parent

The LEGO Perspective

In my mid 20’s I was kind of a jerk.

I was that “kid” who wanted a kid that thought, “Well when I have a kid…” and could name half a dozen reasons why I’d make it all look so easy.

So basically… the universe is laughing it’s ass off at me.

As it turns out kids don’t come with a manual the way my food processor did. In fact, the only thing in life i am ABSOLUTELY sure of is that when I think I have something figured out, THAT is the exact moment I’ve screwed up.

My son is eight. He is very perceptive and in touch with his feelings. We’re navigating the process of overcoming hurt feelings, being a good sport, identifying strengths and accepting weaknesses. And most importantly, taking responsibility for our actions. And with every one of those moments, I can’t help but pray I’m handling them right.

Parenting is no joke! On one hand, the mama bear in me wants to lunge toward anyone who looks at my kid funny. On the flip side, I recognize we’re approaching the part of life where character is built. I’m fully aware we have days ahead where someone will make a comment about his glasses, the gap in his teeth, or being picked last. I hope to raise a young man with compassion for others. I hope I use these moments to help him draw from these seemingly unimportant events to always be there for others.

I stepped on a lego tonight. Parents, you know that pain! For some reason, my mind went to my son with thoughts I didn’t expect. I didn’t have chosen words race through my mind. I had compassion. It was God’s funny little way of helping me keep perspective. We have so many amazing things ahead of us! Yet help us all not forget how small something can look on the outside yet feel so big to the one walking through it.

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I Have It Together-ish

I’m definetly over 30, single, a mom, and have it together-ish.

Every now and then a lady like myself will hear feedback sounding as if a potential suitor is saying, “Challenge accepted.”

So what IS the challenge for said man?

We expect too much from you.

And unapologetically. Unfortunately for this guy, he’s getting “interviewed” for multiple jobs unknowingly. I may enjoy your company but what actually matters is if you’re a good fit for my son and I… as a team. Do you see me standing next to him or in front of him? Can I count on you? Do we care enough to deal with each other during our “jerk” moments?

Like it or not, if I date you, I’m constantly asking myself if you’re father material. Not only for my child but any future children. All my exes live in Texas… and so do I. Can you navigate the waters with my ex? Only the strong survive.

You’ll need a suitcase for this baggage.

Naturally, I analyze everrrrrything. It’s how my brain works! Ask my boss. What is seemingly a straight forward situation will include me calculating every angle we could potentially be sued with followed by hypotheticals that will derail the entire conversation. I can’t help it. Throw in the last 15 years of my life and you’ll get a big ole’ helping of unwelcome nonsense from me that may manifest in silence or irrational conversation.

I’m tired.

I know the general population is tired these days. But I’m real tired of the games. I think kids had it right when they passed those simple notes asking for a “yes” or “no”. That’s where I’m at. Tired of the games. Tired of dating. Tired of wondering where I stand with people. Who in the world came up with the dating rule of waiting 3 days to call? If you wait 3 days, you’ll realize I already blocked you.

I do not have the time, patience, or energy to compete to be at the top of your list. I can’t date multiple people at once. I tried it once at the suggestion of a friend and it lasted about 48 hours. I find it gross and just a waste of time. I have laundry and stuff. Like… big girl things to do.

I used to joke about being the lady with a cat. But now I’m the lady with a cat who has his own Instagram. (@oliverflinn) Many of my friends are unhappily married. That sounds worse than being single! But why is this the case? Do we lose sight of why we fell in love? Do we over look the cup of coffee he brings us in the morning? Or the car that magically never needs an oil change? What about everything he misses out on to be the first one at the office and the last one to leave?

Let’s go back to the way our kids “play the game”. We all have a different job on the field. Don’t we all want to get to the finish line to see our teammate there to celebrate with us?

Mommy Fuel

To the mom at pick up:

Hi. We don’t know each other. I have a feeling we’re more alike than we realize. For starters, I imagine you’re pretty tired. Did you rush here to pick up your little with as much excitement as you felt when you dropped them off this morning?

Me too. Free at last!

“Free at last!” can mean so many things! Maybe you’re at home with the younger kids or doing the laundry and errands to simply make life simple when your husband comes home. Maybe you’re rushing off to a board meeting, leisurely off to the gym, or maybe you’re battling depression alone all day.

I love nothing else more in this life than my son. My only child. My only four eyed, combed hair, argumentative son. But man… does he wear me OUT!

Don’t act like you can’t relate! You aren’t alone.

I’ve always said being a parent is the hardest job you will ever love. Don’t believe me? Would you give up everything in a second for them but you’re constantly tired and finding fuel in places you didn’t know existed?

Let’s credit our littles with unknowingly forcing us to find parts of ourselves we didn’t know existed. That’s some powerful mommy fuel they’ve given us!

Recently I’ve done my best to look at people around me and have a glass half full. I’ve focused more on what we could share rather than how we are different. The word “differences” is often used in a reason for divorce. Irreconcilable differences. I’m looking for more reasons in my life to connect to people than push them away.

Look for the connections. It’s powerful.

I’m Right Where I’m Supposed To Be

Someone recently shared a song that embodied everything I was needing in that moment. The title of the song itself spoke to me. I’ve been feeling very comfortable in my own skin and where I am in life. I’ve had an increasing sense of self awareness. I’ve realized that I am in fact exactly where I’m supposed to be. That’s a feeling you can’t put a price tag on and it has come only after a series of waves through very rocky waters.

Even considering my level of comfort in my simple yet beautiful life, I know something is missing. I have no idea when the last piece to the puzzle will come together. I find the process to be beautiful yet often uncomfortable.

For the first time in my life, I am truly being open about my knack for failing forward. I’m finding that it’s the only way for me to save my sanity and remain in control of my feelings. I’m not hiding behind anything anymore. It’s been so encouraging to read older posts and see how far I’ve come. I can’t even begin to thank those close to me for loving me through my failures and celebrating my successes. 

I’ve danced around writing about what I’ve been through. I’ve told half truths, omitted details, and been vague. My intent has never been to mislead people or hurt someone. It has been the result of shame and embarrassment. And that stops today. 

I’ve been married twice. I married my son’s father at a young age and that likely doesn’t need much explanation. I waited many years to get remarried. I thought I was the luckiest girl alive to have found him. I thought I had everything. I can assure you, the smile on my face was absolutely real and full of love and hope. 

I failed. We failed. He left on a Tuesday. I got a text message saying, “I won’t be here when you get home.” My thought was he had an appointment. After clarifying, I immediately bolted from my office in tears heading straight to my house. As the color left my skin, I absorbed the reality of what was happening. It felt like every dream I had with him was being thrown with haste into those suitcases. I begged. I cried. I fell apart. I watched him back out of the drive way. I watched the gate close. And that was it. Three hours later I walked to the school to pick up my son. I still wonder how well I hid my pain from him. 

It took me weeks to share my failure with my mom and best friend. I remember sitting in my living room with my best friend and saying my biggest fear was not making it out of it and still being a good person. I’ve had pain in my life but this was larger than life. 

I’m really sharing this story with the hope it will help even one person pull through a really dark time. I can honestly say that I’ve had a more beautiful life since my divorce. I’ve been shown more grace than I thought possible. I’m so humbled and thankful for every person in my life. I’ve realized how strong I am and I feel proud of that. 

I spent days crying in the bathtub for hours. I felt humiliated, devastated, angry, confused, and scared. I finally decided I wouldn’t let someone cheat my son and me of the beautiful life we deserved. I threw myself into anything and everything positive I could get my hands on. I took a volunteer position with the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce as Vice President of Philanthropy. I began volunteering in our city and that quickly put my life into perspective. As a result I’ve found a space that is comfortable and beautiful with love. 

I love thinking about something that is making me happy right now and tracing the steps backwards to find how I got to that place. I can honestly say that everything I love about my life right now happened because of something that felt devastating in the moment. There is always light at the end of the tunnel even if it takes a minute to find it. Reaching out for help is courageous. 

Is Starbucks Profiting From Our Sleep Deprivation?

I’ve been feeling pretty run down lately. My sleep habits have been pathetic. One factor is that my car was recently broken into and all of my Adderall was stolen. My doctor won’t prescribe anymore to me regardless of waving a police report in his face. Needless to say, as I sit here I’m prying my eyes open. The last few weeks I’ve found myself just struggling to even write a to-do list much less feel accomplished at the end of the day. Is this the real version of myself?

As a mother, I’ve realized how much I do not want my own child to begin taking Adderall at any point. I’m running a sleep company, I should know better than to fall victim to the dependency of Adderall. I began researching how to make it through the struggle of being cut off cold turkey from Adderall. Nothing has been helpful and I’m convinced Starbucks is preparing to offer me a job considering how often they see me. I stumbled upon an article published by Central Dentist who cites an article from The John Hopkins News-Letter  discussing children and mothers sharing sleep patterns. This certainly made my eyes finally open!

I could relate to so much of this article! I’m a mother to a seven year old boy and I’m submerged in all things sleep related on a daily basis. The study involved 200 healthy children age seven to 12 and measured their sleep patterns for one night using a home sleep test device. What stood out to me was when a mother reported sleep issues, her child would get less sleep, spend less time in deep sleep, and also go to sleep and wake up at a later time.

According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a lack of sleep can contribute to errors in judgement or sudden changes in mood, as well as a child’s ability to retain and learn information.

Sleep is so crucial to our bodies repairing properly, it affects our mental health, and gravely affects our quality of life. This is amplified in children as their bodies rapidly grow and as they are constantly soaking up life around them. Their growth and development is directly affected by the amount and quality of sleep they are getting consistently. I’m certainly adding “sleep habits” to the epic list of things I hope to instill in my own son.

To learn more about how you can ensure you and your children are getting your best nights sleep, check out www.CentralDentist.com!