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‘Real Life’

August 7th, 2016

Awareness day

​I’ve seen multiple posts in my facebook feed related to Multiple Sclerosis awareness this weekend, which is wonderful and hopefully helps those living with it and to educate others who know someone effected, but may not fully understand the impacts of it. 

I recently posted about my own struggle with autoimmune disease and while I may not look sick or in pain it’s a huge impact on my life as well as so many others. 

I’m guilty of not taking this condition seriously in the past. Blaming my age, weight, even motherood for not being able to keep up with life. The exhaustion alone is enough to keep anyone in bed all day. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have that option. My kids don’t understand, most days I don’t think DC even understands, so it’s my job to raise awareness here in our little bubble of the world. 

Unfortunately, unless you are directly effected by an immune disease, I don’t think it’s possible to fully understand what living with it is like. Sadly, even doctors stuggle, in my experience, to treat the various ailments because no two people are identical and therefore no two treatments are the same. 

Sometimes the disease goes undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed. If you’re lucky you get a plan of treatment that helps straight away, otherwise it could be years of trial and error … something I’ve come to know too well. 

And don’t get me started on the Insurance company … I’m extremely fortunate to have a good insurance plan, but even so they dictate the order in which medication can be covered, which might be fine if this were a cookie cutter disease. 

Best part? The implications of stress. So dealing with Doctors and Insurance, for me often adds to my pain and causes flair ups. 

I’m not trying to go on a pity party picnic here, just hoping to help bring it all into perspective. So, be aware, but first and foremost be compassionate and understanding with those of us who suffer in silence, because the last thing we want is to be defined by our disease. 

October 10th, 2014

It’s so easy …

It wasn’t that long ago when I thought to myself that people with kids had it easy. They even got special privileges. I don’t mean that in terms of a tax credit or getting to fast track the line at Disney with a baby in tow. I’m referring to the work place – all the co-worker parents who’d leave early for their kid’s doctor’s appointments, soccer practice, school field trip or parent teacher meetings. Those “I’m working from home today because my kid is sick” privileges.

To the inexperienced, kid free me it seemed like once you had kids you were automatically enrolled in this club of kid related acceptable excuses.

Now. I’m a Mom. A full time working Mom. As you can imagine, my opinion has changed … drastically!

I think back to all those times I thought working parents had such privileges and want to smack myself! This past year has been a real challenge for me juggling the needs of my son and the needs of my boss/clients/co-workers … and this is only just the beginning!

The struggle is real. The prejudice is even more real.

I realize now all the personal sacrifices that have to be made to compensate for being a working Mom. Vacation time is no longer the luxury of taking time off to get away, recharge your internal batteries or visit far away friends and family. Vacation time is now reserved for more critical matters, like taking your kid to the doctor, caring for them when they are sick or, god forbid, caring for yourself when you are sick! Vacation time has 10 times the value now than it ever did to me pre-kids and now, as we approach the end of year cold and flu season I’m a little panicky looking at my reserve and pray we are spared … or at least can make to the new year (and an all new bank of hours) without major incident.

I’m very fortunate for my job, which enables me to earn my living from a home office. While I am spared a typical commute, I still have the obligation of taking my son to daycare each morning before returning home to start my work day. Punctuality has never been my strong suit and now that I have a toddler in tow – well, those who have been here know exactly what it’s like to try to wrangle a kid in the morning to get dressed/eat/into the car. Those who don’t – imagine trying to dress an unruly octopus, fed him and then strap him into a car seat all while wearing 50lb ankle weights!

Once upon a time my company touted phrases like “Life-Work balance” … this was long before I had a kid and I didn’t really didn’t give it much thought. I mean, I never enjoyed working 60-70 hours a week, but I enjoyed my job, I was appreciated for the work I did and I didn’t have to prove myself or my work ethics. But now that I’m a Mom and I have additional responsibilities I have learned the importance of a Work-Live balance and more importantly having a supportive management team – who can empathize, or at least understand the struggles, who recognize my value and judge me fairly based on my work performance and not on my perpetual tardiness. I work hard. Every. Single. Day. I don’t often get breaks and when I do they consist of making myself a healthy lunch or taking a shower and actually having the time to do my hair or put on an outfit that isn’t the 1st thing I see in the closet, something that makes me feel like I am still a part of society.

It’s so easy … as I once thought … to manage a career/home/family. And it certainly can be if you don’t need to sleep, eat, exercise or retain some level of sanity 🙂

August 5th, 2014

Emotionally Disturbed

I came across a very disturbing video shared by a friend on Facebook this morning, which has left me emotional and filling my head with questions that I just can’t shake, so bear with me while I do a quick brain dump in hopes that I can refocus my attention on happier thoughts.

The video was over 4 minutes of a woman (I think) sitting on a bed beating a baby about my son’s age – 1 year old – with a pillow and then with her hand and later what looked like a cell phone all the while he cried uncontrollably. At times the child would appear to settle down, probably exhausted from the ordeal and the woman would then start beating on the child again.

The party filming it was speaking in a foreign language and based on the tone, did not appear to be discouraging the person beating the child. There was even an older child standing by onlooking, which gave me the impression that this was a normal behavior in their household.

After only a few seconds of viewing the footage I became so sick to my stomach and began to cry feeling so helpless and then enraged as I thought about this poor child. I can’t imagine what would cause this piece of shit excuse of humanity to treat another person in this manner, never mind a defenseless child.

If I have ever wished for something to be unseen, this is it.

All I want to do is hold my baby and tell him how much I love him and kiss him till he pushes me away as he is starting to do, now that he is a big boy!

Among the thoughts clouding my mind as a result of this morning’s experience I am questioning how I would have reacted before becoming a mom. I have always been more sympathetic to animal abuse than human, but now that I have a child of my own who I adore and treasure I find myself so overwhelmed with emotion over stories of abuse and neglect of children.

I know I am not alone here, I just didn’t realize how much I had changed.

Moving onward to only happy thoughts and praying hard that karma/fate/justice finds each and every individual who harm innocent children 10 times over.

June 12th, 2014

An Open Letter to My Neighbors (the ones with noisy dogs)

fingers_in_earsDear Neighbors,

We live in a fairly small neighborhood filled with kids and pets. Your typical all-American style neighborhood. Now, I realize you can’t always choose who you move in next to (you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your neighbor) so here is a little bit about me:

I’m a new mom and I work full time – from my home office. When the weather is nice I enjoy working with the windows open and when my son is home he enjoys the windows open too. On occasion you just might hear him babbling/singing/crying/shrieking. I try my best to keep him happy and attend to him when he is fussy, but some days he just needs to cry it out because I can’t hold him and prepare dinner at the same time. It happens.

From 9am – 6pm during the week you can find me working away in my office. My days consist of being on the phone talking to clients, attending meetings and training sessions remotely.

Over the past week I have come to realize that some of you have small, very vocal dogs who are being left outside for hours on end, or at least it sounds that way because I hear them barking. Non-Stop! Are you aware? Are you home? Are you ignoring them? Are you DEAF!?

I have yet to pin-point the exact location of these noisemakers, but I have a pretty good idea where they live. Where you live. So, I’m just going to ask … for the love of all things peaceful … WHY!!!???

I get that dogs bark. It’s to be expected, but when it goes on for hours on end it becomes mind numbing like someone is drilling a hole in your head, it’s really difficult to focus and super annoying. Please make it stop. Now.

Sincerely,

Your neighbor – Kera

 

 

June 10th, 2014

Once Upon a Time …

Frazzled MommyOnce Upon a Time … I was young and full of energy. I felt invincible. I spent an entire day in bed watching 90210. I had all the time in the world. I was career focused. I was single/married/divorced. I was debt free. My night started at 11pm by choice. I had no agenda. I slept in. I ate my entire meal in one sitting and I certainly didn’t have to share with anyone. I could have a phone conversation in peace. I never left the house without showering. I changed my clothes immediately upon discovering a spill/spot/rip. I went to the movies. I listened to loud music. I drove fast. I splurged on clothes, shoes. bag and many other non-necessities.

Now I’m a Mom.

I’m tired. Always tired. I fantasize about taking a nap – in the middle of the day – in my car – on the side of the road. I literally fell asleep at a stop light the other day, because I am THAT tired. I can’t remember what sleeping in feels like and given the opportunity to watch TV in bed all day, I think I would just fall asleep and drool all over my pillow.

Time expires before I can even count the days/hours/minutes and then I’m cramming to get the minimum completed before it’s completely gone. How can 30 minutes go by in a mere 5? I must be living in some hyper-speed vortex of life. Just last month I was 16 learning how to drive, a few weeks ago I was in college learning HTML and Java, last week I was starting my career, yesterday I was having a baby and today – today I am planning his 1st Birthday!

What I would give for just one day in my 20s. I’d sleep till noon, call up a friend and go shopping for a something I’ll only wear once. We’d skip dinner and head back to my place to get dolled up and go out dancing. There would be drinks and shots and we’d dance out young, energetic hearts out. We’d hit the local grease pit for coffee and some eggs and then roll into the house around 3am –  at which point I would realize the time and freak the F out because the baby will be up soon!

Maybe I’ll just settle for an early dinner and a movie.

I love being a mom and I absolutely LOVE my boy! Have you seen him? He is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and I miss him when he is sleeping. He exhausts me, but he gives me such a sense of pride and joy. I never knew I wanted this life until I started living it. Everything else is secondary to him. Work, sleep, showers, exercise, meals, arriving on time … he is my priority now.

I can’t believe he is almost 1.

<3