April Goals

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Guess what! I’m here with my April goals post. Y’all, I haven’t done a goals post in a long time. Like a really, really long time. Honestly, it’s because of a lot of reasons. Mostly, I got tired of sharing goals that I wouldn’t or couldn’t accomplish. My processes were too cumbersome and I didn’t care enough to complete most things. Depression and anxiety can be debilitating, and with each month that went by with unfinished or in some cases, untouched goals, it was another blow to my self-esteem.

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The Time I Almost Gave Up on Motherhood #NakedMoms

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giving up naked moms motherhood

There are some things that just stick with you.  No matter how far or how fast you run from them, they remain.  Watching. Even mocking.  These things become a part of your story, a part of who you are.  And me almost giving up on motherhood is just that–it’s a part of my story.

November of 2013 made 4 years since I considered relinquishing my parental rights to my daughter.  I was an overwhelmed, broke and lost college student.  I felt I had nothing to give my baby girl.

“Mama, I just don’t know what to do.” I had just gotten a disconnect notice for our electricity.  I was $400 in the hole.  “They’re coming to cut the lights off tomorrow,”  I said through tears.  “I just can’t do this.”

Working 10 hours a week didn’t allow for an electricity bill of that size to be paid in one day.  Tiny payments here and there only got me so far and after a while, it was all due.  At the same time.  I’d called Energy Assistance earlier that day.  “Is there anything you can do to help me,”  I asked the intake worker.  “Well, I will run this information through and see what I can come up with, but it will still take a few days.”

“Thank you,”  I said.  I didn’t have a few days.  Before she hung up, the intake worker said, “It’ll be okay.”  I thanked her again, hung up and burst into tears.

“Mama, I just can’t do this.  I should just give Jordyn to a family that can care for her.  What kind of mother can’t even keep the lights on for her child?!”  I was beyond bruised; I was broken.

My mother spoke to me in the encouraging way that she always does, but this time I couldn’t hear it.  Her words could not penetrate the pain that was surrounding my heart.  We hung up under the understanding that if push came to shove, we could come to her home until I got back on my feet.  She told me to pray.

And won’t He do it…

My mom must have been praying something fierce (It definitely wasn’t me because I couldn’t muster up enough energy to think, let alone pray.) because the next day, my lights were on.  And on that Friday, I received a holiday bonus.  And if memory serves, it was $392 and some odd cent.

Every time I think about that time I almost gave up on motherhood in November 2009, I feel something in the pit of my stomach.  I’m not sure if it’s guilt, shame, relief or remnants of resilience.  But it doesn’t matter because I learned so much from that experience.  I learned that sometimes you have to break down to be built back up, while other times you have to give up to go on.  Even though it would have meant going 2 steps back, I would have stayed with my mother if I’d had to.  When I woke up the next morning and the electricity was still on (I later found out that it was definitely supposed to be off, but the weather was too cold to legally disconnect.), I took that to mean that it wasn’t over yet.  That being my daughter’s mother wasn’t over yet.

So there it is, a part of my story.  The time I almost gave up on motherhood.  If this resonates with you in any way, please feel free to leave a comment.  I’m sharing this instance in my life, not for likes or amens, but because my story is also someone else’s.

This post is a part of #NakedMoms.  On the 14th of every month, I’ll be revealing the truth about motherhood with 12 other writers. Follow the hashtag #NakedMoms, and check out the links from the other women below.

To Be a Better Mom You Have to Give Up by Steph at Confessions of A Stay-At-Home Mom

I Am A Recovering Perfectionist by Thien-Kim at I’m Not The Nanny

Giving Up On Perfect Single Motherhood by Laila at Only Laila

Motherhood: The Sacrifices No One Tells You About, But You Need to Know  by Joyce at Mommy Talk Show

To Let Go and Let God by Jacquie at The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood

I Didn’t Want to be a Mom by Summer at The Dirty Floor Diaries

Mothering While Introverted by Diamonte at Liberated Mommy

Motherhood is About Giving Up by Jessica at A Parent In Silver Spring

Motherhood: I Give Up by Stephanie at When Crazy Meets Exhaustion

Giving Up Supposed To Be by Brandi at Mama Knows It All

Giving Up And Getting Down by Heather at Diary of A First Time Mom

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“I Suck as a Parent” and Other F*cked Up Stuff I Tell Myself Every Day

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Contrary to what folks may hear or believe about me, I am a true negative thinker.  Where some folks can look at a situation and only see the good or possibilities, I look and see everything that’s wrong.  Show me “perfection” and I will show you flaws.  Here are a few things that I tell myself daily, that undermine my quest for joy.

  • “I can’t keep doing this every day.”  This being waking up early, watching my daughter cry because she has to go to school, commuting to a job I dislike, dealing with people I dislike, feeling like my life is over at 25, thinking that I will never find my purpose, etc, etc.
  • “I’ll never get organized enough to make my mornings seamless.”
  • “None of this matters anyway.”
  • “I hate my life.”
  • “I’m not cut out for this.”
  • “I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied.”
  • “One day, it’ll get better.”  Because “one day” never comes.  I don’t allow it to.

Based on the quote above, I’m already well on my way to becoming actionable with these intentions.  It’s only a matter of time before I fulfill my this destiny.  It’s time to find my happy.

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Lovely Day.

Or should I say morning?  I don’t know.  And it really doesn’t matter.  This morning has been glorious.  No arguing with my right hand man and Jam has seemingly enjoyed “Mommy’s day off.”

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After my cup of joe…

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…we ate breakfast and watched history in the making.

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Happy Martin Luther King Jr. and Inauguration Day, folks!

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Let’s Talk About It: Postpartum Depression…in Young Moms

For the longest, I was afraid to admit that I loathed being a mother.  After my daughter was born, I was numb to almost every emotion except pain.  There was literally a feeling of death in my heart, when I had just given life.  I couldn’t let people know that, though.  So instead of screaming, “I’m sick.  Somebody help me,” from the rafters, I smiled and lied about how happy I was and how much I loved my little baby.  But I wasn’t and I didn’t.  I mean, I didn’t know this little creature who had invaded my body for 9 months and who now expected me to take care of its every.waking.need.  I had to learn to love my daughter.  It’s a sad statement, but definitely a true one.

In all honesty, I felt like my friends and family were oblivious to everything that was going on.  (I wouldn’t find out until later, that they were more aware of it than they let on.)  I couldn’t talk to my doctor.  I was a young mother who would undoubtedly be judged for not being able to handle a position in which I had willingly put myself in.  There was no rape.  It was willful, consensual sex that resulted in child.  I had no right to be depressed about a situation that I created.  These were my thoughts that I was projecting onto others.  Who knows what the outcome would have been if I had just raised my voice?  People kept telling me that my “maternal instincts’ would kick in and everything would be okay.  Everything would be okay?  Did they know that on most days I felt like a zombie?  Did they know that when I wasn’t feeling lethargic, I was crying under the covers, in the bathroom, in the car, or while I held my child, as she looked up at me with unknowing eyes?  These were not the Baby Blues.  I was beyond that.  Damaged. But beyond repair?

It wasn’t until she was about 7months, did I feel even a twinge of motherly emotional feelings toward my daughter.  Prior, I had learned to love her as a human being, not my daughter.  I loved her like I would a friend’s baby so to speak.  But one day, I woke up, and I could feel the fog lifting.  It was a slow process and I faltered a lot.  Figuratively, I was similar to my baby girl who was attempting to walk for the first time.  Wobbling along, falling, crying, but getting back up every time.  It was through this process, that I began to see growth and also acknowledge the fact that I wasn’t alone.  Neither are you.

If you are suffering from postpartum depression, please know that you are not alone.  You should not be judged by your physicians and if you are, report them and find another.  The first few years of your child’s life and your relationship with your child thereafter depends on it.  My daughter is blessed to have a father who loves her to pieces and would do anything in the world for her.  He carried his load and mine until I was able to carry my own.  No complaints, no judgment, just love.  My best friend and her parents also played a major role in providing my child with a “normal” first year in spite of my inability to feel and show love.  I’m blessed and I am grateful, but I am not the majority.

For many, it is quite the opposite.  There is no help.  There is no one to provide that love, encouragement, security and comfort that all children so desperately need.  So what are they to do?  They give as they can, lie about it being “okay” and slowly die inside.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Mothers, especially young mothers, need to know that it’s okay to speak.  And doctors need to know that postpartum depression is real and recognize that many women are not just suffering from “The Baby Blues.”  There is a reason that postpartum depression is underreported and subsequently, undiagnosed. It is quite demeaning to marginalize my feelings of debilitating sadness, despair and hopelessness as “just feeling down.”  So don’t.

We have to be our own best advocate, as well as advocates for those around us.  So let’s talk about postpartum depression.

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