Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

Peace of Mind~

I stopped fighting myself recently. I thought I’d missed out on something. Some party or concert I was trying to get to that motherhood was pulling me from.

I used to go out alot. So many excursions became a normalcy. There was no reason for me to mourn the lost of the single life, I technically haven’t been single in over 7 years.

I thought I was having a mid life crisis after having the baby. Welcome to Postpartum
Depression with a side of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome with a garnish of Persistent Depression Disorder. My husband said he never met someone who constantly said “I need to find myself.” until he met me. He still doesn’t completely understand what I mean by that. I used to write so much poetry that I’d perform it all over NYC. In those poems were writings of being lost. Constantly, I would write about being lost. Lost in love, lost in life, lost in a mixed up bag of bullshit. When you write a particular fate into your existence, you can easily become that. I skimmed through my older writings to find something that explained me to a tee. It read “I came with a brokenness that I had been working on mending throughout my entire life. I had moments where I was healed and then other moments were the wound would be reopened to be bruised & hurt all over again. “Who were we to ourselves first?” was a question that I forgot to ask myself but it would eventually find its way back to me soon.”

So here I am again. Asking myself if I did everything I could do to be a good role model to the children. Wondering, am I enough for my husband? I have been neglecting myself the entire time just by pondering about the well being of others. It seems simple to comprehend as I write it but it’s not as simple as it seems.

The new normalcy of my country is an extremely triggering one as a Black Female. In my shoes in 2017, I saw manhood come crumbling down. It’s no longer just about wondering if my husband will make it back home to me everyday. It becomes about teaching my little man child the importance of survival, respect & boundaries. I watched women reclaim their time as men became rapists AND victims. I had to explain to my teenager why it was imperative that she comprehend how her body can be perceived to older men while still teaching her to live free. I had to watch large sums of people fake being shocked about sexual harassment in the world when many of them condoned it or just turned an eye from what they encountered. As if it wasn’t blatantly there. Quietly escaping each thought of being misled, I held my son & vowed to teach him better. I stare at my husband sometimes & wonder how he loves me so much. My pent up frustration leads to less affection for him but he loves me none the less. Where I won’t kiss him, I’ll replace it with a meal. Where I won’t touch him, I’ll replace it with a smile. When I won’t speak to him, I’ll replace it with my ears to hear his woes instead. I push past my shortcomings for him. He is the guiding force that helps me create amazing children. We do it together. Yet I know I stumble over my pain on the way. And my knees have scars that have healed yet left horrible marks that cut deep within my soul. So I get lost.

Lost in those emotions & unanswered past notions is where my soul roams. It hurts alot to be that Black. Unapologetically. My skin may not be of the darkest hue but my lips, nose and eyes can get no bigger. My features say more & it’s like my ancestors are screaming at me to do better this time because I sometimes don’t hear their whispers. So I look to my babies & then back at myself & I say… “Jwa. Be You. Unapologetically You. And the children will be their best selves because of it.”

I dedicate this writing to my friend, Jennifer Lawrence-Love, Erica Garner and the 12 people who lost their lives plus the 4 in critical condition from the Bronx fire on Dec 29. This last week of fatalities & mistakes has been an eye opener into not allowing stress to run my world. When you allow your fears to take a front seat in your life, it tends to kill u slowly from the inside. A Jay Z quote resonates for me going forth into the life I have left and that’s “I Will Not Lose!”

Who you gonna be today?

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

Sometimes~

Sometimes I look at old pictures of myself & I get a little sad. Thinking about the freedom or smooth skin I took for granted at times. Replaced with this new body with fat in different places & brand new stretch marks that appear as though aliens landed on me while my baby was incubated inside. Mother’s Day was last weekend and I’ve chosen to learn how to disappear for next year. My plan was to leave all weekend and never give myself a chance to be disappointed. I have a 5 month old baby boy that is exclusively breastfed so that option became null and void quicker than I cared for. Even with my backups of frozen milk, I felt an uneasiness about using my last 3 bags for needed time spent alone. I haven’t had a moment to just be free with my thoughts in months. Each day begins with how & what to do to create the best possible living scenario for my husband & children on every aspect. I hate that my mind won’t ease up. I hate that I feel overwhelmed with ideals of pleasing others at all times. It begins to feel self depreciating.

You don’t get to choose your family. The best thing that you can do to be happy in the life you’ve been given is to raise your kids right. Problem is, you don’t get to choose your kids either. In some supernatural, spiritual realm, I do believe that we have chosen each path & life lived. Regardless of whether I feel I had a choice in the souls surrounding me, it’s clear that they would have been put there either way for a larger meaning.

I got two spiritual readings including a Reiki session while pregnant with Baby Light. All signs proved him to have chosen me & vice versa. It was said that he & I had been together in past lives. We had chosen each other again for this one.

I got alot of Mother’s Day texts from friends & family this year. Many people were congratulating me on Baby Light. I reminded anyone who suggested this was my first Mother’s Day that it technically was my 2nd considering I have been caring for my 15 yr old stepchild for 2 years now. My husband refers to Mother’s Day as a Hallmark holiday. My stepchild has trauma caused from the biological mother.

Every year thus far, Mother’s Day has been terrible. I’m not a huge person on gifts & such. I just like the idea of acknowledgement on a job well done. I could tell weeks in advance I was going to be disappointed so I planned on leaving the house alone. Since that didn’t happen, the day began with it’s normal disappointments. I awoke to a text message from the child asking for something (I didn’t want to be asked for anything). The text message inevitably got to saying Happy Mother’s Day but was watered down by the consistent need for something. My husband awoke and watched Netflix for an hour and a half while I breastfed the baby & tried to lure the little one back to sleep. The hubby never said Happy Mother’s Day. Instead, he asked “What do you want?” I replied “To just leave.” Finally I got the baby to sleep & tried to leave for the shower I rarely get to take.

Twenty mins later amidst a screaming baby, I had Baby Light back in my arms wishing I had put on deodorant before grabbing him. My husband looked at me with his concerned eyes. No comprehension of what was wrong. I planned on just running away possibly coming back in 12 hours, turning off my phone to escape everything. Not enough frozen milk for that plan to work though.

I just never knew. Everyone tells you how difficult your children can be but stepchildren… Stepchildren come with a different type of story. You get this person who you vow to take care of because they belong to your spouse but they come with their own baggage. They come with their own problems. They have their own growing pains that they’ve partly created & partly been inherited. What do you do when everything you’ve done to help them gets looked upon as failure or just isn’t acknowledged? What do you do when there are no longer any words of “thank you” or “hello”?

I stayed home for Mother’s Day & endured another day that didn’t look any different than the disappointment I face in my home everyday. And that’s the thing with mothers, there’s no break. Even in the midst of a breakdown, it’s seen as a failing moment. I told myself that I’d just keep pushing forward anyway. I never know what to expect from my children. I can only hope that one day it’ll all make sense & my work wasn’t in vain. I have my own soul searching to do through my parents’ journey. Putting myself in the shoes of the child, I comprehend the effects that those two people have on me. No stepparent can ever compare to the type of love & pain a child endures from their parents in my point of view. It’s deep seeded issues & unconditional love flow through like lava. No matter how much one may try to write off the psychological, emotional, physical & mental effects that are inherited from parents, it’ll keep coming up until it’s addressed & understood. As much as I comprehend this, it doesn’t make a difference in my household if my husband & stepchild don’t. It becomes a continuing cycle of the same song. “All around the world, the same song.” – Digital Underground. I sing songs to myself to find an easier coping method.

“Sometimes, wish I knew life with no pain, yeah
Wish I held the keys to this game
Sometimes, I pretend cuz I’m afraid to be, afriad to be” – Bilal

Who u gonna be today?

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood

It’s A Man’s World…

I was the head of my household when I had no household. It was just my boyfriend and I. We began small where he had a steady income. I was a professional server & I was never happy with that title. I had been working in the hospitality industry for almost 20 years. I began working at a young age. My first job was at 12 years old folding clothes at a laundromat for $2 a load. At 13 I became a summer camp counselor for children. I couldn’t even be paid until I turned 14 in August. At 15 I signed up for the track team but ended up quitting a week later. I got a job at a pet store and cash seemed better than playing sports.

My mother worked hard to keep a roof over my head but teenagers are stubborn. I wanted more than what she could give. I needed to look a certain way (buy my own clothes). I wanted to feel responsible for my own life (buy my own food). My mother had a way of showing me what “tough love” was early. Let’s just say that I learned what financial struggles, burdens & responsibilities were a bit earlier than I would’ve liked.

By 17 I got my first job in a restaurant. I worked as hostess at Red Lobster. Who knew I’d live in that industry for the rest of my life. Every time I tried to run from it, I’d end up right back at it.
My calling was to be a writer. Every inch of me always knew it. I’d try to do both. I’d try to have it all. I’d fail everytime.

I’ve been unemployed for almost 2 years and it’s been interesting discovering my passion again. When I’d gotten into the car accident a year ago I’d lost a bit of feeling in my hands. This time was supposed to be an opportunity to create something new/better. So I created my son, Light. He’s amazing in every sense of the word.

My family gave me the opportunity to create this new life yet I can’t help but feel guilty for it. I don’t have a career. The age old question to women is can u have it all? It’s plagued me my entire life. Is family & career possible in the same timeline? I’m not so sure anymore. Many women do it but sacrifice is consistently there.

I’ve got an opportunity to go back to work now yet I can’t help but think about how it will effect my family. Baby Light isn’t even 3 months old yet & he’s exclusively breastfed. My postpartum is still raging at different moments throughout my day. I have yet to have a complete day alone since before the baby arrived. So now I’m supposed to pass him off to a stranger while I go interact with people I don’t truly care for.

I never expected to be unemployed this long. I can’t say I thought I’d have a baby this soon either. I’d like to believe Baby Light is worth it. He’s worth all the struggle but why should struggle be so apparent with raising a child?

Society makes it easier for a man to go back to work. So they say. I’ve watched the pain in my husband’s eyes has he comes home exhausted unable to have a coherent conversation with me. I’ve seen him too tired to play with his son. I question if more work from me is needed yet at what sacrifice? Sometimes the roles need to be reversed just for you to realize there shouldn’t be roles at all. It is a man’s world. But in name of James Brown it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl.

I’ve created a solid comprehension of what a home looks like to my stepdaughter. I’ve been able to utilize the system to a certain extent & get us all therapist for free. I’ve worked with other pregnant mothers, to find support in what I had been going through. It’s important to cultivate on your surroundings and make the most of the situation. I’ve learned now, how to give of myself in a bigger way. The question is does the work force deserve me back so soon though?

Who you gonna be today?

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Married Life, Motherhood, Parenthood, Uncategorized

Bill Collectors At Ma DOE!!! What Can You Do 4 Me!!!!

I stopped paying all my bills last month. My husband went on paternity leave for 6 wks when we delivered the baby.

There are only 3 states in the US that give 6 wks of paternity (disability) leave to fathers, California, Washington State & New Jersey. There aren’t many job employers that will tell you to take off time for your unborn baby’s arrival. The smaller the company the less likely they are to want to give you that time off in fear of not having someone to cover your place.

The rules to surviving in life are that you are supposed to sacrifice all happiness for it. All your happiness is suppose get flushed down a shitty ass toilet in order to start that process of survival. What does that mean for your sanity? What does that mean for your family? We live in a world where it’s supposed to be worth it to never see your children because you’re making ends meet to pay all the bills. Where did this lie begin to make sense to the masses?

I went to apply for food stamps down at my social services a couple of weeks ago & was denied because I didn’t have enough paperwork to prove how poor I was. The social worker then asked me why would the father of my children take paternity leave if the bills weren’t going to be paid? We now have a title for postpartum depression. Because we had no names for our many ailments of the past, they went undiagnosed. My husband is my diagnosis for postpartum depression.

The system stays screwing us with no lube ya know. You actually are paid for taking paternity leave. It’s not received until you are back at work & it’s claimed as a disability. Now what’s the point in the check being received after you have returned back to work? The claim covers 2/3 of what you may actually make with a max out that is different from state to state. It can also take anywhere from 6 to 8 wks after the father has returned back to work to process the claim, then another 2 months to receive payment. So basically we are made to suffer as much as possible prior to being paid anything for claims. At this present moment I have over 20 different numbers that call my phone wondering when I’ll pay them. My new ringtone is silent.
Who cares if you’ve worked your entire life away to pay a government that will work harder to not return your dollar back to you when you need it?

I’ve had a job since 12 yrs old. I lost my job back in April of 2015. It took 2 months for my unemployment to come in. I only received it for 4 months because they put me on a 6 wk suspension. I emptied my 401k to survive the 2 month stretch yet still had to apply and go through a rigorous process to take back my own money. Once the unemployment ran out in Dec of 2015 I told myself I’d begin looking for work Feb 1st considering most places aren’t hiring until after the holidays are completely over. I was in a horrible car accident on Jan 31st 2016. The healing process became the new concern. I became pregnant in March of 2016. The rest is kind of history.

The support system that a family needs to bring a new life force into the world is a significant & profound part of developing safety for the child! My village is important regardless of what others may think & I’ll prove it in later posts. Society tries to make us forget those things in order to pay bills. Paying bills is not why we were born. Paying bills doesn’t give you the same feeling that you can get from achieving your goals. Paying bills DO give you some form of financial stability that helps you create the climate of comfortability. It also takes you away from your family and ambitions if you’re doing the wrong thing to create revenue into your home. BILLS BILLS BILLS. Subconsciously, songs, your parents, your teachers, friends and all facets of society make u think that life is about paying bills. “Ain’t nothing going on but the rent! You got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me. No romance without finance.” Gwen Guthrie said it best. But please remember while having a job & paying bills do reside on the (supposed) finer side of life please do remember that the true finer side is health, love & fulfilling your dreams. Don’t forget to be the change you want for your family. Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future based on the superficial standards that have been taught to us. Traditions are what keep us living in the past. Traditions are what we hold on to with our holidays. Traditions are what our children learn & believe they need, to be right in the world. Traditions is how we can “Make America Great Again.”. Over a decade ago I read something that stated “Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure, it is in decay.” – Krishnamurti. I took so much from that statement & realized I could become whomever I wanted. It doesn’t have to be based off anything I’ve been taught. I’m more concerned with finding peace & the good of the world within me first. Peace & good rather than right or wrong.

Who you gonna be today?

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