No one

no one would blame me if i couldnt find the energy to get dressed today. being a mom is tough. who cares what i look like anyway? no one would blame me if i crashed as soon as the kids went down for a nap. they are SO exhausting. no one would blame me for ordering takeout tonight. how can i cook when i barely get a chance to breathe?

no one would notice when the dark comes creeping in. it happens at night, when the kids are mine and no one elses.

no one would notice when i am too busy to answer the phone or text back- must be changing diapers.

or suffocating.

no one would blame me for being sad. its “normal.”

but when everything is black as night, and there is only one way out-

everyone will blame me.

blame me.

– ppd

A.

Parkinson’s

He is old. Shaking his finger at the credit card keypad, like he is scolding it for not remembering his pin.

My son is young. Twisting in the cart, his face is sour- “I want you to GO, Mommy.”

invalid entry

“Be patient.”

invalid entry

“Can’t you just GO?!”

invalid entry

“No baby, we have to wait our turn.”

invalid entry

“MOMMY!”

invalid entry

“I need you to have empathy, please.”

transaction approved

Teach your children big words. They will surprise you. I promise.

A.

Alive-ish

hey whats up im back. i had a baby. got real sad.

i dont know what they call it anymore. but here i am.

i didnt kill myself.

i wont hide from my notebook anymore. i unburied it from all the bukowski and poetry until it was all that was left on my nightstand. i miss the way my pen feels between my fingertips and i hate that my silence is louder than my presence.

i want to write about it but my heart wont pump the ink out. but here i am.

alive-ish

luckily there is no shortage of bullshit going on in this world to piss me the fuck off.

i live for the rage on my worst days. but most days, i live for me. and the beauty that my life can be. thanks for waiting.

A.

True Entitlement

Spoiler Alert: It’s not generational.

 

I get so tired of hearing shit like, “well, I didn’t know her husband was hitting her-” or “he didn’t act suicidal” whenever bad things happen to the ones we love. I’m even more exhausted of the retort- “well, how did you KNOW THEY WERE REALLY HAPPY? Why didn’t you physically implant a tracking device into your friends’ asshole until you were certain?!”

Ok. Maybe people don’t really say that last part. But it’s increasingly apparent to me that the only time these dialogues take the stage is when something doesn’t go as planned. This is what true entitlement is. It’s not a millennial thing.

It’s a social thing. Entitlement is a learned behavior that is caused by watching billions of people over share tiny pieces of their lives through social mediums. This isn’t a conspiracy. I’m not going to site Michael Moore here. This is how we, as a culture, forgot how to see with our eyes. This is how the majority of a population became so distracted by filters that they evolved to see things more pleasantly than reality ever intended. The bottom line is that we are not entitled to the most intimate details of someone’s life. You do not get to use someone’s instagram account to justify when good/bad things happen to them.

I recently stepped away from social media. Not entirely, I’m not a living in my basement with the lights off- don’t worry. I didn’t delete all of my accounts. I didn’t stop checking in on my friends. But regardless, I still felt the break was necessary. I suffer from a disorder that you might be familiar with- it doesn’t have a name, to my knowledge. However, it’s characterized by feelings of frustration that are often triggered by people who overshare stupid details of their lives that I don’t give a fuck about. Let me know if you think of a word for that kind of thing.

(I say this ironically, of course, because I’m nearing the 1 year anniversary of my blog- ya know, where I share intimate ideas and details of my life with people I don’t even know. But even here, you will not find me sharing details so intimate that they would be better reported to a therapist. I digress.)

The reason for my stepping away from social media is quite simple. I do not feel compelled to share my life right now. It’s partially because I’m pregnant and I am enjoying the last few months of privacy before I have none. But it is also because I find life difficult to focus on when I’m preoccupied with the happenings of others.

I don’t believe in much, but I believe in myself. It’s hard to believe in myself when I’m focused on everyone else. A friend recently opened up to me about their difficulty being “present” in their life. I can see this exact issue in myself, whether it’s because I’m messing around on facebook, distracted with housework, planning a family trip- I’m never exactly where I say I am. I’m trying this new thing where I don’t let funny memes distract me from the importance of the moment I’m living in. I’m going to continue my absence online in hopes that I can become more present in life. I hope this means that I will be writing more, but I also hope this means I’m away from my desk more.

A.

 

received_253093202068972.jpeg

Morning Sickness

I am pregnant. 22 weeks + 1 day. Maybe I should have written about this sooner- just to give my readers a little more insight as to what is happening in my life right now, but you’ll have to forgive me. Because I’ve already forgiven myself.

As a pregnant woman, growing in the age of social media, I have found myself trapped in one of the most unforgiving stages of my life. I’m not quite sure how it became this way. I have heard stories from so many women of past generations, speaking about how they lost themselves in pregnancy: the most guilt-free period of their lives. I wonder when that period ended.

I have been “blessed” with morning sickness, a diet of saltine crackers and bile. If you’ve ever had morning sickness, you know that it does not end once the clock strikes twelve. It ebbs and flow with every smell that passes your nose, every change in temperature or increase in humidity. It comes back when the sun gets too bright and when your husband touches his fingers to your skin. It wakes you from dead sleep and pleasant dreams. Every sound too loud will send you sprinting for the bathroom. It makes it impossible to gain weight for your baby, clean, cook, go to the grocery store, work, or change the toddler’s diapers. But you have to. Because you are a mom. And you have been “blessed” with morning sickness.

I spoke out about this a lot with my first pregnancy, begging for relief, suggestions, compassion:

“Try ginger tea”
“Try ginger candy”
“Try ginger ale”
“… Crackers, water, bread”
“Just eat whatever you can to feed the baby”
“Just smile through it, you have too many obstacles ahead to start complaining now”

Doctors told me it would go away after 13 weeks. In my first pregnancy, I was “let go” from my job for having missed one day of work. I stayed home, vomiting bile when I couldn’t hold down water. I sat in a dark room, cringing at the sight of any bright light, any scent other than my own. At 13 weeks it got worse. I was prescribed medication that I could not take for (proven) fear that it would give my baby heart defects. More advice:

“Go out for a walk”
“Stay out of the sun”
“Talk to your doctor about ____ medication”
“Aren’t you worried that drugs will hurt the baby?”
“Try smoking weed”
“Weed will give your kid brain damage”
“Why can’t you just suck it up”
“I wish I was that thin when I was pregnant”
“You should really be gaining more weight…”

The last time I got sick during my first pregnancy was 35 minutes before my son was born. It was just water. My son weighed 5 lbs 12 oz, born at 39 weeks. I gained 10 lbs throughout my pregnancy. I lost 3 of them during week 37. I walked out of the hospital weighing 5 lbs less than I did before I got pregnant.

I am 22 weeks + 1 day today. I have gained 2 lbs since getting pregnant. And last night I broke blood vessels throughout my entire face while vomiting. I have been “blessed” with morning sickness. And no, I have not found relief. I do not want your suggestions. And most of all, I do not expect compassion.

A.
Morning Sickness

Envy

It has been months. There have been a lot of unexpected changes in my life and I feel bad for ghosting on my followers through it all. I’ve been debating about posting a personal update on my blog for a few weeks now- not a rant, I’m all out of anger this week. But today I stumbled across an annoying post on one of those mom groups on facebook and it really rubbed me the wrong way. Not enough to rant about it. Just enough to question the way people view the world and the entire fucking meaning of life. Ya know, normal Amber problems.

I obviously am not going to blast some poor mom for her passing judgements on facebook because I’m not that fucking triggered by it, but her post said something to the effect of:

“I don’t understand how so many people are able to go on vacations with their families, drive new cars all the time, and shower their children in new shit. Does anyone else get a little envious of this? I see it all the time, and I KNOW these people do NOT make more money than us.”

Wow. Way to hit the nail on its head. This kind of envy is exactly what social media was created to do to people. If I had been more observant I might have glanced off to the bottom of the screen to see what kind of products were being advertised. Probably a Princess Cruise and a Ford Explorer. I’m not the kind of person to get invested in what people say on facebook. These people aren’t polishing their words in Microsoft office before they share them. They don’t worry much about the repercussions of “offending” people because we live in an age where everyone is offended and nobody even knows why. I did concern myself with the comments though. I glanced through, just to review the response from her “mom peers.”

Most people were polite, explaining that every family has different priorities and different struggles. Some people blamed credit cards or blamed irresponsible parents. Others noted that families often invest and make a lot of money off it. But everyone who commented had one thing in common. They all empathized with having envy.

I’m not going to preach to you about how being envious is a sin. I don’t believe in heaven or hell- or much at all, to be quite honest. Envy is only a sin to someone who believes that god will punishment them for it. We punish ourselves enough with envy.

In February my husband and I decided to start looking for a house. To buy. In San Diego. My husband and I were both 24 years old and had never owned a home before. As many of you know, we moved here from Michigan in 2015 and left our family and our support systems behind in search of a different kind of lifestyle. Nothing will make you feel more isolated than having half the people you know tell you that you are making the wrong choice. But we’re so used to it by now that, when people told us not to buy a house, we used it as motivation to buy one faster.

On February 26th a seller accepted our offer and we began the escrow period for buying our house. I used to wonder how people afforded the things that they had. I used to wonder how they stretched their money out and were able to live happy, fulfilled lives. I wondered how people had the energy to budget their money down to the last penny. But the truth is that if you want to live the lifestyle that someone broadcasts on social media, it’s gonna smack you right in the fucking face.

Over the last two months my life was saturated. I had no time to stop and take a breath, let alone write about it. I started working nights from home and my husband started bringing work home with him. My time was owned by banks and my mind was constantly fleeting from one task to the next. Now that we are settling into our home, I’m taking more time to appreciate what I have. I don’t need to appreciate what someone else has.

Today it is raining. And I am breathing. Please take this as a gentle reminder to value the things that are most important in your life. Do not let those priorities include envy. Envy does not motivate you to be better. It motivates you to value someone else’s success over your own.

A.