It’s time for the official what makes me thankful Thanksgiving post! And for me, every day, I am most thankful my son has erased the bitterness that used to sit in my heart and eat away at me, especially around the holidays.
I was always indifferent about having children. Take ’em or leave ’em. But mostly just take them far away from me. The day I found out I was pregnant for the first time I was more shocked than excited. It was a sudden life change I didn’t think I was ready for. And then slowly the idea grew on me until I was excited. I bought books, signed up for websites, started prepping and then it all came crashing down when I started cramping in the middle of the night. And then suddenly that baby and all our family plans were gone overnight. And then the bitterness set in.
We didn’t start officially trying for another year, but by then I was already avoiding baby showers and hiding all my friends on Facebook that were happily posting cute baby pictures. Christmas cards that were just pics of children went straight in the trash. Birth announcements were like little daggers in my heart. Over the next seven years we went through charting, fertility drugs, IUI and finally IVF. Over that span of time I missed out on celebrating my friends’ births and taking an interest in their children because it all just made me sad. I got tired of people asking and just started telling everyone we didn’t want kids. I was a big liar.
Trying and failing for so long, and going through a monthly rollercoaster of being excited and hopeful, then sad and depressed really takes a toll on a person. And even when you try to stay level-headed, you still go a little crazy. It’s why I started my original blog Stop Telling Me to Relax. I needed an outlet and writing has always helped. And through that I connected to other people going through the same thing. I’m thankful for those people as well. It makes me incredibly happy when I check back in on them and see another one has been able to move out of that place of hope and despair.
I’m a different person now. I smile when I see baby announcements. I enjoy baby showers. I love seeing pics of my friends’ kids on Facebook. I️ reactivated all those people I hid years before, went through their photos and caught up on their lives. Having a child was, and is still, such an amazing huge heart-healing experience for me. It’s like that little black cold angry part of my heart just melted away. And it always reminds me of the Grinch, and how his heart grew three sizes that day. That’s how my son makes me feel every day, and I will forever be thankful for that.
My 2-year-old is going through some intense development right now, and the resulting tantrums are quite impressive. I am lucky they are short-lived because the decibel level of the screams could possibly cause some eardrum issues. If I have any future hearing loss, I’ll be telling my son he did this to me as a toddler. I’ve read a lot about it being the result of them not being able to communicate, and then the frustration manifests itself as a screaming demon. The articles didn’t actually say “screaming demon,” but I know what they were getting at. So I’m going to unveil the mystery behind what really causes tantrums:
- You gave them the cookie they asked for. It was the wrong cookie.
- You gave them the right cookie, but you put it in the wrong spot. Cookie is now on the floor.
- You picked the cookie up off the floor. No!! They were going to eat that.
- We’re done with cookies and now want cars. You can’t find the right car
- You found the right car, but put it on the table and he wanted it on the floor.
Do you see a pattern here? It’s obviously us. We’re doing it all wrong. Our mind reading skills are just not sharp enough. Some days we get it. And some days, you just have to hand them the whole darn bag of cookies and walk away.
I’m currently in the process of closing my business I’ve run for the past 11 years. I grew it from a little kitchen table eBay enterprise to a real brick and mortar boutique. It was something I dreamed about doing since I was little. I wanted to grow up and own a costume store, so that’s what I did.
I’ve always had my own business. I started at 6, coloring rocks and selling them door-to-door. I can only imagine if there was an Internet back then, I’d have a rock decor empire by now. I started this business making costumes myself and then expanded into retail and then manufacturing my own line of corsets and costume items.
I always said if I had a baby, I’d just keep right on working, and I did just that for the first year. In fact, I couldn’t wait to get back to work. Then a funny thing happened and I couldn’t wait to get back home. Instead of thinking about work all the time, I was looking at photos posted by the daycare and seeing my son playing, painting, learning and doing all the things I wanted to share with him. And here I was, stressing out over other people’s orders and watching my son grow through pictures.
So I decided to take on a new job. If I was going to be a stay at home mom, then darn it, I was going to embrace it and become CEO SAHM. And to do that, I needed to cut out all the distractions and close my store and main website. But, I also can’t stop doing what I love! So I will continue to make costume things for my Etsy shop when I can. I’m not pressuring myself to crank out a huge inventory, or take a lot of custom orders. I plan to just go back to making what I want and posting it for sale.
And if you happen to like costumes, corsets or cosplay – check out the site before I shut it down Dec. 15th. Everything is marked down below wholesale, and there is a still a good bit left: www.3MusesBoutique.com
Tomorrow my little bundle of joy that forever changed my world turns one. I can’t believe how fast it went, but to be honest, the first couple months went by in slow motion while everyone told me how fast it actually goes. It’s hard to really embrace that during those sleepless nights and days of feeding and screaming and crying (for both of us). But then after a few months it starts going fast, and then it feels like you can’t slow it down and you’d take those slow first weeks back in a heartbeat.
It was during those months and this past year that I learned everything I thought about babies was wrong. And every judgmental thought I ever had about kids or parenting was wrong. I never thought I knew everything. I knew I was pretty clueless, but I still had opinions about things like daycare, working, or just having a messy kid covered in food stains. And then I learned until you have a kid, you have no clue what you will be like on the other side of labor.
I can honestly say I ran to daycare like a drowning woman to a lifeboat as soon as Keelan was old enough. I needed a break. I needed some me time back. I needed to get back to work after a few failed attempts at bringing the baby to work with me. You try lacing someone up in a corset with a fussy baby strapped to your chest. I may dress like Wonder Woman at times, but I discovered I cannot actually do it all and I do need help.
And then a funny thing happened after I finally did get back to work and got some me time. I missed Keelan all day long. I looked at his pictures all day, I took any chance I could to leave work early and I discovered my heart wasn’t in working 24-7 anymore. This little guy had come along and stole my heart away. My business used to be my baby, but it paled in comparison to my actual baby.
So here I am, packing up my store after seven great years and closing the doors to go back to where I started 10 years ago, as a website – ThreeMusesClothing.com. I really enjoyed my experience running the boutique. I met so many great people and had a lot of fun. And maybe, a few years down the road when K starts school, I might open a boutique again. But for now, all I want to do is be mommy. I want to soak it up, revel in it and enjoy every minute of this amazing little boy. Moving back online and away from the daily demands of the brick and mortar shop gives me the freedom to do that.
Being a mom is a challenge, a blessing and a complete life changing experience. I am immeasurably thankful I finally get to experience this. So Happy First Birthday Keelan! You are so incredibly loved by so many. I love watching you grow and learn and look forward to all the adventures we will have.