Never have I ever

Growing up I never had a dad or a strong male role model, something I honestly didn’t think was necessary growing up a girl. I was raised by my mother and my older sister. It’s only been since the birth of my daughter I’ve began to realize the importance of positive male role models. Not because as a woman you need a relationship with a man (or vice versa), but because its inevitable throughout the discovery of our sexuality that the experiences we encounter are going to shape who we are. If you have no gauge or clear expectation of how to define respect for yourself, how do you navigate the effects of future relationships?

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Mommy-cation

After a brief escape from my life, I learned 5 things:

  1. I love travelling (even alone)
  2. I can accomplish a lot when I’m not on a schedule
  3. Technology makes travelling alone WAY less lonely
  4. Underwear is over-rated
  5. Rompers are the cats pajamas

I stayed at the Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa in Palm Springs. If you’ve never been, by all means you can take my word for it. ITS AMAZING! The staff, the facility, everything was wonderful. I spent the entire trip making plans to return.

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There are so many amazing takeaways from my little getaway experiment. It was easy, I got much needed rest and relaxation and I proved to myself that travelling alone is not as awful as I thought it would be. I was finally able to sit outside my life for a few days and reflect on where I am and where I want to be. As I mentioned in my “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” post, this trip was brought on by the overwhelming need to escape my responsibilities. My life had become a burden and I felt such intense pressure to be everything to everyone. I spent 4 days doing nothing but what I wanted and a magical thing happened… I became immensely grateful for everything in my life. Prior to this trip, I was stuck in a rut. Not really understanding what the hell I worked so hard for and truly believing I was failing in almost every aspect of my life as a mother and wife. I work very hard to provide for my family and like many women, felt it was my job to sacrifice and put everyone else’s needs before my own. While it’s secretly penned (in very fine detail) into the motherhood job description to put your children before yourself, what I’ve learned is that doesn’t mean you must neglect your own needs, wants and desires. I’m tired of believing that in order to be a good mother I’m not allowed to want for myself.

During my trip I read an entire book without interruption. WHAT!! It was amazing. I also unknowingly picked the perfect book. “Recipes for a Beautiful Life – A Memoir in Stories” by Rebecca Barry. This woman gives such a powerful depiction of how hard it is to be a working mother of 2 children. All the while trying to follow her dreams and balance the pressures of motherhood and wifedom.  Any woman who might even remotely relate should read this book. It’s raw, real and not surprisingly funny. I spent my mornings leisurely drinking coffee and writing on my patio. My afternoons were relaxed by the pool reading, enjoying a cocktail or two and the sun on my skin. My evenings were just as uneventful but equally blissful, wandering the resort and binge watching bad Netflix television while crocheting until midnight. Doesn’t sound so bad or scary now does it? Seriously, I challenge anyone who thinks they couldn’t travel alone to consider it.

While another day or so would’ve been lovely, I returned to reality with more confidence and energy than I’ve had since before I had children. I have a much more grateful heart and am working on being mindful of my limitations. I’m excited to have the motivation to once again build and create the things I want in my life.

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

I have been considering and reconsidering this idea of going on a trip by myself for almost a year. Every time I thought about it I squashed the idea because I felt that it was vain, self indulgent and quite frankly a little scary. How could I possibly have a good time by myself? I’m not outwardly social with people I don’t know and I consider myself nauseatingly boring. Yet,  I haven’t been able to shake this need to travel. Nowhere exotic, just this need to get on a plane and go somewhere, ANYWHERE (more on this in another post). Away from the obligation and responsibility of my life. Somewhere I can pretend for a millisecond that I have no one to care for except myself. Under perfect circumstance I would’ve preferred my husband to join me which would’ve make the decision to take the trip so much easier. But he has been dealing with a spike in anxiety which means getting on a plane is not an options for him right now. Instead here I am desperate to get a break and change of scenery, all the while feeling like he is holding me back. The real thing holding me back… is ME. My husband (bless his heart) is the most supportive man I’ve ever met. He, in fact, has been encouraging me for the last few months to book some time away and give myself an opportunity to recharge. I love and hate him for this. He is perfectly content to stay at home with our children, with no request or need for a break. While I, on the other hand, I have a desperate need to escape the responsibility of parenting and adulting in general. My guilt increases 2-fold here. Once, for wanting to leave my family for a few days and another for spending money on myself to go on this trip. Needless to say the back and forth in my head of whether to go or not has been exhausting. Continue reading

Broken

Here’s the thing… when you least expect it life hands you a big ol’ bag of lemons. It’s been a while since my last post (almost 2 months, shame on me). Life has been challenging me in new ways and I’m learning the hard way how relentless it can be. The moment the doctor looks at you and uses the words “depression” and “medication” in the same sentence. How do you respond? Is there a right answer? I can’t say I was surprised by the suggested diagnosis, what I was shocked about was the immediate relief I felt. I was relieved that perhaps this rotten feeling that seems to be absorbed into every ounce of me, isn’t what being an adult/parent/wife is supposed to be. Now on the flipside, I’m not crazy about being unnecessarily medicated, and there are obvious fears associated to that. But to know that there might be something outside of my control that needs fixing, makes me feel like there is hope. Continue reading

Spouse Swap

It’s obvious to most people that domesticity is changing rapidly in our society. There are seemingly more husbands choosing to stay home and wives returning to work to build their careers. In the last few years, my husband and I have almost completely switched the stereotypical gender roles in our marriage. While on a recent “getaway” weekend we laughed more than once at the expectation versus our reality. At breakfast one morning, my husband ordered tea while I opted for my usual coffee. When a server (other than the one who took our order) brought us our beverages, they automatically assumed the tea was for me. At dinner that night I ordered the Bison Tenderloin, while my husband ordered the lighter chicken meal… and the one that made us both laugh was during lunch I ordered a beer while my husband stuck with water. Once again, a server instinctively gave the beer to him. Isn’t it interesting how these gender roles are somehow ingrained in all of us? Continue reading

Rainbow Baby

For anyone who hasn’t heard the term… A “Rainbow Baby” is a child born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss.

My son; Connor, is my Rainbow Baby. I would suggest many who know me are not aware of this. While I don’t shy away from the conversation surrounding miscarriage, I also don’t talk about my experience in any depth.

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Life is not fair

I don’t believe I’ve been sheltered from injustices in life. I grew up in poverty, I was bullied, I suffered emotional trauma at a young age, I’ve worked my a$$ off for everything I have, and tried damn hard not to complain along the way. The thing is I don’t believe that life (or anyone in my life) owes me anything. We all have issues, problems and scars. While one might think my life is “amazing” another might think it “unbearable”. It’s a matter of perception. You see, my scars are mine and I view them through the experiences that shape who I am. While your scars, are yours. I don’t believe it possible to view another’s pain through their eyes, or walk in their shoes if you’d rather.

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I will NOT be silent anymore

On Sunday, with the millions of other people who were tuned into the Superbowl, I anxiously awaited the only part of the game I ever care to watch… the Half Time Show. I would not consider myself a Lady Gaga fan but she is an amazing performer to say the least and I was excited to see the show she would put on. Needless to say, I think most can agree… she did NOT disappoint. As I watched her perform, I was blown away with the amount of energy she has and the talent that she possesses. Like seriously… if I had a fraction of the talent of that woman. Whew!

I was also beside myself to see that Miss. Gaga herself has a REAL body. One that I can relate to. In that moment, I was elated to see this amazingly talented woman be herself and not feel the need to tape, contour or whatever, to make her midsection appear flatter. Halleluiah! There are successfully popular women who are brave enough to portray realistic and positive body image.

Much to my dismay (but somehow not surprisingly), the Twitter world erupted with criticism. Comments like “drop a few pounds”, “fire your trainer”,  and “beer belly”, were tossed around. This wildly talented, beautiful woman, who put on the performance of a lifetime is being criticized for looking healthy (not overweight, not obese, not fat). But according to some “her belly was too distracting”. Are you bloody kidding me? After seeing the social media backlash, needless to say I was frustrated. In any case, I went to bed and temporarily forgot about it. Bright and early Monday morning, I was once again bombarded by the negativity on social media surrounding this unbelievable performer.

I’m a grown woman yet I felt like a child on the playground watching another be bullied. But, I will NOT be silent anymore. I will NOT sit in silence and witness this atrocity. I will NOT contribute to the negativity any longer, because witnessing in silence is damaging too. Let us lend a hand up to each other, praise each others victories and learn from others failures. For everyone out there scrolling through comments on social media and casually ignoring the negativity (like me), choose understanding and offer words of kindness. Believe there is good in people and do not be silenced by the hatred.

A Perfect Stranger

A few weeks ago, while looking for a notebook for my husband at a downtown bookstore, a very kind woman commented on the necklace I was wearing. Funny, how something so simple has become so abnormal. In any case, she was very nice and asked where I had gotten it. I mentioned it was a Lia Sophia/Stella & Dot something or other I had purchased almost 5 years ago. We laughed and it got to that odd “uncomfortable” moment of do we continue to make chit-chat or not? She then made a bold comment that struck me (as it does every time I hear it)… She said “Congratulations, when are you due?”  Continue reading

The “Yoga” Birth Plan

During prenatal appointments with my clients, I like to discuss the dreaded Birth Plan. I’ve had more than one client ask why they really need one. After all, the idea that their birth is going to go exactly as they “plan” is unlikely at best. I agree, a Birth Plan in the traditional sense, its a stretch. But this is where I introduce what I lovingly refer to as the “Yoga” Birth Plan.

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