Why I Showed My Kids My Tears During My Divorce

Some things happen in this life that whether in our control or not, are heartbreaking. Things that occur that we wish we could take back, or do differently.

Things that can break us, if we let them.

When I was divorcing my children’s father, I cried. A lot. Often. It was a depressing time for our family and my self-esteem. There were days when my 1-year-old would ask why I was so sad all of the time, and times when my oldest would cry with me because he was sad too.

And it’s because of that – I don’t regret my sheer rawness with my kids, because if I had a chance to do it all over again, I would. And I would do it the same.

Here’s why:

  • People get sad. It’s part of life. People cry. Man or woman, young or old, you are going to shed some tears at some point in your life, and I don’t ever want my kids to think that crying is something to be ashamed of or something they should do in private because I never cried in front of them.I want my kids to see that being sad is part of being human, and it’s ok. If they are sad, depressed, or struggling, I want them to know that this is something people experience, as human beings, and it is OK.
  • I want my kids to see that despite my sadness, I still did what I needed to do. I got up; I got dressed, I put “my face on” and I left the house. Whether I was taking them to school or dragging myself to work, I made sure not to neglect {too many} responsibilities. Even if it felt like I was dusting myself off and going back out into the world that I felt was swallowing me whole.They saw me crying earlier in the morning, but they also saw me pull myself together and take care of my responsibilities. I made dinner, I cleaned. I may have shed tears in between, but life went on, and it was vital for me to show them that.
  • I wanted my kids to know that their parent’s divorce was sad for me, too. I knew they were struggling. They couldn’t wrap their tiny heads around why this was happening and why things just couldn’t go back to the way they were. And I wanted them to see that I felt their pain too.Maybe not in the same way, but we were in this together, as a family. By sharing my sadness openly with them, I hoped it would encourage them to do the same with me. And in many ways it did.

    It also opened the door for us to have some cathartic conversations about what this change meant for our family, how we could get through this as a team, and what the future was going to look like for us.

  • Maybe most importantly, I wanted to show my kids later that there is life after sadness. Because you have the tools to change your life and how you react to it, but you must DO it. I wanted them to see that even if something happens in life that feels like it could be the end of the world, feels like it IS the end of the world, it doesn’t have to be. At least not forever.We are allowed to have our feelings, to feel our experiences, but we also have to take responsibility for our happiness. To do the work to dig ourselves out of the crippling sadness that is tearing us apart inside. I wanted my kids to see me do this so one day they can remember that our family experienced a dreadful event, and it hurt like hell, but we found love in each other, and we climbed out of the depths of depression together, and are stronger now because of it.

    That even if you feel like a devastating event cripples you, eventually, life WILL go on. And when that happens, you can be better; you can be someone with pride and resilience. Because you cried because you allowed yourself to feel the hurt, the pain, and the sadness but also to use it as a motivator to stop feeling sad.

I didn’t make a conscious effort to cry in front of my children at first. I was so overwhelmed with emotions and pain that it happened. In the beginning, I would be lying if I said I didn’t question how raw and open I should be with them about this.

I didn’t share intimate details of my divorce experience with my children, of course. But I did share some of my pain, most of my sadness, and a whole bunch of my tears. And if I had to do this all again, that is the one thing I would not change.

It brought us closer together. Helped us heal as a family, and gave me a chance to have some conversations with my kids. Ones that might not have happened so naturally, so organically, had I not given them the opportunity to see me struggling and in pain.

As parents, I think we tend to question the way we handle situations with our kids. Did we do this right? Could we have done better? Should I have or have not said this or done that? I can honestly say, this is one of those parenting moments that brings zero regrets.

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5 Things People With Sleep Paralysis Have Experienced

Sleep paralysis is the embodiment of my worst fear. Being able to hear, see, and experience the world around you… but not being able to move, speak, or interact. Feeling stuck, but aware.

Sleep paralysis makes going to bed a fucking nightmare.

Until you’ve had this experience yourself, you don’t quite grasp the magnitude of the immobilizing terror, but once you do it’s something you’ll never forget.   

  1. It feels like there is someone in the room with you

Many people who have sleep paralysis have claimed to feel a “presence.” Whether it be an actual person or a shadowy figure lurking in the corner of the room, on the ceiling, or standing beside them, it’s a typical report. For me, it was always someone without a face. A person(ish) being that was standing in my doorway, didn’t talk, didn’t move. He just stood there. Letting me feel his presence. How frightening is that?

  1. Feeling like you aren’t breathing

You are. You don’t stop breathing, but anxiety takes over, and for a minute (or longer) you have the sensation that you have completely stopped breathing and horror takes over. I’ve learned after years of experiencing this phenomenon on and off that the best way to end this is to try to talk myself into a calm state. To remind myself that I CAN still take breaths, even if I can’t move the rest of my body.

  1. You are completely paralyzed

It’s the strangest thing because there are moments where you certainly feel as if you are flailing your arms about in a fury. A desperate attempt to hit someone near you in a frantic call for help. You try to scream, reach, MOVE and you simply can’t. The first time this happened, it was excruciating because I had convinced myself I WAS moving. It wasn’t until I realized that I was, in fact, stuck, that the real terror began.

 

  1. Wondering if this is the end

 

If you haven’t had the pleasure of commonly experiencing sleep paralysis you may consider this to be the way you go. It’s the end; it’s over. This is how I die. But, according to research, sleep paralysis is relatively common and is usually not a sign of any significant physical or psychological disorder but could be a sign that you need to catch up on some zzz’s. There are instances where sleep paralysis can be a symptom of an underlying psychological disorder or a condition such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea, but it’s more likely you’re overtired and not getting enough sleep.

  1. Reoccurrences in the same night

The gift that keeps on giving. Sleep paralysis can happen over and over again in the same night. Unless you break the sleep cycle your body is in, you will fall right back into the same sleep pattern, thus leading you right back into the conscious paralyzed state. My personal best is seven. Seven times I went right back into a sleep state coupled with a frozen body and a floating “thing” on my ceiling before I finally drifted off to dreamland.

 

The first few times I was faced with this chilling state, I was petrified. The good news is, after some time you start to learn tricks on how to handle the situation until it passes. 

I have learned that getting up THE FIRST TIME, and walking around, moving, helps to recharge and restart my sleep cycle so that {hopefully} the next time I drift off I will cycle smoothly into a deep sleep.

I have also learned that starting with small wiggles of the toes, cheeks, or mouth seem to be the best way to wake myself up.

You just have to find your body’s trick, and you’ll be able to focus less on fear, and more on the tactics you know will help get you out of this state. And you can remind yourself that you’re not dying, you’re just one of the “lucky ones.”

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2018’s Hot Toys Guide For (Sarcastic) Parents

Ho-ho-holy shit… Christmas is already here. Get ready to open your pocketbooks and express your undying love for your kids in the true American way, by buying it.

The halls are decked with all of your unpaid December bills because your kid NEEDED some goddamn toy that sold out in August and you’re not prepared enough to think ahead.

So here’s my list of the “hot toys” of the year, according to the interwebs, and why every kid (obviously) needs each and every one of these or else they will feel unloved and grow up to be psychopathic serial killers.

I’m not sophisticated enough to roast Pottery Barn like one of my all-time fave bloggers, Mommy Cusses. But I am brave enough to poke fun at average parents like me for the ridiculous hoops we jump through to dress our tree skirt with our kids’ deepest desires because some YouTuber told them they needed it.

So I hope you have a white Christmas filled with toys and entitlement while you hand over the mountain of crap you fist fought someone over on black Friday to snag off the shelves and save yourself $2 (let’s hope Santa isn’t watching over Walmart on November 28th).

Photo Credit: Amazon. Buy in-store or online for $25. Or you can find it on eBay from an independent seller for the low, low price of YOUR SOUL.

Fingerling HUGS – The adorable counterpart to last year’s Fingerling that comes in a plush variant. This one is much larger and therefore will cost FAR more when some asshole goes to Target and buys up the whole aisle of every color option so they can shamelessly poach desperate parents who got busy raising kids and didn’t get their Christmas shopping done early. Poor bastards.

Photo Credit: Good Housekeeping
$14.88 for this hilarious choking hazard

Chow Crown Game – As if watching my kids eat isn’t annoying enough. Now I can experience them doing it in a “fun for the whole family” kind of way where food hangs in front of their faces, and they spit saliva, little chunks of leftovers, and the flu virus all over the house. Not only do we get to share the crown riddled with spit and soggy snacks, but we also get to share each other’s holiday plagues. It’s the season of giving, guys, and this one GIVES IT ALL. Make sure you have your phone ready to call 911 for this game night!

Photo Credit: Good Housekeeping. $8 for the whole set. But the ER bill to dislodge this out of your tiny human’s windpipe will bring memories that last a lifetime.

Num Nom’s Snackable Cereal – While we are on the subject of choking hazards, let’s check out these adorable little treats! Wearing the guise of FOOD, they are meant to look like snacks with a face. As if looks weren’t good enough, they even come with a delicious, mouthwatering scent and a “milk” spoon. What kid wouldn’t want to put that in their mouth “just in case” it tastes as good as it looks? I forsee lots of urgent care trips after this year’s Santa unboxing.

Photo Credit: Good Housekeeping
This little guy is $32.99 and about 4 hours of insomnia when you can’t get this DAMN SONG OUT OF YOUR HEAD

Hot Diggity Dance And Play Mickey – If Pinkfong hasn’t completely ruined your sanity for years to come, this little darling will. He dances and sings a song just as catchy and obnoxious. You’ll be “hot diggity dog” dancing your way all the way to the behavioral health unit at your local hospital. Pro Tip: if your kids get one of these as a gift, remove the batteries. Mickey is fun enough all by himself.

Photo Credit: Amazon. These bad boys are cheap, but your carpet cleaning bill will not be.

Lost Kitties Blind Box – The best part about this one is it brings your child’s favorite part of YouTube right into your living room. As if finding them slathering their Barbie in your $80 attempt at reversing signs of aging on your face wasn’t bad enough, now you can SUPPLY them with the tools to completely destroy your carpeting while simultaneously unveiling hidden “surprises” that you’ll be stepping on for years to come.

Where’s the transgender Hatchibaby, Hatchimals????

Hatchimals, Hatchibabies – In a world of gender stereotypes this one really hits home. Is it BLUE? IT’S A BOY! Pink? You got a GIRL! I can’t even with this…. {insert a huge fucking eye roll here}. Someone please tell me I’m reading these wrong….

Photo Credit: Walmart. $25 to have every member in your house crumble to pieces over a piece of string. Literally.

Friendship Bracelet Makers – These seem to be all over the hot gift guides. It’s as if we aren’t born with the necessary tools to tie knots and create these with our own HANDS. These will set you back a meager price of $25, but think of the endless tantrums your six year old will throw when they realize they have no clue how to load this thing up with thin twine and it ends up in a giant knot? You’ll get plenty of post-holiday relaxation when you’re balled up in the fetal position wondering what evil Santa brought this thing in the first place.

Photo Cred: Walmart. $35 = a LOT of bacon. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Peppa Pig Fun Fair Playset – The world definitely does NOT have enough of this adorable, British speaking, two dimensional, swine version of Caillou. Can we get a Peppa Pig farm set? One with the means to turn this smug family into bacon once and for all? Sign me up for that. (But I’ll keep George. Something tells me he’s getting the short end of the stick).

Photo Credit: Fisher-Price. $30-40 depending on where you look. Seems like a solid deal to watch your kids throw cars at each other’s heads.

Little People Take Turns Skyway – I did not even have to read the description of this one to know that this is an absolute disaster waiting to happen. Because we all know, little people do NOT like to TAKE TURNS.

Photo Cred: Amazon
$180 seems reasonable…. for an iPhone.

{Insert You Kid’s Favorite} Dreamhouse – YES! A miniature version of the home my kids know and love to destroy. I might hand it over to them equipt with goldfish crackers crunched up in the couch cushions, a dried puddle of something sticky on the floor, and a handprint smear (or seven) on the walls. Maybe I’ll make sure to load washer with a mildew stench and the sink full of dirty dishes for good measure. I’m all about making Christmas as magical and realistic as possible.

Photo Credit: Walmart. A $14 hilarious depiction of my everyday life.

Don’t Step In It – A board game where you and your family take turns blindfolded trying not to step in a fake pile of dog shit. My kids and I play this game all summer, and again in the spring. Except we do it like the badasses we are and we aren’t using any fake shit, we use the real deal. Also, we aren’t blindfolded. It’s just camouflaged by inches of grass and weeds that desperately need to be cut. I think I’ll save my money on this one and wait until the snow melts…

There you have it, folks. This year’s top toys and every reason why you absolutely cannot pass these bad boys up.

Don’t forget, it’s important to shower your kids with gifts in December so that the rest of the year they can act like entitled brats who expect you to give them the world. Because tis’ the season to focus on material things, yo.

Can’t you hear those sleigh-bells ring-a-ling alongside your racing heartbeat waiting for the annoying alarm of the chip reader yelling at you to remove your card?

APPROVED! (Phew, that was close).

Merry Christmas, Mamas!

If you enjoyed this check out some of my other humor pieces here:

The “In” Grocery Store Came To My Town – And I HATE IT 

5 Things I Learned About Dating Apps – A Cautionary Tale

Every Mom Has A Favorite Child

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