A Bad Mom

There are a lot of reasons people mom-shame hardworking mothers. There are a lot of reasons moms think they’re not good enough. When it comes to rearing children, someone – regardless of how much experience they actually have – always has something to say.

I’ve been a mother for almost 4 years now. But I’ve felt the fierce love in my heart ever since I found out I was pregnant. I know I don’t know anything, but I know this much is true.

When we go out shopping, and you want a toy but I don’t want to spoil you with another I say no. You throw a fit and people stare and you say it’s not fair, but I don’t think I’m a bad mom.

When it’s bed time and you ask me to leave all the lights on but I turn them off even though you don’t like the dark, I don’t feel like a bad mom.

When a curse word accidentally slips out of my mouth and into yours, I don’t feel like a bad mom.

When you begged me to stay home from school because you said you weren’t ready, no matter how hard you cried and clung to me I still cast you into that classroom and walked away without looking back. And I didn’t feel like a bad mom.

There are a lot of things I know are necessary. I do a lot of things that people cast judgement on but I know that everything will be okay. But we’re entering a completely new chapter in our lives together, and I haven’t been feeling so great.

When you ask me where daddy is and why you don’t see him anymore, and there’s not a damn thing I can do to comfort you because you’re too young, I feel like a bad mom.

When I’m so depressed that I don’t have the strength to get out of bed in the morning, no matter how much you pull on me and beg, I feel like a shit mom.

When you ask me to play with you or watch you do something but I’m too tired or don’t have the time, I feel like the worst mom.

I’m doing everything I can to be better than I was, and I’m working hard so that I’ll be better than I am. I never dreamed I’d end up a single mother but everything I do is for you.

I don’t feel worthy of being your mother a lot of days, but you need me and I’m here for you. I don’t know how bad I am but I want to get better for you.

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In the End

Hey baby.

Sorry I haven’t written in months. Can’t believe it’s already September. I promised myself I’d write at least once a month so that I could update you on everything growing up, but I feel like a lot of this is for myself too. So that mom doesn’t forget anything.

Not gonna lie, these last 2 months have been some of the best and worst of my life. It’s been a wild time. And you probably won’t remember any of it. In fact, I have no doubt you won’t. It’s for the better.

Daddy and I aren’t together anymore.

It doesn’t matter what happened. It really doesn’t. And it had absolutely, absolutely nothing to do with you at all. It had everything to do with him and I not working out.

Daddy decided to move away. He’s going to live in another state now while we stay here. He’s leaving tomorrow.

He loves you so much.

I love you so much.

That’s all that matters.

You’ll always have a place with both of us.
You’ll always be taken care of.
You’ll always be wanted, loved, cherished.

Just because daddy and I couldn’t stay together, doesn’t have anything to do with you. Because we both want and love you endlessly.

Young Mommy Gotta Vent

Guess what??? You started pre-school/daycare last week!!! And not coincidentally I started a new job as the receptionist at that daycare.

Young student moms gotta do what they gotta do.

Anyways, this time last year I was working 2 jobs, doing a full load of classes, and taking care of you. Safe to say that was a rough time in my life.

This time I’m working one part time job and taking less classes, and I get to take you to work with me! (Technically speaking.)

Lately I’ve been down about this impending sense of change. I’m going to graduate soon, and I need to hunt for my first real adult job. You’re starting pre-school now and sooner than later you’ll be in Kindergarten. I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately thinking that nothing is going to be as slow-paced or as relaxed ever again, and everything feels so rushed.

You are so attached to me. Like honestly pretty crazy attached. Like I can’t even leave the house without having someone hold you back ’cause you’ll scream at me not to leave. I almost figured this would happen, since there was my winter break and now I only have night classes so it’s just me and you during the day. And now that I work at the school, you keep popping your little head out to follow me all day.

I know I’m probably rushing in my head, but seriously it all feels like life is rushing to a climax right now. Grad, job, you in school, etc.

I usually write blog posts to teach you something or let you know what’s going on with you right now while you’re still young, but this time I’m really just venting.

I’m gonna stop here before the rambling gets too bad. I considered deleting this, but honestly it’s good for you to see that mommy isn’t quite so articulate and put together. Ever.

EDIT: I meant to proofread and publish this on February 28 but I forgot. Whoopsie.

So anyways, since I’m reading over it now might as well add on.

The other day I dropped you off for your first day of preschool without me. Literally everyone was trying to bribe you with cookies, coloring, TV, phone games, anything. But you were attached to me and refused to let go or stop crying.

So finally it took 2 teachers holding you back to let me escape. I was really worried that you’d have a hard day, but 10 minutes later I got a message from your teacher. She sent me a selfie of the two of you smiling and playing, and she said just 5 minutes after I left you stopped crying. After another 5 minutes you were ready to go into your classroom and it was alright.

I always thought you were clingy (and you are) but I guess I am too. I’m always thinking you might not be ready for something, when the truth is actually that you’ve long been ready, and I don’t want to hold you back.

I know you’re just going through a transition phase, but one day you’ll have your own friends and you’ll be comfortable heading off to school every day and you probably won’t even want to see me when you get home.

At least that’s what I was like for a while lol.

But that’s the way it goes. Right now you’re still a mama’s girl, but you’ll grow up and seeing you independent will be a breath of fresh air.

Hurt Happens

Hey Beng Beng.

I was recently watching this tv show called Crazy Ex Girlfriend (and though normally that’s a sexist and derogatory phrase she’s seriously crazy). For the entire series thus far we know her mother to be an emotionally abusive woman leaving psychological scars on her daughter that caused problems her whole life.

In this episode the main character accuses her mom of hating her, to which the mother responds that she loves her so much it makes her crazy and sick with worry all the time. And every time she’s harsh on her it’s because she only wants what’s best.

I understand this, to a degree. Abuse is abuse, no matter what light you frame it in. But there are reasons I can put up with, and reasons I can’t.

My own mother is insane. I drive her sick with worry, she drives me sick with paranoia. I’ve always had the feeling that I was never good enough for my mom. I always had the feeling that if I weren’t her daughter, she’d hate the person I actually am. I’m sure I’m not entirely wrong, but I know my mom is loving me in the only way she knows how.

That doesn’t stop the fact that many parents commit unintentional emotional abuse. A lot of my friends and I are too scared to talk to our parents about things, too scared to bring certain topics up, or we just get anxiety around our parents. We can’t be ourselves around them because they’ve never let us before and it won’t start now.

I hope I never instill that fear on you. I’ll love you no matter who you want to be in life. Whether you want to drop out of school and act, or go to med school and be a doctor, and anything in between. Whether you go to church every Sunday, whether you tattoo every ounce of your skin. I’ll love and accept you exactly as who you are.

I fear that because of my parental influences, I might turn out to be like them. But I’m going to do everything in my power to just be who I want to be.

Alright, now aside from unintentional parental abuse, there is also unintentional relationship abuse.

Whether it’s from friends or a boyfriend or girlfriend, there are people in this world who will make you feel bad and claim it’s for your own good. But they’re lying.

The truth is, they want to control you so much that they’ll do anything to make themselves feel better and claim it’s for your own benefit.

It may start out fun and light. But listen, no matter what, never let anyone tell you what to do or who to be. (I mean, listen to authority figures at the right moments, but you know what I mean.)

I have a handful of friends right now that are suffering at the hands of a relationship partner. I’ve suffered at the hands of a relationship. I’ve suffered due to friends.

Once upon a time, I was one of the monsters.

I grew up without a whole bunch of close friends, and it took me probably until middle or high school to form a healthy friendship. But before that happened, I really did and said some horrible things because I was afraid of losing control and afraid to be alone again.

One day you might make the same mistakes. But you listen to me baby, if you find yourself doing wrong, it’s never too late to make the right decision. One of the most important things I can teach you is that if someone says you’ve hurt them, you say you’re sorry.

Don’t say you didn’t mean to.

Don’t say they’re taking it the wrong way.

Don’t try to cover it up.

You do the right thing, and you apologize.

On the other hand, if you’re the one getting hurt.

Don’t try to let it go because you care about the one hurting you. Because that’s an increasingly prevalent problem I’ve noticed in my own circle.

If someone hurts you, you tell them. And it doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your life, there are some things that can be talked through. But if someone really truly hurt you with no understanding of the consequences, you cut them out of your life immediately.

And if you’re ever hurting and you don’t know what to do, you come to me. You don’t have to tell me everything, or anything, just tell me you need comfort and mama will be there for you. I’ll always be there for you.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t hurt others, and don’t let yourself be hurt.

New Year Old Me

Hey Beng.

It’s mama.

I can’t believe I haven’t written anything since last August, jeez. I’m not sure how old you’ll be when you’re finally able to read this blog, but I give you permission to get on my case about being lazy. BUT, I did start a bullet journal which is this thing some people in my generation are using to get organized, so hopefully I can get myself to write more than like what, twice a year?

The thing is that honestly I am CONSTANTLY thinking of things to write about, things I want to tell you, but I wonder how relevant it will be by the time you’re of age?

God you’re so smart. You’re a genuine genius in my book, but I think all parents think that of their children. And the thing is that, I hope by the time you’re in high school I feel like a dumbass next to you.

Trying to imagine you as a functioning human being is so wild to me. Me and dad are always talking, and like, every time you do literally ANYTHING we are just blown away.

For example, when you were:

0 m/o: “Wow, one day she’ll be able to look at us.”

3 m/o: “WOW she can sit, one day she’ll be walking can you believe that?”

9 m/o: “OMG LOOK AT HER RUN SHE’S SO STRONG.”

1 y/o: “SHE DOESN’T STOP BABBLING WOO MAYBE SHE’LL HOLD CONVERSATIONS SOON.”

1.5 y/o: “She can hold her own bottle and eat snacks all by herself this kid is self-sufficient.”

2 y/o: “She can walk, talk, sing, dance, she’s half potty-trained this kid can do ANYTHING.”

3 y/o: “ONE DAY SHE’LL BE ABLE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM BY HERSELF HOW WILD IS THAT??”

Literally. Everything. You do. Just amazes us.

And you’re only 3!

I’m currently trying to teach you how to write.

Just thinking about you as a high schooler makes me want to cry. That’s really the time when you’ll likely start to solidify a personality and start making stronger relationships and connections with others.

Who knows where technology will be at that point in time?

What made me think to write this is that the other day, my laptop broke down and I was thinking about how I’ll need to save to get another one. Your dad told me to get a brand I’ve never used before, and I thought, “Ugh I’m not used to that interface I’d rather not.”

But then I laughed at myself, ’cause that sounds like something an old person would say.

I’m not afraid of progress, but I am definitely lazy.

By the time you’re a teenager, you’ll be exposed to so much technology and knowledge I won’t even be able to wrap my head around it.

And I hope you’ll teach your ol’ ma.

The thing is that, humans have survived on this planet for thousands and thousands of years, and NOT because things have stayed the same. We thrive as a species because we constantly grow and learn, and we spread that information and we advance. Every generation knows more than the last, each generation teaches as much as it can and then they pass the baton of advancement to their children.

That’s just good ol’ fashioned natural selection.

I know for a fact that you’ll surpass me in every way before I can blink. And I look forward to it. I have so many hopes and dreams for you, and I’ll support you with everything I have and everything I am.

I ask you to live your life open-minded. To always be curious, and to never think you know everything about anything. Be able to admit you’re wrong when you are, and learn what is true. Don’t let your emotions cloud facts. Live logically but not coldly. Have faith in your heart but keep your eyes open. Be smart.

Watching you grow makes me feel old. I’m a pretty young mom, but you’ve got me feeling old as hell. You’re the shiny new gadget and I’m just the outdated model. When you finally read this, feel free to tell me how old I am.

Just know that I love you, and no matter how far ahead of me you run, I’ll always have your back.

Up and Down

I’ve struggled with my appearance most of my life.

Since I have full-body eczema, I have always been insecure about my skin. Since the skin covers the body, there was a lot to feel embarrassed about. And from there, on the long list of things I didn’t like about myself, I couldn’t help stress about my weight.

When I was in elementary school, I was always on the heavier side. Our family called me and your uncle tabachoy or tabachingching and poked “fun” at us, but no matter how many times you say “It’s just a joke” that doesn’t stop the comments from hurting. No level of sarcasm can hide the fact that it’s how they really saw us.

Near the end of middle school and towards the beginning of high school, I dropped a lot of weight. My skin was still a cause for concern, but at least I wasn’t chubby with a bowl cut anymore. I was praised for my newly lightened physique, and it made me feel good.

I didn’t get that way healthily though. I didn’t exercise. I wasn’t eating right. In fact I was barely eating at all.

That was the point in my life when my depression was really starting to kick in. I didn’t want to do anything but stay in bed all day. I would sleep 12 hours if I could. I’d skip breakfast every day, eat a meager lunch, and an average dinner. The weight dropped because of that, and nothing else.

At that point in my life, I was 120 pounds.

Late in my sophomore year in high school, I had gained a lot more friends. I had more energy, I wanted to go out, I was happier. My sleeping (and eating) schedule had regained a sense of normalcy, and I had jumped to 135 pounds. But because of my bigger build, it didn’t show all that much.

I don’t like to admit this, but in junior year the only way I had noticed my weight was on the rise was because of my Naruto headband. In freshman year I would wear it around my waist almost every day, but near the end of high school it wouldn’t fit anymore. I’m a huge loser lmao.

So late into my senior year my weight had only risen again, and I was around 145. So I guess writing it out, it seems I had gained about 10 pounds a year. Go figure.

I tried to be healthy and exercise, but it wasn’t so easy and I wasn’t so motivated. So that didn’t last long.

Then enter my freshman year of college. I was 160 pounds, because I had spent the summer before going out and saying goodbye to friends left and right.

Because the campus had 3 gyms nearby, it was super convenient for me to workout whenever I got bored. I didn’t like to stay in my dorm room so often so I used the gym as an excuse, plus I made friends that motivated me (for a little while at least). So after the first semester, I was back to 150 pounds.

But then, in the middle of my second semester, I got pregnant with you.

Obviously I wasn’t so keen on watching my figure.

Long story short, I was roughly 185 pounds at the end of my pregnancy. But after you came out, I was only at about 170 again. I thought, ONLY 15?!

The stress of taking care of a newborn baby didn’t make me want to exercise. Just the opposite, all I did was stress eat and laze around with you.

There were periods of time where I would try to create an exercise routine, but nothing stuck, so I would give up really easily.

3 months ago, I was 175 pounds. I was always tired, I was still wearing my maternity clothes, and every little action made me stop to catch my breath. I could feel how unhealthy I had become, and there was nothing more embarrassing for me. To want to raise you to be a fit and health-conscious individual but not lead by example?

I changed the way I was eating, and I worked really hard to establish a routine exercise schedule. So now, I’m 155 pounds, and I feel really proud of myself. I hope and pray I’ll be able to keep it up.

It felt bad to wear pregnancy clothes, over 2 years after giving birth. It felt bad to not be able to carry you because I got tired too easily. It felt bad to not be able to play with you because I just wanted to eat and nap all the time.

My energy is returning, and though I still have depressive episodes where I don’t think I can even get out of bed, I can feel myself getting better, even just a bit.

The point I want to make from this is that, I was never so focused on fixing my appearance until I made the decision to do it for myself. I wasn’t happy being thin for the compliments. I would never have considered dieting just to look good.

I started dieting because I wanted to feel good about myself, and I wanted to be healthy.

I used to worry a lot about what people thought, and it really plagued me. But, even when I was at my heaviest, I still slapped on lipstick and a crop top because I loved my body.

I don’t even know if I’m making sense anymore because I’m typing this past midnight and I’m tired.

But throughout my entire roller coaster of a weight journey, every pound lost or gained taught me something about loving and accepting myself. Even if I were 200 pounds right now, I would still love what I saw in the mirror.

So when you’re old enough to feel insecure, remember to treat your body kindly.

If you want to diet, do it for yourself.

She Can(‘t) Do It All!

I’m sorry sorry sorry that it has taken me forever to write another post. I always feel a little nervous when I write a blog post to be honest. Because I can’t help but wonder how old you’ll be when you finally read them, or what your personality will be like, or if you’ll really care what I’ve written out.

To tell you the truth, one of the reasons I started this blog is because I wanted to find a way to leave some of my thoughts with you in case I’m not around to tell you about them later.

I’ve said it before and I’m not trying to use it as an excuse but I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. Since the start of this new year I’ve sat down and started maybe 2 or 3 different blog posts, but my head was always too cloudy to get down coherent thoughts so I couldn’t finish any of them. As I’m typing now I’m praying that this one will find it’s way to completion.

But anyways, to get to the subject matter of this post, you were born when I was 19. Society has this notion that we respect young moms because they have to work 10 times harder than everyone else. There’s this notion that not just young moms but all moms have to be “supermoms” nowadays — the mom who works a regular job, takes care of the kids, keeps house, and still finds time to be a functioning member of society. Don’t get me wrong, these women (and all women in general of course) are incredible and deserve all the props and respect they get because doing all of those things is hard.

And that’s why I hate it. I hate when people see the load I bear and go, “Wow, you’re incredible you can withstand so much!! I could never do that ha ha ha I guess you have mom stamina.”

Lemme tell you, at the beginning of this year I was working 2 part time jobs, suffering through a full load of classes, and coming home everyday to a rambunctious 2 year old (that’s you). And when people asked me what I was up to I would tell them, and they would look at me with a sense of awe and pity. Now I’m down to 1 job but the rest holds true, but the stress of it all hasn’t reduced in the slightest.

I’m suffering. I’m really, truly suffering. Some nights I can’t sleep because the anticipated stress of the next day keeps me awake. I scratch my skin off and pull my hair and debate the positives of the sweet release of death.

When I put it like that it sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Suicide would not be easy. In fact, it’s the hardest thing to do because I haven’t yet succeeded! To think, people say, “That’s the easy way out.” That’s how you can tell who has no idea what you’re going through, or what you’re thinking. They think it’s easy!

Of course of course of course it’s not easy. It takes so much thought and effort and heartache and suffering. And then people tell you, “Think of all the people you would be leaving behind! How would they feel?” If suicide was so selfish, why do people always make it about them when I try to talk about it? Why is my life so important that your feelings are prioritized above mine?

I would miss you so much.

But I love you.

Think of your kid.

I’ve heard those countless times. I already know that! Why do you think I’m still here? You know what I rarely hear?

Your life is worth living.

Take care of yourself, let me help you, don’t push yourself to the point of no return.

Live because your life has meaning and if you don’t see that now let’s work at it until you do.

I want to completely expose myself when it comes to these feelings because it is so discouraged. I want you to know that these feelings are horrible and valid and I’ve been there and I will listen to you and do whatever I can to help you.

Ember, you are my angel. You are my everything. It terrifies me to this day that you might end up just like me. I have hope that you won’t because right now you are a bright, laughing, happy baby, but of course things change. I just want you to know that whatever you’re feeling, you’re safe with me.

I feel like nowadays, pressure starts younger and younger. People have been asking me if you’re going to enroll in preschool yet and I say Preschool? She’s only 2! For the love of God almighty, let my 2 year old be 2. I don’t care if she’ll be “behind” with the times or what, I’m not putting an infant in school. And I’ve read studies that show the detrimental mental effects putting a kid in school too early causes.

Don’t let school get you down. Don’t let this messed up system take away your love for learning like it did for me.

Don’t let friends get you down. People that pressure you so much that you can hardly stand to be with them aren’t friends, they’re toxic. And it took me a long time to learn that.

Don’t let family get you down. Sometimes you need to be alone, sometimes you hear things you don’t want to. It’s to your discretion what you listen to and what you don’t.

Don’t let society get you down. It will, because humans are horrible and all you’ll see on the news is terror after terror, but you must block it out. You block it out, or you do something. We can rise up together.

There are so, so, so many things that can get you down and put pressure on you that will make you feel like there is no other way. I still feel like that all the time. But you just have to keep cutting things out of your life until you’re left with what you need.

That sounds like an escape, and it might be, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

These days people have to get straight A’s, they have to do extracurricular activities, stay stylish, be social, work harder than everyone else, they have to have hobbies, a relationship, stay current with shows and trends, be successful and happy.

But you can’t do it all. No one can. There’s this notion that everyone is doing all of those things, but in reality everyone is barely holding it together.

If you ever feel like you can’t handle the load that life has placed on your shoulders, just tell me and I’ll help you unpack it all. Don’t ever let the load crush you. Sometimes I feel like I can’t stand the weight anymore, but I’m still here. And I’ll try to be here as long as you need me.