Posted in depression, family, momlife, motherhood

Depression, Medication, and Nose jobs- Oh my!

You get to a point in your life where you need to step up and take control of everything that’s bothering you. 

I have been on antidepressants since I had my daughter in 2017. It has been a great thing for me. My depression started around the time I had my son 6 years ago. In retrospect, it probably started as post-partum depression that I never recognized. I had a new baby, I was recently married, and moved across the country to have my family all together. The depression I didn’t recognize, plus all of these other changes, really made me feel isolated. Despite the fact that I had my new family, we lived closer to my in-laws, and I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had (that I am still great friends with to this day) my outlook on life weighed heavy on me. By the time my daughter was born I finally broke through my fear of expressing my feelings and spoke up. I just finally realized it’s OK to tell people how you’re really feeling. It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to get on medication. After two years on my medication, my depression is controlled and I am back in love with my life. I appreciate all that I have, I strive to see the positive in situations, I have reasons to get out of bed in the morning. Sure, I still have bad days, but that’s just life!

Since starting my depression medication, although it makes me feel 100X better, It did start to hold me back a little, physically. My mind was great, but my body was sluggish. I could barely make it through the day without taking a nap, or laying down. My mind wanted to go out and do fun things with my kids, but my body was like “eh….” I started to gain weight. A lot of weight. So I started doing fresh smoothies in lieu of breakfast. My husband taught me how to work out in a gym (don’t judge me, these new machines are confusing.) Everything I was trying was not working. After being in a wedding this summer and seeing myself in that dress, I said ok enough is enough. What I’m doing is not working, my body is working against me, I need help. I went to the doctor, got a physical, full blood work, discussed all of our options and decided the best course of action was to take a stimulant medication. This medication is designed to increase energy levels while decreasing appetite. Let me tell you….WOW. I see such a difference in myself in this week and a half that I’ve been on it. I have energy that I haven’t had in years. I’m getting things done whereas before, I would procrastinate everything or just simply not do it. For example… I now put away the laundry as soon as I take it out of the dryer! THE MADDNESS! For this medication to really have a long-lasting effect, you really need to take this opportunity to create healthy habits, so that when you stop the medication you can still lose weight. I have started working out every morning and having fruit and spinach smoothies for breakfast, and keep myself moving throughout the day. I am actively trying to get myself into a healthy routine. I’m able to be more interactive with my kids, my house has never been cleaner, and I just overall, fell SO MUCH BETTER!!

Now that I have my mind in a better place and am working on getting my body back, there is only one more thing that I have put off for far too long. My damn nose. Unbeknownst to me, I am a loud and viscous snorer. …Who knew? I have thought for a long time (before my husband called me out for snoring) that my  breathing wasn’t as good as it should have been. I remember back in middle or high school that I noticed that I was only breathing out of one nostril sometimes. This sticks in my mind because I remember wondering if everyone only breathed out of one nostril, like maybe each nostril takes turns…. I know, I know… In the past few years I noticed my nostril airflow was getting worse. I don’t feel congested, imagine feeling like your airway is just too small to get enough air into it. I finally went to see an ENT doctor. After getting a 12” camera up my nose, we discover that my septum is severely deviated. In his words “almost completely plastered to the other side of my nose. I am set to get a septoplasty next month and I CANNOT WAIT. I’m not even thinking about the actual procedure, the feeling of being able to breathe again is all I can picture.

I turned 30 years old this summer, it is time to take back control over my life. I always used to keep everything to myself. I am definitely a keep-it-to-yourself type of person. When you finally become comfortable enough with yourself to ask others for help, your life will blossom. I want to be the best version of me that I can be, not only for myself, but for my kids too.  am so excited to see what my life will look like 6 months from now. 

Posted in momlife

Finding Financial Independence

Whenever somebody asks how I’m doing these days I always give them the classic-
“…Just living the dream” answer. Of course we all know that saying is complete bullshit. Do you really want to know how I’m doing Brenda? I’m tired, my back hurts, my children are animals, I am drowning in debt/laundry and I’m broker than all get out. 

Our family is a single income household. My husband is the sole provider for our family. I am merely the dependa. (If you’re unaware of this title, google is your friend.) Is our family dynamic by choice? Kind of…..but also kind of not. There are many reasons why I don’t, or am unable, to work. Excuses, excuses, excuses! I know, just save your judgements for the end of the blog, ok?

Any of my working parents out there can attest to the outrageous price of childcare. Now before I discuss this further, just know that this isn’t a slam against daycare providers, at all. It’s all about the numbers, baby. They need to pay staff, pay rent, insurance, supplies. I get it. 100%. However, for two children, good affordable childcare is out of reach. If I get a full time job, my paycheck would basically pay for childcare with no room for much else. 

There are definitely some income eligible options out there.  Our town has a great Head-start program for those who meet the qualifications. The wait list is long, however, and often unobtainable. For the first time ever, I was told my family makes too much money to qualify. Let’s all laugh about that together. Now… I’m not blind, I know that there are many families out there that are in worse financial situations than myself. They should get help before me, I know that. But, a lot of families out there find themselves in the same situation as me… too broke for private daycares, yet too “rich” for federally funded free daycare. My only way out, is to find a job that pays more than the cost of daycare. In a small town, that can be hard to come by. There is still the difficult conundrum much like the chicken and the egg. Which do you get first? The job or the daycare? You either scrape the money together to cover daycare until you find a job, or you get a job and have to scrounge up babysitters until you can get into daycare. 

Moving on. If you’ve read my past blogs or know me personally, then you are already aware that I have children who require therapy. My oldest is now in school, so his therapies are during school hours (for the most part.) My youngest, however, does speech once a week. I would like to get her into ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy. BUTTTTTT, if you’re unfamiliar with that- it is a very intensive, time-consuming in-home therapy. So, do I sacrifice having a career, financial independence, and a life outside of my children by helping her develop, grow, and learn in an in-home therapy that could ultimately help her the most. Or do I put my financial situation first, and hope that a daycare environment will be enough to teach her all the things she needs to learn? 

I have so much hesitation and “rock and a hard place” decisions to work through when it comes to me working. I am constantly stuck between putting my children first, and needing to help my husband support this family. Don’t get me wrong, the military pay is decent. For a family of four, though, it just aint cutting it. My husband does not get the credit he deserves for how hard he works and financially supporting his wife and two children. I want to have the chance to get out there and take some of the weight off his shoulders.

Before I got married I worked and supported myself. Ok… I mean fine, I was on my parents cell phone plan longer than I probably should have and my dad paid my car insurance basically until I got married. BUT YOU GET THE PICTURE. At one point in my earlier days I was working two jobs and going to college… LIKE A BOSS. Yet, here I am, 10 years later, relying on someone else to pay my bills and give me lunch money. I am 30. Years. Old. It is time for me to get out there and regain my independence. Financially, emotionally, physically. My depression and anxiety constantly tell me, “but if you get your independence, you’re a shit mom for throwing your kids needs on the back burner.” I know this isn’t true, that’s the dark beauty of depression folks. On the flip side, when I tell myself I’m doing the right thing by staying home with my kids and working on getting them the help that they need, that dark beauty comes back and says, “Nah girl, you’re a piece of crap because you’re broke and have nothing in your life for yourself. You need to start making money for yourself!” This inner voice contradicts everything I try to do. No matter which decision I make, my depression always tells me that I’m wrong. It is a constant battle that I have with myself. 

I try different things to balance it all out. I became a consultant for Usborne Books & More. I work from home, throw parties online where people buy the children’s books (which I honestly love, and that is NO LIE, these books are adorable.) Some women make a full time living off of it. It helps me, but does not cover true expenses, for me it’s more play money.  I’ve done a lot of surveys online with Swagbucks. Again, just play money. I most recently got approved to start doing closed captioning work online. This I’m sure will be, again, play money. None of these at- home solutions have turned out to be a long term fix. 

It’s time to break through my inner voice and finally do something. I KNOW I will not be a bad mom for working out a daycare/job situation and start putting myself first. I KNOW that I am not a loser for not working. I need to stop letting myself feel guilty for these decisions I need to make, not only for myself, but my husband and my children. No matter which solution I pick, I know that it will be what is right for our family.