Winning Advice from an 8-year old

Some might refer to it as “seasonal depression”- but I just call it a funk. I’M IN A FUNK, Y’ALL. It’s crept into every little nook and cranny of my life and doesn’t seem to want to leave.

I think it’s safe to say that we all have periods in our lives, be they short or prolonged, where nothing seems to be going right. Or when it does, life has a good chuckle by smacking it right back into your face and telling you “Nope, stay down.” We also all know what it feels like to be in this slumpy funk, and to know that other people have it far worse, so you sort of feel like a total assbag for even feeling bad in the first place, which just makes you feel worse because you can’t change how you feel. WHEW. THAT WAS A LOT OF FEELS. Are you still following? I think you are.

For me, personally, this funk has me stuck. With my career. With where I want to go. I can’t seem to move. I’m always aiming for the next step, reaching for the next level, and for a few months now, I’ve been unable to get anywhere. It’s a horrible feeling– knowing where you want to go, but feeling like you can’t get there. Like nothing is working in your favor. Like all of your hard work is basically for nothing. It’s negative, and it’s not productive, but I realize it’s also natural to feel this way when you’ve hit a wall.

Could I try to hide my frustration and disappointment from my kids? I COULD… but my face won’t. It’s impossible. Not to mention the fact that I don’t mind them knowing about my struggles to some degree. I don’t need nor do I want them to think that I’m perfect. I don’t want them striving for perfection because they think their parents are. They need to know that I have struggles, and that I can make it through them, and their lives are going to have them, too.

I don’t want to sit here and preach to you about how things will get better. Just keep trying, keep your head up, keep plugging away. YOU KNOW ALL OF THESE THINGS. There’s no point in me cramming it down your throat if your eyeballs deep in life’s bullshit, so I won’t do it. But I do want to share something with you that my 8 year old said, because it hit me at just the right time, in just the right away.

My boys know all about my jobs, my triumphs, and my struggles, and they are very aware it’s been a rough time for me lately. The eight year old was questioning me on some things related to it and asked when I’d be, essentially, taking it to the next level. When I’d have enough followers/readers/viewers/fans to be attending events and things of that ilk. I responded with something along the lines of “I dunno… maybe soon… maybe never.” and with the most exasperated tone, he says “Don’t say things like that! Good things won’t happen when you don’t speak the good things!”

A) HOLY SHIT
B) HE’S RIGHT
C) WHEN DID HE GET SO SMART?

I fully believe that bitching can be good for the soul, and bottling it up is destructive to yourself– but negativity breeds negativity, y’all. When you speak too much negative, you think negative, and you feel negative. There is power in positive thinking, and positive speaking, and maybe, just maybe, while it’s good to be realistic, I should also try to be more optimistic every now and then.

It’s so weird when our spawn are more adult than we are.

Of course, this is the same kid who claimed he couldn’t eat salmon because it gives you “salmon-ella, DUH”- so his judgment may not always be 100% reliable, but I think he’s correct this time.

Posted on October 18, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

Spooking the Kids Without Scarring them for LIFE With Netflix! (and a giveaway!)

My family likes to do a lot of different activities together, but one of our favorites is to get in our pajamas, plop down on the couch, and watch TV together at the end of a long day. Problem is there isn’t a ton of TV out there which we all enjoy equally. Someone is always grinning, and someone is always just barely bearing it.

As much as I love cartoons, there are only so many I can watch. Finally, my kids are getting old enough to enjoy NON-animated programs, so the struggle went from finding something enjoyable, to finding something appropriate AND enjoyable for everyone.

That’s what’s always been so great about Netflix for us. As much as they offer just for adults, and just for kids, they offer a ton for both to enjoy together as well. Score!

From Fuller House, to A Series of Unfortunate Events- we’ve found a ton of stuff we can veg out with.

When it comes to my favorite season, though, things always tend to get a little more complicated. HALLOWEEN! THE MOST MAGICAL SPOOKY TIME OF THE YEAR!  I always want to share in the frights with my kids without landing them in my bed until their teens and causing them to need more therapy than I’m sure having me as a mom has already caused. They love creepy, scary stuff– but I have to be the responsible adult and draw the line. Man, it sucks.

That’s why I’m SO EXCITED that Stranger Things Season 2 will be streaming on Netflix on October 27th- JUST in time for Halloween! It’s the perfect mix of nostalgia, friendship, creeps, mysteries, and scares. Adult enough to keep my spook-itch satisfied, and mild enough to make sure the kids sleep in their own beds for the rest of forever. Well… we’ll see. I hear this season is going to be darker and spookier than the first- so I may have some company in bed that isn’t my snoring husband… but I think it’s a fair trade.

Who else is amped for the return of Stranger Things? What spooky things do you watch with your kids?? If Stranger Things is a bit intense, might I suggest the Goosebumps movie, and/or A Series of Unfortunate Events?
Perfect for the little ones who want to watch something creepy, but don’t want to be scared out of a good night’s sleep! And there’s the ALWAYS perfect, ALWAYS classic no matter what time of year: The Nightmare Before Christmas. All of the above are on Netflix right now!

 

 

CELEBRATE EVEN MORE WITH ME ON FACEBOOK where I’m giving away a 3-month subscription to Netflix for one winner AND a friend!
You MUST enter on Facebook.

Rules of Entry:

  • Only one (1) Netflix Subscription code can be won by each entrant per calendar year
  • Giveaway ends on 10/24/17 at 11:59pm PST, all entries must be cast by then to qualify
  • If selected, winners must provide their email as well as the email of their tagged friend upon request to receive the complimentary code
Posted on October 12, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

When Responsibility Goes TOO FAR- A Parental Horror Story

You know that old saying “Once in a blue moon”? Does it ever leave you wondering “how can it be once in a blue moon if there’s literally never a blue moon?” Logic would lead you to the conclusion that once in a blue moon isn’t just rare, it NEVER happens. That, for me, is alone time with my husband. When the kids are upstairs drooling on their pillows doesn’t count. I mean REAL alone time. Time they can’t come waltzing into the room to tell me their sock fell off.

REAL. BONAFIDE. ALONE TIME.

When’s the last time you had it? I can remember the exact day, though the details are a bit fuzzy, because it’s been that long. We’re lame, cheap homebodies. We don’t like hiring babysitters. We kinda prefer to hang out at home.
I know. It’s sad. We should make time for ourselves more. I KNOW. YOU DON’T NEED TO TELL ME. But it’s tough to make the plans and take the time when you’re not used to it, so honestly, the only real “us” time we get is when the fates work in our favor. And wouldn’t you know it– fate was on our side yesterday.

The kids had to go to school, the husband did not have to go to work– which left us by our lonesome, not just for a measly hour or two, but all. day. long. 8am – 2:45pm. That’s a hefty chunk of time!

There was so much we could do in that time without crotchfruit tugging on our sleeves. We could finally go see an R rated movie in the theater and not only get two bites of popcorn because they ate it all before the damn previews. We could have gone to one of the fancier restaurants we’ve always wanted to go to but haven’t been able to because they aren’t “kid friendly” or we don’t want to hear them whine about there being nothing to eat, or pay the cost for an adult plate for a picky 8 year old. We could go shopping and MAYBE not buy the kids anything for once. We could even touch each other’s butts like the olden days, but not quite with such reckless abandon because NO MORE KIDS.

As far as I could see, the options were endless. We could do any of those things, or even a combination of a few of them, and still have time to spare. It wasn’t until I was doing my makeup to go into the world, not as “Holden and Parker’s Mom”, but as JENNY that a feeling washed over me. A familiar, yet unsettling one. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first. It frittered away in the back of my mind until I walked down the stairs to tell Thomas I was ready to go and he said “We need to stop by the grocery store for a few things.”

HA HA. RESPONSIBILITY. That was the feeling pirouetting in the back of my brain. Creeping up on me like someone from high school I try to avoid upon seeing them in public. On a day we could do anything, the last thing I wanted to do was succumb to responsibility. That is my EVERY day! NOT today!

I fought it to the best of my ability, but where did I find myself an hour later? In the damn checkout line glaring at the sticker next to the credit card reader that read “anyone on or before this date in 1996 can buy alcohol.”

Responsibility has aged me more than children.

Posted on October 10, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

20 Memes that Prove Kids are Absolute A-holes

Before you have kids, you should know that this is what you’re life is going to be full of. It’s too late for us, so all we can do is laugh at memes. Or cry in the pantry trying to quietly eat chocolate covered potato chips…. not that I’ve ever done that….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, shit.

 

Is anyone else tired? Because I’m tired.

Posted on October 4, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

The Sisterhood of the Shitty Moms

 

Walking through Busch Gardens yesterday, per usual, I came across all kinds of different people from all walks of life. The ones I always notice, when I’m not scrunching my brow at the latest hideous “fashion” trend teens are trying to dredge back from the depths of 90’s hell, are the fellow moms. I always wonder if it’s that whole thing where you don’t notice how many people have the same car as you until you buy one, but I definitely never noticed so many moms until I had kids of my own. Now I can’t take my eyes off of them.

We moms are “so strong”, aren’t we? Or that’s what everyone likes to tell us. We’re just the strongest, bravest creatures to ever walk the earth. Growing, birthing, raising children. Go us!
I’m not trying to be a sarcastic asshole. I DO think we’re incredibly strong, a hell of a lot more than we give ourselves credit for- and that’s the thing. We may be it, but we don’t always feel it. Or maybe we never feel it.

The mom who was really laying into her kid for acting like an ass in public when he’d been told repeatedly to cut it out? Bet she didn’t feel strong. Contrary to what our kids believe, we don’t like disciplining them. We have to learn to enjoy pulling out “mean in public” mommy or it makes us feel low, and humiliated, and even embarrassed. It makes us feel like we haven’t done our “job” correctly. It makes us wonder who, at that moment, is judging us, because perish the thought we EVER discipline our children in public!

The mom frustratingly trying to pull off a standing diaper change with a wiggly toddler in a bathroom full of people milling in and out. Did she feel like a parental powerhouse? Doubtful.

The mom I saw later in the night carrying her kid that is way too big to be carried (and I say this in a non-judging way, but just by weight alone), probably because their feet got too tired, or they said their legs didn’t work, or any number of other excuses that she was probably tired of hearing and gave up and decided to just lug the kid out. I guarantee she didn’t feel strong, even with the added weight.

And me. I’d promised to take Parker to Busch Gardens yesterday for his birthday (yes his birthday was Saturday, but we avoid busy places on Saturdays). I was not feeling the greatest, and my stomach made it worse. Parker’s attitude made it even worse than that. We had a bunch of errands to run before leaving and he was directly disobeying me, so I snapped, in public, and told him his birthday plans were cancelled. He lost it. Everyone stared. An overreaction on my part? Absolutely– but he pushed me when he knew he shouldn’t have been pushing. Am I proud of it? No. I’m not ashamed, we all have moments, but I’m certainly not proud.
When we got home, and I had time to rest and feel better, and he had time to think about what he’d done wrong, we resolved our issues, went to Busch and had a great time.

In these moments people like to tell us we’re strong for powering through is when we feel our weakest–our most vulnerable. We don’t feel like good moms, supermoms, whatever-name-you-want-to-call-us-to-make-us-feel-better moms. We feel like shit. The shittiest moms on earth.

This is where I know words are mostly empty. I know it’s nice to hear that you’re doing a good job, or you have great kids, or that you’re a wonderful mother– but what do they do for you at the end of the day? Not a whole lot. What I take solace in, is knowing that I’m not alone. I know that’s kinda shitty, taking comfort in knowing that other parents had shitty parenting moments too, but in a way, it’s the best kind of comfort. Knowing that no matter what, there’s something else out there slugging through it, too. There’s someone else out there who knows that you don’t have to have the most perfect of days to still have happy, healthy kids at the end of it. There’s someone else out there that proves that you don’t have to be the “best mom ever” every moment of every day to still be a great mom.
We’re all struggling in our own ways– some more than others.

Some days are easy, some days we put our “Shitty Mom” pants on one leg at a time. Some days we miss both legs completely and fall straight on our asses, but we’re TOGETHER. We are the Sisterhood of the Shitty Moms, and while we might not be out there yelling “YAYA” at another woman who is dealing with a tantruming kid in public, we have each other’s backs in sometimes silent solidarity. A warm smile, a knowing nod, a non-judging look. We’ve been there, we’ve made it through, and so can you.

Posted on October 2, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment