Momming

It seems to be the trend with my fellow bloggers today, to talk about the condition of their “Momming” or “Wifing” or “Womaning” in general. Although I do a pretty darn good job at juggling, I am not satisfied with about 40% of what makes me, Me. Please walk with me, I’m sure you’ll recognize the scenery.

  1. I’m a working mom. I work full time and it makes me feel like a jerk to my kids and husband. But once I tried being a stay at home mom, and I hated it. Part-Time is not an option, as my husband’s job on the rail, though it makes very good money, is inconsistent. We were once furloughed (a temporary lay-off) for almost a year. The grass is always greener, but it often makes me unsettled. I am a hyper-performer at work and feel validated by the product I am able to present. But I get home and my sitter has put a hairband in my teeny baby daughters hair. I am thankful but it broke my heart that her mama wasn’t the first person to do her hair. Or when my son says or does something amazing and new or learns a new joke, my husband will say “Oh I taught him that.” or “He’s been doing that for a while.”
  2. Working 5 days a week, I feel guilty for wanting to be alone because I have been away from my family for so long. But my sanity is worn so thin. I get resentful of my husband who will take a train to another state and sit in a hotel for a day, IN SILENCE! With no responsibility, no one to clean up after or cook for or feed. I have been begging for this since before Mother’s Day. Just a day off. But then for all the reasons of #1, I take both kids out somewhere by myself so that my mister can get some sleep.
  3. I am fat. I’m so damn fat. I am not attracted to me and it makes me unhappy. I’m going to leave it at that. I have lost weight in the past but baby #2 and my aging metabolism has changed and now I must as well to get this under control. That’s all I’ll say about the subject.
  4. MY HOUSE IS ALWAYS FREAKING DIRTY!!! I cannot stand it. My freaking dog cannot hold his pee, my base boards haven’t been touched in over a year I am sure, and I could bake a cake with the amount of dust is on my ceiling fan. But Working 5 days a week away from my family, the last thing I want to do is ignore them to address these things.

But then there are the things I love about my life

5. My husband does his share of chores, and watching of children. He stays home and cleans, does dishes and laundry and doesn’t complain about playing all day with our babies. I am extremely fortunate to have this man.

6. I have a hobby that I love and have the opportunity to escape to this writing world pretty regularly, if not daily.

7. I have good, easy kids that I don’t feel ashamed for finding a sitter for. My son is so sweet and loving. He is still learning to navigate social interactions with peers, but he has learned so much and come so far. Just this morning, although I desperately needed to sleep in, he woke up and came to my room to snuggle. I could not pass up the opportunity. My daughter’s face when I come home from work is probably the single most rewarding thing I have ever experienced in my life.

8. I have an awesome steady job that pays well for what I do. I have my own office and a lunch break that I can spend with readers. My benefits are awesome and I truly believe in the organization I work for. They do amazing things and create honest miracles for the people in our community. I’m humbled daily by the strength and diligence of the people I work with.

9. I like me. I really do. I think I am funny, and fair, and just, and nice. I would want to be my friend. I have big strong feelings and am passionate about the people in my life. I am cannot stay angry for too long. I absolutely have to work things out in order to get back to the happy me that I am. Even if that means telling hard truths, but only in constructive ways. Even though what I see in the mirror is not how I feel inside, at least my insides are pretty.

10. I can say that I have made the most of every opportunity that I have ever been handed. This is in regards to ever aspect of my life. I never let the horrible, terrible things that I have seen and experienced get me down. I might cry with my head up, but I have never stopped moving forward to better myself for me and my family.

 

So all that being said, I will leave you with this. Last night I attended a comedy show put on by a couple of Nebraskan ladies who are hilarious. It was a late night show an hour away. I had planned the trip, bought the tickets, and I drove to and from the venue. Stone.Sober. All I could think about was how cute all these skinny moms looked, how tired I would be for work, and how much more funny it would have been if I had maybe even one glass of wine. Instead I felt awkward, uncomfortable, and wanted no more than to be home with my two booger factories. But there were somethings that I needed to hear last night. I needed to know that other women had my back. The two ladies that came with me did not drink either out of solidarity. My sitter(s) who are my dear good friends at work had unloaded my dishwasher and washed all the baby bottles (a task the husband and I both hate.. Dr Brown’s bottles are completely  impractical to wash). I was floored. The woman who usually watches my kids while I work, was on vacation this week and took it upon herself to find a back up rather than leaving me to figure it out on my own. I could go on and on and on. (Happy Birthday, Swamp Witch). My network of help is endless even though I live an hour and a half from family and moved to Denver three years ago knowing absolutely no one.

Women really do have each other’s backs. All my railroad wives stick together. No one “gets it” but us. All my Veteran friends stick together. No one “gets it” but us. Moms stick together. No one “gets it” but us. So find your tribe and hold on. It will save you. 😉

The Final Challenge

This is it. I am finishing the first draft but I need your help again.

Apparent Power is already an award winning book, even before being officially published.

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It has sat at #2 on ChapterBuzz since I posted the first chapter.

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But I am not satisfied. In June I am joining another challenge on ChapterBuzz. The challenge calls for a page a week. I plan on writing 3-4 a day. 1,000 words to be exact. This would put me on target to finish the book by the end of June.

I am also not satisfied being #2. Steve is a nice enough guy, but I am far more hungry for that spot. So, if you have been in the passenger seat along this journey with me, I encourage you to go and “Buzz Up” the chapters that you like.

Buzz

I’m not soliciting your money, just maybe a little time and in return I promise to give you a thrilling a gripping story that you can say you read before it was ever released.

HOW CAN I HELP?

Register on ChapterBuzz. Place the book Apparent Power on your book shelf and read away. I would LOVE your honest feedback, but it is not required. As you finish each chapter, Buzz it if you enjoyed it.

I have been told that the first few chapters are sort of rough to read, which as a self taught, un-published author is not too bad. Once you get past the rough beginning, I’ve heard good things. But please correct me if I am delusional.

Please let me know if you’d like weekly email updates throughout the challenge. Thank you all so much for even reading this far in my blog. Every writer just wants to be read. It’s the biggest form of flattery even if you don’t like it.

The Up Hill

 

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The thing about depression is there is no black and white. No yes or no. It’s a journey. Some days the going is hard and other days just treading water is a success.

5 days shy of 8 months and I finally feel like things are on the up for me. You see, getting better does not really start at getting help. Some times it gets significantly worse after that. Getting help is like clawing at the sides of the hole you are in to slow down the rate at which you are falling. You are either going find something that saves you, or you’ll hit the bottom. And for some, that is the only time they are able to climb out.

For me, I did not quite get to the bottom. I am adult enough to know that things could have been far worse. For me, reaching out meant a small dose of medication, counseling and a ton of support from the people around me. I am not embarrassed about postpartum depression. I have a ton of friends that are pregnant. If they start having symptoms, they know exactly who to talk to.

My PPD was not a disconnect from my children. It was different. It was not even triggered by pregnancy and birth, but exasperated due to the hormone changes that go along with it. I’m depressed because I hate the way I look after these beautiful creations clawed their way out of me like Ace Ventura out of a rhino butt..

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I am sad because I will never be 20 again. I will probably NEVER fit any of those jeans in the blue tote in my basement. And I will NEVER reach my fitness goal of wearing my old bras again either.. I have so many cute ones, this in itself is depressing. You can tell me I am ridiculous and to go easy on myself because I just had a baby. But when have you ever known me to go easy on myself? It’s one of my quirks and everyone secretly loves me for it. If I was not so hard on myself, people would not get paid, and my son would smell like farts. All.The.Time. So you are welcome for me holding myself to high standards.

Back to what I was saying. I am glad you think I am beautiful. My husband is still attracted to me after this transformation, but I am not attracted to me. Nope. I struggle with the state of things. I know how to fix them, but I have not been able to sleep because babe wakes up at least every two hours to nurse, I work full time and I solo parent a lot of the time.

And I have been so tired that I would cry when my alarm went off. It was bad.

This week has actually felt like I consistently kept my head above water. I was even faced with something that would have completely derailed me, but it did not. In the past and with everything I have been through, I thought I was pretty resilient, and I guess I still am. I did not stop fighting to be happy. I knew that if I was unhappy, my children would be effected. My marriage had already taken a huge hit. But I made it through. We made it through. I could not have done it with out them.

But you know what the big turning point was? Moving the baby to her own room and sleep training. I stopped nursing in the middle of the night. She protests adamantly in the beginning but no more than an hour of crying and falling asleep and crying again cycle. After one week, I am a brand new person. I could, and plan to, conquer the world. Now I can enjoy my coffee instead of survive on it. Maybe it is selfish of me not to want my baby close at night, and I have noticed that as I get older, I am less and less willing to compromise on things like sleep. Selfish? Fine. I will own that. But I am also getting back to a personal state of better health. Which is far more important to both of my children at this point.

So thank you darling. I know when you grow up and read what your mama wrote about you, you might not like it. But if we could help others by sharing our experiences, then I’d say we’re already a pretty darn good team.

 

via Daily Prompt: Better

What do I want most in Life? How can I get it?

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For most, this answer revolves around money. To me, money would just be a perk. What I want most in life is to be genuinely happy. As simple as it sounds, this entails a complicated balance of every aspect of my life.

First and foremost, it requires me to be happy with myself. This is a struggle for me after just having a baby and getting used to my new body. It is not what it was twelve years ago, and I know I can lose the weight, but these things take time, discipline, and patience. I only have one of these things currently but without the other two, it is worthless. So my goal is to begin my body transformation when I stop breastfeeding and babe sleeps through the night.

I want my children to be happy. I want them to be able to do all the things they are passionate about. I want to be able to take them to their after school activities and support them in every way I can. I want to pack their lunches and send them off to school instead of being at work before they even wake up, and not getting home until after dinner.

I want my husband to be happy. I want him to feel secure and satisfied with our life, our kids, our home, and me. I understand that I can only do so much to contribute to his happiness, but this gives me balance. When I am happy with me, I feel secure in our relationship. When I feel inadequate, I wonder how much it threatens what we have. This is something I am working on still, as we all should proactively work on our marriage.

I want to be successful. I want to build my passion into something that supports my family. I want my husband to not have to work so hard and to be home as much as he can. I want to be available to my kids and family. I also want someone else to clean my house. Random I know, but if we are talking about what would make me happy, I just thought I would throw that out there.

 

How can I get what I want?

Work. Hard work. Discipline. Patience. Time. I would say that I am a successful person. I know what it takes to have what I have and maintain it. My credit score is out of this world and I do not bargain shop as much as I should. We go out and do things a couple times a month. Financially we are stable and have money in savings. I do not think I have ever been content to just sit where I was. I have always reached for the next hand hold and pulled myself up. I am lucky that my mister shares this attribute. So, here I am again at the starting line, about to run the race to the finish line where my dreams wait for me.

 

What do you want? What will it take to get it?

 

Who am I? Who have I been? Who do I want to be?

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I am a mom. I feel like this has been the most important thing I have ever done, even beyond being a Soldier. I have been more challenged as a mother than I have ever been physically or mentally otherwise.

I am a wife. Sadly, and much to my surprise this did not appear in the original order as second, but I think this is something I need to work on. I do not forget I am a wife, but maybe I look too much to get instead of giving. Or I have been so tired with the other “I am”s that it fell too far down the list. I am sorry, Honey. I will work on this. You can have the Phil Kessel hockey puck.

I am a writer. This is what I am deep down. This is what makes me happy and what gives me validation. I also am a writer because every other aspect in my life is shared through this medium. This is the job that I will never have to work at.

I am a working woman. This causes far more stress than it’s worth, in my opinion. I love what I do and where I work. I love the fulfillment I get from over achieving, but every second I am at work, I feel I should be doing something else: mostly snuggling my babies. I miss them 40 hours a week something fierce.

Who have I been?

I have been so many people. I have been someone I would be jealous of today. I have been someone that I am embarrassed of today. I have been someone that was braver and wiser than I knew I could be at the time. Even through my huge glaring mess ups, I do not regret much if anything. Everything, good and bad, has really worked out for the better.

Who do I want to be?

I want to be a mom. I want to be a wife. I want to be a writer. I want to be a working woman, but maybe a little less worky that I am now. My one year goal is to publish my book. My five year goal is to adapt it to film. My ten year goal is to complete the series and watch it with my family on our nice (not leather) furniture. I want to weigh 30 lbs less than I do. I want to wake up every day happy and refreshed and not scared or anxious unless it is premier day or something good stressful like that. I want my family to be happy and healthy and comfortable.

 

Where are you headed? Who are you today? Who do you want to be?

 

Six Fact Sunday

So it’s Saturday, but most will wake up to this post so here it goes.

In March I will begin a very intense writing challenge which will limit my time here with you all. So the compromise is that I will aim at doing one very structured post.

Since this is the first, this week will simply be about me. Six things you probably do not already know about me.

  1. I can say “Hello. How are you. I am good. I am tired.” in six different languages. Enough to make a person otherwise isolated smile at my attempt at relating. These six languages include English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, and Swahili (my personal favorite). The funny thing is, if you have watched the movie Lion King, you know far more Swahili than you think. Simba= Lion. Rafiki= Monkey. Hakunah Matata really means “No worries”. lol Isn’t that fun?!!? In the hospital where I work, there are many African immagrants and they typically speak French or Swahili. When you say hello in their native language their faces light up. It’s so fun.
  2. I once turned in a human jaw bone belonging to a 200 year old Native American man to the coroner’s office. This is a looong story for another time.
  3. I once physically took two children from their home and placed them into protective custody. This is a sad and frustrating story of a young woman mentally unfit to care for her own kids. I would not be in the least bit surprised if they never made back to her. Sweetest kids ever and I was 6 months pregnant and managed to hold it together. Ugh.
  4. I once served someone divorce papers. Very awkward, but he was expecting them.
  5. I have only been a writer for two years. This is how long I have been working on my current novel. I get stuck on character interactions in difficult situations.
  6. Coffee means sooooo much to me. I can go without it, but there is a sense of calm and security it brings me that If it came down to my health or coffee, I would have to make a few compromises.  Sometimes I drink decaf if I get a late night craving because it is far more about the taste and experience than the caffeine involve. I would just consider that a perk at this point.

So now you know a little about me. Want more 6 facts? What subjects would you like to see? Later posts might include:

“Six Facts About Civilian Life After the Military”

“Six Facts About Solo Parenting”

“Six Facts About Sleep Deprivation”

Lawd I think I have my month planned out. Cheers!!


There is still time to enter into the Give-Away!

How do I enter???

First- Follow my blog by clicking the “+Follow” button at the bottom right side of your screen.

Reblog your favorite Britestfyrefly post on your own page and link it back to me so I know who you are.
Share the link to one of your favorite posts on Facebook and tag me.
Email the link to your favorite post to a few people and CC me.
You may share as much as you want. Each link shared will get you an entry into the drawing which will happen Live on Facebook on February 28th and be posted and shared later that day.

Good luck everyone and Thank you all for all of your support through the last couple of years. A writer is nothing without readers 😀

TBT Fun!

Apparently (I use this word because, like I have mentioned before, my memory is shot) my cousin and I used to be pen pals. Of the many MANY cousins, there were three of us girls around the same age. One that I just found out has had a blog for a year and never told me until yesterday… The other is a very successful dance teacher and Silk instructor (not her in the video obviously but an example of what she does).

Anywho- Dancer cousin and I used to be pen pals. (Blog cousin and I used to live together which will probably fill many many future posts).

I am a year older and I think around the time we were 11 and 12 or 12 and 13, we wrote back and forth a few times. WELL… I uncovered this treasure in my pile of junk.

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A few things stand out to me about this.

  1. She wanted to know about my life. I wanted everything she had. Her house that never changed. Her friends that she could keep as long as she wanted. Her room that was HUGE. Even the easy bake oven that Grandma got her for Christmas, instead of my Barbie Car. But here it is. SHE wanted to know about ME.
  2. My handwriting is not much different 20ish years later.
  3. Our dreams and wants were the same at that age. I wanted to be a Biochemist and work for NASA growing crops on Mars. And who doesn’t want to look thin. I didn’t get either of those things. Boo.

My cousin and I lost touch for a long time. I remember one year at Thanksgiving, she brought her then fiance. I was so jealous that she was getting married before me. A couple years later I reached out to her on my way to desert training for the military. It was a long bus ride so I had plenty of time. She told me about her horrifying emergency delivery. I listened and burned the story into my mind. Even through the birth of my son and daughter being unplanned C-sections, I remember her story and would never wish it on anyone.

My cousin was a key player in the healing of my miscarriages before Little Miss came along. Well placed inappropriate jokes helped me get through the utter loss that consumed me. She made me more comfortable to discuss them, and to write about them. I hoped to one day be that support for someone else.

When our grandmother passed away, my sister and I stayed with my cousin. I feel like there was not nearly enough time spent together, I realized how these women in my life (Dancer and Blogger) are my sisters. I feel so much warmth and love for these two along with my own sister that I truly cannot articulate.

Though I moved around so many times as a kid, and only have exactly one friend that I am in constant contact with, I know that these women will always be my best friends and be there for me without question or judgement.

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There is still time to enter into the Give-Away!

How do I enter??? 

First- Follow my blog by clicking the “+Follow” button at the bottom right side of your screen.

  1. Reblog your favorite Britestfyrefly post on your own page and link it back to me so I know who you are.
  2. Share the link to one of your favorite posts on Facebook and tag me.
  3. Email the link to your favorite post to a few people and CC me.

 

You may share as much as you want. Each link shared will get you an entry into the drawing which will happen Live on Facebook on February 28th and be posted and shared later that day.

Thank you all for all of your support through the last couple of years. A writer is nothing without readers 😀