Solitude

626BD9D6-3242-4068-9169-93A9933CD65DSolitude and its power has to be one of the most underrated things to value. I have been wondering why I feel so calm with everything going on around us in the world. It was not until I began writing that I realized exactly why I am in a state of calmness. It is in direct correlation with my level of gratitude for being alone. Being “quarantined,” is an  escape I have been longing for weeks. And while it is under strange circumstances, I am grateful.

I stated this year, I would release all of my blogs on the 12th of every month. Following my verbal commitment to that, I have constantly found myself in weird spaces since the start of this year. I have also hesitated on this entry as I knew what I wanted to talk about, but could not find the words as easily as usual. I decided to use one of my journal entries for this month’s blog. It is my desire that my mommies/followers will look at my personal stories and find relief in knowing that we are all trying to figure this out.

3/11/2020:

“Solitude…It’s so very often taken for granted. Throughout life we’re taught to forget that we enter & we leave alone. We’re taught that when we want to be alone, we’re “being weird.” We’re taught that our space should be filled w/ activities & people…we’re taught how to drive ourselves to insanity. Two weeks ago, I expressed to Desmond that if I don’t get days to myself then I know I’ll lose it soon. Luckily, I’ve been so dedicated to my emotions & inner thoughts that as I felt myself losing it tonight, I pulled this journal out.

When you become a parent, a mother in particular, it’s rare that you achieve meaningful moments of solitude. If you’re anything like me as a mother, then you fill those moments w/ working down your to-do list, catching up with other people, or creating more things to do. 1/15/20, I moved. A week later I booked my weekends w/a second job. I’ve had visitors none stop. I haven’t spent a day alone with my child, let alone a day w/ myself in almost two months. If this isn’t self destruction then I don’t know what is. I have learned and I have accepted that in this current space of trying to figure out who I am, I function best alone. & what have I been doing? Avoiding and abandoning that time. The why? Something I can’t understand & probably the reason for these tears. I can’t answer the why, but I can recognize the problem and I know how to address it. When you get to a space where you see yourself adding to your demise, but you can’t answer why you’re doing it, it causes a pain. A confusion that I’d call beyond frustrating…

Advise to self: Take time to yourself before you destroy yourself.”

I felt so sad writing that entry and a week later, I know exactly why I have been avoiding being alone. Sometimes, it takes stepping back and watching yourself from another perspective. Pain is not a natural feeling and when you have experienced so much of it, it is easy to make yourself believe that it is a part of who you are. As Aiden’s dad told me, if I am not being all that I can be for myself, theres no way possible to be all that I need to be for Aiden. My avoidance of being alone, was to run away from the emotions of lost. As I entered 2020, I experienced great losses. I knew that I was not ready to deal with my natural emotion of lost so I purposely filled my time and space with people and things.

Telling myself that it is ok to experience unpleasantness and to acknowledge that I am feeling it. However, running away, pushes me further into that unpleasant space. Challenging all my mommies & followers to make that a goal for the next 30 days! Take time to yourself and find a deep appreciation for it. Don’t fill your empty spaces and time, with people and things.

24

How can you teach your child(ren) who they are, if you have no clue who you are? A question I struggled with answering since separation from my child’s father. As shared before, being alone is something I never had to experience. From teen-adulthood I formed an identity around my relationship further losing sight of a person I didn’t know in the 1st place. Being able to recognize an identity struggle comes from a place of pain. It isn’t easy and I’ll be the first to admit that it may come with extreme breakdowns. I’ll also admit that this is not my first time trying to explore who I am. However, in order for me to teach my African American son who he is in this world, I know the importance of this personal journey I’m exploring.

One would think that spending 48 hours with no human contact in 2019 is next to impossible, but I made it my reality last month. I spent time going back through the last 24 years and beyond. What was learned is that I have struggled with who I am because I was not taught how to be who I am. Instead, I spent most of my child and teen years covering up certain parts of me to avoid judgement. When your friends and family spend time criticizing you “acting white,” or “being weird,” or the world criticizing you “being  ghetto”, as a child it is easy to revert to hiding. As I have struggled, it has led me into a space of knowing how important it is that I help and support my child as he finds who he wants to be.

Year 24 was undoubtably a great year for my personal development as a mother. As I walk into the milestone year of 25 in the next 17 days, it feels amazing to finally be able to accept myself. I know exactly who I am and can embrace every inch of me. It isn’t for anyone else to understand and knowing that, makes this journey so much easier. Sometimes I like twerking and rapping songs that correlate to my life in no way. Sometimes I’m a book reading nerd who gets fascinated by learning. Sometimes I irritate everyone around me because I don’t know when to stop playing. And sometimes I like walking around in oversized clothes, meditating, and thinking about how I’m too deep for any living being. I am all of these faces and I wear all of them extremely well.

I no longer feel the need to go out of my way to prove  that I was born on the south side of Chicago, I grew up in the struggle, I fought on a regular basis, and that I came from a toxic household. I no longer feel the need to go out of my way to prove that I read for fun, I’m fascinated with school, and that I enjoy conversations about social change. I no longer feel the need to go out of my way to prove that I meditate or that I’ve experienced out of body experiences connecting me to the universe. I am all of this and more. It’s so easy for the world to tell us who we are and what’s wrong with who we are, because the world only sees one body. This entry was so important for me because I am the groundwork for everything as it relates to parenthood. So I challenge not just mothers, but any parent going into this next decade, ask yourself, how can you teach your child(ren) who they are, if you have no clue who you are?

 

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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.

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!

Who Am I?

Hello mommies!

I am a 22 year old new mom on the block! Those of you who may not know me are probably wondering “what can a 22 year old NEW mom tell me about mommy-hood that I do not already know?” Well, I may not have all the answers on how to be a mom, but that is the very reason I created MommysBreak. Since I have become a mother, my number one aspiration has been to be the best version of me for my son. I recently graduated with a BA in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University. I am originally from Chicago, IL but have spent most of my life here in Michigan (8 years in Kalamazoo, and 4 in Grand Rapids). I am engaged with a new baby of 2 months. My vision for MommysBreak is for moms to gain a sense of empowerment and confidence with the support of other moms. Being a mom is a day to day job that does not come with a how to manual.

Although, I am new to this job, I know that mothers frequently lack the support that they need. I wanted to create a space where support is available to all moms. Most support groups target “single moms” or “teen moms,” but I thought, what about married moms, engaged moms, moms with doubles, adoptive moms, 1st time moms, step-moms, older moms, stay at home moms, working moms. I mean I just thought, what about ALL moms. Society tends to assume that if you are not single or a teenage mother then maybe you have it all figured out and do not require extra support. I will be the first to let society know that this is untrue. I hope MommysBreak will create an outlet and/or a new found platform for moms to feel supported! Feel free to utilize my contact button on the home page, be sure to subscribe for updates, and look out for upcoming events!

Catch a break next week as I will be discussing: My personal birth story!