Parenting through my past

No matter who you are, parenting can be a difficult gig.

As a woman, I know that I frequently worry about the way my parenting looks–am I being judged? Do I look selfish? Do I play with my kids enough? Did I talk on the phone too long? Will my husband be upset if I try to go on a run this morning? And on and on the thoughts go.

And these are thoughts on normal days. Motherhood, in my experience, requires a thick skin. It is easy to let other people’s opinions affect you–it is easy to be pulled into dumb cultural battles (think breast vs. bottle, co-sleeping vs. crib, working vs. staying at home)–there is so much pressure to do everything correctly, and so many different opinions on what the “correct ways” are.

Long ago, I made the decision to do what was best for my family. I also made the decision to tell anyone else to do what is best for them. And you know what? That is empowering.  Continue reading

Mother’s Day: The Double Edged Sword

Every year, there is this holiday that rolls around…I dread it.

My social media feeds are clogged with pictures of smiling mothers and daughters, complete with odes all about how self-sacrificing and completely wonderful all mothers are, and how no one can love you the way your mother loves you.

These posts, every year, fill me with confusion.

They make me jealous, and angry, and sad, and wistful. Continue reading

About the last month

I’ve written over the last month that I am having a really hard time. I’ve been down…dark, and depressed. I’ve been fighting bouts of anxiety and nervousness, and stomach issues that are a result of all of it, but also make all the stress and nervousness worse.

I have been feeling trapped. And stuck. And hopeless. Continue reading

Be who you needed when you were younger.

I sat up in bed, a curly, tow-headed little girl, peering through the darkness. A flashlight glared in my face–the police man glanced my way and walked on by. What was going on? Where were you?

I huddled in the corner, watching him smash things with a baseball bat. Screaming, begging him not to hit you, too. Grandma was coming–coming to take us away. I was terrified–where would you be? Were you coming, too?

I sat on his lap, squirming in pain. The lights were off, and huge dinosaurs were on the screen. He held me in place–I couldn’t get down. My objections were drowned out. Nobody was there to stop him. Continue reading

How I’ve been defined

Yesterday, I embarked on another EMDR journey–this time, in an attempt to get to the bottom of my perfectionism. The journey itself was not as traumatic and difficult as some of the others have been, and images did come swimming before my closed eyes. One image–of a high cinder block wall that I was trying to scale, jump off of, and leave behind–seems especially relevant in my attempt to escape my little town, where I was known, had history, and, most likely, very few secrets. Breaking into my cliquish peer group as an outsider was never something that I feel like I completely achieved, and my experiences of being bullied, not fitting in, and then trying to prove myself and be better than some of them, certainly contributed to my feelings of inferiority and judgment.

So, while this was telling to me, these are not the moments that stood out to me during this EMDR session. Continue reading

My perfectionism is trying to kill me…

…okay, from my title, we all know I tend to exaggerate.

But seriously. what-do-you-4d6bpu

School started again a little less than two weeks ago. I am entering my final year of my teacher prep program, and this semester means that I am required to be in class 4 nights a week until 9 pm. It is a full load of classes with a cohort group, and each class is compressed into a week to two weeks. So, it is a lot of deadlines, full days, and stress. Continue reading