The Inverted Ocean

Welcome to the twilight zone where nothing is as it seems. We don’t even know ourselves in this “alternate reality”. I am slowly discovering my true self while working through life’s mountains and valleys. All isn’t always what it seems. Lets take the ocean as an example. The waves churn the part that we see can make the surface seems chaotic and unable to rest. Yet underneath the ocean, the landscape is quiet, serene, and full of life. This is going to be difficult for me to admit, but in doing so it reminds me that I am human and not a machine….even though it feels more like the latter everyday. I feel like a front is necessary to keep those probing questions at bay. I have realized that I don’t really like sharing my feelings, and would prefer for people to view me as stoic and strong. However, that is not always reality. I am in the inverted ocean.

On the outside, I have work hard on the person that I want everyone to think I am. This front is that I am at peace with my situation and living life to the fullest. All though I have been through hell, I am okay. I do my best to keep the crazy storm at bay. I prefer for my personal struggles to not be noticed by all, just those who are closest to me, and even sometimes I will put this front up with those people. What is the reason for me to expend all this energy? I don’t want or need people’s pity or sympathy. I am grateful for all the notes and and words in the beginning, but honestly now I really want to put in the past. What’s that phrase… Fake it until you make it! That is the plan. The more consistent I am with this eventually my front will just become a habit. Hopefully my life will become easier and easier as I move past everything, but I don’t think the outside is the problem. Let me bring a Disney reference to the table. For those of you who have seen Frozen there is a line ” Conceal. Don’t feel. Don’t let it show.” I have really connected with that in a sense. I feel like I am hiding such a great sorrow, but I feel like I am doing it to bring comfort to others and avoid addressing my true feelings.

And now on to the chaos. There are so many different emotions and scenarios running through my mind. My psyche feels like the autobahn with tons of cars racing! I feel like everything is so loud that is it difficult to hear my inner voice. There is grief, worry, sorrow, longing, fear, anger, loneliness, and much more just tormenting me. It like the raging sea during a hurricane. Just when I feel like my head is above water waves crash over me and drag me back down. There are many times that I feel like I am just drowning in emotion, and there is no place or time for me to release that negative energy. It slowly poisons my personality and indirectly my life. This is something that I can’t allow. If you read my post “Strength: A Superpower?”, this is the moment that choice is crucial! I have to decide to continue pushing forward, no matter how many times I am pulled under.

Being an inverted ocean just seems to be my way of working through things that are difficult. I have always been one to internalize everything. This is not always a bad thing, but I do feel like it could be while dealing with these kinds of emotions. I am working through this and getting over my fear of letting my feelings show. There are moments when I allow myself to show that vulnerability, but most of the time that is not the case. This is a slow and difficult process, but I will prevail.

Morning Glories vs. Sunflowers

Who is ready to talk flowers?!?! Ha, you already know that the titles of my posts aren’t always what they seem. I am pretty excited about this one. As much as I would like to say that I will be on the winning side; I have lots of work to make it there. Trust me, the work is happening, but taking quite a while. So let’s dive right in. Morning glories are absolute gorgeous flowers, and their claim to fame is that they open when there is light and close up in the dark. There are many colors and shapes of these flowers. The are quite eye catching and a lovely addition to any garden. Then you have the sunflower. This flowers lives for the sun! It is said that they will even follow the it as it moves across the sky. How incredible! Each of these flowers have very distinct characteristics, and I am going to use them while talking about grief and healing.

Alrightly, let’s start with the morning glories. When everything is good they are thriving and blooming. I know that I am like that! I’m mean who wouldn’t be. It is easy to be happy and enjoy life when everything is going right. We are social and our happiness makes us glow and gleam to others. The part that I am going to focus on at this moment is what happens when the light is gone. What happens when we are struck with grief? What happens when we face an obstacles that seems insurmountable? If you are a morning glory like me you shut up and shy away. There is nothing that makes you feel a sense of true joy or makes you truly gleam with happiness. Okay, I know that sounds harsh and a little extreme, but it’s true. Sure my son brings happiness and joy to my life, but I am speaking about the feelings within. It is easy to put on a face and pretend, but eventually that is exhausting and you just close up and recoil from any place and everyone that you don’t feel 100% comfortable with. This doesn’t necessary just mean friends and acquaintances. It could be family. We allow the circumstances of our lives dictate our happiness. We look into the dark and find a hard time seeing the light way at the end of the tunnel. The external drives the internal. Grief does crazy things to our mind, body, and soul. In my case, I felt like I was completely broken and missing half of the pieces of me when Adam passed. I closed up to protect myself from everyone. In doing that I hindered my healing. I still have moments were the gravity of my situation drags me down farther that I care to be or admit, but luckily I have a few sunflowers in my life that help remind me of all that I am missing.

Sunflowers are true light lovers. The sunflowers are those who are drawn to the light now matter what is going on. They have the ability and the drive to the look for the light, the positivity in the situation. They always have a way of looking at the “bright side of life”. Our sunflowers truly take life by the horns and make it great. They are constant a breath of fresh air and a beacon of hope and light. For morning glories like me, these people play a very important role in my healing. Its a constant reminder to focus on the things that I have, not what I have lost. I feel like I have mentioned that in a previous post, but it is totally worth mentioning again! Through thick and then, these friends, family members, neighbors, or anyone that spreads their light to others. Okay I guess I can share the biggest sunflower in my life… getting ready for a really shocking revelation… HENRY ALAN! He bring constant joy and light each day! He reminds me daily of all the beauty left and blessings I have! Its truly inspiring!

It doesn’t matter which flower you associate with. If you are a morning glory strive to become a sunflower. Sunflowers keep spreading your light and positivity to those in need. Bring all of us from the dark of sorrow and negativity. We all grapple with grief differently. There is not wrong or right way of doing it. Take comfort in the sunflowers of your life! They will help move you back to the light!

K. Marin

A Child’s Intuition

I have spent a lot of time talking about my struggles and victories so much I thought I would take a different approach. Again, nothing I say is anything but my view points on my situation. I would like to take a dive into the mind of my handsome wild child! I am not sure that I am truly ready for the experience, but what the heck! Let’s do it. Henry has been through so much and he is only two…well almost three. He has experienced great loss, a brand new house, and not to mention a complete shift in the day to day. If anyone is just rocking right along its my son! I know that he is very young and doesn’t truly understand what is going on, but I know that deep down he is aware. I know that Adam made himself known to Henry just a few days after he passed and will tell that story a little later. I know that children aren’t invulnerable, but they are certainly more flexible. I do feel like Adam has been given the title of Henry guardian angel and it shows. This is going to be a little emotional for those of you who know what happen, but some details are crucial.

Adam passed away in the early morning hours of July 20th. Henry was asleep through the entire process. From the moment he woke, we had someone in the house with us to keep us both occupied, and mostly to support our needs. Once the house was empty… I believe about a week or maybe two after… I heard talking coming from Henry’s room. I looked at the monitor and Henry was sitting up and taking to someone. He was having a conversation with someone that he was comfortable with because he was so calm and matter of fact. All of a sudden it got quiet, and he starting yelling mommy. Not in an alarmed way, but in a “come here” way. I hope that made sense… HA! When I came in he said “rock me”. As we were sitting in the rocking chair he looked up at me and said “Mommy, daddy is in the playroom.” I didn’t even know what to say, because Henry shouldn’t have known that. I told him that Daddy was with Jesus, and he very firmly said, “No, Daddy is in the playroom.” As I look back I feel like Adam had one more conversation with his son before heading out. Adam was always concerned about Henry’s wellbeing and he did one last check in. Henry has always seemed so chill when it comes to talking about his daddy. He never once asked where Adam was, and always wanted some extra loving. Honestly, I think that he was doing that because he knew I needed.

Children are so innocent and open minded so they are able to experience things that some adults would believe to be impossible. I am thankful for whatever experience Henry had. He feels the absences, but does not really understand that Daddy is supposed to be here. At the same time, he never really asks much, but he enjoys looks at all the picture that he and Adam had taken in the short time they were able to spend together. I am going to try and take a lesson from my son and keep my mind open. I can not close myself off the the world, not matter how much I want to. He gives me the strength and courage to do it!

-K. Marin

Lemon Projectiles

Dodge! Dip! Duck! Dive! Dodge! I think I have discovered why dodgeball is such an important game to excel at! What is that phrase that is commonly said to remind you to think positively in negative and stressful situations? “When life gives you lemons…make lemonade.” What a lovely metaphor, if only that was really what happens. Real talk for a minute… Life doesn’t hand you anything! Seriously, projectiles are flying all over the place, and the only thing we can do is find something to hide behind to try and devise our plan to address the issues being thrown at us. Oh what I world it would be if everything difficult in life was slowly introduced to us so that we would have the time to figure out how we are going to tackle the task. I guess that there are times that happens, but it is almost a cruel joke because I feel this happens when there is no positive outcome.

I know that this idea may not be relevant to all , but I know it is extremely relevant for me. I mean that in the most literal sense. I was driving home one day, and Henry was Crabby McCrabberson! I mean there was no pleasing this kid. As we were driving through George Bush Park, a shoe came flying on the dashboard. Luckily, it did not hit me, and then I felt a thud on the back of my chair… the other shoe had thankful missed. In this moment, I could feel the anger rising and the response about to be explosive, and then something came over me. I turned and calmly explained to Henry that was very dangerous. We could have been hurt among other things. Like most children during those crabapple days, I am sure he was hearing “blah blah blah blah….” We continued home and the day finished without a hitch. That evening I was pondering my new life and of course I started thinking about dodgeball. I am sure that come about since the movie was on TV! HA! Life is like a giant, ongoing game of dodgeball. Of course the object of this game is to get through life as unscathed as possible. There are lots of lemons that you will be able to dodge, but there will be those times when you take one right in the kisser, stomach, etc. This is the time to rely on those people in your life that are close to you, friends and family. They are out there are the court working to help get you back into the game, supporting you. So when you are ready to get back in the game; you are surrounded by the confidence and love of those around you.

Life does throw things at you a millions miles and hour, and it affects each one of us differently. The beautiful thing is all of these “lemons” are thrown at exactly the right time and for some type of purpose! I realized that Adam’s passing helped really put my life in perspective. It MADE me re-evaluate my priorities and move forward with relationship and unfortunately leave some behind. It required me to evolve in order to push forward and get back into the game. Like all those projectiles, we have to take them with a grain of salt, and be open to the lesson that they are providing. All of these things did not happen overnight and some lessons are still unfolding in my situation, but I am thankful for the group of friends and family that have just been with me throughout the entire time and reminding me that I am capable of all that I want to accomplish!

Remember to dodge the negative thoughts that spring up during tough times. Remember to dip into your support system when you need some added assistance. Remember to duck into the shelter of love shared by your family when you need a confidence booster. Don’t forget to dive into your healing with all your might knowing that you are able to accomplish everything you set your mind to. And most important DO NOT dodge the lessons that should be learned!

K. Marin

The perfect oxymoron

Whoa wait a minute Kari… what silly idea have you concocted now?!?!? I know that had to go through a few of your minds when you caught a glimpse of the title. I need you to just stop and think… how does that title make you feel. I know I can’t be the only mother/parent that grapples with a love/hate relationship with being a mom/parent. My son brings such joy to my life, but at the same time he is the only person who can truly bring me to my knees with sorrow. Well…hang on a second… He isn’t the ONLY one. There is another person who is really efficient when it comes to my emotions… that is me. We aren’t here to talk about the ways I can bring myself up or down. We are here to talk about how our children affects our lives. Well at least today we are. Who knows what the future holds.

Where to even begin….hmmm… AHA!!! Let’s start at the beginning! From the first moment they are born, our children have us all wrapped around their finger. Lucky for us it takes them a little while to figure it out. Every little thing they do brings us joy. As much as I enjoyed my sleep prior to Henry being born, I absolutely loved spending every moment with him. Hey, I complained when I was tired. Who doesn’t?!? However, I forgot about it all when I held MY son in my arms. Who doesn’t?!? All the firsts just make your heart swell so big you feel like it will burst! Seeing them walk, babble, eat, and even be mischievous ( to a certain extent) is exciting. Each time you witness something new you can help by show your pride and unconditional love! How is it even possible that something so tiny can take up every little bit of your world. Let’s insert a story about Adam here! It seems only right! HA! This story every pre dates our first meeting Henry. I remember that I was only nine weeks pregnant and we were going to the Ren Fest with friends. He kept asking me and asking me if we could tell just the few people that we were expecting. For those of you who knew Adam, when he got excited about something he couldn’t contain himself! The man wore me down! He was so excited that he was going to be a dad that he just wanted to shout it out for all to hear! To see him this giddy and happy about something brought tears to my eyes! Of course he told the group that we went with! Children bring so much joy and love, but they can also cause the deepest pain.

Yes, yes we all know that labor is a beast and the pain is CRAZY, but I am not talking about physical pain. Now I guess it is my turn to be the star. When Henry was three months old he contracted RSV. This was by far the scariest and most pain I have ever felt since meeting this wild child! Having to take him to the urgent care because he was having trouble breathing, monitor his breathing every 30 minutes, and hearing his cough just made my chest burn! I felt everything he did. There has been nothing to this day that has hit my like that. Even Adam’s passing wasn’t the same. It hurt, but in a completely different way. I know that I have awhile before I experience the sting of a child’s words or the actions that just chill me to my core, but I know that day is coming. No one can hurt us more deeply that the light of our lives. Although both parents loves the child(ren) unconditional, but I do feel like mothers have a different connection. I mean how can we not considering, we were one for ninth months. I could be completely off my rocker, but luckily I am not claiming this as a scientific fact.

Bottom line is we (mothers/fathers) are the perfect oxymoron! Our children are the best things about us, but they are also the worst at times. Even though there are difficult roads we must travel, we are willing to go above and beyond to ensure their success and safety! They best part about it is as long as you constantly remind and show them… no matter what they say in anger or frustration…they will never forget! During those dark times our resolve will be tested, but the best of times reward our fortitude and strength.

K. Marin

The Toddler Conundrum

Hey there y’all. I must have time warped… I had no idea it had been so long since the last post. Welcome back! This topic is definitely a doozie!! As you all know, and perhaps some of you don’t, I am a first time parent and my kid is CRAZY energetic and strong willed. I mean this boy is me times a million. I know my mother is laughing right now and thinking “What goes around comes back around!” Yeah yeah mother! HA! That time span between 18 month and 4 seems to be quite the “adventure” . However it seems, in this household, we have been dealing with the terrible/trying two since this little man was 18 months, and it does not show signs of slowing down. I need all the advice I can get.

This wild child was quite the handful with two parents… and now its just me. For those of you who have known me for a while know that I am not a very patient person… so this has been pretty difficult for me. Henry is strong willed and super energetic. I mean the kid literally doesn’t slow down. Poor guy can’t even sit still long enough to eat most of the time. I have taken the time to try and run the energy out of him, but ALAS it doesn’t work 98% of the time. Not to mention the kid’s sleeping patterns are atrocious! He very rarely sleeps through the night. He falls asleep fine, but staying asleep seems to be the problem. He can’t even sleep still! Henry is so restless… I can’t imagine he is really even getting quality rest when he is down for the count. All this makes for one extremely exhausted momma…. Oh and let’s not forget potty training! Seriously my head would have exploded eons again if I would have let it. I have taken Henry to a child psychologist after Adam passed due to his escalating behaviors thinking there could have been a correlation, and thankfully that was not the case! That was wonderful news. Hearing the confirmation from the psychologist that she felt we were doing everything right to help him work through his behaviors truly provided me with the moral support I needed at the time. Here we are nine months later and we are still battling. Anyone else have a kid that seems to have bottomless energy and has horrible sleeping patterns.

Let’s talk about sleep… About a month after Adam passed, Henry started waking up at 2 a.m. and staying awake until five a.m. (my time to get up). He would come into my room at the same time every night. It got to a point where I finally had him sleep with me so that I could catch some ZZZs. Needless to say I created a monster. We are now having to re-train him to sleep in his big boy bed. Let me tell you… that is a real struggle. He would rather fight sleep that fall asleep in his bed. Maybe a little separation anxiety? The only thing is when we get to school there is no problems. So I am sure this is just a learned behavior/habit that we are going to have to break. There are no reinforcers that will keep this kid in his bed. Frankly, I need the evening time to catch my breath. Guilt sets in every time I have to fight him for hours until he finally passes out from exhaustion. I am always open to suggestions. I have tried melatonin, lavender oil, no screen time an hour before bed, white noise, etc. Nothing is consistent. Any Suggestions?

Although this development stage is quite the conundrum there are so many beautiful things that begin to happen. That vocabulary is really expanding. I get to hear things like ” I love you mommy” , ” That mac and cheese is so delicious.” Or the other day I wasn’t feeling well and he came over to me, rubbed my arm so gently and said, ” Oh mommy, are you feeling okay?” He just melts my heart. I see so much of his daddy in him! That brings me so much joy and comfort seeing those glimpses of Adam. I am so blessed to have this little man to ease the ache of the loss! Trust me he drives me up the wall too, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

K. Marin

Strength: a Superpower?

Anytime we see someone going through something difficult, we tend to stay safe and use generic statements. For example, “ You are just so strong. I don’t know how you do it.” It is meant to be a comfort and assurance, but, for me, it’s a frustrating phrase. There are many situations that we are faced with that make us uncomfortable, dealing with loss seems to be the most common. I say most common because a loss encompasses so many things (death of someone or something, a terminal diagnosis, etc). The list just goes on and on. We have to remember that, it is difficult to truly know what someone is struggling with. Here is something to keep in mind. Please understand that this is only my view. Strength is not simply a trait we inherit. It is a choice!

I know this sounds crazy, but trust me…it will make sense in the end. When I look at all the choices I had to make this one is ,by far, the most difficult. The choice to be strong all the time requires copious amount of energy daily, and that is what makes it the hardest. No matter what your burdens are you have to make that conscious choice every single day. As I sit here writing this one, I am giggling, and it is total a nervous giggle. From the moment that our lives changed forever I knew I didn’t have a choice… I had to be strong for Henry, for our family, and for our friends. I spent some much time being strong for everyone else, that I forgot to save some of that strength for me. There is a quote that I read one day that reminded me to be strong for me. I am not sure who wrote it, but it really helped me realize a few things. “It’s your road, and yours alone. Others will walk with you, but they can not walk it for you.” The moment that I read that quote I knew how to keep moving forward. I have to simply put one foot in front of the other. In order to continue to grow and to face the challenges I just have to keep moving. I have many friends and family that help provide me with the respite needed to have a mini recharge. Being strong doesn’t mean doing it alone! Strength is knowing when you need a moment to regroup. Strength is showing your child that you will spend as much time with them as possible even thought you have other things to do. Strength is admitting that you need help. Strength is knowing when you have been beaten. Strength is getting up and moving along, even when it feels like you are losing.
It isn’t about hiding your emotions… it is about embracing them. This doesn’t mean that you are going to stumble in your journey. Man, I stumble multiple times a day! As long as you are willing to put in the effort and pick yourself back up, you will overcome. I always considered vulnerability and strength to be opposites, when in fact you cannot have one with out the other. When you are willing to open yourself up and express the emotions or feelings, you are become stronger. By opening up and talking you might find the answer you seek. Parenting is a constant struggle… or at least it is in my house! HA. This little dude is so stinking smart and such a problem solver, he test my resolve everyday. He is my why. He provides me a constant reminder why I make that choice everyday. Even though he is constantly testing the limits and making his personality known, he provides me with so much love and laughter that energy spent each day is completely worth it.

So is strength a superpower?

K. Marin

One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back.

A few days ago, we were on our way home from work and school when we drove by some baseball fields. Henry asked “what’s that?” I explained to him that is was a field. He said “No mommy, that is a baseball field” (his dad used to coach baseball). He followed that statement with, “That is where daddy and I play ball.” My words were stuck in my throat and the tears started streaming down my face. Henry sat there quietly just looking at all the fields we drove by. He didn’t say another word the whole way home. For those of you who know my son, he is not one to be quiet or still for any length of time. There is a part of me that believes that he secretly felt what I felt…that gaping hole in our lives and hearts. I know what you are all thinking… “Kari, the kid is only two! He doesn’t understand what is going on?” I hear you, but I know he understood the emotion he saw. Things have been going so well, and just a innocent and beautiful phrase my son said just brought all that emotion back to the surface.

So is this really how it is supposed to go? I mean I have good days and bad days just like everyone who is experience rough times or a loss, but dang. Hearing my son say this just brought me to my knees. Maybe I can attribute this all to not having actually grieved the loss? Am I really so weak, that one simple comment could knock me back so far? I am not emotional because he mentioned Adam. I am emotional because of all the things Henry is missing out on. The memories that will never be made. Henry seems to be thriving through all of this and for that I am so grateful, however I am trying to “hide” my emotions from him as much as possible. I tell him stories about his daddy all the time, and constantly remind him how lucky he is because his daddy is always with him. Not many little boys get to say that. As soon as I can get a moment to myself the I can allow my emotions to run ramped. In those moments I feel like I just loose any progress I made with moving forward after this great loss! Not to mention how difficult it becomes to remain in the routine. I have someone who relies on me, who needs me, who wants all my attention. I wouldn’t trade that for the world, but do question whether I am doing right by him. Those moments when I completely lose my temper or choose to complete a chore rather that play an extra few minutes with him before bed time. The guilt just rushes to the surface. It affects everything! It exacerbates the anxiety! It makes me question if I am cut out for this. Could my lack of attention scar Henry for life? What I am going to do when I have to address what happened to his daddy… FOR REAL? How am I going to respond to his reaction? Honestly, it is just a snowball effect. I continue to allow all these questions, regardless of their relevancy, to drag me down farther and farther. Sometimes it gets to be a little too much to bear. I lay awake and start thinking that thought we all have of ” I don’t know if I can do this”. Just when all seems lost, a feeling deep in my soul comforts me and reminds me of my destiny and duty.

Although the winds of life range around, we must lean into it and push forward. Sure there will be those moments when we slip back a bit, but it is in those moments that we must strengthen our resolves and remember our purpose, our why. As much as we would like to go with the flow, that is just not possible. The best part about all of this is the ultimate outcome. When we are being pushed backwards, it is time to make a choice…do you continue to try the same path and hope for a different outcome or do you set your sights on the destination and try all paths available to get there? Take it from someone who grapples with self confidence issues and the fear that she is going about everything all wrong, make the CHOICE to ignore the negative whispers. Again, for those of you that know me, that is the pot calling the kettle black, but honestly I am working on practicing what I preach. We can learn together.

K. Marin

With Death Comes Life

I know the title of this post seems a little backwards, but just bear with me. Many times when we experience death, no matter who or what they are to us, we get caught up in the finality of it all. We only see what we have lost. It is easy to focus on the missing presence, the memories that we wanted to make, or perhaps just avoiding the situation entirely. It is our human nature… or perhaps more what society defines grief as that can stifle our growth. When we become engulfed in loss and sadness it is so easy to miss the little bits of beauty. Although our world seems to have been complete destroyed, trust me, there is much to behold. Yes, we lose pieces of us each time, but when those are gone new growth begins. There are so many things in nature that prove to be a beautiful example. Let’s take fire. It is has the power to completely devastate all in it path, but from the ashes comes new life.

When Adam passed away, my world was completely obliterated. I had lost my soul mate! The one person who always made sure to build me up, love me for me, and brought me so much comfort and safety. Just functioning was insanely difficult. For me, I have someone who keeps me moving forward, whether I want to or not. With that being sad, I can say that I really haven’t grieved the loss. I always said I didn’t have time. How do you move forward with only half of yourself? A massive crater now existed in my day to day life. Most of my time was spent thinking about what we had, regrets about what I did and didn’t do, and so many other things dealing with his death, that I completed forgot to look at all I had sitting in front of me. He has left the best parts of him, with me, in our son. The pain still exists and the presence is still missed, but yet… there is newness that is beginning to manifest.

There truly is life after death. This idea was a long time coming to me. When I stopped focused on everything I lost, I started the think about the possible gains. Just like trees shedding their leaves in the winter, I realized that I could not hold on to what was no longer mine. I needed to shed the guilt and regret. Y’all I am not going to lie… it took quite a while to finally begin to “be gentle” with myself. If you have not experienced a sudden loss of someone close to you…man let me tell you it’s a doozie! Once I started doing that I could feel the beginning of new growth. I had to let go of who I was while I was married. I begin to evolve to adapt to my situation. The crazy thing is it seemed so natural. I began to embrace all time that I had with Adam and now take the time to grow from the experiences. To put it bluntly I am learning from my mistakes…or at least I hope.

Perhaps I should explain in more detail what I mean when I said “letting go of who I was while I was married”. For me, Adam was truly the yin to my yang! He was the guy who could fly by the seat of his pants and make it look like he had done some extensive planning. I was the one who was like okay lets make a check list and make sure that we have all our i’s dotted and our t’s crossed. It was difficult for me to be spontaneous… like that was unheard of!!! Adam did an amazing job of constantly reminding me to “mellow out” and let go of the control. He help teach me how to balance the planning and fun! I could be out of my comfort zone in a safe environment… well obviously given the circumstance… that is not the case anymore. I have become the control freak yet again…I need a hero and fast!!!! Who should be there to save the day you ask? Surprisingly, it was Henry! He needed me to be the best version of me. To do that I had to accept my flaws and make them positives. Strangely, I feel like that came pretty naturally. My control freak”ness” was a little bit of a blessing in disguise. If any of you have a toddler around, structure is a NECESSITY! What I though was a flaw, truly was a blessing when I became a single parent. Ground rules were laid fast!!!! HA, believe me it was rocky in the beginning, but it all worked out in the end. My sense of self confidence was pretty much zero, but the best way to teach something is to live it. In order to help my son feel confident in all that he does…I have to be the example. Yeah, yeah… I know he is only almost three, but it is never to young to teach your child of their self worth! I could go on and on about all the new aspects of my personality that have begun to shine through, but frankly… NO ONE HAS TIME FOR THAT!

Just remember no matter the circumstances, don’t be afraid to let go of what is passed and embrace the new growth!

K. Marin

The Relaxation Paradox

Welcome back! I have been struggling lately between wanting to relax and having some quality me time and worrying/needing to have my “wild man” close to me. It truly is mind boggling! Being a “new” single parent, I am just at loss on how to truly relax and let Henry spread his wings and expand his horizons. I have to giggle a little because the kid is only two and a half. But seriously, how do you ladies do it?!? Is it just because this is my first child?

Okay, perhaps I should start at the beginning. When I say beginning I mean the start of the being the single parent. I am not sure if it was the trauma from losing Adam or the control freak in me that just hates not being near my kid. Even when I go to my parents house for the weekend, wherever Henry is I am a few steps behind him. Could it be some crazy irrational fear of losing him to that draws me closer? Its quite perplexing. I think to myself how I would kill to just five minutes of quiet, but whenever those moments arrive, I find myself always drawn to my son. It could also stem from the fact that quiet in a toddler’s house usually means mischief. Help me out y’all… do you ever feel this way? For me it truly is a paradox. I am torn between a want and a need. As mother I want my son to be with me always, but as a human I crave my freedom and a few minutes here and there to tend to some self care. IT REALLY IS QUITE FRUSTRATING!!!

Balance is the key. That is the answer for just about everything in life. For someone like me, that is easier said that done. I get bogged down in all the things that I know I should do, need to do, are required to do, and I always push my needs and wants to the backburner. I have not mastered the Art of putting things to the side because I know I should stop and take a bath, maybe enjoy some of the “mom juice” , or “dad soda” (that’s what Adam called beer after Henry was born). When I don’t do the dishes after dinner or fold the laundry I just pulled out is purely out of need to rest rather that wanting to do a preferred activity. How can I achieve the balance that is so desperately needed? How can I learn to stop and take time for me, when it is clearly not in my nature to do so? There are so many question that pulse through my mind, and there in lies the next issues when it comes to relaxation.

Anxiety sets in. Let’s say I decide to take a bath after I am finally able to get Henry down for the night. I will try to make it as relaxing as possible. I will spend the entire time making a mental to do list of all the things that I need to make sure I get done, both personal and professional. So let face it, relaxation just doesn’t happen. I know that I have a lot to face currently, but I know I am not alone. There is bound to be others that are experiencing the same thing. I am nobody special.

So where do we go from here? How can I get from point A to point B? There is going to have to be some serious soul searching and routines to be put in place to ensure that I able to unwind and let my guard down. Give my mind and body a rest. Allow my emotions the opportunity to be unleashed without the fear of being seen or judged. I will be touching on this subject again to give an update. But in the mean time, I would love to hear about the strategies you all use! Thank you in advance!!!

-K. Marin