Wednesday, August 24, 2016

An open letter to the woman who judged me as a mother because of my age

This isn't the first time a complete stranger has done this, but for some reason, this time really stuck with me:

I made small talk with you and your teenage daughter while we awkwardly waited in line for the pharmacy. Your daughter mentioned how she just had some fillings done, and I mentioned how terrified I am of needles. Your daughter agreed and said, "I don't know how I'll ever give birth one day" I giggled while I responded, "believe me, it's not easy. I don't even know how I gave birth!!" She and I both laughed as You snapped your head around so quickly, glaring at me. 

"You are a mom? How old are you?!" You said with the most disgusted look on your face. 

I responded, "Yes I am, I am 23 and my daughter is 4," feeling embarrassed and suddenly wishing I was anywhere but here. "Oh no, that means you were 19 when you had her. That is NOT okay. I would kill my daughter, I'm sorry but no. Are you married?".

Feeling really uncomfortable, I immediately felt like I had to justify who I was as a mother to you, a complete stranger. I felt like I was less of a mother because, No, I'm not married and yes, I gave birth when I was 19.. The words you said really hurt me. I'm really sorry for sharing my personal life with you, but I am not sorry that you are uncomfortable with the fact that I chose life for my child. 

Please, let me please explain something to you about motherhood:

1. My age has nothing to do with the quality of mother that I am.  

I've said it before and I'll say it a million times again.. There is NO magical maturity switch that flips when you turn a certain age. you have to make the choice to be a good mother, no matter what age you are.  That's a personal choice that age has no affect on what-so-ever. I've seen plenty of teen moms Who worked just as hard if not even harder than many women who are in their 30s. Of course there are exceptions to that, not everyone chooses to grow up, but please do not limit to me and my capability to be a good mother based on a stereotype. 

2. Marriages do not make good children. Good people make good children. 

Believe me, the last thing I wanted to do was raise a baby alone, but I'm not going to let that hold me back from being the best mother I can be. The harsh reality is that things don't always work out, this world is not perfect and neither am I. I choose not to pass the burden of a broken relationship onto my daughter. We chose to love her separately to give her what we believe is a better quality of life. Sure, I wish things were different.. But I'm not less of a mother because of it. My daughter is not destined for failure because her father and I chose to go our separate ways.

3. A mother, no matter her age, deserves support. 

Better moms create a better world. Moms who are constantly put down due to their age, race, religion, sexual preference, marital status, etc. are constantly being set up for failure because of the negative messages that they replay in their head. Those messages come from comments like "oh how old are you? Are you married? Who do you live with? Who supports your baby? " 
Being judge mental towards me speaks more about your character than it does of mine. Saying, " I would kill my daughter if she told me she was pregnant as a teen" is really extreme. Is being a young mother really the worst thing in the world? Is it worse than having an abortion? Is it worse than being a nasty, judgmental, hurtful person? Is me being a happy, loving, hard-working mother really a bad thing? 

I'm sure that you meant no harm by what you said but your facial expression and body language told a completely different story. I just wanted you to know that it completely broke my heart when you automatically assumed that I was scum of the earth because I had a child young. Thank you, for reminding me that my situation is not perfect. It really made me proud of how far I've come since those little pink lines revealed my fate as a teen mother.  

I guess the point I'm trying to get at here is that I have given my daughter everything that I could. I think that is what should matter most, not my age. The love and the life I've given her are far more important... 

A proud young mother

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Who are you?

Am I the only who whose toddler mimics their every move? I swear everytime I turn around I catch my threenager doing something that I myself have done or said.. From the way I say it to the physical hand motions and everything. This got me thinking.. 

I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked "Tell me about yourself, who are you?" and the first thing that comes out of my mouth is that I am a mother. Then I stop there. I never really realized just how much my life has revolved around being a mom that I have forgotten who I am besides being a mother. I was so worried that I was not going to live up to "standard" as a mom that I literally based my entire life and every decision that I've made since I found out I was pregnant around that.

I feel like I have lost myself and since 2016 has begun, I have made it my mantra to find myself again. I want to find the woman that God has designed me to be. Not that being a mother is not who I want to be, but being a mother is not the only thing I am and I feel like I have really limited myself with that kind of thinking.

This last year, 2015, I went through so many struggles that have not only shaped my heart but have lead me closer to God. I know, I know, God is a sensitive subject. No one wants to talk about it, and I am so sick of that attitude. That is who I used to be. In high school, I was what you would call a "Mean Girl". I had a bad attitude about life and I was more worried about the drama of the week than my grades and school work. I was not into drugs and I rarely drank, but I was sneaky. I was always lying to my parents, always finding things about others girls to make fun of to mask my own insecurities. I was a sad little girl who took her frustration out on other people. Anytime someone mentioned God, I laughed in their face and made fun of them.

I look back and I am ashamed at who I was. I hurt people for no reason and now that I am a mother, I see how wrong I was. I feel horrible for making fun of people who had a strong relationship with God. I made fun of them because I did not understand how they could trust and believe in something like that.  I have made it a personal goal of mine to never make people feel that way again. Karma really came around and got me because I have been treated like dirt, I've been called the worst names in the book, all because I became a mother.

When I leave this earth, I want to leave behind a legacy of being good to people. I try to always find Positive in all bad situations because when my life revolved around the negative, I was miserable. I cannot stand to hate someone because it literally eats me up. I will forgive anyone who is strong enough to apologize, and if they cannot apologize, I forgive them in my heart and move on. God has shown me tremendous grace, and I owe him that to show other people grace as well, even the ones who do not deserve it. 

I guess what I am trying to get at here is that, I want my toddler to mimic me. But I want to make sure the woman that she is mimicking is a Good, Godly woman. A woman who she can look up to. In order for me to be that woman, I had to look deep within myself and realize that I had some growing to do. 

So my question to all you moms is, who are you? 

The truth about tonsillectomy

As I sit here, exhausted, in this very uncomfortable chair, beside my toddler who just had surgery to remove her tonsils, I began thinking. There were 7 other little girls in the pediatric room we were in who also had their tonsils removed. I began wondering how they got here, to the point where they needed surgery.

Now I know, I know..I've been told at least 16,142,561 times, "Melissa, it's not a big deal..its just a tonsillectomy", but you know what, it is a big deal. Up until this day, my daughter was struggling to breath at night but she could not convey that message to me. She was struggling to get a good nights rest, she was having behavior issues, it took us almost an entire year to potty train her, and she was getting sick ALL THE TIME. It took me many sleepless nights to catch her having these episodes of not being able to breath, it took people from my only family doubting me and making fun of me saying "sleep apnea is not a real thing", for me to fight tooth and nail for my baby. I'm so serious when I say, if you think something is wrong with your baby, follow your gut instinct no matter what other people say to you. This is so important.

As I was thinking all these things I was strangely comforted by all the little tiny snores from the 8 little girls, including mackenzee, in our room. My heart felt peace knowing that we finally had an answer to the issues my daughter has been having. I wondered if the other mothers in the unit had felt that way too. I wondered if they felt comfort in the tiny snores too..

My mind really wandered that night, I started thinking about how scary it was handing my baby over to some OR nurse that I did not even really know.. That morning when we arrived at 6 am on the dot, Mackenzee was so scared and she was crying and screaming. While in the pre-op room, trying to get her to put on the little hospital gown and pant set was so hard. She screamed and fought me, and I know it was because she was confused and scared. The nurse and I tried everything to get her to cooperate but it did not work. The nurse suggested that we give her an oral sedative to help calm her down. I was really hesitant to give it to her, but she was really freaking out so so i agreed. 

Literally five minutes after we gave it to her, she was giggling and acting so silly. She started to get loopy and I started to worry even more but I wouldn't let it show on the outside. I did not want her to see how scared I was for her. The doctor came and spoke with me about the procedure, as well as the anesthesiologist, and then suddenly it was time to go. Luckily the nurses let me hold her and carry her down the hall instead of making her go in the little crib.

Walking down the hall, I could feel my heart beating harder and faster. The nurse lead us down this hall that was covered in signs that said "Restricted access, Surgery staff only", I knew we were at the end and I'd have to hand her over. I just kept begging God in my head to keep her safe, and to be with her the entire time. I did not want to let go, I held her so tight walking down that hall and she held onto my shirt. The nurse turned to me and said, "okay mom, it's time." I said my goodbyes, I told her I loved her at least 10 times and I kissed her little forehead. When the nurse took her from me, she carried her down this really long hall. I stood there until they were in the room and the whole time Mackenzee was just staring back at me. She had the most heartbreaking look on her face. She looked confused and scared. That broke me to tears. I had been so strong and not letting myself get upset in front of her up until this point. My heart broke for her, but I knew this was the best decision for her. 

I quietly sat in the waiting room with my best friend, Gemma. Thank god she was with me because she distracted me just enough to not sit there and drown in my thoughts. We sat there for about An hour. It felt like time was dragging on and suddenly a nurse popped in and said "Mother of Mackenzee", I immediately jumped up and rushed toward her. She had told me that Mackenzee had just woken up and she was asking for me. We went down the same long hall that we had gone down before, and as we approached the recovery room, I could hear her screaming for me. My eyes started to water and I instantly started asking the nurse that was escorting me to her all kind of questions like " oh my gosh, is she ok? Is she scared? Is she in pain? Why is she crying like that? Was she given any pain meds?" The nurse would not answer me, and I started to freak out even more.

As soon as mackenzee saw me, she started screaming even harder and trying to climb up to me. I immediately ran to her and tried to pick her up, but when I got to her little crib, it looked like the nurses were holding her down. Apparently the minute she woke up, she started thrashing her body and trying to rip all her cords and IV out. The nurse said she had been crying and saying that she wanted to put on her princess pj's. I sent a nurse to go get them from Gemma, who was waiting in the waiting room. Mackenzee kept trying to rip all the cords off of her and she was still screaming at the top of her lungs. She was throwing her body and turning bright red. This was he most horrific thing I've ever experienced. I was holding my child down with all of my strength so she would not hurt herself. I saw the fear in her eyes and it killed me. I began sobbing when she ripped her IV out because I, her mother, could not even get her to calm down. The nurse could tell I was hurting and that I felt defeated. She told me not to worry, that a lot of young children actually act this way when coming out of anesthesia. I was really shocked because I have never experienced anything like this before.

Once they got her IV back in, they gave her some pain medication to calm her down and she finally fell asleep in my arms.  While she was sleeping on my chest, the smell coming from her mouth was making me really sick to my stomach. The nurse said it was because they had to cauterize the area to stop the bleeding, so I was literally smelling burnt flesh. I could not imagine how mackenzee was feeling tasting that! 

When we settled into our room, I noticed that there were 7 other empty beds in there. The nurse said it was going to be a full house and that we were going to be having a pajama party that night. Mackenzee was really excited for that.  I got her to eat a little bit of Popsicle and drink some water, and then she fell asleep for a few hours. 

Mackenzee's dad and girlfriend came and I let them spend some time with mackenzee while I went to go get something to eat with Gemma. Mackenzee was so happy to see them, it really made her feel good seeing them. Mackenzee slept a few more hours while I did some homework and then she woke up in a fit. Her pain meds finally wore off and she just wanted mama and some cuddles. She just kept asking me to take all the cords off, and to go home. She must have asked me at least 100 times before we finally were able to leave. My heart seriously hurt for her because she did not understand. This room was so loud once all the girls were settled in after their surgeries. At any given moment, at least 3 of the girls were crying and at least 2 of the machines were beeping. I could barely focus on my own thoughts and I felt so bad for these girls. The night nurses came and then we all settled for bed. The last three hours, Mackenzee's heart and oxygen monitor keep going off due to her sleep apnea. She keeps getting woken up and I can tell that she is really uncomfortable.

And here I am, writing you this message. I am currently sitting in a huge chair that is supposed to double as a "Bed" for a parent who stays with their child. This chair is so stiff and it does not recline. You know, it is crazy, when we first walked into this room, I did not even think twice about what an inconvenience it was going to be for me to sleep in this chair. All I could think about was Mackenzee and what was going to help her be most comfortable. That's what you do when you're a mother. You sacrifice for your child without even thinking about what you're giving up. Even right now, my back is killing me, my leg is numb and my stomach is killing me, but all I care about is knowing that my sweet girl is taken care of. I am thanking God for keeping his arms wrapped around me through this whole thing because I could not have done it without him.

** Thank you for reading! If your child is suffering from something and people are making you feel bad for seeking help, Do not listen to them. Follow your gut. This surgery has potentially saved my daughters life. I promise you won't be sorry for seeking help. Wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry?Love you! XOXO- M E L I S S A

Monday, October 5, 2015

To my best friends other best friend:

Hey you, 

I know you probably think I'm envious of the way you make her smile, Or the way you take the pain away when she's hurting.. I'm sure you probably think I'm upset because sometimes she spend more time with you than she does with me, or that she turns to you sometimes for support instead of me, but I'm here to tell you that's not true. I'm here to tell you thank you. Thank you for loving her when I cannot. You probably think I'm jealous of you..but You see, my best friend and I, we go way back. We met when we were little girls and we've grown into women, together. There are often times that I am unable to be there for her, especially now that I am a single mother fighting to make a future for my daughter. But that's where I'm thankful. I'm thankful that she has someone who loves her in the same way that I do when I cannot be there. I'm thankful that she has someone to wipe her tears and someone to tear up the town with when she feels like going out in the spur of the moment. I'm grateful that you love her in ways I cannot. You and I are completely differently people and we bring different qualities to the table. There are things that she will only turn to you for, and there are things she will only turn to me for. And that's okay.  It makes me so happy seeing her so happy with you and knowing that she is always taken care of between the two of us. She is so blessed to have two women that care about her so much. I'll admit at first I was a little jealous, but then I realized that this was not about me. It was about her and how she needed someone when I couldn't be there. I left her in the dark at times because I had so much going on in my life that I could barely focus on anything. She wasn't trying to replace me and neither were you. We both come from different walks of life and I truly believe she needs someone like you that keeps her heart healthy, So thank you, I truly do appreciate you and admire everything you do for her. 

Love always, 
Mel xoxo

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Letter to someone who hasn't learned to spread their wings yet

I see you standing there, looking in the mirror, hating the person looking back at you..cursing your "imperfect skin" and "imperfect hair" or your "imperfect stretch marks".. Wishing you were thinner, tanner, or "prettier".. I see you, and I feel for you. I understand you wish you were different but I am here to tell you that you're beautiful the way you are. Believe it or not. I used to be the same way. I used to stare at myself and hate everything about myself. But I learned to love who I am and the way I look. God gave me that gift and I'm here to share it with you. 

 I have never really been the type of person who felt the need to attract someone with my body. Especially body is not a "10", or whatever, I prefer not to be in a tiny bikini, but that doesn't mean I have to hate my body. I have stretch marks from me sacrificing my body to bring a beautiful little girl into this world.. I don't like the way they look but they don't make me hate my body. I've come to terms with the fact that I don't have a "amazing" body like a model. But I have something that's better than that.

 I have self confidence and that attracts people. (Not that models don't have that,lol but you get my point) I have a beautiful personality that people love and I'm not afraid to stand out. My pastor once said "that if attract someone with your body, you'll have to keep them with your body" and that just stuck with me.. When my daughter grows up, that's what I want her to live by. I don't ever want her to feel like she isn't beautiful because she doesn't think she has an amazing body or long hair or perfect skin. 

But loving yourself is so much deeper than just loving your body..There has been so many people who've come in and out of my life who made me feel bad about myself and who I was and because I made mistakes in my past that I was essentially worthless or "damaged goods". I let people brainwash me into believing that about my self and I was miserable. When I made the choice to love myself, I made the decision to walk away from anyone or anything that ever made me feel that way. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make but it was the best thing I've ever done for myself. 

I love the woman that I've become and I love the wings that I've grown. The moment I decided to spread my wings and fly was the moment my life changed dramatically. I began helping other people more and more, and that also helped my self confidence and my self worth grow. Scars from my past have healed and my heart has become full from helping other mothers see their worth. When you stand up and share your story in an inspiring way, you help others as well as yourself heal. And that has and always will be my ultimate goal. I've become kinder, stronger, braver, and all around more happy because I've chosen to see my worth versus the person other people try to make me out to be. The moment I decided to stop taking things so personally, and stop making myself the victim was the moment my soul was set free from anger and hurt that other people throw towards me. I came to the realization that the only person who can control my happiness and my attitude is me. And I chose to go through life loving myself and my body and alllllll of my flaws. They make me who i am. 

So what do you say, are you willing to give it try and see your worth? I can promise you, it's life changing..✨

Love always, 

Melissa 💗

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this..i just wanted to put it out there that I am willing to help ANYONE who needs some help finding their self worth. Message me on any of my social media accounts, I promise to do my best to make you feel heard And understood. You're not alone and I'm gonna stand by you. ☺️  oh and when you get a have, listen to this song below. It's life changing I promise 😍👏🏻🙌🏻 


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Email sent to my daughter on 6/24/2015

little love,

You are at your dads this week and I am miss you so much. My heart literally aches when you're away from me. I realize how silly that sounds, but I've built my life around you. I've given you every single piece of my heart and when you are away from me it hurts. I honestly HATE having to share you. I wish the circumstances were different and I didn't have to share you, and I feel so selfish for thinking that way. I know this is what's best for you. One day you will know understand exactly what I mean by that.

I'm sitting here reminiscing and I just wanted to share this memory with you, last week I took you to Disneyland on Sunday (like I always do) and we had so much fun. Just seeing the way your face lights up when you randomly bump into Doc Mcstuffins on the street. or when you practically beg me to take you on the Little mermaid or "Ariel" ,as you call it, 5 times every time we go, makes me so incredibly happy. I took you to see the parade and my heart literally exploded and I started to tear up because of how excited you got. It makes me so happy to see you so happy.  I wish I could live those moments over and over. I secretly LOVE it when I pick you up from your dads and the first thing you say is "Mommy when are we going to Disneyland?!" You get so happy when I tell you that we will go on Sunday. Its become sort of a tradition for us. One of my favorites actually. I'm really excited because I am going to surprise you and take you to Disneyland on your birthday this year. We are going to have so much fun!

Its been a rough emotional few days for me, and I just wanted to tell you just how happy I am to be your mother. I've been typing this email for about 3 days now. And today you're coming home from your dads and I couldn't be more happy. I am so excited to see you! I've been looking at pictures of you when you were an itty bitty new born lately and it just put this overwhelming sadness that has trapped my heart. Its a weird feeling knowing that you'll never be as small again. But there is also an overwhelming joy because you're growing into such a beautiful little girl and that is a direct reflection of the way that you are being raised. I am so proud to be your mother. I love you.

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Email to my daughter 06/10/2015

I started and email account for my daughter where I periodically send her emails for her to read when she gets older. below is a copy of the first email I sent to her account:

Dear Mackenzee,
I should of started this email account 2 years ago, but I have been so busy trying to make a life for us that I never really found the time. I created this account for you so that you can look back and understand just how loved and wanted you are. This is for those nights when you're out there in the adult world, and you're feeling like your life is falling apart, and you feel like you're worthless.. This is to remind you just how much you've impacted and changed not only my life, but everyone around you. 

From the moment I found out you were growing inside me, you stole my heart. Every hiccup, every kick, every sleepless night has forever changed the way I look at life. The moment you took your first breath, I suddenly knew what true happiness was all about, and I couldn't help but feel so overwhelmed with an unconditional love for you. You're my entire heart. You're everything I have ever dreamed of and more. You're the most beautiful thing I've EVER laid eyes on and I cannot believe that god chose me to be your mother. I promise to always love you, even in the darkest nights just like you've loved me. 

You're two and a half right now, and life is so joyful for you. You're in preschool, and though you beg me not to take you every single day, I know you love it. You are so independent and you love playing with you friends at school. I hate having to leave you, but I am thankful that I have a full time job to go to so that I can provide for us. We live in a cozy little apartment that's somehow always covered in your toys. Right now, I am sharing custody of you with your dad. You spend equal amounts of time with each of us. Though I do not agree with your father and all the choices he makes, it is very important to me that you spend time with him and his family. It is important to me that you form your own opinion of him without any clouded judgement from anyone else. I want you understand that I will never try to get In between you and your father unless I feel that you are in harms way. I want you to understand that even though your father and I decided to raise you separately, that we created you together. You are both of ours. I don't want you to ever feel like you are not allowed to love him, or me for that matter, because we decided not to be a family. One day you will understand why we made the choice we did. 

Sometimes I wonder if you know just how beautiful you are. You've got these big blue eyes that just sparkle every single time you smile.  and you've got this laugh, it honestly is music to my ears. I know I may not always be the best mother. and I know that sometimes I make the wrong decisions when it comes to raising you. but I hope you understand that I am human. I am trying my hardest to raise you when I am still just a kid myself. I am trying my hardest to set an example of being a strong, independent woman who is always brave and always fearless, but that's not always the easiest. Sometimes I have these moments when I just want to break down and cry. Being a parent is hard. but being your parent is the most rewarding thing I've ever been apart of. Ill always cherish these memories. thank you for being such a free spirit, and teaching me the true meaning of love. ill love you forever, ill like you for always, as long as I'm  living my baby you'll be.

until next time, Love,
Momma 6/10/2015