Short Story Preview: A Sticky Situation

The following is an excerpt from the story, “A Sticky Situation.” Find it inside my Ebook, releasing early 2018!

“Good afternoon, thanks for visiting Home Mart. How can I help you today?” Theresa greeted the customer who approached her register. Theresa was 43 years old, and although she had two Bachelor’s degrees and over 15 years of experience with a successful marketing firm, she somehow found herself stuck working at the biggest and shittiest retail chain in America. Say the name too fast it and sounded like they were selling more suggestive items—Home Mart.

And even though she hated that place with every fiber of her being, Theresa had to force a smile while interacting with guests. This one was a 50-something year-old white lady, with blonde hair that was turning an unfortunate shade of brown-gray. She wore mom jeans that stopped at her mid-calf, a heavy-looking designer leather purse, and, of course, Crocs.

“I need to return these shoes!” the woman said stiffly as she plopped a pair of sandals on Theresa’s counter with a rude thud.

Theresa simply glared at the woman from over the top of her half-rimmed glasses.

See, Theresa was a black woman—a very black one at that. Her hips were wide even before she birthed her two kids, and her hair was so big, kinky, and wild that all her old office managers considered her a tad unprofessional-looking.

So you can imagine how she felt having to work for The Man and serve unapologetic and unthankful white men and women like this one on a daily basis.

You see, Theresa used to be a marketing superstar. She used to work at one of the top marketing agencies in the state. That is, until she lost her temper with a white coworker one day, cursed out the whole office staff, punched a hole in the wall, and lost her job and any prospects of returning to the industry.

That was six months ago. Now, Theresa is forced to use her “sales” background to work retail and attend therapy for anger management and stress control twice monthly.

“Do you have your receipt, ma’am?” Theresa recited with robotic ease and the same stoic, forced smile.

“Uh no, I do not,” White Lady sounded appalled at the idea.

“Ma’am, without a receipt, the best I can do it offer you store cre—” but before Theresa could finish her statement, she noticed something off about the sandals the woman brought in. She picked them up and began to examine them. The holes on the straps of the sandals had a deep indent in them, and the bottoms of the shoes were black with dirt. The soles of the shoes had a very clear footprint.

Theresa tried her hardest not to roll her eyes at the woman. “Ma’am, have you worn these shoes?”

Again, utter shock overcame the lady’s face.

“No, I haven’t. If I liked them and could fit them, don’t you think I would be keeping them?” she added a smug scoff to her response.

“Excuse me, ma’am, but these sandals obviously have some wear and tear to them, and if you had your receipt, I could show you our strict return policy on shoes. If you’ve had them for over 21 days, we cannot take them back.”

“What makes you think I’ve had them for over 21 days?”

Theresa felt as if she were about to explode on White Lady, but just as she had that thought, she remembered the breathing techniques her therapist, Dr. Washington taught her. She then proceeded to close her eyes for five seconds to breathe in slowly and then exhale.

“Uh, excuse me!” White Lady interrupted. “Is there a problem?”

“Ma’am, I cannot accept these shoes,” Theresa said calmly.

“Well then, just give me store credit, if you can’t give me my money back!”

“I don’t think I can do that, either.”

At this point, Theresa’s line was growing, and the customers behind White Lady (who probably had a real solvable concern) started looking peeved.

“Let me talk to your manager!” the woman pretty much yelled at Theresa.

Without replying, Theresa simply turned her back on White Lady to grab her walkie-talkie from the back counter.

She mumbled into it that she needed a manager at Returns, and within a couple minutes, her supervisor was standing at her side, relaying to White Lady the same message Theresa had given minutes before. She stood by with her arms crossed, no longer trying to hide the sass from her face.

“In all my years shopping at Home Mart, I have never encountered such rude employees!” White Lady started a rant no one cared to hear. “Your corporate office will be hearing from me about this cashier of yours! And you won’t be getting any business from me after today!”

“Thank you, ma’am, have a nice day.” Theresa said as White Lady stormed off. She and her supervisor could hear her still bitching from many feet away.

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mom insecurities

Overcoming My Insecurities: Motherhood

Meet “The Perfect Mom.” She is always—and I mean always—happy to be with her kids. She packs their lunches perfectly and neatly, and she remembers to stick a cute little note in there every day. She breastfed her babies for the whole first year of their lives, because Breast Is Best. She takes them to school every morning and picks them up every afternoon—always on time. She has a smile on her face whenever you see her, and she’s involved in all of her kids’ activities: soccer, Girl Scouts, awards ceremonies, fundraisers, you name it. When Perfect Mom is on the job, you can count on her to do things, well, perfectly.

Do any of you know one of these perfect mothers, the ones who seem like they have it all together? The ones that make you feel just a little bad about your own motherhood? The insecure being that I am, I wonder a lot about whether or not I’m the best mom for my son.

Here are some of my mom insecurities and how I’m on the journey to accepting myself (just the way I am) as a bad-ass, amazing mother for Kai.

My Mom Insecurities

I don’t spend enough time with him

As you may have read in my previous blog, I am not necessarily the “fun mom.” I don’t like tickling and playing rough with my son, so I just don’t do it. That’s Garrett’s job, anyway.

However, because of this, I worry that I don’t spend enough time with him. I worry that Kai loves Garrett more than me. I work a full time job, and when we are home together, Kai’s usually playing alone in his room, making believe with his Lego and action figures, and I’m watching TV, writing, or cooking.

I sometimes wonder if I should be playing with him all the time so he won’t feel alone. I wonder if I should play rough with him, simply because that’s the kind of play he prefers.

One of the ways to combat anxiety and become more mindful is to create (and manifest) positive affirmations for the negative things you worry about. Here’s my affirmation to combat this insecurity: Kai loves me just the way I am. The time we do spend together is valuable simply because it’s the genuine me spending time with him, not faking or pretending to be a mom that I’m not. And as far as him playing alone, plenty of Only Children do it every day. There’s nothing wrong with him building independence early.

I’m too emotional

I can be impatient with Kai. I’m often very grumpy. It hurts to admit that I lose my temper way too often for comfort. (This particularly happens in the mornings because I am a stickler for being on time, and I would not want my seven-year-old child being my excuse for being late to work.)

I sometimes feel like I can be too mean and expect too much of him for his age. I get annoyed when he says he brushed his teeth or washed his hands after only being in the bathroom for 30 seconds. Did you really get yourself clean in that time frame?

My positive affirmation to combat this insecurity: Kids need tough love sometimes. When I give him high expectations, I believe it will lead him to a successful life. Someday, he will create high expectations for himself in school, his relationships, his career, and life overall.

I’m not involved in his school

Because I work a Monday through Friday nine to five job, I am definitely not involved in Kai’s school a lot. For one, they give such short notice on shit like awards ceremonies, and many of those things are during business hours. We can’t all be stay-at-home moms. And I don’t think the school gets that.

Sure, I can take time off work, but (here comes another insecurity), as a leader in my office, I’m sometimes hard on myself for taking time off, because I feel obliged to be there, to always show that I am present, reliable, trustworthy. (That’s a whole other blog post…)

But back to Kai’s school. I don’t bring snacks on the days they have parties. I go to the big awards ceremonies, and not the ones every quarter. Kai eats lunch at school because they offer it free to all students. But should I feel guilty about not being as involved as The Perfect Mom?

No, of course not. My affirmation to combat this insecurity: I do the best I can. Me working a full-time job provides for my family in a way that cupcakes for a classroom party cannot. I don’t have to be involved in absolutely everything in order for my son to love me.

Motherhood Is a Journey

When you have an anxiety disorder, it can often be difficult to just “let go” of the things that worry you. However, I encourage you, my mothers with anxiety, to take a second to think about all the things you do right for your family—which is probably a lot.

There is no such thing as the perfect mom. And it took me a while to believe that. I tend to compare myself to others a lot, in many aspects in addition to motherhood. But, letting go of those comparisons is just the first step in reclaiming your peace.

I am the perfect mom for Kai because I know his needs, the things that make him laugh, and I challenge him to be great. The “perfect” moms I’ve come in contact with do the best for their children. If I acted like them, it wouldn’t be genuine, and I’m sure Kai would take notice and think it strange.

Do what’s best for you kid, and don’t judge moms who do things different. We’re all in this together, trying to figure out this whole motherhood thing one day at a time.

what is marriage

What Does Marriage Mean to You?

As our society has grown and evolved, the traditional definition of marriage has changed drastically. With new laws and the world becoming more accepting of different types of families, marriage is no longer just a legal agreement between a man and a woman. (And it’s definitely no longer an exchange for goods and services.) But why the hell do we decide to get married in the first place?

Well, it depends on who you are. Some people believe the purpose of marriage is to enjoy the security and safety associated with having a life partner. Some people like the feeling of—for the lack of a better word—ownership. I belong to you, and you belong to me.

But, as you all may know, not too many Millennials are in agreement with this sentiment. Currently, the median age for a first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men—much older ages than when people got married in the 60s (around 23). While my Millennial brethren are holding off on marriage, I decided to do it pretty early. At the ripe age of 22, I married my best friend, and I don’t regret a thing.

Here’s what marriage means to me.

What Is Marriage?

Marriage is commitment. It’s telling your best friend in the whole wide world that you’re in it for the long run.

Marriage is spending every day with your best friend (and not getting tired of him or her).

It’s joking about dumb shit that only the two of you understand.

Marriage is being comfortable farting around each other and laughing hysterically about it.

It’s never having to be alone.

It’s having someone to teach you new things and introduce you to new perspectives.

It’s cooking breakfast together on the weekends. It’s eating ice cream for dinner if that’s the type of life you want.

It’s falling asleep together peacefully. And, then again, it’s learning how to sleep through his snores.

Marriage is raising a family that balances each of your personalities and parenting types.

It’s growing and learning more about each other, and then growing some more.

It’s having your own personal cheerleader, pushing you out of your comfort zone and into your life’s purpose.

Marriage, to me, is compromising and being selfless.

It’s spending time together, even if that means watching reruns of The Office over and over again.

Marriage is having someone to vent to, someone who listens—even if you are kinda overreacting.

Marriage is trust.

It’s a partnership. It’s us against the world.

Marriage is feeling at home no matter where you are together.

Marriage is someone to dream with, someone who believes in you.

It’s a support system.

Marriage is a no-judgement zone.

It’s fighting over dumb shit—and some serious shit—and then making up by compromise, communication, and respect.

Do You Want to Get Married?

I know many of you have opinions on this topic. Do you want to get married? Why? And if not, what are your reasons? The thing about marriage is that it is—and should be—a choice. I got married ‘cause I love this one guy, and I don’t ever want to leave his side. You may not want to get married because you’re fiercely independent and love yourself enough on your own. Either way, love is love.

 

Thanks for reading.

Creating a Balance of Different Parenting Types

People raise their kids many different ways. And I think that’s one of the beauties of parenthood—do whatever the fuck you want for your kids, and no one should be able to tell you otherwise.

However, many people find conflict within their own household if their partner has a different parenting style than them. Well, as you all know, Garrett and I are young parents and very different people in how we handle various situations. Here’s how our different parenting styles meld together as we raise our rambunctious son, Kai.

Garrett as a Dad

different parenting stylesMy husband, Garrett, is a fun dad. He loves to kid and joke around with Kai. That’s the reason Kai is such a goofy little fellow himself. He takes up after his dad, always wanting to make people laugh and see them smile. Garrett and Kai spend their time together trying to have fun—in a sometimes rowdy way. Some of Kai’s favorite games with Daddy include Ninja (running around the house with Naruto arms, trying to evade attacks) and Wrestling (Daddy body-slamming Kai into the couch and Kai trying to fight back). Only when they’re tired of roughhousing do they sit down, and Kai watches Garrett play his games online.

(Roughhousing? Who am I, my grandmother??)

But, don’t be mistaken—Garrett don’t play when it’s time to get serious, and Kai knows that. Garrett holds Kai to high expectations, so much to the point that Kai constantly looks to his dad for approval. He wants to impress Daddy, so he’s always saying, “Watch this,” and showing us his latest Lego creations. Garrett refuses to baby Kai. He uses his stern Dad Voice to let Kai know daddy means business.

Garrett’s parenting style:

He’s a strong support system and playmate for Kai, but at the same time, he’s a viable authoritative figure whom Kai looks up to and respects.

Angie as a Mom

While Garrett is often an exciting playmate for Kai, I am often an educator and confidant. I do not like playing rough, (and because I know it makes me nervous, I’ve given up trying to pretend I can be that wrestling/tickling mom). So, when Kai and I spend time together, it’s usually revolved around learning and crafts: Legos, reading a book, doing homework, or watching YouTube videos of people baking. How to Cake It is one of our faves.

 

different parenting styles

But, like Garrett, I also have high expectations for Kai. I expect him to do chores and act his age. Right now, I’m trying to get him involved in taking better care of himself, like remembering to brush his own hair or put lotion on his legs when he wears shorts. And, the second he can reach the sink, he’ll be doing dishes.

However, I am less stern than Garrett. I’m an emotional mom. Yes, I let him cry. I teach him breathing techniques when he feels upset. I understand the emotional side of things, so I’m more empathetic about those things. And, I tend to lose patience and get annoyed a tad easier than Garrett does.

My parenting style:

I am an emotional mom, but I’m working on being more stern when it comes to teaching him responsibilities.

The Perfect Combo

Our different parenting styles balance each other out. Garrett and I have worked hard to make that happen, though. We have to talk a lot about how we want our parenting to go.

We discuss a lot of random scenarios that could happen, just to start planning what we would do in said situation. The last thing you want is for your kid to do something outlandish, and the two of you have completely different reactions. In this situation, the kid will be confused, you two may start arguing about the way you’d handle the situation—you get it.

So here’s how our lives as parents go: because we both have high expectations for our child, we pretty much handle things like homework in the same way. We help him through things he doesn’t understand, and we can both read through the bullshit when he says, “I don’t know how to do it!” We respond sternly, “Kai, we went over this, and you can do it.”

Garrett and I both love our son, who is a perfect balance of our two personalities. So, we each love him in different ways—all of which Kai appreciates and reciprocates. Our parenting styles are never perfect. Sometimes, Garrett can be too hard on him, and I can often be impatient and overly emotional. But, we’re still learning. Surely, we’ll continue figuring this stuff out as we go—I can’t even imagine what our parenting styles will look like when Kai’s in middle school!

At the end of the day, when you parent a child with another person, it’s all about communication. There are many parents out there who have a co-parenting relationship with their ex and still have to find a way to be in each other’s lives to raise that kid. Talk to each other. Plan out how you’ll handle situations before that situation occurs. Make compromises.

And most of all, do what YOU think is best for your little one.

Just for fun, take this parenting styles quiz, and let me know what you get. I’m authoritative, specific, and strict.

The Importance of Me Time

Recently, I’ve been learning the importance of “Me Time.” I love my husband a lot, sometimes to my detriment. As a person with (self-diagnosed) generalized anxiety disorder, I tend to stress and worry a lot, and I pour a lot of that worry on Garrett. I rely on him to make things better. But, he’s human, and sometimes, he just can’t fix everything.

I’ve been on a mission to learn more about self care and how it can help to relieve anxiety, depression, and the pressures of adult life. I’m working on independence for the times Garrett doesn’t have all the miraculous answers to my problems. I am on a path to practice more self love. I am working to accept that I already have access to everything I need to create happiness in my own life.

How to Pamper Yourself when You’re Stressed

Giving yourself some Me Time is great for stress relief and self love. It’s sometimes hard when your life is overwhelming and you, like me, don’t necessarily know how to relax. But, here are the simplest ways you can give yourself a little time to stop thinking so much about what’s going wrong in your life.

Take a Nice Bath

This is like the go-to stress reliever. Draw a nice hot bath, put in some smell-good bubbles or essential oils, light some candles, and try not to think of anything for the time you’re in there. Even if it’s only a half-hour away from life, you can leave your bathroom feeling more relaxed and refreshed.

Pour a Glass

A glass of what, you ask? Anything that makes you happy. My guilty pleasure drink is a glass of tea so sweet, it could probably give you diabetes. Try wine, if that’s your deal, or something stronger, depending on the kind of day you had. This is a small, simple task you can do for yourself and it requires practically no work at all.

Eat Your Favorite Foodhow to relieve stress

I’m a sucker for fast food, Everytime I order something from Grub Hub for delivery, or stop by the drive-thru for some fries, I consider it a treat for myself. I’m the type of person who immediately loses the attitude after I eat something delicious. And, no, I’m not sorry about it.

Pet an Animal

There are many sources that discuss the mental health benefits of owning a dog or cat. Spending a few minutes each day petting your furry friend can relax you and help you learn how to relieve stress. These little guys want nothing more than for you to be happy, so when they want to cuddle, let them fill your life with their infinite adorableness!

Move Your Body

Yeah, I know people can’t always gather the motivation to get up and exercise when they’re stressed, but I promise you, it helps. Getting up to walk around the neighborhood or searching for a yoga video on YouTube can help you take your mind off your stressors and pump up those endorphins. Start slow, and add more activity as you see fit.

Stop to Breathe

I used to roll my eyes when people told me to just stop and breathe when I was stressed. But, now, I’m an advocate for it. When you’re stressed, you can sometimes have shortness of breath and cause your lungs to not get enough oxygen. I use the 5-5-5 method. Breathe in for five seconds, hold the air in your lungs for five seconds, and then breathe out slowly for five seconds. This method causes you to slow down and make sure you’re getting enough air where you need it. If you feel so inclined, you can take this practice and incorporate it into your relaxing yoga exercise.

Write in Your Journal

I am a strong advocate for writing your thoughts down on paper. Sometimes, there are things I wish I could say to people (or God) that I wouldn’t dare utter out loud. That’s where my journal comes in handy. I write down my most raw, uncut feelings and no one ever has to read it. But, now, at least it’s not pent up inside my mind. Thoughts that just fester can be dangerous if not handled.

Smile

It sounds silly, but I read online that smiling, (even if it’s fake), can raise your mood. The muscles required to make that smile on your face can help improve your mood, and kind of trick your brain into thinking it’s happy. Don’t knock it until you try it!

Get Connected with Some Friends!

Spending time with friends can also be considered Me Time. Or, if you’d rather stay in bed, get connected with people online, like finding me on Twitter and Instagram, or subscribing to my blog! I’ll see you there!

Love Equals Acceptance

The meaning of love will change from person to person. For most of my life, my definition of love had been based on romantic comedies. And I aspired to have a “perfect love” like that. I watched movies like “The Notebook” and “Hitch” and other silly romantic classics. I thought that people always stay together forever. That love is easy.

Well, the stuff that happens in those movies isn’t entirely realistic. Love is not perfect, and sometimes it’s not easy.

My History of Imperfect Love

what is your meaning of loveWe all have flaws. For so long, I spent a lot of time judging. Judging my friends, my sisters, strangers, and my significant other. Looking at them, studying their flaws and wishing they would be another way. Thinking, “why do they do the things they do?” and “Why don’t they do it my way?”

The mindset of desiring to– for the lack of a better word– correct their behavior was just bad energy I created. In turn, it basically made a dark cloud around my relationships and I ended up spending less and less time with a lot of people. (Sorry, guys.) Because I spent so much time judging, I ended up liking the people I loved less, and wanting to spend no time around them until THEY changed.

A Change in Perspective

But recently, I’ve been on a path of finding my own peace and learning more positive behaviors. I’ve been redefining my meaning of love. In addition to reading some books, Garrett helped me realize this: a big part of loving someone is accepting them for who they are. It’s along the lines of unconditional love. It’s saying, “I will love you despite any flaws I see. I will not try to change you. I will support you in all your endeavors. It is not my place to make you into something you’re not.”

I am working on a path to acceptance. I no longer want to try to change people or tell them they’re wrong. I do not have to make them into who I want them to be, but instead, allow them to be their whole self, without any criticism from me. And hopefully, they can accept me for who I am, too.

I encourage you to indulge in the comment section. What is your definition of love? Do you believe in unconditional love?

Making Goals Happen

One of the things I love most about my relationship with Garrett is that we are both goal-oriented. We both know what we want to do in life and we’ve talked openly about our career aspirations. And, we both seem to do a pretty good job supporting each other in the process to get there.

Goal Accountability Partner

Despite our lofty goals, Garrett and I are broke right now. We’ve been through a lot in the past couple of years, and right now, we’re in a weird quarter-life crisis part of our lives. We know we’re old enough to make our goals happen. But, with a family and responsibilities to take care of, it’s kind of hard to build a career being a creative.

We both want to create different forms of art, and traditionally, people give you shit for wanting the careers we want. You know, the whole “starving artist” thing? Our goals could make a lot of money… but just not right now. Writing a best selling- novel and a high- quality video game take years of production. We may not see residuals for these things for years. So, who’s going to pay the bills until then?

We focus most of our time on the present. We go to our day jobs, taking what we can from them to apply them to the bigger goal. And, we do small things here and there to better equip ourselves at meeting that goal. What helps is that we talk to each other about our goals. We end up making it a second job to remind one another to actually work toward what we want, even though it’s not earning money (right now.)

Garrett comes home from work on the weekends and asks me if I’ve written anything toward my book. And on his off days, I check in to see if he’s done any programming. Simple reminders like that go a long way on a day you may not feel like doing anything productive.

Talking about Your Goals

In a long term relationship, I believe it’s important to to talk about your goals. Whether these goals are a personal endeavor or a team effort, it helps to have someone on your side, rooting for you and praying for you.

sharing goals with your significant otherGarrett is a unique breed of person. He’s known what he wanted to do with his life from a very young age. And he’s stuck with that goal. He’s been very faithful to it. I, on the other hand, have been up and down with my goals. They’ve changed a lot, but he’s selflessly been with me, supporting me every step of the way. And I’m so grateful for that.

I like to think of marriage as a team, a partnership. We’re in this together. It’s great to have someone who believes in you and wants you to succeed. This type of support can be found in other places, too. Your parents, your siblings, best friends– the right ones will offer you words of encouragement, constructive criticism, and prayer throughout your journey. Hold on to the ones who love your dreams as much as you do.

Who do you share your dreams with?

Some people, like me, rely on the help of others to make dreams happen. Others wish to be quiet with their goals and keep things to themselves until things are done. How do you handle sharing your dreams?

August 25th

Garrett and I have been together for 8 years today. We’ve been married for 3. I can’t even begin to tell you how much we’ve survived through all these years: life, death, finances, trust, communication, stress… I like to believe all the things we’ve been through in the past suggest a promise for a brighter future.

We are not perfect. It’s something that I’ve started to come to grips with lately. Like many of you know, I am a hopeless romantic who strives for that “movie love.” But that isn’t really a thing. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Arguments happen. Feelings get hurt. But, what I do know is that we are a team after all those things. At the end of the day, we try to look at the positives and work on a solution for what is going awry.

From the beginning of our relationship, “our song” was “This House,” by Edison Glass. Back in 2009, it was a song that kept us going through the struggle of me leaving and going off to college (which didn’t last long :P). Our little emo selves listened to that song and sang along with it, thinking about how we were going to make it through me living in another city. How small that problem seems now. We had no clue about the obstacles life would throw in our way in the future. What we went through back then is nothing compared to what we’ve seen in the past 2 years.

The song’s chorus goes, “We have enough. We can handle it. If we don’t make it, I will fall apart.”

The video, quirky and strange, showcases a little cartoon couple trying to build something together, and even after their beautiful creation all comes crashing down, the video ends with them sharing a loving glance at each other and then holding hands. Yeah, our cute little amusement park went up in smoke, but we will survive.

Sometimes, it feels like the world is crashing down on us. But, the whole idea of “we can handle it” is inspiring to me. Yeah, crappy things are going to happen, but it helps to remind ourselves that we can handle anything life throws at us.

So, today, on a very ironic Throwback Thursday, instead of reflecting and dwelling on the past, I’d like to look to the future of what’s to come for our relationship. It sucks to be stuck in the past. I know first hand, because some days I am still stuck in the past and it does nothing but drain my energy and create stress in my own mind. But, I am on a journey to moving forward. We are on the path to starting the first year of the rest of our lives.

Happy Anniversary, babe.

If Only You Knew the Patience it Takes to be a Parent

I have very little patience. Anyone who knows me will know there are many small and mundane things that irritate me on a daily basis. But, this could also be attributed to my perfectionism and my (self-diagnosed) generalized anxiety disorder.

I hate waiting behind cars who didn’t notice the light just turned green. I absolutely hate walking behind slow people– anywhere. I have somewhere to be. I don’t like waiting in lines. Hell, sometimes I even lack patience when it comes to talking to and hanging with my own husband.

So, naturally, one of the things that boggles my mind is how I manage to survive parenthood every day. Raising a young, inquiring mind requires immense levels of patience.

Disclaimer:

Before I continue this blog, here’s a disclaimer: I DO NOT HATE MY SON. I DON’T HATE BEING A MOM. It’s just fun to bitch about stuff every now and then, okay? Alright, let the blog commence:

Living with and Raising a Six-Year-Old

My son, Kai asks a million questions a day. And that’s probably not even an exaggeration. He wants to know about everything. Even when I’m cooking, even when I’m trying to switch lanes while driving him to summer camp. Even when it’s bath time and we’re winding down for the night. Questions on questions on questions.

young parent understands you need patienceThen, he follows me and Garrett everywhere around the house. Like a puppy almost. Oh, you have to go to the bathroom? I’m coming. Oh, you’re going downstairs for two seconds to grab a bottle of water? Me, too! He also wants to eat all the time. He’s always asking for a meal and says he’s hungry, but after I slave over a hot stove and serve him a delicious homemade dinner, he picks at it and just gets full off of juice!

He is very sensitive about a lot of things, so of course, when Garrett and I joke and say sarcastic things, he can’t tell that we’re joking. And he gets offended, sometimes with tears rolling down his cheeks. (God dammit, Kai, we didn’t mean it!)

And don’t get me started on his energy! This kid cannot stay still. Like, seriously, he moves all the time. He runs back and forth around the house. When we’re sitting on the bed watching TV, he’s just bouncing in the spot he sits. It’s almost funny how much he needs to move.

What I’ve Learned from All This

When I was a kid, I was my son. And when Garrett was young, he was Kai. We did very similar things when we were little. Garrett, even to this day, cannot stay still. And I was the inquisitive know-it-all who wouldn’t stop asking questions, unless it was when I was chugging my juice for dinner.

Our parents are wonderful, precious, patient beings who deserve the highest accolades and awards for dealing with our shit, when we were little shits.

I can only hope and pray that one day I will learn the patience to not be annoyed by my son. I am his life. Along with Garrett, I control many things that can and will happen to him. His perception is completely different than mine because he is LITERALLY learning something new every day. And it’s up to me and Garrett to guide him through that. It’s an incredibly humbling thing to realize how much I matter to him and his well being. Without me, who knows what would happen to that kid?

I try so hard to be perfect. And I beat myself up for messing up at being a perfect mom sometimes. But, the thing is… Kai doesn’t need, nor does he want, me to be “perfect.” All he wants is a smile. All he wants is for me to eat dinner with him, play with him, and love him. Simple, right?

Here’s a big shout-out to all the parents out there, those who are young like me and those more seasoned. If your kids haven’t told you this lately, I’ll tell you: you are a precious gift to your child’s life and everything you do for them is appreciated. I know you’re tired. I am, too. But, you are molding a wonderful human being who will grow up to do great things, all because you care for them like you do.

You are loved.

Be Gross with Me So I Know It’s Real

Alright, it’s confession time. I fart around my husband. A lot. And after I fart, I either laugh, or continue my day as if nothing happened.

You see, when you’re young newlyweds, things like farting are nothing out of the ordinary. Everybody farts. And everybody poops. It’s no big deal, right? So, why do people still have a problem being gross around their significant other?

The Moment that Defined My Relationship

There was a day back in high school, before we became young newlyweds, when I was hanging out with my now-husband. And in that moment, he said something that made me laugh so hard, the fart I was trying to hold in squeezed out of my butt and made the cutest and funniest “toot!” in my life.

young newlyweds comfortable farting around each otherI was mortified, embarrassed, terrified! He would kick me out and never want to see me again! He would barf on me from being so grossed out! Girls aren’t supposed to fart!

But instead of that fart making it the end of our relationship, that fart introduced a new and transformed part of our relationship. He started cracking up! And that made me laugh, too! Of course, he said, “Ew!” while he was laughing, but it wasn’t the end of the world. We laughed for a really long time about it, and after that, we went on with our afternoon of hanging out.

I believe that moment that defined the relationship simply because I started to be okay with showing my true self around him. There were times after that when he helped clear up pimples on my face. And, of course, he farted around me, too.

Even in the more recent years, we’re still gross. We’re supposed to be “adults”– whatever that means– but we’ve done some childish things. He once dutch-ovened me to the point where it wasn’t funny anymore, and I actually got pissed with him (for about twenty minutes). And, I’m never afraid to pick my nose around him when it needs picking. Also, we occasionally poop with the door open. We’re not sorry about it.

How You Know It’s Real

Young newlyweds should know the importance of being comfortable around their significant other. So many girls say they won’t order finger food when they’re on a date so they won’t get their hands and mouth dirty. And I think that’s bullshit. When you try to be pristine and pretty and perfect all the time, you are not allowing your true self to emerge. Your SO will fall for this clean and perfect girl, and what happens down the line? Are you going to go through marriage and NEVER let out a fart or let him know you have gas? Pssh, please. That’s no life to live. Order those messy ribs, and if you need to let one rip, know that it’s perfectly natural, and it could be a nice ice-breaker to make the two of you more comfortable. Who knows?

Comfort is the best part about any marriage or long-term relationship. You need to be able to be your full, unfiltered self at all times. If you don’t feel secure enough to do that, find someone who makes you feel that secure. It’s simple.