Since becoming a mom

 

When you become a mom…..everything changes.  I don’t just mean your body either. I mean everything changes.

Your body does change. I have had two kids and still haven’t lost all the baby weight. It sucks. I also have more stretch marks than I have ever thought I would. Taste buds change. your sleep patterns change. The way you think changes.

If you had an anxiety or depression issue before kids, it changes as well. Before kids, my anxiety or depression level only rose due to stress. The more stressed I was the more depressed or anxious I was.

However, since having kids…. I get anxious over pretty much anything. I have days where I just feel down or blue, depressed. Now I work very hard to get thru these days so that it doesn’t affect my kids or those around me.

But when my first kid was born….something changed deep inside me.  My brother likes to say that I became a bitch. Because I would no longer allow him to run over me. I was stronger because I had this little person dependent on me. I had to be that person who would fight for her tooth and nail.

 

Becoming a mom… it is one the most amazing things that I could have ever asked for. I love it. I love my girls. I love how they made me grow and change. I was 19 when I got pregnant with my first kid. Because of her, I grew up. I didn’t become some couch jumping young adult with nothing going on in their life. The minute I had that positive pregnancy test in front of me. I knew. I knew that moment that I wanted to be a great mom. That I would fight tooth and nail to be that kind of mom. We literately started from the bottom. We were barely able to pay for a motel room each week. From there staying with friends and family. To our own apartment, then to staying with my mom, to a trailer and now owning our own home. I have fought for everything we have. For my kids. When I was little, we didn’t always have food, water, or lights. Things were difficult. I knew when I looked at my first pregnancy test that I wouldn’t ever let my kid know how it felt to be hungry because there was no food in the house. I didn’t care what kind of job I had to take,  I didn’t care about how many jobs I had to work. We were going to be okay.

My kids give me drive. They give me passion. They give me a reason. The person I am today, is because I became a mom.

 

What changes have you experienced since becoming a mom.  or dad

Good for mental health

 

I don’t know if you can tell that I decided to create this blog because I have a mental illness and there is such a stigma around mental health that it can make it hard to talk about it. That is why I decided to write about it. Write about me. My struggles. My issues. My anxiety. Because not only do I want to lend a hand in breaking the stigma like Mike Shinoda, Anna Shinoda and Talinda Bennington. But I feel better when I write about what is going on. It helps to get it out. I know you all could judge me. But what I have seen from the first time I started writing is that you guys do not judge. In fact, many of you are very understanding because what I am going through many of you have been through.

It is so amazing to know that other than my best friend, there are others like me. And I will continue to write as long as I can.

I find that writing about the things that make you depressed or anxious is a great exercise in the step to understanding what is your trigger. Notice that I didn’t say get better. or fix it. Because I will always have this battle. It is not something that you can just get over. Even though people like to assume that you can just get over it. You can’t. It is just impossible. There is a chemical imbalance in my brain that I don’t know can be fixed.

Writing allows you to describe what is wrong. What happened. And why it made you feel that way. Over time, writing will allow you to define what some of your triggers are. That way in the future, you may be able to either overcome the trigger or identify it so that you can make changes before it triggers you.

Either way, if you have a mental illness…. I suggest keeping a journal of when you have those bad days.

Kids Change Everything

If you have kids, then you know that there are numerous books that describe what pregnancy will be like. They tell you what to expect from conseption up til you give birth. They tell you how your body will change, how your moods will swing. The books will even tell you all the gross, nasty details of actually giving birth. Never google what after birth looks like.

And movies kind of show you what is going to happen but never really prepare you. You see with my first kid, when it came time to push (which that labor story is pretty simple, both kids were born within 30 minutes of getting to the hospital) I thought I had to scream. Honestly, I started yelling like it was the end of the world. Like Bruce Willis didn’t sacrafice himself on that astroid in Armagedon and we were all going to die. Why? Because if you see child birth in any movie, you see the mother screaming so loud that those waiting in the waiting room hear them and think something is wrong. But I didn’t need to scream and maybe that is because of my wide hips. I was always told that I had birthing hips. Maybe that is why both of my kids were born quite easily naturally. No epidural needle has ever touched my back. And that is the way that I wanted it. Because my aunt got an epidural back in the 80’s and they never told her to not get up after getting it and it honestly messed her back up and now she gets these insufferable migraines.

Now, I have been around kids for a very long time. I have been babysitting since I was 11 (not always by choice, thanks to my oldest brother) But I never read anywhere what to expect when having kids would do to my already messed up mental health.

When I was a kid, my mom worked all the time. My oldest brother is 9 years older than me. And as time went on, day cares got more expensive. So by the time my brother was 13 he was watching after me and our other brother who is only 5 years older than me. But as my brother got older he no longer wanted his weird little sister tagging along with him everywhere with his friends. So I would be left home alone. I remember being in 3rd grade being home alone at night, making my own dinner (thank you tv dinners) and putting myself to bed by 7 pm because I had EOG’s the next day.

My oldest brother loves scary movies and those creepy clowns. And I think I hate them because of him. He thought it was funny to run around the outside of the house banging on the windows while I was home alone inside. Which is partially why I am always so anxious at night. alone.

I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder when I was almost 16 because I was having constant panic attacks. In the middle of school. hyperventalating to the point that I almost pass out ( I did pass out once) So the school called my mom and she took me to the ER and my regular doctor shortly after where I was diagnosed. With this awful anxiety disorder. And my brother only continued to make things worse after that.

So, there I am with a kid. Who was premature. And so tiny. And I wasn’t as scared with her as I was with my second one which is weird. But there I was at almost 20 years old, responsible for this whole new human being. She was mine. My responsibility. And there my anxiety began to get worse. not that it wasn’t already bad. But it just made things a thousand times more there.

Before kids, I could push it so deep inside that no one could ever see. But now that I have kids…. that anxiety is so close to the surface. Because not only am I anxious about my actions and myself, I am anxious about my kids. And it is not the normal anxiety you feel like should you change jobs or not. Noooo

You see, what they never tell you in those expecting books is that you should expect your mental health to take a hit. You should expect to feel more overwhelmed because you’re battling a mental illness that now circles not only you but how your kids are. They never tell you that having kids changes everything.

My oldest daughter is the most sensitive child that I have ever seen. So when I am repeating myself for the 20th time in 10 minutes and I get a little aggravated so I get a little stern, she starts to cry and looks at me with these weeping eyse like I just killed her puppy. Which sends me into a whirlwind of am I a bad parent? This happens quite often.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I was in this awful car wreck that totaled my SUV. which isn’t as easy as you would think consider half of my windows were shattered and the rear end was in my second row. I had to get shots every week from 15 weeks to 34 weeks to make sure that I didn’t go into preterm labor. It was a rough pregnancy. There was a lot of back and hip problems that came from that wreck that couldn’t be addressed because I was pregnant. And having a second child, made me that more anxious as a mother.

I feel like a failure as a parent. Yes my kids are spoiled and 90% of the time they earn every toy that they get. My 1 year old picks up trash and throws it away. They get this little mental ATM credit that they can use when we go to the store. My oldest will ask if she has enough credit to get a small, medium or big toy. But they also know that twice a year they have to donate toys to those who don’t have many like they do. So I am trying to instill some responsibility and make them humble.

But more often than not, I go to bed wondering if I was a bad parent today. Did I yell too much? Did I not show enough love? Did I not love one them enough? Did I break their spirits? Did I put them down too much? Did I crush their dreams? When I was my oldest age…. I knew way more than I should have and I was way more afraid than a child at that age should have. I want my kids to be protected more than I ever was. But am I a bad parent?

What I wish I knew when I was pregnant was that having kids will and does change every single thing. I wish there was a book that could help expecting parents who have depression or anxiety on how to cope with the changes of becoming new parents.

Searching for those like me

I hate attention.

Literally hate being the center of attention

I avoid it at all possible.

I have suffered alone for many, many years.

So I know how depressing it can be to have a panic attack and NO ONE notices. NO ONE cares.

I get it.

And honestly…. I hate feeling like I am alone. I hate feeling like no one understands me.

Luckily, as my circle grew smaller from those who only used me… I found one friend who suffers with anxiety, depression, panic attacks and PTSD. We balance each other I think. We listen to each other. Literally.  If I stop at her house when I’ve had an anxiety attack… I end up staying there for goodness 2 to 3 hours just from talking. and our conversations drift to random topics so seamlessly.

But I am getting off topic….that darn attention thing again.

What I have been doing since Chester Bennington passed is searching Twitter.

You see….When Kurt Cobain died….The world saw a massive number of copy cat suicides. Because they felt that if Cobain couldn’t make it…then how could they. Right? It is hard to see one of your idols who you relate to leave us in such a traumatic way. It is awful.

Linkin Park spoke to me thru so many situations. I remember being 9 years old listening to them on MTV. Chester was so pretty (and it hurts to say was, I keep wanting to say is)  His vocal ability was so inspiring. I mean here is this guy who can sing and then scream with such ease. The words he sang….I could relate to many things that I personally went thru growing up. Even now… I can listen to these old songs and relate them to things that I see or feel today.

You see, I am the type of person who feels music. I don’t just hear a beat and hear some random words. I feel them. I can listen to a song a million times if it speaks to me. If it moves me emotionally.

(I feel like I have said this before. and if I have… I am sorry)

So since we lost Chester in July. I been looking for people on Twitter who express their mental health. Especially those who feel alone. Those who are experiencing panic attacks or feeling depressed. And just letting them know. Hey, you are not alone. I am sending positive thoughts your way.

Typically I just simply say ‘sending positive thoughts your way’ It is a simple and easy way that I can spread kindness. That I can let them know they are not alone. There are others out here that feel the same way.

Now I am not posting this to gain any attention.

My sole purpose is that well I have about 96 followers now. Which I am ecstatic about. Thank you guys. I am more thankful that you could ever know. But if each one of you guys searches twitter for any mental health condition and just let one person know that they’re not alone, that you’re thinking about them….Then maybe…just maybe…we will be that closer to making it easier to talk about our issues.

How is it that a patient with heart failure gets sympathy but those suffering with a chemical imbalance gets shunned? Now please don’t read that the wrong way. My dad had heart failure. He had 3 heart attacks before he passed. I feel for everyone who has anything going on in their life (that’s the overly empathetic part of me again.) But I also don’t think it is right that we who suffer a mental illness should feel like we have to suffer alone because the world cannot show an ounce of empathy to what we may be going thru on a daily basis.

So what do you say guys???? Will you send a tweet to a random person letting them know that you are thinking about them?? That they’re not suffering alone? That there are others like them???

No Instructions

As all of you know…. I have been doing this squat challenge.

Yesterday, I managed to do 100 all at once. Which was a wonderful thing. I haven’t been able to do that. I had been breaking it down into 4 sections of 25.  And I did them first thing in the morning.

Which was a victory! yay me.

But that might have been one of the 2 things that were good yesterday.

The other thing was….well I like to meal plan. I like to have extra food. Because growing up…..we really didn’t have food. Hunger is a real pain that I knew as a kid. So I typically spend most of my money stock piling food.

So Sunday, my girls are coughing and its like a bark and they’re running fevers. Only one is in school so I decided to keep her home yesterday hoping it was a simple bug that would disappear as fast as it reared its ugly little head.

Well as they’re granny (my mom) shows up to spend time with the sick kids, I decide it is the perfect day to go to the meat market because well you can buy in bulk cheap. Which I did and that is where my other victory came in because I break the down into freezer bags to store in our deep freezer. I like to buy about 2 months worth at a time so I am only making that big purchase once every two month. So I bought a little over 80 lbs of chicken and ground beef for only $258. It broke down into 40 bags of ground beef at a little over a pound per bag and 29 bags of chicken. Victory! cause if you’re trying to buy that same amount in the grocery store when you go shopping you’re looking at way more than that. I was thrilled. Because I did the math…it came down to about $3 per pound when in the store its $5 per pound roughly.

That is where my victories ended.

My youngest hasn’t pooped (sorry if that is too much information, she’s 1.) And lucky me… I ran out of apple juice and apple sauce. Which in my kids is an instant cleanser. So while I am trying to put the meat away she is constipated and crying because her stomach hurts. She is screaming. She is throwing a tantrum. Because not only is she hurting…it is wayyyy past nap time. And she is fighting her granny who is trying to love on her and help her go to sleep. I mean literally fighting. The throwing the head back scream flailing type that only kids can master.

(*Now I am not sure why I feel that this needs to be said. But whenever I do the meat market day… I sanitize my entire kitchen and wash my hands like five times before I touch meat and wash them five times when changing meat. I freak out over the possibility of contaminating my food.*)

After all the meat issues is said and done and the baby has fallen asleep I do my victory dance for 2.5 seconds. Because my dog….who was in his kennel because he tried to bite my kid and we’re trying to rehome him decided to crap all in the cage. Apparently, he’s sick. The food my kids like to slip him thru the cracks (because they still love him even tho he’s aggressive) has turned his stomach. So I shut him in the laundry room and sanitize his kennel…. Then I rush to give him a bath because who doesn’t like warm water being washed over you when you’re sick… Then it is back in the kennel for him.

Not even 5 minutes after I put him in there does he do it again. Poor dog. and poor me because everything that I had just done….has to be redone. Crap.

Now my oldest is coughing her head off, hacking up her itty bitty lungs. and I am running around like a chicken without a head. I am pushing the limit on my heart racing trying to get everything done….

Cough meds and water is provided then I give the dog another bath. Pull out my hair dryer and on low setting I dry him. Because well I am weird.

He’s back in the kennel….and starts whining. So I am like great. Let me take him out before I have to clean this cage again….. Before I can even get to him…..it happens. but this time he doesn’t get anything on him.. So good boy…

I put him in the laundry room again and sanitize the kennel again. The smell has turned my stomach by now.

The kennel is done. he’s back in.

Okay, maybe I can sit down for two minutes.

Nope. he starts whining. By this time the baby is up. She can’t breathe thru her nose. Its so full of mucus. She’s barking away. So because she’s only a year…she will be two soon… I go in search for the medicine she can have. Now I know I only have a few moments to get things done. so I rush to give the baby meds. Throw my shoes on. Grab the leash and me and the dog are on our way outside.

He does his business…..then somehow… I am still not sure how… He manages to break loose and RUNS. I mean he literally takes off as fast as a shooting bullet. And I am sick on my stomach and cannot run. Well, that is no excuse. I literally cannot run on a good day.

By now.. I am yelling for him. Chasing him. Trying to get him. And crying. Everything that could have gone wrong yesterday. did.

I was on the verge of a breakdown. Luckily….my neighbor helped me capture the dog.

 

So here comes this post. And honestly… I have been thinking about this topic for awhile. It was going to be different. It was going to be about my 6 year old who has began taking 30 minutes to simply get dressed. That is not including getting her hair done..she’s mixed so not too simple. Doesn’t include brushing her teeth or getting shoes and coat on. Oh No. It is simply putting a shirt, pants and socks on. THIRTY MINUTES.. That is crazy. I can get dressed in 5. And it is only recently that she has begun doing this. So that is what this post was going to be about.

But life is funny that way. Apparently. There was a reason why I hadn’t gotten around to writing about it until today. Because. Anxiety shows itself in some weird ways.

Yesterday was such an exhausting day for anyone. Even if you don’t suffer from anxiety. But because I do….it took a lot out of me. I am still feeling the effects of it. But when you’re a mom and your kids are sick….there is no off button. There is no handbook.

My kids kept barking all day yesterday and their fevers kept going up and down that I decided it was time to go to the doctor. Now I do not  take sickness lightly and I also don’t go running to the doctor offices with every single fever. So last night…..I sat for at least an hour weighing the pros and cons of everything. I knew I wasn’t sending her to school because she hadn’t been fever free for 24 hours without the help of tylenol. But did I really want to take them for a cold to the doctor and possibly expose them to the flu.

So I decided that if their fevers kept coming back….then I would take them. They are my whole life. I would lay down on a puddle of water so they could cross without getting wet. I give them my all, all the time. Because I am their mom. They have also kicked their daddy to the couch to sleep with their mom because they’re sick and I guess being mommy makes it better. My poor husband.

It is a good thing I did decide to take them. Not only was the doctor not crowded. But they have the flu and we caught it in the time frame that giving meds can help. So that was my day. And tomorrow…. I am disinfecting the entire house. No sleep for me. Work work work work. (on a side note. It is days like these that make me wonder how I could work a 9-5 take the kids to and from school go eat lunch go on field trips disinfect a house, cook, clean, run errands, do laundry, go to school and maintain a blog. I literally push myself every single day to get everything done)

So this is where we are. This post. In life, there is no handbook. There are no set rules to follow. Things are not black and white. There is no guidelines on how to be a mom. There is no rules for the day to follow. It is crazy. cause sometimes I wish there was. Like with keeping my kid out sick… there is no checklist that tells you ‘yeah she needs to stay home’ Things are never that simple. I wish they were.

 

Day 3 Squat challenge

 

Well its day 3 of the 30 day squats challenge.

And I don’t want to do any squats. Like at all.

Or anything else for that matter.

Why?

Well last night was a bad night. A very anxious night.

So I am exhausted. We woke up 15 minutes late this morning and felt like everything was thrown off. So much so, that I didn’t even make my eggs this morning.

Instead, I just ate left overs from last night then did 25 squats (1 set of 4) and laid with my toddler while she fell asleep.

And now I’m here writing my post about how I’m in a mental funk and that mental funk leads to physical exhaustion. Don’t you just hate when your mental illness gets in the way of things you want to do.

Cause I realized that I have given up on a lot of things because at some point in doing anything I would fall into a mild depression state and just give up.

But I am tired of being fat. It is not healthy. It doesn’t look good. So This Time…..I am not giving up.

I might take a nap…..but I won’t give up. I’ll finish my 100 squats for the day. I’ll go pay some bills. I will pick the kids up from school and get everything done like I do every single day. I cannot let a foul mood destroy a challenge I said I was going to do. And Anxiety is more than a foul mood.

See I have been anxious for a couple days. Since the school shooting. Because that is a terrifying thing. I have a daughter in school. I cannot fathom the idea of anything happening to her at school. The one place where she is supposed to feel safe. I had issues letting her go to school last year because it was her first year. Separation anxiety. I wasn’t ready for her to spend that many hours away from me. But she loves school. She hates when she is sick and has to miss school. I just told my husband last night that if anything ever happened (and I pray all the time that it will never) to the girls…. I don’t think I would be able to cope. At all.

So today… I will work thru my anxiety to get motivated. Because if I don’t.. I might start getting depressed again.

Find yourself

 

When you first realize you are battling a mental illness….its hard. But things start to make sense. Its like ‘oh… so thats what was happening.’ ‘Thats why I’m like that’ But as time goes on you start to lose who you are… you become your illness.

This is the new you. And sometimes it is hard to imagine what it was like before your life became so consumed with battling your demons.

I think it is important if you’re battling a mental illness, or anyone in general, to take time to rediscover themselves. To decompress. To learn what it is like to have just a few moments where you are at peace.

It doesn’t matter how you do it actually. That is the great part about it. Just do anything you love to do at least once a week. But sometimes that is not in the plans. I know life is hectic….things happen. You push your you time back and put others first. At least try to have a you time once a month.

For me….my me time involves photography. And editing photos. But it is winter so going out and taking photos is kind of hard but I do work with the site called Mendr where you can send in your photos via a phone app to have them edited. So, if you don’t like how a photo looks, like maybe there is trash in the background, you should download the Mendr app. Maybe I’ll get your photo… Or maybe comment below and i’ll tell you how I can directly edit your photo thru the Mendr app.

Fan  letter

It’s time for yet another fan letter. This time its to a female artist who has used her star power to give those with mental illness a voice….


Dear Demi Lovato,

I started a blog because I suffer from anxiety disorder and sometimes battle minor bouts of depression. The death of Chester Bennington inspired me to get my voice out there to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness. But it is your strength, your openness and your willpower that inspire me to keep pushing.

I watched your documentary and I must say that I was in awe over your transparency. Please don’t take that the wrong way. A lot of people tend to take a lot of what I say in a negative manner. I’m not sure why. What I mean is that you were so open and honest. You were blunt.  You allowed fans to see your struggles for what they truly are. You didn’t sugar coat anything. Anyone watching got to see mental illness for what it really is. And I applaud you. Mental illness has never been in the front as it was in your documentary. Which is amazing. Because the world has placed such a stigma on even the word mental illness let alone anyone who has mental illness.

You are more than just an artist. you are a role model. You are a voice for those who cannot mutter a sound. You stand tall and you stand proud. If  I can be anything like you… I would be honored.

Signed,

An anxious fan

#MentalIllness is NOT a fashion statement

Now usually I have all of my blog post scheduled. I work on them. I write them out on paper before I type them up and then I decide which days I want them to go out.

Well….as I was scrolling thru facebook this morning…. I found this. and well. I just had to write about it because it is seriously pissing me off..

I am a huge Nirvana fan. I know I was a toddler when Kurt Cobain’s light went out and we lost a legend. As it was written, he joined the 27 club. The club of many talented artist who lost their lives at the mere age of 27. Which is sad.

But this shirt. and the post that the female wearing the shirt wrote… that is just showing the stigma we who truly suffer a mental illness are surrounded with every day. And if looking at that post doesn’t piss you off…. I don’t know what will.

I shared the image on my personal facebook page with a mean message written with it because I was heated. I was seriously heated. Here’s why.

The letter that is sadly posted on that shirt was written to Cobain’s childhood imaginery friend. It was his inner most thoughts, his dark, sad thoughts. How would you feel if your journal or you personal diary was posted on a shirt for anyone to make a mockery of. That is what this is. it is a mockery.

Now I know anyone can Google Kurt Cobain’s suicide note to read it. I have done it myself when I was researching his life. I have alway been fascinated with the mind of the man who wrote Smells Like Teen Spirit, Heart Shape Box, Lithium, and many others that have been my anthems duing my most angstiest stages of my life.

I still listen to Nirvana to this day and I think that I will always listen to them. They were so genius. They were ahead of their time.

Now to the death of Cobain. I know that I wasn’t but a few years old when it happened and couldn’t possibly understand at that time what it meant. But as I got older I was always curious. There is actually many conspiracy theories about the way that he left us. I don’t think the world will ever really know the truth. and we have to come to term with that.

(It is one of the hardest things about suicide. Is coming to terms with not know why or how or what was going on in their minds in the moments leading up to that moment. )

Lets take a look at what happened after he died. There was an epidemic of copy cat suicides around the world. Many young people thought that they couldn’t cope and we didn’t just lose Cobain. We lost a lot of people in that time. I actually wrote a paper about it when I was taking a psychology class. It was a sad time.

So now back to this shirt. It is insensitive in the least. It is a slap in the face of those who took their lives shortly after Cobain. It is a knife in the heart of Frances Cobain, Kurt’s daughter. Do you really think that she would want people wearing her dad’s suicide note around like they are being fashionable? It is distasteful.

It could actually be a trigger. For those who are suffering with a mental illness. Who are on the brink of the edge. The edge of no return.

This shirt is taking the #BreakTheStigma movement 10 steps back and I feel that we all need to rally together against this.

Let me know what you think about this awful shirt.

Doesn’t belong

I read a quote by someone named JM Storm that says

“Before you pass judgement on one who is self-destructing, it is important to remember they usually aren’t trying to destroy themselves. They’re trying to destroy something that doesn’t belong.”

Now this isn’t always true. Sometimes people self-destruct for very selfish reasons like attention. I have known quite a few people who only do things like cutting when they feel no one is paying any attention to them. It is like they thrive on drama.

I am a drama free person. I hate drama.  I distance myself from as much drama as possible. But unfortunately everyone seems to call me when they’re stuck in drama like I am some sort of savior. I am not Emma Swann

But there are those silent self-destruct types who only tear themselves apart where no one can see. If you don’t look hard enough, you will probably miss it.

Now I’ve said this before, but you should never pass judgement. You never know what someone is going thru or has been thru. I have been judged so many times for so many things. I think it is everything that I have been thru that allows me to sympathize with others so well.