Mommy Meltdown

I had a meltdown today. It’s not the first, obviously, I’m a Mother. However, it is the first time I cried, really cried, and my 10-year-old son saw me. I guess he now knows I’m not Super Woman and his mom is truly human. I figured it could be worse, he could’ve seen me crying with a bottle of vodka in my hands. Lucky for me, I don’t drink. Sometimes though, motherhood drives me to want to drink. I know better. I used to do that and then feel like shit the next day, which is why I no longer reach for a glass, bottle or box of wine.

He looked a little frightened a first. Since his father is working in another state for the next two months, he couldn’t run to him, so instead he ran to me and asked if he could help me do the dishes (yes, I was crying at the kitchen sink while washing the pile of dishes by hand because the dishwasher was full and I was too annoyed to empty the clean dishes.)  We quietly washed and dried side by side.

He ran upstairs to watch t.v andI reached for the phone and called a friend. I cried to her that I was drowning and needed not just a life jacket, but a life boat. I felt overwhelmed, aggravated, annoyed and depleted and under appreciated. I feel like I’m always taking care of everyone else and I have no one taking care of me.  Yes, it was a “poor me” moment and It’s been a long time coming. I needed time alone, time to clean the kitchen, wash the dishes, do the laundry and organize the multiple piles of papers that are surrounding me like hungry wolves.

I like to consider myself a tough cookie, however, ever since motherhood, I seem to crumble more often than not. I think most mothers have had their fair share of mommy meltdowns but most of us don’t openly discuss it. It seems putting on a fake front, a facade makes keeping up with the Jones’ a lot easier.

I’m here to confess that I had a “Triple M” moment – a miserable mommy meltdown and I want to share it with whomever will read this posting.  Personally, I think more moms need to share with other moms not only the good times but the really shitty one’s too. It’s what makes us human and vulnerable. We can feel like we’re not alone and it happens to most of us. I’ve found when I let my guard down and show my vulnerable side, I not only allow my fellow moms to do the same but I feel better because they reveal their fears, challenges and similar feelings of despair. Honestly, I feel like motherhood, at times, can be a thankless job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for my wonderful husband and child, but that doesn’t mean I have to deny my feelings when my plate starts getting full and I’m feeling completely overwhelmed. I’m only human and by no means perfect. Everything seems magnified when my husband leaves town for work for weeks, sometimes months at a time. I admire those of you who are full- time, single parents. It’s definitely more manageable with a partner.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: YOU are not alone! We all have shitty days and it’s perfectly normal and expected.  We must give ourselves permission to crumble because being a full time mom is one of the hardest (and most rewarding) jobs in the world. So pat yourself on the back, do something nice for yourself and reach out to your closest friends. Be completely open and honest when they ask, “How are you?”  Don’t be afraid to admit the truth; you may be giving them permission to be vulnerable too.

How are you really feeling today?  I’d love to hear from you.

Peace, love and laughter,

Andi

The “no processed sugar” challenge

I recently read a Huffington Post article about a family who decided to live with out processed sugar for an entire year. The mother wrote a book about what their year was like. Mom, Dad and the two kids had more energy, didn’t get any colds or viruses and generally felt better.

I was intrigued. I had already been on a health kick since attending a Tony Robbins seminar last year, foregoing caffeine, alcohol, sugar and any kind of processed food from a bag or a box and juicing everyday, however, I was still feeding my 10-year-old son everything I wouldn’t dare touch. One day I decided to add up all the grams of sugar from his lunch that I lovingly packed every morning. It totaled 98 grams of sugar! It’s no wonder the kid can’t focus, bounces off the walls like Tigger and seems to always be craving anything sweet and sugary incessantly.

I decided it was time to face the fact that my son was a sugar addict and I had been his dealer. I joked with him one day that if he could stop eating processed sugar for an entire year, I would give him a whopping $500.00 at the end of the year. Since my son knows the value of a dollar and is already motivated by the green stuff, he enthusiastically agreed. Of course, we both realized a year is a long time so we added a couple of freebies: his birthday, holidays and one free day a month of his choice. After all, he is still a kid surrounded by daily temptations from other kids who gorge themselves on sugary treats. His school, which allows all kinds of sugar to be shared on special days, doesn’t help the situation.

During the first two weeks, his will power was incredible. No sugary cereals, no cinnamon and sugar on his pancakes, no more ice cream or cookies after dinner and visits to the yogurt shop after school (where he would load it with candy) are non existent.  The first two days his classmates celebrated birthdays at school and brought in cupcakes. My son excused himself from class and went to play outside by himself. His teachers emailed me congratulating him on his will power. I was blown away. I never thought he would be able to control his desire for cupcakes!  My husband reminded me, “he’s just like his mom, competitive and when he sets his mind to something, he wants to reach his goal.” I knew he told his friends at school about his new challenge and sure enough, they were helping to remind him what he had promised. He couldn’t fail now.

It’s been 40 days today and my kid has not given up. The cheat days are more than once a month due to special occasions that seem to keep popping up and it would just be downright cruel for me to be so strict, but overall, his sugar intake has been slashed by 80%. My husband and I can both see a difference and the greatest thing is my son sees it too. He is more attentive when I try to get his attention to ask him to do something, he is able to control his body more, he seems to have more focus at school and can sit still longer.  Also, his emotions are less like a roller coaster and more like a placid lake.

I started posting his success on my Face Book page and it inspired my other mommy friends to take a look at their children’s diets (as well as their own.) They were all rooting my son on and looking forward to my updates on his challenge. Once he reached 21 days it became easier for him. After all, it’s a know fact that if you do anything for 21 days straight, it becomes a habit.

I’ve removed his “candy crunch” yogurt cup from his lunch. No more fruit roll ups, now he gets fresh fruit or unsweetened applesauce. Because he’s also a vegan (his choice) he eats cream cheese and jelly sandwiches but now minus the jelly. No more granola bars or trail mix bars with chocolate chips and other added sugar. Even his Cliff Bars, which I thought were “healthy” touted 28 grams of sugar. I include a hard boiled egg and string cheese for protein.

What started out as an extreme idea of “no processed sugar for a year” has turned out to be a manageable goal that he can attain and still feel good about. It forced me to focus on what I had been throwing in his lunch for the sake of convenience and ease. It takes a bit more time cutting up fruit and veggies but it’s well worth it and I know he’ll be a healthier boy because of it.

As for myself, I still say “no” toalcohol, caffeine and sugar but when it’s a special occasion, I don’t beat myself up for having a cheat day. When it’s my birthday, I’ll have my favorite coconut cake or chocolate Sprinkles cupcake. The less sugar I eat the less sugar I crave. I’ve also realized that when I have a healthy carbohydrate at lunch time like a sweet potato, lentils or brown rice, it curbs my sugar cravings, especially at night. Try it for yourself and see if you notice a difference. If you want more energy, radiant skin and less sugar cravings, take the “no processed sugar” challenge for 21 days and see how you feel. You might even want to keep on going for the rest of the year and the rest of your life. Good luck!

Skinny bitches eat dessert

“Tits on a stick” is how a comedienne friend of mine refers to women in Los Angeles. She’s a full figured, spit-fire from the South and doesn’t have a problem telling you how annoyed she gets from hearing LA women talking about dieting, juicing and plastic surgery.

It is annoying……and true. I hate to generalize, but generally speaking, most women I know or have met in LA, are overly concerned about their weight and their looks and yes, there is a whole lotta juicing going on out here. Botox, breast implants, nose jobs, oh my! Women over 40 are striving to look like they did in their 30’s and women in their 30’s are competing with the 20-year-olds. I’m taking a poll: Is it so bad?

I’m 46 years old and consider myself physically fit.  My breasts and Italian nose are the real deal so I don’t fall under the “tits on a stick” category. I attempt to choose healthy foods and shy away from dairy, alcohol, bread and sugar. However, when I get an evil sugar craving, I will sit down and eat an entire piece of my favorite Tropical Coconut Cake from Suzy Cakes in Brentwood. The misconception about most skinny bitches is they are starving themselves or depriving themselves. This may be true for some in Hollywood, but this skinny bitch believes that every now and then, when a craving calls, it must answered in the form of cake, brownies, sundaes or dark chocolate.

Is there something you’ve been craving lately but haven’t allowed yourself to indulge?

Just fork it and enjoy.

© 2017 Andi Wagner
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