Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ Category

An Open Letter To My Mother

This is the follow-up to the essay I wrote last week. In it, I come to grips with childhood trauma and searched for answers in my mother’s actions. Read that essay if you haven’t yet, then come back and read this. 

 

Dear Mom,

I’ve begun writing this too many times to remember. I’m angry. I’m upset. I’m sad. I’m disappointed. I’m trying to make sense of so much, Mom, of our broken family, of you being emotionally absent for me and my siblings, to you prioritizing a piece of scum over your children.

What man would talk down to a woman and verbally assault her in front of her children? And what mother would allow that to happen and scold her children if they tried to protect her? Do you know that I refuse to celebrate my birthday, and it’s not because Grandpa passed away on my birthday years ago. It’s because you never prioritized my birthday, one year you simply left an outfit on my bed and left a note stating you’d be at his house for the night. I spent the whole night crying, Mom. There is no reason my oldest sister, who for reasons you refuse to take responsibility for, had to raise me and my siblings. You were the mother, you were the parent. But you weren’t there.

I’m sure I should be in therapy. Everyone thinks I’m so put together. I do what I have to do for my family, but I’m a mess and for the longest time I refused to work through the negative feelings of my childhood. Do you know I have almost no recollection of my childhood before age 11 except a few moments that stand out. The time you flung me across the room because I asked a friend’s parent for ice cream money. Or what about one of the many times you were beating me and I cried out my brother’s name. That was my childhood, Mom – that is what I remember. The affects of living with an emotionally absent and depressed woman is that I now have severe issues with communication with friends and in my relationships. I withdraw and I shut people out – for awhile I got scared because I worried I was going to end up like you. Miserable and manically depressed.

While I can’t imagine being given up for adoption as a newborn as you were, I do know what abandonment feels like. You abandoned us – you abandoned me. For someone who wanted a big family so bad, you sure didn’t treat us like you wanted us.

Read the rest of “An Open Letter To My Mother” over on The Young Mommy Life. 



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Loving My Mother Though The Hurt

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I have always been slightly confused and jealous of friends who have functional relationships with their parents. I grew up without my father around and watched a severely depressed woman raise four children in fear. Her children were supposed to obey her and be polite. Over and over in my childhood I heard people tell my mother how well behaved her children were because we used our manners, didn’t talk loud and called our Mother ‘ma’am.’ We were the kids on the block that were called inside before it got dark and were always put together. We were beat with a belt or fists when we did something that she didn’t approve of…like the time I asked a friend’s mom at school for money for an ice cream. First she flung me across the room, then she made me return the money. All my mother wanted to do was be a mom, one would think she would have showered her kids with love – I would have grown up a different woman if that was the case.

I wish the memories I had as a child were ones that included our family going to the park, doing arts and crafts together or in the kitchen baking. Didn’t you have a good childhood? my friends and daughter ask. Did I? What I remember is my mother giving me my first bloody nose. I remember her leaving me a birthday gift on my bed and telling me she was at her boyfriend’s house. I remember her being at her boyfriend’s house. I remember a quiet empty house. I remember being alone in a suburban town and feeling like an outsider. I never did discuss with my mother how I felt, how sad I was growing up because in our house we didn’t talk about our feelings. It’s no wonder I have such communication issues in my love life.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised that she got annoyed when I asked her to drive me and my two-day-old daughter home from the hospital nine years ago. I shouldn’t have been surprised that as soon as I laid my newborn daughter in her crib I heard the front door slam, her truck start and zoom off to her boyfriend’s house. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the first night at home with my daughter my mother decided to be at her boyfriend’s house.

Read the rest of “Loving My Mother Though The Hurt” over on The Young Mommy Life.



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Listen To Your Mother Boston: I’m A Castmember!

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I’m a storyteller. I share painful and honest stories about my experiences, my fears, my mistakes and anything and everything in between on my blog. Opening myself up through writing over the past five years has provided me with an insight into myself I didn’t have before. It’s too easy for me to focus on the negatives in a situation – but through my blogging I’ve been able to work through those negatives, put them into perspective and try to come to peace with them. I write to heal, not because I’m broken, but because I want to grow and become a better woman for myself and better mother to my daughter.

When I heard about the Listen To Your Mother show come to Boston I was initially intrigued, share your story about motherhood? That’s what I do ALL the time on my blog and social media sites!! After the initial excitement wore off fear kicked in. I’m behind a computer screen pouring my heart out, not in front of a live auction. I was immediately worried my story wouldn’t be valid. That there wouldn’t be a place for me among the cast – that I was too different. I was scared of failure and worried I wouldn’t be able to deliver.

But sometimes you just gotta take a leap. You gotta get uncomfortable to grow.

So I auditioned.

And I was cast in the show.

When I walked into our first rehearsal this past Saturday I was beyond nervous. I was scared. Worried I wasn’t good enough. Why do I ALWAYS feel this way?! As we sat in the circle and began sharing our stories of motherhood a bond was created – no story mirrored my own but I found a piece of myself in every story that was shared, and I realized there is so much more that unites us then what separates us. I of course, cried my eyes out sharing my uncertainty on being a teen parent. What I didn’t know was someone else in that circle, Julie of Sober Mommies, was also a teen parent, had experienced many of the feelings of guilt and shame as I did when I found out I was pregnant. I walked in that rehearsal scared, and walked out with a renewed sense of confidence in myself and my experience and a new friend. I got so much more than I had bargained for, and while I’m scared to share my story to an audience of 500 in April, I know that they will hold me and support my experience.

Meet the cast:

If you are in town and want to hear an amazing group of women ‘give motherhood a microphone’ I’d love to see you on April 26 at 2:00pm at the Old South Church in Boston. Tickets are only $15 until March 15 and after that they are $20 and can be purchased by clicking here. I assure you – it’s a show you don’t want to miss…and I’d love to see a familiar face or two in the crowd!

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Battling Sleep Apnea As A Young Mom

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Like many mothers I am forever on the go. From rushing in the morning to get my daughter and I prepared for the day, to preparing for events and meetings at work, and then sorting through laundry and helping my daughter with her homework in the evenings. By the time I put her to bed I’m ready to knock out – I have positively no energy left for anything. Pair that with an interrupted night’s sleep, and it’s no wonder I’m fatigued all.the.damn.time.

The last time I can remember sleeping through the night was back in 2007. Yup, that’s right. This Mom hasn’t had an uninterrupted night of sleep in over seven years. At first I was sure all the stressors of juggling work, school, and motherhood were the reasons I wasn’t able to sleep at night. As a highly anxious person I never am fully able to relax and drift off to sleepyland. After several sleeping medications failed me I was referred to a sleep specialist and neurologist, who after various testing and a sleep study diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea in 2009.

While many are able to sleep through the night soundly, those like me who suffer from sleep apnea don’t have that luxury. “Apnea” in Greek translates to “without breath” and those with apnea experience pauses in their breathing during sleep, their airways don’t stay open and it signals their brain to wake up. This scary pattern happens to me five to eight times a night and it can take me up to an hour to get back to sleep. As you can imagine I never wake up feeling rested or refreshed; instead I’m grumpy, annoyed and exhausted. When obstructive sleep apnea is left untreated it can have serious side effects – many of which I’m experiencing now.

Since being diagnosed my symptoms from having untreated apnea have worsened, even though my apnea is considered ‘mild’. Any mom knows any disruption in sleep is dangerous – for everyone. The chronic exhaustion has led to a disinterest in being social; I have difficulty remembering experiences and words. Combine that with being highly irritable and anxious, an increase in weight, and feeling depressed – I’m a ticking time bomb. Most weekends I don’t want to be bothered and want to curl up in my bed. Other risks for obstructive apnea include high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Read the remainder of my post over on The Young Mommy Life.



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Match.com: Helping More Single Parents Find Love This Fall

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Oh dating. After my daughter’s father and I split six long years ago I swore I’d never find love, would never be in a relationship, and would devote my life to only loving my daughter. Dating as a single mom? Um, nope I wasn’t interested! Who was going to watch my daughter? When would they meet her? Would my daughter feel like I was neglecting her? How would I make time for everyone…including myself?

Luckily I’ve had the opportunity to find love for a period of time since that relationship. And now when someone asks if I’m single, I quickly respond – yes, and not looking. My plate is overflowing, and thinking about a relationship makes me kinda crazy. Crazy because I know how much time and energy needs to go into a functional relationship – time that I can’t seem to find in my life.

When my single girlfriends and I get together we often talk about where in the heck we’re supposed to meet someone of quality. My routine is soo exciting – work, grocery store, home. Where do people go to meet people these days? Online apparently. Not only did my co-worker find her now husband online, her two friends found their partner online, and not to mention a makeup artist I use sometimes, is now engaged to someone she met on Match.com. There are plenty of commercials promoting online dating sites- the newest I’ve seen is one for farmers. Hey, farmers need love too! And the numbers don’t lie. Single parents who use online dating sites have twice the dating success than those who don’t date online. Not only that, but Match.com has seen a 180% increase in single parents with kids at home over the past four years. 180%!! That’s quite an increase! And not only that, but check this out:

Men find single women with kids ATTRACTIVE! In fact, 67% of men are willing to date a single parent!

Match.com is sure changing how single parents date and are providing resources for single parents to find loooove. I groan thinking about dating because it takes time and I wonder about how much of myself I have to give, and how having another man around (whose not my daughters father) will affect my daughter. Luckily Match.com believes that just because you’re a single parent, doesn’t mean you have to give up your search for finding love. 1/3 of Match members are single parents looking to find love.

I was pretty skeptical about online dating before talking with Match.com’s relationship expert Whitney Casey, but once she started talking about how popular Match.com is for single parents part of me got excited…about the possibilities to find love. Of COURSE I’d love to be in love. I love love. Though I often wonder if love doesn’t love me lol. I shared my anxiety with Whitney, and she plainly told me that prioritizing myself and desire for love will in fact make me a better parent – feeling more complete. As far as filling out those dreaded online profiles she says to focus on the now and not to talk only about your child. Talk about books you’re currently reading or just finished your current interests and things you’re engaged in.

Below is my full interview with Whitney discussing single parents and dating on Match.com:

Is online dating for me? Guess I won’t really know until I try. But I know that I’ve got to put myself in a better position to be open for love…which I hope is soon. And then…maybe…I’ll try online dating :-)

Single parent or not – have you tried online dating? If not, would you be up for online dating?

 
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Match.com. All opinions, as always are my own.



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