(Not so) Happy Mother’s Day

This year around it has been increasingly difficult to appreciate motherhood. At this moment in motherhood, I am exceedingly disappointed in myself. I have a 2 and a 1 year old and parenting is not getting any easier. Growing up, I always wanted to spend mother’s day with my mother and as mother, I hoped to spend some time with my babies followed with some quiet-alone time. This year has been different. I wanted to be far away from my kids. I didnt want to hear them, see them or even smell them. I gave them kisses and told them how much I love them but I needed a exceedingly amount of alone time… Right now, I feel like I need to rejuvenate myself; reminding myself of the joys of motherhood, and separate my children into two separate human beings and appreciate their unique personalities. I am home with them everyday! and all day! My husband has taken on the middle of the night responsibilites to allow me to get some rest, but even that isnt enough when you battle with insomia…So whats going on?

My two year old is: super loud (screams all day, hes not even crying), jealous of his little brother, strong-willed, difficult to potty train, has a bad attitude, aggressive (hits his brother) doesnt listen, doesnt sleep the night in his bed, and sometimes treats me like he doesnt want me around.

my one year old is: super clingy, super sensitive, screams and cries like hes being murdered, doesnt walk yet, only says dada and “dont touch”, wont transition to a sippy cup, stubborn, and loves me so much it can be a bit overbearing.

Together, they are: ALOT TO HANDLE and need to invest in a live cow to feed their milk obsession

This day, I cant help but to think of everything I am doing wrong. What am I doing wrong?  What I know, for a fact, is that I am tired. I am emotionally, physcially, and mentally tired. I am losing my patience easily, and not caring about discipline because he (the oldest) doesnt listen, I am easily frustrated and stressed. I am a mess. I am worn out. I have no social life whatsoever because so many moms on base are too self-righteous or full of drama, or just too selfish. I feel lonely. I feel like my brains ability to function will soon transition to that of a two year old because I talk to him more in a day than I do anyone else.

I feel like im screwing up these kids! But I know I have a bigger issue… the issue is me… its not the kids… I need to work on myself so that I can be the best mother to these boys that I can be… I need to invest in some quiet-alone time away from the family to gather myself… This is why on Mother’s Day, after breakfast and some shopping with the family, I am sitting in Barnes & Noble with my laptop. No kids, no husband, no noise just books! And I have used this time wisely. Since I feel like I am at a loss with parenting, I decided to take out a bunch of parenting books including one on potty training. Because the truth of the matter is, is that I have no idea what I am doing and it is okay to search for help. There is no one way or right way of raising children, every parent does it differently, and what works for one kid may not work for the other…So I am educating myself… I am raising men. Not wild children… It will take some time, but as long as I continue to do it with love, the path shall smoothen out. I love my baby boys to the very ends of this earth! and if I have to give up my entire life just to raise them and be with them then I will. Happy (not so) Happy Mother’s Day!

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My Children are not Bronx

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Growing up in The Bronx, New York taught me one important thing and that was… I did not want to raise a family there. Many of who live there can relate however I am not sure if we would share the same reasonings. My first son Uriah was born in Rhode Island and my second son Julian was born in California. Both of these places are far more different than The Bronx. Is this a good or a bad thing? I havent decided yet. Honestly, at times I miss The Bronx. I miss the bodegas at every corner, I miss the pizza place and the chinese spots. Sometimes I even miss the MTA because of how convienient public transportation is compared to suburban states and now more than ever, I miss being around my people.  However, I do not miss the broad daylight shoot outs, I do not miss the drug dealers on the corner or in front of the bodega (making it extremely uncomfortable to walk by),  I certainly do not miss the cockaroaches and the rats, I do not miss not being allowed to go to the store at night because of how dangerous it was , I do not miss looking out the window and seeing a man get stabbed and overall, I do not miss having to always keep my guard up.

My children are not Bronx. I am. The Bronx gave me tough skin, it gave me a defensive mechanism that is a double edge sword at times. I am Bronx and thats okay but my children are not and thats okay too. I dont want my children growing up as I did. I dont want my sons afraid of the night, I dont want them with that tough skin. Yes they will be men! Great men! and not having tough skin doesnt make them less of a man. It makes them gentle, kind, caring, loving, accepting, and open.Growing up in the BX, I wasnt those things and some can say “oh it has to do with how you raise and parent your children” maybe so, but as my children grow up, I would love to worry about them less. My mother had to worry more! It has nothing to do with parenting when I would carry a pocketknife when going to the projects to see my dad, or dialing 911 and having my finger on the call button in case something happened to me in the staircase of my dads building. Having fears of being kidnapped, or killed. My children wont have to grow up with that fear because they are not from the bronx nor are they bronx.

Whenever strangers ask me where im from the expression on their faces are all the same. Its an expression of,  “omg really, how are you alive?”I have been stereotyped because thats where im from. Its like they expect to be speaking with a ghetto hispanic thats probably stabbed someone (I just laughed). Why would I want for my children to be subjected to that by wishing they were from there. I proudly say that I am from the Bronx to strangers and if they insult the bronx they are insulting me. However, for the sake of my boys, I will continue to say “My boys are not from the Bronx” proudly.

So when the next person decides to make fun of the fact that my boys are not New Yorkers, please realize that that is NOT an insult. I did right by them by not giving them the life I had….

Social Media vs My Boys vs Me

Mother holding baby drawing

I finally have decided to approach and explain the reasons as to why I do not like for other people (family or friends) to post pictures of my children as well as why I do not like to post pictures of my own.

I made this decision after googling my name as well as family and friends. I did not like finding an actual picture of them under “images”on Google. I know that whatever is put on the internet stays on the internet and this is what scared me. I feel like with just the right amount of photos and shares my own children will be able to be googled and they are only babies. Call me overprotective, I dont care, but not everyone on the internet has the best intentions. Their are dirty sick people out there that take images of children from the internet and do unmentionable things with them and even go as far as finding them and kidnapping them. Am I taking it too far? I think not. I will do WHATEVER I have to do to protect my boys from sickos! My family and friends do not have to agree with this decision but you do have to respect it. I do my best to keep everyone that loves my boys included by sending photos through text, however, it makes it very difficult for me when I get asked “Can I post on Facebook?”. I know my family has moved so far from our families and you all get excited when we send you photos, and this is why its difficult because we do not want to take away from your excitement by telling you “no you cannot”.I feel like it gives me this power of telling people what they can and cannot do and I do not like it.

Lets take my nephews for example. Those boys are everything to me. Before the youngest was born, I use to post photos every chance I got of my oldest nephew. However after making the decision about my own children, I found it necessary to protect other peoples children, in this case, my brothers boys. I understand the urge to post because you love receiving comments about how beautiful they are and you also just want to share with your family and friends. I look at it like this. Once you post the photo, everyone loves it for a second and then gets over it. The idea that when I post a photo of my boys and it continues to be shared by so many different people, it scares me. Its not just my friends. Its my friends friends friends friends and so on that can see. Strangers to my boys and to my family. Besides people have bad intentions, their are people out there that also wish bad upon children. I know that my boys are BLESSED! I will protect my boys but I know that God will protect my boys too. I do not live in fear that something bad will happen to them but I also refuse to walk around like it is not possible.

Sometimes I post photos just to keep my family and friends updated. Like a quick ” Hey Everyone, Yes we are all alive”. I know when my oldest was born I used to post photos of him all the time so my decision now has taken so many of you aback but understand I didnt know what I knew now. I hope that you all will understand that I am only protecting my children, as those of you who have children will do.

Thanks for reading !

Signing Off

Savannah ❤

Dear Savannah

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Happy Mothers Day for the 2nd time around. I’ve been watching you closely and I see your struggle. You are the strongest woman I know. I see when you are completely exhausted yet you find the strength to keep your home clean, your husband and children fed while also nourishing your brain with new material everyday. I see how you close your eyes in the shower and let the warm water fall on your head feeling that chill disappear. I see how your clothes don’t fit and your hair is always a mess but you make sure your children and husband are dressed well. I see how you always put your family first regardless of what it does to you.

I seriously wonder how you do it. How do you manage it? I see you get sad sometimes for reasons you can’t even explain. But I’m writing to let you know that you are doing an amazing job. Your family adores you and they see and feel your strength. It is because of your strength that your husband keeps going everyday. Having two boys that are 14 months a part is difficult. You are in another stage in your life now, but look at you. You are making it through everyday. Even the hardest days come to an end. Breathe…smile…laugh…let go… everyday begins with the sun shining, so let your everyday begin the same.

Sincerely,

You

P.s. Don’t forget to love yourself as much as you love everyone else.

My Pregnancy Truth part 2

Six months into motherhood, I was coming to terms with not wanting any more children. One was enough, but then I started changing my mind again with the possibility of having one more when my son Uriah was, at least, five years old. School age. After giving birth to Uriah, 8 weeks later, I had to choose my method of birth control. Celibacy was out of the question, but I chose what was suppose to be the most effective method of birth control. An Intrauterine Device, IUD for short. This was said to be 99.9% effective method. Sure. For old people maybe. Five months after this invasive installation, I had a “feeling”. I was noticing signs that I may be pregnant even though it was very unlikely I was. But the “feeling” was too strong. During this time, my husband was away at Basic Military Training, so my parents were being parents. I wanted snacks. My step-dad gave me twenty dollars and didn’t ask for his change back. Big mistake if you know me. I went to Walmart, picked my snacks, but also bought a pregnancy test. I went home, went straight to the bathroom, peed on the stick and even though the box said “wait two to three minutes for results”, it took seconds before those two pretty in pink lines popped up. I immediately went into denial. Doctors have always said “the morning pee is the best pee”, so naturally I told myself “I’ll just wait til the morning and take it again”.

Morning came. I did the same thing as the night before. Same results. I immediately called the doctors office because this shouldn’t be happening. A blood test was ordered to determine how far along I was and at this point, I was shitting bricks, waiting for the results. I called at least 3 times until I got a callback. The nurse on the phone was talking so fast and telling me what I needed to do next I had to tell her “wait, so then I am pregnant”. She said “yes you are, I’m sorry for talking fast but if we want to get you in for an ultrasound, we need to make the appointment and then I’ll explain everything afterward”, “okay fine”. She tells me I am 6 weeks pregnant. Then she asks me “do you want to keep the pregnancy?”. I didn’t hesitate in telling her that yes I do and even added that “that’s a terrible question to ask, especially since I didn’t make any reference to that being an option”,”I understand but I have to ask”. She tells me I’m at risk for a miscarriage because of the IUD and then BOOM! Worry overwhelms me. The thought of having a miscarriage, even though I didn’t want to be pregnant again so soon, was devastating. But I believe in the power of thoughts, so I tried not to think about it too much. But it was there.

Now, what do I do? I haven’t spoken to my husband since he left which was about a month in, and I haven’t received any letters from him. My best friend, my confidant, my anchor wasn’t around when I needed him the most. But I had my mother. Letting go the fact that she couldn’t take a hint when I was trying to get her alone and out the house so I can tell her the news, we go out to eat at Applebees with my stepdad. She decides to come into my car instead of his because she didn’t want me driving alone. I’m dreading telling her. It was so hard, but I did it. I explained the situation to her, and naturally she becomes a worrisome mom. We have dinner, I tell my stepdad, we go home, I tell my sister and her boyfriend and though there were many left to tell, my husband was the only one I wanted to share this news with. Should I write it in a letter? Do I tell him on the phone when he finally calls? Should I wait until his graduation in Texas to tell him? I didn’t know what to do. Eventually I got the call I’ve been waiting for and the answer to all my questions when I couldn’t hold it in and just told him “I’m pregnant”. He was in shock and the moment we had on the phone was so wonderful and intimate, I wished it was in person. Our call was only 15 minutes and it went by so fast. Hanging up was so hard. There was still so much I needed to say.

I waited to make a public announcement about it because I was so embarrassed. Who wouldn’t feel a little embarrassed getting pregnant six months after giving birth? Except I was more than a little. I was so worried about what people would say, but making the public announcement was just what I needed for support and I got just that. By this time, I was well into misery over this pregnancy. In a matter of weeks, I lost fifteen pounds from all the “morning” sickness. There wasn’t a thing I could keep down. Not even my mother’s delicious arroz con salchichas. Water was a no. Just having a little got me sick. The exhaustion from being sick so much had completely taken over. My mother saw how miserable this pregnancy was making me and she couldn’t have done more to be helpful. I needed soothing just as much as Uriah did. What wasn’t helpful was my doctors appointment. I was depressed and this woman doctor who has no kids, has had no pregnancies, makes a joke. “Well nothing is 100% effective”, I tell her “well apparently it’s not 99% effective either”, “no it is, you’re just the unlucky one percent”. Anger boiled my blood. She assumes this is just such great news for me. The appointment is over, she hugs me and gives her congratulations and leaves the room. I immediately burst into tears. There I was crying my eyes out in the doctors office, alone but I had a son at home with his grandma that needed me, so I wiped my tears, fixed my face and went home to be the mother he needed.

What was next?… my husband was graduating from BMT. I wouldn’t miss that for the world and I wasn’t going to not bring our son who he hadn’t seen in 8 weeks. Boy, that wasn’t easy. 2 long drives, 4 planes, security checks with a stroller, a car seat and a baby, finding my seats, it was all just so much. I still can’t believe I made it through that trip. Fast forwarding some more, my family is reunited. Big yayy! But now migraines kick in and so did the heartburn. This time I refuse to take any medication besides the occasional tylenol. Which my mother believes is the cure for all diseases. But it never helped. I have something stronger now. Now that my husband is home, their still is no time to relax. We must pack for our relocation to California, while dealing with the plans for the babyshower. It took us six very long days to drive from Rhode Island to California. And unfortunately, it took its toll. A blood clot had formed in the deep veins of my thigh. Just one, but very painful. It would have never been found if I didn’t faint in my kitchen and was taken to the emergency room by my husband. The clot was not what made me pass out. It was from being pregnant that did, I got up too quick, got dizzy and lightheaded and down I went. BUT the trip to the ER, and all the amazing staff, I happened to mention the pain in my legs. An ultrasound was done and there it was. I am now 26 weeks pregnant and on a blood thinner in which I have to inject myself twice a day until I give birth. Being pregnant limits the methods of treatment I can get, so this is the best they could do. It doesn’t relieve the pain, though. What does, is walking for a little and the amazing massages my husband gives me. I live with it. Some days it’s worse than others. But I am getting through it.

Why am I sharing my Pregnancy story? Well, most pregnancy stories I’ve heard have been the pregnancy fantasy I mentioned in part 1. I don’t know if they are all true and just saying what everyone wants to hear because pregnancy is supposed to be the most beautiful and fulfilling experience in the world, the realness gets masked. I can’t relate to any of those stories but hopefully, someone could relate to mine. It’s okay to be honest with your feelings. Your emotions are what makes you human. Growing another being is overall beautiful once they are out, but the journey isn’t always beautiful. Pregnancy is long and abusive. No really. Being kicked from the inside and can’t do nothing about it. It changes so much about you. I look forward to meeting my second son Julian. No matter what I had to go through, I will never take it back. He’s another piece of me and my husband that I will bring to the world and the anticipation of his arrival could not be greater. 13 weeks from today. We are so excited. We know that despite the odds, this child was meant to be born. God had a different plan for our family and we are at peace with that.
Thank you for reading ❤
Until next time.

-Savannah.

My Pregnancy Truth pt 1

I have this running joke I say when describing most situations in my life right now and that is “I’ve been pregnant for two years.” Obviously, that is an exaggeration and clearly impossible. Before ever being pregnant, I had this beautiful view of what I thought pregnancy would be like. The beautiful belly, feeling the baby kick and move, getting so much attention, the baby shower, etc. You know all the beautiful things that are portrayed in movies. When I became pregnant with my first son, I was in total shock. I was alone in the doctor’s office for my annual physical when I found out. No one was holding my hand, no one hugged me, and when I was told “Congratulations” that was not something I wanted to hear at the moment. I was more nervous about the reaction of my husband and family because even though I had already been married for a year and did want to start a family eventually, I was also only 18 years old, still living with my mother, trying to start school, trying to save money, and trying to continue playing softball for college. I just wasn’t ready and neither was my husband being that we were on the same path and having the same goals.

I remember finishing up my appointment and sitting next to this lady in the office who was waiting to check out as well. It was only she and I in those chairs, no one was around so I asked her “do you have any children?”, she said, “yes I do”. I then asked her “how did you tell the father?”, she then went on telling me how she told him and then she asked me “are you pregnant?”, I told her “5 weeks, I just found out”. “Should I congratulate you?” She asked. I told her “I’m not sure”. We talked for about 5 to 10 minutes in total. She told me “make a dinner, pour some wine and gradually just let it out”. After telling her I’m underage, and her joking that it’s too late to follow the rules, we ended the conversation with her telling me “congratulations, you will be okay and so will he”.

I will never forget this conversation and I will never understand why it was so special to me but it was. It put me at ease and I started thinking of all the special ways to tell my husband. I told him, but that’s another story. Fast forwarding, some weeks later into my new profound news, the morning sickness started. Normal right? No. It wasn’t for me. I was working at Walmart at the time and mostly started in the morning, it was summertime and I walked to work about 15 minutes. In the sun, it felt like hours. While at work I was always on the verge of being sick and I was a cashier so imagine that scenario. Well, I no longer had to imagine it when I was helping a customer at self check-out when I puked all over the floor and partially on the register. It was embarrassing. I smelled like vomit, I watched as someone else cleaned it up, the customer was late for work, I had to wait until my scheduling manager arrived to be excused for the day.

I eventually quit my job, a mutual decision between my husband and me. I was dealing with the “morning” sickness all day and while at work would have moments where I felt myself blacking out. This lasted until I was 20 weeks pregnant! That’s 5 months!! After getting through that, the heartburn I faced next was so bad I had to take medication which included one of the worst possible side effects. “Lose of sex drive”. Devastating. Too young for that. At this point, I felt unattractive and slummy. The “beautiful belly” I thought I would have was now covered in deep red stretch marks that extended all throughout my belly and only continued to get worse as I continued to grow into a pumpkin. I couldn’t sleep without having to use the bathroom more than 2 times in the middle of the night, I couldn’t put my socks on, I couldn’t see my toes, I couldn’t walk up the stairs without sounding like a wheezing elephant, so as expected, my Pregnancy fantasy was shattered into a zillion pieces. Don’t get me wrong, I did have beautiful moments. But it was just moments. Eventually, even the kicks were bothersome. The most beautiful part of this pregnancy was the birth and finally meeting my 7lb 3oz, and 19-inch long baby boy, Uriah.

So imagine the surprise when I found out I was pregnant again.

 

Would motherhood ever feel right?

As I lay in bed thinking about how fast my son has turned one and how soon my second son will be born, I can’t help but to question my capabilities as a mother. Would I screw these kids up? Will I/am I raising them right? Will they love me the way I love them? Then sometimes I have other questions like what kind of teenager and adult will they be? Am I raising a serial killer or a president? A musician or an actor? I know it may sound absurd but these are the things I wonder about. I’ve been a mom for a year now and I have gone through moments where I’ve felt like  “this is it. I can’t do this” (mostly while my husband was away.)  And I’ve gone through moments where I’ve thought “this is a breeze”. What makes me feel and know that I am capable of being a mother to two boys is the extent in which I know I would go for them. The love a mother has for her boys is so indescribable. What makes me feel like I can do this mother thing is when he cries and I successfully soothe him. When I change a filthy diaper and he smiles. When I give him a room temperature bottle and I see his belly is full. When I give him a bath and he splashes his legs in the water as his way of fun. When I rub him with lotion and rock him to sleep. And when he sleeps dead weight in my arms I know he’s comfortable with me. These are the moments that remind me why I am capable of being a mother. The days are long but the years are fast. I know I can do this! So yes, motherhood will feel right but the questions will never stop. My son has been my joy, my rock, my savior from a thing called defeat. Motherhood is not easy or “a breeze”. Every day is a challenge but it is all definitely worth it.