Tag Archives: mom

Stay in your lane, girl!

I cannot be the only early thirty-something (33 to be exact) who seems to be having trouble giving up late nights for early mornings. Giving up the cock-tail hour and dinner duo just doesn’t seem to be on my radar. Right now my life revolves around the high-energy two-year I have who does not sit still like society would like her to. She is the loud girl staring you down from two booths over; the one who zero awareness of your boundary issue.

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And I am her proud, tired mother. I still desire to hang out with my childless friends who still tell me stories about waking up somewhere weird or finding someone hanging out with a litter box while passed on out the shitter. Then there is me, I’m like, “oh cool, what kind of litter box is that? I am getting a kitten to add the family!” Fail.

I am socially awkward yes, but I love to entertain. I love to cook and decorate and drink with friends. Only now, I do all this after chasing/playing/cleaning up after my child all day. I usually attempt to ‘hang out’ (I use that term loosely) on Wednesday or Thursday which are may days off from working either in the home or out at the restaurant. These days are also days that I have to squeeze in activities for Charlotte, appointments, errands, etc. So they are not usually relaxing in nature.

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I used to enjoy running errands by myself. Listen to music, dance and sing in the car, get some coffee and knock it out. Man, that ship has sailed. Errands can only be described as awful when you do it with a toddler. At least with the combination of my low patience level, her inability to be calm when she needs to be, her need to explore everything and her desire to walk as SLOW as possible. She has one speed at home… zoom is her speed at home. My point is that I am often exhausted by the time the day rolls around to being time to cook and get ready for guest, then entertain.

Plus if it someone new my body automatically enters fight or flight mode from the mere stress of it all.

So guess what happens. I have my two to three glasses of wine and pass the fuck out with Charlotte. Every. Damn. Time. When I say I will be right back, you might as well say good night and plan on seeing tomorrow. For real.

Did I mention Charlotte is phasing out of naps too? I am in the throws of the potty training, meltdowns, picky-eating, non-stop running/climbing/falling, nose picking stage of parenting and I guess I am having trouble transitioning from the semi-cool mom to the busy and exhausted mom.

I need to cut the shit and stay the fuck in my lane. I need to realize that you can’t mold yourself around your friends like you might have in your youth; that shit just doesn’t work. I can now check-off going to sleep before 8 pm while your guest are downstairs waiting on you. I can also say that I have entered the realm of my life where I can no longer blend in with twenty year olds. I just feel uncomfortable and maternal now. The phase is complete. Charlotte has even started saying, “oh mom, you’re so silly!” She is two people. I embarrass her at two.

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So I guess even though I have like 10 types of leftovers in my fridge on the daily and the biggest bottle of Pinot Grigio that Barefoot sells, I can’t have you over. Unless you understand and accept that I am now the host that forgets to offer you water and will most likely talk too much about Charlotte and Chris. But I will keep your glass of wine full and probably be pretty entertaining until I pass out.

I realize that my pool of potential friends is already small and it is shrinking every year I age. I am an anxiety-riddled, socially awkward (at times), overly opinionated and brutally honest momma bear. I am a MS graduate that chooses to wait tables, labels herself as non-religious (for safety reasons), and I am an outspoken supporter of MMJ. Oh, and I reside in the DEEP SOUTH by choice. I am seriously a duck out of water as far fitting in socially around here, but that’s ok. We like the Spanish Moss and we have a good 8-hours before any family can ‘stop by’.

I am getting back in my lane. If I don’t I might start falling asleep the day before company arrives!

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I would like to order a cup of denial, extra guilt and just a sprinkle of reality…

It is absolutely amazing to me that I have denied my own truth until recently. Or I suppose some would say that I have found ways to deny it, escape it or even explain it; ‘it’ being the reality of my mental health situation and how I got there. This post is not going to be about the latter of the last sentence though, so don’t exit this post just yet.

I just feel like my absence on my own blog is just another example of my mental health reality and another situation I can easily explain away. We just moved into a new house that took 6 months to build. We were cramped and unhappy in the apartment, blah blah blah.

But the absolute truth is I was in a pretty deep depression. The truth is I suffer from depression. And GAD.

I have always denied the depressive part to my personality. I believed in to be situation, brief and not a big deal. Certainly not depression. I mean, I have studied depression for years. It is BASIC psychology. Hello, half the world should be at least familiar if not an expert by the constant commercials cramming medications down our throats. I made joke after joke that maybe I chose that particular field of study to try and outrun what ever reality awaited me in that department. I don’t seriously believe that this is the entire case here, but I definitely believed I would see the signs or understand what was happening to me.

I have recently been doing a lot work on myself. Mainly for my daughter. I do not wish to repeat history, that has always been something I have been high-per aware of. This has included therapy sessions, starting medication, changing medication and spending more time doing things that help me feel better (baths, yoga, going to Target alone, etc.).

During this time, I have realized there have been several points in my life that I am sure I was suffering from a depressive episode. I have made horrible decisions, been drunk for years at a time and survived several situations I will never talk about in the company of my daughter.

I know that I feel much better realizing why and how I got here. Despite my best effort, I suffer from what many, many women suffer from. I got tired of all the anxious feelings, the constant sweating, the chest pains, the inability to control my emotions once I reached panic mode. I had to take control of it and get some help. Hiding was now impossible and being a good mom has become my priority so I had to put my pride aside, put my ‘I’m no slave to the system and pills’ attitude aside.

I feel so much better now, truly. And once I got my anxiety under control it became overwhelmingly obvious that there was more to the story. More I needed to realize and more I needed to work on. Slowly, after 32-33 years of life, the smoke cleared. I see myself clearly now. I see that I am broken,  but not beyond repair. I am prone to short and long bouts where my eyes remain puffy and dark from lack of sleep and long sessions of weeping. Moments in time where I say I enjoy laying around and binge watching a show, or sleeping during the day when I really have to no reason to be tired. I have began describing myself as and introvert, and maybe I am, but there is a difference in the level of desire to be around people when I am the throws of a episode. The thought of going out in public, just public, not even an event where I am expected to socialize, gets me all worked up and in a pissy mood.

The point of this brutally honest and exposing post is that I am coming out of one of those episodes and am feeling MUCH better am ready to get this blog moving forward again, and I feel like I have finally found my niche.

Going forward this blog will focus on mental health as well as all the motherhood, kitchen madness, photography and my struggle to adapt to suburban life (DUH). Let me know what you think!

Love,

SM

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Month 2 and 3

Not many things have actually taken place since the last post, yet here I am writing my planned update post later than I should have.

The part-time job waiting tables is going well. I mean it’s going out pretty much as soon as it comes in. So I would say it is successful.

Still nowhere to hide. Which in turn leaves just about no time for me to be alone long enough to stream in full thoughts, let alone get in down on paper or type it out. Which is the excuse I hide behind, but truthfully I feel like I am also experiencing writers block or lack of inspiration. There is a definite funk.

I don’t feel like arranging playdates on the few hours I have off and have free time. I can barely find the energy or mindset to get my always full list of things-to-do complete. Rather, I have been finding myself letting my mind wander and fantasize about the future far more often than I ever did before.

My husband must feel the same way, because we have taken a very large step-backward in our relationship recently. He has decided that he doesn’t mind the nagging and has decided that for now, he would be perfectly fine with me just telling him what needs to be done. How fun for me, guys. He has thrown in the towel and is fine with the nagging after all and has coined it “giving direction.” He doesn’t care to learn where I keep things, what chores need to be done, what needs to be bought, and so on. This is all temporary for him and he is not feeling motivated in the least to be here. Or happy or comfortable.

I get it.

He has secretly been visiting the house more than a couple of times a week. To watch the progress. I say secretly because for some reason at first I would get pissed if he talked about being over at “the new neighborhood.” I couldn’t really articulate why it annoyed me, but it did. And it did to a high degree.

After I saw some of the pictures he had been taking and sharing with other people, I was amazed at the progress. I realized quickly that I was only annoyed because I was jealous. Jealous that he had the time to drive over there multiple times a week. He would tell me to go by there and look at it, trying to get me to get excited with him. But I don’t have the extra time during the week, and if I did have time to get over there it would take about an hour or so to drive it, and with a toddler who is not napping that can be a pretty much terrible experience. I have errands to run on my days off, and it is already hard enough to shop with a toddler, adding an hour drive to that day sounds like a real treat. I also felt like I was missing out on part of the process.

So I let all that go, and now make him send me all the photos he takes immediately so I can feel like I am there and I can watch it grow with him. Problem solved.

Oh, and he got a really really sweet deal on fridge! So that is taken care of.

Let’s see what happens the rest of this month! We have a planned Thanksgiving trip that we always look forward to. More to come…

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Anxiety with a side of guilt, please

I knew that at some point I wanted to go back to working outside the home, part-time.  I hadn’t really decided on what I wanted to do and for how many hours. I toyed with a few different options, some for a day and some for months.

  • starting up a small photography business
  • writing
  • freelance photography
  • life-coaching
  • going back to serving part-time
  • blogging

All of these earn money and all of these have flexible schedules. I decided well before I had Charlotte that I wanted to be the one to stay home with her. I decided that before I even met and married my husband, actually. Not that I had some deep desire to start a family and stay home, but when and if I ever became a mom I realized that I needed to make myself available to them. That is the biggest reason I decided to wrap up my Navy career and focus on finishing school and starting a family.

Charlotte is now 19-months old and I assumed I would have already dealt with this transition. However my child is what you call a picky eater and sleeps as well as I do. Which isn’t well at all.  As ridiculous as some people may find this, I wanted to be available to help get her through this phase. With her milkers near by just incase it was a no solid food at all kind of day. I was determined that is was in fact just a phase. Luckily, I was correct.

All the reasons I held on to continue working from home only and holding off going back out into the big bad work force are in the review mirror now. She is sleeping well (teething has come to resting point) and she is eating like a vacuum. Especially when me and my irresistible milkers are out of her reach.

So the time has come, paperwork has been submitted and it is happening. I will be blogging and going back to serving part-time. Not just for the money, but for my sanity.

I know this. I know with my brain that we can do this and survive. Even though she has spent every single day with momma, and momma puts her to sleep every night, we will survive. I know this will be good for me, good for her, and good Chris. I am not an illogical person. But the guilt, oh it is consuming. The guilt of needing to be away and the guilt of not wanting to, they keep the wine aisle at Target busy.

My heart feels like everything will fall apart and she will be screaming for momma for hours until I am finally back home. My heart says she will miss me too much, and I will miss her too much. My heart is making my eyes water and I don’t even start until Thursday, and for only 4 hours. My heart can be annoying.

I knew the day was coming and in order to get on the same page and pull my big girl panties up I started seeing a counselor who I can pay to remind me we will survive. To remind me that this is my decision and not something I am being made to do. She reminds me that what I am feeling is normal and I am certainly not alone. All great stuff for someone like me. But, if she tells me to try meditating one more time,  I might have to start shopping for a new counselor.

So Thursday, equipped with some new tools, a new family member to motivate me and a new appreciation for adult conversation, my anxiety-fueled self will be resuming my old spot at O’Charleys and will be serving my favorite cocktails with a side of mommy guilt new assholes who tip lousy.

That’s ok, I will get to relax on the new couch I buy will that guilt-laced money.

Wish me luck.

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Girls: Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice?

When I was pregnant, I joked that I was having a girl because only a girl would cause this much drama. I was referring to my all day morning sickness. My hunch was correct and unfortunately the drama continued well into my second trimester.

Charlotte and Bug

I am not very ‘girly’ by nature. I would surely be classified as a tomboy growing up. I think I pretty much wore t-shirts, jeans and flip-flops or boots until I was like 23 years-old. I wear minimal make-up and choose comfort over fashion. I do enjoy the few staples of nice jewelry I am fortunate to have and I do have a love for shoes. I have lots of shoes and probably equal amounts between heels and flats. I do like to dress up, but even then my choice in clothes are on the side of comfortable and what I feel looks flattering on me.

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She does not like things on her hands.

I have a theory of how I got here. My mom loved make-up, nails, fashionable clothes and jewelry. And hairspray. In elementary school, I have memories of her putting rubber bands in my sweater sleeves to keep them from rolling up, or down. or at all. I had my first perm before I was 12 and probably started getting acrylic nails around the same time. Every little girl wants to do what her mommy does, so I am sure I was pumped to be getting all the glam done and excited when I get a complete set of Mary Kay face care products for my 12th birthday. I think I eventually started feeling like it was a chore and not fun anymore.

I didn’t want to do that to my daughter. Also, my love of psychology encouraged me to see how nature versus nurture played out here. I wanted to watch her personally emerge and let her decide what kinds of things she enjoyed. The opposite of my childhood.

 

I made it pretty clear that while I liked pink, I did not want a ton of it and would prefer gender neutral colors. Of course I still got mountains of pink because people think pink when shopping for baby girls. But overall, we managed to keep her in pretty gender neutral colors and had bought the same kind of toys. She was confused for boy almost every time we left the house, even with bows and burettes in hair. The fashion popular for little girls here in South Carolina is very different from what I like.

Shocking to most, we have yet to include a tutu to her wardrobe.

Love Her
She loves pigtails. And skirts.

Those days may be behind us though. She tried on a tutu during a play date the other day and lit up like a Christmas tree. She loves her skirts and she loves bright colors. She has also learned to do a cute little twirl when she is wearing something she really likes.

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And she loves bugs and dirt.

She sits down for me to do her hair, mostly, and runs to the nearest mirror in daddy’s room to see her hair and then promptly show her daddy. My heart melts every freakin’ time.

Sweet Charlotte
Sweet Charlotte
with all my sass
with all my sass
Just kidding mommy, here is your lens cap.
Just kidding mommy, here is your lens cap.

She also loves to be outside playing, doesn’t mind getting dirty and likes to build forts and ‘work-out’ with mommy. Even with all the gray outfits and gender neutral toys, our little princess emerged on her own.

Baby 2

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I Guess I’m That Mom

Finding a snarky post or two about helicopter moms that spend too much time on Pinterest and in cleaning gloves is pretty easy. I can appreciate the overwhelming feeling of destain for the mom who seems to have her shit together and ducks in a row while you feel like you are drowning in dirty laundry and haven’t had a good night sleep in weeks.

Organized and efficient often translates to uptight and controlling. Someone who keeps a clean house and home cooked meals on the table is described as a Martha Stewart type or a Stepford wife. A mom with a parenting plan is viewed as a know-it-all.

So, after reading enough post that describe all the way moms can be annoying and all the things they should quit doing I can only come to one conclusion; I am that mom.

Moms who post way too many pictures of their kids on Facebook. I am that mom.

Moms who go nuts on Pinterest and actually do what they pin. I am that mom.

Moms who post pictures of food they have prepared. Guilty again.

Moms who make over-the-top meals for their toddler even though they hate food. You betcha.

I am certain I will also be guilty of making cute bento box lunches with notes for Charlotte when she starts school and be a member of the PTA as soon as I can.

I was a very organized, tidy individual before my child arrived, only makes sense I would carry that on. Spending my time cooking, cleaning and taking care of my daughter isn’t enough for me. I never planned for this gig, nor did apply for it (but I am happy to have it). I was a happy, hard-working professional before hand, so I simply cannot just stop the hard-working aspect of my personality just because I multiplied. Well, I could, but my husband might object.

I need hobbies and projects, I need to set goals and accomplish them, I need a focus for my day or my week. It’s how I cope with the challenges of motherhood and being a stay-at-home mom. Not to mention the constant struggle to feel like myself. And it’s how I help manage my anxiety. When the house is dirty, the fridge is bare and I have nothing on my to-do list I feel out of whack. I spiral. That’s no good.

 

Why my ‘Little Blog’ Means so Much to me…

My interest with blogging started when I decided I was going to stay home when out daughter was born. Blogging almost seemed like it was the most logical decision. If I am staying home, the least I can I do is start blogging so I can earn a little money. Easy peasy.

I looked into it a little bit, but I quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing. I eventually put enough time into it that I figured out how to generate a blogspot page. That took me a while because I really have a pretty basic skill set when it comes to technology. I will put off installing an update on my phone if it means I have to delete or transfer anything to get it done. I guess I would say, it can be overwhelming.

With the help of others and more time to dedicate I am finally up and running. Hopefully the readers will follow. I can see why most folks throw in the towel within the first 6 months.

When you tell people that you’re blogging I am pretty sure you get the same blank stare which is usually then followed with forced support.

“Oh really, that’s great. I will have to check it out!”

And I totally get that. I am pretty sure 95% of new stay-at-home mom’s have dabbled with the idea of blogging when they stumble across a success story or see a post floating around that looks like something anyone can write.  Like my sister-in-law ninasays told me once the realization of the work it takes and time it takes people often give up on it.

I am not going to pretend my story is any different, either. Once worker bee turned boo boo kisser. College graduate who now stores her once treasured diploma in the same closet as the gift wrapping supplies.

None-the-less, I put together a short list of reasons my ‘little blog’ means so much to me:

1. If I don’t get out how I feel, I am convinced my once pretty little head, now tired and slightly older head, will explode.

2. I need to feel productive in something other than mothering and wifeing.

3. I am not sure if it is my personality, past life as a professional or need for validation, but blogging allows me to set goals, work on something that is my own, be creative and write. All ingredients that help me to feel fulfilled.

4. Boredom. I tote my kid around pretty much every where I go. Everywhere. But somehow having a 14-month old pretty much means being home a lot. Also, my house doesn’t clean itself and the meals certainly don’t magically appear three times a day, so we are home a lot. I get bored with some of the mindless labor that goes into running a household (cleaning, laundry, meal prep) and having this creative outlet is important to my sanity and working brain cells.

5. The thought of being able to help out financially really gets my motor revving.

6. I know by reading blogs by some of the popular mom bloggers that my perspective is unique and my two-cents might resonate with another mom. I get a great feeling when I read a post I relate to. Mothering is hard and it can be isolating, so the internet is a great way to stay connected to other moms. Our village is different now. I want to be a part of that village.

With the amount of blogs out there, I get it. Finding a new brand or niche is nearly impossible. I have a TON of things to learn. Just spending 5 minutes on someone else’s sight I find 10 things I need to do to mine. So much to learn for someone who is not very ‘techy’. I expect to be fine-tuning my site years to come. One thing is sure though, I am determined to find a place in the blogging world!