Left to My Own Devices: The Reality of my Motherhood

I thought that I had this motherhood life all figured out.  I thought that I was free to move about the cabin because there was an oxygen mask ready to fall from the ceiling when I needed it.  I thought that since my kids are no longer babies, I could grow up a bit.

I’m here to tell you, ladies. We’re all wrong in thinking that we have everything under control.

I’m as ignorant today as I was yesterday. But smarter than I was ten years ago chasing after that “American Dream.” You know, the hubby, the house, the little people. The picket fence.  I’m not saying that you’ll never have that—what I am saying is be ready for it to beat you over the head.

We have so many devices. Something to rely on when you need it – but toss it away when it becomes a bad habit. My oldest is eight and was in the generation that everyone thought was loaded with child prodigies…ONLY because the kid swiped screens at barely a year old.

Yeah, well dear friends who can’t get off the internet…time for some tough truths about that one.

  • You’ll NEVER get from a device what you can find within yourself.
  • You’ll NEVER feel good enough if you spend your time with devices and not with love from people.
  • You’ll NEVER get past yearning the ‘good old days’ if you don’t put down the device and look EYE to EYE with your kids and share with them the love you wish you felt for yourself.
  • You’ll NEVER move into the next phase of YOU if you don’t explore your mind and body when you know your truth tells you something is very wrong.
  • You’ll NEVER believe in YOU if you don’t become 100% honest with YOURSELF.

Listen, I’m not telling you WHAT to do—I’m telling you what I sucked at.

I have a three year old and an eight year old.  I had the best time ever in my twenties.  I turned thirty-nine this summer and I refuse to go into my forties like my thirties were.

Pure unadulterated hell.  

By producing humans (two of them) and the giant shock two C-sections did to my mind and body…I know my heart will never be the same.  And with that comes my mind and body too.  I’m not afraid of it, are you?  My friends tell me that I still have no clue what is in store as these kids grow.  I don’t doubt that.  And honestly, today I feel great about me.  I’m wide open for the challenge if it ever arises.  But what I can’t promise?  Will my mind and body handle the stress and pressure like an adult?

Probably not.  Because EVERYTIME I get stressed my family wants to medicate me.  That sucks too.  Especially when the medication doctors give me a) isn’t acceptable in all cultures, b) makes Tom Cruise jump on couches c) gives me suicidal thoughts.

Whoa.  Did I just type that for the world to see?

I did.  And I’m not afraid of those words now that I’m off that medication.

Yeah.  You know how you see TV commercials about meds and they say “thoughts of suicide contact your doctor?”  Yeah.  TRUTH:  I LOVE my life.  I did NOT want to DIE.  But the medicine that I was put on this summer?  EVERYTIME I walked my dog I had these crazy ass visions of me hanging from the deck with the dog leash.  WTF is that, people?  That’s me being honest with myself.  I saw it and did not act upon it. I knew that it was bizarre thinking and I booked it to my doctor’s office for a 9a appointment.  And what did the doc who tossed me a brown paper bag of samples tell me?  He’s from India and barely speaks English.  I didn’t understand everything—but I can assure he stopped the medication that I told him was giving me those thoughts.

You guys, THAT IS TRUTH.  It’s called suicidal ideation.  And that is NOT something I signed up for.  It scared me to death and because my family doesn’t understand medication and how it affects the body—I had to not tell anyone but my doctor for fear they thought I was going to act on hurting myself. UGH.  It’s a Catch-22 for sure.

But suicide rates are the highest they have ever been in our world.  From terrorists to new moms.  Life is hard.  Period.  But unless you tell YOUR TRUTHS, you will never be able to live fully for yourself and those you love.   One of our own #RealityMoms contributors lost her mother to suicide and struggled this summer losing a friend too. I adore this woman as she has always been so kind and supportive to me that she was the only person I told my scary story to outside of my doctor. She understands it all too well, unfortunately.

Why does the world have to pay the price so that others wake up to reality? I joke and kid often—but I am as serious as the light of day when I tell you that circumstance isn’t the only reason people are taking their lives. They are also taking their lives because those that love them aren’t listening. Or worse, they try ‘tough love’ on someone who just NEEDS love to survive. This isn’t the fifties. We don’t need tough love. There is plenty of that through circumstance. We as humans are so quick to judge that we have lost all compassion and reality happening in the real world. We see the Joneses on Facebook live this glamorous life and think everyone lives that way.

NO, they don’t.  And I’ll happily post my truths right here to you ANYTIME so that you know you’re not alone in this rat race.

Do me a giant favor.  And hell, if you have a mom friend who’s as crazy as I am—pick up the phone and call her today.  Just to say hi.  Don’t just say ‘hi, how are you?’  Do the unthinkable.  Ask them how are they FEELING today.  Cause if they are left to their own devices?  Those feelings might be getting more numb by the minute.  You might be the call that person needed to walk away from their old devices and wake up to their new reality.

Joey Fortman (Founder, RealityMoms)

Joey Fortman is the brains behind #RealityMoms. In 2008, after 20+ years in traditional media hosting radio shows around the country, Joey traded in the microphone for a diaper bag, struggling through her own personal crisis: unemployed, overweight and lost in the land of mommy bloggers. Little did Joey know, her traditional media background would pave the way for success at Real Mom Media. As a sought after media magnet, Joey has been featured nationally on Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Anderson Cooper, the Katie Couric Show, Dr. Oz, Redbook, The Today Show, The Talk, Fox and Friends & The Newlywed Game. When not at the sports complex with one of her kids, on an island or a grocery store run, or on Facebook Live with #RealityMoms contributors, Joey is obsessed with adult coloring.

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