Lessons Learned from the Worst Day of my Life

Motherhood

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I read something in a book that I really enjoyed about trauma. It’s common for victims of trauma to go days, even weeks without noticing the time passing or the seasons changing. Before reading this, I didn’t realize how true that was for my situation. Hours pass during the day and I have no idea where they went. Typically, I’m a workaholic and I’m obsessed with making sure that every minute of my day is valuable. I don’t want my kids to watch too much TV, or spend too much time away from them. I want to know that I’ve been productive. It’s why I chose to work nights as a scientist, and spend all day with my children.

Trauma sneaks up on you like that. You want the days to pass. I find myself checking my phone more often, refreshing my emails. I don’t even know what exactly I want or what I’m waiting for, but other days I just want the day to pass me by. Sometimes my anxiety comes across as anger because I am angry. I’m angry that this anxiety is an issue in my life now and I don’t even know the answer to the question of, “What are you most afraid of?”. I feel like if maybe I could answer that, maybe I could start to heal.

In the same book, Edward talks about how he doesn’t want to know more details about the worst day of his life, and I can relate to that so much. At the same time, I wonder if the answers would bring me peace. I’ve read that storing trauma can do harm to the body. That in reality, your memory of the event is much stronger when it does sneak up on you when you try to forget that it ever happened.

A part of me died on the worst day of my life. And I can’t just get over it. Sometimes it makes me angry still when someone asks me to do something because I’m not the same person. I know that this happened to me, specifically, for a reason and I’m trying to find the strength to keep fighting it. Sometimes it’s hard. It’s hard that I’m not supposed to talk about it with anyone. As much as I want it to fade away and return to normal, I want to scream out that THIS STILL MATTERS!

I used to feel like the best mom in the world, but on the worst day of my life I couldn’t protect my child. I feel like every day that I continue to be a lesser version of myself, that I’m failing her even more. I go to work, and I don’t feel like a rock star anymore. I just feel like a working mom trying to get through the night that finally realized she can’t have the best of both worlds. Because if I wouldn’t have wanted to be in two places at once, this would have never happened.

Be kind. To everyone. If someone shares the worst day of their life with you, realize that it doesn’t define them as a person. All the days before, and how they deal with that day from here on out still count. Think about your comments. Think about your words. They matter. And as much as I’d like to say they don’t, they do. And I know that one thing I’ll take away from the worst day of my life is that I can be a little more understanding, listen a little more, and alot more open minded.

The Real Reason Why Your Mom Friend is NEVER on Time or just doesn’t Show Up at All

Motherhood

I made this little clip to show what life if like trying to leave the house being a mom of four.

I’m really not trying to be a bad friend, sister, daughter, whatever…but I’m just exhausted. By the time I actually even make it to the car I forget where I’m going and it takes half a day to even make it there. Maybe it’s my ADHD, but I swear it’s the kids. I love these little monsters, but goodness, gracious…we’re just going to stay home…

We can’t find shoes, the TV remote, the dog escapes, the toddler hid the baby in the pantry…I mean I’m drained just chasing them around. And if we actually do make it there…This better be the best dang chicken you’ve ever had in your life!

Do you ever actually make it somewhere and then your kids just complain the whole time? I make some big plans at 2am while I’m at work thinking that I’m so blessed to get to spend all day with my babies. They are the sweetest little blessings, but if we make it to the playground and they don’t swing their little legs off, I might lose my mind (even more so than I already have).

I usually have advice for most mom situations considering I have four kids, but all I can tell you is that you have to pick your battles. If you make it out of the house with your four year old in 12 month pants and mismatched shoes, that’s still a win. If your baby is covered in cheese puffs, I can guarantee it won’t be the first or the last time. And if you’re one of those moms that has it all together and your children walk out of the house with Prada bags, and your baby’s diaper is made of the finest silver you can find…I salute you. But I still got my chicken either way so there’s that.

 

 

When Life gives you Lemons, Play with Sprinkles Instead

Motherhood

Sometimes I forget the beauty right in front of me. I’m too busy picking up the pieces of my life to realize that this mess is my mess…and it’s a beautiful one.

Today we threw glitter, made cookies, and stomped on sprinkles…well, the ones that didn’t make it into the baby’s mouth. We got flour EVERYWHERE. Glitter will probably be found scattered randomly for the next couple of weeks at the least. But we had a fun day.

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There’s still dishes in my sink. But I squeezed my baby’s chubby little legs just to hear her giggle a few more times. We didn’t eat dinner until 8:30 because we were busy rolling out the worst shaped cookies ever.

The perfectionist in me wanted to go back and make perfectly shaped cookies, but the mom in me let my four year old and her very best friend make it the perfect day. In between cookie bakes, they took turns riding on the roomba in the living room.

Sometimes life throws you a new normal. Sometimes things aren’t what we expect, people aren’t what we expect, but we have to keep going anyway.

At 8:30 my two year old told me this was THE BEST dinner EBER. And considering this is the same child that told me my socks don’t match, my hair be crazy, and I can’t dance…I’ll take that as a win.

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Trauma doesn’t have to control you. You don’t have to constantly apologize or explain yourself. Sometimes through our trauma we see some things a little more clearly. Sometimes once you see the evil in the world, smashed sprinkles on the floor feels like a win.

And just to be honest…I like my glittery floors.

So give yourself some grace. And get some sleep.

-The Zombie Mom

 

I don’t give a Sh—Sparkle.

Motherhood

I’m going to keep shining. Here’s why you should too.

 

A couple months ago I took my girls to a concert. We decked out in rainbows and sparkles. My daughter asked me why we couldn’t dress like that every day. When I got home I saw all these comments on facebook about how people “dodged that bullet” or how there’s “no way they’d be caught dead there”. It was one of the many times in the part year or so where I didn’t want to conform to what anyone else’s opinion was because it didn’t matter. Be whoever God designed you to be. 

Their opinion didn’t change that I had the time of my life, and my girls were on cloud nine for days to come. And everything was okay. It didn’t matter. I could offer my opinion, and they could continue being wrong (kidding). I guess I didn’t have a real answer for her. Other than situations where a specific uniform is called for, if you want to stand out…why don’t you? If you’d rather sit at home in your pajamas, do that. As long as you’re intentional and real. 

I like wearing my uniform. It’s human nature to want to blend into a group…find your tribe, be a part of something bigger than yourself. But more and more I’m realizing that maybe I shouldn’t force that on my kids. 

In every aspect of my life that I’ve actually succeeded in, it’s taken me just pushing forward through all the yuck to find balance. I look back on some of the photos I posted when I first started photography and want to delete them, but that was part of the learning process. I learned what did and did not work. I learned so much more than photography from all the times I failed…and the joy that came from being excited to try something new. 

My daughter believes that the sun follows her ever since her dog Sunshine died. My four year old says the sun hurts her eyes and she wished the sun didn’t follow “Sissa”. My two year old just wants me to hold her, and my baby just wants to eat. So rather than take the time to crush my oldest daughter’s spirit when there’s other things I have to worry about, I just choose my battles. 

Studies show that hearing the word “no” too many times can be harmful during childhood. I try to think about my words carefully, and while there are times that I have to say no, I want my children to have every possibility to figure who they are in a positive, healthy environment. One of the biggest things I learned while doing photography full time is that there’s beauty in the bloopers. With the right edit, anything can be beautiful. 

You just have to take the time to see it and capture it while you can

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We were reading the other day and I knew the ending to the book. When the riddle was introduced, my daughter yelled in excitement thinking she had the answer. Instead of just saying “no”, I said “Well, let’s find out!”. Her eyes got bigger and she actually wanted to finish the story. But that’s part of it. She wasn’t wrong, she just didn’t have all the pieces yet. Do any of us?

I could be completely wrong, but I felt more myself with glitter all over my face, singing every word to every song at that Jojo concert than I’ve felt in a long time. I cry when things are magical and I had to fight back the tears the entire concert. 

I don’t have all the answers. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to do the best I can relying on alot of Jesus and a little coffee. But I do know that if these children are only mine for a little while, it’s my job to make it stick. But I’m done fighting back the tears when things are important to me. God is leading me to something bigger, and I want my kids to look back and know that I enjoyed that day and all my days with them. I want them to know that it’s okay to dream, it’s okay to be passionate, and it’s more than okay to not give a sparkle what anyone thinks about it. 

Keep it real and get some sleep, 

Zombie Mom