So, Terrible Twos Really Are A Thing?

If you are anything like me as a parent, I am sure there has been a moment or tons of moments of you “knowing” your children will be different from other children. You “know” this because you will raise them different than other parents. Although, I do believe there are things that you as a parent can deter them from doing based on how they are raised. I am also learning that there are some things that you just will not fall exempt from. One of those things being that stage we call terrible twos. I have been told, time and time again that “terrible twos” are really a thing. And time and time again I have told myself that Aiden will skip that stage because I have already learned how not to parent. 

I gained a little more confidence in this idea when I noticed how advanced he started to become, how we were past the one and a half year mark and I had not noticed any changing behaviors. Of course that being because we are always the last ones to notice our children’s toxic behaviors. I thought, “he’s so smart that it will be easy to teach him how not to behave.” I believe the moment happened for me when we were in a grocery store where he cried to help carry items, then threw them all on the ground when I refused to buy him a toy (in which they did not sell). This is when I questioned if I had done everything right to avoid the stage that everyone claims to be the worst.

As his 2nd birthday approached us, he learned how to say “shut…up mommy,” and also learned to yell at me to “sit on the pot right now.” All things I would look at other parents with a side eye for before becoming one myself. Entering this stage with your little one can be extremely frustrating when you have to also deal with the everyday stressors that come with parenting. Especially when you have focused on avoiding this moment. It will seem as a small deal to those around you. Even those who have had children because for some reason people tend to forget or ignore that this is really a thing.

Going through this stage will also seem like an easy fix when you consider that you are the adult dealing with a toddler. However, these are the moments that require the most stop, think, and deep breathing time. I constantly have to remind myself that as smart as my kid may be he still holds a brain that is not even half way developed. Meaning his ability to act and think logically does not necessarily exist. When I want to drag him out of stores for screaming for a banana or yell “WHAT?!” when my name is called for the 4000th time, I literally have to stop and think before responding.

I would advise not only parents, but anyone who spends time around toddlers, to remember that they are just that, toddlers. I asked a cousin of mine how I would explain that my son is a nut case and she responded when people stare, just say “he’s two.” This is how I remind myself that his behaviors are not a result of what I did wrong in the first year and 23 months. Attempt to let frustration go, even if it means ignoring before you respond. There is something natural about this stage of life for them. Try not to punish or traumatize them for what they cannot even fully understand.

23.

So much has changed in my life between my last post and this moment. Although, writing serves as one of my greatest abilities as well as one of my best coping skills, I have had a hard time trying to actually launch my vision and manage the reality of my life.

Year 23 was such a disgusting one, but in the same breath I’d say it was one of the best years I have had. Being 23 broke me down to the very core and humbled my entire being and for that I am forever grateful. I am grateful for all the lessons in the losses. Year 23 gave me a lot to be thankful for, but it also took a lot from me. 23 took a wedding, my best friend, family, finances, normality, my dignity, my peace, happiness, self respect, life, and stability. Instead of soaking in everything I lost in the last year, I got up every single day and started over. 23 showed me to never get comfortable because at any moment life will come for everything I know to test the strength I believe I have. 23 put me in a boat of vulnerability & desperation to show me that I was getting complacent in the wrong circumstances. On the other side of the coin, 23 motivated me to start grad school, relocate to a different state, seek peace, and learn who I actually am. For these reasons, I characterize it as one of my best and worst years, a concept I have never truly understood until life forced me to.

With all of this, being a mommy did not stop. It took me lying in bed crying while my one year old climbed over my head, jumped, played, and stared at me with confusion, for me think about why it was so important to me to start MommysBreak in the first place. There was no break, there was no pause, there was no moment for me to gather my life while someone else ensured that my motherly duties were done. I felt guilt, I felt sadness, I felt drained because I had never imagined getting to a point of doubting my ability to be a mommy, especially so soon in my journey. I had to find force to turn what I wanted to call “shambles” into my “moment” to grow, to find myself, and most importantly to find peace.

Mommies, we will be ok. As I have written before, there is no rule book to this mommy thing. It did not come with a book of directions, so when things do not go as envisioned, it is extremely hard to remind yourself that it will be ok, but it will be. I know that this will not be my last run in with feeling broken and doubtful, but I have found it extremely helpful to talk to myself, encourage myself, and remind myself on a daily basis of the long term goal. I would encourage you all to do the same. Find healthier ways to create strength for you to continue through any storm you may be facing. Talk to someone, see a therapist, utilize your support system, meditate, write, do anything but give up or in.

“Love Yourself Girl”

I have heard J. Cole say, “Love yourself girl or nobody will,” over 1,000 times in my head over the last 3-6 months. As I begin writing this post, it was literally the only thing I could repeatedly think of. I have spent time trying to think of topics to write about that would hold interest and make a real impact on the mind of many mommies. I thought, “hmmm…I could write about me and Aiden’s first vacation together…” or no! “I could write about being a mommy and doing things like working or going to school…” As I began to type about these topics, I couldn’t even keep my own interest.

I then thought about the things that go on in my everyday life as a mommy. I thought, “what would I want to hear another mommy talk to me about. “That’s when the light went off! How about I write about one of my insecurities as a mommy. I am sure all mommies have them and could use a boost of encouragement. So, after jotting down a few ideas and thoughts, I decided to narrow it down to one insecurity that I know just about EVERY mommy has experienced, unless of course you’re in the 2% of moms that can afford a “Mommy Makeover” immediately after giving birth. Or the 2% of those that snap right back without a tiger mark, an extra pound, or any boobie changes.

 

When I initially gave birth, of course my body was the last thing that I had thought of. I didn’t care to look in a mirror, I didn’t care to compare to another mommy, I was just amazed by the fact that my body had given birth to another human being. As time went on, I begin to examine myself, notice other mommies and their changes, and realize how differently my pre-pregnancy clothes fit. Like a human being, it started to weigh heavily on me and my thoughts. Sort of became something like an obsession.

Sacrificing your body is hard. It is not only physically hard to become a mommy, but I have had the experience of it being emotionally hard as well. I myself, have tried many creams to rid of the tiger marks, researched plastic surgery, changed my eating habits, worked out, quit and tried again! Having such extreme body changes on top of all the other things that come with being a mommy can be very stressful.

I would like to encourage all moms to LOVE and ACCEPT YOURSELF. With all that comes with it. As cliché as it may sound, your body did something that not everyone has the capability to do. Love the tiger marks, the extra belly fat, the change in shape, the not so perky boobs, and whatever else may have come with you walking into mommy hood. With that, I would also like to encourage all moms to take care of yourself. Mind, body, and spirit. I started noticing changes with my body when I spent more time trying to eat right, working out, and doing things that promote a healthy mind. Of course, I still have my moments, but let’s do it together mommies. Love ourselves, or nobody will!

 

11 Months Later

Imagine being a full time mom, a recent college grad, starting your career, moving into a new apartment, maintaining friendships & kinships, and trying to run a social blog for moms who need a break?! How ironic. For lack of better terms the last year has been, eh, scary. Life has felt like it’s been in overdrive & the saying, “A mothers job is never done” has become a reality for me. I thought with the ending of college, my life was on the road to peace, normality, and free time, when in fact it’s been nothing but the polar opposite.

When I first started MommysBreak, I thought I’d use this as my free time. That every week I’d take a few hours to myself to be dedicated to this. It is hard. It is hard when you haven’t seen your kid(s) for 8 hours of the waking day & they’re sleep for another 8-10 hours a day. When I get home from work, I’m immediately rushed by thoughts of what to make for dinner, bonding time with baby, and trying to be in bed before midnight. I used to think mom’s who were oh so busy wanted their lives to be that way. I thought how could a baby who can’t talk or walk really keep you busy 24/7. I have been humbled over the past year without a doubt. I have learned that it isn’t necessarily the baby who is keeping me busy, it’s the point of having a baby & trying to lead a life that includes things outside of him.

As I write this entry, I think about why I wanted to start MommysBreak. I think about my state of mind after I didn’t post for 30 days, then 60 days, then three months, then 6 months, & before I know it, it’s been 11 freaking months! I was tempted to let it go to waste. The website I built & paid for, the drive I had at the beginning, & all my ideas. I thought “I should just wait to do this until Aiden is older.” Or telling myself “I just don’t have time right now to run a blog.” And that’s just it mommies. We convince ourselves that we don’t have time for anything extra outside of the necessities. I am very well aware that this is the start of sacrificing things that make you happy, welcome to mommyhood right?

Please take time to yourselves mommies. As mothers, we can easily keep up with the excuse of not having time. Make time. Create a strong support system and make time to do something that makes you happy. Start that gym membership, go pamper yourself, go out for a girls night, register for that class, open that book, start that business, engage in a hobby! I’m not giving this advice because I have it mastered, but because as I’m working on it, I would like other mommies to do the same!

I Know You’re Weird, but What Am I?

Hi mommies!

Funny how if you choose not to share a part of your lives with social media, people automatically equate it with something being “wrong.” Every now and again people around Desmond and I will express their opinions with us about how “weird” it is that we choose to keep Aiden off of social media. What baffles me about choosing to keep him off, is that we’re occasionally hit with how “stuck up” or “weird” we are. When people realized that we were choosing not to share him, we were swarmed with remarks such as being “like Kardashians,” or “thought Aiden was Blue Ivy.” I understand that we live in a world where we cannot brush our teeth without letting social media know how many times we stroked the toothbrush, the type of toothpaste we used, and how long we brushed for. But sheesh! I can’t choose to enjoy my son in REAL life without incorporating social media into his life, without being treated like I walk around with a blanket over his face?

Somehow keeping Aiden from social media is always equated to him being a “secret.” We do not give those closest to us any notion that they cannot see him. There hasn’t been a week since he has been born that he does not have visitors at the house, we take him to all events we have attended, his grandparents and close family receive pictures of all his cutest moments, he’s even been out of state three times. And yes, IN PUBLIC. What we are doing IS normal.

As I have grown older, I feel the need to share less and less with social media. Watching those around me and their use of social media shows me more and more how much of a false sense of security it creates. We as a society have grown very fond of maintaining self esteem and approval based off of likes and emoji heart eyes. I initially did not want my son or his value to be based off of how many likes or comments his pictures received. We all know that it just happens, even if sometimes unintentionally. I didn’t even want to chance me having to think about the judgments of social media, how many people screenshot him, or how many group chats he would end up in without my knowledge. I get it, some people thrive off of knowing that they or their children are apart of conversations, but not me. One mom put it in perspective in a way that I am sure we don’t all think of when choosing to share our kids most adorable moments, “Posting that takes advantage of our children’s vulnerability to gain attention for us, the parents.”

Once he was born it made me not want to share him even more. From his innocence to enjoying moments in real time, it just drove me further into not wanting to share him. When I post pictures of myself, I sometimes find my self looking at every detail of the picture before posting it, to ensure that it’s the “right” one. Sometimes taking a selfie 20 times before deciding that I have the “right” one. I remember thinking to myself, do I really want to create that environment with my child who has NO idea what this life thing even means yet? I thought, why would I subject our relationship to that when I can just enjoy EVERY single moment in real life and it’d always be “right.” Enjoying him in reality, there is never a “wrong” face he could make, a “wrong outfit,” or a “wrong” moment.

Now mommies, you all have the right to choose what and how you  want share your child(rens) moments (with input from dad) lol. What we are seeing with this new generation of children is something we have never seen in the history of humans. They are the MOST exposed generation known to man. We don’t know in what ways it will effect them and won’t know until they are older. Subjecting children to the judgments and creating a social media identity for them before they even have a chance to know who they are, is a risk I am not willing to take as a parent. This is not to say that I will blur his face out of all wedding pictures next year or I’ll never share a family photo. I will say that, for now, I like it how it is.

I am not here to influence mommies one way or the other! Just wanted to share my own experience. We did not decide to shield him from social media in hopes that sites would pay us to post him. So for that matter, we’re nothing “like the Kardashians.” Neither are we trying to build up anticipation for the public, “like Blue Ivy.” We are just simply doing what we feel the most comfortable with as Aiden’s parents!

Catch a break next week with MommysBreak!