It has been a whole year since my break up. It has been over 365 whole days. I took a break to myself. Took some times for a couple of vices (politics, chocolate cake, and work). But I am a human and a woman after all. Some earlier this year I made plans to start searching for a new partner. I wasn’t sure at the beginning what I wanted. I knew I wanted a good time. Not like a sexy good time but the kind of time where you go out, you have fun, and you say to yourself, “I’d like to do this again.”Though I have become more open to the idea of dating it has been a struggle. It’s easy to say I would like to start dating again than actually dating.
I found out there are a lot of scumbags still out there. There are guys scumbags but feel the need to put on the appearance of one. Congratulations, you are still a scumbag. Then there are the guys that believe the some how are getting passed over for scumbags. They are your emo boyfriend from high school revisited. Unaware they are the just as much of a scumbag than the guy supposedly their exes left them for, they sit around moping about the last girlfriend. Sometimes the girlfriend before that. And the one before that girlfriend. Oh, this is before you make arrangements for an actual date.
But now I am a mom. My kid comes first. So now it’s about a person I am cool with bringing around my kid. Hell even letting them know I have a kid. You are always constantly worried about if this person will harm your child. You also have to take into account that this person might also have the opportunity to influence your child for the better or the worst.
So now I am picky. I am pickier than I was 2 or 3 years prior. I do go on dates. I have fun on these dates sometimes. But now my bar is raised. I won’t settle. I have high standards. Probably the standards I should have had from the beginning.
I am going to warn you this is going to be one of those weird blogs where I somehow came to an epiphany about something. So last week has been pretty hard for me. Although I was given the opportunity for some me time with friends downtown weekend for the LGBTQ Pride Parade, this week just has me drained emotionally.
So for those of you who aren’t familiar with cognitive therapy, there is alway a plan put in place for when something gets you down or angry or whatever. So my plan has always been to listen to music, write, and or play video games. So I was in the middle of talking about happiness with a friend and I joking said, ” I keep hoping that I can my road will eventually lead to warms sands.” For those of you who don’t know, I am huge Skyrim fan. So much so that my for my birthday I want thieves guild tattoo ankle and dark brotherhood tattoo on my shoulder. I jokingly call myself that night mother who is the leader of the dark brotherhood. The warm stands saying is something that Khajiit, the cat people of Skyrim. All of a sudden it hit me. What if it wasn’t just a joke what if this was something I could live by or at least a meaningful saying.
Sayings or Mantras mean a lot to me because sometimes you don’t have a piece of paper or napkin isn’t around. Sometimes your iPhone is dead and there is no outlet. Sometimes you don’t the time or the luxury to veg out gaming or nerding out. When nothing else is available to combat those bad thoughts fight them with good thoughts. For me, the idea of sifting fine sand through your finger reminds me of home. Maybe I am cat person…. in both senses of the term ooooooooooooo. Either way, I am still the Night Mother.
So my son is 22 months old. He has gotten to the point where if he soils his diaper he tells me or tries to take it off. He will even pick up his own diaper and throws it away. So of course from time to time, I might mention this to a friend or two. So to my surprise, I received a lot of, “So you are going to potty train him right.”
I think what caught me off guard the most were the friends that didn’t have kids that were admint that it was time of me to start potty training. How does one who have never give birth to child all of sudden decide that a child is capable of knowing they are ready to to go to the potty. Now let me remind you… my son is a little over one in half and close to 2 years old or 24 months. Most girls start at around 2 and boys somehwere between 2 and half to 3 years old. Although my son is able to understand that his soiled diaper is not something you would like to keep in his room, he doesnt seem to understand the process before the soiled diaper. He knows during. He will hide himself. However there are still sometimes he will go and still keep playing. I just know he isnt ready yet.
But this isn’t about if my son is really to potty train as much as it is people feeling the the need to tell me how parent my child espcially people lacking the life experience. As if I am not potty training just beccause I like changing diapers. I know I am new mother. I am always look for ways to do things the right way. So I am open to sound suggestion… when I ask for it. Even if they did have experience I didn’t ask you for your input. And maybe that is rude but, its also rude to interject when no one ask you to.
I know I sound angry, but I bit perturbed. I don’t want to force my child to do something he isn’t ready for just only create self doubt in his abilities to do anything not just potty training. So I can say oh my son is already using the potty. Parenting isn’t just about hitting milestones and it especially isn’t about hitting them early.
Yes, I stress about being a mommy. A couple days ago I was walking to one of my best friends about my blogging situation. He is a hipster and will say it without any issue. Like most of my friends very childless and hoping to stay so. He asked me about things that I cared about as a mom. I started listing some things. Then he started listening something things. You know the outlandish stuff like essential oils ( which supposedly can make you or your kid really sick) and gluten. I started laughing.
Don’t get me wrong gluten is a serious thing… to kids gluten allergies. We all hear about that mom or see some form of them as characters in a TV show or movie. Still, to this day I don’t believe that kids should be vegetarians because of watching, “About a Boy.” But let’s be honest we have all been there. My irrational obsessive over parenting for awhile was fear of Autism that was constantly being brought up by my ex and his family. Which got slightly worse after my son’s pediatrician was worried about my son speech development. At 18 month my son only knew a handful of words such as hi, my sister’s name, my given name, and Duchess (our chihuahua). One of my close friends is Autistic, and I love him very much. No one wants their kid to have autism. I was obsessed with anything that could cause Autism. “Could be his diet… All the stress I had during my pregnancy… can gluten cause Autism.” I am joking about the gluten. 2 months later my son speaks in full phrases. In fact this morning he handed me my Xbox one controller and asked, ” Do you want this?” Maybe later I guess.
Again… don’t take it the wrong way. Mommy sense is the best thing ever. It what helps you know your kid is in danger. And not everyone gifted with mommy sense. Sometimes I wonder if I have strong enough Mommy sense. But sometimes in an attempt to keep kids safe we not only are going overboard but we are also harming them. You have heard it before and most people call it helicopter parenting. But I am not just talking about helicopter parenting. I am also talking stressing about every little thing. Do your research and maybe not microwave your kid’s food in plastic or recycle more. But don’t break out into a hot sweat over little stuff.
I am the oldest of four. I am 60 parts my father and 40 parts my mother. I can tell you neither of them knew how to deal with the person they helped create. Now, it’s sort of a given that parents have no clue what they are doing with their first child. Hell, I have no clue what I am doing. It’s sorta sad, because had they taken the time to actually listen and communicate effectively it would have saved everyone a lot of trouble. But… Let me tell you a story.
A couple of days ago my mom and I were having a conversation about her belief that turning the other cheek in certain situations or even apologizing. I told her she went about it all wrong. There was a certain situation in which my aunt got upset with me when I was 12 and cursed me out like a grown woman. My other aunt lied and said I had yelled at that swore at me. I called out for her to try to explain not yelled. But I was forced, not asked, to apologize to that aunt. I took it as my parents didn’t trust my word. I also internalized that as that I wasn’t worthy of respect. It wasn’t until I was an adult to work through the pain and anger that I didn’t even know I held on to that day.
However, the conversation got me to think about not just learning from my mistakes as a mother but my parents’ mistakes. I also learned I have to undo the mistakes I left behind with my son. This a growing person who is learning who they are. It’s my responsibility to make sure my son functions at a healthy emotional level. I don’t him turning 29 and realizing that he is acting out on a situation that happened to him over 15 years ago.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my parents. I also completely understand that working with the tools given to them by their parents. Let me tell you my grandparents are like a bag of knotted rubber bands. I think my parents did the best they could with what knowledge they had. I wish they would have handled it differently, but wishful thinking in the past gets us nowhere… on both sides.
I cry all the time, and I hate it. I am not talking about when I am sad. I mean, I cry about anything really. This isn’t who I use to be. I was a total G or gangster for those of you less knowledgeable on slag. I cried when loved ones passed, when I hurt myself, or at the end of “Ferngully.” But by the time I had reached my mid-20s my tears sorta just dried up. I cried only one time, and it was only to remind people I was (still is… I think) human. I knew it was the beginning of the end my certified g-ness when I cried in the drive-through of a Jack in The Box.
I was 7 months pregnant. At the time there was one car between my son’s father and I so sometimes I would drop him off at the VA on the way to work. So when I go to pick him up… he is nowhere to be found. I had been in gridlock traffic for an hour. At this point, he was staying downtown. So I am circling the streets of downtown Houston calling my boyfriend who’s phone is dead. I had to eat something so after calling my boss to let them know that I was probably going to be a whole hour and a half late, I stopped at Jack in the box. I order a breakfast combo but when I receive my order there is no hashbrown. I started to cry. This wasn’t “a one tear down the face” cry. This was “a are you trying to kill me” cry. I marched back in and demanded a refund… still crying mind you. That is the day that broke me.
This year, I had to talk myself to watch half the nominated films this last Oscar season. You know how weird it is to yourself in the mirror before watching “Moonlight” because you know you are going to cry. Anytime a mother is having her child taken away I cry. I cry watching very dramatic tv shows I want at some point during the season. I cry during some the comedies sometimes. I can’t watch local news without crying. I am an emotional mess. Emo will have you.
I know that some of this that I am a mom now. Mommy’s get the feels about a lot of things. It’s like you are walking around the earth, and it was just you. Some of you are married before or you had boyfriends or girlfriends here and there but you were only truly responsible for you. Now you get pregnant. You have a baby. Now you are responsible for this tiny human being not just from a physical standpoint but an emotional one. I think my emo state is optional. I chose not to be cold and on caring because I can’t afford to be. It sucks, but there will a huge payoff.
I have always thought of myself as homely. I am a home girl. I wear jeans, t-shirts, and Chuck Taylor tennis shoes. I read books, play video games, and worked as a writer. I was too busy for makeup. It wasn’t until after dealing with my post-partum depression and help from friends that started looking ways for self-care.
This blog was one way, and my appearance is another.My appearance has always been a big deal for me. However, sometime in high school, I wanted people to take me seriously I stop wearing makeup. I stop dressing up unless asked. Now don’t get wrong… I like I stated I love jeans and t-shirts, but I also make a conscious choice of what I am going to wear. But getting myself back into the idea of self-care was a struggle.
My first time applying makeup was in early middle school. I was still applying my make up like an 11-year-old. I have the artistic skills of a toddler. It is literally the grace of God that I can apply my eyeliner in a straight line. So I had watch video after video, which was cathartic as well, to get an idea of what I was doing. Then next it was purchasing brushes, applicators, primers, and etc. Not to mention a very unproductive visit to Sephora where I left looking like an Oompa Loompa. I eventually figured it out how to do a simple beat. I am still learning.
I think people don’t understand how small things help with maintaining your overall mood. I needed something to remind me that I am human. Taking care of myself helps tremendously. At the end of the day if you look good you feel good.
I won’t lie. I have been lying to myself for some time now… I tell myself that I am not pushing myself because I am just busy with something or I am not ready. The truth is… I have been in a lull that has been coupled with fear and lack of self-confidence. I will admit some of that time was taken to coming up with a proper self-care routine. That is still an excuse. I’m being honest with my feelings. I keep hoping that at some point I will find something to that will push me and fuel me. I have decided to merely just carry on. I know that it doesn’t sound encouraging.
I know that it doesn’t as romantic as finding a muse in an unexpected situation. I wish I had something more impactful to say. Sometimes all you have is to carry on.
So it’s been a couple years since I have attended a gay pride weekend. I really wanted to this year after this situation that happened in Orlando a couple weeks ago. I was also unable to attend last year because I was so pregnant. Here in Houston a lot of people were scared to go because of threats of violence. I usually no scared of much so I offered to go with friends.
This were it went all wrong. The night before I pulled a muscle carrying around my sumo wrestler size child. So I had already woke up sore as hell. I also like to spend my Saturday’s alone. I just realize that for the next 18 years I will never have Saturday again. Part of me wanted to just to some yoga and eat turtle cheesecake. However I said I was going to do something I had to do it. I said I was going to be there.
So at 5pm I texted my friends to see where they were going to go. I should have been aware of the second problem when I realized they wanted me to meet them at the Burger King on Westhimer and not downtown. One of my friends kept asking if there was a lot of people there. I kept saying, “No, there is never a crowd in Half Priced Books.” Come to find out they thought the parade was on Montrose where all the gay bars and clubs are located. So this made us late as hell. Parking downtown was upwards of $5 to $40. Yes, 40 dollars. I was chosen to lead the way to downtown but I didn’t know where to lead them to parking so we circled around the parade route a good 3 times before my friends found a place to park.
Then one my friends had a great idea to pick up my partner after he got off work. As the parade is starting I had to drive 20 blocks up to go pick up my partner who wasn’t aware were coming. Then my friend and my partner were lolly gagging. I love them but time doesn’t stand still. So we make it downtown to catch one float after walking 7 blocks over piss, broken glass bottles, glitter, and confetti. So after walking another 3 blocks we found the rest of our party where everyone decided to go to a club.
I am sure I have mentioned to you guys that my partner is Marine Corps veteran with PTSD which usually comes with a anxiety around crowds. So not only are talking about the confined space of a club, but Saturday… during pride week …and at a gay club. This was not the best scenario for us. So again I am parking 7 blocks away from the club this time. I am completely turned around because I am only in this area during the daytime. We finally get there to find out that my partner didn’t have his ID. So after trolling around for 45 minutes for a parking space then walking for another 20 minutes we end up turning around 3 minutes after we reach the club. I also got lost looking for my car.
After I was at Walmart in the Heights walking like an old worn out ballerina to get turtle cheesecake. It wasn’t my ideal night. I have come to the that I had to be more content about being there for friends than what I missed. Anyways… Happy Pride!
So I finally got a new freelance gig. I am not sure what to think about it since I have only been working there since Friday. It’s more on the Public relations and marketing side but it’s a media job.
My new issue this week has been trying to divide my new found freedom between my responsibilites at home. My mother and my grandmother have been kind enough to take care of my son while my partner and I are at work. I still can’t help but shake this feeling that I am some how missing out. Yeah I am scared of Mommy FOMO. I never thought I would be one of those mothers.
When I was studying to get my degree I remember admintly and definatly telling everyone who was willing to listen that even when I did have kids I would not be a stay at home mom. I also was sure I would rasise my kid in NYC. I am kind of glad I didn’t do NYC while my kid is still in diapers. I can’t do people complaining about my baby being a baby.
Until now, I have had my son with me 24/7. We woke up and his schedule was mine. Now I get up before he even wakes up and I am the person who spends the least amount of wake time with him. Today my partner took him swimming on today. It was his day off and my family had invited him over. I didn’t know how to feel as my mom scrolled through picture and video of an experience I wasn’t there for.
However this job provides so much more for him. More toys, more baby music classes, more mommy and baby yoga etc. I spend the weekends with him. He still wants to be around me when he sees me. Maybe I am just beeing really dramatic.