Gained a baby lost my sex life.

I’d be lying if I said becoming a mother hasn’t taken over in all areas of my life. —at work if something comes up, my response, “well y’all just gotta figure it out”  because guess what— I’m a mom first. It’s girls night and something comes up, “Sorry ladies I know we’ve been planning this forever, but I gotta cancel”—- I’m a mom first. I find myself reiterating the fact being a mom is number one when it comes to many areas of my life, and in most areas I’m finding that people won’t always be happy with you prioritizing being a mother first. *kanye shrug*

Not my problem.

Becoming a mom has simultaneously thrown me into like bionic woman mode, which I’m finding works with everyone but your partner. I wake up with a to-do list, I gotta do this and this and this and this today, I go to bed with a list reminding myself I gotta do this and this and this tomorrow and guess who usually doesn’t make the cut, one of the most important people… my man. It’s no secret that relationships change after having a baby , most times you hear about them changing for the worst.

My mom has warned me far before I even thought about having children that men show their true colors after having a baby— a warning I am now convinced is some bitter black women’s old wives tale. (For the record I’m not calling my mom a bitter black woman)

Do men get the same warning about women changing ? —- because maybe they should.

I am not the same woman I was before becoming a mother. My partner fell in love with the carefree, whimsical, happy, adventurous, sex in random places down for anything Ashley. Since becoming a mother I am 1/6, no doubt I have changed hell, I realized I have changed so I can only imagine what it’s like for him.

Babies can strengthen the connection or they can make you lose it, suddenly it’s all about the baby and we sometimes forget about the life we had with our partners before. Writing this for me is therapeutic because I have forgot about what life was like before Carter, I forgot about how important making his dad happy was for me and I’m now seeing the toll it’s taken on us.

TMI coming right up but, there was a time I’d go home on my lunch break just to squeeze in a quickie. It was important to keep it fun, and fresh… now I get home and sometimes I’d rather choose sleep over intimacy.—- shame on me. Shame on me for making it seem like being a mom gives me an excuse when it comes to nourishing my relationship and making sure I’m listening to my man and his needs. (Now don’t go reading this honey and think you can tie me up tonight cuz it’s not happening, I have a bad back now).

After many nights of him chastising me for what I have not been doing we finally began to communicate! He began to ask what could he do to help ease the burden, what could he do to help me after my long day so I could relax. The importance of communication amongst partners cannot be stressed enough, it’s so easy for us as mothers to come home after a long day get into our evening routine, all the while we are burnt the hell out and not once will we ask for help. It’s not uncommon for men as partners to see their spouse in their routine , and not speak up out of fear they may be imposing ( if y’all didn’t know women run the show, happy wife happy life) most men stay quiet when it comes to running the house.

And night after night you and your partner go to bed with so many underlying feelings that could be fixed with a conversation and a little compassion. —- it’s hard, tell me about it.

I read, Understanding your partner’s love language 

a “guide” more people should read, and I realized I’m not a mind reader and neither is he… I may not be affectionate but I know he is. There is so much give and take that’s goes into relationships, and they fail when people don’t understand that. My give, is bouncing on more D when Carter goes to bed (might have to visit a sex shop or two to brush up on the old skills), and vocalizing just how appreciated my spouse is and how I recognize all that he does although I don’t always say it. My take is being more open to help, and suggestions…understanding there is no such thing as a bionic woman and if there is I can imagine she is probably single.

Without question I am still a work in progress, a mom just trying to figure it out, but one thing is for certain my goal is to build with my partner and not break in the process … we have broken MANY times before and *whew chilay*

I hope this helps any other moms struggling to find a balance after such a huge adjustment, as for those who have been blessed enough to have it figured out  what are some things that have helped keep your relationship strong even after becoming parents?

 

“Open Letter” to dad that most moms can relate to.

Dear Da-Da,

On a scale from 1-10 how relaxed are you? Because me, I’m like a -7.

Since we’ve had our baby, I have been in overdrive! I have watched you day in and day out work just like me, interact with our child/children just like me and it still doesn’t feel like enough at times.

Truth be told, I am envious of you. Sometimes my envy actually translates to dislike… I honestly dislike you at times.— damn it felt good saying that.

I wake up in the morning after more often than not a late night with the kids and trying to squeeze a little “mommy time” in to do it all over, the next day and the day after that.

Bullshit.

You wake up each morning looking quite refreshed, after I’ve went to bed with one eye open listening for a cry and thinking about all the shit I have to do tomorrow … can you relate? I have work brain and mommy brain on damn near everyday, planning and prioritizing for us… yes you read it right us. Hell, “Head of household” should honestly come with an extra bonus just for us working moms.

Meanwhile you go to work, and I’m almost sure daddy mode goes right out the damn window… are you thinking about what you’re going to cook for dinner when you get home ? Or how much of a fight bedtime is going to be… or better yet did you have your alarm going off at work today reminding you it’s time to pump? Better yet.. when’s the last time you did laundry for the house? Because believe me there’s a lot of it!

For goodness sakes, I’ve turned into a mommy for everyone. I cook, clean and still bend over when you want me to (most times let me tell you I’d prefer to sleep). And what am I getting in return?

Ahhh the joys of being a mom!

The time you spend with the kids isn’t like the time I spend… my time is draining and when I signed up for this partnership I thought it would be just that 50/50. You pick up when I fall short, and it just seems like as soon as I became momma, I simultaneously turned into Superwoman too.

I’m convinced woman take so long to get ready because it’s the only time we get to ourselves, sitting on the toilet long after I’ve already finished has turned into a little peace of heaven for me.—- sad

Once in a while I’d love to hear honey, take a day off … like literally a full day! No you, no kids… just me ! I probably wouldn’t know what to do but just hearing you say go take some you time would mean THE WORLD.

I expected more, and saying this out loud may sound ungrateful. I’m appreciative of all that you do, I just wish I didn’t have to do so much at times… becoming resentful of you was never a part of the plan.

Loving my partner however was.

Signed,

your burnt out superwoman.

Life has a way of leaving you wondering “Is This It?

In the midst of one of my usual 7-14 day breakdowns, I was driving into work this morning wondering, “Is this really it”?  It sounds so depressing when I say it outloud but it’s the truth. “Is this really it”? Is this all I was put here to do?

I don’t know about y’all but the younger me pictured a fabulous- ass life , I did. I pictured being this ‘ghetto-socialite’ with a fine husband who worked a great job and over contributed at 11% to his 401k. I pictured being proposed to with a modest 2 -carat emerald cut halo diamond ring at the tender age of 25, with no rush on marriage. In my head, this almost- perfect man would go on to buy me the perfect house, in the best neighborhood… I’d give him 3 kids and we’d have a dog.

Unfortunately for me, I was running around the projects in my early 20’s chasing drop outs who couldn’t distinguish between they’re and their.

Looking back,  I constantly wonder “girl, where were you meeting this Mr. Wonderful”? … as the saying goes we attract what we exude.

Fast forward to present day, I am 27 just a few months shy of 28, I have a 19 month old and I am somebodies’… (dare I say it) ‘baby momma’. Luckily I didn’t attract what I exuded because my sons father is very smart, much smarter than me. Also, no shade to the baby mommas out there but I said that sarcastically, I just wanted to put emphasis on the fact I am not a married woman and yes I have a child. — I ain’t no damn baby momma tho.

Moving on.

I wake up everyday usually later than normal rushing to get out the house and make it work 5 minutes late… it’s like no matter how hard I try, how many pep talks I give myself; I just can’t seem to get out the damn house on time. Throw in a couple of  temper tantrums courtesy of Carter and by the time I get to work, it’s the famous “if anyone was looking for me, I was in the bathroom”. Pet peeve #71 why the f*** am I never on time? Why do I always feel so rushed to do the same bullshit I did yesterday?

Some days I feel like quitting my job, moving to Cost Rica and having Carter and his dad sell their handmade goods in the beaches. — I’m not even kidding anything’s gotta be better than this, at least we’d have good weather.

Here I am, rushing to work my semi-stressful ok paying job, to get off work and rush to pick up my son from daycare to get home and prepare for our nightly routine all to do it again the next day, and the day after that and the day after that… don’t get me wrong my nights are occasionally broken up by impromptu date nights or the regular “Netflix and Chill” with my ‘baby daddy’ (who I hope reads this and cringes and realizes that term should change).But the routine has me dare I say it… bored.

I don’t want my honesty to be mistaken for being ungrateful because I am grateful, not everyone has a job, not everyone has a car, not everyone has a home to go to after a long day, but since I’ve become a mother I’ve been bored.

Is that normal?

Some nights I wonder, “What the hell am I going to do with my life because there’s no way in hell I was put on this earth to work a 9-5 for the next 40 years”. I complain to my mom and she chalks it up to being a millennial. Since I’ve become a mom, it seems life choices have weighed on me heavy… I’ve learned that life comes at you FAST , and it’s too short to be spent unhappy. I feel so pressured to live up to these imaginary expectations. In my head my 19 month old wants this awesome mom who does it all, when reality he loves me no matter what. Hell, I want to be this awesome mom who does it all … is that asking for too much?

People always say, “You can’t have it all” and the older I get I just wonder if whoever came up with that saying just gave up trying. Who say’s you can’t have it all, and why?

Eventually I think the boredom almost always turns into resentment, we stop doing the things that once made us feel alive maybe because of the husband or the kids, or we just got older and realized there was some unwritten rule that we should stop doing the things we once loved when we were younger?

I don’t know about y’all but I’m not feeling that, a happy me is the best me and I got a lot of years left on this Earth (god willing)  to be wasting them being anything but happy. Call me passionate or call me crazy but the older we get shouldn’t mean losing our zest for life…. how many other people have felt bored and what have you guys done to curb it?

Because at this point I’m about to sign up for Zumba, I heard, “it’s the ‘exciting mom thing to do’

Fu**** real exciting huh?

 

“Just because you forgive them, doesn’t mean they have to.”

Happy Wine- Wednesday.

Tonight’s wine: A Sutter Home, White Merlot 

 

White Merlot Food Pairings

With enticing raspberry aromas and sweet cherry flavors, Sutter Home White Merlot makes the perfect pairing for spicy chicken tacos, smoked cheeses, sweet and sour pork, lamb gyros, spicy steak and veggie kebabs, fig and goat cheese pizza, shrimp and pepper alfredo, mandarin chicken salad, and yogurt parfaits.

 

I feel like life has been so busy for a lot of people the past few weeks including myself, and when I feel like I’m getting too busy for my own good I try to take a moment to reflect, whether it’s hiding from Carter (which I’m kind of doing right now because yes he’s in bed, no he’s not commmpllleettllyyy sleep **oops)  or getting a pedicure complete with a mini foot massage that never goes long enough, but you guys get it. It’s necessary to take time for ourselves.

In the midst of my attempt to give up stress for lent (as described above)  I’ve been trying to figure out how I can stop “running myself so thin”. Trying to dedicate time to this and time to that without either clashing.

Shit can get stressful.

I’ve also thought about how sometimes we can not only spread ourselves thin with things but also with people. Often times when we are under stress, stress can lead to venting. Venting to the wrong people can eventually lead you to spreading yourself to thin.

We’ve all been there , venting to your girl or family member abour your occasionally f**k boy- Ish husband or boyfriend, venting to one co-worker about the next… or even venting to different friends about a problem you may have been having with another friend.

Most times a listening ear will get tired of listening.

We have all been there on both sides, fed up hearing about a friends problems because they aren’t doing anything about the problem themselves . At first we’re  compassionate, we side with them… hell we usually love them so of course we have their back . Then it’s, “How dare they do that, or Better yet  how dare they continue to do that”? Finally, Eventually all that shit turns into, “why would they put up with that”? It sucks because that can take a toll on our relationships, it can turn people we love into people we question if we still like…

Once you’ve  been on both sides you see it, And there’s growth in it. Understanding just because you forgive them doesn’t mean they have to as well. A lot of times we as people shoot ourselves in the foot, that spur of the moment venting can be therapeutic but enough venting often times can be detrimental.

we all go through it, and the wisdom usually comes with age, then sometimes we realize when it’s too late. Eventually comes the time to mend. -that’s the most stressful part. Whether you and your reformed f*** boy finally got it together, or an office meeting was finally called and all is well at the trap, or better yet you finally forgave that friend that was referred to as “unforgivable”.

It’s hard to repay that unpaid therapist. Maintaining severed relationships can become a job. A job that will wear you down worse than any 9-5 and sometimes you have to realize you can only do so much. Part of my plan to “give up” stress for lent is making amends, and I don’t necessarily mean with people, I mean with situations.

We we don’t always want to believe it but sometimes  Broken ties with family and friends can’t  always be restored, so why kill yourself trying? I’ve always been a firm believer in if two people want to work something out they will. I’ve had countless fallings outs with friends and family , and my real friends and family always make sure we get back no matter how long it takes… we make sure.

Timon and Pumbaa has it right in 94’

Hakuna Matata!…

a.k.a stop stressing.

I’m learning  to let people and relationships be whether I played a part  in the failure or not, make amends and move on, but also remember to make better choices in the future

like next time,

Paying someone to vent… they won’t hold it against you I promise.

nights guys

Xoxo

 

Moms weekend out.

I try to remind myself nights out as a mom are necessary, even if I have to force myself to go.

I came across the MFA Boston  (Museum of fine arts) “Late nites” about a month or so ago and I told my boyfriend I wanted to go. Friday night rolled around I had to call out of work to go but as you can see I was dressed and ready, luckily he was willing to stand in line for an hour and forty five mins… yes that long for us to get in. *perks of having a man who’s trying to get back in your good graces*

we stepped inside, it was insane ! I felt like I died and went to drag queen heaven. The DJ (who ironically, I went to high school with) held a special place in my heart the majority of the night as she played my favorite genre “trap” and some old-Skool  reggae.

Momma got her work on!

We danced, we viewed exhibits, we drank, we socialized and we drank some more.

I got so drunk and paid for it the entire weekend in more ways than one, my back has been aching since Saturday morning, along with being so hung over I had trouble seeing but the point is… we had fun!!!

perfect example of how necessary it is to not only step out of your comfort zone but to push yourself to go out and enjoy life especially when you’re a mother!

Now back to the regular scheduled program, a bihh got work tomorrow.

For more information on the next MFA “late nite” visit https://www.mfa.org/programs/series/mfa-late-nites

F*** it I’ll keep my own last name.

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I read this today, and I might receive a lot of backlash for it…

But i’m inclined to agree

Stating a black women choosing her independence over all else will continuously make her the enemy seems a bit harsh but I know where whoever wrote this was going with it.

In Essence, it gets deeper than this tho. To me what it boils down to is lack of communication and lack of leadership amongst men. I’m not sure who came up with this but I’m curious to know a little about them.

I’d love to ask this man (and I’m assuming it was a man who wrote it) What do you do for work? Would you consider yourself the breadwinner of your household? Are you married? Do you take initiative? Can your wife or girlfriend depend on you?

Those are some important questions

A man who is not a “leader” couldn’t possibly be convinced that a woman should choose “preserving a family unit” with lack of direction over her own independence when she isn’t being led correctly.

Hell no.

Funny thing is a lot of “men” nowadays want to lead and have the “let’s do it my way” attitude meanwhile they don’t even know their left from their right, and dare I say it, but a lot of men are stupid.

Actually no, that was offensive I’m going to rephrase a lot of men lack direction, so I’m most instances it’s pretty much impossible for them to expect a woman to abandon all that she KNOWS and risk it on a CHANCE , but in true men nature (meaning being foolish) a lot of times that makes sense.

Now on the flip side I’d like to play devils advocate, reading that statement I was inclined to agree prior to me really putting thought into it. One of the main reasons my child’s father and I disagreed pretty much for the past 5 years was because of my unwillingness to compromise, I was too headstrong… what I always said needed to go. The same independent quality I’ve praised myself over the years for I’ve began to hate at the same time. I’ve grown a thick skin, not by choice but because of what I’ve been through, what dating… what life has put me through and ironically enough I became chastised for it. “They harden you and then wonder why you’re not soft”.

A man wrote this statement assuming all women should make a choice because it seems like the right one to make but did the question arise  is it really the best choice?  Maybe if more black women went with the “I need to do what’s best for my family” rather than “I need to do what’s best for me” thought process … maybe just maybe we’d have more successful marriages and stronger black men who have been given the “provider” role and realized… now’s my chance.

“do or die”

such a sink or swim analogy… one that I’ve always asked myself is it worth the risk? And every time … the answer has been no. I can imagine for most women the answer is no and the saga continues . We are assumed to be so headstrong, so reluctant to give up this independence when really we are just scared.

Often Times failure becomes such a norm for us that we wonder why would this be any different … lack of communication, and to be frank total inconsideration.

Show me.

show me why I should abandon this “I gotta do what’s best for me and mine” attitude.

I feel as a whole black women have a lot of work to do, it was never embedded in us to be fragile, to be soft. You look at our mothers and their mothers and I bet you’ll hear a story about sacrifice and my favorite “doing what they had to do”.

Coming from that what makes you believe we’d ever see you as Prince Charming?

My daddy wasn’t and neither was my grandfather.

Nowadays we expect so much but work for so little, and it’s too bad.

So men, next time you wonder why she’s so reluctant to give up her “independence” realize she’s all she’s ever had.

 

Okay now can we get a more relatable version of “workin’ moms”?

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Who else has watched WorkinMoms on Netflix?

Honestly, I loved it, well let me rephrase… I liked it a lot. Saying I loved it would mean I had nothing negative to say about it and I do.  For those who haven’t gotten a chance to see it, “Workinmoms” is about four very different thirty-something year old working mothers and friends who try to balance their jobs, family life and love life in Toronto, Canada. This concept for such a relatable show was actually created by husband and wife.

PR exec Kate and her longtime friend, no-nonsense psychiatrist Anne, attend a judgmental mom’s group, where they meet timid IT tech Jenny and struggling but optimistic real estate agent Frankie. The four form an unlikely friendship, sharing struggles of “urban” motherhood filled with the chaos of toddlers, careers, and identity crises, all while trying to achieve one goal, a sense of self. The ensemble comedy is largely drawn from the personal experiences of star/co-creator Catherine Reitman (“Blackish,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”).

The timid IT Tech Jenny, also happens to be almost completely uninterested in being a mother, let alone a wife and cheats on her husband. Her husband is a struggling screenwriter/ stay at home dad.

Outspoken psychiatrist Anne finds out she’s pregnant in the beginning of the season with her 3rd baby (who she refers to as a virus) after just having given birth months ago and she is less than thrilled. She already has a pretty hard time connecting with her 9 year old daughter  as both of their attitudes tend to clash so there’s no question as to why she probably doesn’t want to welcome anymore children. —- she’s my favorite.

Real estate agent Frankie is a lesbian who suffers from post partun depression mixed with a little bit of “who the hell knows” she’s probably the only character who isn’t in touch with reality and one might question why anyone, wife or not would have agreed to having a baby with her.

Lastly, there’s  PR Exec Kate while the most seemingly put together out the bunch she battles between choosing her family over her work, work wins every time which ultimately leads her to accept a 3 month position in Montreal (a city over 6 hours away) without consulting with her husband ahead of time leaving him to deal with the responsibilities of their 1 year old son.

Relatable to the average workin’ mom? Hell No.  Number one, most working moms don’t have the option of deciding whether or not to return to work. Most working moms aren’t afforded the luxury of hiring a nanny, BUT MORE IMPORATNTLY most working moms don’t drive AUDI’s and Range Rovers. This tv show to me just screamed “privilege” sure it featured many common struggles of motherhood, the feeling of “losing yourself”, breastfeeding struggles, not to mention the huge adjustment of being a mom in general but these women have a vast amount of help. Not many working moms can opt to stay late at work then get home well past dinner and bed time and apologize to their husband for getting caught up and go on about their evenings … if that’s not privileged then I don’t know what is. Forget having time to cheat, I barely have time to stop for a tea ( I’m not big on coffee) in the mornings. Most working moms if we are stuck at work the cause and effects that take place after can be dare I say it, detrimental. — hell, my sons day care charges $35 every 15 mins you’re late picking your kids up past closing. Let’s not forget the fact financially, most working moms face unspeakable struggles, literally unspeakable, because although struggling we don’t have a chance to speak about it because we are so busy assuming the responsibilities of being a mom … we just don’t have time. These four women are able to avoid interactions with their children most of the time with acception of making sure they are around to attend their “mommy group” these women aren’t workinmoms, these women are wealthy moms.

funny as shit, but still wealthy ass privileged moms nonetheless.

Sorry to say it, but Catherine Reitman and Phillip Sternberg y’all got it wrong with the title. 6 award nominations or not these broads are a group of semi- relatable moms … not actual “working Moms”.

Signed,

A real.. tired ass, occasionally broke WORKING MOM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We call it “self care” —they call it selfish

We are 27 days into the New Year and I’ve seen so many “_____ days of self care” posts on Instagram, that I encouraged myself to participate—I haven’t even made it to Day 1 yet. (Hehe)

I can honestly say, a major concern of mine regarding this 21 day challenge is how many people will  it piss off in the process, crazy right ?

I guess the phrase “self care” has been subjective to me, when I hear self care , I hear taking care of me. Unfortunately often times taking care of me can be seen as selfish.

Psychology Today published an article that provided :

ten ways to exercise self care and take better care of you.

1- Self care means knowing who you are and your limits. Self care means recognizing when you are doing more than you are used to handling and trying to figure out what can be done to slow down.

2- Self care means getting the sleep you need and knowing how to rest.  Are you getting enough sleep for you? Do you know how much sleep you require everyday and are you sleeping at least that much? Making a serious effort to make that happen as well as knowing how to rest your body and your mind are essential.

3- Self care means making sure that you’re well fed. Do you eat well—does what you eat provide the energy you need to function? Do you take time to eat meals at work and do you take time to have snacks when your body requires intermittent food during the work day?  Self care means integrating favorite healthy foods into your everyday eating routines and planning ahead to make sure you have adequate nutritional foods throughout your day.

4 Self care means finding a way to decompress throughout your day, not just when you leave work. What is it you do to rest your mind during and after a work day? What helps you tune out the noise? Most people tell me they don’t have the luxury of taking breaks during their work day but trying to integrate mini breaks throughout the day helps refresh your mind and body.  For example,  try stretching or taking a brief walk even if it’s only a few feet away, getting yourself a drink of water,  talking to a friend, getting in touch with a loved one even if it’s just a text, or purposely looking at photos that have special meaning. The brain needs those pauses

5- Self care means giving some thought to changing a difficult work situation. We know best what we need and what we can deal with.  Is there anything that can be done to make your work somewhat less stressful? Think about whether changes can be made to your work environment. Are you okay with where you sit and do your work?  Are you working unsustainable hours and is their some end in sight? It might be a matter of approaching a supervisor with things that you think may make your work more pleasant such as changing where you sit or changing whether you take an earlier lunch or later start time.

Sometimes supervisors are not even aware of the reality of what the worker experiences in a work day. A frank conversation delineating the things that are most stressful might precipitate the process of improving your working conditions. People see the world through their own lenses and supervisors have their own problems and a sometimes a simple conversation can provide the insight they needed to rethink how things are done.

6- Self care means taking time to get to know you better.  Self care means learningto recognize your own temperament and trying to prepare for your personal limits. For example, do you have the trait of  “high sensitivity? (Aron 1996) and if so,  learning to recognize when you are experiencing sensory overload. “Highly Sensitives,”  “hsp’s, ” are particularly bothered and effected by over-stimulation and things like being hungry or tired or wearing uncomfortable shoes precipitate marked discomfort.  Identifying your temperament and your triggers and planning accordingly might help lessen inevitable stress.  That might be as simple as grabbing some almonds before a meeting that usually cuts into your lunch hour so you’re not ridiculously hungry or rethinking fabulous but uncomfortable shoes.

7- Self care means identifying  what you enjoy doing and what’s fun for you and make a serious effort to integrate it into your day or, at the very least, your week.  Make it a habit to plan something to look forward to everyday and that doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as planning to read a good book at night or planning to have dinner with someone whose company you enjoy.

8- Self care means knowing how to debrief from a day’s work.  That might mean walking home from work to clear your head,  driving in silence or listening to music to help transition from work to home.

9- Self care means feeding your spiritualself. That might take the form of meditating, praying,  communing with nature by a walk in a park, observing a sunset or sunrise, attending a religious service, practicing gratitude, reading or listening to something inspirational.

10- And finally, self care means taking time to love yourself and appreciating that there’s only one you and you’re the expert on that.

 

I read those and said, “Wow, bitch you’re overdue”. I have too. many issues in my life that could be potentially solved or even made to be less stressful if I practiced a little “self care”, then I think about some of the things on that list and wonder how I could do that when people might not understand. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again, some of the closest people to us don’t want to see us doing well. It’s easier for people to predict you, and imagine life with you, when they know the same person they’ve  already knew.

Often times self care leads to growth, for me as I grow, I change. I refer to “growth” as entering the next chapter of your life. I also associate growing with possibly upsetting others, I blame the Gemini in me, most times first thing out my mouth is BYE, then other times I overthink and never follow through.

I don’t know how you guys translate self -care but I read #6 and it said taking time should mean  getting to know YOU

I read that and immediately think ostracizing myself. In order to get to know myself better, I have to spend time with me … that doesn’t mean always hanging with the crowd, or constantly being around friends or family it means being ALONE, but how many of my friends and family would understand that?

Once I made it through all of the practices to #10 “But most of all self care means taking time to love yourself” I really knew I was at a bridge . Imagine if we did things to others just to prove to ourselves we love us more, a lot of yes’ would be No’s. We’d lose interest in people and situations because in reality we KNOW they don’t serve us , but because we are good people we try to still salvage the bad.

I did a “21 day Self care challenge before and I noticed the comments , or the reactions for simply reading a “self care book” or starting a diet or gym regimen. Apparently, Even your biggest fans don’t root for you sometimes.

Then I thought , “but if I made it about other people wouldn’t it defeat the purpose”? —- and if its about other people ? How can I possibly figure me out?

As I got older I began becoming frustrated with beginning things and never following through, never accomplishing things . The self care challenge would most likely be a battle, a battle to chose me, or them.

A battle I’ll probably never figure out.

“Kanye shrug”

So for those who have committed themselves to a “____ self care challenge” Let me know how they turn out —- and wish me better luck next time

until then the quest to find balance continues.

But he said he was sorry.

I see so many women nowadays  involved in abusive relationships who don’t even realize they are being abused. Part of me just wants to throw up all the red flags possible, and yell over a bullhorn “Run Sis”, and the other part of me wants her to stay and go through it so she can learn her lesson and pray nothing happens to her in the process.

Studies have shown,  that if a women has been mistreated in the past even in her childhood, there’s a chance she’ll be mistreated in her next relationship as well. It’s called “multiple-victimization” and it is often misunderstood.  Once I realized I unfortunately had a “type” with education, understanding and most of all compassion I grew to understand a lot of women do as well.

When I was 13 there was a boy, arguably he was my first love… I say arguably because typically when you love someone they treat you a certain way, but in my head I loved him so we will just go with that. He used to ALWAYS hit me, and I mean hard. Now growing up, I was never not rough-housing I was always VERY rough so for me being dragged around and pushed around and thrown in dirt etc… it never really dawned on me that this shouldn’t be happening, I chalked it up to “play fighting” and just tried to hold my own.

The older I got, it still continued just in different forms, not as aggressive but still aggressive at times. The rough housing mostly stopped and turned into me being referred to as bitches or hoes. Something I still didn’t like but in my head, I loved him and he loved me and that was just his personality, often times when I spoke up for myself I was being seen as “sensitive” or I was often met with , “you’re forcing it” (a term that describes a situation that becomes exaggerated). That went on for a while in high school and finally we had a falling out, and he became the next girls problem.

In my mind while trying to convince myself it was for the best I still for whatever reason wanted him to be my problem.

Most women being abused know it’s something that shouldn’t be going on but we make excuses because of “love”.

Eventually I got older and I met someone else, the next man I thought to have “loved”, he was worst. He was the first man to actually put his hands on me and BLAME me for why he did it. As I mentioned before I’ve never been one to not stand up for myself so when I got hit, I hit him back and that allowed me to walk away thinking “ oh we just got into it, we just had a fight “ I didn’t think I was being “abused” STILL.

On a side note I feel like this shits turning into a tell all, but at the same time it’s all so therapeutic so I’m just going to keep going, fuck it.

One day I was driving down Blue Hill Ave, in Boston and I will never forget the man I was seeing at the time was upset that I was involved with someone else, now at that point he was pretty much sleeping with the entire city … but he was upset I did something to him and while I was stopped at a red light, he got into my car and punched me in the side of the face, then told me to drive.

When people have crazy stories I always tell them no shit compares to some of the stuff I’ve been through, no lie …like can you imagine?… minding your business and the guy your dating getting in your car and punching you in the face? You know that Mr. Krabs meme the confused one?

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No lie, I don’t even mean to bring a joke into such a serious topic, but that’s  exactly how I felt, that was the first time a grown ass man ever punched me in the face number 1, number 2 I thought, “where the fuck did you just come from”, and number 3 now I have to drive with you?

And I did, and the worst part about it was I slept with him after.

I don’t fault any woman for being stuck in situations —- fucked up situations because look at the shit I was doing. We acted like it was no big deal, until it happened again and every time it did it was because of something “ I did” so eventually I grew accustomed to these fights, chalking it up to what I did, and moving on.

I always hear the heroes  talk about what they would have done, before it used to piss me off listening to women with the, “I wish someone would hit me, as if they were so big and bad”, because no one, not even the toughest female knows what it’s like to be literally fist fighting with a man until you’re actually going through it. I’m 5’0, 125 lbs on a normal day so when I hear the tough talk part of me does wish the experience on them.

Then when you finally talk about it, the question of why didn’t you say something?  comes up.

I have before, after a night of getting into yet another fight I went to the police station, reluctantly but I did, and I filed a report. A few days later he got the court notice and I was quickly labeled as being a “snitch” and I denied it was me… I never went to court and that was the end of that. My little scared straight technique Didn’t do shit and severed relationships in the process.

I still stayed.

Eventually he went to jail, on account of something completely unrelated to me and part of me was relieved. There came a point I was praying that man out of my life, asking God to do it for me because obviously I wasn’t strong enough to do it in my own. After having my face so swollen I had to call out of work, after being constantly belittled and disrespected I still felt like I “loved him” —- such a dumbass I was.

Freedom rang.

My friends, my really close friends always knew about the tumultuous things I had going on with men and they tried as best they could to help, but I never really got any help, I had all these traumatic  ass situations going on and I still woke up, smiled and went to work cheerful meanwhile I was going through some of the most traumatizing shit.

I’d get hit or choked , or kicked and after he said he was sorry …. so it was ok.

Facades can be exhausting. —-clearly.

National statistics show 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have reported being involved in a violent relationship (hitting, pushing, and shoving) and as I pointed out I myself believed that fighting back didn’t make it as bad as it really was. Abuse has become normalized and it’s sad. It’s sad that women are being brainwashed into thinking it’s ok, Hell men are too. Saddest part is the “love” that we have all fought  so hard for couldn’t be the furthest thing from, and what’s even more sad Is based on our introduction to love, we may never even really find it —- myself included .

I was finally 26 when I was introduced to a domestic violence advocate, 13 fucking years after I was first hit by someone of the opposite sex. Can you believe that? Me being abused became a norm for me, a habit, much like someone who smokes cigarettes or indulges in other addictive behaviors, —- I can imagine most wonder why don’t you just leave? I hope that comparison made it easier for you to understand, there’s no just leaving… something bad usually happens before enough is enough and then it’s too late.

My story didn’t end here and Mr. #2 wasn’t the last man to punch me.

I’m still a work in progress, but I know what I do and do not deserve. PERIOD

I hope my mini tell-allll  sheds light on an insensitivity that’s associated with domestic violence and I hope it sheds even more light to someone who may be going through it.

Theres always help.

https://www.thehotline.org/

 

 

 

 

 

Self Care > Being a mom.

It was around 6 weeks after I had my son when I felt depressed… like really overwhelmed with depression. It was so crazy because I was warned about postpartum depression by my doctor, by my mother &  I didn’t imagine it happening to me, but it did.

I’d say the first few weeks of being a new mom for me was the “honeymoon stage” I had dad still home with me on paternity leave, my mom took a good amount of days off with me especially since I had a c-section and couldn’t do much and we had a bunch of visitors. The first few weeks you get food, you get the random checks -ins that allow you to get the “mommy break” you desperately need whether it’s to shower, sit down and actually eat, or just to take a shit in peace without having to worry about taking too long.

I’m being real here.

After those three weeks it’s good luck sista. I was out of work for a little over 12 weeks on maternity leave and when I say I couldn’t wait to get back to the office—- whew chilay. Finding a balance between me and having a new baby was very difficult for me. I tried to play it off so bad too as if this new motherly shit came with such ease but the truth was it didn’t. At least twice a day I felt like I was drowning inside, I’d literally cry in the shower for all of 10 minutes because that’s all the time I got and get out and attempt to take on what felt like the weight of the world. I was expected to breastfeed every 3 hours, keep a somewhat clean home, do laundry, change diapers—basically make sure Carter stayed alive and all the while I was forgetting about myself.

Its funny because everyone complimented me on how much weight I lost so quickly — well duh that’s what happens when you don’t eat. I would be running on no sleep and not even eat sometimes for 12+ hours. I felt crazy, I felt overwhelmed, I felt like, “how am I going to be able to do this”? —- maybe having Carter was a mistake.

“Why didn’t you ask for help”?

I’ll  never forget I was at my moms house with Carter’s dad and we were sitting on the couch and I started crying to him, he looked at my like I was crazy. I told him, “I’m not getting what I need from you” at that point he really looked at me like I was crazy because for the past 6+ weeks he’s been staying up with me, changing diapers, basically doing everything but breastfeeding and I still felt like he just wasn’t doing enough. It frustrated me that I couldn’t articulate what I needed but I knew I needed more than what I was getting… at that point I realized I was depressed.

 

I had a doctors appointment a few days after, it was my first one taking Carter alone, still healing from my c-section I painfully packed Carter up and took the trip from Canton to Boston (not a short drive by any means) part of me was so happy to have made it but still the other part of me felt fucking helpless, struggling to get packed up, wash my ass and Carter’s and manage to leave the house on time after not sleeping for weeks and barely eating to get to the appointment and hear “how have you been feeling” if ever there would have been a more appropriate time to respond, “how do you think bitch?”…

I think that would have been it.

 

I finally opened up to my doctor about how I was starting to feel sad, I knew I didn’t want to be put on medicine it’s not like I was cooped up with Carter in the house …it was the late Summer so by then we had been everywhere, the beach for walks, the park  I’d always take him out to keep busy but for some reason I just couldn’t shake this feeling of “I have  such a big responsibility literally FOREVER and I don’t feel like I can do it”.

I left that appointment with a prescription for my high ass blood pressure and the realization I needed to pull it together, I didn’t know how but I needed to.

I started forcing myself to eat, even when I didn’t feel hungry. I started waking up on Saturday and bringing Carter to the hair salon with me, I started getting back into the swing of things —- getting back to the old Ashley.

 

Funny story, I’ll never fucking forget, I brought Carter to the hair salon with me for the first time. I was determined as hell to get my $12 roller set from the Dominicans so I set out to make it there for 9 am, when they first opened in hopes of “getting in and getting out” —- then I woke up . Clearly I forgot I was on baby time because we got there around noon, disheveled as shit but we made it. I was happy, I felt accomplished. It was packed but luckily I found a seat and nestled Carter next to me in his stroller and we waited… I was 1/2 through my 3 hour salon visit when Carter to the shit of the century, there was no changing table in the only small ass bathroom they had but I made it work. I changed my then newborn’s explosive poop diaper on my lap, give him a damn bird bath because he pooped up his back, changed his clothes and got back under the dryer.

The devil was a liar that day.

3 hours, $12 dollars and a poppin’ ass roller set later I realized 2 things. 1) I needed to stop being a cheap ass bitch and find a better salon with more seats and a better bathroom and 2) I DID IT. I had one of my first stressful ass “I’m on my own” mom moments and I figured it out. It was the first time I really felt like a good mom, —-a mom that handles shit.

After that, you couldn’t tell me nothing, the old ashley was back and she had a new partner in crime.

I tell that story because when women become moms we tend  forget about ourselves. Sure I would have gotten my hair done I probably would have went a few more weeks without going until Carter’s dad didn’t work one morning or my mom was free but instead I made it a point to do what I needed to do for myself… on my own time!

I don’t know about you but the importance of self care as a new mom was never stressed to me, instead all I heard was, “it’s no longer about you, your life’s going to change so much… you just wait” — such daunting comments. I wasn’t empowered and perhaps if I had been things may have been different for me in the beginning. What good of a mom and I when I’m not being good to myself? Self care for me comes in many forms, it wasn’t only about the hair salon, or the nail salon, self care turned into strolls by the beach at sunset and going to my complex gym, and to this day self care for me means therapy appointments that Carter frequents as well.

Being a mom to me has become it, like the pinnacle of everything it’s my focus and will be my focus forever and anytime I feel myself drifting, I realize I gotta stay good for Carter.

You can ask me, is it selfish to put you before your kids”? And I’ll answer yes and no. Carter’s needs will ALWAYS come before anything, PERIODT, but in the past 16 almost 17 months I’ve learned how much maintaining a healthy mom for Carter means and that’s pretty important too.

Stay well,

Love and Light ❤

Read below, some important facts about postpartum depression

 

8 Things to Watch For post baby.

  1. Your “baby blues” don’t get better. It’s common to have a dip in mood during your baby’s first 2 weeks. After that, you should feel better. But if you’re still sad or even hopeless weeks later, and the feelings are growing intense, that’s more than the blues.
  1. Sadness or guilt consume your thoughts.Feeling upset once in a while is normal. But if you have crying spells, or you often feel unhappy about being a parent, or you’re often “down on yourself” as a mom, these may be among the first signs of postpartum depression.
  1. You lose interest in things you enjoy. Are you laughing at your favorite romantic comedy? Are you interested in being affectionate with your partner? What about your favorite foods? Are you enjoying them? Are you eating at all? If you said no, talk to your doctor about these changes in mood and habits.
  1. You have trouble making decisions. Maybe you’re too tired to think straight. Maybe you just don’t care. If you can’t decide whether or not to get out of bed, take a shower, change your baby’s diaper, or take her for a walk, these may be early signs of postpartum depression.
  1. You worry you won’t be a good mom. Who hasn’t worried about this? It’s common among moms whose babies are sick or premature, or were born with special needs. But if this is not your situation, then having constant doubts about yourself as a mother could mean something else.
  1. Your sleep patterns have changed. Of course they have. You have a baby! But if you can’t even rest when your child is napping, or you’re sleeping all the time, that’s likely something other than a new sleep pattern.
  1. You’ve had big, stressful changes in your life. Maybe you’ve been fighting with your partner, or your family isn’t helping you care for your baby. Perhaps someone you loved died a short time ago. Stressful events like these can worsen your sadness and trigger postpartum depression.
  1. You think about harming yourself. Thoughts of suicide, or hurting yourself or your baby, are advanced signs of postpartum depression and even postpartum psychosis, a rare and serious mental illness that happens with postpartum depression. If you’re having any kind of suicidal thoughts, you’re in crisis and need to call your doctor or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255immediately to get help.