Life Updates


Well, the past month has been a bit of a whirlwind.  I was planning on posting the second half of my most influential albums post . . . oh, about 3-4 weeks ago!  Well, as it happened, life intervened.  I got busy with work & then I came down with a terrible GI bug that landed me in the ER getting IV fluids & a small dose of Phenergan.  Took a few days to fully recover from that ordeal, but then a wonderful thing happened called the second trimester!  (I promise I will eventually share the next part of the influential albums post.)

second trimester

Ok, the first trimester wasn’t “so awful,” but it definitely wasn’t a piece of cake either.

So many people had told me that I would magically feel better once I hit week 14, but honestly I didn’t want to get my hopes up only to be disappointed, so as week 14 approached it was only with cautious optimism that I hoped to start feeling better.  As it turned out, within a matter of two or three days I could tell a HUGE difference in my appetite & energy level.  By the end of week 14 I was feeling better than I had in at least six weeks.  I’ll be 16 weeks tomorrow & I’m still feeling great.  In fact I just got back from visiting one of my dearest friends in Boston.  She has an adorable 6 month old baby who made my weekend visit even more fun than last year’s trip.  And I managed to NOT pass out on the street in downtown Boston (from dehydration) like I did last year so that was a major bonus too!  Ha!  The only downside to the trip was that the airline oversold both of my flights so I had to sit around waiting in nervous trepidation both times to find out if I’d actually make my flight.  This morning’s return flight was overbooked by 16 seats!  How obnoxious is that?!  I’m just really thankful for the 16 people who were willing to try for another flight (they were compensated of course) so I could make it home today.  I didn’t have an assigned seat on my ticket so I’m quite sure I would have been booted if not for those volunteers.P1120657

Anyway, I had a great time in Boston & I’m so thankful for all the advice my friend gave me about pregnancy, birth, & babies in general.  I changed a very poopy diaper which was a new experience for me (yes, I’m 27 & had never changed a poopy diaper ON A BABY until this weekend).  I must say it is definitely an art, but it is MUCH easier on babies than it is on adults.  I’m used to cleaning up all kinds of messes at the hospital so dirty diapers definitely aren’t the scary part of motherhood for me.  Indeed, I was very relieved to find that spending the weekend with a baby didn’t actually increase my fears or anxiety related to my impending motherhood.  In fact, much to my pleasant surprise I found myself thinking over & over again “I know this is going to be hard, but I can really DO this!  I can!”  It was such a great feeling to experience because I’ve always doubted myself so much when it comes to motherhood.

'Hey, half my chromosomes are YOURS, you know.'

Considering my husband is a genetics researcher, I can totally see our kid(s) saying this to me (or him) someday. Ha!

Other events of the past month include getting a flat tire from a bad pothole & having to replace all four tires on my car.  They were old & needed to be replaced anyway; I just wasn’t planning on doing it right after buying new furniture (two recliners for the living room, plus an additional one for the future nursery).  I got the flat tire on a Monday afternoon & of course I had to work that night so I had to rely on the graciousness of several different coworkers to transport me to & from work that night & the next two nights (because of course I was working three in a row!).  But it all worked out in the end.

Lady about flat tire: 'It's not too bad - it's only flat on the bottom.'

On a more positive note, I had an appointment with my midwifery group last week, & I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat on the Doppler machine.  It’s basically the same device we use in the hospital to find distal pulses on cardiac cath patients, but it’s such a neat experience to hear that little heartbeat, coming from inside of me, pumping so fast!pregnancy hormones cartoon

I’ve written this post mainly to clear my own head because even though I had a great time this weekend, I came home this morning & collapsed on the recliner in a fit of sobbing.  Don’t ask me why because I’m as clueless as anyone else.  The only answer is pregnancy hormones screwing with my head.  Trust me, as someone who prides herself on being logical & rational,  I hate feeling like an out of control emotional disaster.  But now that I’ve had a good cry (& some pizza because, face it, pizza solves everything), & cuddled with my husband & my corgi, I’m feeling much better.

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Here’s a picture of Chaucer from our hike last weekend at Doughton Park off of the Blue Ridge Parkway

I’ll end this post with the link to an awesome song I discovered last week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMLsF8ajI6U.  I’ve known about Apocalyptica since college & have always enjoyed a few of their pieces, but it’s only recently that I’ve really delved into their work.  And I’m truly loving it.  As I posted on my Facebook last week, I’m sure this isn’t what the average pregnant woman (or any woman) listens to, but since when has normal every been interesting?

Monday Morning Musings


I’ve got a lot of random thoughts swimming around my head right now.  And no, they aren’t ALL about pregnancy, babies, or children.  In case you’re wondering, this isn’t going to turn into a “mommy blog,” although I’m sure I will have more posts about that subject than I did before, but I assure you it won’t be the main theme.

Anyway, some of these topics may evolve into their own blog posts later this week, but for now I’ll just do a brief visit on each subject as a means of clearing my mind.pregnancy boob cartoon

  • On Saturday I went to one of the local malls to look for new bras. Yes, I’m not even finished with the first trimester (getting close though), & already my old bras have gotten too tight to be comfortable.  Woohoo!  Haha!  Anyway, there I am in Motherhood Maternity trying on bras when the saleswoman starts going on & on to me about how horrible her pregnancies were & how she desperately hopes she isn’t pregnant again.  As if that weren’t bizarre enough, she then goes on to say that I better hope my baby isn’t a girl because “girls are so much harder.”  (Did I mention I was trying on bras during all of this?!)  Unfortunately this isn’t the first time I’ve been told this.  As early as last year when I was just talking about having kids several women told me to hope for boys because “they’re easier.”  I’ve always found such comments incredibly rude & obnoxious, & I think the fact that they’ve always come from women makes them even worse.  How do these women not realize that they are perpetuating negative stereotypes against their own gender?  It’s very obvious to me that it all boils down to parents being afraid that their daughters will get pregnant & become a burden on them.  I understand this is a legitimate fear, but if we raised our kids in such a way that sex wasn’t completely off the table for discussion or always regarded as something dirty to which they can’t have access, maybe we wouldn’t have to worry so much about such things.  And shouldn’t parents of boys be equally worried that their sons will impregnate someone at an early age or disadvantageous time?  If I have sons I sure as hell will be.  And maybe we wouldn’t have to worry so much about our daughters getting hurt by men if we as a society raised better men.  Hmm, just a thought . . . No matter what your thoughts are on the subject, I just think it is unacceptable to make such comments, especially to a complete stranger!  Additionally, I just can’t help but wonder if women who make such comments treat their daughters differently than their sons.  I certainly am incredibly grateful that my mom (& dad) never once made me feel like I was more difficult or a greater burden to them because I was a girl.  Also next time someone makes such a comment to me (because sadly I’m sure it will happen again) I sincerely hope that instead of just being flabbergasted & saying nothing at all I will have the courage to tell them exactly where to get off.  In a relatively polite way of course.tony porter quote boy girl
  • The next subject actually deals with gender as well. Living in NC naturally there are all kinds of memes floating around the internet about the whole transgender bathroom issue.  I understand that some people have legitimate concerns that sexual predators will start using the women’s bathroom as a way to target females.  However, in my opinion the likelihood of this happening is no greater now than it ever has been.  I certainly have trouble believing that a cisgender heterosexual male is going to pretend to be transgender, one of the most misunderstood & generally disliked groups of people in our society, & dress up as a woman just to get into the women’s bathroom & have a chance of harassing someone.  But that’s not really what I want to discuss today.  What really bothers me about this whole issue is the complete lack of empathy I’m seeing over & over again in regard to the transgender community.  And a lot of this is coming from people I genuinely love & respect!  I just don’t understand how otherwise decent people can have so little empathy for someone who identifies with the opposite gender.  Do these people really think someone would CHOOSE to feel that way with all of the difficulties it entails just for the hell of it?  That’s absurd.  Besides which, if you really think about it, a person who is biologically a male but identifies as a woman & chooses to live as a woman is quite likely actually attracted to men & probably has no sexual interest in women anyway.  But that’s really all beside the point.  It’s the total lack of empathy surrounding this issue that just makes me want to pull out my hair & throw up my hands in defeat. empathy
  • Is it bizarre that the idea of potty-training my kids scares me more than teaching them about sex or death or other such traditionally “difficult” subjects? I was awake at 0500 today pondering such things as how to teach my kids fractions & basic math.  Somehow this seems more intimidating than teaching them all the “hard” stuff, which is kind of ironic considering I’ve always been really good at math anyway.  I just have this irrational fear that I won’t be able to figure out the “easy,” basic stuff like potty-training or teaching my kids to tie their shoes.  I know it’s irrational but that doesn’t stop me from worrying about these things sometimes.  Overall though I am extremely proud of myself for how relaxed I’ve been throughout this pregnancy so far.

    Gee, how long does it take to litter train one of these?

    Too funny!

  • I have never been the jealous type but there is this one girl who goes to my gym who is just so beautiful & in such perfect shape that I can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy every time I see her. Her face is beautiful, her hair is gorgeous, her skin is flawless, & she has the perfect amount of nicely defined muscles while still having plenty of curves.  But when I saw her yesterday it occurred to me that no matter how “perfect” she may seem to me, I have no idea how she actually feels about herself.  For all I know she could be jealous of girls like me who have considerably bigger boobs!  The point is we all have our own “hang-ups,” our own insecurities about our so-called “flaws” that in reality most other people probably never even notice.insecurity quote

Well, those are my thoughts for today.  As I said, some of these topics may evolve into separate blog posts later this week, but for now I hope these discussions were both humorous & thought-provoking.  Happy Monday, everyone!

My Biggest Announcement Ever…


Some of you may recognize the majority of this post because I originally wrote & shared it last January (2015, that is).  In any case, the post has come full circle now because I’M PREGNANT!  In case you’re wondering, yes, this was very much planned & thought out as much as humanly possible.  And no, I couldn’t be more excited!  🙂  pregnancy superpower

I had my first ultrasound on Friday.  I didn’t cry like I was told I would, but it was INCREDIBLE to not only hear the heartbeat but to actually SEE the heart beating on the screen.  Yes, I’m a nurse but I’m definitely NOT an OB nurse & I’ve forgotten most of what I learned in OB class, which is probably a blessing because it means I’m less likely to obsess over every little thing that could go wrong, but in any case I definitely didn’t realize I’d be able to actually SEE that tiny heart beating, especially this early (I’m due in December).  Anyway, immediately after the ultrasound & bloodwork, we drove up to VA to see my grandmother & my mom’s side of the family so we could give them the news in person.  The next day we visited my husband’s mom & sister (who already knew about the baby), & then on Sunday we had Mother’s Day lunch with my parents & sister & three of my dad’s siblings.  My parents & sister already knew about the baby of course, but it was so much fun to be able to share the news with my aunts & uncles in person & on Mother’s Day no less.  pregnancy cartoon

Also I feel inclined to explain why I’m sharing this exciting news “so early” (I’m 9 weeks today).  Yes, I realize it’s standard practice to wait till 11-12 weeks to tell everyone because of the risk of miscarriage, & I understand why many people do choose to wait.  However, for me I felt like I just couldn’t keep such big news a secret for so long.  Besides that, statistics show that if you can find a heartbeat on ultrasound at 8 weeks, you have a 97% chance of having a viable pregnancy (in other words NOT having a miscarriage).  I like those odds!  Perhaps most importantly, I think the standard rule of waiting 3 months is based on the idea that people shouldn’t talk about miscarriages, that it’s something shameful to be kept a secret at all costs.  Frankly I think that’s ridiculous, & if I did have a miscarriage I would rather people knew about it so they could grieve with me & understand why I was struggling.  I understand some people may feel differently & that’s fine, but I think I made the right choice for me, & that’s all that matters.

birth cartoon

Too funny not to share

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the original post that now feels even more relevant & poignant.

As some of you may know, for many years I was quite sure I never wanted to have children.  Deep down I knew I’d probably change my mind someday but I just couldn’t imagine that ever happening.  I’ve just never been one of those women who instantly connects with children or feels really comfortable with them.  Perhaps this is because I wasn’t the happiest child myself; indeed I was always in a hurry to grow up & I’ve never been happier than I have been since I reached adulthood.

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Our corgi Chaucer running in the snow this winter

In any case, as it so happens, I’ve been thinking A LOT about becoming a mom lately.  It’s probably partly due to having Chaucer (my dog) & watching him grow up & how wonderful that is.  And it’s probably partly because I’m 26 so I’m hitting what might be considered a normal age to start having kids.  (Hell, where I grew up I’m already far behind!)

When I do decide to have kids, you can be sure I’ll have thought about all the possibilities & consequences.  I’ve read all the articles about how kids ruin your sleep, your appearance, your metabolism, your sex life, your marriage, your career, & everything else.  (May I just say my husband & I are determined to prove all those articles wrong?)  I’ve never been one of those “starry-eyed” women who see babies & only think of cuddles & love.  No indeed.  When I see babies I think about the pain of labor & breastfeeding & the sleepless nights.  Does this make me cold-hearted & unfeeling?  No, I think it just makes me realistic.  And as one of my dearest friends told me today, the fact that I’ve thought about all of these things & am taking this decision so seriously is probably evidence that I will actually be a good mom.  Her saying that means the world to me because whenever I express doubt about becoming a mom or admit that I’m not particularly fond of most young children, it seems that most people give me that look that implies something must be inherently wrong with me & say “Well, if you’re not sure, you better not do it.” blankie baby

In any case, as part of my pondering about becoming a mom, my mind keeps thinking of all the things I want to teach my children someday.  I know some people will probably think I’m really pretentious for writing out this list, but the way I see it is it’s better to have a lot of plans that I might never fully accomplish than to have no plans at all. 

  1. I will teach my children the importance of asking both “Why?” & “Why not?” If the subject is something to believe or trust, the appropriate question is “Why?”  If the subject is something fun to do, the appropriate question is “Why not?”
  2. I will teach my children to play in rain puddles, piles of leaves, & grassy meadows.
  3. I will teach my children to value people of different races, ethnicities, & cultures. I will teach them that no one is superior or inferior than anyone else but especially not because of something so superficial as race, gender, or nationality.diverse kids
  4. I will teach my children that love is love & it doesn’t matter who it’s between as long as they are two consenting adults who are not hurting each other.
  5. I will teach my kids the value of good nutrition & eating well.
  6. I will teach my kids to enjoy exercise, even if it’s just running around the yard chasing the dog.
  7. On that subject, I will teach my kids that dogs really are man’s (& woman’s) best friend.
  8. I will teach my kids to love rock & roll. I will take them to rock concerts when they are old enough (probably 10-12 or older).  I will be that crazy mom who is screaming to the music with my kids & I will not be ashamed or apologize for it.  In the car we will rock out to Halestorm, Godsmack, & Black Stone Cherry (among others).
  9. I will teach my children not to judge others based on appearance. I will teach them that some of the best people in the world are covered with tattoos & piercings while some of the most deceitful people in the world are dressed in suits & ties.
  10. I will teach my children that life isn’t all fun & games but it isn’t all misery & suffering either. It’s a little bit of everything & we have to learn to appreciate all of it.
  11. I will teach my children that life’s not fair & they better get used to that real fast.choices
  12. I will teach my kids that they alone are responsible for the choices they make; thus they better be ready to face the consequences of their actions, no matter what they are.
  13. I will teach my children that sex is wonderful & amazing . . . & because of that they better be careful who they do it with & when. But I will never make them feel that sex in & of itself is something dirty or something to be ashamed of.
  14. I will teach my children about birth control & how it works & why they had better use it until the day they (& their partner) are absolutely certain they are ready to be parents.
  15. I will teach my children that education is the key to success in life . . . but they better have a plan to go along with it because degrees alone are worthless these days.
  16. I will teach my kids that there is no job that is beneath them & working hard at everything they do is essential to success in life.
  17. I will teach my kids to show respect to everyone they meet, whether it’s their doctor, their teacher, or the janitor.self respect
  18. I will teach my children that “everything in moderation” is a really great motto in life, the only exceptions being things like heroin & cocaine. Just have some common sense!
  19. I will teach my kids that things in & of themselves are never evil; it’s how we use them that makes them good or bad. For example, the internet isn’t evil just because some creeps use it to prey on children or watch porn.  Books aren’t evil just because some of them say things you don’t like.  Music isn’t evil just because some of it contains lyrics that are rude or disparaging.
  20. I will teach my kids the importance of valuing every single day they’re alive because life is never guaranteed.
  21. I will teach my kids that they don’t have to be just like me for me to love them or be proud of them. There is more than one road to success in life & theirs might look very different than mine.  And that’s ok.Dalai lama quote
  22. I will teach my kids that in order to be successful in life they need to get off their ass & get moving. Success doesn’t come to those who wait for it.  It comes to those who set goals & work hard to meet them.
  23. I will teach my children that the exact words people say are far less important than the feelings behind them.
  24. On a similar token, I will teach my children that actions speak far louder than words.
  25. I will teach my children to always be honest about their intentions with others.
  26. I will teach my kids the value of empathy & how important it is to just listen to others when they are suffering.
  27. I will teach my children that the world doesn’t owe them anything. They will not be entitled brats if it kills me.
  28. I will teach my kids that the purpose of life is to live it, to soak up every experience life has to offer, & to revel in the love we have for each other.
  29. If I have daughters, I will make sure my husband teaches them how to check the oil in their car & how to change a tire because these are all things I’ve never learned & I want my daughters to be more independent than I am.
  30. If I have sons, I will teach them how to do laundry & basic cooking because I love that I never had to teach my husband any of these things.
  31. I will teach my children that society has various expectations of them based on gender but they need to choose their own path, regardless of what society says.

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    Grayson Highlands in SW Virginia

  32. I will teach my kids to value the simple beauties of nature: the way the sky looks just before it rains, the sweet smell of honeysuckle in the spring time, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, the feeling of snowflakes tickling your nose, & the way a little frost makes the whole world look magical.
  33. I will teach my children to love curry & all foods Indian & Mediterranean. If not, they might starve at our house . . .
  34. I will teach my kids that having an argument with someone doesn’t mean you don’t love them. It just means you disagreed about something & the worst thing you can do in such situations is to bottle up your emotions & hold them in until you explode.
  35. I will teach my kids to question everything & never believe something just because such & such person said it. I will teach them to judge everything based on its own merits.
  36. I will share with my kids the joy of reading & searching out used book stores in all corners of the city.
  37. I will take my children to visit their elders & teach them to appreciate all the things the elderly can teach us about life.weird awesome
  38. I will teach my children that being weird is awesome & following the crowd is for losers.
  39. I will teach my children that no one can make them feel inferior without their consent.
  40. I will teach my kids the difference between serving others & being a doormat. It’s a fine line but it’s one you have to find.
  41. I will teach my kids that in order to take care of others, they must first learn to take care of themselves. As hard as it will be to do so, I will role model this for them as best I can.
  42. I will teach my children that, like things, emotions are never evil. It’s what we do with them that matters.  I do not want them to grow up feeling guilty for experiencing anger, sadness, lust, or any other “sinful” emotion.  I just want to teach them healthy ways to express these feelings.
  43. I will teach my kids that nothing in life is perfect all the time. Life isn’t a fairytale but it’s still pretty damn good if we make good choices & chase our passions.
  44. I will teach my children that even though being a mom is immeasurably important I am still other things too: a wife, a sister, a daughter, a nurse, etc. Even though I know all children have a hard time thinking of their mothers as anything else, I hope they’ll learn to appreciate me as more than just “a mom” if that makes any sense.
  45. I will teach my children that we are all hypocrites sometimes & no matter how hard we try we all fail to live up to our own ideals at times. We just have to keep striving to do the best we can & stay humble when we make mistakes.
  46. And, perhaps greatest of all, I will kiss & hug my children every day & teach them to never doubt how much I love them.baby names

Reflections on Tornados, Taxes, & More


The past week has been a rough one for me. There is just no other way to put it.  To be clear, this post is not a plea for sympathy or anything of the sort.  I’m just trying to make sense of all the anxiety & sadness in my own brain so that I can face this new week in a better frame of mind.  Also, just to be clear, & this will make more sense once you’ve read further, yes, I am fully aware that this past week could have been much worse.  Certainly I am very grateful for the many blessings in the midst of crisis.  And yes, of course I am aware that many others are suffering in far “greater” ways than I right now. However, none of that diminishes the sadness I am experiencing right now, & despite my innate tendency to feel guilty for being sad about things, I’ve learned by now that trying to squelch or dismiss grief is a surefire way to never get over it & indeed to only make it worse.appo tornado

With all of that out of the way, let me elucidate why this past week has been so challenging.  Initially I had some rather difficult nights at work.  There’s nothing more I want to say about that; just know that I started the week off feeling a bit more anxious because of that.  Then Wednesday rolled around & a tornado ripped through my hometown.  Bear in mind I did not grow up in the Midwest so tornados are not exactly something we expect to encounter; in fact this was only the third documented tornado in the county & by far the worst one.  In any case, the result was that hundreds of houses were damaged, some leveled completely to the ground, leaving hundreds of people with nowhere to live & little to none of their belongings.  A cousin of mine was home during the storm & barely made it into the basement in time to survive.  When he walked out of the basement after the tornado passed, he found that his house was completed destroyed.  (You can read his story here.)  When his dad, my first cousin, sent me a picture of the house I was just flabbergasted. tornado

http://wset.com/news/local/sheriff-confirms-fatality-in-appomattox-from-tornado

Once I started seeing more & more similar pictures online, I knew that my hometown was in great need.  Despite the many mixed feelings I have about my hometown, as I’ve written about here before, I just could not stay here in Raleigh doing nothing when I knew so many folks in my hometown were in dire need.  So I made a spur of the moment decision to go home & see my family & do what I could to help the community.  Off I went to WalMart where I bought a whole cartload of things to donate, everything from non-perishable food to towels to tampons to Gatorade & bottled water & more.  I’m so glad I was off work so that I was able to make this trip home & surprise my family as well as donate to those in need in the community, but the trip was still heartbreaking.  Driving around the county & seeing houses completely leveled with belongings, glass, pieces of wood, powerlines, & all manner of debris scattered all over the roads & the fields was nothing short of devastating.  I definitely had tears in my eyes as I surveyed the damage.  What has been heartwarming of course is seeing how the community has banded together to help those in need.  I just read yesterday that out of 375 people displaced by the storm, only two were left in shelters.  That’s amazing!  There have been volunteers & donations coming in from all over the state & even outside Virginia.  It’s wonderful to see all of this outpouring of good will, but nonetheless I cannot help but be sad for those who have lost so much.pay taxes

Next up, my husband did our taxes on Saturday morning & we found out we owe even more money than last year.  Let me just tell you nothing will make you a Libertarian so fast as finding out you owe several paychecks worth of money in taxes!  (Actually I was already a Libertarian because it’s just what makes sense to me, but the point stands regardless.)  And to everyone who keeps asking, yes, we have all of our forms filled out correctly.  We just don’t have any dependents (yet), & no matter what we do our employers never deduct enough money from our paychecks.  Argh.kindess quote

Following right on the heels of that I went to WalMart to get a pregnancy test because I got my IUD removed a month ago, my cycle has been all over the place, & for a host of different reasons I thought there was a possibility I might be pregnant.  In any case, I just wanted to know for sure whether I was or wasn’t.  Well, on the short trip there, a man rear-ended my car while I was stopped at a red light.  This marks the second time in four months that someone has rear-ended my car, & both times I’ve been kind/stupid enough not to call the police or file any insurance claims.  The first time I had nothing more than a few scratches on my car so I was truly not concerned.  This time there is a dent on the back of my car, but it’s pretty small & honestly I just feel like there are so many more important things in life that I can’t bother getting upset about a dented bumper.  In any case, I do wish I’d called the police or at least filed with the man’s insurance because my CD player stopped working after the wreck.  Now, as some of you know, music is basically my religion.  It is what motivates me on my darkest days & is the very lifeblood of my soul.  (Corey Taylor said it best: “Music . . . is the only real religion that is worth devoting your soul to. It is the last remnant of the primal scream, the funeral dirge, & the wedding march. It is the light that keeps me out of the shadows, & it is the reason my immortal soul is not in dire straits.”) When I found out my CD player wasn’t working, I can’t lie, that sent me over the edge & I truly cried for the first time all week. I had wanted to cry multiple times earlier in the week but I’d held it in for some ridiculous reason.  Thankfully my dear husband was able to rescue all the CDs that were in the CD player, & he found a replacement online for which the man who hit me has promised to reimburse me.music quote

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t call the police.  The simple explanation is I’m an idiot. The more complicated explanation is I was already an emotional disaster & I just couldn’t stand the thought of dealing with the police at that moment.  Also the man who hit me was black & there was a part of me that worried the police would treat him more harshly because of that.  I also couldn’t help but remember what a blessing it was when I rear-ended a delivery truck years ago & the owner of the truck asked the policeman not to charge me because there was essentially no damage to his truck.  To my great surprise & relief, the policeman complied with his wishes.  I still remember how wonderful that felt, & part of me wanted to give that feeling to someone else.  I’m not sure if it’s a mark of compassion, insanity, stupidity, or some combination of all three that I was even thinking of someone else’s feelings at a time like that, but the truth is I was.You-are-nice-quotes-kindness-quotes-politeness-quotes

Back to the pregnancy test, as soon as I got home after the wreck I took the test & was greatly disappointed to find out that I am definitely NOT pregnant.  I knew the chances were slim to none that it would happen so quickly, but I just couldn’t help but be disappointed.  I keep remembering being in OB class in nursing school & thinking how ludicrous it was that a woman could want to be a mother so badly that she would cry when she got her period or had a negative pregnancy test.  It’s not that I doubted this could happen; it’s just that at that point in my life getting pregnant would have been a disaster for me, & I just couldn’t envision myself ever wanting to be a mom that badly, so I simply had no conception of how that would feel.  Well, here I am six or seven years later, whatever it is, & now I know how it feels.  It’s something I can’t explain, & part of me feels silly for even being upset about this when logically I know I “shouldn’t” be, but I can’t help it.  And that makes me feel weak & hormonal & ridiculous.  Ugh.

Lavendar hanging from an old vintage door, room for copy space

In case anyone’s wondering why I’m sharing something so personal as all this, there are several reasons.  First, writing out my thoughts & feelings keeps me sane.  And secondly I truly believe the world would be a better place if we didn’t all pretend we’re ok when we clearly aren’t.  With that in mind, allow me to say this: I do NOT have it all together.  Perhaps it’s self-imposed because I have such high expectations for myself, but I often feel like people just expect me to be Ms. Perfect all the time.  I feel like people automatically think “Oh, she’s smart, she’ll be fine, she’ll figure it out.  We don’t have to worry about her.”  Maybe that’s all in my head, but the truth is I really do NOT have it all together.  Yes, I have lots of wonderful things in my life for which I am very grateful (a loving husband & family, friends who have become like family, an adorable corgi, a great career, etc), & some of those are things I’ve worked really hard to achieve/keep.  But none the less, I am just as human as everyone else.  And right now I am feeling a bit fragile & broken.  On the plus side, this is the first time in a very long time that I feel like my anxiety has truly gotten the better of me.  That right there is a huge victory.  Honestly, when I remember the constant state of high-pitch anxiety I was in during college, I have no idea how I survived.  All I can say is I’m glad I’ve gotten the help I’ve needed in the ensuing years.humanity

I’ll end this by saying that I can’t give enough thanks to all of those who have reached out to me during the past few days.  Some of you I haven’t spoken to in person in years, yet you took the time to message me & send words of encouragement, & that means more to me than I can say.

flow15a-feel-like-shit-chodron-quote

As a final message, I’m striving to remind myself of the incredible wisdom of these simple words from the Buddhist writer Pema Chodron:

“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit & not be squeamish about taking a good look.”

Amen.corey taylor owe yourself

And just for good measure I’ll add a few more inspiring quotes from the great Corey Taylor.

“. . . the divine lies in all of us. We are miracles. We are “god.” If we shared a little more, we would not be left feeling less. We hold the keys to our own destinies. It is time we started looking for the locks.”

“Life owes you nothing. You owe yourself everything.”

Three Reasons Why I Won’t Be a Good Mom


**DISCLAIMER. I AM NOT PREGNANT, NOR AM I TRYING TO BECOME PREGNANT, NOR DO I PLAN TO TRY TO BECOME PREGNANT ANY TIME IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE (AKA, NEXT 1-2 YRS).  Just wanted to put that out there before anyone gets too excited & reads way too much into this post.

As I have mentioned in a few previous posts, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about having kids over the past year or so.  It’s not something I want to do RIGHT NOW; it’s just something I THINK about often which is a huge step considering just two years ago I was pretty sure I never wanted children (though on some deeper level I think I always knew I would someday; I just thought that someday would be much further in the future).  In any case, the recurring theme in my mind seems to be that despite my new-found desire to be a mom I’m not sure I’m really suited for parenthood.  Here’s why.

1. First of all, I am truly an introvert at heart.  I value my alone time very highly.  Trust me, the idea of actually living alone scares me because I do crave human interaction, but at the same time I really value having alone time to listen to music, play my flute, read books & blogs, & generally just relax.  It’s this alone time doing these types of activities that allows me to rest & recharge.  Being an introvert does not necessarily mean that I’m shy or don’t like social interactions.  It simply means that my ENERGY comes from my alone time, not from my time spent with others.  Well, one of the most common themes I hear about motherhood is that you will NEVER BE ALONE AGAIN.  Let me be clear & say that the idea of having a toddler follow me to the bathroom bothers me very little.  But the idea that I might not regularly be able to allot a few hours of time to spend by myself reading & catching up on the things that keep me sane?  That’s scary.  I don’t know if I can handle that.  I truly believe that in order to be an effective parent you have to keep your own sanity which means taking care of yourself as much as you take care of others.  For me that means I need a certain amount of alone time every week . . . But how is that going to happen when I have children, especially since I don’t have any family in the immediate area?  It will be a daunting challenge to put it mildly.  Additionally there is the challenge of never again having alone time with my husband.  That scares me greatly because it’s our alone time together that keeps our relationship strong  .  .  .

2. Secondly, I’m not sure that I’ll ever be suited to being a mom because there is so much about life that I don’t know & that I’m quite sure I’ll never know.  I’ve always had this idea that parents need to have a very firm set of beliefs to give to their children & I know that I will never have that to give to my childrenThere are just too many things in life that can never be fully answered.  The world isn’t black & white, no matter how much we might sometimes want it to be because we (wrongly) think that would make life easier.  Deep down I know that I do have a lot of values that I will try to instill in my children, values that are not based on strict rules or regulations but rather in the simple knowledge of doing what is right in this world.  But the world is full of shades of grey & parents are tasked with teaching their children how to navigate such a terrifying yet wonderful place.  And I am just not sure that I am up to the task.

3. Perhaps I should have started with this point but lastly I have never really liked babies & young children that much.  I often hear moms say “I just wish they’d stay little forever” & I have to resist the urge to laugh & ask them if they are insane.  You mean you LIKE the fact that your kids are completely dependent on you & don’t allow you even two seconds to think peacefully on your own?  How is that fun?!  When I think about having kids, I think about taking them on trips, going to the beach, hiking in the mountains, showing them how to cook, teaching them about life by analyzing everything from movies & TV shows to books & music, & most importantly of course showing them how much I love them every day.  I think about how much fun it will be to watch my kids play sports or participate in band or graduate from college & find an exciting career.  And the joy of becoming a grandparent someday.  Basically most of the things that I think sound fun about parenting all involve kids who are at least 5, if not closer to 10.  Indeed I’ve often said if kids could just arrive at age 5, that would suit me just fine.  But the idea of having an infant who is completely & utterly dependent on me for EVERYTHING for every second of its existence?  Wow, that is just incomprehensibly scary.  I know most women look at babies & just see a bundle of joy.  I see that too but I also see all the WORK that goes into those little bundles of joy: the long nights without sleep, the pain of trying to breastfeed, the upset tummies, the dirty diapers, & the never-ending fatigue from dealing with all of that.  Sometimes I wish I weren’t so capable of visualizing the REALITY of motherhood because then maybe I’d doubt my ability to handle it a lot less.  On the other hand, maybe realizing how difficult motherhood really is will make me less resentful of it when the day finally comes.  I don’t know.  I just know that I’ve never been one of those women who picks up a baby or a toddler & just knows exactly how to interact with them.  I’ve always felt completely clueless & like I must be missing some “nurturing mommy” trait that other girls clearly inherited & I didn’t.  I’m reassured when some moms tell me that they’ve never been particularly thrilled with other people’s children but they love their own to death.  I believe them.  I really do.  Additionally,  when I hear about someone else being pregnant, I fully believe that the moment they hold their child for the first time, their heart will be so full of love & suddenly they will find the strength to raise that child, no matter how scared they are.  But then I see myself in that same situation & suddenly I am full of nothing but doubts & I find myself facing the horrible fear that I might give birth to a child & not feel that inherent connection that mothers are supposed to feel.  That if I don’t know how to relate to other people’s children, I won’t know how to relate to my own either.  Why do I have faith for other people but not for myself?  Arghhhhh.

I don’t know why I’m writing all of this.  I guess I’m just trying to vent my frustrations & make some sense out of what is obviously a very complicated topic.  The reason these thoughts bother me so much is that when I have kids I really want to love them with every fiber of my being.  I want to be the absolute best mom I can be.  I am fully aware of the fact that this does NOT mean having a perfectly organized house all the time but rather spending TIME with my children & showing them love every day of their life.  I know that being the best mom I can be does not mean my children will always have perfectly coordinated outfits or even perfectly CLEAN outfits every day of the week.  Rather it means never forgetting to say “I love you,” always being there to kiss & hug them after a hard day, building up their self-confidence, & experiencing that love between mother & child that is like nothing else on Earth.  In my heart I know that having the maturity to understand these things probably means I actually WILL be a good mom.  But my heart is still full of so many doubts.

I feel like most girls grow up strongly visualizing themselves as mothers someday.  But I just never thought of myself that way.  So I have no idea if it’s normal to be full of so many doubts & questions regarding the subject of motherhood.  If there are any moms out there reading this, I would be very appreciative to hear your thoughts.