27 July 2017


My daughter has a monster... This monster.

The "2 headed monster says it's raining."

This sentence puts Lily in to a tizzy. Tears and fear take over her face faster than I can blink.

As adults, we giggle under our breathe; we think this fear is adorable b/c, 9 times our of 10, it's irrational.

As adults we also have fears... fears we face at times when we do not want to push said fears onto our children.

But what about the fears that our tiny ones just can't fathom?! The monsters that try to control us?

My monster isn't as cute as these purple Sesame Street friends... No! My monster is small but demands it's presence be known. It's dark, but will smile always, to fool you...a trickster. My monster is beautiful; you'd never expect it to be anything but pleasant. My monster is attacks me almost daily.

Today, I drug (dragged? drugged?)... Today I brought Lily all over God's creation because my monster took control.

Lily was so good today. I was about 1/8 present with her today, and she did a wonderful job of keeping herself busy - and sort of out of my way. She saw her mom walking around mostly like a Zombie. She saw me sad/frowning... Resting Bitch Face to the max! IDK what she was thinking, but she successfully helped make our day easy. Whether she meant to or not.

We all have monsters... some worse than others. They can take over our lives. The most resilient will brush it off; those of us less resilient, have a much ore difficult path.

But I have learned that this...

My monster may take over my day. The black cloud follows me and I find peace the negativity while "I'm in it."

HOWEVER!

I see the positive pockets of times I was blessed with. The moments when God said, "Not now Satan!"

My daughter and I still laughed today. We spent time together without electronics. We hit the park, lunch out, and the beach all in one day. I see the blessings and as I settle down for the evening, dream through the night, and prepare to rise tomorrow morning, I reflect on THAT!

The blessings.

It SUCKS when negative things take control... but LOOK FOR THE GOOD!

There is always something good in everyday.

ALWAYS!! <3

20 June 2017

Depression, Laziness, Bad Habits. What can be done to change?

Depression: noun. feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
           Despondency: noun. a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage.
           Dejection: noun. a sad and depressed state; low spirits.

Lazy: adjective. unwilling to work or use energy.

Habit: noun. a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.


I often wonder if my typical low energy is caused by my Depression or if I just have Lazy, Bad Habits.  How can we tell?!

I often WANT to do things, and find myself getting out of them.  Usually if the event, task, etc. doesn't have to do with my daughter, I will shy away from it.  I'll escape into her world, or into television if she's not around. 

The desire to do things without the motivation to take action is often used to describe depression.  Wanting to get out of bed in the morning and physically unable to lift your head is depression.  I can't say that I have ever experiences this particular result of depression, but I know many who have.  The desire is there, but the action is taken.

Being lazy is simply just not wanting to take action.  The physical ability is there, but the will is lost.  Will power is a tricky thing.  I believe we can develop an overwhelming sense of laziness through our depression, causing us to develop Bad Habits.

Daily, I will wake up with hope.  I'll have tasks I want to complete, and plan for my day.  Within hours, my brain get foggy, my forgetfulness takes over, and by the time I drop my daughter at school, I'm a blank slate.

I've tried calendars, planners, to-do lists, apps that are made to "organize your life," and honestly I forget to even check these helpful tools, so my mind stays blank.  I get frustrated.  Like REALLY frustrated, because I know I wanted to do something.  I wrote it down somewhere, but my mind doesn't make the connection to pick up my planner.

I'm currently working with the Smart Life Push Journal.  I love this journal!  It tracks my goals, helps me organize how to achieve them, I track my sleep, fitness, nutrition, and water intake.  If I could just remember to look at it!  Once I finally notice my journal and take a look at it, there is the challenge of what small steps I can take today to get myself life where I want it tomorrow. 

It's the How...  I am always reading, "don't worry about the how, just start doing." 

I find this to be great advice!  TAKE ACTION!  It's smart...  But in all actuality, without the How, how do I know what actions to take?!

Vicious Circle anyone...

The way I see it is that I will never "Cure" my depression, so I have to start with the bad habits.  For example, prior to writing this blog, I ate a large amount of chocolate frosted brownies. 

~Not part of my meal plan
~Not good for the fitness results I have for myself
~Not what I wanted to do
~Done with absolutely NO though process

It's just a bad habit...which catapults me into laziness (because, blah!)...which catapults me into loads of self-hate...which catapults me into depression (because, why do I do this?!).

Let's do this together.  Whether you suffer with depression or not, we all have bad habits.

Start Small:
Pick a habit you would like to change.  Work on changing that habit alone until you no longer have said habit, or until you've replaced it with a better habit.

I'll be working on my task list.  I have a reminder (with alarm) on my phone to remind me to look at my Journal once every hour.  I'll begin my day by writing down all of my idea as soon as I wake up.  This will mean waking up before my daughter, so that my mind can focus on ME and what I need to accomplish.

In 30 days I'll revisit this blog... I wonder what the results will be. 

What about you?  What habit will you be changing and where will you be in 30 days?  I'd love to know, so comment below!

14 June 2017

Long Distance Co-parenting & What Makes It Harder

You may want to pull your hair out.  You may want to scream.  You may want to curse.  You may even want to cause physical pain to the other person - BUT WE DON'T... Not ever, because - BAD!

But being a single mom is hard.  Being a single mom who's ex chose to live 15 hours away is harder.  Being a single mom who wants to give their child the benefit of the very large family she has - yet  lives so far away - but can't because bills and adulting happens daily, is the hardest. 

However tough these things may be, they can, and often are, dealt with in the best way possible by the parents.

Long distance co-parenting is the biggest challenge I've ever faced.  I see the desire in my child's eyes to have her Daddy close by, to hang out with her Big Brother, and to play with her cousins.  Our family here is smaller... MUCH smaller... and the cousins that Lily could play with from my side of the family live even farther away than her Dad does.

I count on my friends who have children and Lily's dance studio to include us in the fun they have so that Lily isn't stuck with just me all the time.   Day-school has been a blessing since it gives Lily time to interact with lots of children her own age, some a year older or younger, but very close to her age.  I try to fill Lily's life with love and happiness at every turn!  And, thankfully, her father is more than willing to pay for this fun because he also sees how happy it makes his daughter!  (Have I told you Thank You lately?)

Vacations are planned, but have become increasingly difficult to pull together because money, obligations, and school.  I can't just pick up Lily and throw her in the car anymore and go wherever I see fit. 

So, when a family member(s) just can't understand why there hasn't been a visit recently, it throws a dagger right at the heart!  The wave of emotion that floods the nervous system is uncanny.

There's instant Anger, Sadness, Pain, and Loathing. 

Happiness jumps in from time to time b/c "they care..." 

"But do they?"

Guilt. 

A "How dare you" feeling rushes in.

Confusion.

AND total "WTF" moments creep in and out. 

You think, "Do they really believe that I'm not doing everything in my power to get her there?!"

I understand, 90% of the time, any "butt ins" from 3rd party family members are meant with good intentions.  I also understand and have experienced, 90% of the time, any "butt ins" from 3rd party family members are not received with good intentions in mind.  It almost always feels like an attack.  Especially when you rack your brain ALL year to see when all the pieces will fit together.

When the Mom and Dad are so over the top stressed by the situation, an uninvited 3rd party viewpoint is not needed.  Least of all when it's coming from the Ex's side. 

I would never be hurt by my mother suggesting a helpful solution to my problems.  Nor would my Ex be hurt by his mother doing the same for him.  Our respective families are who we turn to when we need help; they love us and care for us.  We know that they are always looking to make our lives better. 

AS WE DO FOR OUR OWN DAUGHTER😉 

It's when the family line is crossed that things can get a little tense.

Don't get me wrong, some families stay extremely united after divorce.  And that is the most beautiful thing I can think of.  But in the circumstance with my Ex and I, our families were never united. 

FLASHBACK:

I was discharged from the Army, and met this handsome Airforce man a few years later.  He was stationed halfway across the country where my extended family lives and I took the opportunity to move there to get to know him and my family better.  Shortly after, God blessed us with a child.  But he and I did not stay together.  Our entire relationship lasted 15 months before I moved my daughter back home.  We struggled to stay together after that - up until this past December.  We finally realized that we were blessed with a child and a friendship, but a relationship/marriage is not what God had intended for us.

Everyday. Is. A. Struggle. E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y!

He doesn't get to live with his daughter.  He only gets to hear stories that I tell him, see pictures that I share, and sometimes - if Lily will sit still for 5 minutes - talk on the phone.  His visits here are short, filled with fun, yes, but always ending in tears.  Our visits there (Yes, OUR, my daughter does NOT travel without me!) are what is becoming so hard to manage - Leaving my Ex feeling awful for the lack of connection that is shared between his daughter and his family.

My situation isn't a cake walk either.  I get to see Lily everyday and share in all of her events, but I also have to pick up the pieces of a broken child. I have to teach her to be resilient, though I don't know how to do that.  I have to hold her, sometime multiple times a day while she cries for her Daddy.  I get asked why her friends have Daddy's that live with them and she does not.  I get the good, the bad, and the very very ugly. 

My daughter is a tough cookie, let me tell you.  She puts on her brave face whenever she see her Dad.  When they happen, the visits and talks are so pleasant because she wants them to be.  She wants all the good memories to hold on to.  My Ex doesn't see the pain.  Third party family members - on both sides - don't see the pain.

At the end of the day, the single parent needs to believe that they are doing things right.  Not that we won't make mistakes, we all do.  But we cannot doubt ourselves.  Parenting is hard enough without placing doubt on our every move. I know, in my heart, that I am raising my daughter well.  I could be better, I could be stronger, but I love her unconditionally and I do everything I can to make her happy.

Third Party family members, well intended or not, need to step back, take a breathe, and count to 10.  A child is given to 2 people.  Those 2 people need to work together, come to decisions together, and have each other's back on those decisions.  Your feelings - third party individual, though valid - are not going to make the job of the parents any easier.  Our job is so hard already, that what we need most from you, is simply support, support, and more support!  Plus, a smidge more support! 💖


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