Belly Business

My belly is none of your business. “You’re pregnant?!” “But where???” Uh, my ass, my skin, and if my hormones were visible there would be no doubt in your mind… The size of my belly is none of your concern, my piercings are none of your concern, my body is none of your concern. My belly, the one you have grabbed at without asking me, is also none of your concern.

Okay ya’ll, the uninvited belly grabbing…I have to be really honest, prior to getting pregnant I seriously didn’t see the whole fuss over it, I thought it would be welcomed. You’re growing a human and your belly is just out there for hands to grab; most comparable to a buffet style where everyone is helping themselves to the fixings. What people don’t seem to realize is that while our bellies may be predominant and on display, that it doesn’t translate to mama being predominant or on display. We are not as forward and open to the world as our bellies lead you to believe. “Aren’t you proud of it?” “Don’t you want the world to be excited?” … Yes, yes I am, privately and I can be that without you touching me. I freeze up when an unwarranted touch breaches my space and grabs at something I am working to keep most protected and safe. My every waking hour, my every breath, everything I ingest are all towards and surrounding this baby; so people are then just entitled to encroaching on that environment I have built? I can’t speak for all moms, but for me a good gauge as to whether it is okay for you to put your hands on my belly can be judged by our initial greeting. Did we embrace one another upon seeing each other? If we in fact did hug it out, then go for it, that is a clear sign that I have invited you into my personal bubble. If we did not, don’t do it. If I do not know you well enough for you to touch me on a normal non-pregnant level, then what makes it okay then to grab at my most prized possession now? Some people are reading this thinking I’m being bitchy or dramatic but it’s my right to my body and the boundaries that come with it, so shut up.

Unsolicited touching is awful, wanna know what’s worse? Unsolicited advice. I don’t know what it is about being pregnant that makes people feel the need to interject their opinions thoughts and feelings onto you. People I don’t even know, males specifically, reaching out to me to advise me on ways to get my body back post baby; warning me to wait until I have, “healed” fully before delving back into the gym. DUDE… in what world is it okay to talk to a woman, especially one you DO NOT know, about her body, and all the intimate parts of it? Of course there are parts of me that thinks about how I might look or how my body might change after the baby.  The contrast between that and the rest of the stuff I have on my plate, I basically have the most minuscule amount of shits to give about what happens to my body after all is said and done. How I look physically is not of my top concerns right now.  My entire focus is on having a healthy, happy baby boy and an environment to compliment that.

Now, for those of you who ask me what is poking through my shirt, dress, skirt… it is my belly ring! Stay with me here because this might be a tough grasp for some– there is absolutely NOTHING wrong, I repeat, nothing wrong, with keeping it in for the duration of my pregnancy. While I appreciate you taking time to depose me on the latest Google has to offer on the subject, my doctor has advised me that is all good and should only be taken out should it cause me any discomfort. Guess what? It hasn’t, so guess what? It’s still in there.

Next up to bat is the caffeine police.. Oh no, is she having a cup of coffee?? No, no she couldn’t, she wouldn’t! …. She is, and she does, with a splash of french vanilla cream I might add… It is completely fine to have a cup of coffee a day. Everyone settle down out there because again, here is another instance where your extensive research is appreciated but my LICENSED professional has let me know that having a single, 12oz cup of coffee, is totally fine! So that means I do not care that your sisters, mothers, and friends have all given it up completely while pregnant– I’m not. So while the rest of you are drinking your, (alcohol of choice) and eating your, (plethora of food pregnant women can’t eat) and smoking/vaping on your, (personal choice of vice) I will be helping myself to a damn cup of steaming hazelnut coffee.

While I know most of these comments/actions are meant with good intent they come off offensive and they’re unwarranted. Unless I ask you point-blank your position on something pertaining to my body, do not offer it up. I am growing a human for God’s sake, I do not care or need to care about what Joe Schmoe thinks in terms of my body or how Negative Nancy feels about my delicious, ever savored, cup of coffee. This is hard enough without the added weight of judgement coming from my fellow humans. My belly and body are frankly none of your business.

Sincerely,

A 24-year-old single mom who is kicking ass at this seemingly impossible, absolutely rewarding adventure

P.s. My baby boy has been wiggling and bouncing around in my belly the entire time I’ve been writing this, which means he seconds the notions.

The Tough Stuff

It is an understatement to say that there are, “tough” things about pregnancy and parenthood. On top of the fact that I am doing this on my own, seeing that I am a single mom and all, I am also 24 and who the hell knows what they’re doing in the big picture of life at fucking 24 years old?! Don’t you even lie either. Sure, you can have a grip on it and sure, it’s about the journey but COME ON this shit is hard! Lets all just agree to agree, that way we can all quit pretending like there is any point in time when you have all the answers. Alright now let’s add being pregnant to the list, which we all know comes with its own personal baggage overflowing with further additions to my basket case personality; My life just got twice as complicated. Today I literally caught myself saying that there are only three good things about pregnancy, 1 is obviously the baby, (and all things encompassing that child) the other 2 are my growing breasts… and I will lose those eventually too! For me the hardest part of it all is the, “doing it alone” factor. Sure, I have tons of love and support for which I am truly grateful, because I recognize many people don’t even get that. So please do not misunderstand my gratitude, but it is tough sis. In the words of Lily Allen, “it’s hard out here for a bitch.” It is hard not to entertain the fantasy of having a family, it is really difficult to push out what you have always imagined your family looking like and accepting what it does or will look like in actuality. It’s different than getting over a guy or forgetting a friend that broke your trust. You have all these extra hormones in you. While they aren’t working on ravaging your skin, they’re sneaking their way into your heart. Making it that much harder to visualize what the future really should look like or what the best scenario will be for your family. I have a tough time coming to grips with reality on that. It’s almost like mourning a loss, you’re mourning a loss of your idea of a family. I think the only way I can have any glimpse of clarity or have any sort of accurate visualization of what my family is going to look like is because of this baby. My heart and mind are walking the same path when it comes to wanting the best, the safest, the most beneficial route for this little human. My wants, or desires rather, for myself are completely overshadowed when that is my focus.

We can all step back and realize that someone else is having a worse off time than us. The thing is that this is still our life, this is still on our plate to look at, to mold, and learn how to live with. Contrary to popular belief I think it’s okay to feel sad about our life circumstance sometimes– the trick is to master giving yourself the appropriate allotted amount of time and then moving on with your day. We are told our whole lives not to feel sorry for ourselves, and while I agree with not moping around, I also believe it’s extremely beneficial to take time to acknowledge how we feel about something. But how? What is, “moving on with your day?”For me it’s telling myself, “you are going to be upset or angry about whatever it may be for the next 15 minutes.” That can mean to cry, scream, punch something, (preferably something that’s soft) put on a go to playlist for these particular downspouts. Whatever it is to release some of those feelings– I DO THAT, and then I choose to continue with my day. Meaning just put one foot in front of the other. No matter what, feelings are feelings, we can’t let that cripple us. I don’t want to sound cheesy but it really is how we choose to deal with them, pretending we don’t have them is not, and never will be the right answer. Life is not going to stop because we are unable to cope with whatever has laid its way in our tracks. Cars keep driving, oceans continue with the current, the world keeps turning. Life is not going to stop so why should you? Pausing is a virtue, feelings are a privilege.

Today someone I truly love disappointed me, prompting this post. I put my faith in this person, they are what I call, one of my, “people”. When someone is categorized as one of my, “people” they are someone I have the utmost love and devotion for. I get most frustrated/disappointed with others when I feel like their actions or efforts don’t reflect what mine have been towards them. This is NOT me saying I am some beacon of an example for what a friend/daughter/sister should be but I do treat those I love with high regard. My family calls me the, “junk yard dog.” I am the defender of the underdog, fiercely loyal, and always there for whoever needs it, you can always count on me. My issue is rooted in a belief that I expect those same attributes from others. I just had a conversation with my youngest sister about this; how she was unable to rely on someone. I reached my own conclusion on all of it while trying to resolve her particular heartburn. I realized that I have a lot of people that I wish were more, or could do and be more of what I needed from them, but truly you can not expect someone to be everything for you. You can’t ask a tree to give you milk because that is not what a tree is capable of producing, it would be silly to try. Although that same tree can give you some delicious fruit, or even a beautiful view. You have to change your perspective to see your people differently. I started to recognize that while I may not be able to get all I need from one source, one physical being, I have a plethora of sources from which to pull those things. If I need to vent about being a single mom, I have my best friend. She is someone who has done this/continues to do this with her daughter. She’s a single mom, she has been there, she helps me to touch down. If I need someone to verbally annihilate someones actions or responses towards me, humorously: for my mental/emotional state, that is all my father. If I need to laugh unapologetically I have my youngest sister. She reminds me that life is not that serious and that the main goal is enjoyment. If I need someone to love me, guide me and realign my priorities, I have my mother. She is always available and forever willing to pick me back up and stand for me when I don’t feel like I can on my own– and has many times, with zero judgement might I add. If I need someone to make my problems feel small my other sister is my go to. She is very matter of fact and while she does it with love, she has a, “life goes on” mentality, helps me to minimize and rationalize what it is I’m actually upset about. If I need to be reminded that I am a strong, independent, creative, successful, “capable of fucking anything” woman, my older brother is the call I make. So while I may get flustered, stuck, depressed, anxious, frustrated, lonely, annoyed, defeated, lack luster and endless other feelings, I have so many people that offer me incredible amounts of different strengths; It is all a matter of seeking those souls out.

What’s this all about?

Well hey there! Excuse my exclamatory excitement I am just excited to have a reader!  I want to go ahead and clarify here from the get go, I am in no way an expert on any topics I touch on. I am merely a fellow soul learning to swim among other souls through this journey of life. As far as starting a blog, I find it most beneficial and functional for myself when I write things down. Selfishly, selflessly I hope my candor can help more than just my own well-being. I like to apply humor to my situations, but I am also realistic and have a deep appreciation for rawness; I try to to be as genuine as possible, for me that’s knowing we can laugh and cry at life’s curve balls. Here you will get both, I will be making entries as I feel them, so some days I may aim towards a laugh while others I circle a more saddened theme.

I feel like I have always had a lot of, spinning plates, (who doesn’t) but as of late things have seemed to pile on more than usual. My experience, in todays society, as a single mom, what that feels like, looks like and sounds like to me. Basically an open invitation to follow my journey.  Cue the title of this blog, “Modern Momma”.