peace + quiet

Everyone shorter than me is finally asleep. I just came back downstairs after cuddling each of my babies as they fell asleep in a last-ditch effort to save face after an afternoon of their tempers and emotional cups runneth over and my dwindling patience remained in desperate and obvious need of a refill.

The fact is, I’m tired. Like, really fucking tired. Clinically and chronically and feel-it-deep-down-in-my-bones kind of tired. Knox being such a shitty sleeper— for what feels more like my lifetime than his mere eighteen months of life— occasionally gets the best of me and today certainly qualified as one such occasion. As flattered as I am that my little Neadrethal thinks I’m super human and can do all of the things while using blinking as an opportunity for micro-naps, much to my (and my children’) dismay, it turns out that I’m human. No matter how hard I try to keep my bad attitude and simmering resentment in check, it’s not unheard of for the exhausted psychopathic ogre in me to take over control of my body turning me into an all-around mean-as-fuck mommy who ends up profusely apologizing to her poor kids during bedtime cuddle sessions.

Which brings me here. Sitting at this computer, drinking hours old tea that is no longer even luke warm, attempting to type the mommy-guilt out of my system so that my maternal shame isn’t allowed to fester and impair any potential sleep Knox graciously allows me to enjoy tonight. I mean, what a cruel fucking joke that would be.

If I’m being honest— and I am but maybe should be— I’m not just tired. I’m also annoyed with the current season of mommy-ing I find myself consumed by. Quite frankly, if anyone else treated me the way my kids sometimes do, I most certainly would have already eliminated them from my life and, depending on the degree of their asshole-ness, punched them in the throat to really drive the point home. But when it’s my kids who are the assholes who make me feel like ramming my head into a brick wall would be infinitely more pleasant than whatever it is they are demanding I do? When it’s them taking home the douche bag crown of the day, why is it ME who ends up begging THEM for forgiveness? And for what exactly? For reacting like any normal human would to feeling habitually taken advantage of? I mean, how dare I cling to any of my remaining dignity and expect a person— whose ass I still wipe and whose fourteen snacks a day I am still asked to prepare, mind you—to dial down the attitude a few notches for the sake of everyone’s sanity?

The audacity I must possess… I mean, who do I think I am?!

So, in an effort to remember that in spite of recent events, that motherhood is by far the best and most rewarding adventure I’ve ever attempted, I’m going to continue to sit here alone in my dining room for a few more minutes of silence and being alone with my thoughts and the sound of my fingers tapping the keyboard. Once I’ve found my happier place, I’ll peel my ass up and off of this chair to go clean the kitchen and remove the food that someone— I’m won’t name names but it may possibly rhyme with fox and box and lox—managed to get on the ceiling while I was refilling his cup. After that, I’m going to take a very long, very hot shower, spending most of it laying on the floor of the tub because I’m that tired. I also just like the sensation— so sue me. Then, I’m going to slather a mask on my face that smells like yeast and raw vinegar but makes my skin positively glow with that fake-it-til-you-make-it-I-totally-got-eight-hours-of-sleep-lit-from-within luster I’m convinced is permanently out of my reach forever because I’ll likely never have a full, uninterrupted night of sleep again. Once my allotted thirty minutes of self-care have been tapped, I’ll promptly collapse into the middle of my bed since Joe is out of town for work and sleeping alone in the middle of the bed is one of my life’s guiltiest pleasures that I not-so-secretly take advantage of any opportunity I get. I’ll sleep for a few hours until Knox beckons my presence into his lair where I will be expected to cuddle and rock him back into slumber. And I will. But I’ll do so while silently praying to whomever is listening at such an ungodly time of night that his canines cut through his fucking gums already. Then I’ll do it again two hours later. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until I finally wake up and do it all over but hopefully as a slightly nicer mommy and less like the psychopathic ogre I’m starting to recognize more frequently in the mirror.

All of this simply to say that being a mom is hard. And also relentless. Relentlessly hard. Relentlessly maddening. Relentlessly emotionally, mentally, and physically all-consuming. Relentlessly relentless. And as much as I don’t always like my kids— like right now, for example— I can’t get enough of them and their love and value them and their piss poor attitudes beyond measure. I mean, without those little tyrants in my life, I’m not so sure that being well-rested would even be so appealing.

Fueled by denial, delusion, and a whole lot of caffeine, I can do the hard things. Solidarity, sisters.

We got this.


I like birthdays. I believe in birthday weeks and the honoree being able to dictate the entire day. I love all that birthdays symbolize and celebrating life and how special a person feels when everyone who loves them tells them that they’re thankful that they were born. I am especially fond of a day that serves as an excuse to eat some form of treats with every meal.

I know so many people who hate birthdays—people who feel like if they ignore the day all together, they can somehow manage to avoid the fact that they are, no matter their attempts at reversal, aging. I’ve never agreed but I understand; mortality is uncomfortable to think about— let alone, accept. But, and though it may be morbid, the fact is that the alternative to celebrating a birthday and aging is… well… death. So many people aren’t afforded the luxury of celebrating another birthday so I make the effort to not take the gift of aging and living for granted by ignoring its inevitability or hopelessly attempting to avoid it.

Birthdays also present the perfect opportunity to reflect and to set intentions for the year ahead. Last night at dinner, Joe asked me how I’m feeling going into this next year and, for what seems like the first time in a very long time, I could honestly say that I feel utter contentment. Being able to say that— and actually mean it— feels like the ultimate accomplishment after this last year. Nothing dramatic happened this last year; rather, this last year provided me 365 days of opportunities to face myself in the mirror and sort out my shit. Not one single area of my life was exempt from strife— motherhood, my marriage, my family, my friendships, my mental and physical health, et. al. This merely means that who I am within every single facet and role of my life was given another chance to know better, to do better, and to expand and grow from the person I was the day before.

Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? When you face trials, you hope that you’re able to learn from it, coming to know better, and then— ideally—to do better. What I’ve realized this year is that any alternative is, to some degree, self-sabotage and the process of doing is a choice.

Ultimately, in spite of what may happen to us in life, we can only control how we react and how we use the experience to our advantage (or disadvantage) moving forward. More simply, happiness IS a choice. I used to cringe when people would say that to me or I’d run across it on Instagram under a picture of some perfectly curated messy kitchen or tropical sunrise.

HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE. How very novel.

I’d always think, It must be easy for you to say when you’re not clinically fucking depressed. It must be easy for you to say when you haven’t slept in seven years. Easy for you to say when you haven’t gone through trauma or sexual abuse or insert any X, Y, or Z that makes it easier for me to justify not being happy.

But, as it turns out, they were right. Happiness is an active choice and a learned skill that we have the ability to train just like anything else.

I can choose happiness by deciding to overcome the things that often make happiness seem like an elitist, privileged goal. I can choose happiness by not allowing life and all of its’ challenges to distract me from all that remains in in my life to be happy about. I can choose happiness by showing gratitude for every thing and every person that matters to me, always. I can choose happiness by showing empathy for others because I remember all too well what it’s like to be in the dark. I can choose happiness by keeping life’ challenges in perspective and focusing on the good that can and will come from any bad. I can choose happiness by leaning into discomfort because I know that the only way out is through. I can choose happiness by doing more things that make me feel good about myself and avoiding things/situations/people that make me feel badly.

I can choose to be happy because I deserve happiness and firmly believe that it’s always within my grasp so long as I do the things required of me that aid my holding onto it.

This isn’t to say that I don’t choose to acknowledge or continue to experience the darker parts of life or choose to pretend like shittiness doesn’t exist or bury my head in the sand until the problem goes away. Life happens and will continue to find creative and successful ways to get me down. But that truth only exists on the opposite side of the same coin where happiness lives. I don’t necessarily want both but the fact is that I need both in order to distinguish one from the other and to appreciate one when faced with its alternative.

As I enter into this next revolution around the sun, my only intention of consequence is to continue doing better now that I know better. I’ll do that by holding myself accountable to making happiness my choice. No matter the situation making happiness the more difficult route, I must remember that it’s still a choice I will always remain solely in control of making.

Life is beautiful, friends.

Go celebrate it, go do better, and choose happiness.

Cheers to another one…

x, C