Amanda can wait, I just want to be mom.

This morning it was brought to my attention that apparently I don’t take time for myself to do things that I enjoy. Of course my first reaction is defense, as it comes naturally. For one, I do take time for myself. Like right now! Im alone in the house, waiting for my sons to get dropped off from their weekend with their dad. The radio is playing, I have some tea I am sipping on, and I have my laptop. Isnt this considered doing something for myself? I have always loved listening to music and writing. When I was a kid, the only difference was there was no laptop or computer involved. Just a paper and a pen. Hidden away in my bedroom all alone where I preferred. No one bothered me there. I was safe.

Being a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me! With that being said, it is definitely the hardest job in the world! My world revolves around my children! When I wake up in the morning the first thing I think about is getting my sons fed. I then think about what we have to get done for the day, how to entertain them and all the other daily things that come up. Certainly I get overwhelmed some days. When the kids bicker and argue non stop I find myself extremely irritated and short tempered. Its a character flaw that Im always working on improving, however anyone would be irritable listening to children argue and fight for 8 hours. It comes with the job! But now that they are eight and a half years old, they are more independent. They play outside the majority of the time with their friends. I don’t have to change diapers anymore, or assist them in the bathroom. I don’t have to tie their shoes or get their coats on. I don’t have to pick their clothes out each morning and I don’t have to brush their teeth. My role as a mother has changed the last couple of years. So when they are off doing their own thing with their friends, or playing their DS games or building lego, I can catch up on the household chores, watch tv, write, work on my home business, or have a friend over! Those are things that I do when we are not doing an activity as a family. Isnt that considered having time to myself? I think so. At least I thought so! I consider myself on stand by. I am present and available for my sons whenever they need me at any time. Like the time they ran inside screaming and yelling MOOOOMMMMMM, and Brendan fell into my lap as soon as he saw me, crying in pain with a broken arm. Yes, I was having time to myself while they were playing outside with friends, but I was there in a heartbeat when they needed me. To me, this is a perfect life. I absolutely love being there for my sons. Every day I have them I thank God.

Last summer and the previous 3 years before, weren’t exactly this pleasant and joyful. My drinking had progressed and started becoming unmanageable. I began drinking earlier in the day, instead of waiting for them to go to bed at night. I started buying the bigger bottles instead of the small ones. My days started with trying to figure out how I would get through the day in somewhat of a fake happy state before I was able to sit on my couch with my drink. So lets face it, my drinking was my first priority. Not my sons, not my relationship with my boyfriend or family. Alcohol ruled my life. Even thinking that gets me emotional. It is absolutely baffling to think how insane I really was! And to think there are people who still believe its not a disease. Most people stop after experiencing something that is damaging to their life or health. Not an alcoholic. It didn’t matter how hung over I felt, how angry my family was or  how many close calls I came to. I just wanted another drink. But I came to a point where I started needing the drink more than I wanted it. And that’s when I knew I was in trouble.

It took me 3 years, and 4 months into my sobriety after completing a set of steps, to be able to look at my sons baby pictures. I avoided them at all costs. I didn’t look at them on facebook, I tucked our photo album away in a box at the back of my closet. I burst into tears every time I looked at their baby photos. Tremendous guilt would come over me like an iron shield. I couldn’t bear to allow myself to remember the days when their dad and I were still together, unhappy, and how I wish I could go back and enjoy every moment just a little bit more. Those early years had wonderful moments, but it was also very tough and overwhelming. They grow so fast and all those times I sat depressed over my failing relationship instead of playing on the floor with my twin babies, I just couldn’t bare to let myself reminisce. And the guilt lingered when I became a single mother and became overwhelmed. My solution was to drink. It was a temporary relief. I felt guilty for every mistake I had ever made. I felt guilty for feeling guilty too much!

So maybe I could get out of the house more and start a hobby other than writing my blog, working on my home business and taking care of the household chores. I could take up yoga outside the home and join a class instead of doing it alone in my living room. Ive always enjoyed dancing, maybe I could take a jazz class. But if I were out enjoying those hobbies I wouldn’t be available for my sons at any given moment if they needed me. I owe them the rest of their lives, to be the best mother that I can possibly be. Each day I stay sober, I am making it up to them for those nights I missed them calling for me because they had a bad dream because I was passed out drunk and the mornings that I stayed in bed too long because I was hung over. I owe them! Maybe Im okay with being here at home, ready for anything they need. Maybe I am not ready to forgive myself for putting them second. Maybe, just maybe, I am content with being just a mom, and Amanda part time. They will continue to grow, and become more independent. There will be a day when they don’t come home at all because they are out with their girlfriend on their first vacation without parents. That will be my time to focus on Amanda. Ill have plenty of time to do activities, hobbies and hang out with friends then. Who knows, one day soon I may forgive myself and feel worthy of doing more for me. But today, right at this moment, I am not ready yet. Amanda can wait, I just want to be mom.

Celebrating Myself!

I recently spoke at my 1 year cake, and I had expressed how I grew up and felt socially awkward, out of place, nerdy, and shy. I never had self confidence. I was constantly looking for ways to feel better, even if it was temporary. I was always comparing myself to other girls. They had better clothes, better shoes, better hair, prettier faces, heck even their hands and feet were prettier than mine. I have lived in this prison inside my head for 31 years now. I cant even remember not being self conscious! Of course with social media and societies expectations of what beautiful is really is, it makes it even harder being a girl. I suppose being brought up in an abusive home is where it all started for me. I grew up in a very negative world. Every day was filled with yelling, screaming, name calling, judgements, nit picking, bullying and the list can go on. My mother was depressed and always stressed out so she didn’t know how to teach me to be strong. I do not blame her. I do forgive her and I even forgive the man who abused us. Thanks to the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous.

I have talked a lot about my sobriety over the past year. It has been hard but I am grateful today. I have learned so much about myself that I really think God had this in his plan for me. I am beginning to like myself. I am beginning to take better care of myself each day. I take more time to put myself together each morning. I speant so much time dwelling in fear and drowning myself in alcohol, the least I can do is put that time into something positive like putting myself together. I am a mother and some days I really don’t need to put on makeup or nice clothes. Some days I really don’t and I rock the messy bun and no makeup and go about my day. But, most days I do put on an outfit that makes me feel good. I shower, I put nice lotion on that smells nice and makes my skin soft. I put on my makeup (Younique!) and fix my hair. I don’t do this to impress men or to compete with other women. I do this for me. Okay, for my boyfriend too! The confidence he sees in me on these days gets him so excited! And I love making him happy! So I guess what I am trying to say, is that when I actually feel good inside, I want to celebrate it on the outside! I think I deserve it. The little girl inside me deserves it too! That sad, lonely, afraid little girl deserves to feel beautiful. I am not perfect, and I never claim to be. I have my hard days where my confidence is near none. So, I guess that comes with another confession of mine. Not only am I a recovering alcoholic, but I suffer from anorexia nervosa too. I have been battling this disorder for 13 years. After my twins were born, I dropped 40lbs within the first week, but the struggle to lose more begin immediately. My body had changed so dramatically that my post partum depression started right away. It took me years to lose more weight because I was busy as a mother and for the most part, my baby boys helped keep my mind off myself. But over the years, the stress of life, a broken relationship, my alcoholism getting worse, and my life becoming unmanageable, my eating disorder crept up on me and slowly became worse once again. To me, I am not all that sick. I do not look like I am dieing, I do eat even though they are very small portions, I have never been in the hospital due to my disorder, and so far I have had no health scares. But is it normal to binge and purge? No. Is it normal to eat under 1000 calories a day or sometimes less than 600? No. Is it normal to obsess over what to eat, how much to each, how bloated I look and what the scale reads three times a day? No. Why am I deciding to confess this all now? Well, why not. Im open about my recovery with alcoholism so I might as well be open about this too. For my family, I must try and fight this. I am sober 375 days today. I feel confident with my sobriety. So now it is time to try beat my other struggle. To be honest, I don’t know if I can do it. But im going to try. The one thing that I do know for sure, is keeping it a secret will not lead me to recovery.

Listen, I could stay silent about this like I have for the past 13 years, or I could be open about this, and never look back. Maybe ill surprise myself. All I know is that Im ready to find out if I can beat this. So, when people wonder why “that girl” is all dressed up and wears makeup to the mall, don’t judge her. You never know what she may be celebrating. Maybe she is 90 days sober! Or maybe she has had 3 meals a day every day, kept it down and has not weighed herself in a week.

And so I leave you with MY OPINION….stop judging the girly girls. The girls you see who have their nails done, makeup on, hair styled and her matching purse and shoes. Not every girl is getting dolled up just for attention. Some of us are celebrating OURSELVES.

Some may judge a woman for her love of fashion & makeup, for being materialistic and egotistical. But is it really any of your business what she wears or puts on her face? Perhaps she is celebrating her inner beauty and happiness that she is working ever so hard on. Because being a woman in this world is not only hard, its down right fucking difficult! To walk with confidence is true strength! So lets build each other up instead of making judgemental comments. Some of us are working very hard on our inner happiness and some days we are simply celebrating!