Tag Archives: single motherhood

Get Comfortable (with anger)

This post won’t be easy. This post won’t be funny. Okay, well maybe a little. You’ll probably laugh at how crazy I am.

It has taken me a long, long time to muster up the courage to write this story. To put this on paper. To put this on the Internet. Even now, I can’t write it perfectly. I’ve forgotten things and tucked certain memories away in my brain.

I pray my child never sees this. I pray that I can protect my child from the evilness that surrounds us all, the people who fill our ears and brains with insults and self-doubt. The ones that convince us we aren’t worthy. I pray that being a product of a single mama doesn’t haunt him.

My pregnancy story, and my birth story are tough to describe. I have started this post four times now and I don’t think there’s any way I can spin it to make it sound good. I cant make it look pretty or nice. I can only pray that some other girls who have been in my situation can appreciate this and that people who haven’t been in this situation can somewhat understand.

Its not a story I ever guessed I would have. I never in a million years thought I would get pregnant before I got married. I never thought I would be a single mother. It just wasn’t in my “plan.” It wasn’t in my mother’s plan either, she actually thought my best friend was pregnant when I sat her down in August 2009 and told her she was going to be a grandma. It wasn’t in my dad’s plan for me either, considering one of the first things he said was, “I didn’t even know you had sex.” The first conversation you have with your dad about sex and you’re 23 years old and pregnant knocked up. Not a great moment in my life.

I told Mr. L’s father I was expecting on his birthday – I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I remember him asking for water. I remember him saying he did not want this baby. I remember him saying this would never work. I remember him walking out of my apartment on Washington Street and not looking back. That was August 24. He didn’t call me until September 3. My birthday. (I guess payback is a bitch, huh?) He told me that he had been reading articles online and that what I was carrying inside me was not a baby. It was only tissue and he could have the money and we could just, “go get an abortion and go back to normal.”

I don’t remember what I said, but it must have sounded something like, “go to Hell.” He told me I was on my own. He told me that maybe I could meet someone else and they could raise this baby because he would not be there. He told me, “you’re having this baby to spite me, but you are only spiting yourself.” Not a great moment in my life.

I started to shut down. I was nothing. I was worth nothing. This child was worth nothing. It was incomprehensible. How does someone know you, and tell you they care so much about you for seven years and then walk away from you like you’re no more than some stranger on the street?

I started to question myself. I started to question my ability to be a mother. I started to wonder if life was even worth living. It feels so horrible to write this now, looking back. Needless to say, that first six months of my pregnancy was the most emotional time of my life. I felt completely alone. I shut everyone out. I treated my mother and my closest friends like shit. I was so mad, so mad at myself and at him, I was mad at the entire world.

I started spinning – I called him constantly, badgering him to be in this child’s life. I couldn’t accept no for an answer. I desperately needed him to be there (or so I thought). I went to every single doctor’s appointment alone. Minus my ultrasound where they told me I was having a boy. I pretended to be happy, but it was the lowest point of my life. I contemplated adoption. I contemplated everything. My brain never shut off. I was so afraid Mr. L would have problems because I was so stressed out.

As the days passed, I started to go numb. I started to become comfortable with my anger. I convinced myself that my anger was healthy. That my anger was serving as a form of self-preservation. My anger motivated me to keep going, my anger helped me to cover my wounded ego and all that loneliness I felt. So many people tried to comfort me, to help me. I just couldn’t be comforted. I was on an island all my own. And I had swam there myself. I built all those walls that surrounded me. I pushed everyone away from me. I blamed myself for everything – told myself I was not good enough, that I was a whore, that no one could ever possibly love me, even the child I was carrying. I could never be good enough for Mr. L, I couldn’t even keep his father around.

I invited him to be there for the birth. Despite the nine months of hell I had just been through, I still asked him to be there to witness the birth of our child. He never showed up. I think that was the last straw for me. Not to mention, I had just met the most beautiful human I had ever laid eyes on.

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Not kidding, he was perfect. I couldn’t stop looking at him. I was in complete awe, and as cliche as it sounds – my life changed forever.

It was hard to accept, but it got easier day by day. My family was wonderful. My mom was an absolute Godsend. She helped me with everything. She put up with me at my worst, at the absolute lowest time of my life and she stood by me through it all. Mothers are the most incredible beings. I don’t think anyone tells a mother to do these things for their child, its just something they do. She could’ve told me to deal with my own mess, figure out the whole motherhood thing on my own, but she never did. I wouldn’t be where I am as a mother without my parents’ support.

Gradually, I stopped thinking about Mr. L’s father – I stopped wanting him to come around – my desires actually flip-flopped, I wanted him to stay away. I felt like I had been riding a roller coaster for over a year, and I was ready to get off. I wanted a stable, calm relationship with my child. I didn’t want the drama that came with dealing with his dad.

I stopped being angry and I started getting comfortable. I got comfortable with being a single mama. I got comfortable with my child. I got comfortable with myself. I stopped beating myself up over him walking out – because in the end, he walked away on his own and he has to deal with that. He doesn’t deserve my child, but he is his father. I’m not mad anymore, I’m actually thankful for him.

I think of the moments I have shared with my child. Thousands of feedings, thousands of diaper changes, teaching him things, watching him crawl and walk and run, celebrating holidays. I got to do it all. Even if he started now, he could never catch up on all the moments he missed. He could try, but he could never love Mr. L like I do. From the deepest most inner part of my soul.

I just hope and pray I don’t screw Mr. L up too bad 🙂 I won’t be able to blame it on his father.

If you made it through this post, thank you for reading. This blog has become such a comfort to me. I feel like no one is reading except me. (I like that because it’s easier for me to just type away and not feel so censored.) Everyone has been so supportive and I appreciate each and every one of you for being so kind to me while I spill this mess I call “my life” on you. 🙂

Xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} this is, hands down, the hardest thing I’ve ever written.

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The Terrible, Terrible Twos

After a few weeks of almost tearing my hair out, I have to vent a bit. Forgive me, I’m human.

My child has got a SERIOUS case of the terrible twos. One of the worst things a parent can hear from another parent – or sometimes even strangers will chime in – “just wait until they’re two! then you’re really in for it!”

I swear I have been “in for it” for about a year now. Why is two the magical age of discontent? Because I’m pretty sure it is all ages. This boy of mine has got to be the most strong-willed little child… Mom, I think I’m gonna have to borrow that book you had when I was little. You know, the one about how to raise a strong-willed child. Dig it out. I need it. Whew! I just don’t know what I’m going to do with him if he doesn’t go back to being my little sweet boy for more than 5 minutes real soon. I know what I’ll do. I’ll take him to his Mimi. She will straighten him up. He will have her so wrapped about his mischievous little finger. And he is just so opinionated – and without an ounce of self-consciousness. He could care less where he is when he’s screaming “no” or trying to run away from me. Those people who can go to a store and not put their children in a cart, how do you do that?! I am pretty sure Mr. L will be 6 or 7 before he gets to go in a store uncontained 🙂

That boy wants to run constantly! We were once at the bounce house inside the local mall and he got out of the bounce house and ran full-speed out the door, into the mall with no shoes on. I chased him and once I caught him, he was just laughing hysterically like it was a game. Oh, I was so mad. Or the time we were walking into Target and he pulled away and ran into the (thankfully empty) traffic lane. I think God really wants me to learn the virtue of patience with this one 🙂

And he’s so damn independent! I mean seriously, Mr. L?! Just let me help you! You’re only 2!! It’s a daily battle – do you want me to help you go to the bathroom or do you want me to leave you alone? Do you want me to race your cars with you or am I not allowed to touch them? Would you like to take a bath or would you like me to get out so you can just do it yourself? Sorry, I’m talking to Mr. L here. I think he is quite confused about some things.

I remember being woke up once in the middle night by a screaming Mr. L, except he didn’t want me, he wanted my ♥. WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I do virtually everything for you, but you want him over me? It broke my heart. After my ♥ returned to bed, I started crying telling him that I must be doing something wrong – that I felt like I was failing as a mom. He told me that kids usually only do these things to their moms.

I think he’s right. I think Mr. L only does these things to me and no one else. I think he is starting to come out of his shell for my parents, and for our babysitter. Bless their little hearts. I don’t mean to make him sound like a little monster, but I can’t handle many more howling puddles of misery in public. We went out to lunch and shopping for a few hours today. Oh man. People must think I’m the worst mother in the world. By the time we got to Steak and Shake for lunch, he was sitting on their dirty floor playing with his cars and I didn’t say a word. I just let him do his thing. Can I interject for a moment to discuss how gross I think Steak & Shake is? I will not be returning to their establishment unless it is 2 a.m. and I am drunk. Even then I will probably choose IHOP.

The highlight of our lunch was once our food arrived, and Mr. L was eating (quietly!) He then started pushing around his cars. He asked me to race his car for him so he could jump the thing with his monster truck. I picked up the car to move it and he literally screamed like he was being kidnapped. I’m talking ear-piercing scream. In the middle of a packed Steak & Shake. It startled me so much that I just picked him right up and took him into the bathroom to beat discipline him. I explained that screaming in public is not okay unless a stranger is trying to give you candy or put you in the trunk of their car. I was so embarrassed. I was mortified walking back to our table. At that moment I was thankful we were at Steak & Shake vs. Olive Garden.

Not two minutes after we got into the car to head home, he was passed out. I think the “terrible twos” should be renamed the “tired twos,” “hungry twos,” “cranky twos,” or all of the above. He woke up happy and sweet, thankfully. Because that’s what makes it all worth it. Now that I’ve thoroughly scarred everyone, I’ll say it again. The sweet moments make it all worth it.

Mr L

The moments when we’re cuddled up together reading a book, or when he’s telling me his ABCs, or singing to me. When he tells me, “give me hug, mom,” or “I love you so much, mommy,” or “thank you so much, mommy – yay!” That completely erases all those other not-so-pretty moments that I just laid out there for the world to see 🙂

We have got a lot to work on in the attitude department, but I hope and pray we will get there. I’m not giving up yet. I know their attitudes probably get worse when they’re teenagers, so I’ll just savor my defiant little two-year-old. At least I can still lock him in his bedroom if I need to.

Later, I saw this on Facebook.
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It inspired this post. This post is honest, but I wanted to use this post to remind myself that no matter how many “terrible two” incidents we have, I wouldn’t trade Mr. L for anything. He is my purpose in life. There are so many others out there praying and working their asses off to have a little terror child of their own, and I don’t ever want to be someone who doesn’t appreciate this miracle I was given.

So Mr. L – if you ever read this – I can assure you that I love you more than bacon, Diet Coke, chocolate everything, my (sometimes) sweet little boy.

xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} I secretly want you all to chime in and tell me this is all normal. And please feel free to share some of your favorite “terrible two” moments with me!

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A Working Mother’s Guide …?

This is a lesson rant on leaving your child at the babysitter after two weeks of a crazy, effed up work schedule.

Answer = You don’t. You don’t do it successfully, anyhow. You also don’t get your toddler an iPad, but I’ll save that post for another day.

This morning was an example of one of those mornings you just wish you could stay in bed. I woke up late – ran around getting ready, making breakfast, making sure Mr. L brushes his teeth, goes potty, puts his underwear and pants on (the boy likes to be naked), warming up the car and finishing up packing the diaper bag. Of course by the time we get to the garage, Mr. L knows where he’s going and here comes the tantrum. He doesn’t want to go to the babysitter.

Let me just say that we have a great sitter – and he loves her and their family, but after all this time with mama he just doesn’t want to go.

By the time we get there he has stopped crying – I now have a headache from all the screaming – but as soon as we pull in the driveway he starts screaming about he doesn’t want to go, he “just wants to go home!” 2 years old and so. much. drama. He pretty much makes me drag him out of his Britax Marathon. Poor kid. He just wants to stay home with his mom!

I take him inside and wait a few minutes to allow him to “warm up” to the idea of staying there. I read somewhere that you are just supposed to drop them off and walk away, but I’m not so good at that. It wasn’t too terrible, but I heard him yelling for hugs as I closed the door behind me. It makes me feel like complete shit. If I had only made better decisions – like getting married – before having him, maybe I’d have the possibility of staying at home with him. Not that I want to most days – haha – but some days, it’d be nice to be that mom that gets to raise her kids, do crafts and have adventures, meal plan, have play dates, be organized. I don’t think I’ll ever be “that mom.”

So – if you are “that mom,” today I congratulate you. You are lucky and today I envy you.
Now go do something with your kids! 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me – I’m blogging while on my lunch hour.
xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} most days I am happy to go to work – because sometimes it’s the break I need before I rip my hair out. Mamahood ain’t always fun and easy.

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