The hard stuff is HARD, man. Life in 2017, so far

And why I’m making some changes so the rest of 2017 looks different.

So, the last few months have been HARD. In fact, I talked to one of my very best friends yesterday for 20 minutes, and so much of my bluster just falls away in the first few seconds talking to her because I can tell her anything. She is really a jewel, y’all. We haven’t caught up in a while, but it was refreshing to just say, “Life has sucked, Meg. I’m a mess,” and she’s all “Yeah, I’ve been worrying about you, and here’s my junk, too.” And I am so thankful for friends like that because they are the best. So, in the effort of being transparent without being a total over-sharer, here’s what my life has looked like recently, and why I have made the decisions that I have.

Ever since I started this grad school program, my life has been so rushed and unpleasant. I know that it’s the hard that makes the pay-off great, but I have felt miserable, overwhelmed, and even depressed more times than is healthy. My daughter didn’t even want me to hold her because I was such a stranger to her due to my insane work/study/adult schedule. See, I worked my required three-in-a-row, 12-hour shifts every other weekend, which meant I didn’t see Darcy at all for three solid days. The rest of the week and my weekend “off” I spent immersed in my pharmacology book to cover 16 weeks of material in a 7-week summer school class. Darcy would actually scream when I picked her up, tried to feed her, or god-forbid take her out of daddy’s immediate radius. Consistently she did this. Like for weeks. It was a combination of frustrating and heartbreaking, and it was MY fault. So on top of insane stress, I now could pile up buckets of resentment combined with a nasty dose of guilt.

A change was needed. Because on top of the crap scheduling of 12-hour shifts and working/giving up EVERY OTHER DAMN WEEKEND, working while short-staffed with hard assignments was exhausting. After one shift in particular, I came home and my husband said, “That’s it. You’re done. Apply now.” I did, and now I have my weekdays after 3:30pm, every weekend, every holiday, AND every summer. Thank the LORD! I will miss my awesome coworkers, but I cannot change the fact my husband is in engineering school, that I must work full-time to keep insurance and a paycheck coming in, that I have a busy 16 month old who needs her mama, that I am in grad school, and that I am pregnant. Those things that do add to my overall crazy can’t really change and I wouldn’t want them to (except the school). Lets make that clear. But my job could change and did.

At this point I want to say how THANKFUL I am for my husband. He is under a lot of stress with school, his internship, and being a daddy and husband. He has been a solid rock of amazingness the past few months while I’ve taken on what feels like the world (I’m dramatic, so sue me).

Ben really is amazing, though. He cooks, is an incredible hands-on dad, and he says really sexy things like, “Good morning, beautiful. I made coffee, and my mom is watching Darcy tonight, so we can go on a date,” or, “I didn’t cook tonight, but the pizza will be here in 20 minutes. Go take a bath.” Swoon. Just like that and once again I’m a goner for this man. To any un-marrieds reading this: marry someone kind. I can promise you that it is the most important quality in the entire world when choosing a spouse. I know that some would tell you that finding a man who is a Christian and loves Jesus is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER, but as I am married to a Jewish man, I can tell you from my experience that it is not true. Yep, controversial words for a Christian woman to say, but I grew up hearing that your marriage is “doomed” without Christ, and that you will suffer great despair if you are “unequally yoked.” I will further address this on a future blog, and I know it will be met with some pushback, but I can only write with complete honesty if I’m writing from my perspective and experiences. It’s not my intention to offend anyone, but I wish to offer authenticity and a worldview blog-readers can respect if not agree with. Love to all.

Mommy wars and how I’m basically Switzerland or whatever other country doesn’t care.

Before I get into the beef of this blog post i.e. “mommy wars,” I want to explain something that few people who are truly close to me understand. I AM extroverted and friendly, yet not. Yet, NOT. Like I love meeting people, but I don’t necessarily want to sit down for a long conversation about life and the meaning of it with them. Ever. I can go without talking to my best friends for months and see no issue with that. Nothing has changed, we’re still besties, I just don’t feel the need to hash out every detail of our lives on a daily (or monthly) basis. I have the best friends you could ever ask for. They get me. We pick up right where we left off, always. I really, really love them with all of my heart, and I. Don’t. Need. New. Friends.

So being an adult who doesn’t like to meet, fall in friend-love, and share a halved-heart “best friend” necklace with new people can actually be awkward when you become a mom. Suddenly everyone tells you that you now NEED mommy friends. So people will seek you out when they see you have created a tiny human to become “mom friends”. Yikes. When I drop my daughter off at daycare, other moms smile at me and brightly say, “Oh Darcy just looks so cute today!” I smile and keep walking. I don’t even know any of the other kids names. I mean, if I responded honestly it would sound like, “Hey um…uh…oh-Nolan’s mom. Nice to see you (kind of). We’re never going to get coffee or set up play-dates, but I’ll see you around when I drop Darcy off. Have a good one!”

Now that you know this about me, it will make sense when I tell you that I do NOT get involved or feel victimized by these mommy wars. What are mommy wars? It’s the crunchy moms versus the non-crunchy versus the super “educated” versus the laid-back hippies. The amount of articles detailing specific hot topics are endless. Don’t bore yourself with them.

I personally breastfed Darcy for 10 months. Then I got a sinus infection, and felt like total crap and took meds that dried up my supply, so I abruptly weaned her. ANDDD the formula I transitioned to was so expensive that I switched her over to a Walmart brand formula for her last month. She’s still alive, so whatever. Darcy went to her own crib in her own room at 2 weeks old. She was the noisiest baby EVER, and I needed sleep, and I kicked her out. As a result she sleeps 12 hours every night in her crib by herself. Sorry, not sorry, Darcy. I gave her peanut butter at 4 months old (the horror), never made her baby food, and I don’t think she’s ever had organic anything. I may be from Mississippi, but I don’t particularly care for smocked outfits. Sure, Darcy has a few, but you won’t see me on mommy facebook pages offering exorbitant sums in an attempt to outbid another mom searching for the “OMG—perfect zoo bubble!!” Same goes for that damn cookie-print blanket that I saw some facebook crazy trying to sell for $200. What in the actual hell? Is it actually made of gold? Seriously, I don’t understand. Someone feel free to enlighten me.

I am so far from perfect. I question myself as a mom all the time, but I NEVER question myself because of something another mom says or does. I think the pinterest-worthy birthday parties with the exquisite backdrop and perfect fondant cakes are beautiful! But Darcy won’t be getting one. It’s just not in me to get that together when she is happiest shredding wrapping paper and eating dog food. I love seeing pictures of such beautiful photo shoots chronicling the growth of baby whatshisname. Darcy on the other hand has had exactly one professional photography session. It happened when she was 10 days old, and it could very well be the only one she ever has because I am just not good at planning and orchestrating those kinds of things. I won’t even say “mom fail” because I don’t view it as a failure. I just don’t really care.

All I really want to say is that parents should parent confidently. If breastfeeding just isn’t for you, and you choose to formula-feed your baby, awesome. Go you! If you make your own organic baby food, cool. If you have a professional paparazzi follow your child around for life to capture every life moment you probably need therapy, but I bet you’ll get some awesome pictures. If you spend thousands of dollars on baby clothes I will side-eye you, but I also accept hand-me-downs. If you don’t vaccinate your child, I personally think you are an idiot. Whoops. That’s judgment. Won’t apologize for that one, though. Love to all you crazy mamas. Tell me how you parent!