The Modern Mrs.

 

 My name is Jaclyn and I am a 30 year old, married, mother of a 1 year old baby girl. I love to blog about love, life, marriage, motherhood, and everything in between. Follow me as I chronicle the adventures of my modern life. These are my originial thoughts, opinions, and experiences. I am not an expert... I just live.


Events
Tuesday
Jul232013

We Did It!

This is a follow-up to the What to Do post about our anniversary celebration plans. Last weekend we went on our mini trip… (drum roll please) without little Miss Ava.  Yes I did it, I left my baby for the weekend! For the first time in 13 months, I was away from my baby. She wasn’t sad to see me leave, granted she had no idea that we weren’t coming back to get her for a while. As I walked out of my parents house where she was playing and laughing, I cried. My husband and I got in the car and I was overcome with tears. He looked concerned. He made a futile attempt to incite excitement. He said “This is going to be… fun.?” Through my tears I replied, “Yes I am excited”. It was truly a funny sight to see. It didn’t take me long to regain my composure, although I am sure that my husband was thinking that at any time I was going to tell him to turn the car around and get my baby! But I didn’t. I was very proud of myself honestly.

A few days prior to the trip, I made up my mind to leave her because a light went off in my head. After 3 years of marriage and a baby, my husband still wanted to spend time with me. He still finds me interesting. All I kept thinking about was that this is one of those “when opportunity knocks” situations. As I thought about it more I realized that a lot of women I know who have had failed relationships always say they didn’t see it or coming or didn’t realize how they grew apart. I quickly realized that currently my husband is asking me to spend time with him. He is letting me know that he wants to be with me. If I keep ignoring his hints, eventually he’ll stop asking and doing things without me. To me that’s when you open the door for a wedge to grow. So though I was anxious and sad to leave Ava I felt like I did the right thing. My parents and sister took very good care of her and she had a great time. Even though my mom encouraged our trip, sometimes I felt that she was apprehensive about my decision. She never ever left us over night and that played a big role in my guilt in leaving Ava but also in my decision to do so. I never saw my parents doing things just for them. Everything revolved around us, their children. I believe it did cause a strain on their relationship and after we all grew up they worked hard to rebuild their relationship with each other. I didn’t want to lose and have to regain my best friend. I honestly think it’s healthy for couples to get out without their children. To invest time in their life long commitment to each other.

Once we reached our destination it was incredible how easy it all felt. We had nothing to nag about, prepare/plan for – we just got up and went where we wanted and stayed for hours. We really had fun. It was reminiscent of our dating days. It showed me that our responsibilities to each other, Ava, our careers, and our families, take a toll on us and cause us to be my stressed and irritable. We rarely ever even go out on dates and I realize we need to do more of that.

I also learned that though Ava had a great time she was confused about why she was away from us so long (Friday to Sunday morning). I called and checked up on her frequently and by all accounts she was fine and having a great time. My mom said Friday night when she put her to sleep in her playpen, Ava looked confused and ended up staying up pretty late. Other than that she really showed no signs of distress. On Sunday my sister called me and told me that Ava grabbed her by the hand and walked her over to our wedding picture and started to point at us. My sister said she was looking at her like “where are they?” She took the picture down and gave it to her and she said he just sat on the floor held it. That made me feel sad for her but luckily by time this happened we were only about 45 minutes away. I woke up Sunday morning ready to get back to my child. Thankfully I took off Monday to spend the day with her and she was very excited for her mommy time.

All in all it was a great experience and I learned a lot. I learned that all relationships whether husband/wife or mother/child take work and devotion but in there has to be balance. It can be overwhelming to be so much to so many (well two people), but hey it’s the life I chose and I wouldn’t trade it! I don’t know that I will make a habit of leaving my child for the weekend but it is nice to know I can and should get away to enjoy my husband’s company.

 

(*** As an interesting side note, the woman I wrote about a few posts ago who's husband left her high and dry; stopped by my office today to ask about my weekend. I gave her the short version about us leaving Ava and she said she's had many revelations recently and that was one of them. She said she wished she made time just for her husband. She said she never left her girls and all their vacations were planned around them. Looking back now she can see some things she did wrong in her relationship with her now ex-husband. I just thought it was interesting and wanted to share.)

Wednesday
Jul102013

What to Do?!

Our anniversary is coming up really soon!

We made plans months ago to go out of town. Everything is ready to go. It's nothing extravagant but it will be nice to get away just the three.... two of us (...?). The thought of leaving Ava for a whole weekend make me dizzy. I know we will have a great time if we have the freedom to go places we haven't been to in a while and generally just hang out without diaper bags, nap times, and diaper changes. But... that's my life now. It's what I do. I'm accustomed to it. I have never spent a night away from Ava ever. This was supposed to be the first time but as it gets closer I waiver in my decision. I really want to enjoy some quality time with my husband but I don't know if I'll survive not seeing her face for 48 hours. Thankfully I am not the only one wavering. My husband isn't sure what to do either. The idea of not being able to get to her if need be bothers him. It'll be interesting to see what we decide. I really have no clue what we'll do.

Wednesday
Jul102013

Ava is ONE!

The best thing a parent can do for their child is provide an environment where they can grow physically, emotionally, spiritually, and creatively – uninhibited, and in some ways un controlled. People often comment about my Ava and how free spirited she is. She definitely is a fearless little girl and I prayed for that. I prayed for her every day while I was pregnant that she would be healthy, happy, and FREE. I prayed that I would be the mother that would have the ability to feed her creative mind and not stifle her. I try to parent freedom into her and not fear. Yes, that means that she learned to climb the steps at 8 months. Now that could have some major consequences, but in so doing she gained a sense of independence and pride. She loves climbing the stairs and showing what she can do. I also taught her how to properly come down. NO, she is not permitted to roam freely, but supervised - we go up the stairs together. I am proud of her fierce independence and I know one day in her teen years it will be that same independence that will cause use to butt heads, but until then I will remain impressed by my little girl that could.

 

Around her birthday I was excited and emotional. I’m not an emotional person but realizing how much my life has changed in just 12 months is overwhelming and breathtaking. To know that my husband and I created such a beautiful life is more of a blessing that I ever thought possible and I am truly thankful for her. Watching her grow from a little bobble head baby to this very active, very loud, little person with a strong sense of likes and dislikes is just crazy! It's hard to believe some times. It's been a great year and I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Monday
Jun242013

Dark Girls

As an adult I realize the best things my mom ever did for me was not let me date until I was 16 and live her life fiercely. I realize a lot of issues women have with themselves and other women solely revolve around men, more specifically how men view them. Because I was not allowed to get serious with boys at a young age, my mom encouraged/forced me to get to know and love myself, and I did. To the point where a man’s opinion was a never a deciding factor in my life, aside from my father's. My mom was my icon for beauty. She was so confident and where ever we went people noticed her and complimented her. She was happy with herself and it radiated through her. I learned from a young age people are attracted to happy, confident people and I looked up to my mom.

The best thing my dad ever did was love me completely.  Because of his love for me I knew I was worthy. Because he loved my mom so, I knew I was made from something beautiful to be a reflection of that beauty. That’s something I never questioned.


Every time I see the trailer for Dark Girls on OWN, I cringe a little. I am sure it is emotional and riveting and may impact the world for the better, but I am not interested. From what I’ve seen it appears to be dark girls/women revealing how hurt they are by black society’s rejection and how hard it is… I honestly don't know if I could sit through it. I’m torn only because I do not discount the hurt that many have undoubtedly endured, but I am not a victim. It's hard for me to understand how something I was raised to love could be viewed so negatively. I refuse to betray my beauty, value, and heritage with feelings of inferiority and inadequacy solely because of the hue of my skin. As a child I always adored the richness of my skin. I wear it as a badge of honor and a quilt of my rich heritage and ethnic background. I do not have low self esteem, I love the way I look. I do not feel inferior to a lighter complexioned person, nor do I equate beauty with light skin, light eyes, and hair. That’s just not my reality. On the flip side I am not at all bothered to compliment the beauty of some one with different features than me. I am just bothered that in 2013 this is still a conversation. I get tired of hearing it to be honest. This is not to say that people do not suffer because of how they look. I’ve seen it, and I’ve heard it. I’ve seen people make distinctions in their own family, among their own children and it’s nothing short of disgusting to me.

Thankfully my family and my culture is one of pride. My father is African my mom is Jamaican. Black is truly beautiful and celebrated and it’s not just something we say, it’s embodied in how we live. So I’ve NEVER felt insecure about my appearance. Beauty is beauty but it's so much deeper than the layers that color us. For those that choose to dwell on the surface, well that's what they will get, something very shallow. What I don’t want is for people to think all “dark girls” have self esteem issues or shrink in the presence of others. I love my friends of varying complexions, hair textures, and eye colors and I celebrate their beauty.

I will teach my daughter the same. Some one else’s beauty doesn’t diminish her own, nor is it a threat. Don’t expect everyone to find you attractive, and don’t surround yourself with people that are more concerned with your looks than your heart. Just focus on loving and living. 

I hope we all can find healing and stop this nonsense.


Wednesday
Jun052013

Topic of the Day

Ok I really want to know what you all think about this:

This morning I was talking to one of my co-workers. Somehow or another we started talking about me being a working mom. ( I was getting coffee. I am a coffee drinker now but usually I get my coffee closer to the afternoon so I am not exhausted by time I get home.)

She’s an older lady, by older I mean probably mid to late 50’s. She can be hard to read but it’s obvious that she is some one who can take a lot. Her job is proof of that. So I started talking about how I felt guilty when I first started working and she began to tell me the story of her life. In short form, she went to college met a guy and fell in love. After college she started a career and he joined the military as an Officer. She confided that she never wanted to be a mother but once she became one, she quit her career and became a stay at home mom. She didn’t work for 20 years! She said to over compensate for not wanting to be a mother she poured herself into her children and her new life as a wife and mother. She thought everything was great. Her husband was the provider and she was the caretaker and grounds keeper.

That is until he decided it was over. She said he walked out on her. She thought it was just male menopause and he would return to home but he never did. He waited until their youngest daughter was 18 and walked out. She said it took months for her to figure out that he had cleaned out the accounts and she was flat broke and indebt. After being out of work for 20 years she was forced to find a job, only to find out that all the skills and experience she had meant nothing 20 years later. She was obsolete and out of touch. With no savings, no retirement, and nothing to her name; she started the long process of digging herself out of a deep hole both emotionally and financially. She had to establish herself when most people in her age group were winding down and preparing for retirement. She was hurt and humiliated. Her words of wisdom to me were to work and to have my own stash on the side to protect myself…if.

She’s the second person to tell me a story like that of being stripped of everything and left with nothing. While I was listening to her, in my head I was like I can’t see it, not me. Almost as if she could hear my thoughts, she said “I never thought it would be. If some one would’ve told me this was going to happen I would’ve called them a liar to their face.” 

Of course I talked to my husband about it and his thoughts were interesting. I also began to think that whether she knew it or not maybe she began to let herself go, became boring, disinterested, stingy with the marital benefits...etc., none of which are excuses for what her husband ultimately did but it is something to consider as well.

I hate to even give voice to the thought of divorce, but what do you all think? Is it sneaky and deceptive to keep a personal “just in case” stash or is that a doomsday way of thinking or is it wise?