Why Grocery Shopping is my Hell

Out of all my adult-y responsibilities, the one which I loathe the most would be grocery shopping. Ugh.

It’s kind of funny though (or ironic) because when I was a kid, I would LOVE to go to the supermarket with my mom or dad. I would hang on the back of the shopping cart, pick out the best goodies like Dunkaroos and colored fruit juices shaped like barrels, and pull out as many coupons from those red coupon machines. It was bliss. I also loved to sneak those little candies that were set out- surprise- that is actually illegal. Moving on.

Now that I’m an adult that’s nearing 30 and a mom to two toddlers, I have realized one and true thing: grocery shopping is my Hell.

There is hardly anything cute or fun about taking a trip to a supermarket with toddlers. Heck, even when I go by myself it’s a struggle! Once again, my faith in society gets lost when I realize how rude people are over a $1.99 CHIPS AHOY sale. It’s also such a daunting process of making a list, actually driving to the store, finding your groceries, checking out, loading up your car, then driving home and unloading it all AND FINALLY putting it away. I’m tired thinking about that.

My late-Grandmother {bless her heart} used to get her groceries delivered to her. She was a genius. Sadly, not every grocery store offers this AMAZING luxury {but uhm, why not? they could make A KILLING. Because I know a lot of tired and overwhelmed mamas that would devour this option.}

Ok. Ok. So getting to my point here. My recent grocery trip inspired me to compile together the reasons why I loathe doing the weekly grocery-thing.

You want to make sure to read to the end so you could score a free grocery shopping checklist that will save you mega-time in the store with your tiny humans.

 

 

The car shopping carts for kids.

Those things are like GOLD and in the rarity that there is one available (and you better pray you can get one), it’s anything but fun to push around a crowded store. But it keeps my kids sane…for the first ten minutes. Soon enough, all hell breaks loose because they’re sitting too close to each-other and a screaming/fighting battle ensues. O, and did I mention how SMALL those car carts are? Can’t plan on buying too much that day or one kid will end up walking beside you so you could fit your Charmin Ultra-Soft in.

It’s not possible to just get in and out.

I ALWAYS vow to myself to buy what’s only on my list….to go straight to what I NEED to get out of there fast. That never works because nine times out of ten, I can’t find what I’m looking for (stop changing your shit around!) or my oldest is begging for cheese at the deli and now I have to wait twenty-minutes for freaking cheese.

The never-ending begging from the tiny people.

Now that my oldest can communicate fairly well, he ALWAYS points out stuff he wants at the grocery store. He will say please..I will say no…he will say please again…and whine and I will cave. I’ve gotten tired of constantly telling him no, so we agreed on “one treat per shopping visit” and that lasts for twenty seconds…until he sees a dog toy soccer ball and wants it. Good lord.

My realization that people are oblivious is mind-numbing.

I can be a real people-person….but if you’ve seen me in a grocery store, then probably not. My anxiety is at an all-time high when I’m food shopping and my kids aren’t the only humans that set it off. PEOPLE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, you do not need to stand in the middle of the aisle. Also, Alice, can you please let me squeeze in there to grab a box of Kraft? Your five-minute meandering over which flavor of cup o’ noodles you should get is a little overboard.

STUFF ISN’T WHERE IT SHOULD BE.

So this one time, I was on a never-ending quest for sun-dried tomatoes and I looked ALL OVER supermarket land. Much to my dismay, I became impatient and frustrated, and left the store without them. The next time, I was determined to locate those freaking sun-dried tomatoes. I finally did. And they weren’t where {I} assumed they would be at. THEY SHOULD BE NEXT TO THE PASTA SAUCE!

CHECK-OUT HELL.

Most of the time, waiting in the check-out line can be just as worse as battling off my kids from the cookie aisle. There’s about 10 people behind me in line YET only ONE register is open. This is when the tiny people begin to melt-down because, bless their hearts, they don’t understand the concept of time and waiting. Self-checkout has become my BFF.

BAGGER HELL.

Ugh. Ultimate pet-peeve right here. MY CHICKEN DOES NOT GO IN WITH MY VEGGIES. This should just be baggers-101 or something but I KNOW I’m not the only person that feels strongly over this. There’s also a very fine line of putting way too many canned items into ONE plastic bag OR putting one, single box of granola bars into a bag by itself. I don’t get it. Again, self-checkout. BFF.

Arguing with the self-checkout machine.

Ok. I know. I said that the self-checkout and I were BFFs, but only up until the point when it repeatedly tells me to move my item to the bagging area. I DID!! And that’s when I find myself arguing with a self-checkout machine that I know I need a mental time-out.

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Being A Boy Mom Is Everything I Didn’t Know I Needed

I never knew how much I needed my sons. I never knew how much I needed to be a boy mom.

When I became pregnant, I loved that tiny speck of a seed on that ultrasound…I loved it so much that I felt my heart would burst. What I didn’t know or come to understand yet was how much MORE I would fall in love with a tiny little baby boy I had just met.

My son.

I have 2 sons. I’m a boy mom and it’s the most special thing in my life. I never knew how amazing being a boy mom could be. I get sticky kisses, funny smiles, crazy moments of utter chaos followed by the sweetest cuddles. My boys are everything from rough and fearless to sweet and sensitive. They are everything I could have ever wanted, and much, much more.

The bond I have with my boys is special…it’s irreplaceable. They are momma’s boys and I wouldn’t change that for all the uninterrupted bathroom trips in the world. The way they smile at me or hold my hand melts my heart. I could be a puddle on the floor with just one look from them.

A lot of people tell me that we have to try for a girl, but they’re wrong because I find that being a boy mom is everything that I didn’t know I needed. They fill my heart. They may drive me over the brink of insanity, but I can always guarantee the sweetest of kisses and giggles by the end of the day. They make the hardest day just worth it.

I may never have frilly dresses or long hair to braid but I will have Tonka trucks and muddy football cleats to clean. I have found everything I didn’t know I needed in being a boy mom. My boys give me the most unconditional love but they also give me strength….strength to be a better person..a kinder person. They have held my hand when I felt weak and showed me compassion when I felt sad.

Their tiny, little hands will soon grow, and faster than I know, they will no longer want to hold my hand or follow me in the bathroom. One day, they won’t want to be glued by my side or let me cuddle them. I want to freeze them at this age of craziness and complete innocence but I know that’s not possible. I want to hold their tiny hands and guide them through this world. I never want them to feel alone or scare. And while they are constantly growing and changing, one thing will always remain the same; that in my eyes, they will always be my baby.

I always knew that I wanted to be a mom and while I some-days feel like I am failing them, they still love me. I know this by their constant laughter and happy, chubby-cheeked smiles.  I hope I can raise good boys but what matters most is raising kind boys…kind boys that hold the door open for their girlfriend and stand-up for the kid being picked on at recess.

They are my world, my everything. I gave my boys life but the real truth is: that they gave me life.

<3

 

 

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The Stigma…I’m Going to Talk About It

I’ve been suffering in silence for a while now. The struggle has been hard. It’s taken it’s toll on not only me, but my relationships. It has affected me as a mother and as a wife.  I struggled in silence for many reasons. The number one reason that I took so long to talk about this and to get help is that postpartum depression is such a stigma in our society. Let’s face it……mental illness IS a stigma in our society. Nobody wants to talk about it and nobody wants to deal with it. You may know someone that has a mental illness, or maybe you have a mental illness. The truth is this: someone you know or love is going through a dark time right now and you may not have a clue that it’s going on. It’s so easy to hide behind a mental illness, especially depression; to pretend like everything is fine. It’s incredibly easy to plaster a big smile on your face and laugh along with someone.  You can’t see a mental illness clearly like you can see someone with a physical illness but let me tell you, it’s there. And it needs to be talked about. So let’s talk about mental illness. Right now.

I was incredibly scared to admit that I was under a dark depression. I knew that I was suffering from PPD, but I didn’t want to admit it. I figured, hey, this will go away, I will be fine. I’m a mom and I just have to deal with this. People get depressed, people get sad. People get over it. The truth was, I wasn’t feeling better. I wasn’t fine on my own. I pushed my feelings away and kept going through every-day….just going through the motions. I was literally like a robot; taking care of my boys, making sure they were healthy and happy; taking care of my husband, making dinners, cleaning, feeding the cat and dog, doing the grocery shopping. I would go through these motions like a robot. I was on auto-pilot. I just wanted to get from point A to point B and that was it. I found no joy in every-day life. I would look forward to one thing every day: laying in my bed at night and sleeping. Every morning was a struggle for me to get out of bed and do it all over again. I can’t tell you how many times that I wanted to be selfish and stay in my bed all day long and sleep. But you can’t do that when your a mom….little lives depend on you. So, I pushed through. It was Hell. Even, and yes even MY OWN CHILDREN weren’t making me happy. I felt like the world’s worst mother! I felt like something was incredibly wrong with me. Yes. I do love my children and I never felt inadequate to care for them, but simple things that I used to enjoy doing like reading books and playing outside….I didn’t want to do. This was the worst feeling I could imagine because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t feel “normal”. I so desperately wanted to feel the way I used too, yet, I didn’t know how. My days would blur together. I would be in this fog of never-ending loneliness and sadness. It’s ironic to say, but I felt SO lonely yet, I was (literally) never alone.

Pretty soon, I wasn’t just feeling depressed, I became angry. I would snap over the smallest things. Every little problem would really agitate me, send me over the edge. I had no idea why I was being so angry but little did I know, this was a side affect of the depression. My depression was manifesting into not just lonely and sad feelings, but real anger. Now…I really thought something was wrong with me. I felt crazy. I wondered what kind of switch went off in my brain to make me feel so different. I wondered even more if I could ever be “normal” again. (what IS normal. I forgot what that feels like) This made me even more afraid to reach out, to ask for help, because what if something really was wrong with me! I don’t know, but when your going through this, you literally think of all the worst scenarios possible….like, I didn’t want to look like a bad mom. I didn’t want people to know that I had postpartum depression. She must be weak. She can’t handle the simple tasks of taking care of her kids and being a stay at home mom(in all reality– if you are a stay at home mom you KNOW that it is anything but SIMPLE…) She probably doesn’t love her kids! THOSE were the thoughts that reeled around in my head. Being a mom is what I am, it’s what I live for and some days, I feel like it’s literally what defines me….so how I’m portrayed as a mom is really important to me. I know I’m not the world’s perfect mom…no such thing…but I never want someone to assume that I’m a bad mom or that I don’t love my boys. I felt like if I admitted to having depression and being unhappy, then I would be admitting to not loving my boys or my husband.

I won’t go any further and say that if you feel like what I just described, PLEASE KNOW that is very much not the case.  You can have postpartum depression and be a good and loving mom. I was incredibly SCARED to come out with my postpartum depression, in fear of judgement and other things….so I did what I do best when I don’t know what to do: I wrote it all down. I wrote what my PPD has felt like; all of my raw feelings of guilt and sadness. I needed to make sense of it. I needed the people that I love to make sense of it. I wrote this article and did a crazy thing and I submitted it to ScaryMommy.   I guess that Lisa, the associate editor, liked it enough for it to be published. I felt awed that my story would be out there for other women, like me, going through this awful experience of postpartum depression. I NEEDED to get my story out but mainly- I NEEDED other moms to know one simple thing: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

My article featured on ScaryMommy

After this was published, I let my husband read it. Ricky has been very VERY supportive through this whole experience. …I can’t begin to tell you how hard of a road this has been for us. He tries as hard as possible to understand and be here for me during this dark time. Having him read the article, I think, let him put my depression in perspective and helped him understand what I was actually going through.

One amazing thing that came out of writing that article was being reassured this: I was not alone! Not only did I have tons of amazing comments from readers, but moms that I knew had reached out to tell me THANK YOU for writing that.

I talked about the stigma and I STILL talk about it. Since I wrote that article two months ago, I have reached out (with much help from Ricky) and have gotten help. While I am not 100% better (there are still rough days!!) I am starting to feel more like myself. It isn’t easy, though. Trying to find myself again comes at a price of really dealing with issues that could so easily be swept under the rug. I’m tired of sweeping..I need to deal. We ALL need to deal with mental illness. It shouldn’t be this dirty secret that nobody wants to talk about. It’s a REAL problem in our society and until it gets looked at like other diseases, then people will never take it seriously.

Nobody should suffer in silence. If you or someone you know may be depressed or have another type of mental illness, PLEASE reach out. There is ALWAYS someone out there that understands. I understand. You don’t have to feel like you’re the only one against this terrible disease. I promise you, you are not.

 

I included crisis phone numbers below.

Reach out to someone and say a kind word. It just may be the thing that saves their life.

SUICIDE—If you are currently having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Non-U.S. citizens can visit IASP or Suicide.org to find help in their country.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY– If you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety, or need some extra support, call womenshealth.gov at 1-800-994-9662. Check out the womenshealth.gov website for more information and resources.

MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS– If you or a loved one is having a mental health crisis, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), or call the NAMI Help Line at 1-800-950-6264.

 

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An Open Letter to Anyone that Lost a Parent too Soon

To the young adults out there that lost a parent, this one is for you– here is an open letter to anyone that lost a parent too soon.

You experienced a great loss and your still so young with so much life ahead of you. You often wonder how you can make it through the rest of your life without the parent that is no longer here. I see you struggling. On the outside, you hold it together. You keep a smile and hold your head up high; you want to take on the world and embrace life. You meet new people and want to tell them your story, because maybe they understand. Maybe they know what it feels like. You keep a smile on your face.

Every-day is a good day until a memory strikes you. And it happens so fast. You could be having a normal day until something happens. Something triggers your memory. It could be a song. It could be a picture. It could be a moment; a quick glimmer of a memory that stops you dead in your tracks and leaves you breathless. You close your eyes, take a deep breath, and remember the memory. Because that is all you have now, memories. Sometimes, especially in the beginning of it all, tears roll down your face. And then those tiny tears can turn into a few minutes of sobbing. Now, you have to sit down, because the memories, your emotions, are simply too much for you to keep you on your feet. You wonder when it will get easier. You wonder when a Tom Petty song or a white Ford pickup won’t leave your heart aching. You wonder if it will ever get easier.

Because you heard that it does get easier. You’ve heard that the deep heartbreak will turn into a dull ache. It won’t be so sad.  It won’t be so bad. It gets better. Some-day…

People have told you that the memories won’t always make you want to cry, won’t always make you feel so sad. One day, it will make you smile instead of weep. Yet, you still experience the heartbreak and the daily reminder that your parent is no longer here on Earth. And it just hits you: it could be that you go to pick up your phone to give them a call, and the sudden realization that you can’t, isn’t fair. Or, you may want to share some amazing news like you bought a house or that you’re pregnant. But you can’t. And again, it’s not fair. It’s not fair that all of these new and exciting events going on in your life also make you feel sadness in your heart. You feel sadness because they aren’t here to see it. They aren’t here to talk about it, to live it with you. Maybe it’s seeing you walk across the graduation stage or to hold their first Grandbaby, whatever it may be, they aren’t here, and the bitterness that you feel about that sometimes overwhelms and consumes you.

You try as hard as you can to live your best life, because people keep telling you “that is what they would want.” But it’s hard. I know that this is so hard. You don’t understand why these people even say this because normally, it’s those people that have no clue to what it feels like.

No. When you’re young and lose a parent, it’s a loss like no other. It’s not like losing a Grandparent that lived a long and beautiful life. It’s a bitter loss. An unfair loss. You are still so young, you still need your parents. It’s a loss that takes you for all you have and leaves you blinded by pain. It’s a loss that leaves you doubting life, doubting things that you could have, should have, done. I should have called more. I should have visited more. I wish I was different. I could have helped. It’s a loss that leaves you thinking these thoughts. They are cruel thoughts; constantly reeling through your brain like a hamster on a wheel. It can eat you up if you let it. Don’t let it.

It’s a loss that not everyone understands until they go through it. Meeting someone else that has lost a parent feels soothing; almost like you can open the floodgates and talk for hours about feelings, memories, and the past. You may know a few of these people and you keep them close to you. You now, unfortunately, are a member of an unspoken club and we have to stick together.

And then the birthdays happen. You spend the whole day wishing that you could call them on their birthday. You spend time wishing that you called all those previous years. You spend the whole day thinking about them. You may visit their grave or a place they loved to be at while here on Earth. You may look at pictures, listen to old voice mails, or do something kind for a stranger in their honor. Whatever it may be, this day is hard for you. Their birthday is another constant reminder that they aren’t here with you.

And then comes the anniversary of their death. It never gets easier. It may be one year, it may be ten years. It’s still hard. Instead of making it a sad day, you want to smile, so maybe you do something kind for a stranger. Maybe you plant some flowers, visit with a friend, or just sit on your sofa and cry. That is perfectly alright, too. You can cry today. Just cry. You can still grieve, it doesn’t have to be a fresh loss, you can grieve for as long as you need to.

That leaves me with one last thought, my friend. You don’t have a time limit on your grief. You can take this process for as long as you need to. It takes time. You may never get over it. It’s been a little over two years for me and I am still grieving. I’m not crying everyday, but I am still grieving in my own way. And that’s fine. There may always be a piece of your heart broken from this loss. I want you to know that it’s okay. I hope you find something that repairs that broken piece. I truly believe that my sons were placed on this Earth to fill my broken piece. My loss still hurts. I grieve in my own way, and you can too. It doesn’t make you weak. It makes you human.

So I’m closing this letter with a final goodbye. I want to tell you, my friend, that I know what it’s like. All of it. The heartbreak, gut-wrenching sadness, grief, “what-ifs”, and blame. I know it all too well. You are never alone in this. And I wish that I could tell you that it gets better, but I’m still waiting for that myself.

<3

 

An Open Letter to Anyone that Lost a Parent too Soon

I miss you, dad.

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Just Eat The Damn Cookie

You guys. It’s been one HELL of a year. One crazy and chaotic-filled year with SO MUCH joy yet of course, there’s been sadness. {because we can’t have a PERFECT year where nothing goes wrong.} Life doesn’t work like that.

Either way, this year is another one to chalk up on the board as “almost complete.” I thought 2016 was nuts but for some reason, life always wants to surprise me and say “hold my beer.”

I’d be perfectly okay with a boring 2018. do you hear me?

 

So here I am. It’s December 12th and Christmas will be in a few short weeks. None of my kid’s presents are wrapped and I didn’t even start shopping for Ricky. I did, however, get a jump on baking cookies and have consumed well over my desired amount for the year. Because even when life is crappy and things aren’t panning out, there’s always a little thing called baking, or food therapy. Cookies make everything better.

I made time to bake those damn cookies and let me tell you, I enjoyed every single one. In previous years {except for last year because I was pregnant} I would limit myself and worry about every darn calorie I was shoveling in my mouth. This year, HELLO, I have no care. At. ALL. I’m not at a my weight goal yet pre-BABIES- who cares. A cookie or five, or ten, won’t kill me.

Did you hear what I said? I’m telling you to eat the damn cookie.

It’s the Holidays. And while that might be a lame reason to over-indulge, so what. Quit over-analyzing those calories and just eat it. You can burn it off tomorrow. Have balance. Life is too short to worry about how much fat you might gain from holiday eating and drinking. If it makes you happy then just do it, please. Again, you can burn it off tomorrow.

It won’t kill you.

Now I’m not saying to devour a whole two-dozen chocolate chip cookies while washing them down with a bottle of wine. Or, you can do that, who am I to say no? Anyway, just do what makes you HAPPY this Holiday season.

And eat the damn cookie.

 

And when your pants don’t fit, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for.

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