Shawty we made it!

Our first major co-parenting moment was a huge… success!

The weekend was long and was shaping up to be incredibly challenging but it ended SO perfectly. I relinquished control and I trusted Bean’s dad to be a dad. I sat back and allowed him to be a dad and take over and step in when he wanted to, or when I needed him to and honestly, it was great. No rigid plans were made and it was all fine.

This past weekend really tested my motherhood, control issues, trust, and patience; and it was all okay. Well, except for that one night that I let her go with her Daddy and Gigi. I was not okay y’all! I stayed up all night, slept for three and a half hours, and had him bring me my baby at 8 am LMAO! But, listen, she was okay!! She came home in one piece, she slept through the night with him, and she STILL loved me! That sounds silly and overdramatized and whatever else but listen, all she’s ever known is me. I don’t believe in the “cry it out” method, he will go hard to prove he can calm her down. I co-sleep and nurse through the night; I don’t really trust anybody else to bedshare or co-sleep with her, but he did. Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook but co-parenting REALLY doesn’t come with a handbook, guidelines, tips and tricks, nothing. You just have to lean into it and hope for the best and so far? So good.

I wish I could fill this with some major tips and tricks for anybody who’s in, or will be in, this same situation but all I’ve got is: lean into it. Trust the other parent and their instincts. Pray and hope for the best.

Deep, heavy, sigh

Let me just preface this by saying: I HATE co-parenting. Truly hate it. Already. Also, I don’t hate my baby day but I definitely resent him for a couple reasons. And yes, there is a difference between hating him and resenting him.

Y’all already know me and Bean’s dad are doing the whole bi-coastal, cross country “co-parenting” thing. Listen…. I hate it. There is a longgggg, CVS receipt style, list of reasons why but the main one? His communication skills suck RASS and I am far too impatient and mean to work through them with him.

So boom, it’s visiting time right? Their first visit since we’ve moved to California three months ago. Now, EYE am a planner. I have to plan every day, every hour, every minute. I do not go anywhere without a plan; even if I divert from the plan. Bean’s daddy is not. Y’all can already see where this is going, right? Cool. So, I’m asking questions- hella questions- because I need a plan… or an idea of a plan. He has no idea or plan but “to see Bean and spend time with her.” Duh! Why else would you be coming here right?? Except, I can’t say that to him cause that’s mean and insensitive and blah blah blah. So, I type that then delete it.

I think to myself: Alright Destiny, time to test your conscious and positive parenting skills. Oh y’all thought that whole “go with grace” thing only applies to the children? Oh, no, sorry. It’s an EVERYBODY thing. So, I formulate a better, kinder response and I’m met with “I feel like you don’t even want me to come”. Deep, heavy, negro spiritual sigh. I don’t respond to that. I bury it and move on and don’t ask anymore questions; whatever happens, happens.

But this is what I mean when I say I hate co-parenting. I do not get to be selfish and callous and mean to him. I have to show him at least the bare minimum version of kind and respectful Destiny so that I can 1: ensure he’ll make somewhat of an effort to be in our daughter’s life (without trying to place blame on me) and 2: teach her kindness and respect and all of the things. I don’t get to continuously flex my power and authority as her mother because all it does, and will do, is create an even bigger power struggle between he and I and listen… I do not have that kinda time. So f^%@ it, you right. I don’t want you to come… what time yo flight land though? Did you wanna take Bean to the park for some one-on-one time or something? Because my daughter deserves that. She deserves a father, in whatever capacity he is capable of being, and she deserves a mother willing to meet him halfway… or at least a quarter of the way. Anyway, wish me luck and restraint. This gone be a long weekend.

I Hate It Here

EYEEEEEE HATE IT HEREEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Okay, not literally but it felt good to type that. I love Bean and I love being her mom, but listen… somebody gone have to come get her for a night or SOMETHING!

It’s cool and all being a single mom and having my mom and grandma in the house helping… until it’s not. They are GREAT help, don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t think it would hit the same if a father was here. My mom and grandma can “check out” whenever they want and I can’t say anything; if a dad was here, it’d be different. Parents can’t check out. Wait… MOMS can’t check out. Fathers get to pop in and out at their leisure and it is TIRESOME okay? I won’t even say it’s unfair because…duh but man… if I could be anything, I’d be a dad. No lie. Whatever. I still think having an involved (that is the keyword here) dad in the house would make a world of difference.

I often imagine just taking my boobs off and leaving them home and just dipping out for a while; forget that I’m a mom or something. But, that’s unrealistic and me talking cash money ’cause I can’t even sleep when Bean is sleeping in the room with my mom or grandma. Imagine though. Imagine being a mom and just getting to “mom” whenever you feel like it. I would be LIVING if all I had to do was call Bean and play like we were talking for 10 minutes, whenever I felt like it; to visit her. Oh my GOSH! To visit her, whew, just imagine that. I’d love to just “hang out” with her a couple days a week or once a month or whenever and that is the part of motherhood nobody ever mentions until it’s too late. Nobody ever tells you how much guilt (and frustration) you’re going to carry just because you want a shower or a silent night’s sleep. It’s a really weird place to be in when you wanna run as far away from your family as possible while also carrying a lifetime’s worth of guilt for feeling like that.

Most days are a constant roller-coaster: How could I want her to “leave me alone”? How dare I be “touched out”? How dare I not accept and appreciate her for the amazing gift she is? Surely, I must be a bad mom and doing something wrong here. I have to be…right? NO “good” mom thinks about ditching her kid; running as far east as possible, changing her hair and number. How can I have postpartum depression? She’s quite literally the perfect baby. I chose her, literally, so how can I be tired of her? I should be grateful for her. I am grateful for her. I can do this, I’m just overwhelmed right now. Deep breaths! Okay, let’s do this.

Baby, you Blue me away

I think I’ve got a case of the Baby Blues.

I love my daughter. I love being her mom. I even like doing it “alone” if I’m being truly honest. But I think I’ve got those good ‘ol Baby Blues.

I feel like Eeyore if he sat in the sun all day; kinda happy, mostly sad. Like the weight of the world is on my shoulders but also like I could drop it off if need be. Like, I can see the sun but I can’t see the sun. Like those sweet little baby laughs are SO damned cute but also, they don’t do anything for me. And that sounds weird cause if you know me, you know I loooove kids and always have but something ain’t clicking with me and Bean. It’s like we keep running towards each other, getting realllllll close, and then dropping the baton. I don’t get it; or like it, for that matter. I’ve been mulling over why I feel like this and I’ve finally found the reason.

I felt lonely during my pregnancy. What was supposed to be the “happiest time of my life” was filled with anger, loneliness, hurt, disgust, and disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, my family and friends did a STANDUP job at filling in the gaps and being there for me but it just don’t hit the same (I’m assuming) as when the other parent is there with -and for- you. I would’ve given almost anything to have my child’s father with me during my pregnancy, and in the months following. There is truly nothing like real, unrequited love and I would’ve given the moon all of the stars in the sky just to have a smidgen of that from Bean’s dad. I can not connect with her and love on her like I need to because I can’t stop associating parts of her growth with him and the way he treated me while she was growing inside of me. And the way he still does things.

And see, I’m doing it again. I’m doing that thing where I don’t say, or type, the “wrong” thing because I don’t want to give him or any of his family any reason to call me the “bitter baby mama” (again) but eff that. I am bitter. And I have every right to be. I have carried the weight and bore the burdens (& joys!!!) of parenthood everyday since January 15th, 2020. ME. Not him. Me. I have every right to be bitter and angry and hurt and sad.

Why? Because when I needed him the most, he left me to lean on myself. So f*ck you if you read this and call me bitter or think to yourself that I should “get over it”. I have to live with the guilt of feeling a drop of regret for my child everyday because the memories her growth are entangled in loneliness and anger. That’s a huge burden to bear and I have no choice but to bear it and carry it. And carry it well. I have to roll over every morning, look her in the eyes, and remind myself that before I even knew who she was I loved her in some capacity. I have to dig real deep to find that glimmer of happiness I felt in the brief moments between seeing the positive pregnancy test and telling him the news. She is my sunshine on my cloudy days and I just want to feel like that, everyday. Most days. Everyday ain’t gone be sunny, that much I know, but I would truly give anything to feel some kind of over-the-mom love for her. I want my chick flick, put the baby on mom and mom starts crying moment. I think I deserve that much. Actually, I know I do and did and it saddens me that I didn’t get it and likely never will. Truthfully.

Somebody tried to throw shade today

It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last but somebody tried to throw shade today. Something along the lines of “I wouldn’t be raising my grandbaby or letting my daughter still live with me at 21.” It went RIGHT over my head causeee “if it don’t apply, let it fly” right?

I live in a multi-generational household, 3,000+ miles away from my baby’s father and my paternal family, and I don’t work. And there is nothing ANYBODY could say about or to me to make me feel shame, guilt, embarrassment, or pity about my situation. Not now, not ever.

Yes, I am “spoiled” and yes, I “don’t have any hustle” (that’s bullsh*t but imma let y’all have that one) but what I am NOT & will never be, is a lazy or half-assed parent. I raise my child, day in and out. Me. Not my mama. Not my grandma. Me. Destiny. And I feel no shame or embarrassment about how I do it. I’d have this child, by myself, in the midst of a pandemic, 100 times more. You can’t make me feel shame about a decision I made in good faith. Bean was, and will forever be, my decision in good faith. I will stay home with her, making it do what it do, everyday till I die if I want to. I am blessed to be able to. I am blessed to have grandparents and parents that love me and will fill in the gaps for me while I figure out who I want to be as a woman; you can die mad about that.

I don’t believe in unnecessary struggle and I’m not going to start in order to prove a point to ANYBODY. I refuse to stress myself out trying to prove points to people who ain’t feeding, freaking, or financing me. I mean that. So, go on and chat and pass jokes about me back and forth but remember these things:

1: EYE am Bean’s Mama. I do the raising. Not my mama. Not my granny.

2: I can be away from my mama. I’m choosing not to.

3: I was not, and am not, ashamed about having a child “young”. I’d do it again if I felt like it.

4: I can not be shaken or broken.

Bite me.

“What is your biggest fear?”

TW: death. If you are sensitive to the topic of death please proceed with caution. There are no mentions of gory or graphic details.

Can I be wildly honest?

My biggest fear is dying. I don’t mean that to sound poetic. My biggest fear is dying. I have never been afraid of death and I always knew it was inevitable but I am truly afraid of dying now. Every time I’m in the kitchen and my baby is in the room or with my mom or grandma and she cries, I’m scared to die. I can not fathom leaving her in this world without me. Every time she’s crying for me and me only, my heart shatters at the thought of one day not being here for her. I say an extra prayer on those nights.

“Lord, give me as many years as possible with her. Let the both of us be old and grey before I go. Please.”

I can only imagine how I’d be longing to jump out of heaven to get to my girl. Lord, I am SCARED of dying. And I’ve never been. But it’s something truly sobering about her mommy-specific screams that make death so terrifying. I’ll never be ready and I know she won’t either and if you ever wondered why I’m already holding her so close…

I’m scared to die and leave her all alone. She is my comfort and my happy place as much as I am her’s. I hope we get many lifetimes together.

6 months a Feeding

I will breastfeed on a boat

I will breastfeed in a coat

I will breastfeed in a car

I will breastfeed with the stars

I will breastfeed while I eat

I will breastfeed while I pee

I will breastfeed when she’s one

I will breastfeed till she’s done

Honestly, I loveeee breastfeeding. It’s so convenient and easy and FREE!! I love not having to make bottles in the middle of the night or trying to dig through a diaper bag in the store to find one. I love not having to buy formula or measure it, store it, teach someone how to make the proper portions but…

I lowkey hate breastfeeding too. I exclusively latch Bean- meaning I rarely give her a bottle- and my GOD it is such a task most times! Sometimes all I wanna do is shower or soak in the tub, or shoot, go outside the house for 4 hours but…I can’t. Well, I could but it would be hell on the both of us. I’ve been home with her everyday of her almost 6 months of life and relinquishing control and letting someone else feed her feels like pulling teeth to me. I’d truly rather eat a jean jacket than give up breastfeeding and exclusively latching LMAO!

I just can’t let somebody else feed my baby and bond with her like that; that’s our personal time together. I just wish there was a way to latch her hands-free, really. I love when she rolls over in the middle of the night and roots around for my nipple until she latches and goes back to sleep. It’s seriously so special to me but man, if anybody’s reading this and has an idea of how I can safely hands-free feed this 20 lb 6 month old PLEASE let me know! I’m (semi) struggling over here but we’re gonna tough it out till a year, or longer, and it’ll be alright. I’ll let somebody else in on that bonding time and be able to shower and work without so much guilt, but until then? I’m gonna drop what I’m doing and feed her until she’s content. Every time.

I have a secret

Trigger Warning: Miscarriage/Rainbow Baby.

There are no graphic details described, however if these are sensitive topics for you, please proceed with caution. Know that I see you and I’m right there with you.

I never got the official confirmation but I knew. I knew deep in my bones that I was pregnant. And I knew that I had lost a child. I. knew. I knew before that pregnancy test read positive and then again when it read negative a few weeks later.

I did the math, and instantly knew that this was NOT gone be that and that I was gonna have an abortion. So WHY did I cry when I bled four days later? Why did I feel like my body had failed me in some kind of way? I didn’t want that baby anyway…right? Why did my next, positive, pregnancy test make me tense up with fear and burst into laughs of disbelief? I didn’t want that first pregnancy-that first baby-and I knew it, and I stood on it so WHY did it pain me to utter “yes, i’ve had a miscarriage” to my midwife when I fell pregnant with Bean? What was I carrying guilt throughout my pregnancy for? Why was I SO scared that I wasn’t going to make it to the end when my body SO clearly gives me what i want; even when I don’t know I want it. My body and spirit are clearly more aligned then I realize yet I carried the anxiety that one day, during my 38 weeks of pregnancy, I’d wake up in a puddle of blood-like i’d just started a menstrual cycle.

But, my body carried my child and kept her well protected and my spirit held me through any guilt and anxiety I had and we made it to the end; a full-term pregnancy and successful labor and delivery.

And yet, despite being in labor, I was scared she wasn’t going home with me? I cried out to myself, “Why, soul, did you get me all the way to the END to give me the fear that she’d suffocate coming down my birth canal? Why, mind, would you betray me like that? Body, PLEASE don’t betray me like that.” And they heard me. and they joined hands and rallied for me…and my child. And i got a healthy and whole baby, and a shitload of anxiety about her life. And some resolve to the betrayal I felt when my body expelled my first child in my bathroom. And all is (semi) well. Though i’ll never forget, I forgive my body for doing what it thought (and probably knew) was best for me and my Bean and our future together.

I, (Used To Be) A Victim

Sad, lonely, fearful, anxiety-ridden. That was me.

I grew up in abuse; it was all I knew for years. I never felt comfortable at home, near certain family members, around loud noises- was never settled. It’s been about 4 years since I was in that space and my GOD, it seems as if the triggers have gotten worse. Trauma never stops stirring your spirit, making you anxious; it can quite literally change your brain. Post traumatic stress disorder is everlasting and can take years of therapy, spiritual work, and coping mechanisms to overcome. Now couple those triggers and feelings with being a new mom, in a cross country co-parenting situation, and listen… this is going to take a WHOLE lot of patience, unlearning, undoing, and forgiveness. But, I’m committed to doing the work because my daughter deserves a mother who is whole and healthy and kind and capable and patient.

More than that, I deserve to be all of those things, for me. My daughter deserves to grow up with a mother and father who don’t argue in front of her, who don’t make her choose; so I must fully forgive him. I must dig deep and find the love I used to have for him and pour it back into our relationship. I have to finally accept the bad for the bad and take the good memories with a grain of salt and move on; once and for all. I must learn to navigate and acknowledge my triggers so those sweet baby cries and yells don’t startle or frustrate me; so I can hear them for exactly what they are- communication. I’m only 5 months in the game, but I’ve got some skin in the game already and I’m ready to earn my stripes.

This is me holding myself accountable for my personal betterment and for my daughter’s development. Cheers to growth and grace!