How One Year can Simultaneously be the Best and Worst Year of your Life

Mom Life

 

Just a few more hours to reflect on the last decade, so here goes. I guess I’ve reached all my “milestones”, so what now? Here’s a few things I’ve learned.

During this decade I’ve been a teen mom, a college student, a photographer, a business owner, I’ve experienced trauma, I’ve lost a baby, I’ve had four healthy babies. I graduated college and started my career. I accepted a promotion. I was room mom and I was homeschool mom. I drove kids to violin and dance and I’ve spent a week in the hospital with my baby who’d turned blue. I traveled to new places. I’ve had very little, and I’ve had what a lot of people would consider to be everything. I’ve experienced post partum depression, and I’ve been told that my endurance has inspired others. I’ve photographed and shared some of the most important moments of people’s lives. I’ve been awake for days at a time in an effort to be fully present with my children, and also work full time at night.

I’ve been evicted due to no fault of my own, I’ve moved more times than I can count. I’ve lived in an apartment, moved back into my childhood home, and I finally purchased my home with a big kitchen and fenced in backyard. I witnessed first steps and lots of baby snuggles. I’ve picked myself up more times than I can count, but I won’t leave this decade crying tears of pain. I’ve jumped off cliffs and I’ve kept up with The Bachelor. I saw a shooting star. I almost died during childbirth, when a concrete stair knocked me out, and in Mexico when I “lived a little” and had to be wheeled back onto the ship via wheelchair.

It’s hard to find your village. It’s hard to find people that “get you”. For most of my life I didn’t really have that. I had people I talked to occasionally, and even people I was quite fond of. But I didn’t have a person. In my twenties I found my “people” and I was perfectly content with that. I knew who to run to with questions and I knew who would show up at my kids’ birthday parties no questions asked. I knew who I could text to ask the gross mom questions and who would pray for my baby in the middle of the night.

This year was one of the most challenging years of my life. At the end of this year, I can see that God was staging my life to where I would lean only on him when it came to making life changing decisions. There’s something people just don’t tell you about losing someone that was extremely important to you, especially when they are still in your life. If someone you love is hurt, they can’t “clap for you when you win” because sometimes, there are no true winners.

But what do you do when someone chooses to walk away despite the memories or there not being a real “fall out”? The biggest take away I have from this is that everyone is different. Our differences can lead to misunderstanding, which can lead to pain. But that doesn’t mean that our differences don’t make us stronger...because they most certainly do. My advice is to never stop being open to the idea that people are good, but life is hardWe are all going through it, but not always at the same time. Be understanding and be intentional in everything that you do. Staying bitter will hurt you far more than it will hurt anyone else.

Sometimes we have to create a new normalSometimes we have to stop linking ourselves so closely with others so that we can have time to figure out who we are, how we feel, and what we truly want. I found my voice this year, but I know that without the space to make my own observations without the opinion of anyone else, I would have responded much differently. We naturally cling to relationships that make us feel comfortable, but sometimes the best things in life push you far out of your comfort zone.

It wasn’t a toxic person holding me back, it was my opinion of myself and the power I allowed a person to have over me. I don’t let a mean comment shake me to my core anymore and I don’t stay silent because I’m afraid of what someone else’s opinion of me may be. And I’ve realized that it’s okay to look back on the memories with tears in your eyes and simultaneously be proud of the person you’ve become. Instead of labeling people jealous or narcissistic, maybe we should just take a step back. We are all different.  The moment you feel free, the moment that you felt on top of the world…is the moment you realized that you don’t need validation from anyone else as long as you know you’re doing the right thing.

During the worst time of my life, I learned the best lessons. One of them being that true strength is discovered in the moments of life that make you question everything. There’s so much power in having confidence in yourself even in your worst moments, that finding yourself will never be easy. I would have never had the strength to speak out about an issue I was extremely passionate about without first backing away from someone who never truly had my best interest at heart. I didn’t see it at the time, but to become who I am, to find peace, and my new normal I had to redirect my focus.

I’ve been called a great mom, and I’ve had the nation question my parenting because of a choice I made to provide more security for my family. Intentions might not always be seen, but they mean a lot. You should give yourself grace when it comes to that. If you do anything different this year, do just that. Give yourself grace.

And also sleep…sleep is good

-The Zombie Mom

 

 

The 8 Most Annoying People on Social Media

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IMG_1258In no specific order…

  1. The Googler. This person knows everything about everything. While charming and educational at first, this person will soon drive you nuts with their  need to make a comment about any and everything. While this person has no educational background, he or she still knows more than any doctor, rocket scientist, or philosopher.
  2. The “my baby is a genius” Mom. This person may or may not even have children, but their child can still talk in 10 different languages, do Olympic worthy gymnastic routines, and has already won the Nobel Prize at the age of two weeks.
  3. The Food Obsessor. This person’s phone camera only captures food, nothing else. There are a variety of meals that will leave you wondering how this person finds the time to take a picture of every single thing he or she eats, post a picture of it, and do life. Please teach me your ways because I hardly have time to throw some stuff in a crockpot and move on with my life.
  4. The Over Sharer. If we know when you had your last bowel movement, we know too much. If I know your life in greater detail better than I know my child, you have shared way too much on social media (and I’ve obviously spent too much time on Facebook in an effort to stay awake, but this post isn’t about that.)
  5. The Checker Inner. This is similar to the over sharer, but this person has a different motive. I haven’t quite figured out why it’s necessary to check into 5 restaurants in one week or why some people would rather take photos of their food, while others have to check in to let us know they are too rich to eat at home. Just eat, dang it.
  6. The Selfie Taker. This person loves to take photos of his or her self and post song lyrics that have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he or she is obsessed with his or her self. This becomes even more annoying when said person has to add a filter to every single photo. We all enjoy a good selfie every now and then, but Goodness! How do you even have time to live life between selfies and checking in to random places on Facebook?!
  7. The Gym Queen. We get it. You go to the gym. I’m happy with the hips my three kids gave me and that makes me less of a human. But posting a photo of your sweat doesn’t make you drop pounds any faster 🙈.
  8. The Self Proclaimed Minimalist. Maybe I’m wrong but isn’t the whole point of being a minimalist to cut out all the JUNK in your life so you can focus on what’s more important? I didn’t know that meant making more time to judge me for buying my kid $1 bling bag on clearance to celebrate her A+, but hey, to each their own.

Mom Groups

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I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a “mom hater”. Not really, but I would pretty much rather be run over by a bus than be added to another mom group. For the most part, I feel like I’m a pretty good mom. My kids are fed, clothed, and half the time they even get to school and Parent’s Day Out on time. We may be pulling a Fast and the Furious, my six month old may or may not be clothed, and I may have used profanity on the drive to my daughter’s Christian Academy but it still counts. That is, I felt like I was a decent mom until I was added to mom groups on facebook.

Who came up with Mom Groups? It sounds like a good idea, right? A way to connect with other like minded people and schedule play dates. WRONG. Mom Groups were created by Satan himself as a platform to judge other moms on basically everything while saying phrases like “Do your thing, mama, it’s your baby.” If you look up the definition of “mom group” in the dictionary, there’s an actual photo of Hell. If you’re a working mom, you’re a shit mom. If you’re a stay at home mom, you have no life goals. Give me a break.

I once saw a post where a mom was mad as hell that the doctor didn’t call to explain why her daughter’s Potassium levels were on the “lower side of normal”. 1) Because they are STILL NORMAL. 2) Are you seriously telling me right now that you WANT something to be wrong with your child?….To make matters worse, the comments were from other moms who apparently have a medical degree insisting that something is wrong with her child and she should sue the hospital. As a Medical Laboratory Scientist who works with these values for a living, I felt the need to comment (which I RARELY do) to let this poor mama know that her child was not going to have a heart attack because of Potassium values that were within range.

Guess what happened to my comment? It got DELETED. I’m still a little bitter. Thankfully, though, I’m still part of other mom groups my facebook friends have so graciously added me to where I get read about women’s sex lives and make a list of the people my daughters will never have a play date with.

In case you are still curious as to if you should become a member of a mom group, I will spare you the trouble. Other post examples include but are not limited to: “My child’s temperature is 98.6, and she feels okay but she looks like she may cough…Should I call an ambulance”…”My child is two weeks old…Is it okay to give her chocolate milk?”…”I took my child to the doctor and he said it was Strep Throat but I don’t trust his advice even though I chose him as my pediatrician so I’m going to ask this group of 16 year olds for advice instead.” Still want to join? “Do your thing, mama, it’s your baby.”

Photo of my daughter in a unicorn costume has no relevance and no unicorns were harmed in the creation of this blog post