Diary of A Mad, Interesting Woman

Welcome to the random (and sometimes ratchet) ramblings in my head about life, love and pop culture.

Tag: parenthood

#WeareTEN

In the Bible, the number 10 signifies completeness and wholeness depending on the source you reference. The perfection of divine order. Today, my beloved and I are ten.  Ten years of marriage. #weDIDthat

It’s funny. I’ve never doubted that Bryan and I would be together for the long haul. From the moment he looked at me in that way that he does, the way that only he can, I knew that I knew that I’d found my home. In the past ten years we’ve weathered a long distance relationship (for a combined two years) and two cross country moves that taught us lessons in trust and leaning into each other. We’ve weathered job loss and restoration, home sale and purchase, two children, a partridge and a pear tree. We’ve learned the difference between disagreements and deal breakers. We’ve learned each other’s love language. We’ve learned how to transition from roommates to soul mates. We’ve learned to fight fair which undoubtedly means listening more than you speak (real talk – something I’m still working on). We’ve learned to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” And my goodness has God blessed us.

In Bryan, I’ve found a man who treats me as if I’m his purpose in life. In every ordered step he takes, I’m assured that the driving force, the means to it all, is me. There’s not a doubt in my mind that he cherishes me. He respects me. He challenges me to be better, to never settle for less than I’m worth and to dream fearlessly. AND, to pursue those dreams with reckless abandon because he’ll always be here to catch me should I fall. He always says, “What’s the worst that could happen? No matter what it is, we’ll still have each other. So really … how bad could it be?”

In these 10 years, I’ve tried to be a good wife. I pay attention to him to communicate that there’s not one thing that interests him that’s not important to me. I encourage him daily, consistently affirm our love, champion his decisions and respect the path he’s leading. I like to think that I’m “21st century submissive” (I made that up). I follow his lead and believe his counsel to be wise, but I’m a partner with opinions that I voice respectfully with understanding that they’ll always be heard and weighed before he makes the final decision. It’s because of that reciprocity and open heart from my husband that I feel safe on our journey. It’s not easy being the head of household, thus I try hard to never do things that make it harder for him.

I began our journey in traditional role play (i.e. woman cook clean, man make money take out trash *said in caveman voice*). After a few years, I was exhausted. I couldn’t be all that I saw my Mom and my Grandmothers be AND be this dynamic communications executive at the same time. I remember one night that I sobbed to Bryan confessing that I couldn’t be the perfect wife. I was trying to do it all and I was killing myself. I was overweight, stressed to the max and supremely unhappy. I had it in my head that in order to be the “perfect wife” I had to subscribe to certain rules and duties.  Bryan looked at me and said, “So let’s change the rules. What do you need? Tell me and I’ll do it. I can help out around here. I can’t cook like you, but we’ll eat. Just tell me what you need, Baby. I’ll always do it. I love you more than anything in this world.” I give this man my life because he’s given nothing less than that to me.

I don’t think Bryan and I would say that our marriage is perfect, but who are we to argue with the Word of God? 😉 What I can say is that we are perfectly paired. Equally yoked. And, this journey has been the sweetest ride of our lives.

Bryan, my beloved, my friend, my lover, my Priest, Prophet and King

You have made my life so beautiful. Even my hopes, wishes and dreams of what marriage would be didn’t hold a candle to the fruition of you. Your love has been reverential and restorative. In it, I have been born. In it, I’ve found safety to stumble without regret and blossom without worry. In you, I’ve found my true North. Thank you for every laugh, every wiped tear, every night of pillow talk, every small and large decision suffered with little acknowledgement and every beautiful moment together. Being one with you is the sweetest gift God has ever given me. A reflection of His love for me. I am forever changed. I am forever yours.

Ten years … time really does fly.

#WeAreTEN #HangingwiththeHaleys

Love you, Baby. Mean It.

@AskThePRGirl

What Do I Do?

me

Hey Loves!!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged anything for a few reasons:

  • I only want to blog when I have something to say and for a while there … nothing relevant / thought-provoking came to mind. I mean … there’s only so many times a girl can talk about the “ratchetness” of reality television
  • Career + Mommyhood + Being the perfect Wife (#shedidthat) + Pregnancy = all-consuming. There’s almost not enough time in the day to bathe let alone come up with something pithy to say to you guys
  • I’ve been working on self which requires silence.  You can’t hear God if you’re constantly talking.

So, while I probably lost some faithful readers, I needed this time to adjust.  And you should always know that I’ll only speak when I truly have a topic that will benefit you, or at the very least, make you laugh. And moving forward, the posts may not be very long.  Just enough to get you thinking.

Here lately I find myself back in the midst of a relationship issue that’s giving me … pause.

Ever felt like something wasn’t quite right in your relationship (friendship, marriage, GF / BF, brother / sister, etc.), but you can’t quite put your finger on it?  Actually you can put your finger on it, but the “issues” are small and appear unworthy of attention … until you add up the issues and the time you’ve been dealing with them up and you realize … “SHIT! We’ve been dealing with this for a while!”

Yeah … welcome to my world. My favorite thing to say to people right now is that I’m “dealing with real world sh*t” in my life (like raising kids, juggling my career) and thus I’m a bit slower to catch on to things. *Ye shrug*

How do you address an issue with a loved one that you know is there, but have no idea whether your loved one is feeling the disconnect?  How do you even broach the subject? To have a formal sit down is too formal. To bring it up randomly during a get together is too … random.  When a relationship means the world to you, how do you address an issue that could potentially cause irrevocable harm if not addressed?  Especially when you’re dealing with someone who would rather chew off their own left arm rather than confront it? (I mean hypothetically … which must be said after that last Scandal episode with Olivia’s Mom. Good Lawd!)

That’s it. I don’t have the answer.  If I did, I’d tell you. I want you to tell me.  Hit me back in comments or tweet me (@AskThePRGirl).  This is important to me.  This time … I need your perspective. I mean, this is no one-sided relationship. You’ve got to pull your weight! 🙂

I look forward to hearing from you. And once I’ve sifted through all of the comments, I’ll be sure to come back to you all with the solution I chose and it’s outcome.

All the best, AskThePRGirl

P.S. I’ve missed you.  We should chat more 🙂

P.P.S. Don’t I look cute pregnant?? #SHEDIDTHAT (photo courtesy of @JennBinsPR)

Potty Hell

PottyTraining

Parenthood is teaching me a LOT about myself.  I didn’t know that I would have to juggle so many things at once and yet still feel like nothing has been done.  I didn’t know that I could operate on such a small amount of sleep.  Seriously! Lawmakers rightfully place a lot of focus on drunk drivers.  They should add sleep-deprived parents to the list.  I’ve literally woken up, bathed, bathed the baby, dressed us both, fed us both and arrived at work with no memory of doing ANY of these tasks.  One time I actually sat at my desk to send an email and jolted to reality as I realized I was at work.  I didn’t remember anything about my morning including the commute or dropping the baby at daycare.  I literally called the school in a panic asking if my son was there and then spent the next 10 minutes crying in the bathroom feeling utterly hopeless.  Yeah … parenthood is a beast!  I often tell new Moms that motherhood is like jumping into a cold pool on a summer day.  When you first hit the water, the temperature shocks your system; but, before you know it, you’re splashing around having the time of your life not feeling the cold at all.

Even still, my son has been my greatest accomplishment.  He’s so bright.  It amazes me how much he consumes in a day and literally spits it all back to show how much he’s learned.  He’s a little “me” walking around.  Amazing!  I wish he were a bit more like my husband.  My Hubby Honey is calm, quiet and reserved, while I’m loud, full of life and care-free.  That’s my son all day long.  He is a ball of energy and not simply because he’s three.  The way he talks to people.  The way he regards you if he doesn’t know you.  The way he corrects you when he feels you’re speaking complete nonsense.  The way he gravitates towards music.  His soul.  His … everything.  He’s me.  Through and through.  And while he amazes me, I’m also stumped by him. He has to be the most willful, stubborn little thing I’ve EVER encountered.

Before having our son, I was really only nervous about one thing: potty training.  I’d heard the stories.  I heard how boys are harder and that it’s a test of patience. I’d heard all of the different techniques including reward them with a song or reward them with a small piece of candy.  I’d also been told to put colorful cereal in the toilet and make a game of him hitting it with his urine.  Let him walk around naked because he’ll likely stop before going potty on your floor (TOTALLY not true for our son). I read all of the books and did tons of chatting on parenting sites. I became the most prepared unprepared parent in the history of parenthood.

I delayed it as long as possible because I didn’t want to deal.  I transitioned my son from diapers to pull-ups all the while telling myself that pull-ups were underwear.  Yeah.  They’re not.  They are diapers for kids who are not potty trained and money suckers for parents who refuse to face potty training.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s a genius invention.  Whoever thought of it deserves some sort of Nobel Peace Prize or something.  We weren’t ready to face the responsibility and pull-ups gave us time to get brave.  Everything was “good in the hood” until Noah experienced an extreme growth spurt.  He went from looking like a 2-year-old to looking like a 4-year-old in the matter of weeks.  And it aint cute when your 2-year-old who looks like a 4-year-old squats in middle of a store to take a crap.  Good grief …

So, we broke down and finally began the process of trying to train our son.  We set a timer and would take him every hour on the hour and at least 20 minutes after he would eat or drink.  We literally kept up this process for MONTHS with zero progress.  He would go pee pee if we took him, but refused to indicate that he had to go.  So if I didn’t keep a timer and control of his liquids, he would just pee on himself.  I should note that he was also still wearing pull-ups while we were potty training which I now know vastly slowed the process because he was basically still wearing a diaper.  It was a disaster.

It was such a stressful time in our household.  My Hubby and I don’t fight.  Ever.  But potty training this kid was pushing us to the breaking point.  We were snapping at each other for no good reason.  We weren’t having sex as often and weren’t in agreement about the path to take to get the kid trained.  Every time he peed on himself it was like a slap in the face reminder that we were failing our kid and failing as parents.  It was an emotional drain.  Every parent we encountered would say, “He’s gonna get it eventually.  Hang in there.  It’s a long road, but there is an end.  Don’t give up.  We feel you!”  I wanted to punch them all in the face.  I wanted to scream, “SHUT THE F*** UP!!!  HOW COULD YOU SMILE AT THIS SITUATION WHEN WE ARE LITERALLY FALLING APART??!?”  We were living in hell alone.  It felt like no one understood our pain and frustration.

What hurt the most was the judgment we experienced.  We got it from parents who didn’t have potty training issues, my mother (albeit unintentional, but I still felt it), friends, family and our church!  For example, we drop our son at the nursery at church so that we can actually enjoy the service.  In order for our son to attend the older classroom, he must be potty trained, but since he isn’t he’s still in the nursery. However, he’s really tall and looks like he should be in the older classroom, so EVERY week we’d have to explain the situation.  The worse was when one of the teachers said, “He really should be potty trained by now?! What’s the problem?!”  I wanted to tackle her right there in the vestibule and bash her head against the concrete.  I wanted to scream, “B*tch! Don’t you think I know that?! Don’t you think I want that?! Stay out of my f****** business!”  Instead, I swallowed my shame and hurt and decided not to return until he was potty trained.  Yeah, we haven’t been to church in months.  How sad is that? I’m watching my church service online because I’m sick of being judged about this shameful parenting moment.

I finally got sick of torturing myself and was tired of seeing my husband’s defeated face.  I decided to release it thanks to the loving advice from two people: my cousin Tyrone and my pediatrician Dr. Hassel.  At our son’s 3rd birthday party a few weeks ago, my cousin Tyrone said, “I don’t know any adults that pee and poo on themselves. Take it easy. He’ll get it when he gets it.”  Our pediatrician said, “Your son is excelling in EVERY other developmental area. He spells his name, he’s beginning to read, he speaks clearer than most five-year-olds and he’s incredibly perceptive.  Refusing to potty is the one area where he’s showing he’s still just a baby … and that’s okay.”  Hearing those words finally allowed me to let go of the frustration.  I realized that my son would get it eventually and I didn’t have to feel that his inability to get it TODAY didn’t mean I was failing him as a parent.  It just meant that he needed more practice.  He needed patience.  He needed me not to pressure him like the world was pressuring me.  He needed me to chill the f*** out.  And so I did.

No sooner than I decided to chill out did my baby boy came to me and said, “Mommy, I need to go pee pee … and maybe boo boo.”  He runs upstairs, lifts the seat, goes pee pee, sets the seat down and climbs up to go boo boo.  It was like a miracle.  I think Christ the Mighty King came in the room and said, “It is time, my son. Go. Go potty.”  And he hasn’t looked back.  He tells us every time and he hasn’t had any accidents!  Now, I do bribe him a bit.  If he goes #1, he gets one M&M.  If he goes #2, he gets three M&Ms. If he does both unprompted, he gets three M&Ms and 20 minutes of iPad time.  And it’s working like a charm.  This week I stopped giving him any prize for bathroom time with exception to the potty song we made up and he hasn’t noticed.  He still goes like a champ.  It’s really incredible!

Now, I know pottying (if that’s even a word) is not an extremely interesting or sexy topic, especially for those of you who don’t have children; but, I share it because there are so many things in this world that push us to feel as though we’re failing because we don’t measure up to some invisible standard we are placing upon ourselves.  We forget that this life we are living is a universal human experience and there’s nothing new under the sun.  If you’re experiencing it, it’s a safe bet that so is someone else.  You’re not failing just because you don’t accomplish something at the same rate as other people.  Your will to continue pushing forward is evidence of your success.  You only fail when you quit trying.

Parenthood really is teaching me a lot about myself.  I’m learning that I’m extremely resilient and that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff … even when the small stuff involves poo.

Love you. Mean It.  ~AskThePRGirl