All I Have

Oh sweet image, how I longed to see you, longed to live you but alas it was not mine to have. I still mourn because it will only remain what is: a dream, a foolish figment of what I can imagine. My heart is full because you smile everyday though it is caused by another and one I will not share. I find solace in your happiness; though a better you I will not find. I mourn for you, my muse, my spirit walking outside of me. What little inspiration I’ve had without you. – V. (4.13.15)

  

development

I’ve been questioning my parenting lately. Man….that’s a terrible thing to confess. No one ever wants to admit that their child’s possible flaws could be directly linked to their lack of parenting success. As of late, that’s been my thought process. It’s been having an impact on my self-awareness, my self-esteem and of course, my peace and happiness.

My son will be two years old in two months. There are so many things that my son SHOULD be doing at this age, but isn’t. My first thought is that I shouldn’t feel bad; there are sick children all over the world and AJ is blessed to just be healthy. But that’s just it. Those kids are SICK. That is their “excuse” for lack of a better word. AJ isn’t sick so what’s the problem?

I’m forced to assume it’s me. Perhaps I’m not spending enough time with him, teaching him. Is he not socializing enough? Is it my fault?

I’ve made the attempt to seek professional help but I’m judged. Immediately I get THAT look: the “She’s way too young and can’t handle the responsibility” look. It’s patronizing, disappointing and admittedly hurting. I’ve tried with all my power to show that I am capable of being a good mother to my son.

Where am I lacking, AJ? What am I depriving you of, sweet boy?

This is me: admitting that I am not a perfect mother and my child and I have our own set of issues as does every family. Here I am questioning myself because there is no one else. Where do I turn next?

Do not feel sorry for me, reader. I am simply fulfilling my purpose. I’m not here to show you my perfect parenting nor am I here for pity. I am here to show you that we are one in the same, that I struggle as you struggle and I seek help like you seek help from me.

until next time from one learning mom to the next….V

xoxo

SAHM vs Work

Before having a child, I didn’t realize how much of the population works from home or just stays at home with their children. I thought it was a thing of the past & was actually quite thrilled to do it with my AJ once he was born. I envisioned activities, reading, playing, everything done with the ease of my own schedule. AJ would be so happy to have me around rather than some sitter and I would be a wonderful mother who wouldn’t have to worry. Sounds perfect, right?

Surprise! I embarked on the journey of single motherhood. Staying at home was definitely going to be a challenge now. I began my endless hunt for a SAH job so I could provide and nurture my chicky all on my own. Eventually, I started working for my mother and take it from me: it is difficult to work AND nurture simultaneously.

Don’t get me wrong now. AJ is a gem. He entertains himself mostly. Doesn’t really ask for anything. He’ll starve and drown in feces if I don’t remember to take care of it for him because he WON’T say anything. It’s simply a matter of dividing myself in two (or three) worlds. It feels as if I’m doing a half-ass job on all ends.

When I started school up again (on campus) shortly after AJs first birthday, I made a stunning realization. I was a much better mother, student and employee! The ability to divide my time (time for AJ, time for work, time for school) made things so much better for me. I found myself more productive and much happier in every aspect.

At first, I felt bad. What kind of mother doesn’t want to stay home with her baby ALL DAY?! This is me telling you: DON’T feel bad. Some mothers were made to stay home, plan educational, fun activities and nurture 100%. Others can balance the work-home situation with a laptop in one hand & a breastfeeding babe in the other. And then there are those (like myself) who need separate spaces for everything: an office for work, a home for play, a park for exercise, a campus to study. I can sit down and practice the alphabet with AJ without thinking that I should study or check my email. It works for me. Also, AJ & I were bored to tears staring at each other ALL DAY. He likes to socialize & I like to feel productive so the change of pace throughout the day benefited both of us.

Mamas and Papas, do what works for you. Figure out what makes you and your babes happy & DO IT. Who cares what other people are doing? I’m currently at school where I don’t have to worry if AJ is sticking his finger into an outlet or a customer is waiting on me to finish this blog post. My divided time gives me room to breathe & I need that.

Signing off: whether it’s staying at home or working, your babies will love you. The important factor is having something comfortable for YOU. Your family will be affected if you’re unhappy with your job or unhappy at home. What makes you a better mom/dad?

Xoxo

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Parenting Perfectly…or something like that

When AJ was born, I wanted, with all my being, to be the perfect parent to him. I literally had nothing to give. At the mere age of 21, I had no parenting experience and was in for quite a surprise.

I did hours, days, months of research because MY kid deserved only the best.

Which bottle was best for breastfed babies that prevented colic simultaneously?

When should I start solids?

What all-natural way could I solve his diaper rash, his allergic reactions?

Everything and anything remotely related to AJ, I researched and tried to perfect. I went through many brands of diapers, lotions, bottles, clothes, strollers, car seats, etc.

What did I gain from all this?

A big dose of postpartum depression.

I let go of who I was before AJ and bullied myself for not doing top-notch at a job I was supposed to be naturally good at. I beat myself up if he got a rash or colicky. I labeled myself an inadequate parent when he wouldn’t eat solids. And when my milk supply started decreasing? It was a nightmare.

When did it all end?

One day, I don’t know when, I finally decided to stop. I was so overprotective, analytical and self-destructive. I had to teach myself that AJ is a normal boy. He learns at his own pace. He gets sick, falls down and scrapes himself. Medicine from a pharmacy is OKAY, even if it’s not all-natural. Formula-feeding is just as good.

It’s amazing how freeing it can be to live this way. There’s so much information out there on the best ways to raise our children and most of it can be difficult to process. Our children are not machines to be programmed. They have personalities, likes and dislikes And our job is to learn them and work with them.

AJ was a late bloomer when it came to crawling, walking, talking and he still doesn’t eat solid food at the current age of 16 months. He prefers letters over numbers and cartoons in Spanish. And I work with him. He thrives so much more now that I lay back and let him take the lead.

Does it make me a perfect parent?

Hell no.

Am I inadequate because of it?

HELL NO.

I no longer strive to be the perfect parent and we are happy the way we are. My opinion is that a childhood must be full of the bumps, bruises and NORMAL. To me, it’s normal to have TV time and junk food occasionally. It’s normal to have Tylenol and drink formula. It’s normal to have an erratic sleep schedule.

Normalize your parenting and your children. It won’t be easy but thpey’ll be so much more happy because of it and you? You’ll be free, honey.

Xoxo

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Summer!

I’ve pretty much failed this blog LOL. Seriously though, I’ve been having so much fun with AJ lately and learning to live in the moment instead of capturing it. We’ve all gotten caught up with social networks and are guilty of trying to get a perfect picture instead of enjoying the memory currently being made!

So, forgive me for being a ghost. I’m enjoying my son as much as I can because he’s growing so fast and I don’t wanna miss a thing.

I personally love pictures. If you must, take one then drop the phone and have fun.

Here are some pictures of AJ recently. Beginning to enjoy his first summer. I have to say this is my favorite age so far. He’s very independent but also understands a lot of what’s going on around him and most of what is being said. This makes things so much fun!

He’s learning his ABCs and body parts. Still not eating any food but is making progress with crunchy snacks and yogurt drops that resemble candy. Baby steps, I guess. From what I notice, it doesn’t seem to be affecting his growth or development so I’m trying not to let it stress me.

He loves cars and really enjoys helping his grandparents in the kitchen. I think I fall in love with him everyday. He’s a gem.

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Here I Am

To my heart-broken single mothers:
I have been there. It feels like your world is crumbling around you as you realize your relationship failed. You find yourself thinking at times how your son won’t have a father to play catch with or your daughter won’t have daddy teach her to dance. He says he’ll be there for your child, and your heart clings to that hope, but the realist in you doesn’t see it happening. What will you say when your baby grows and asks ” Where my dad?”
———-
I have been there. I’ve cried and questioned it all. Where did I go wrong? What were my mistakes? Is it even my fault? There are no justifications or answers because it simply wasn’t meant to be, wasn’t your life to live.
————-

I am single mother. At first, forcefully and now by choice. This is an experience that cannot be expressed, can never be explained & you will never prepare for. But because of it, I can assure you of one thing. Despite a missing parent, God blesses single parent homes with immense love, an amount that could not possibly fit with both parents. You don’t have to believe me but someday, you’re going to sit, smile & thank Him for your steps in life. Nothing is coincidental, everything is constructed for you.
———-
Never doubt yourself and what you can do. You can be more than enough for your babies. They have a heavenly father watching over them every second & he places wonderful souls strategically to fill in the gaps. Someone to play catch with, someone to teach them to dance, someone to conquer the stings of loneliness. Worry not, beautiful mama.

For I have been there but now, still standing, I am here.

Xoxo

Destiny or God?

I’m a strong believer in “If it’s meant to be, it will be.”

I just finished typing a up a piece on understanding backwards but living forwards. After 20 minutes of writing, I posted it and it disappeared. All I could find was the Kierkegaard quote I posted with it. I could’ve been upset about this but the way I see it: if it was meant to be posted, it would have been. So, I’ll just accept that my words are lost in time. Perhaps their purpose was for me to express, not publicize.

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In the past, I’ve found myself trying to save relationships, clinging on to any hope of keeping the fire alive. Looking back I think: Why? if that man were supposed to love me, if that girl was to be my friend, in time he/she will be, without me orchestrating a master plan. Though the world may stomp their feet and pout, if I’m meant to be with AJ’s father again, it’s going to happen on its own. If Rhode Island is where I am meant to “sow my oats” then nothing I do will stop that.

This is how I live my life now. I let things happen on their own. I only have control of myself and my actions so I focus on that and forget the world. I wish more women could be this way, instead of clinging to nonexistent relationships for validation. A man is supposed to love who you already are and who you are destined to be, not what he wants you to be. Oh, he likes blondes but you’re a brunette? Chances are he isn’t for you. FOCUS.

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Is it destiny that controls our movements in life? Is it God? That’s based on your beliefs. No matter what they are, you believe in a purpose, a final destination in which you are directed. Just live, be yourself and you will get there whether you read books, play video games or design clothes. Do not compromise your beliefs for someone you’re interested in. Mr. Right won’t ask that of you so why sacrifice for Mr. Not Right?

I, for one, love writing though I do not think I’m very good. I love reading, being in school and when I love, I love HARD. Prefer my hair straightened but rather not take the time out to do it. Love dressing up but everyday is asking for too much. A man exists that will love all these features and a man exists that will love all of yours.

 

Be patient.

xoxo