mom of boys

Parenting Gems…Six Years In

My cousin had a baby recently and my sons are approaching their sixth birthday. It’s all had me reflecting on my life in the past six years. It’s been a roller coaster honestly. Twins, started a practice, lost my Dad, divorce, moved to a rural town from urban city, went from paired Queer mom to single mom co-parenting with lesbian ex. Tried to date. Global pandemic as a front lines mental health nurse practitioner. Made some new friends, let go of some old ones. I always thought my twenties would be the decade of the most growth and change but honestly my thirties clearly said, “Hold my beer”.

Through it all I’ve had these two little boys watching me, learning from me, testing me, teaching me, and permanently changing the trajectory of my life. IVF sucked. But the enduring light at the end of the tunnel was the thought of a baby. Then I got two. Then they became non-babies. Honestly I do not ever need to do the baby stage or toddler stage again. Because little did I know the blinding ray of light at the end of the IVF horrible prickly tunnel is these two little men. Not babies. People. Individuals. I love them as individuals. I love seeing the best and worst parts of me reflected in them. They are this epic mirror into my soul. I started out wanting babies. But every day I wake up so grateful for these two boys.

I think what I learned the most is people love giving advice. Unsolicited. All the time. Even when our lived experiences are wildly different. I have been VERY careful to not give ANY advice to my cousin. At all. At any point on her journey to parenthood. Because she’s a smart, capable human who has a different lived experience than I do. But I will share some gems. Because if I had known some of this stuff six years ago it may have helped.

  1. Don’t let any one tell you when to potty train your kid. Don’t get scared if your best friend’s kid is some potty genius freak using the toilet at 18 months. Your kid will use the toilet. Let them do it on their timetable. Mine weren’t fully trained until just under 4 years old. I let them lead. It was generally painless except maybe a few times chasing Jackson around so he wouldn’t poop in the corner of the house.
  2. If your kid doesn’t talk by a certain point your pediatrician will tell you to get interventions. My sons were late bloomers with the talking. They had twin talk, and still do. We would be with other two year olds who spoke in complete sentences and I’d think my kids had some horrible disability. They didn’t. They are fine. My daycare instructor asked me to go to the pedi when they were three. We did. They got a speech eval. They did fine. If your kid needs interventions they are there for you. If you have concerns don’t ask strangers on social media. Check with your daycare teacher or nursery school teacher, and pediatrician.
  3. Your kid may or may not sleep. And if they sleep for a few months they may stop sleeping for the next few months. You will be up at 4 AM googling how to get a baby to sleep. You will google “sleeping patterns in 9 month olds, 10 month olds, etc.” If you ask ten people they will have ten different answers about sleeping patterns in kids. My kids didn’t sleep through the night consistently until they were eighteen months old. They still wake up with nightmares, the stomach bug, or whatever fresh hell decides to surprise me at 3 AM…though it is fewer and far between. Accept that you will feel tired. For a long time. Do the best you can.
  4. Kids get sick. Babies cut teeth. Babies have food intolerances. You may have a lot of front ended visits of pediatrician well and sick visits for the first year or two. Sometimes I found the pediatrician helpful. Sometimes not. I thought my son was cutting teeth at ten weeks, the pedi told me there was no way it could be that early, a tooth literally broke through that night. Trust your gut. You know your kid best.
  5. Bring them to the dentist after they have some teeth. No one ever really told me to start going. I just scheduled it because they had teeth. Found out one of them has an enamel deficiency. Again. Trust your gut.
  6. At some point they will eat chicken nuggets and french fries. There is no avoiding it. Gear up. One day I opened my cabinet and saw Chips Ahoy, Pirate Booty, s’more Granola bars, and every other treat I never thought I’d be giving my children…I became that Mom. So will you. It’s okay. They still eat apples and strawberries too.
  7. At some point your four year old will see something PG-13 on tv. It’s unavoidable. Be ready for some questions depending if it is boobs or murder.
  8. You will be asked about penises and vagina’s. No matter how much you prep, or how prepared you should be (aka Psych NP who specializes in sex positive mental health treatment) you will stutter and say something that sounds like your grandmother speaking. Recover. Approach the conversation again later on your terms and try and provide some objective age appropriate education…it’s all good.
  9. There will be playground interactions with other kids and parents that suck. I have been that Mom who has gone and demanded the huge rock from the kid who is not mine, as my own kids watch horrified that I am disciplining a kid who is not mind, because he’s been throwing it at all the kids including mine. I then marched my butt over to his parent with gi-normous rock and hand it to his parent, explain the situation, explain I’ve already told her child I would be dragging his butt over to her next if he threw any rocks again, etc. You gotta take a stand some times. It’s uncomfortable for me, my kids, and other kids and their parents. But it’s also setting the example of right and wrong. Playgrounds provide life lessons. Don’t run away from them; lean into them.
  10. Babies are always the goal of pregnancy. But what I’ve learned and what I encourage you to hold onto is that babies grow into individuals. They grow into these people that we have the privilege of shaping. They are watching everything you do. They will emulate you. They make me be better because I want them to be better. Babies are the tip of such a large iceberg. Sometimes I think they need me more now than when they were babies just in very different ways. When I bring them to karate, and they learn a new move; they slyly look over to see if I’m watching…that moment. That’s when they need me. We make eye contact, I give them the thumbs up through the glass, and smile, or clap and though they can’t hear me, they know I’m there. They try harder because they know I’m watching. Put down your phone and watch karate class. Because you will miss those moments. You will miss how much they need you.
  11. They will have opinions VERY quickly about Halloween costumes. Pick wisely your first two years. It will be the only opportunity for you to be in control of the theme.
  12. If you have stairs they will fall down them. Maybe not fully, maybe not until they are five. It will happen. Don’t panic. Maybe put carpet on your stairs.
  13. Almost forgot…parenting in a pandemic is the literal worst. Do the best you can. Make decisions you are comfortable with even if you think they are horribly irrational. Nothing we decide will be right. Tune out the static of non-pandemic parents advice. Tune out FOMO and go with your gut (and science. Please go with science too.)
  14. Place deoderant and toothbrush/toothpaste everywhere. Car, purse, kitchen, office.
  15. Have a discussion about little people/dwarfism. Do not wait until they see someone in public to educate. It will not go well.
  16. Call tampons and pads “Mamas bandaids”. Or something innocuous. You have to trust me on this one. Whatever you call them will be yelled publicly at some point.
mom of boys

“Boys Will be Boys”

I’ve received the feedback from society since I can remember that girls are “less than”.

I remember asking my high school basketball coach why the football team had an entire weight room and gym- and they hadn’t won a championship for over a decade- while the girls teams had access to nothing, practiced with old basketballs, old uniforms, and we won the state championship my Freshman year. We won shorelines multiple years. The volleyball team won the state championship year after year, but they also didn’t get new uniforms, new balls, or their own gym.

The athletic director at the time was an alcoholic, my freshman history teacher, and generally a misogynist that consistently prioritized the boys sports and provided boys sports teams with more resources than the more deserving, in my humble opinion, winning girls teams. He was also a bad teacher.

I was at a charity softball tournament recently and I saw a big sign with that particular athletic directors name, “The ‘John Smith’ Field”. I was like what. the. fuck. They named a sports complex after the alcoholic misogynist. I tapped my sister on the arm, and she nodded, and she wasn’t surprised. That’s how small suburban white towns roll around here.

Then of course I became a nurse. Female dominated profession that is marginalized, undervalued, and consistently gaslit by management. Then I became a psychiatric APRN. The general message to me was that I was not a doctor (Which I knew…because I chose to go into a NURSING master’s program), and working in a field and ultimately a hospital, dominated by old white dudes. I didn’t feel like I fit in, was valued, or had worth until I went into practice for myself.

I love my work. I love that I can own a practice. I love that I have created a female owned business with many female employees, who I treat as I was never treated by an employer. Ever.

But I still have to walk around in society as a female. Which is mostly fine but often not. For example, I literally had to stop going to a liquor store because the owner was too friendly. To the point I had to be unfriendly. I go to the liquor store about once every two weeks. In the Fall and Winter I buy a bottle or two of Malbec or Merlot. Sometimes I go wild and get a chianti. In the Summer I usually do white wine or a gin and tonic or a tequila and soda. I don’t drink every day. I have a glass of wine maybe 3 nights a week. I don’t drink- vodka, dark rum, whiskey, bourbon, and probably many other things. I know what I like. Don’t mess with me.

So the owner of the local liquor store literally would follow me around the one aisle of red wines talking to me about “pomegranate liquor”. I should try it. He will give me a sample. He thinks I should really really really try it. Don’t I like pomegranate liquor? He literally went on and on. This occurred three times I was in there. Then the last time he asked how I liked the pomegranate liquor. I literally never tasted it and repeatedly had told him I would never taste it. I stopped dead in my tracks, “Look, I come in here like once every two weeks. I buy two bottles of red wine. I hate pomegranate and it’s not liquor it’s vodka. I don’t drink vodka. Just let me buy my two bottles of red wine and leave.” Mind you, every single other time I’ve been in there I have stated that I am just there for a couple bottles of wine. This was not news. But I had to stop, make eye contact, and set a firm, non-smiling boundary. At which point he threw up his hands, and muttered something in another language, then checked me out clearly annoyed and butt hurt.

I left and found an online delivery service and ordered a bulk order of wine. I’m set for a few months and when I need more I’m ordering online again. Later that day I went into a gas station because the card reader wasn’t working at the pump. The guy’s eyes lit up and I know that look, it’s a fresh meat I’m going to flirt with her look, and he proceeded to smile ask me if I was single, what I’m doing there, etc.

These interactions do not leave me flattered. They leave me feeling annoyed and insulted. Can I just buy the damn wine? I’m running on fumes just let me fill up my damn tank. These are only two examples in one day of my life of 36 years. I’ve had countless interactions like this, and honestly the only time I didn’t was in the two or three years after I had my sons and was still overweight. It was kind of a nice time and I didn’t even realize the lack of creepy male attention until it started again when I was fifty pounds lighter.

The annoying part about all of the times I’ve had to set boundaries is the male’s instinctive defensive response when they then say I’m a “bitch” or “cold” or whatever clever new insult they derive from me relaying that I actually just want gas. wine. I don’t mentally track these encounters but I would guess that I receive unwanted, unsolicited, and/or creepy male attention at least weekly- more or less depending on how much contact I have with the public.

The rub of it all is that I’m raising two young men. The other day Declan was telling Jackson to stop touching him and Jackson kept going, as brothers do, I went, pulled them apart, and we talked about boundaries, and how it is very important that we do not touch or talk to people if they are asking us not to. That we respect boundaries and we don’t make other people feel bad about boundaries. I’m not sure how much of it they understood. But we will continue this same discussion over and over until it sinks in. Because my sons will not be the creepy dude telling me I have pretty eyes while I’m trying to just pay for an oil change…because that wasn’t awful at all.

I keep getting this message, overtly, that women should suck it up, and accept male attention because if and when we set boundaries its upsetting to them. We should accept that this is the way of the world. Well that didn’t work when I was 14 talking to my coach about fair allocation of resources, and it doesn’t work now at 36. I will not accept this treatment by the opposite gender. I will continue to set boundaries.

It’s exhausting and at times scary. I will also address this in raising my sons to accept No as an answer. To respect boundaries. To read non-verbals that if I’m ignoring you, stop talking to me and stop following me. These behaviors by men are not cute. They are not fun. They are creepy, scary, and tone deaf. Do not be this person. Do not raise your kids to be this person. Do better.

lesbian mom · mom of boys

Stacking Firewood Before the Storm

I get two cords of firewood delivered every November. Then it takes me a month or so to stack it all. It’s usually thirty degrees or less and some times it snows. This year the two cords were delivered on Monday. I thought “This is great, I’ll have all Fall to stack it, it won’t be snowing, I won’t be cold, no rush. Great!”

Thursday we start hearing about a hurricane. Friday we are told a cat 1 will make landfall and there will be “rain of biblical proportions” and to “protect life and property at all costs”. I mean the drama.

I take in all my pool furniture and I stand staring at the wood pile. It’s taller than me. By a lot. And then I’m picturing logs becoming torpedoes in 80 mph winds. So Friday I start stacking.

It was 88 degrees and what felt like 100% humidity here. I was dripping sweat. My sons came out and helped. It was honestly the cutest freaking thing. Those little dudes walked dutifully with me back and forth with the wheelbarrow as we filled it with logs then stacked the logs in the garage and on our stands outside.

I did promise them money and they negotiated up to 20$ “paper money Mama, not the coins”. At one point one of them stopped and looked at me and said, “You’re a good Mama, you’re doing a good job.” Through my huffing and puffing I tried to smile and say thank you. At the end of Friday’s stacking we jumped into the pool and I took them for ice cream. At some point my neighbor stopped over with his wheelbarrow and helped with a few loads. Unasked and purely because he’s kind.

The boys asked if I was paying him. We laughed, and I said no, sometimes people are just kind. He has daughters in their 20’s and I think he was imagining them attacking that woodpile by themselves.

Saturday came and it wasn’t any cooler or less humid or less dramatic with the forecasts. Back and forth we went some more. The boys still helping, and trying to angle for more cash. I mean they are good at bargaining maybe law school is in their futures.

By Saturday evening there was less than 1/2 cord left on the driveway which was secured under a tarp with stakes and 80 lb deck umbrella stands.

By Sunday night we had received a lot of rain, a few gusts maybe up to 40 mph, and otherwise a dreary day. No firewood torpedoes thank goodness and no cat 1 hurricane in sight. So that was anti-climatic but I’ll take it because I wasn’t looking forward to no power for a week.

Sometimes it is in the monotony of a task like stacking firewood that we have the most meaningful times with our children. In a simple act they were taught many lessons.

They were taught the importance of preparing for a storm, they were taught we don’t quit at something even when we are dripping sweat, cranky from the heat, and our muscles are screaming. They learned the kindness of neighbors can be just that. Kindness. Without motive. They learned that Mama can handle a pending crisis with general calm and determination.

They were told at one point they had reached their maximum reimbursement of 20.00 each and they could stop or not it was up to them. They both went silent with their bargaining and trudged onward with me even though they wanted to come inside and watch tv. I told them they could and I wouldn’t be upset with them. It had been a long hot couple days, and I sincerely told them they could go inside and be done. But they knew I wasn’t done and didn’t want me to be alone.

They could have stayed inside watching tv. They could have played in the yard with the sprinkler. They could have ridden their bikes on the driveway. But they worked hard. They took pride in their work, and I praised them constantly for how well they were doing.

Stacking firewood is not sexy or glamorous. I broke a fingernail. My hands and arms and abs and legs are sore. I literally was soaked with sweat. Dripping like at hot yoga. I smelled. They smelled. There were ants. Pincher bugs. Spiders.

Kids watch us. They see us. When Declan told me I was a good Mama I melted inside. I don’t think he was saying I’m a good Mama because I stack firewood. He said it because he knew it was miserable but I persevered. I didn’t complain. I stayed positive and kept talking about how great it will be to jump in the pool. He said it because in that moment he admired me.

Now that I’m not dripping sweat and trudging through flying ants with wheelbarrows full of firewood I think back to that moment when we made eye contact and he said that and I smiled and said “Thanks bud. I love you.” And Jackson said, “What about me Mama?” and we laughed and I said, “Love you too buddy”. Then we had a second where we all just beamed at each other then I leaned over to throw another log into the wheelbarrow.

It was less than five seconds. That one moment. Treasure the moments. Teach through experiences. If parenting has taught me anything it’s to appreciate the moments. Because in the next moment I was probably yelling at them to stop fighting. Parenting also has taught me how much they see us. For some one who likes to remain on the periphery and not be the center of attention, it’s taken some getting use to for me. Two humans have their eyes and ears on me at. all. times. It can be a lot for an introvert.

Stacking wood can seem unimportant but they learn lessons from everything we do. Everything we prioritize and don’t; they see. It’s a huge responsibility- these little humans. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. But in that moment, by the woodpile, seeking their admiration even if just for a second, I felt like yes! Mom win.

(The meme/title picture is just because it made me laugh. Jackson in particular and I have had that exact scene regarding dinner. I told him he didn’t need to eat it but that it would be there in the morning for breakfast. It was there in the morning for breakfast. He ate it.)

Divorce and Separation · lesbian mom · mom of boys

All the Socks Everywhere (Single Mom-ing Adventures)

My sons wear mismatching socks. Well one son in particular will purposely mismatch his socks. So I never have great success matching them when I fold laundry at baseline. But in the past few weeks I noticed I was finding single socks all over the house. They were everywhere. I would bring both my sons to where the offending sock was and ask how it got there, why it was there and not in the laundry, and they both swore up and down it was not them.

It was getting ridiculous. Why was I finding socks literally everywhere? We had lectures that ensued about putting our dirty clothes in the laundry.

There were several reasons to assume it was my sons. Starting with we are the only three people living in the house. We also have a pool and they seem to undress wherever they are standing at the very moment I ask if they want to go in the pool. Often it is in their playroom, the family room, kitchen, etc. Basically everywhere but in their room next to their hamper. We have a hamper on the main floor for this very reason.

I was getting annoyed. At first it was one sock randomly. Now it was socks everywhere all the time. And the worst of it was the boys were adamantly denying it was them.

We were all watching tv one night on the couch and I heard Scooby making a weird meow. The meow she makes when she’s trying to kill a bug. Minutes later I heard her hop slowly down the stairs meaning she had something in her mouth. I got up to investigate dreading what present she would have for me.

There she was. Sock in mouth. Dropped it at the bottom of the stairs as I approached.

She progressed to leaving socks in her water bowl. The socks sop up all the water so she has nothing left to drink and I have a sopping wet sock to deal with.

Understanding dawned. They were always present after I got home from work. I hadn’t worked from home in a few weeks and since getting the kittens last July I worked from home exclusively. The boys came running over in time to see the offending sock. We all started laughing and I apologized for blaming them for all the socks.

Yesterday, “Jackson, why is your outfit still in the entryway? I asked you to put it in the hamper!” his response was a shrug and, “Musta been Scooby Mama.”

Sometimes as a single mom and business owner and mental health practitioner during a pandemic I feel like I am running and running but it’s a treadmill because I feel like I’m working so hard but frustratingly stationary. It feels like the hamster on its wheel.

I feel like I’m being punk’d at all times because seriously. The damn cat outsmarted me for several weeks. Not just once or twice. Weeks. Every day. And literally as I wrote this she put a damn sock in her water bowl because it’s almost time for them to eat and she’s annoyed with me for not feeding her immediately.

Where she gets the socks I have no clue. But I won’t be surprised if she found a way to open our sock drawers. Because it’s not like we leave them all over our rooms for her to nab.

The days can seem repetitive and yet just as intensely hard as the day before which leads to sometimes a sense of dread or just odd acceptance that tomorrow will have hard moments too or rarely hope that tomorrow may be a little easier.

People say things to me like, “I could never do that,” “You are so motivated,” “I would never have been able to paint the fence…be a single parent…do it alone…work so late on at night” etc. etc.

I know these statements are meant in admiration but I have started replying with more than a polite smile and nod. Because there’s a part of me inside that is screaming. I got a quote to paint my fence and deck…four thousand dollars. I’m paying for a divorce, the pool needs a new cover, and ya know a mortgage and bills that I entered into with dual incomes is down to one.

So I painted the fence and the deck. I’m not done yet. But July it rained every day. I will finish it. I don’t have a choice. It has to get done so I do it. I couldn’t stay in a marriage any longer that was bad. So here I am a single parent. Did I have kids expecting this to happen? No. Can I just stop parenting because I’m in the middle of a divorce? No. I love my kids. I would never let them suffer because of my choices.

Working late is not a hallmark of how hard I work. I mean I work my ass off. But if I had something else to do on a Saturday night I would do it. But lately, my sons get picked up at 5:30 pm and I feel like I just crash and burn. A friend texted me the other night and I was doing work and she said she was so proud for how hard I work and I cried.

It’s a lonely business this divorce single parenting stuff.

Sundays I started booking a couple therapy clients. I tell NO. ONE. Because then the floodgates would open of patients wanting weekend appointments. But it’s two hours and it forces me out of the house. I hit hot yoga in the morning before the clients. Then I’ve got half my day done. Laundry and house stuff usually takes up the afternoon. Distraction is key to being away from my kids.

I check in with friends. I make plans. I stack firewood. Hang new curtain rods. Hang blinds. Next on my list is replacing the lightbulbs in the entryway. I think I may need scaffolding to reach it…so that will be interesting. My friend recently reminded me of all the color in my old house. This house has remained cream and light colors. I may start painting it. I am planning and preparing mentally for Winter number 2 of pandemic isolation.

Rationally I know life is good right now. I have so much to be grateful for. My sons and I got stuck in the rain yesterday and we laughed and played (until the clap of thunder directly over our heads) at which point we screamed and wildly ran back to the car. And I am grateful for them so much. I know I’m not on a wheel. I’m on a path. I just wish I could see past the horizon sometimes.

(You can end here. The rest is an aside. But I was too lazy to make a second post. I mean it’s still a good read though.)

I was doing therapy today with a client, and I was on my A-game. We had just had a session mid-week and there was something about it that kept nagging at me. I opened with that, and my suspicions were confirmed which led me down the path of leading the client to cathartic tears. (It wasn’t my intent to make client cry, never is, but we had some stuff to unpack so it happens). As client cried, I sat, waiting, and doing cheers in my head for getting us there, (I know it’s weird that in my field it’s sometimes a win when people cry), and we were both sitting with the clients realization and then I heard a pecking at the window. I looked over and there was a little bird pecking on the window. I’ve been in the office since June, and have never had that happen. The client laughed through tears and was touched by the bird’s presence. It stayed for under a minute, but long enough we got to really see it.

My Dad had a tree of life. Big green maple with a ton of bird feeders and suet traps. There were always birds and squirrels and he had bird books and would look them all up. He would run out and yell at the squirrels. I thought, I see you Dad. Thanks. I know you’re checking up on me. Because through all the shit of the last year I still miss my Dad. He would have helped me paint the fence. He would come watch the boys for me. He would tell me not to work so hard and take care of myself. He’d probably annoy me by asking questions I don’t want to talk about and making a mess with the paint somewhere, and feeding the boys crap. He’d ask me to come over on Sundays and make me his eggplant parmigiana which I love or he’d try and make something I detest thinking I actually like it and get annoyed when I remind him for the millionth time I don’t eat mayonnaise or meat.

But I’d take it all.

#COVID-19 · mom of boys

Single Mom-ing it…COVID style

I’ve been slowly moving into single mom life as a business owner and mental health nurse practitioner. I gotta be honest it’s a bit of a roller coaster. I treat single mom’s. I am friends with single mom’s. I thought I had some understanding of life as a single mom. I sorta did. But there’s nothing that can prepare you for the utter exhaustion. The compromise of never having laundry folded unless my mom comes and folds it because I would never have any time snuggling the boys on the couch if I did all the things that needed to be done every day all the time. (And my mom can fold laundry way better than I can. It’s not one of my strengths.)

Single mom life is depending on grocery delivery services and being brought to tears when they don’t have something I ordered that I need for a recipe knowing there will be no time or space for me to hit a grocery store between now and said event requiring the baked item. There’s no running out to the store at 8 PM after bed time. Missing one item from a grocery order seems so stupid. I should get over it. But it’s always the little things that push me right over the edge I feel teetering on some days.

Single mom-ing it is making medical appointments and oil change appointments for myself. Then rescheduling them three times because daycare closed, one of them is sick, etc. I forgot a work conference recently. It was a day the daycare was closed. It was a rather horrendous day with them. I was never this person who reschedules appointments three times, misses a work call, and doesn’t have all the ingredients I need which leads me to buying a baked good item instead of making it.

I recognize how silly those things sound. What I haven’t mentioned yet are the nights of bad dreams, the nights of asking why their parents are separated, and the 24-48 hours a week without them when they are with my ex. It’s like a roller coaster of emotion every week. I love them. I don’t want to be angry or irritable because I’m overwhelmed. I get so tired if they have bad dreams or bad nights and crawl into my bed and then stick both their feet in my back. Then add on COVID and the random daycare closures, COVID tests, and general isolation etc. Super fun.

One of my good friends has also been through a divorce and single parenting adventure within the last year or two and it is validating when I text a minimal sentence about life sucking and she responds yup. Because I know she gets it. Because I know she knows that I know life doesn’t suck. It’s just hard. And it’s hard to act strong all the time. Because I can’t not be strong for my kids, and my employees, and my clients. I have a wall of strength up 100% of the time including at 2 AM wake-ups and it’s freaking exhausting.

I think the most frustrating part is that society puts these expectations on single mom’s to be Superwoman. It’s the expectation and if you don’t live up to it then you are lazy, dumb, sad, etc. If I don’t show up with a smile saying everything’s fine then people wouldn’t know what to do or say and they’d be uncomfortable. Because we as a society are uncomfortable with other people’s pain.

We have isolated ourselves to the point where we lack community unless we forge it ourselves.

I am grateful for my own community of friends I have forged over the years. I feel lonely, but I know I can pick up the phone and call any one of my friends or family and I could have somewhere to go, some one to talk to, and if I wanted it, some one to grab a drink with. I have friends I share my location with if I meet some one from the horrible land of online dating. That’s a whole other blog post. Or several. I think so far though the best line at a first meet was, “We should be in a motel room fucking right now.” Because honestly. What woman doesn’t want to hear that on a first date? From some one with more degrees than I have. Awesome. I told him he was on the wrong app; He should have used Tindr or paid for a hooker. (There was not a second date and no I did not join him in a motel room and this is not a judgement against people who go to a motel room on the first date. You do you boo).

But I digress. My point to that was I have friends I trust and who are totally there for me. I know there are so many single parents who don’t have that. Who are completely isolated. I feel for them. Hard. My sister-in-law said today she never understood the intensity and importance of parents around nap time until she became a parent. Same for single parenting. I never understood the nuances and the highs and the lows and the dichotomy of feeling like you never get alone-time while feeling incredibly lonely at times.

Don’t go around pitying every single parent you know now. Just connect with them. Be a person to them. Because that’s the one thing I’ve learned. I need people. Friends. Family. Even horrible first dates. Connection is mandatory to survive this life of feeling alone.

Those 24-48 hours a week without my kids are painful. My friend with split custody told me to distract myself. It will still hurt. But it will help. She wasn’t wrong. Distraction is key. Invites to stuff with kids even when I don’t have my kids also help. I still see my sister/sister-in-law/niece on days I don’t have the boys. Don’t stop inviting single parents when they don’t have their kids. On the flip side keep inviting them to couples stuff. I don’t mind being a single person at a couples get together. It would bother me more to be left out by my good friends.

And finally my last word of advice is to be a person they can not be smiling and strong in front of. Not that I feel the need to cry or scream or break down on the daily…because I don’t. But being able to be real and say yeah sometimes I’m not okay has been crucial to my own mental health. I am so incredibly fortunate to have friends who are okay with me not being okay. I know not every one has that. I have never realized the utter gut wrenching importance of having those people until this past year. Be that person for some one else. We need you.

lesbian mom · mom of boys · Uncategorized

The “D” word. No not #$@%.

No one posts on social media when they get a divorce or have a break-up. Eventually pictures of the person and a new person start popping up. At least that’s how it’s been on my feeds. I only have about three hundred FB friends so it’s definitely a skewed sample size.

There is no divorce rule book and there is such shame and stigma and pain around it that we cannot discuss it openly. It’s funny because most people would think that divorce is the opposite of wedding. Whereas for me divorce provided the same hope that a wedding does.

We were both unhappy and ironically she moved out the night before our thirteen year anniversary. Also ironically I have COVID to thank for a few things. COVID delayed and solidified my decision and actually helped bring me a lot of peace around my decision.

I feel sad for my sons but I feel relief and hope for myself. Then intermittently I feel this tremendous grief that sits like a pit in my stomach

Our marriage was never abusive or horrific but to live in unhappiness is taxing for everyone.

The why isn’t important though. It’s the how. The how to tell everyone. Who to tell? Who to let just figure it out on FB as we slowly start to separate our lives. When to tell our sons and how. I’ll admit that was the one time I broke down seeing them break down. I think it was confusing for some people I told because I didn’t present my now ex as horrible. I didn’t give details I just said we were separating. I remained very neutral and still do.

It takes me awhile to get somewhere emotionally. By the time I’ve announced it I’ve already been through the anger/hurt/resentment and all that’s left is a sadness that we couldn’t be saved because God knows we tried.

We’ve talked a lot about co-parenting the boys and remaining amicable and it’s hard to trust that we both will keep our word but we don’t have any other choice but to trust each other during a time when we really shouldn’t or perhaps can’t fully.

I’ve treated clients who are divorced. Clients who are divorcing. Clients who are children of divorce. I’ve seen the worst and the best of people through and around divorce. People who knew asked me how I was doing. I didn’t know how to answer. Because I’m deeply terrified of being a single, self-employed Mom. I’m hurt, so deeply hurt that a thirteen year relationship is ending. I’m hopeful because I can start healing and so can she.

I miss my Dad. I wish he was here to give me a big bear hug and tell me it’s going to be okay. I’d have been able to tell my Dad the truth and I’d have been able to cry with him. He was one of the few people I trust.

I miss my best friend because again thank you COVID. Having an out of state friend is rough right now. I miss all my friends near me because with the numbers now I can’t really even see my friends close by.

There is a lightbulb that needs to be replaced, a bathroom faucet that needs to be replaced, and about a 1/4 cord of wood left to be stacked. As I was stacking the first 1 3/4 cords I kept thinking how this all on me now. The lightbulbs. The faucet. I’ve replaced faucets. But I can’t find my stupid wrench piece thingy. No I don’t know what it’s called but I know what it looks like and how to use it and I know that faucet’s going to be a pain to replace because they always are.

Pretty sure my Dad made up names for his tools. So when I go to Lowes and ask for the stupid wrench extender piece thingy I may just start balling. Or laughing. You never know. It’s a complete roller coaster ride one second to the next.

The other one that stumped me was family photos. We have a lot of family photos up. Do I take them down? Do I replace them? Do I leave them up? Do I clump them ALL into the boys room? Is that too morbid? Again. No guidebook. It’s not like I want to erase her from our lives. She still their mom and after the acute horrible pain phase I hope she’s still my friend.

Then people who knew me before her have already asked if I’d date men or women. I’m like, yeah so I’m bringing three cats and two kids to the table…not sure I’m going to have many takers of any gender.

I asked myself many times whether I should write a blog about this. Because my kids will read some day. I didn’t want them to come upon anything painful. I also bought into the stigma around separation and divorce. I felt shame. I felt fear. But then I remembered my clients. I have some of the strongest and most resilient patients who have been through so much worse. I thought if they have the strength and fortitude to face what they face then I should dig deep and find my own.

My cousin said it was good we separated before we got hateful and angry. She wished more couples would recognize when they were done and not try and stick it out and let the hate build. I knew that my friends and family would support me. Without a doubt I knew. Any hesitancy I felt in telling people was simply because I didn’t want to rehash it. Because how do you explain the end of a marriage? It’s not one thing. It’s years of things. Often those things are deeply intimate and really only my wife and I know the full story and we are the only two people who ever will.

There’s something powerful in that but also scary. Our friend who sort of introduced us thirteen years ago came and helped her load the moving truck. Then we all had dinner together. It was this weird full circle moment. We were all older. Hopefully wiser. And still all friends. We ate Indian food. It felt like one of those moments in a movie where you know nothing will ever be the same again.

I’ve listened to Andra Day’s “Rise Up” about a thousand times. Imagine Dragons “Rise” same. I should make a playlist with just those two songs on repeat. I’ll name it “Divorce blows.”

I’m not sure how much I’ll write about divorce. Because it is still raw and painful and intimate. But I felt it was important to write about at least once. Because it’s not a failure. It took incredible strength to end it. It’s not just ending. It’s also a beginning. And more people should know that; feel that. I’ll find my wrench extender thingy or buy a new one. I’ll fix the faucet. Maybe cry. Maybe laugh. My adventure is just beginning.

#COVID-19 · lesbian mom · mom of boys

To All the Moms.

When I started in private practice I didn’t think much about specializing. I thought clients would come see me. They did. But, as I’ve said before, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s fine. Over the years I’ve learned that there are certain groups of people who like me and do well in treatment with me, and there are others who really don’t like me which gets in the way of their treatment.

Lesbians…oddly enough don’t always like me. I shouldn’t say all, but probably 3 out of 4 don’t stick with me. Transmasculine lesbians tend to stick with me longer than others. Trans people obviously stick with me as they make up a significant portion of my practice and I love treating them. Non-binary individuals are also my jam. I love a good non-binary autistic person. They are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.

There are a few specialties that developed with me kicking and screaming- like postpartum and peri-natal mental health care. When I started I had a number of 20’s females…they all eventually got pregnant…and when I insisted I refer them to some one with actual peri-natal experience they 1. refused to leave and 2. I couldn’t find any one with peri-natal specialization. So yeah. I did a lot of research and got supervision and tips from the old school psychiatrists I worked with inpatient at the time. They saved me. Now I see a significant number of pregnant women and post-partum mood disorders. I begrudgingly admit it’s a specialty of mine that I am now rather good at.

The one specialty area I didn’t see coming were Moms. Because until 4.5 years ago I wasn’t a mom. Then I became a Mom and still felt I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. But I have a lot of Moms on my caseload. Moms of young kids, under the age of ten are the most common. I mean a lot. Out of 500 clients at least a 1/3.

I hear a lot about Mom-ing. It’s taught me a lot. Now that I have my own kids I often hear myself reflected in their moments of vulnerability. Fears that they are not loving enough, that they are too short with their kids. I’ve heard the worst parenting moments from people who are too scared some times to even tell their own spouse for fear of judgment. But I hear it through hitched voices as tears stream and I often feel my stomach clench with empathy.

This past weekend I had probably one of my worst parenting moments not in terms of my behavior, because I was quite proud at how calm I stayed, but one of my sons had to be dragged off a playground literally kicking and screaming in front of far too many people. All while he and I were wearing masks. Nothing like a screaming child, me sweating dragging him, through a hot mask that in that moment makes it feel 10 degrees hotter and 100% more claustrophobic.

That was only the tip of the iceberg. The car ride. Then we got home and he got sent to his room and it morphed into a couple hours of torture for us all. I did lose my shit at some points during the hours at home.

In the midst of the home debacle my other son- who loves keys- threw his hands up in frustration and said, “I can’t find my freaking keys!” I feel their speech delay is somewhat voluntary. Because I swear they always pronounce the bad words completely correct. And yes I’ve said that while looking for my keys. Many many times.

What I’ve learned as a trusted ear for parents in their darkest moments and as a parent of twin boys is that I never judge parents for even their worst moments. Because it’s hard. It’s hard at baseline. Add in a pandemic, months of homeschooling, working from home, no break from our kids ever…and yeah. It’s been rough for parents. Myself included.

I’ve obviously never had a parent tell me about blatant abuse because I would report that. I have had parents tell me about their yelling, their irritability, their short temper, and their struggles to be a good parent. I have a somewhat standard line that I use when people ask me if they are a horrible Mom.

I say, “Does your kid know you love them? Do you apologize after? Do your kids miss you when they have to go to school? Do you kiss them good-night? Do you tell them you love them? Secure attachment with a parent and child is achieved by the child knowing that you will be there for them. Kids forgive so much because they just want to be loved. Do they know you love them?” At this point if they aren’t crying already they start. And they all say their kids know they love them. They hug after a fight, they apologize. I think saying sorry is important as a parent. I have apologized to my kids before for yelling. I’ve hugged them and kissed them and explained I shouldn’t have done that.

They hear that. They see the example set that I own my mistakes and are more willing to own theirs.

We are all just trying to survive this parenting journey and it’s not okay for Mom’s to feel judged. We all do. We all feel like horrible parents. Because we go on Facebook and Insta and see posts and stories of smiling kids and smiling Moms and we think, yes they have it all together. Why don’t I?

But I promise you that no one has it all together when parenting kids. Especially not during a pandemic. As I dragged my son off the playground with my other son carrying his brother’s shoes that had been kicked off and flung…I wanted to cry, scream, and hide. But I didn’t. I kept dragging him to the car. When he kicked the seat and screamed he would break the car I eventually told him I would call the police unless he stopped. Again, not my finest moment, but he stopped.

It was a horrible day. I actually needed the next day to recover and so did he. Today when we were at a farmer’s market and I told him we had to leave he started to get angry, and I flashed back to the playground and I almost panicked, I felt it building up. But I held his hand and kept talking and reminded him how good he was being and how I knew he didn’t want to leave but we had to go…and on and on…he didn’t escalate. By the time we got to the car he was fine with leaving. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Then tonight we sat cuddling watching Peter Rabbit under an afghan. We laughed and with his head resting on my chest I knew he felt loved and supported. I know we will have hard times with him because he’s a challenge to parent. I know all my clients who are Mom’s have challenging parenting jobs. We all do. I ask instead of judgment spread support. Instead of judgment offer kindness. I’ve told a few people about the playground, and they’ve laughed and told me of their own horrible parenting memory. It made me feel better to know that I’m not the only parent who has been through that. We need to lift each other up instead of putting each other down.

To all the Moms my only advice is to let your kids know you love them. Apologize when you are wrong. Hug and kiss them good-night. And remember that you are not alone.

As an aside…I was on the phone with a friend sitting on the couch, and as we tried to have a serious discussion I watched the pumpkin appear suddenly in the air and then slowly descend from upstairs into the entryway….I had to intervene when one boy came down the stairs and started to try and hit it like a pintata while the other one held the string. #momofboys #thanksGrammafortheHalloweenbaskets

The magical descending pumpkin

lesbian mom · mom of boys

The Struggles of Parenting

It’s been a better 2020 so far than 2019. However, our sons have been sick every other week it feels like. They have been as sick this Winter as they were the first year of daycare. It’s been rough. We all are sleep deprived. Because God forbid the fever spikes in the middle of the day or Croup or vomiting or any other one of the hundred illnesses that have run through our house this Winter.

Nope it’s always in the middle of the night when shit hits the fan. Sometimes literally. Then we have an argument in the morning about who has to miss work. She’s at a new job, trying to make a good impression, of course since she started, we’ve been battling the plague like we are ground zero of the infection.

I own a practice and if I don’t work I don’t get paid. Clients also don’t like it when I cancel- rightfully so- as a result I run the risk of losing clients if I cancel them even once.

So with one of our sons sick (also God forbid they get sick at the same time- always consecutive never concurrent) we argue because we are both essentially terrified of losing our jobs because of canceling to take care of our son.

Our society is messed up. Parents shouldn’t feel this way. Pressured to go to work because if we don’t we will lose our job. That has never been said to us to be clear. But we know how it goes. Too many absences means unreliable. Unreliable means bad employee or in my case bad provider.

Then I get asked by any one who finds out that one of them is sick “Did you bring him to the doctor?” My answer is a resounding “No.” Well not always. Croup in one of my son’s can get very bad. So after the first night (When many people would likely call 911 but we stand outside in the cold and give him popsicles until his breathing improves) we do call the pediatrician and bring him in to get a prescription for steroids. I do have a respect for airway issues.

But for everything else. Nope. Viral illnesses happen. I understand that. Fevers happen. Vomiting/diarrhea happens. Unless they are severely dehydrated or still spiking a fever after a week or are compromised with their breathing in some way…we can manage at home.

I’m a nurse practitioner and worked as a staff nurse in a pediatric ED for over six years. Also I don’t want to be dragging my sick miserable kid to sit in an office for half an hour while we wait for the provider who is likely running late. Torture.

It’s also great that these weeks of illness still require us to pay full tuition at daycare. So one of us misses work all week, we don’t get paid, (My wife doesn’t have PTO yet as it’s still a new job), but we still pay full tuition at daycare for a kid or two who are not actually there.

When we said we wanted to be parents I didn’t really think about this part of the deal. Cleaning up puke. Shampooing the carpets. Taking care of sick kids. The stress of missing work and the ensuing financial stress that causes. As well as the stress of worrying that we will lose our jobs because of missing time.

That entire chapter of parenting was left out by anyone who ever told us we should be parents.

Today was another sick day. We finally asked my Mom to watch him because we were both feeling we couldn’t miss more work and the sick one wasn’t horribly sick anymore- not puking, no fevers, for over 24 hours, just still not himself.

The parenting struggle is real. Today required more juggling and taking the healthy kid to daycare while coordinating with my mom for sick kid. Also then worrying and feeling incredibly guilty for being the parents who can’t stay home and take care of their sick child.

But I’d feel worse if one of us lost our job and couldn’t pay the mortgage.

So there’s that.

These days feel like a lose-lose for us struggling middle class parents.

I find myself wishing for the teenage years when they can be left home alone. Then feeling very guilty for not “enjoying” them at this age. Feeling guilty that I was not home with him today.

I remember doing IVF and thinking I just want a healthy baby. I didn’t realize that baby-hood was only the beginning. Parenting hasn’t even begun when they were babies that was more basic survival.

I didn’t go to hot yoga last night and I had to cancel my therapy and acupuncture. Those all seem very first world problems. But they are actually my way to cope with the stress of life. So to miss all three in one day was not good for me either.

But I had to stay with the sick kiddo and at night he had a fever and he wouldn’t go to sleep unless he was in my bed with me in it. So I got into bed at 7 PM. It was kind of nice I’m not going to lie. Had there not been a sick kid with me I would have probably had a great night of sleep.

Anyway. I’m exhausted. My wife’s exhausted. We are crossing our fingers he can go to daycare tomorrow. But have my mom on standby again. At the end of the day we do our best to give them everything, but still go to sleep thinking we haven’t given them enough.

I guess that part of parenting. Giving your all and battling insecurities that it’s not enough.

I’m also ignoring the fact that the most qualified candidate is an intelligent woman who’s doing crappy at the poles losing to two other 70 something year old white dudes.

On the plus side…I have a stockpile of Purell which my business partner made fun of me for buying in bulk when we opened…who’s laughing now?! #CORONAVIRUS #NURSESARETHEBESTATHANDWASHING

 

mom of boys · politics

Visiting the “Scary” City with Twins

I’m going to preface this with a few things. 1- We moved to the suburbs from a city- where we loved living, but while I was home on maternity leave there was not one but three home invasions all within a block of our house. One of the houses we shared a corner of our yard with. I was home alone for 14 hour stretches because my wife worked an hour away. I had visions of armed intruders coming while I was breastfeeding twins with no defense.

My car was broken into one night. And with my sister and I standing ten feet away some one came running toward her running car to try and steal it. So there were a few things that led us to move.

2- I didn’t want to live in a space as rural as we do. But we fell in love with this house and pool and the house we lived in for nine years was very close to the neighbors. I’d be cooking in the kitchen and suddenly a neighbor would be literally in our window chatting with me if it was open. My wife didn’t want that anymore. So now we have over an acre of land to separate us from our “neighbors”.

The trade-off of space and a pool was a white Republican town. I’m not sure we will stay but here we are for now. We had to move daycares too. We are now in much smaller and more suburbia type daycare with far less diversity in the teachers and kids. Previously my two little white boys were the minority. I liked it that way.

By moving here I knew we’d have stuff to deal with. But Sunday morning caught me by surprise.

Declan named the closest city and said, “It’s a scary place!” I was surprised that the name of the nearest city was in his vocabulary and also that he had formed an opinion about it. My wife facepalmed because she knew this was going to lead into an angry rant about ignorant white people by me.

First we asked where he heard this. But as he noted my intensity and interest grow Declan stopped talking. My wife and I hadn’t made this statement so it had to be some one at daycare.

I went into my rant. “It’s not scary. I work there at the hospital. You were born there!” my voice apparently was rising and my wife tried to calm me down, and I said, “No, this is all because of ignorant freaking white people in this area of our freaking state who think that “insert name of city” is bad because there are Black people there. Freaking racist bullshit.” Declan then started talking about stickers obviously trying to change the topic of conversation. Yes I swore in front of my kids. I was pissed.

I interrupted him. “We are going to ‘city name'” They looked at me surprised, Declan said, “Today?” I said, “Yup.” So we went.

It’s not a particularly big city and in my humble opinion not scary at all. As with all cities there are parts and bars that you should avoid after midnight but what’s interesting about working inpatient psychiatry is meeting all the homeless people that live in the city. I generally see several people I’ve taken care of walking the streets and the green and receive waves and nods so I never particularly worry about my safety. I’ve generally met the “Bogeymen” on my unit. They aren’t scary. Just ill.

We walked the streets. We had lunch at a restaurant with live music and chocolate chip pancakes. We saw people of all ethnicities and most importantly we showed the boys that though different from our sleepy town it is not scary and we were not scared to be there.

Considering we live in the Northeast there is significant racism in our “liberal” state. I will not be raising my white sons to fear a place or people because they look or seem different than us. We told them repeatedly that they could tell their class we went to the city and it’s not scary. I hope they did.

Going downtown is challenging because of parking and you know…twins. But we will have to suck it up and do it more frequently in order to raise them with the mentality that suburbia is not the only way to be or the right way to live or the better way.

As I said we are both unsure of staying here. Safety wise we are better off than where we were. But diversity and raising our sons in such a Republican white town, I don’t know that we are better off. The home invasions were real and scary. But white suburbia is apparently just as scary to me.

I don’t know the right answer. I just know that last Sunday we had fun in the scary city.

lesbian mom · mom of boys

The Boy and My Cat: Temper Tantrums and Reconciling

This morning my sons both wanted to bring their backpacks to daycare because it is show and tell on Friday’s. My boys each are stubborn in different ways. It’s my blessing and my curse. Stubborn kids. I was once a stubborn kid. Now I’m a stubborn adult. Se la vie.

Jackson is a special kind of stubborn. He has preconceived notions about basically everything, that can never be predicted by me or my wife, so we go in blind to every interaction with him.

This morning, as I do every single morning of the months of November-March, after we brushed our teeth I told them to put their coats on.

Jackson had a shit-fit. Apparently he couldn’t possibly wear a jacket and then appropriately wear the backpack. Through screaming and wailing it was relayed to me that somehow wearing a jacket would impede the backpack wearing.

Fine. Don’t wear the jacket. I’ll just bring the jacket. Well that added to the epic meltdown already happening. In the midst of this I also said I would get his Spiderman fleece instead of his big puffy jacket, because the Spiderman fleece would allow for less puffiness and better ability to have the backpack straps on.

This led to more screaming. I ran upstairs. Grabbed the Spiderman fleece. And as I was coming down the stairs and yelling for him to get out to the garage to put his shoes on I hear Declan scream. A surprised and pain scream. I went to the door to the garage. Declan came toward me crying that Jackson hit him in the head with his backpack. Declan looked especially pathetic.

I essentially lost my mind. I went to the stairs where Jackson was sitting, now with his arms crossed looking up at me in fear wondering if I would actually kill him now, I grabbed the backpack, chucked it in the house, and told him to put his shoes on and get in the car.

Of course Declan moved and the backpack that I threw, brushed his hand, and he started crying again asking why I threw the backpack at him, holding up his hand saying it hit his hand.

We were also running late now.

So I’m trying to take deep breaths. Both kids are crying. Jackson finally gets in the car coatless. I have the Spiderman fleece and throw it in my front seat. I hug Declan and tell him I wasn’t throwing the backpack at him, and I was very sorry it brushed his hand. Kissed his hand.

And coddled him into the car. Where he proceeded to recap the events of the last ten minutes and would intermittently say, “Jackson still crying Mama.” “Jackson stopped crying now Mama.” “Oh he started crying again Mama.”

I took deep breaths and put on Frozen II and then Indigo Girls and tried to center myself.

I had grabbed the PJMask toy Jackson wanted to show at show-and-tell so he would still have that. When he stopped crying and I stopped wanting to toss him out of the car we had a discussion about not hitting our brother or anyone in the head with a heavy backpack because it could cause serious injury. With Declan chiming in, “But I okay Mama.” “Yes but what if it hit you in the eye? That would have been bad.”

Then I apologized for throwing the backpack inside. But said people who hit other people in the head with backpacks do not get to bring backpacks to school for show and tell. There were apologies by Jackson to Declan for the head injury and to me for yelling at me and for essentially being a little shit. I also explained that the minimum of bringing a coat is a thing that we do in the Northeast in the Winter. That his teachers would be upset if I brought him to school with no coat.

When I got him out of the car at daycare and hugged him and set him down, he shivered and said, “I so cold Mama,” and immediately asked to put the Spiderman fleece on.

I was thinking a lot of things in my head in that moment. None of them G rated or PG or even PG-13. But I calmly put on his Spiderman fleece. I got Declan out and we went into daycare.

Show-and-tell was a success and when I got home I asked Jackson if he told my wife, Mommy, about this morning. He said yes. My wife said, “He said you threw his backpack.”

I shook my head. Of course that’s where his version would start. Not the fifteen minutes of his own screaming and meltdown that led up to it.

This is life with four year old twins. By the time I’ve walked in the door at work and the woman across the hall greets me I feel like I’ve been through hell. I told her the whole sad story and she was hysterical laughing. Then I started my day with clients.

These boys. These moments. They are chaotic and crazy and I literally can’t make it up. Because I don’t have too. The reality is nutty enough. Then tonight Jackson snuggled with Rajha. Rajha is my cat. Moreso then Maddy. I mean they are both my cats. But Maddy has warmed up to my wife and my sons very easily. She’d be fine without me. Rajha, not the case. She’s obsessed with me. She is actually poking her head over the computer screen at this very moment trying to figure out why I’m paying attention to the computer and not her.

Tonight, when I saw Rajha with Jackson, looking resigned and somewhat content, I thought wow, that little shit. In one day he’s made me lose my mind with anger and frustration and then completely melt me as I watched him finally win over my cat. He’s been trying to get her to like him since he was born. Tonight she laid with him.

It was a sweet moment. About as sweet and lovely as this morning was ugly and chaotic.

Kids. When people say there’s no handbook they mean it. It’s not just handling the bad moments. It’s reconciling the bad moments with the good. It’s being able to move past this morning of horrible-ness to have an evening of happiness. It’s wanting to toss him out of the car this morning and then snuggling with him in bed tonight kissing his nose and smiling and telling him I love him so much. That’s a lot of emotion in one day. For me and for him.

In case I didn’t portray this morning badly trust me. It was bad. So extra.

Tonight. So good.

Tomorrow? My best guess…chaos…crazy….and at some point some magical moment of love…which is why I keep them around. Those little lovely moments where I melt and realize I’ve created these two humans who are totally awesome in so many ways and who reach my heart in ways that no one else can.