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I’m simply just a mom.

I consider myself a mom, no more no less. Never truly a single mom. Am I wrong for thinking that?

This is a question that often comes up, internally. On the outside, I’m sure that I am considered one amongst those that know me. On the inside though I’ve never quite felt that I deserve that title. I’m one of the lucky ones, there’s no doubt about that.

It’s no secret that I am forever grateful for Aurora’s dad. When it comes to our sweet girl, she’s always the priority, our number one. We communicate as well as we can, split our time with her as evenly and as fairly as we can. The both of us constantly make sure she always knows she has us on her team, no matter what. Even when she tries to pull fast ones on the other, she is a weekly occurrence. Within the big moments of her life I don’t ever feel like I am alone. For instance, a couple of months ago Aurora broke her arm at grandma’s house. I showed up first and then her dad. I knew in my heart something was wrong and just because she hit her head but her constant complaining of her arm and never her head injury. The advice nurse said for us to bring her to the ER to get checked. We both took her, not in separate cars but together. Also, let’s be real, it’s stupid to take two cars 45 minutes away and to be following one another. It was reassuring to have him there and have someone to turn to, instead of sitting by myself and having no one to talk to. I worry and overthink and it’s worsened when I am alone and under stress. When there’s basketball or play practice to get her to and I can’t due to scheduling conflicts, I can call him and know he’ll help out when he can. I get stuck in traffic and my mom’s back is out and she isn’t able to pick up Aurora, I can call and he’ll come through and bring her where I need him to. She’s always the priority and I never have to question that with him. Due to moments like that, I’ve never felt that I am truly doing this parenting thing alone.

It’s the smaller, almost insignificant little things that make me feel like a single parent.

In the mornings when I have to wake up my little sleeping beauty and while getting myself ready I have to leave the room and come back five minutes later to see her still asleep. At night when I ask her to do any of the three trigger phrases, “brush your teeth”, “take a shower” or my personal favorite “go to the bathroom”. If it’s passed 7pm and I ask Aurora to do any of those she knows bedtime is near and sometimes she flips out. It’s at night before she bed and she starts to cry because she won’t see me for the next few days and she’s already missing me. It’s when I am emotionally drained and have to battle with a six year old all my own. When a majority of our pictures are terribly angled selfies or ones of just her, unless a kind stranger obliges and takes our picture, which sometimes end up blurry. When I go to basketball games or performances alone. School functions and fundraisers.

See, the small insignificant shit. That’s when I am confronted with the fact that I am at times a single parent. Maybe the picture thing I care about, but I try to have our local, incredibly talented photographer and fellow badass mom take our pictures, so I have those to look back on of Aurora and I. But everything else is so small in the long run. As long as that little girl see’s her mom in the crowd and has me there to argue with, that’s all that matters. That I am there.

I’m also left with the feeling that I am not doing this whole raising a child thing alone because I have such an amazing village backing me up and willing to step-in when needed, if needed. They show up to her performances and basketball games. They participate in her school fundraisers and buy wrapping paper, of all things.  My friends and family have been willing to pick her up and have her over to play dates if I need to be at work and or have any other form of scheduling conflicts. They support us in every way possible and am so indebted to them all. I am never truly alone in this journey.

Now, in no way am I knocking the whole single parent title. There are people in this world who truly hold that title and deserve every single ounce of acknowledgement. They are out there being both a mom and dad. I commend them and feel I am no where near their level of super-mom(dad) capabilities and strength. They wear ALL the hats and take in the stresses that follow, solo.

So to all the single parents, I raise my coffee to you. We’re all in this together and need to be each other’s support through the good and the bad. Whether we are doing this alone or not.

In fact, I raise my coffee to all the parent’s who show up for their kids day in and day out.

xoxo

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Get Healthy

Twenty-Nine

Turning 29, is as every bit of scary as it is exciting. A chapter is truly coming to an end. It is my last year in my twenties and the goal is to end it in the best way I can. In one way or another I have chosen to just live and be more present. I’ve let my depression and anxiety hold me back so much in the past and I can’t let it anymore. Not just because I’m exhausted from the stress that it brings, but because I don’t want my daughter to do the same. She is my mirror, my little shadow. What I do or say she will emulate. Whether it’s something as simple as putting my phone down or taking those few extra minutes to have an actual conversation with the lovely people who make me my coffee every morning. So many of us just let life pass us by. And in hindsight we are all indeed living, we breathe and have blood pumping through our veins. But, it’s more so the actual mindset of living life and truly being present.

The concept to just live wasn’t something I came up with on my own, it’s something I borrowed from Peter Pan. Shocker right? In Chapter 8 of  “Peter and Wendy” by JM Barrie, Barrie is describing Peter’s bravery and that he also at times, despite his bravery, gets scared. At that point a huge smile comes across Peter’s face and he thinks to himself, “to die will be an awfully big adventure”. Peter has this thought because as a boy who has been stuck at a young age, living on Neverland for years, loves the thrill of chasing pirates and the risk that comes along with it. At the end of the films “Hook” & the live action version of “Peter Pan”, both Robin Williams and Jeremy Sumpter deliver the line “to live would be an awfully big adventure”. Though never in the books by Barrie, this quote has become just as famous as any other from his novel. Pan is watching the lost boys being embraced by the Darling Family and realizing that they will grow up and live a new life with new adventures. You quickly see Peter coming to the conclusion that living is the real adventure. But, of course Peter is far too stubborn and will stick to his word to never growing up. When I finally understood that quote and how profound of a thought it was, it stuck with me all these years. It’s held so much meaning to me. Aurora calls me Peter Pan and she’s always been my Tinker Bell. Disneyland is our most obvious version of Neverland. But, in all honesty we are in Neverland anytime we are together. We are almost always in our own little world, on some great adventure. When I had Aurora she gave me back a piece of my soul that had gone on vacation elsewhere. My desire to live and be present grew. That being said, I got that quote tattooed on my arm recently as a late birthday present to myself. It took about two and a half hours, but it was well worth it. It is a beautiful representation of the promise I made to myself a few years ago and it just looks really cool. I got my tattoo done at Electric Oni by Dan who truly deserves all the credit for bringing my idea and design to life. He took a rough sketch that I had brought in for reference and exceeded my expectations. When I went in for my session I was taken back by what he had put in front of me. I was definitely getting a little emotional. I’m so grateful for him and will most certainly get another tattoo from him in the future.

Another gift I am trying to give myself this year is the gift of book’s. My goal for the last year of my twenties is to read more and to have Aurora read more as well. There are so many great books out there and I want immerse myself into them and into the worlds created by the authors. I’m going to do my best with sticking to the classics, but we’ll see where this adventure guides me and what sparks my interest along the way. Aurora and I’s first book was a joint read and of course it was “Peter Pan” by JM Barrie. It was a version adapted for children and excludes some bits and pieces from Barrie’s original, but for Aurora it was good enough. My book for March or rather what’s left of it will again probably come as no surprise to anyone because it is “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien. Aurora has chosen “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland |  Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll , which I couldn’t be more excited for her to have chosen. It is an incredible journey that Aurora and I are on together, not just through reading but through life as well.

Cheers to another year, mates. xoxo

If any of you have any suggestions for new reads, send them my way.

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