Life is hard. I don’t care who you are or what walk of life you come from. After years of therapy and countless hours of analyzing any and everything, I thought it was time to put my work on the screen. Please allow me to introduce myself…
Hi, I’m Lana. I’m a new mother who recently left the corporate world for diapers, drool and cuddles. I am married to a man who sets the world on fire every day while conquering the business universe one solution at a time. I have two dogs, yes, they are yorkies, were you thinking that? Spot on. I have an obsessive personality which is SUPER fun for my inner circle but I love fiercely so hopefully that makes up for it? I get a high from organizing just about anything and wiping countertops is right up there with rum and Diet Coke (with a twist of lime) on my happy list.
This “blog” will be a place where you can feel at home and maybe find a bit of humor and/or relief in my experiences. If you’re going through it, chances are, I’ve been there too or have some thoughts on the issue that can maybe be of use. So, Hi. Welcome! Let’s do life.
Hopefully you know by now that I am a huge advocate of therapy. I started heavily working and investing in myself when I was 27 years old coming out of a divorce. Before that, I was a scared, weak and lost little girl. Therapy needs a fan club. It needs to be openly talked about because it can change and enrich your life in so many ways. After all, who wants to live a life where you miss out on letting your true, crazy self shine? No, thank you.
At the very young age of 33, I finally have that urge to “live life to the fullest” and “grab life by the horns.” Why? Because it’s mine, damn it and I’m owning it for the first time in my life. But here’s the thing, I don’t want to live life the way I’ve been doing it, you hear me? I want to live it fearlessly. Like singing karaoke while sober fearlessly. I want to go for whatever my little heart desires. I want to walk into a new fitness class alone and not want to crawl into a hole because I’m so worried about what people are thinking about me and if my leggings are good enough. I want to be me, not what I’m expected to be by anyone or what insta tells me I should be. Therapy has helped me find my true self and embrace her. Yay, therapy!
COUPLES THERAPY– Picture me with Pom-poms behind you while reading this. Therapy has made my marriage un-damn-breakable. My husband and I go to therapy every week. We FIGHT for us, our future and our sanity. Sometimes we don’t have much to talk about, other times we come in ready to do battle because it’s been a long, stressful week and me not putting my coffee cup in the dishwasher sends him into orbit along with his never ending complaining about something just gets too much for me to take. At times it’s simply letting off steam, other times it’s hard “look into yourself” stuff. Sometimes we walk out and don’t speak, other times we get in the car and the “I love yous” flow like a perfectly tempered red wine. In doing couples therapy, you’ll find out real quick if you’re with a willing partner who’s in it for the long haul or not.
Quick side story: my first marriage ended in therapy. But not the way you think. I was the fighter, I had the questions and determination to see it through, I was going to fix us. My ex husband was asked, “What could Lana start or stop doing to help your marriage?” He thought about it and after about 6 minutes he said, “nothing.” The therapist told him to REALLY think and after another 6 or so minutes he said “she could stop leaving her makeup on the bathroom counter.” BOY… BYE. I had poured my heart out for years trying to get him to return the gesture so we could get a better understating of each other and make this marriage last. I knew right then he had no interest in fighting for us. I filed for divorce the next day. I am so thankful for his response. It put me on the path that would forever change my life.
How’s your marriage or relationship? Have you ever thought about therapy for the two of you or for yourself? DO IT. I can’t even begin to explain how it has changed our lives for the better and made us stronger people, not to mention better parents. There is no shame in our game, people. We could talk about therapy for days. We don’t go because we’re on the verge of divorce or because we’re crazy people. We go because we want to invest in our relationship and better understand how to be there for each other and support one anothers dreams.
Wrapping this up, you don’t automatically grow up just because you get older. You have to learn how to be yourself. Your true self. Not some grumpy, sass-filled lady who gives shout outs to her haters and spends all of her time talking about everyone else while she’s secretly lonely and depressed waiting on her pizza. You can’t hair cut away your sadness, people. I tried that too. We all need different things. Some are normal to need and some need to go the eff away. YOU have to make that happen. Attention, drama, guilt, insecurities… these will keep your true self hidden and denied. Learn about yourself. Why do you need so much attention? Why do you have shame or guilt? Where does it come from? HELP YOURSELF BE BETTER. STOP WAITING TO LIVE YOUR LIFE. I’m sorry I yelled. But did you hear me? I hope so.
Go to therapy, read the self help books, listen to the podcast. Invest in yourself and your happiness. Imagine the kind of wife, mother, friend, daughter, employee you could be if you were whole heartedly happy with yourself. I know you’re doing the best you can right now, but it’s time to step up.
Pre kids, it’s called being a b-i-t-c-h. Post kids, it’s called being a Mitch. Get it!? Mom +b-i-t-c-h = Mitch! (it’s not cussing if I spell it out like that) It doesn’t matter if you have offspring or not, this post is for you. Do you remember before you had kids or if you don’t have them or want them whatevs, how you said things like “my child will never eat processed foods,” or “my baby will always look so cute!” “I would never let my kid eat off a restaurant table.” Yeah, me too.What a heifer. IT. IS. EXHAUSTING. PEOPLE. It’s exhausting to constantly be aware that other Mom’s, women, children, men, someones Aunt is observing and judging you (Eye roll + sassy face). I whole heartedly want to sit here and type on about how you shouldn’t care what people think and do you and all that jazz but I can’t. The truth is I am always aware and always questioning myself. As if I didn’t already have enough stress in my life trying to keep another human alive and thriving.
Ok, so to break this down:
If you don’t have kids…just shut your face. Unless you’re a professor in child raising or have had extended teachings on what’s best for a baby in 2019, just keep your sleep filled thoughts to yourself. I was this person. I was judgey AF every time I heard a baby cry in public. I said things to myself like “omg are you going to tend to your child or just let them scream?” “Can you not take the time to clean that poor kids face off?” “Why are there stains all over that shirt, do you not care what your kid looks like?” Don’t even get me started on kids and electronics. Oh yeah, I want to slap myself too. I was terrible. And for the one’s who had more than one child and one was running around screaming and carrying on, I know the look on my face was anything but supportive and understanding. What a naive know it all I was.
Flash forward to today where I have my very own bundle of beautiful hot mess and my baby eats puffs off the floor and loves Hotel Transylvania 3 on the iPad. She has one of my old phones and carries it around by the pop-socket. #rotten.
When we venture out of the house, sometimes she looks super cute with a bow and stainless clothing. Other times she looks like she’s been riding in the back of a farm truck eating dirt. You can only imagine how I look. I haven’t put makeup on since Easter pictures and I wash my hair maybe twice a week. I go to Target to visit my tribe of other moms who feel my pain and share my love for pouch food and anything that makes noise to distract/entertain.
So this is just a reminder to all of us that we don’t know sh*t. I’m learning as I go. What the hell did I know before I had a baby? Nothing. Why did I think it was ok to have a sassy look on my face while judging these mama’s? Bless my heart. I hate that I was that kind of woman who thought she knew more than the one who was down in the trenches making it happen. I do the best I can every day. Some days I have it together and drink my coffee hot, other days I wonder what I have gotten myself into and how will I be able to successfully function for the next 18 years while walking around with half wet puffs stuck to my shirt. We go to Target to keep ourselves sane, y’all. We give the baby that iPad so we can exhale and pee really quick. For those of you who are the kind of Mama who looks fantastic for every outing and feeds your baby all organic foods with no screen time involved anywhere, hit me up and teach me your ways. But if you give me another dirty look in Wal-Mart, I’m going to rub sticky old food on your white pants. Oh yes, I’m that petty. Let’s do better. Let’s show up for one another and pickup that sippy cup off the floor for that Mama who’s child has thrown it thirteen times and you can tell she’s about to have a panic attack.
I know you’re doing the best you can too, I see you.
Thank you for being a friend. If you haven’t watched the Golden Girls, you’re not living life to its fullest potential. If your dream isn’t to live with your best girlfriends (I would be Dorothy) on the beach when you’re old and your husbands have long since pissed you off, I ain’t here for you, honey britches.
Let’s talk about friendship. High School. Let’s start there. Do you remember being terrified of not being cool? Do these Abercrombie jeans make me look like I’m 18? Have you seen my Doc Martens anywhere? When all you thought about was what you and your friends were going to do next and how you were going to convince your parents that Emily’s parents were totally going to be there on Saturday night. You had a clique and as long as you had them with you, you were in the safe zone. But OMG when you were a one man show, lord help your little lost lamb. It doesn’t matter if you were that stuck up cheerleader or obnoxious know it all who rolled their eyes at anything fun. Your social status has no playground here, you’re an adult now and nobody cares that you had the hottest boyfriend who is now, after all these years FINALLY the manager of the grocery store. Swoon.
College. Where friendship could be bought in many ways and you could easily meet your new BFF in any bar bathroom when you held her phone while she peed or took selfies with her because bathroom selfies were all the rage. You didn’t really care if you were cool, you had your own place, well you weren’t living at home anyway, and you could eat and drink whatever you wanted and not do laundry for a month all while smoking cigs. Bliss.
On to Adulthood. Here’s where it gets rough. You’re out of college and your “bitches” have either grown with you and got big kid jobs or have remained a permanent fixture on the bar scene. You start to figure out that you can’t go out every night because you have to be at work in the morning and why does my head hurt so bad? The friends who don’t have jobs get annoyed and they invite you out less and less, you get it. So then you have your work friends. Some of those are legit and others it’s like a second and third job to be nice and politely come up with yet another excuse why you simply can’t go to their bbq this weekend but if you didn’t have them as work buddies, you’d be bored all day so sometimes you have to go to keep the peace.
So you get the timeline and how each phase of your life comes with a new set of people. You will have your few friends that you’ve had since childhood that you keep up with on social media, through your Mother or at Wal-Mart when you’re home for the holidays, if you’re lucky. What kind of friends do you want or need in your life right now? Do you need someone who’s motivating in nature and can help you get off your money maker and have fun or improve your self? Do you need someone who is like you or the complete opposite? Need another Mama to cuddle up to on those impossible days? Everyone needs something different. Or maybe you’re in that phase where you don’t have time for friends because you’re really focused on your career or your new man friend.
It’s hard to make friends. I need ladies who are real and want to enjoy life. If you are a crazy organized woman who carries a sack of supplements with you and does CrossFit for fun, I love it. If you are so obsessed with your animals that they have their own closet full of clothes, I love that too. As long as you’re doing what makes you happy and don’t sugar coat the “crazy”, I want to know you. These days there are a lot of women who have two sides. One for social media and one at home in their old skanky cheer shorts and dirty feet. Listen, if you don’t have the boobs to be you in front of the internet, I would hate to hear your thoughts when you lay down at night. There’s a reason you don’t feel like you can be you and I hate that for you. Now I get it. I get why women feel the need to look their best and show their best life for all to see. Judgement is hard. Feeling less than is hard. Maybe if I show this picture of me all dressed up for a fun night on the town other girls will see it, like it and want to be my friend! Y’all, we’re all still little girls inside who want friends and ponies. Many things set women apart. Money, children, religion, jealousy, six pack abs, careers, eyelashes for example. If we all looked the same, we’d all be friends.
I said all of that to say this…let’s be friends! I want to grow, learn and experience all that you have to offer. Looking at myself and analyzing how I’ve been so unapproachable in many settings. Why was I like that? Probably because I was scared of being judged or maybe I was people watching and my RBF was on display in full force. Either way, I don’t want someone to look at me and think they can’t come chat. I want my daughter to know how precious friendships are to your soul. I want her to be able to walk up to anyone, introduce herself and have an experience. I don’t need the fake you. You don’t have to keep her around anymore, the real you is where it’s at. You’re doing great!
Fun title, eh? I am made up of half anxiety, half normal person (that may be stretching it). I have anxiety about everything and I mean, everything. It’s exhausting and irrational and I’m always fine once I get passed the thing that worries me but lord does it take it out of me. Do you have anxiety? I feel like everyone does to some extent but maybe I just tell myself that so I don’t feel alone. Well, if you do, do you ever feel like you can talk about it or do you just angrily throw the wet clothes in the dryer with your bitten off nails and huffy breathing? Here’s my reality. Wont you join me in this black hole?
Over the years, I have taught myself to deal with anxiety by having order. Order in my home, in my job, in my relationships, etc. I live for a routine and lists. When I can’t clean or create/find order, I panic and turn on the people who love me. I plan everything. I anticipate every outcome so I can be prepared. Fight or flight baby.
Here are some fun examples of my crazy, I’m going to imagine you nodding your head while reading these so I can exhale.
If you’ve ever made plans to go to the movies with me, you know that I CANNOT be late. I will be on the edge of my seat with worry that I’m going to miss something or not get a good seat, not have time to get my icee or the movie being sold out. The ride to the movies when we’re “Lana late” is SUPER fun. For the record, I’ve never missed any part of a movie, but I sure have worried myself into a tizzy about it. Thank you friends and family for still inviting my fun and calming self to go out in public.
Secondly, I have to be on top of everything all of the time. My house has to be clean and organized. If my house is a mess I can’t function out in the world. My “base” has to be good to go before I can enjoy anything else. You know, in case the Board of Housewives drops by for judgement. I want to tell you not to care about what other people think but Jesus knows when I’m lying. Carrying on…everything has its place. Having a baby has REALLY tested that part of my anxiety. Penelope has so much stuff and I’ve had to find homes for everything so I can get over myself and live life (she’s worth every second of it). I frequently clean out cabinets, drawers etc. My husband hates this because he thinks I’m just making room to go buy more stuff to fill it right back up. Sometimes he’s right but please don’t tell him, I can’t with him and his not being like me ways.
Then there’s my physical self. Ughhh, it’s never ending. Am I doing everything I can to be the healthiest? Should I fake tan myself this week? Nails or no nails? Should I put a mask on my hair? Are my teeth white enough? I wonder if that spot on my leg is cancer? I’m exhausted just writing this, if you’re still reading along, bless you. I worry about every little twinge. Google is not my friend. I lay in bed at night thinking it’s just a matter of time until they find some tumor or something cancerous. I can hear my Mother saying “Why do you do that to yourself” as I type this. I know I’m my worst enemy. Therapy has helped me so much in this part of my life. Yes, I was worse. I’m learning to prioritize my crazy and talk to my inner child and calm her ass down. Remembering that I have to take care of myself too and not just allow myself to stay in the same t-shirt and shorts for two days that are covered in spit-up while throwing myself a pity party. All those questions at the beginning of this paragraph? Yeah, I just worry about those things, I don’t always do any of them to help myself… I just sit and stress about needing to do them.
I hope this post makes you feel better if you, like myself, think you’re crazy. Let’s be friends and stress together.
After saying all of that, I do put A LOT of work into being me and always growing and becoming a better version of myself. I’m doing the best I can with who I am right now. Maybe I’ll always stress. I stress when I’m laying on the beach…vacay anyone!? Or maybe as I age, I will learn to stress less and get over myself. Who knows. But you? Sugar bear, you’re doing great too. You’re not the only crazy one. Is there a club?
I need purpose and routine to feel like myself. I need to be able to get up, get ready and leave the house. I worked at my previous employer for almost 8 years and had no intention of quitting. I got pregnant, went on maternity leave and had my sweet baby girl. While on leave, I cherished every moment with her because I knew I only had twelve weeks of all day cuddle time. Twelve weeks to adjust to our new addition and find our new normal.
We thought we were on top of it. We toured several daycares and decided on the one we felt the most comfortable with. We put our deposit down to get on the wait list while being assured there would be a spot for our baby when the time came and we went about our merry way thinking, “daycare, handled.” SURPRISE… it didn’t work that way AT EFFING ALL. A month before I was set to go back to work, I called to check in with the daycare and they told me they would not have a spot open until the beginning of the year. Ummm what? Apparently my husband and I misunderstood how this works. What a sham, man. It’s March, and still no open spot, FYI. FUN TIMES.
We had to make a decision quickly. What the EFF were we going to do? I knew I needed to go back to work so that I could be the best version of myself, but how was I going to do this? Luckily my Mother was able to watch our sweet angel. I went back to work ready to get back into the swing of things. That did NOT happen. All I could do was think about what Penelope was doing and all the things I was missing. I would FaceTime with her every time I pumped and text with Mom throughout the day. My heart simply couldn’t handle it.
Real talk, this was one of the hardest decision I’ve had to make. Also, I know what I sound like when I say that. I know that the first thing that probably runs through your mind is “why is this lady complaining about being able to stay at home with her baby?” or “people have real problems, please stop whining.” Several Mamas have said “OMG I would have loved to have that opportunity to stay home with my kids, you’re so lucky.” I’m grateful, every day but it was still a hard choice for me. Others have said “wow, your husband must make a lot of money,” or my personal favorite “what are you going to do with yourself all day, you’re going to get so bored.” For the record, all of those comments made me feel about this big (-). My husband sets the world on fire every day and I just couldn’t imagine being someone who stayed home and had nothing to show for my “work.” I felt every insecurity you can think of. I was pre-mad at my husband because I just knew he would start expecting dinner on the table by 6 and a spotless house when he got home. This is NOT me. I am NOT a housewife. I only watch them on tv. I fought and fought with him over things that hadn’t even happened yet. My insecurities almost cost me my healthy marriage. The love and support he has given me is everything I could ever wish for in a partner. He’s my biggest cheerleader. A tall, dark and handsome one nonetheless.
The daycare not having an open spot was a blessing in disguise. Me quitting my job was what was supposed to happen. This has been hard. I have bad days where I question myself. But, oh… those good days. Those days where her eyes sparkle when she looks my way. Those chubby baby arms wrap around my neck and I know I’m right where I’m meant to be. I do miss the challenges my work days used to bring. I miss girls lunch and mani/pedi breaks too. These days I straight up get down to some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I’m using all of my old dance team moves to make my daughter laugh and giggle and thoroughly enjoy my thrice warmed coffee.
Here’s to the single parents. I see you. You need to know that you are doing the best you can and you are everything to your babies. Keep that hustle game strong. It’s all going to pay off one day when you’ve raised amazing kids who know their worth. I no longer worry about nothing to show for my “work.” You can just look at our happy baby and see that her heart and soul are being tended to and she’s loved beyond measure. That’s my definition of a good Mama.
Hey honey bunny. You want to look fancy but it’s just not in the budget right now because you’ve got big kid bills? No worries, you can still ball, boo boo. Now, this is coming from a woman who has both and let me tell you, I feel just as fancy carrying my $2500 bag as I do my $30 bag. It’s all in the hips, baby. If you’re so inclined to spend a small fortune on handbags, belts and shoes, I support you. If you couldn’t imagine ever spending that kind of money on such frivolous things, I get that too and support you. No judgement from this lady. Here are my luxury dupes so you too can feel like a princess in Target.
#1. Louis Vuitton Toiletry Bag
Need a makeup bag that screams, “I don’t care if my foundation spills in here.” Or, “I wear dark eyeshadow and don’t have to worry about cleaning my brush before it touches my light tan velvet.” This is the one. The pattern matches perfectly to my real Louis and feels just as nice.
I know, I know. Everyone and their Mama has one of these now. BUT, if YOU don’t and you want to hang with them and their Mom, here you go. I had to make the real one with a grey background so I could tell the difference. Imagine your insta picture possibilities. #guccigang
I love a good zippy wallet, feels like all my cards are snuggled in safe and sound. If you’re like me, your poor wallet gets thrown around from diaper bag to purse to jacket pocket, etc. Having this dupe option, you can throw it around, carefree. You also won’t cry if you’re out at a bar and someone spills a drink on the table and gets your wallet wet.
Classic and chic. I love the dupe, it’s great quality and has held up nicely. I have a baby people, I can’t be slinging around $2k bags. I need something that can take some drool without me losing my mind. The chain is annoyingly loud but the bag is perfect. It even goes with leggings.
I will be testing other products soon and will report back. I hope these make you feel like a million bucks and allow you to walk through Wal-Mart like you’re somebody who can buy all the makeup and groceries you want. Everyone deserves to feel like they belong and hold their heads high. Sometimes, a purse can help you do that. Do whatever works for you.
Have you heard of Marie Kondo? If you haven’t, she’s my soulmate and I want to say that up front. If you have and you’re just not that into her… keep on moving, crazy. This blog post is not for you.
I am a VERY organized and structured person, it’s one of my favorite parts about myself. I LOVE lists and cleaning out my house. Therapy corner: This directly ties back to my childhood and how I learned to cope with stress and anxiety, it’s really worked out for my husband. Back to my sweet Marie, she’s a tiny little angel who goes around to people’s homes and helps them declutter and simplify their lives by asking “Does this spark joy for you?” She has a show on Netflix and a website, highly recommend….don’t roll your eyes, it’s life changing.
Marie has basic rules for tidying up. Ah rules, thank you sweet, structured angel. I want to elaborate(how I interpret and apply them) on these a bit and bring them down to our undeserving level. I’m trapped in a rabbit hole people, I’ve cleaned out my Grandmother’s closet (hi, Grandma!), and have been working on my parents home for 3 weeks now. My Mom is completely opposite than me when it comes to cleaning out and purging so this has been super fun (love you, Mom!). Call me, I’ll come clean yours out too, I’m on a roll. Here are Marie’s rules.
RULE 01 Commit yourself to tidying up – Mind over matter here. Identify the areas that needs attention, mark off some time to get them done and dig in whole heartedly.
RULE 02 Imagine your ideal lifestyle–You know how like on Real Housewives you see their homes and most of them have perfectly organized refrigerators, pantries and closets? And you think to yourself, “Wow, that’s really pretty, maybe I should do my areas that way.” Yeah, that’s not going to be your ideal lifestyle, boo boo. Those darling hot messes have staff. I know, one day we will too, damn it. Alright so for this rule, here’s what you should do. Take this vanity in picture #1 for example. What products do you use everyday? Give those some land on top of your space so that they will be easily accessible and in eyes’ view. What products or tools do you not use everyday? First of all, go through those and make sure #1 they haven’t expired and #2 do you really need them? The things you’ve decided to keep need to find a home in a drawer, cabinet, etc. See picture #2? Yes, like that. This will change your everyday routine and will make it so much easier to keep up with what you’re about to be out of and let you better utilize your 57 things of eyeshadow and samples you’ve gotten from our beloved beauty stores/subscription boxes. Ideal lifestyles for us normal people include baskets and bins to wrangle alike items in.
RULE 03 Finish discarding first –Have you ever gone through a box of paperwork or magazines and thrown pretty much the whole thing away? Or cleaned out your closet and had 8 trash bags of clothes you no longer want? Ahhh it gives me a high like what I imagine sniffing paint would be like. So therapeutic! I don’t know why, it just does. Crap weighs us down, people! So for this rule, attack those closets, junk drawers, stacks of papers, magazines, old pictures, etc and THROW crap away you don’t need or put it in a pile to sale or donate. Go through all those areas and then circle back around and organize later, or do it then if you’re so inclined. Here are a few pictures from our closet and how I’ve grouped and color coordinated AFTER I cleaned everything out.
RULE 04 Tidy by category, not by location- So Marie does this by going through clothes first, which is a fantastic idea because clothes take up so much space. She goes on to do books, memories, etc. I clean out one room at a time because that’s what works for my OCD brain. This method of category not location might work best for you. Either way, it gets the job done so do whatever will keep you motivated and productive.
RULE 05 Follow the right order- Clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous items, sentimental items. This is Marie’s order. This may work wonders for you if you are lost and have no clue where to start on your journey. I will tell you again to do what works best for you but this list can keep you going in the right direction!
RULE 06 Ask yourself if it sparks joy- I know that I annoyed my family to no end every time this phrase came out of my mouth. BUT, if you’re stuck on a sweatshirt from high school or a pair of heels that kill your feet when you wear them, seriously, ask yourself if that item makes you happy. If it doesn’t give you that little inner squeal, part ways with it. For me, black leggings spark hella joy for me so I gave them a whole drawer to live in. Lean in to what you love and your days will be better for it.
I’m going to clean something now. Hope this post sparks some joy for you.