…that confirmation that this is what we should do. The entire time I fought back tears. He walked onto the stage and into the baptism tub. Pastor introduced him to the congregation and then asked him some questions and baptized him. He was given a towel and exited the stage. It was my turn. Repeat. We were met outside by more people hugging us and telling us congratulations and how happy they were for us.

We went and changed. More people came up to us. One lady I exchanged contact information with months ago managed to take pictures and send them to me. It was a very emotional experience, but mostly it just felt right.

In a month, we will stand before the same congregation on the same stage to dedicate our children to God. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, but we were waiting until after we were married. It seems only fitting that we got baptized first, too.

On April 24, 2010, T-Daddy and I began what would come to be a very challenging relationship with lots of ups and downs, tribulations and blessings. It holds a special meaning for me that exactly six years later, we would choose to take another (more significant) step together. I feel like TnT was just born again. And, I can’t wait to see how God moves in our lives as we move closer to Him.

That Darn Pirate Named Anxiety

  Picture this: You’re sailing your perfect ship when all of a sudden you hit a wave. You’re able to steady the ship, but then a storm hits. You come across land and decide to take shelter till it passes, which it eventually does. You head back out to your beloved ship, only to notice it sails a little less steady. You figure you’re probably just a little rusty until the next wave hits and it’s rockier than the last. Then another storm hits and you look for shelter until it passes. This cycle continues on and on until one day in the midst of a storm, you spot a pirate ship. You adjust your course to avoid it, but it seems to be tailing you. Just as a huge wave hits, the pirate ship closes on you and launches a cannon. The captain emerges and demands you hand over your ship to her. You refuse and she tells you that if you don’t she will continue to dismantle your ship, just as she has done with every previous storm until you surrender.

That’s been my life the past 28 years and that devious pirate is Anxiety. Only, she’s just recently revealed herself to me.

Earlier this year – after ongoing physical ailments and mental and emotional distress – I decided to go to therapy. After months of intensive standardized, mental and emotional testing, I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder. Simply put, this means that I’m always anxious. Anyone that knows me can attest to this. I worry about everything; I’m anal about a lot of things; I like to be in control; and I don’t do well with stress.

People that don’t know me usually just assume I’m either incredibly shy or a stuck-up, controlling, conceited bitch. They either write me off or we eventually become friends. Enough of those that become friends at some point have shared their first impressions that I know I am often misunderstood. This creates even more anxiety for me and I usually just end up feeling socially awkward and uncomfortable around people that I don’t just “click” with. I then spend hours to days analyzing my interactions with them, wondering if they took something I said the wrong way or if I did everything I could to not offend them. This doesn’t mean I’m never intentionally mean or a bitch, just that I’m hyper aware that I’m likely to come off this way when I’m really not trying to. And that awareness causes me much anxiety.

I’ve been able to navigate these everyday waves with a few bumpy trips here and there, but lately I’ve run into some really nasty storms. And, it was during these storms that I came face to face with my own personal pirate. It took awhile before I realized that I should talk to someone because my first few encounters were rare: when my aunt died in my kitchen; when my godbrother killed himself; when I was laid off from my job; when I was several months pregnant with a child that I was originally told was nothing more than a pseudo sac and wasn’t viable. All events that would reasonably cause anyone anxiety.

But then something happened. I’d experience these moments of high stress and couldn’t deal with everyday life. I’d have moments where my head would be in the clouds, but overall, my ship was getting hit by cannon after cannon and I was sinking fast.

I hated my life. I was worried and stressed about EVERYTHING. My relationship was suffering. My children were suffering. I realized that I couldn’t do it all on my own. So I decided to see a therapist. And she recommended testing. I can honestly say that was one of the best decisions I made.

Through testing, we found that I’m super smart, super anxious and super aware of myself. All things that I already knew (and apparently so did T-Daddy, my Teet and a few other people that I’ve told). But as they went over what anxiety looks like, I began to recognize certain patterns within myself and as such, I’ve also started recognizing some of my triggers. I’ve also figured out a few things that help calm me down (like puzzles, go figure). This is crucial in coming up with a long-term management plan for my anxiety.

As I go to battle with my own personal pirate, I’ve had to decide what my own cannon will look like and what kind of ammo it will consist of. Since I’m just starting to rebuild my ship, I honestly have no idea. It will probably change several times over the course of my life. What I do know is that I will continue with my therapy. It has really helped me on an individual level, but also with so many of my relationships that have suffered because I didn’t know how to handle the anxiety they caused me.

I am also going to try medication. This is HUGE for me. Since my great-aunt passed from an accidental overdose, I have been anti-medicine. I don’t even take Tylenol. Also, there’s a shame (whether real or perceived) with letting people know that you are taking medicine for a mental ailment. Honestly, I’m still struggling with that. However, my anxiety has manifested physically in a number of ways that includes migraines, nausea, lack of sex drive, chest pain, fatigue, insomnia, general achiness and probably a host of other things that I’ve overlooked because they have become a norm for me. If this can provide me relief and let me enjoy my life again, I’m willing to try it. Besides, constantly turning my cannon on my co-captain and mini-sailors is the quickest way to sink my ship. I’d much rather enjoy sailing to calm seas with them.

Lastly, I am going to share my story and give back to the mental health community. Through my journey, especially in the past five years, I’ve learned that I care a lot about suicide and providing support to people that are down and out. Giving back is also therapeutic for me. It feels good to give back and I learn more about myself in the process. As I learn how to handle my anxiety and emotions, I’m better equipped to teach my children how to handle their emotions and become functioning adults.

Anxiety may be the pirate that is launching an attack against me, but I’M the captain of my ship!

Help!! I Need PPE!

cakeSo it’s happened. My big girl has gone and gotten all big girl on me. I mean she’s a preschooler and she has *gasp* friends.

No, I’m not talking about her cousin friends. I mean friends that have no relational ties to me or T-Daddy. Friends with parents that I do not previously know. Friends who I don’t even know what they look like because they are her classmates. And, by the time we pick her up, some of them have already been picked up themselves.

One of these said friends have invited her to a birthday party. And, she’s super excited to go. In fact, she makes me read the invitation daily, and, at one point, insisted on holding it for every car ride.

    Two problems:

  1. I don’t know all the kids in her class yet, so I’m not sure which girl sent the invite.
  2. This is the first party that TD1 has been invited to as TD1 and not 1/4 of T4.

So my question is:

What’s the PPE, or proper party etiquette, in this situation??

Is there a wrong or right way to find out which child sent the invite? Are there certain things I should not do to avoid looking like a creepy stalker parent?

I’m actually okay with TD1 having a solo invite and doing things without TD2. What I struggle with is the logistics of said things. The day of the party (like everyday in our life) is a pretty busy one for T4:

  1. We are triple-booked for events (including this party).
  2. I also have some personal business that I need to tend to that morning, and T4 may or may not already be with me.
  3. We have something to do immediately following the party, which may require us dropping the kids to a babysitter.
  4. The time that will be spent traveling to the party, back home to pick up TD2 and whoever stays with her, possibly to the babysitter, and then to the function, just isn’t time-efficient.
  5. We only have one car.
  6. TD1 is dead set on going to this party.

So how do I handle that? Do I say no to one of the things that we’re booked for? And, how do I decide what gets declined? The party is at a children’s playhouse type of place, so is it rude – in the interest of convenience and time – to show up with all of T4? Even if only TD1 partakes in the party festivities and TD2 is off somewhere else?

Surely, this won’t be the last PPE crisis I deal with.

Help PLEASE!!!

Treasure Today

Why Can’t It Be Easy?

About a month or two ago, Todd and I got into a huge argument, and after we both had calmed down, we tried to restore some normalcy to our relationship and routine. The problem was that the issue that caused the argument in the first place still had not been resolved. We spent the next few weeks avoiding the elephant in the room until it grew so big we could barely fit in the room with it.

I was ready to attack the elephant and reclaim my living space, but Todd wasn’t. And then I persuaded him to address it before it reached the point of no return he was. So we sat down and we had a long, overdue discussion about us. Our issues. Our fears. Our doubts. He went first, telling me his biggest issues with the relationship. And I listened, asking permission to speak to make sure I didn’t cut him off. I responded to his issues, explaining things that he didn’t understand. Then, I went. And he did the same. And throughout the conversation, we both acknowledged where we were wrong and agreed to work on those things that bothered the other. And in those areas where we could see the other person’s side, but didn’t totally agree that we were wrong or they were right, we did the unthinkable – we came up with a mutually satisfying compromise.

And together, we decided to move forward. The End.

Only, a few days later, I couldn’t help but feel like it wasn’t the end. It was too easy. We both took the high road and handled the entire conversation with class and maturity and worked together to make sure both of our needs were going to be met moving forward. Yet, somehow I still felt unsettled. Maybe I should have yelled, or put my foot down more. Why did I agree to compromise? He’s going to think he can walk all over me now. No, I didn’t have a particular issue that I felt I was too easy on him with. I just couldn’t believe the conversation went so well. And then, I caught myself. Why can’t it be easy? Who says that relationships have to be hard? If we both have the same endgame in mind, why can’t we work together to get there? Why does it have to be a Me vs. Him scenario?

I am extremely proud of how we handled a delicate and difficult situation. I hope that we continue to handle future situations like this. I hope that we can continue to grow and mature as individuals and a couple and reach a point where we are teammates and not competitors. We are in this for the long haul, and how much easier and more fun it will be if we are side by side for the journey of parenthood instead of at each other’s throats.

So, why can’t it be easy? Because it definitely doesn’t have to be hard.

The Hardest Part of Blogging

I started this blog as a way to keep our family and friends connected to Tempess as she grows. I also thought it would be a great avenue to share my experiences as a new parent. I thought it would be filled with lots of “Oh, Tempess just took her first step.”  Or “Isn’t she adorable eating her first cracker?”  I thought I’d talk a lot about my lack of sleep or the high price of diapers.

I didn’t think my experiences would be so deep and hard to share. I didn’t think so many outside forces and people would weigh so heavily on my parenting experience. I’m not talking about the “My mom gave her sugar”  or “Todd’s mom spanked her against our wishes” kinda outside forces. I’m talking things I never imagined I’d have to deal with, this ish only happens in books kinda stuff. I guess to be fair some of it, I should’ve seen coming. But, I guess I wanted to give life and people the benefit of the doubt. I wanted so badly to believe parenting wasn’t going to be a bad experience that I chose to look the other way. Pretend I wouldn’t have to deal with certain things.

But you can only pretend for so long. And I’ve exceeded my limits, making it hard for me to smile and pretend everything’s okay. And since I’ve exceeded my limits of pretending, I’m also challenged with how much I share with people and how. People I know read this blog, so if I go into too much detail, certain parties may feel I talked too much about them or their situation. I run the risk of oversharing parts of Todd’s and my relationship that we don’t want to share with the outside. On the other hand, if I share too little, or I’m too vague, then I run the risk of confusing people. So I shut down and I don’t share anything. Sharing nothing is easier than sharing too much or too little.

I also have to admit that another reason I don’t blog is because I don’t want to be seen as a bad mommy, girlfriend, sister, daughter, person. Yes, I make mistakes, but I have nothing but the best intentions and I only want to do what’s best for my family. Unfortunately, that can’t be done without upsetting people, even those closest to me. I know everyone isn’t going to agree with my parenting choices. But sometimes that’s hard to accept. It’s one thing for my formula-giving, sugar-loving family to give me a hard time for nursing and limiting Temi’s sugar intake. It’s another when I have to choose between being perceived as a bad daughter or a bad mother. Or when Todd and I disagree on how to parent in a certain situation and I feel like standing my ground makes me a b!tch, but giving in makes me a horrible mother. These are the parenting experiences that are beyond hard. These are the experiences I need to share to get support and advice.

But these are also the experiences that I probably won’t blog about* because they have the ability to hurt those I care about and color how the outside world perceives them and me. And that’s why blogging is so hard. Because balancing that line of over and undersharing is very, very delicate.

*I say probably because I may decide one day to share some things. Or I may find a way to blog about it that I feel is appropriate for all parties involved.

Career Woman vs. Mom

☆★Today’s post is Day 2 of the #31WriteNow blog challenge. I’m posting a new entry every day for the month of August. Join me! ★☆
Years ago, I was talking to my supervisor about long-distance relationships and marriage when she told me that I wouldn’t sacifice my career for the man I loved. You see,she was in the middle of a crossroads – she loved her job but she hated doing the long-distance thing. She could easily get jobs closer to home, but they wouldn’t offer what she currently had. So she chose her career and prayed daily that a position would open up in the company that moved her closer to her boo. I was the same, she argued. She could see it in my eyes and my dedication to my internship that, I too, would make the same choice.
“You are dead wrong!! Your job should never come before those you love.” That’s what the fairytale romantic inside me was screaming at the top of her lungs.
But my supervisor was right. When it came my time to make the proverbial choice, I packed up and moved 12 hours away. Of course I talked it over with my boyfriend at the time, but in the end love wasn’t enough for me to throw away my career. Especially when “love” had no place for me to live, no signs of putting a ring on it anytime soon and no means to pay my bills that my internship was barely covering. At the end of the day, I couldn’t settle careerwise just to be close to the one I loved. Because let’s face it, if it was true love, it would conquer all – even 12 hours. Things didn’t work out the way I planned or hoped, but I never regretted that decision. I know that I did what I thought was in my best interest long-term with hopes that I’d be able to provide and enjoy the future I dreamed of. I loved my job. It was my baby, my pride and joy. It kept me going in a town where I was all alone.
Fast forward a relocation, layoff and two children later, and I am more than willing to settle careerwise to be close to the ones I love. When it comes to Tempess and Tové, I’d give up everything for them without thinking twice. At the same time, I still have hopes and aspirations. I have financial goals I want to achieve. I have pride in my work. (Who wouldn’t want to see their story make the cover of a magazine?)
And so the Career Woman and the Mom in me duke it out daily. Some weeks, the mom wins and I’m all about my home, my family, trying to stay at home. Other weeks, the CW wins and I’m looking for ways to grow professionally and learn new skills. Somewhere, there’s a nice bakery where the two sit down over pastries and hatch a plan to become partners instead of continually competing. I’m still looking for that bakery.