If I’m being completely frank, I think my journey through life and motherhood could probably be summed up as a series of “I’ll never… ” statements, followed by me inevitably putting my foot in my mouth. Parenthood really has a way of making us into total liars, doesn’t it?
I’ll never have kids…
And then wouldn’t you know it? There I was, 25 and pregnant with my son. The circumstances weren’t exactly ideal, however. Enter another “I’ll never” statement: I’ll never understand how women get “accidentally pregnant.” Well, it happened to me. And to be honest, I still don’t understand how that happens, but it does. It really really does. March 2011 was when I found out my life was about to change forever. I was living in College Station, TX, blissfully free of any serious responsibilities aside from my Sharpei mutt and my job. I was two hours from my hometown of Austin, TX, and feeling free without feeling lonely. It was truly the “easy life,” and then that positive pregnancy test happened.
I’ll never move back to my hometown…
Just a couple of months before my son was born, I ate those words. There was no way I could have a baby completely by myself. I needed support, and if I wasn’t going to get it from my son’s biological father (and it was evident that I wasn’t, despite his promises of the contrary), I was going to have to live near my family. And by “near,” I really mean “with.” That’s right, I ended up moving back in with my parents. Something I never in a million years wanted to do, but pregnancy and impending motherhood have a way of changing your mind real quick.
I’ll never get this whole “mom” thing down…
This is one thing I still haven’t fine-tuned. Truth be told, I’ll probably never get it exactly right. I stumbled blindly into this motherhood gig, and every day it seems like I’m just blindly feeling my way through. So far I’ve managed to raise a healthy, happy boy. I joke that my goal as a parent is to just never give my son’s therapist a reason to blame me for anything. It’s a joke. Sort of…
I’ll never find love…
I hate to admit I’m not always in the driver’s seat of life, but it’s true. After two and a half years of single motherhood, I was really loving the “dating game.” I had turned lunch dating into an art form: there was a steady rotation of men that were buying me lunch on a regular basis. Lunch was the perfect dating scenario for me, because 1) I had a babysitter (daycare), 2) there was a time limit since it was during work hours, 3) none of these people ever knew where I lived, and 4) there’s no expectation of anything more than food during a lunch date in the middle of the workday. I didn’t buy my own lunch during the work week for a solid year. It was fan-freakin’-tastic. If a guy in the rotation started to feel like we should move beyond lunch, I’d cut him loose. Mama didn’t have time for that sort of nonsense.
Then I met Danny.
I broke my rule of not going beyond lunch.
Then, a year and a half later, this happened:
He got me, y’all. “I’ll never be surprised!” False. I was shocked. Although the photo of the exact moment Danny asked me to marry him looks very sweet and romantic, the words coming out of my mouth perfectly express how much he caught me off guard. They were not PG-rated words.
And you know what? He still takes me out to lunch. I’d say it’s a win-win!
I’ll never get married…
April 30, 2016, y’all. That’s when this particular “I’ll never” statement will officially bite me in the butt.
I’ll never leave Austin, TX…
After vowing to never move back to Austin, I did. I fell in love with the city. Every single thing about it. Well, except the horrific traffic, but I could at least live with it. I never wanted to leave. Ever.
A few weeks after our engagement, and before the high had completely worn off, Danny was offered an amazing career opportunity. In Memphis.
What’s a girl to do? Well, the independent fighter in me screamed, “NOOO!!” But the lover and adventurer in me said yes. How could we not go? How could I possibly let Danny pass up on an opportunity like this, and how could I not be little bit excited to venture outside of my comfort zone? So we did it. The decision was made, and we packed up all of our belongings. We gathered up our son, two dogs and a freakin’ cat, and we did it. We moved.
I’ll never find my true calling in life…
This is where I take a moment and thank all those people who encouraged me throughout my struggle to find my “place” in this world.
When I was in 5th grade, we lived next door to a young couple. They were about the age I am now, so they must’ve been so young… They gave me a journal that had the word “writer” scrawled on the outside of it, because I had won a writing contest that year at school. That was really the first time I’d been encouraged to write just for the sake of writing. It was a small gift that I’m sure they never thought twice about, but it was a gift that impacted me a lot more than they ever realized. That was the first journal in a very long series of journals that I’ve kept over the past 20 years.
I have an aunt who is a writer, and who has always pushed me to write. She’s been relentless about it for years. I honestly should’ve listened to her sooner, but I’m glad I finally stopped tuning her out.
This leads me to how I got started with City Moms Blog Network. I’d never really thought of writing as something I could do do. You know, instead of a “real” job. I started out as a contributor for Austin Moms Blog. I thank God every single day for Danny pushing me to apply, because he knew I needed to do something that was just for me. Austin Moms Blog was the perfect outlet for me, and it introduced me to not only the amazing group of women who were also contributors and quickly became like family, but also the awesome network of City Moms Blog. I made best friends through Austin Moms Blog, and felt more inspired than ever. That’s why when we moved to Memphis, I just knew our community needed this resource. The moms of the Memphis area needed to have a City Moms Blog site. They needed the sense of community and sisterhood. And that’s when my true “place” in life became glaringly obvious. I am proud to call myself a Memphis mom, and I’m proud to be the crazy person behind Memphis Moms Blog.
I’ve been described as a series of dichotomies; I’m really just a million contradictions rolled into one person. I’m an extrovert, but I have social anxiety. I am a Type-A person, but I can’t make a decision. I’m easy-going, but find myself wound tight all the time. I’m open-minded, but extremely stubborn. I’m a total hippie. I’m also a total rule-follower.
I have the mouth and liver of a sailor. I love fiercely, laugh loudly, and talk honestly. I believe in living life without apologies, and facing obstacles head-on.
After 26 years, it took the birth of my son for me to finally realize who I am as a person, and to embrace my flaws. I am not perfect. I am constantly learning more about myself and life. I am finally comfortable in my own skin. It is my goal to empower other moms, and make them see themselves in a positive light. I believe that mothers should treat themselves just as well as they treat their children. That starts with self-love and acceptance.