Don’t Judge Me

I see you there, waiting in line behind my conveyor belt of groceries.  My two children are ready to be home, and frankly so am I.

I pull out a little white card, and hope you can’t see.  Swiping it quickly, shamefully, I dive my hand into my purse so you don’t know what the card looked like.

Don’t judge me, please, as you watch my transaction in process.  You tap your button and glance at your display, I know you know.  Please don’t say anything.

I walk the aisle in the store, and purchase the same as I would if I were buying for my family.  We’re vegetarian and don’t drink milk–but we eat yogurt, eggs and cheese.  We drink coffee and herbal tea instead of soda and juice, we sweeten with agave and honey.
These things are expensive, I know.  It’s not my fault eating right is for the elite.  But I’m not going to stock up on junk food because it’s “cheaper”.

Don’t watch my hand dive in my wallet.  Please don’t look at me as though I’m a criminal.  I’m honestly just trying to feed my family, and my husbands income is not enough.

I’m not asking for a handout.  I don’t want your help.  We have barely been scraping by.  Our bills are paid, our rent is covered.  We put gas in the car …. once.  But now the money is gone, and we still have needs.  I don’t know how the laundry is getting washed.
The diapers were a gift.  Someone blessed us this month.
The trial is only for a little while, we expect to have it better soon.

My husband goes to school, and has a job.  I can’t get one too.  Right now, my job is Mommy.  Don’t judge my decision, it’s really not up to you.

I write, I draw, I can make use of my time.  Simple little ways to earn some extra money from time to time.  Though writing jobs are hard to find.  I’m subscribed to receive opportunities– and so are hundreds of other writers.

I teach.  However I have no college hours, substituting is out of the question in this town.

I came out of poverty, and have to poverty returned.  A degree would have been of no use, I wanted to be a youth pastor.  Ministerial degrees aren’t in high demand.

Don’t judge me.  You don’t know where I’ve been.  I only wished I’d never be in that place again.  But we are.  And you don’t know how hard we work to fix it.

My husband is at school on scholarship.  Thats the only way he can go.  Being in the military, you’d think he’d have earned more respect.  This isn’t the same Military it was in 1945.  This isn’t the same America either.

We’re fighting to make our way, and pushing really hard.  The numbers aren’t rounding up, they continue to plummet instead.

I’m a white American woman, married, with two kids.  A soldiers wife, proud and strong.  A minister fighting for the Kingdom.  I’m the Warrior cast.

….but right now we’re in need.  So unless you have the magical ability to feed my family with two loaves of bread and five minnows–until our boat comes in– I suggest you go judge someone else.  I’m not in the mood to feel anxious over what you think of me.

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When You Just Can’t Glow

I’m counting down the final weeks of my second pregnancy.  Lord knows I’m done.  With a minimum of two months left, an extremely active baby and a not-so-careful, active toddler, I want my body back.  Pushed, pulled, kicked and smacked from the outside; pushed, elbowed and kicked from the inside, I just want to scream “Enough!”  Especially since I haven’t had my own body to myself for two years and ten months.

When other mothers on social media seem to have great pregnancies, or appear to be doing everything right, always positive and upbeat,  it can make you feel like a terrible mother for not being able to keep up your exercises,  or afford your pregnancy tea, or being incapable of managing your toddler’s every need.
Discouraged, bloated, swollen, tired, cranky, hot and just plain miserable,  you scroll further down your newsfeed hoping somebody else is falling apart.  Surely you can’t be the only person in your circle who hates life today?

Books, toys, complaints, among a plethora of other things, are shoved in my face, forcefully smacked into my limbs, grabbed for across my bulging stomach, or thrown in my direction.
The rumblings of discomfort become more frequent as the “flutterings” of a rolling, stretching, growing baby start to feel more like earthquakes.
Prayers for an early delivery billow more like smoke from a forest fire, as opposed to a waiver from incense.  Each reminder that you’re not glowing and excited making you want to boycott the internet.  When does the misery end?

I read an article from Everyday Family this afternoon,  giving me permission to feel this way.  Finally,  I’m not alone.  And it’s okay to be done.

http://www.everydayfamily.com/blog/ok-like-pregnancy/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=2030&utm_campaign=Blog&gaui=7589455&tc=120085

My friends try to perk me up, some of them never having been pregnant and others who never will experience pregnancy.  It’s nice to be encouraged or focused on other things, but come the end of the day, you’re still pregnant,  you’re still raising a toddler, and you’re still miserable.
The neverending cycle of housework stacking up laundry and dishes, sprinkling dust in the air, mashing food into the floors, pushing toys under the couch, scattering things all over the floors. 
When all one wants is a nap, where is there time to enjoy the phenomenon of Life?

One day, it will end and I can stand straight up and down again.  I’ll be free to bend, stretch, lift and move!
Until then, I endure the moments by remembering my son won’t always be a toddler, he isn’t going to have Mommy to himself much longer, and Mommy isn’t going to have the same kind of time and energy -however difficult it is to come by right now- to spend with him like I do now.  There wont be enough space to crawl into my lap for his afternoon nap, or to watch movies.  He won’t have the same amount of room to snuggle into Mommy’s bed in the middle of the night.  He won’t be the only one demanding my attention.

How precious the moments, even in the tempest of misery.

The other things I look forward to, and anticipate with extreme delight, are various postpartum accessories to aid in feeling better about having two children, without the guilt staring at me from the mirror.  From tummy wraps to a hip corset, I’m looking forward to getting MY body back sooner.  Followed up with a better diet this particular time around, and not making the same mistakes I did the first time.
So far so good and I look better than I did the first time by managing a healthier choice of diet.  Ladies, I don’t care what they say, whatever you put on has to come back off, and it don’t just fall of.  You aren’t eating for two, eat for YOU.
So there is solace, and there is a brightside.  But I’m done.
And I hope every day she comes early.  Healthy of course, but early.

For The Love Of All Things Coffee

I have a severe need for coffee.  Being half-way through my second pregnancy, so close to the end of breastfeeding the first one, has been difficult — but only because, once again, I can’t have any alcohol, or coffee.

How grand it might be to grab a cup of coffee to soothe my raging emotions.  How sweet to savor a glass of red moscato, or a Mikes Hard Lemonade, or a mixed drink from your favorite restaurant, when one has lost the end of their sanity.
Simple relaxing agents that one might use to indulge themselves for just a moment.  A selfish little stimulant that you can wash away your worries with.

No, I’m not an alcoholic.  But work with me people, every once in a while you just NEED a glass of wine, am I right?

When life hands you lemons, they insist you make lemonade.  What I want to know, where do they find the sugar to do that with?

Life is full of ups and downs, and this week I have hit some pretty heavy downs.
From my grandma dying (which didn’t bother me much, she was a difficult woman to love) on Monday morning, to our car not starting on Monday night, to not having funds available to fix it, to several unnecessary things happening with the car in between…..  My saving grace this week is that the landlady is giving us an extension next week, so we can pay partial rent in good faith, up until the extra money starts rolling in.
From Monday, which is Hubby’s birthday, through the rest of the month, I will be in Ohio.  And I’m not sure when I’ll be back home after that.

So this has certainly been an “I need to relax with a glass of wine” week.  It’s terribly inconvenient that I don’t get to use anything to soothe my nerves during pregnancy.  Except like, a Lavender Essential Oils bath— but I’m a mom of a toddler, who gets the time to be in a bath long enough to actually enjoy it?

I’m going to break down and make a cup of coffee……