Mama Diaries // Just A Barfing Of Feelings, Thoughts & Emotions

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I've been watching Daniel for a few weeks now and it's the first time I have had a baby in my care for a very long time. It's surprised me how easily I've taken to it. I mean, yes, I know how to take care of a baby, I have done it before. But, it's been so long I honestly didn't know what to expect from myself as far as easing back into having a baby around. I'm so used to my rushing around, getting stuff done, go, go, go lifestyle. I had definitely forgotten how exhausting it can be but we are starting to get into a little routine and it just gets better and better! It helps too that he is such a good and happy baby! I've told my sister many times that having Daniel a few nights a week is a good test run for all of us.

I talk a lot on this space about the mother I was at 18 when I had Logan and the mother I am to him now. The mother I will be to Gray and I's children and how I feel a lot of mom guilt. Being a mom at 18 is something no one is really equip to do. Your body may be, but mentally, most of us just aren't there. I for one, was not there, but I did it, to the best of my ability. Luckily, I was given an amazing child and even though I may be bias, he has continued to grow into an amazing and good person. 

I think a lot about how I've changed and grown as a mom and I think very often about how I will handle a new little life once Gray and I get to that point, which isn't for awhile. Having a baby at 18 was wonderful and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. But, it was also very, very hard to deal with mentally. I was still a child myself. My situation with Logan's father was not good. When I told him I was pregnant, he literally turned around and ran away from me. I'll never forget that. All I know of pregnancy and having a baby is doing it alone and feeling abandon. At 18 your friends deem you as boring and uncool because you know, you have that baby to take care of and they start dropping like flies as well. And honestly, who can blame them? I had my family and will forever be thankful for their never ending support but nothing fills the void of abandonment left there when the other person wants nothing to do with you or your child. We were not boyfriend and girlfriend,  we were not dating, I was not in love with him nor did I want to be with him. But, when you create a life with someone, you want them to be there in some capacity. For at least the child's sake. It's very hard to explain. It's something you cannot understand unless you have been in that position. It really bothers me when I hear people tell single expecting mothers "Well you have your family or friends or whatever so and so support system, so you will be just fine"  because it's not fine, it's not the same. It can't be.  And you are still in a sense, doing it on your own no matter how many helping hands you may have. My pregnancy was filled with stress and fighting. I checked into the hospital under a fake name so that no one could find me except my closest family and I could give birth to my son in a stress free environment. Logan's dad did not come back in his life until he was 4 years old. I realize and understand now that he was a scared 18 year old boy. I've forgiven, moved on and we get a long fine now I'm so very thankful for that. It's been the longest road to get to this point but it's so much better for Logan. But experiences like that. . . life changing experiences leave scars that can take a lot of time to fade. 

Wow, I meant to write a little blog post and I feel like I just word vomited all over. Anyways, what I am trying to get to is that my memories of taking care of Logan are all stress and anxiety filled. Hence my long intro. As I'm sure most first time moms feel, you just have no idea what the hell you are doing and me being a person with little patience, my fuse was short and in a matter of minutes I would be a crying miserable mess about anything and everything. The minute he would cry I was tense, scared, stressed. I hated breast feeding, I had no patience for it. I remember clenching my fists when he would latch on and gritting my teeth through every feeding because it hurt and was so frustrating. I had no patience for anything. I just have very few memories of me being this patient, comforting mother. I know I was but sadly, those memories do not resinate with me = mom guilt. Hormones of course too, yes I know. 

I honestly don't even know where I am going with this post anymore. I meant to write about how I feel like a crying baby doesn't set off this instant feeling a panic and anxiety through me. How I have realized that in taking care of Daniel just a few days a week that I feel like I am light years from where I was 13 years ago. I realize I am not taking care of him 24/7 and know that, that can drastically change things, feelings, etc. But I can look at these situations when he is crying and upset so drastically different now. I look at them with patience, with logic and solutions and comfort. Something I just couldn't do as a very young person responsible for a baby. This post just turned into some other type of animal and I guess maybe I just needed to get that out. Probably doesn't help that I watched "What to Expect When You're Expecting" last night since Gray is away on business and I was sitting on the couch shoving cookies in my face.  Pregnancy movies always stir up a lot of emotions for me. I cry when I see a couple holding a baby after it's born, with their hearts exploding with a love they never imagined they could posses, in awe of this little life they made together and will take care of together. It doesn't matter if it's fake and in a movie, a photo or a story I read. It all makes me cry. That moment is the moment I want more than anything. I dream about it. It must be amazing and beautiful and I cannot wait to experience it with the man I love so much, one day. 

Good lord, enough of this. I'm pushing publish. Take from this what you will! Sorry for the word barf! 

DISCLAIMER :: I'm not asking for pity here or for anyone to feel sorry for me. Not at all. My situation was far better than other single mother's and I realize that, I am thankful for that. It's molded me into who I am as a person. I had a loving home and family that I will also forever be thankful for. I'm simply sharing my story and my feelings. I always feel I have to give that disclaimer so people don't think I'm asking for their pity or trying to say that my situation was worse than anyone else's. It wasn't. I'm aware. Everyone handles things differently and everyone is entitled to their emotions. No one gets to judge that or discount other people's feelings in a situation that they were not in themselves, similar or not. I want to share to connect. I feel like blended families, single moms (once or now) and raising teenagers is just not talked about enough in an open forum. I always hope that through sharing these parts of myself, one person out there will not feel alone. 

The Growing // Rachel of Our Buzzards

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Normality isn't something I ever especially sought. Not so much because I'm abnormal, but more because I have always been more attracted to subcultures and the periphery. I've always liked new ideas and weird things.  I have usually identified myself  by my contradictions: a liberal Christian, an introspective extrovert, an argumentative optimist. 

When I became a mom, I had know idea where a mom like me belonged. I didn't know how to fit in.Furthermore, I didn't want to just be a mom. I wanted to be young and different, but I also wanted the other moms to take me seriously, at least seriously that they would let their kids come over for a play date without fear. I didn't want my kids to be embarrassed of me either. 

My contradictions continue to define me. I am/was a young mom who became a mother unexpectedly, but then my circumstances became amazingly stable. I was a pregnant teen who already graduated college. I didn't have any "mom" friends, and I didn't see much of myself in any of the mothers I saw at the playground or on the beach.

I am a working mom, but feel like teaching doesn't exactly carry the weight of real career moms, like my aunt, a CIO of a giant company. Among teachers I'm a bit of a pariah since I teach public school but homeschool my own kids.  I sort of subscribe to attachment parenting, but only in a lazy, half-hearted, unintentional sort of way. I'm not a stage mom, a dance mom, a soccer mom, or a military mom.

I didn't know what box to check. I felt like any mom identity I chose needed modifiers and qualifiers until... until...

I bought a minivan.

Suddenly, I became a minivan mom. I joined the leagues of so many moms before me, like my own mom with her french-fry encrusted Aerostar. Suddenly, I felt a part of the mom masses, with their easily accessible car seats and trunks with rooms for strollers.  Suddenly, I felt sort of normal (as a mom).

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And even though I do enjoy being not too normal, every time I pick up my keys with the lock-un-lock button, I feel sort of happy to fit in. Sort of happy to be a mom like so many other moms who sacrificed fuel efficiency and the possibility of being identified as young and fancy free, and in return gave her kids room to fight with each other in the back seat. I held off on that minivan for years, still carting around three kids in the back of the Corolla I bought in college, the one that had taken me to music festivals and Spring Breaks. 

I think part of growing up in accepting that the labels don't matter, that you don't have to try so hard. It doesn't matter if people think I'm young and irresponsible, or if they see me as boring and conventional. It only matters that I'm doing the best I can, loving my kids as well as I can, making a life I'm proud of.


The Growing is a series featuring women from all different walks of life, of all different ages, all at different points in their lives and a personal change that they love and embrace about growing older. Our society tries to make women feel that growing older is something we should fight against when in fact, it's a beautiful process that should be cherished. Each month will have a different story, a different change, a different point of view. My hope is that through this series maybe one women maybe even many women will learn to embrace and accept themselves for who they are and know that all of us are right there, supporting them. You can read the other contributors pieces here. Thank you! 


Weekends // Easter

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We don't celebrate Easter in the traditional sense and Logan's days of enjoying egg hunts, coloring eggs or even wanting a basket are long gone. Thankfully, Bacon will still help me out and let me have a little bit of Easter fun! Last year, I laid in bed and cried on Easter realizing that most of these holiday traditions were over now that he is a teenager. This year I did much better, and I'm happy to report that I didn't cry at all. Logan was at his dads all weekend and we had Gray's best friend come in town and stay with us. It was a really nice change of pace and it's always awesome to get to spend time with him. We didn't get too much accomplished in the yard, but there is always next weekend. Spending late nights out with friends who we never see was more important. 

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend!