My Last Lullaby

Go to sleep my baby,
Just close your eyes.
It’ll be alright,
I’ll see you at sunrise.

You’ll be nice and warm,
I’ll tuck you in tight.
So let your dreams take over,
All through the night.

I’ll hold you for awhile,
I dont want to let go.
You’re my last baby,
And soon you’ll grow!

You smell so sweet,
Your hands so small.
But you must sleep,
To grow big and tall!

Now you’re asleep,
I can hear you snore.
You’re my last baby,
So I’ll hold you some more.

Let me soak it all in,
Every cuddle, every kiss,
Cuz one day you’ll be grown
And my baby I’ll miss.




– For Jacob

Other moms drink wine…….

Not every day is amazing. Sometimes you’re human and you want to say FUCK IT to the world and go hide. But you dont. You keep your big girl panties on and take it hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute.

Some moms eat cookie dough or ice cream when they’re sad, some people have a cigarette. Some moms have wine (I preferred white….red….rose…hell anything if I’m honest here)

The thing is, that “a” before the word “drink” is not possible for someone like me. “A” drink assumes that person has one drink. However, one drink for an alcoholic is way too many.

What does that mean? If I have one single sip that physical allergy is activated and so is my mental obsession. It happens that quick. One sip turns into the entire glass, and that glass turns into the bottle. Eventually, that bottle becomes empty and then the obsession turns into panic to find more.

Cycle repeats.

So on days that I want to hide, ofcourse that thought of a quick fix enters my mind. However at 5 years sober, it leaves as fast as it came.

I have a choice today. To drink or to stay sober. I’m the type of alcoholic that to drink means to die. So I choose to stay sober.

I have other ways I have learned to calm down and balance my emotions. They just dont work as fast as a drink would. But with more sobriety I have learned patience and to trust the process. I have faith today and I know just because I have a bad day, doesn’t mean that i have a bad life.

I write (hence what you’re reading!) I work (yes I actually enjoy what I do) I look at pictures of my family from happier days, I pray, I clean (gotta love the angry cleaning), I talk and vent to a trusted female friend, I talk to my sponsor, I go to a meeting and listen for a message and I share if I’m asked.

I have been through way more pain, stress and sadness before so I can get through a bad day sober. And someone, somewhere is going through something way worse, and they’re staying sober. So I can do it too.

Today, I have no reason to drink. After one sip I’ll feel regretful and therefore that would turn into a second sip to try and cover up that regret, but it actually turns into self pity which ends up being depression.

Cycle repeats.

You understand?

Its insanity. Literally.

If anything, I’m grateful to be where I’m at today. I never would have done all the work on myself if I wasnt an alcoholic. I mean, who the hell grows up wishing to be an alcoholic and end up sober while looking at their own defects of character and learning to change their behaviors? Yeah because that sounds like a blast. NOT!

But today I’m grateful because I am a better me, because of the storm that I went through.

 

 

I’ll remember

The day will come in every parents lives where it hits you, like a ton of bricks, right into the chest.

Your child(ren) are not innocent anymore.

They have turned into young men or women who make mistakes as we do. Life has begun and they have began their journey with more independence. They dont need you as much anymore. You’re no longer their best friend and the one they want to hang out with. There are no cuddles anymore or nighttime stories.

This is where I’m at as a parent to my twin sons. They’re 12.5 and about to begin 7th grade. They’re taller than me, their voices sound like they’re 19, they have hairy legs and need to shave their moustache. They rather spend time with their friends and at their dads house. I swear last month they were playing Lego and asking to cuddle during movie night.

I guess I didn’t think about the time that goes by so quick. As i sit here and realize that my boys are only just beginning to be independent, it makes me so sad. Time goes by way too fast, and you dont realize how fast until you’re a parent to a teenager.

I drank until they were 7 years old. I functioned very well for many years. However the guilt settles in from time to time especially when I remember them as babies. My infant son looks at me like I am the greatest person on the planet. To him, I am. We all looked at our mothers that way. I feel that I did not enjoy the early years as much as I had wanted to or had expected to. I was 23 with twins, unhappy with my relationship, I had undiagnosed anxiety and depression, post partum depression and I was a functioning alcoholic.  So to say that I was overwhelmed is an understatement. The pictures from those days have real smiles. They were my entire world. I always had them outside for walks, playing at the park, watching their favorite movies and even playing music and dancing. But my mental health had me very impatient and overwhelmed at times. I wish I had stopped and smelled the dandelions when they used to pick them for me, a little longer. I wish I had let them play at the park a little longer instead of wanting to go home and open the wine. I wish I had known that it was okay to ask for help. I wish I had not been so strict when I could have been more lenient. I wish I wasn’t so crabby in the mornings because of my hangover. I could say I wish, a million more times but it wont turn back time.

Somehow the years, the days and hours go by and they’re young people. They’ll hurt your feelings. They’ll make you cry in your room and you’ll try to be as silent as you can. They’ll go somewhere overnight and not want to come home. They’ll be mad at you for saying no and setting boundaries. They will get caught in a lie, and try to cover that up.

All I can do is stay sober, and continue to be their parent first, a friend later. I’ll pray for them as I always do, and I’ll remind myself that they do love me. I’ll remind myself about the times they have spoken at my yearly cakes, and cried during their speeches. When I got married a year ago, they cried when I came down the aisle. When their baby brother was born 4 months ago they thanked me for the best thing that’s happened to our family. I’ll remember.

I’ll remember because it’s the good times that make everything worth while. Every family, every couple, every relationship goes through times of hurt, sadness and even anger. Remember why you love eachother, remember that you always will, and it will work out.

Remember that little moments matter the most. The dandelions they once picked turn into necklaces and charms at Christmas. Remember the rules they get mad at following have kept them safe. The manners you teach them have made them polite and respectful. You may not get cuddles but you’ll get a sweaty hug. The hand drawn pictures turn into text messages and emojis.

I’ll Remember.

 

 

I’ll Remember, You won’t

I’ll remember these days we spend together. You so small, so vulnerable, so perfect. Completely dependent upon me.

I’ll remember the days I held you in my arms, watching you drift off to sleep as I wonder how I got so lucky.

I’ll remember the nights we both didn’t sleep, the countless yawns but all the cuddles.

I’ll remember the moment I held you for the first time as if it were yesterday.

I’ll remember every sickness, every hospital visit, every worry I’ve ever had.

I’ll remember your smell, your favourite way to be held and your favorite toy.

I’ll remember the way you looked at me as if I was the only one in the world.

The days turn into months that turn into years and you won’t remember.

You’ll be more independent and wont need me as much. I’ll nag you to clean your room and do your homework. You’ll get grounded and have your favorite possessions taken away. You’ll argue and test boundaries. You’ll say things you dont mean.

One day you’ll be all grown and I’ll be old. It will be your turn to take care of me. The days of play, bad dreams and monsters will be gone. You’ll watch me drift off to sleep as you hold my hand. In moments like these you wont remember the fights, the groundings, the yelling. You won’t remember the chaos of teenage life. You wont remember the days you stressed me out or the times I cried.

You’ll remember all the times I hugged you when you were sad. The bandaids and kisses. The nights I stayed up late to help you with your homework. All the times I sat in the hot gymnasium and watched your concerts. The trips to the lake, parks and zoo. The 3 hour family talks that ended in laughter and hugs.

Those are the moments you’ll remember. The moments of love.

And one day you’ll realize that no one will ever love you as much as your mom.

From finger squeezes to sweaty hugs

As I hold my sleeping baby boy while hes in the hospital with an infection, I realized something. Something so simple yet the most powerful.

My older boys are 12 yr old twins. As life moves along in the fast lane, we get swept up in our day to day lives. Work, school, sports, chores, disciplining, arguing, laundry, cleaning, the list goes on. The kids grow so fast and before you know it your son is taller than you at 12. Lately I’ve been feeling like they rather be at their dads house than home with us. We are in fact a bit strict, and they get nagged to do daily chores. Yes I know, such bad parenting lol. Perhaps it’s my guilt that the only time I have with them in the last 2 months is telling them to do their chores, shower & stop fighting. All my time is devoted to our new baby boy. Ofcourse the twins understand this and they aren’t jealous of their baby brother. They adore him. But it’s my guilt. As Facebook memories pop up each morning I look at how little my twins once were. Life was hard as a single mom but we had some great times and made some memories. But the memories of me drinking nightly and eventually around the clock creep in. I was a good mom. Loving, caring, protective. But I was sick at the same time. Yes I’ve made my amends 5 yrs ago and continue to do so each day I’m sober. But the mom guilt creeps in and some days it’s on high gear. If I hadn’t drank I would have had more patience, more money for them, fewer bad decisions. The guilt is gut wrenching.

But as my baby cries in his hospital crib, I pick him up and he instantly stops crying. I start feeding him and his little hand squeezes my finger and his eyes are locked on mine.

I realized that when he stops crying when I hold him, I’m his comfort. When he squeezes my finger hes saying, thank you mommy, without words. When he stares into my eyes hes saying, my mommy is my world.

Our children love us from the beginning. Complete unconditional love. It doesn’t matter how old, big, small, how much money we have, or if we are struggling with life. They love us anyways.

I realized that this doesn’t stop as they grow. They just show us in different ways as we do for them. When one of my older sons gives me a random hug. When the other hugs me in front of his friends in the 6th grade. When they come into my room and ask me if I’m okay and if I need anything when I’m sick. When one of them makes us coffee, and one asks to cook breakfast. These are all “I love you’s”. If we didn’t discipline, have rules and didn’t teach them manners, they would’nt do these random acts of kindness. They would be wild and possibly ungrateful. So despite me being sick for the first 7 yrs of their life, I must have done a lot right. And even more being sober the last 5. Our kids dont stop loving us because we instill values and morals or ground them for lieing. I think subconsciously they know we do those things because we love them. Infact I know so, because when my parents gave me the ultimatum of quitting alcohol or they’ll take my kids for good, I knew it was because they loved me.

So as I lay here holding my new baby, it all makes sense. We build the foundation of our mother-child relationship from the very beginning. Nothing can replace that. Expressing love just changes into different ways. Sometimes its sweet and sometimes it’s tough.

From finger squeezes to sweaty hugs, all 3 of my boys love me because I’ve always shown them love.

As long as we never stop telling AND showing them, they’ll always come home.

Thank you to my unborn son, for helping me through my body image issues.

Something I don’t talk about is my body image issues. Why? Because it’s still a struggle. But, maybe if I began talking about it like I did about my alcoholism 4.5 yrs ago it would help lift the stigma I place on myself.
I don’t see what you see. I don’t see what the mirror image shows me. My eyes see someone different. Someone larger. My thighs appear bigger, I focus on every ounce of cellulite, I focus on my weird nose and whether or not I can see my collar bone or not. When I see a picture of myself I don’t truly believe it’s me. The camera must be lying. I’m bigger than that.
You see this is what a body image issue is. It’s in our brains. It’s not self seeking for attention or compliments. It does not mean I believe all people should be skinny. In fact I look at curvy women and admire their confidence! This is a constant battle between reality vs disorder. It’s not fun and I don’t wish it on anyone. It’s obsessively worrying about being perfect which is insanity because perfection does not exist.
As my body changes with my pregnancy I see my growing bum, breasts and thighs. It’s a battle of knowing this is normal and healthy, and knowing I’m being a good mom by nurturing my son, to obsessing over how big my body is getting and how long will it take to get back. And then I feel selfish for worrying about it.
I cannot wait to hold you my son. My 3rd boy. My precious gift from God. My love for you is already growing and it’s already unconditional. I would give my last breath for my children’s first. When I hold you for the first time I know this will all be worth it. The back pain, my body aches, my hormones being wacky, my eating disorder being triggered by weight gain, the labor, the healing afterwards….all worth it and I would do it again if it meant being your mommy. I cannot promise that I’ll be a perfect mom but I can promise that I’ll always be the very best that I can be. I will love you and your brothers for my entire life and beyond in heaven. Completely unconditional.

This is what I need to focus on. I need to tell my disorder to fuck off. Because I have a husband and soon to be 3 son’s who see me as a beautiful loving and caring mother who could care less about my body size.

At the end of the day is it really about size? Or is it me trying to control myself?

Perhaps God is telling Me, “You see Amanda, I put this life inside you. Appreciate the amazing wonders your body can do. You’re growing a life. You’re giving life. That is the most beautiful thing in the world. Love your body for what it’s giving you”

After 17 years of battling this, I’m starting to see a light. A possible path that will be healthier. Will I ever be completely free of this? No. But I am slowly starting to retrain my brain into believing and seeing myself for who I really am.

Thank you to my unborn son for helping me appreciate my body. For learning to love what it can do, which is more important than how it looks.

Love Mommy

Think before you Judge

Don’t assume their happiness is fake because you are in reality faking your own

If I’m judged (which I totally am) or unfriended on social media (happens a lot) for doing Younique, or sharing my happiness then i will pray for those people. As much as it bugs me, i must remember that I also was the type of person who was annoyed by happy, confident people. They pissed me off. It wasn’t until I got healthy mentally & spiritually that I realized that it’s way easier and better to lift other women up then to judge them.
Let’s be clear. My life isn’t perfect. I just don’t air my dirty laundry on social media. I share my family, my sobriety in hopes to help others, my animals and my business that helps so many women feel good about themselves inside and out. It provides for my family. I’m Christmas shopping this week because I made money working online.
So I guess God is showing me what I had once done to others. Judged them by their happiness, by their selfies and by their jobs. When in fact the real problem is within themselves just like it was inside me.

I used to make fun of women who worked the streets and now I have great friends who used to be those women. I have compassion for them today. I see them as women, individuals and not for what they used to be.

I used to judge alcoholics who drank everyday and smelled of booze. Who scrambled change to buy a can of beer. And I became an alcoholic myself. I became who I once judged.

I used to judge those who rushed into relationships and then I did it myself.

I could never understand how mothers or fathers could let themselves get to a point where they lose their children. Then it almost happened to me. It woke me up real quick! Now I understand. Addiction takes over. It doesn’t make us bad parents it made us sick parents.

I’m grateful God shows me these lessons because without them i would not learn.

Don’t judge others. Don’t assume you know their life. Don’t assume their happiness is fake because you are in reality faking your own. I speak these words because I’m speaking from experience. I’m no longer that person I have explained here today. When I come across people who hurt my feelings, I ponder over it way too long. Eventually I pray about it & slowly let it go.

We cannot expect the world to treat us how we want to be treated. Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. All we can do is control how we react.

React with kindness not judgement. You never know when you will go through the same thing.

Don’t paint someone as weird or someone who you would never be friends with. God may cross your paths at some point and they may become your best friend or someone who comes into your life for a reason.

Don’t complain when it’s too hot and complain when it’s too cold. Don’t stress over not having money and then stress about paying bills when you do have money to pay them. Don’t complain about the cashier who wasn’t friendly. She may be working 3 jobs to feed her kids and she is exhausted. Don’t judge a parent who’s child is screaming, you have no idea if that child has disabilities that are not visible.

My rant is based on the fact that this world is taught to judge.

Why should we judge anyone when we aren’t perfect.

Perfection does not exist so why do we seek it.

God can judge me. And I’m completely comfortable with that today.

Sober 1600 days December 10th 2018