If the Shoe Fits

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Please Don’t Get Offended if I Can’t Make it to you This Holiday

From the end of October to the beginning of January I feel like I am basically a chicken with my head cut off and if you have a big family, I know you can relate.

Every year since I can remember my entire family would get together on the holidays and celebrate. We would start at our parent’s house, go to my grandparent’s house and then make our rounds to everyone else.

It was a time to get together, create memories and celebrate with great food and family traditions.

So because of the way I spent my childhood, I strongly believe holidays spent with family are full of love and no regret and I wouldn’t want to spend them any other way.

However, I don’t want the desire to be with my family on holidays being confused with me being required to be with them because that simply is not the case.

Holiday tensions are already running high enough as it is because you are together with an entire group of people that may or may not get along.

So it is important that people understand the difference between want to and need to, because it can really help keep people in that “holiday spirit” we all love so much.

Sometimes we have to understand that there is not enough hours in the day to make it to everyone we want to see. As unfortunate as missing holidays with some may be, it is okay and we don’t have to feel guilty about it!

This is something I ask everyone to put some thought into this coming up holiday season. Take a step back and remove all the expectations that you may be holding your love ones too.

Please remember that just because it’s the holiday does not mean every person that you love is going to be able to see you. And I promise that does not mean they love you any less than the people they are going to see.

Try to put yourself in their shoes… and remember you are probably not seeing everyone that wants to see you, either.

So put your focus on who is there and make the best of what you have!p

Okay so Maybe I am Not Mother of the Year

My daughter was asking for True this morning, which right now is the only thing on Netflix that she wants to watch. But hey, I am not complaining because at least unlike Finding Dory, Zootopia,Trolls and Sing, I cannot recite every word.

I am getting the show ready and she starts singing, “I’m happy” in her high pitch singing voice that she has not mastered. I responded with” you’re happy”? Which prompted an “I love you” followed by a meaningful hug.

Now every parent knows just how great it feels when your child finally can repeat the words I love you because lets face it, this is the phrase we say the most. But the feeling it brought me today was just so much better than the usual I love you moments we share.

This moment was so genuine. It wasn’t rehearsed or forced; it just came so naturally to her. So in that very moment I knew that I was succeeding as a parent. At least to her expectation and that is all that matters.

Being a parent is by far the most rewarding, controversial, demanding thing you will do in your life. There are all these expectations formed around you on what is right and what is wrong. Some people form those expectations for you and some you form yourself.

Before I was a mom I totally planned out exactly what type of mom I was going to be. I was going to: document everything, breastfeed, allow no technology, no pacifier, no bottle past one years old, have play dates all the time, potty trained no later than two. I was going to avoid fast food, limit the sugary juice, getting them vaccinated and the big one was no swearing. But in reality I am not even close to that mom and here is why.

When it comes to documenting her entire life… I have failed miserably. I do a great job with pictures and I do a great job with capturing her first moments then sharing them with social media, but that is as far as it goes.

When people ask, “oh when did she first crawl, roll over, or stand”…Yeah I have no idea. Hold on while I scroll back two years on my Facebook page…

Now I always wanted to be that mom because I see other moms that are like that and it is awesome what they can do with all of that information. Make cute little boards with their children’s achievements, shadow boxes, etc. I wish!! I’m lucky if I get time to shower during the day let alone take the time to write down everything in the baby book.

And then there’s breastfeeding. AHHHHH! This is basically one of the biggest controversies of motherhood, outside of vaccines, which I’m not going to discuss because I vaccinated, and I can’t take that back now.

But I had every intention of breastfeeding. It just did not work for me. Right from the beginning there were issues but I continued to try. I gave her what I could and then I supplemented with formula. And guess what… my daughter is incredibly intelligent for her age, and has succeeded in all of her level of development charts.

Believe it or not those are actual arguments I have to have. “Breast milk is best”, “It makes them smarter”, “It helps fight off bacteria”…Yes, No, Yes. I tried and I was so upset, but I had to move on because I am a mom and well I can’t stress over things I can’t change. There is no time for that.

So that brings me to my no technology rule. That is a huge failure on my end. Today we live in a world that is technology. Literally almost everything I do technology is involved in. If I need an answer for a question I use the Internet. If I need to talk to friends or family I use my phone.  Hell they even have an app for delivering your groceries.

Seriously and your expected to keep all this away from a toddler who watches you on a daily basis use it? Hmmm… well I don’t. I don’t have a time limit on when she can or cannot watch TV, if she grabs my phone and she uses it to watch videos of puppies on YouTube that is okay by me.

I also swear all the time. Damn it! This is a huge parent fail for me. All I can say to this is, sorry not sorry. The world expresses themselves the way they want and well swearing just happens to be the way my family and I explain most everything we talk about.

However, I absolutely will not tolerate my child to swear in public or even at home. Like everything else you say, you have to be able to understand how people are going to interpret what you are saying, obviously my two year old cannot do that.

But hey guess what?! My child didn’t use a pacifier (because she didn’t like it) and her bottle was gone at one!

So I am here to tell you it doesn’t really matter what type of parent you are. It doesn’t matter if you don’t live up to the expectations you gave yourself or others have made you feel you have to achieve. As long as you love them and put them before yourself, they are clothed, fed and have a safe place to sleep; YOU are doing great! And I am sure you don’t hear it as much as you deserve too.

Letting Go of You, Lead Me Back to my Forever

I too am sorry. I am sorry I let whatever we had continue.

Looking back on what I know now, I realize that the love I thought I had for you was mistaken for the love I had for the idea of you.

I was young and just getting out of a very serious relationship. You were nothing like him. You were the bad boy every mother was scared her daughter would date.

Which I think made you look that much more appealing. At that age no one likes being told whom he or she can and cannot date.

At that point I was what I thought, head over heels in love was.

I let you walk all over me. I let you come and go as you pleased. I would try all I could to get your attention without directly talking to you because there was no way in hell I was going to beg you to come back.

Deep down I knew in a few months you would get sick of your new girl and come back to me anyways.

Looking back I cant help but hate that I was that typical girl longing over a boy who was never going to commit to me.

I had everything a girl should want in the other boys who liked me. They were the real deal. The type of boys you could bring home to your mama. But for some reason it was just not enough.

I definitely think that says more about the type of person I was becoming than anything else. I didn’t recognize that girl and I didn’t want to be that girl.

Eventually I had to move forward. I had to understand that I was never going to be enough for a man like you. Not only could I not change who you were but I shouldn’t have wanted to.

One day there was going to be a girl that would come along that would change your world. She would be everything you needed and you would finally be happy enough to stay.

You see, you always need to put yourself first. Be as happy as you can be in every situation, otherwise there just is no point in it. There’s no point in trying to force something that is not there. There are so many people out there in this world that would love to get the chance to know you.

You should find someone who makes you laugh no matter what you are feeling. Someone who makes you wants to become a better person. That pushes you to achieve everything you have always wanted and more. Find a person who makes you feel safe and at home no matter where you are in the world.

Love is always going to be something that takes effort, there’s no way around that. But you need to find a person that is worth that effort. Someone who wants to put forth that same amount of effort.

It turns out my greatest love story was there from the beginning. All I had to do was let go of that idea I got in my head of what love was suppose to feel like.

To the father who didn’t have to stay

Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing to be my dad. You didn’t have to be and I definitely didn’t make it easy.

I was about five years old when you came into my life. Not really ever having any other father figures besides my uncle and my grandpa. My real father really screwed that one up for me. I never let people around me know how upset it really made me feel not having my dad in my life. I think that is a normal thing to be upset about, but it was always just way easier to shrug it off. I would go to those daddy swim things with my cousin’s dad and other than that I would just try to put it out of my mind. Being five you don’t think you would really be able to recall how you felt, but it makes sense because you are missing a whole half of what is suppose to be there.

I was a mommy’s girl of course because I didn’t really have any other choice. Don’t get me wrong, I have the best mom in the whole world and she does everything she can to make me happy, but that is a whole other article worthy post.

Long story short, at that point in time I never thought I could have a complete family without him. I didn’t ever think I was going to be able to have a dad walk me down the aisle on my wedding day either. But in this case I am so glad to be wrong. You finalized my adoption when I was six and not only did I get you but I got a whole family that came along with. I also got the wedding of my dreams.

Now when I look back, my actions didn’t always show how thankful I was. I was a teen with an attitude and you always got the worst end of it. At the time I was just mad that I couldn’t do what I wanted. Being a parent now I really do understand why your decisions were your decisions.

After you and mom divorced you still stayed. Of course any reasonable person would think, well of course he is going to stay he has been your dad for 13 years. The point is you didn’t have to. Regardless if I was 8 or 19, you didn’t have to continue being there for me. You didn’t have to, but you did. You not only have been there for me but you have also been the best grandpa to my little girl, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that.

Love,

Your little girl

A little bit of time can change a whole lot of everything.

I had the kind of childhood where all my cousins were my best friends. Including myself, there was three girls and two boys. We wouldn’t go a week without spending at least a few days a week together. With me being an only child you could say at least one if not both girls were always with me. We were always at my grandpa and grandmas house. I mean ALWAYS. We would go out to breakfast EVERY Sunday morning in little ole Hesperia and then spend the rest of the day hanging out. Our parents would all bring food and we would have huge family dinners practically every night. My grandpa and grandma owned a farm, so we would spend our day’s horseback riding, riding quads (being way to reckless for our ages), playing tag or basketball, or fighting. It was everything someone with a big family would picture. A time with no phones, Internet eventually, but limited, and most of our time was spent outside. We would literally stay out until dark if not longer. I even remember some nights where we would attempt to sleep on the trampoline. We learned quickly that the dew left on the trampoline was just not appealing when we woke up. I literally couldn’t have asked for a better childhood.

But boy how time has changed.

My family is still relativity close. We have been through hell and back a few times with the family drama everyone always hears about. My grandparents decided to divorce when I was 19, which landed my grandma a house in town and my grandpa his house on the farm, and we did the only thing we could, which was grow up. I was the first to graduate in 2012 and the last one of us graduated in 2016. Some went on to college, some went straight into working, and I became a mother and wife and moved to a different city.

When I look back at how things were when I was little, it literally breaks my heart knowing my daughter is not going to have a childhood like that. She isn’t going to grow up with cousins her age, and that is not anyone’s fault, but I can’t imagine a life where I didn’t have mine. She isn’t going to get to experience my grandpa’s farm like I always thought my children would.

She is going to grow up in a world that honestly scares me. With technology being more important than outside activities, and family only being a priority to some. There are so many things that I see on a daily basis that make me what to build a shelter and never come out. I know that her father and myself will do everything we can to make sure she isn’t overloaded with technology and gets outside as much as possible. But how do you really limit something that is everywhere? No matter what I do I wont win. If I limit her television time and Internet usage and don’t get her a phone until she’s 16 (like the rest of us) as she gets older she is just going to feel like she is being punished and that is the last thing I want. It is hard enough being a parent this day in age because everything you do is judged by other parents or worse people who don’t even have children.

Its just so crazy to think about how different times are. Especially when they are nowhere near done changing. I mean cars literally can drive themselves…

What ‘s next?