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Trust Your Gut

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When I imagined myself as a parent, I always imagined that I would be much tougher than I am. I just knew that I'd set all these rules and boundaries and never budge or allow them to be compromised or moved. I mean, hey, I could do it while I was babysitting my nieces and nephews so my own kid should have been a piece of cake, right? Ha! What I have discovered is that when it is my own child, whose kicks I felt (and cussed over) and whose growth I was personally responsible for (even through hyperemesis gravidarum and heart failure), being a boundary keeper is no longer a piece of cake!
When I realized how difficult it is for me to stick to the things that I just knew that I would always stick to, I became afraid that I'd be a parent whose kid just ran over them. I knew that, not only was that bad for me but, it was bad for my daughter. Developing into a kind, respectful person is vital for her and it is my job to see to it that she learns the necessary lessons for that.
I am…

Bad Mom

I saw this meme the other day that said that moms who struggled with infertility shouldn't feel bad for yelling at their kids because even miracle babies can be assholes. I'm sure it was meant to get a chuckle but for me it really struck home.
I mean, my daughter hasn't hit the age where I've yelled at her but I've definitely raised my voice and gotten really frustrated. But that's the thing - when you've wanted a kid your entire life and finally, by a miraculous chance, have one then everything you do feels wrong. Feed them chicken nuggets? They could have had lean, non-breaded chicken. Bad mom. Raise your voice? You should be more patient. Bad mom. Didn't hold them when they were fussy because you wanted to clean their messy playroom? How dare you let a moment with them pass! BAD MOM!
Even though no one says bad mom, the criticism is innate. You are your biggest critic. And I know that this is true of all mothers but when your child is a miracle baby,…

S**tShow2018

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As the year is coming to a close and the chaos of the Christmas season has been put to bed for another year, I have a moment to reflect. This reflection is why I have labeled this year's Christmas ShitShow2018.
You know, all year I've wanted to be the mom who did the things. You know the ones: cute outfits that commemorate each holiday, present at all community events, toting around their adorable minis like porcelian dolls removed from their dust-proof boxes to be passed around and oooohhhhhed and aaaaahhhhhhed at. I kept up alright. I got the Halloween costume. I got the 'gobble gobble' bib. But, man oh man, I was not prepared for the soul-sucking festivities of the Christmas season! I wanted to do all the firsts: first Christmas portraits, first Santa photo, first family Christmas, first Christmas morning, first gift-opening and I wanted to commemorate it all! Here's how that worked out:
I do my daughter's portraits myself. Every month I dress her up, get ou…

The Imperfect Parenting Balance

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When I was pregnant with Lola, I had all these plans for the kind of mother I would be. All these rules that would be in place to make her independent and well-behaved, unlike the screaming, tantrum-throwing hooligans I had seen in restaurants and stores all my life. Everyone laughed at me when I told them that my child would have a strict bedtime from birth, would eat on a schedule, never see an electronic screen and not be held constantly. But, you know what? It worked ... for about four months, maybe five. Then, she developed habits of her own. She didn't want to eat when she first woke up. So there went the eating schedule. She outgrew naps at 9 a.m. so there went the strict sleeping schedule. And so on and so forth.
So, let's just get this out of the way right now: Hi. I'm JoDee and I thought I'd be the perfect parent and I'm not. I'm 5 months and three weeks clean of that thinking. *applause*
I want Lola to be healthy. I want her to eat broccoli and carrot…

When Fear Finds Its Way In, This Happens

So, it's been awhile since I've posted a new blog. Life has caught up to me, as it always does and I have fallen behind on everything that I think, as I'm falling asleep each night, I will accomplish the following day (like posting a new blog). But, don't worry, friends, I still have lots to ramble on about!
     I had a conversation with a friend today about the things he has struggled with being a parent, primarily finances. I admitted to him that I am terrified to leave the financial safety of living with others to strike out on my own and be solely responsible for putting a roof over my child's head and food on the table for us. Before motherhood, I didn't care if the deposit for an apartment took my last dollar and left me on a strict diet of bread and water for a month. I wanted independence and I was going to get it at any cost. However, things like evictions or car breakdowns or job layoffs only affected me and that didn't scare me. However, as…

Live Simply, Love Deeply, and Reach Your Goals

I was asked recently what my major plans in life were. My go-to response, of course, was to build my savings, finish my degree, buy a house, make enough money to provide my child with every opportunity. These are all good, respectable things but, as I sat pondering later that day (as I usually do), I realized that these were goals I had for myself and there were so much more I wanted out of life. My primary focus, and what motivates my every decision, since my daughter was born has become what kind of person am I; what kind of role model is she going to be looking to for the rest of her life? With that in mind, I have had to refocus, rethink and reprioritize. I figured out that there were three things I wanted that were fundamental to the kind of person I am and the kind of life I want to build for both myself and my daughter: live simply, love deeply and reach my goals.


LIVE SIMPLY:

I have always been an over-thinker, an over-worrier, with thoughts that were so complicated that I had a…

Being a Better Me

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I have talked a little in my previous blogs about my disregard for long term consequences before I became a mom. I cannot emphasize enough how deeply that disregard ran and I am amazed each day as I wake up a mom at how much I have changed. It is really true that a child changes everything. The moment I found out I was pregnant it was kind of like my life flashed before my eyes. Every selfish moment I had where I did things because I wanted to, consequences be damned, came flooding to my mind followed, of course, by the shitty consequences I had to deal with. I knew in that moment, before I even left the hospital, that I had to leave behind the person who didn’t care what she suffered as long as she got what she wanted when she wanted it.
This started a long journey of facing the reality of the kind of woman that I had been up to this point in my life. I had to look into the mirror (metaphorically speaking and I avoided that metaphorical mirror at all costs) and own up to the fact tha…