ATTENTION! Recovering Addicts Everywhere: SUBMISSIONS.

cropped-adobestock_209011981.jpegI will be starting a new blog series on Wednesdays! It is going to be titled “Recovering Beautifully”.

*Here’s the catch*

It won’t be about ME. It’s going to be about YOU.

Each week I am going to be posting an inspirational story from someone who has battled, and overcome their addiction.

Types of addictions will include, but are not limited to:

Drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling and hoarding.

The stories will be 2,000 words or less, and will be written by the people who lived them.

When my friend Jenny Bear suggested this idea, I decided to get started immediately. You all were so moved by MY story,  so imagine what a VILLAGE of us sharing our truths can do!

But I’m going to take it a step further…

I am going to pick my favorite stories and compile them into a book. I would then price the book at $4.99 and publish it on Amazon. I will donate 100% of the proceeds toward paying for beds in rehabilitation centers, for those who need rehab, but can’t afford it. Ahhhhh!

If you would like to be a part of this amazing new endeavor and have your story considered, see submission guidelines below:

 

1) Tell me your story of overcoming an addiction. I want to know: a) What was life like in active addiction, what were the feelings and emotions associated with your using. b) What happened with your rock bottom? Why did you decide to change? c) How did you change, was it rehab? Jail? Your own detox? Tell me about that experience. And d) what is your life like now? What amazing things have happened since? What is your clean time?

2) Please keep it to 2,000 words or less. I will be editing for grammar and punctuation, but please try your best to make the submission as neat as possible because I am not great at either of those myself.

3) Keep in mind the story will be online and in book form for anyone and everyone to read. If you do not feel comfortable putting your face and story out there, then please do not submit a story.

4) Attach a picture from when you were in active addiction, and a present day photo. (No children.)

5) Please use fake names if you are referring to others.

6) Somewhere in the email, please state: ” I _______, give Tiffany permission to use my story and photos on her blog series “Recovering Beautifully”, as well as her book.”

7) I have no idea when and if your story will be chosen to be published, so please refrain from emailing me asking once you’ve submitted. I will email you if it is chosen, and then give you a heads up when it will be live on the site.

*Submit your stories via email to recoveringbeautifully@yahoo.com*

I will be taking submissions until 1/26/2018

 

I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED!

 

 

About The Mistakes In The Book…

**Picture of baby in hopes it helps you not to hate me…**

Hey you,

I am writing this from the floor of my bathroom, because I don’t want to stir my husband from his slumber, (lucky bastard). Sleep, what even is sleep?

Anyway, I think we can all agree, that grammar and punctuation have never been my specialty. If you take a look at my blog posts, it won’t be long before you spot a stray comma or a misspelled word.  I am a story-teller, that does not make me a “writer”, clearly.

Soooo, when it was brought to my attention that there were a few mistakes in my book, I cringed.  Not because I paid someone to catch them – because obviously mistakes happen- but I cringed because the mother-freakin’ thing is already published.

Yesterday, I went in and fixed the changes, nothing major. A few misspelled words.  After this, I have to resubmit to both KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) AND Createspace (Paperback). Once I do this, it makes my paperback “unavailable” while they re-review these files for publishing, (sigh). So while they are generous enough to make it appear as those my book is flying off the shelves at such a rapid pace, that they can’t keep up with the demand and are “sold out”, the truth is — I’m just a big, fat, knucklehead who sucks at typing words. Lol.

I only discovered that this is why my book was “out of stock”, tonight. Ask me how I figured it out…

I learned it after resubmitting my mother friggin’ files AGAIN, after it was brought to my attention that some of my characters have multiple names. Example: Katie vs Sarah and Tom vs Blake vs Brandon.

I have corrected these errors, and resubmitted the files on both websites AGAIN.

So what does this mean? Well, a couple of things. First, it means my paperback will be “Temporarily Out Of Stock” for the next few hours while they review it.  Second, this means the paperback and eBook will not be linked on Amazon for a few days, so you have to search them separately.

Last, an most importantly, this means that all of you that have purchased the paperback up until this point (a few hundred of you) will have Katie called Sarah once, and Brandon called Blake twice.

Now we can look at this one of two ways. One, you can be super-pissed that you spent money on a book in which the author can’t even get the characters names straight. OR, you can think to yourself, “Dude, how cool is this! Only me and a few other people in the whole world have the limited addition “Tiffany is An Idiot” version of this book! Sweet!”

I am praying you choose number two, however, if you are angry – understandably – I will gladly buy the book from you and donate it somewhere. No questions asked, no hard feelings.

With that being said, the updated book should be available tomorrow night in paperback, if not sooner.  You can still purchase it while it is out of stock, it will just ship a couple of hours later.

I’m sorry. I love you, and thank you for sticking by me while I try to figure out what the hell I’m doing.

Book Update – There’s Good News & Bad.

Hey friends,

I’m gonna keep this brief because I have to leave the house in exactly 4 minutes.  But, I couldn’t leave without giving you this update.

The past week has been mentally exhausting.  Making decisions has never been my strong suit (spelling? Too tired.) So making a monumental decision such as publishing a book and how to go about doing it – has drained me completely.

I have spent many hours this week staring at tiny print on a computer screen, googling and YouTube-ing countless how-to articles and videos, and have gotten a collective 11 hours of sleep in 7 days.

But it is in pursuit of a dream I have had since I was a child.  My father bought me a typewriter, poem books, art kids and science experiments in hopes of awakening my creative side – and it worked.  I am finally doing it, Dad.

All of the blogs from my series are no longer there, they have been replaced with a hastily written apology/ thank you note and I do sincerely want to apologize to those of you who didn’t get to finish.

NOW FOR SOME GOOD NEWS.  I have decided to self-publish.  My book is currently in review, and will be available for pre-order on Amazon within 2 days (I will post a link when it’s ready.)

The book will launch on December 1st for $9.99! If you are looking at the price going “well dayyyyyummmm,” have no fear, there will be a “lending library” feature available for those of you who can’t afford to purchase it.  You can still read it for free for 2 weeks if someone who HAS purchased it is willing to lend!

I will be snagging a few copies and autographing them, (not that I think I’m cool enough to give autographs, but some of you have asked, lol) and will be doing some giveaways before Christmas! So if you do purchase one when the pre-orders go live, you can still enter the giveaway and if you win you can gift one to a friend.

Thank you all for your love an support, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for your love and enthusiasm.

Okay I’m late! Gotta go!!!

Love,

Tiffany

 

Book Review + Giveaway! Ha Ha Color-Me! Joke Book.

Hey friends!

I know I said I was going to stop with all the giveaway’s, so when I was asked to review this children’s book, initially, I was hesitant. Once I heard however,  what they are doing for children in need with the book, my heart soared and I jumped on the opportunity to be a part of it.  And guess what?

Not only is the book a fun way to help build your kids brain by sneakily helping them learn to read, a cool way for them to develop hand strength and fine motor skills, but it’s also a great source of distraction while you take a 5-minute “mommy-break.”

But my FAVORITE thing about this freakin’ book, is that EVERY TIME someone purchases the book for $9.99, the creators of the book will gift a copy to a child in need.  These recipients are in foster homes, hospitals, etc.

So every time you hear your child giggling while coloring, you know that somewhere, a child in need is laughing and coloring too – how amazing is that?! That seriously makes my heart so happy.

The Book.

HAHA front

The Ha Ha Color-Me! Joke Book was created by Neesha Mirchandi, and it’s a children’s book unlike any other.  Most of the pages contain a silly joke and a fun picture for the kids to color, but there are also pages containing only jokes – and a blank spot for your child to draw his/her own picture.  There are even a few pages in the back for your littles to write their own jokes!

 

20171007_152208_Film1
#me

Unfortunately, my 6-year old was at her grandparent’s house when I busted out the copy they sent me to review.  So my “book-tester” group consisted of a 3-year old, and a 1 & 1/2 year old.

When I opened the book and laid it on the table in front of them with crayons, they pounced on the crayons like ravenous sharks and immediately crawled up onto the table.

Initially, they played tug-of-war with the poor book (surprisingly it held up), until I kindly explained that they were to share, and if they couldn’t, than I would beat them with it. (Just kidding.)

20171007_123005

There were a solid 45 seconds of sharing before I had to jump back into the ring and break them up again. (Next time, I will order two books since they are so young, but knowing that two other little kids somewhere will get books as well, makes me feel a lot better about spending the money.)

20171007_122453_Film1

 

Anyway, while they were too young to grasp the humor in the joke portion of the book, they thoroughly enjoyed coloring the pages, (and the table, and the carpet.) When Aubrey comes back home tomorrow I will have her test the joke portion of the book and will update the post to reflect her verdict.

All-in-all, it’s a cute book and the kids had fun, but the very best part of this experience was knowing that the amount of fun they had was DOUBLED, because a child in need somewhere in the world got to experience the same joy they did.

Guess what?! I have an extra copy up for grabs for one of YOU to win!

To enter, just click the link and answer my prompt question, that’s it!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cbf8d1bb5/?

 

Winner will be chosen on 10/17/2017.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a copy, head over to their website and pre-order yourself one of these bad boys.

I feel it’s important to note that I was not paid, or persuaded to say any of this.  I really love the idea of cheering up children in need, and if we can make our own kids giggle, while helping other kids do the same – than that is something I can definitely help spread the word about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Important Message To My Followers.

Hey friends.

The past 5 months since I’ve started my Facebook page have been — incredible, to say the least.  Everything has happened so quickly and honestly I was not expecting any of this.

I have been averaging around 2,000 new followers a week and it’s totally blowing my mind.  I am thrilled, grateful and so, so fortunate to have you all with me on this journey.

I am also exhausted, confused and overwhelmed.

The page started as a place for me to share my writing, and it has turned into something else and I’m not sure it’s where I want it to be, honestly.

I initially loved the idea of giveaways.  I thought I could use my platform to help momma’s who are busting their butts to support their family by promoting their businesses.  I also received a lot of positive feedback from the participants in the giveaways, about how neat it was that they could enter — without being required to do anything other than answer a question.

I don’t ask for anything personally when doing these giveaways, I do them for the sole purpose of hooking my peeps up with cool stuff while helping an entrepenuer.

HOWEVER, it has started to become to much.  I receive over 20 messages a day from business owners asking me to do a giveaway for their business. Those messages are mixed in with messages from mothers and addicts reaching out for help and guidance–and THOSE messages, are the reason I started writing.

I feel like I’ve been carried out to sea in a rip-tide, my feet knocked out beneath me and I’ve been floating along and trying to make everyone happy and get everyone to like me and please every person on the planet……..and I’m drowning.

I already feel 10 lbs lighter writing this.

I recently met with a pretty influential Mom Blogger and she shared some invaluable wisdom with me, things she wished someone had told her when she first began.

The biggest thing I took away from her meeting was when she said “Figure out what your goal with the blog is–why you started– and focus on that.”

It got me thinking, my goal was never to orchestrate giveaways. It was to write from the heart, help people, make crazy videos and become a famous billionaire. (Just kidding about that last part.)

No I’m not.

Anyway.  I want to get back to me, doing what feels good to me.  What makes me happy and what I want my message to be.

I have giveaways booked on Mondays and Fridays through the 25th of this month.  After that, I will…..*sigh* no longer be doing them.

I hope that you all understand that it is nothing personal and I have truly enjoyed being able to help hopefully bring business to those who have participated so far.  But going forward I want to know that whatever long, heartfelt message I’m reading in my inbox won’t end with a “catch” from someone wanting to do a giveaway.

I am going to spend my time writing, making videos and hanging with the fam. Whew. Damn, it feels good to say that.

I feel free.  Relieved. And inspired.

Thank you all for bearing with me as I figure out what the hell I’m doing with my life.  This is all so new to me and I’m learning as I go.  Your support has always meant the world to me and I feel so grateful to have you guys with me.

THE GOOD NEWS ISSSSSSSSS………..

Starting next week, every Friday, I will be posting a new video! That’s right.  Vids are getting scheduled.  9:00 pm EST on Fridays be on the look out for a video having to do with motherhood, addiction, random life experiences, skits and whatever the hell else pops into this crazy brain of mine.

Me love you long time….

Tiff

 

We Made It On The News, Guys!

Hello friends! And a big fat hello to all my new friends that just joined in on the craziness today!

Whew. Speaking of today.  I don’t want to braaaaaggggg…..buttttt….. We made it onto the news guys! A real live news channel with reporters and teleprompters and fancy business clothes! whaaaat?!?!

In case you missed it, WAFF 48 news in Huntsville, AL did a story about my blog. I am so grateful to Steffany, a producer of the news program who follows my blog and proposed the idea to cover it on her station.  I am also grateful to the reporter, Jake Berent for focusing on the NOW, instead of exploiting the “then” part of my life. He did a really wonderful job ensuring it was a positive message. (Unlike, ahem…rhymes with “The Maily Dail.”

If you missed Jake’s story, check it out HERE.

I can’t begin to express how incredible I feel after the outpouring of love I received all day from friends, as well as people I’ve never met.  The fact that the news station was willing to run a story like this in hopes of inspiring those who are currently battling addiction, as well as offering resources after the segment–speaks volumes about the hearts of those running the program. WAFF 48 you rock!

I have also had a few people from Charlotte, NC messaging me saying they saw me on the local news there, so I’m assuming they showed it here too? (Anyone from Charlotte here? Fill me in!)

To answer a few questions I’ve been getting in my inbox:

*If you have started reading my latest series, before you get any further I recommend starting with the first series, 120 Days In- My Time In Jail.  ALL the chapters can be found on the actual blog @ http://www.Jugglingthejenkins.com. Or you can scroll down the Facebook page and find them! (But that’s a lot of work.)

*I don’t have a set schedule for videos/ live videos.  The only thing scheduled is the series chapters, and they come out on Wednesdays.  The rest of the stuff is posted shortly after it pops into this crazy brain of mine.

*I can’t answer any personal questions about my story, or the people involved because — spoilers.  And also I don’t want to incriminate anyone other than myself.

*If you are struggling or you know someone who is, please reach out to me if you need someone to listen — I will try my best to respond as quickly as possible!

*Some people have asked if I would be willing to host a sale/ share their blog/ mention there business, etc.  As much as I admire your courage in asking and desire to grow and support your business, I want this to remain a safe, pressure free environment.  If you want to offer my friends here a chance to win one of your products, I am happy to mention your business.  But if it requires them to do anything other than enter, than I would have to pass.  I like to give them the option to check out your stuff, (example: For 5 bonus entries, look at this page/ join this group/ share this blah blah blah) as oppose to forcing them. Ya know what I’m sayyyyyyyyin?

*If you want to receive an email when I publish a new post, hit the “Follow” button on the actual blog website and enter your email! Make sure you “follow” the Facebook page as well as “liking” it, that way I show up on your newsfeed! Boom.

Anyway I’ve had a long day of swimming, receiving loving text messages and eating an obscene amount of food, so I’m gonna get outta here. I just want you to know I love and appreciate each and every one of you and look forward to getting to know each of you better!

Goodnight friends!!!!!!

 

 

Let’s Clear Some Thangs Up!

I’ve included a Christmas picture of me from 1990 for no reason at all.

Some of you watched my most recent “Live” video (…Er, sorry about that) and aside from witnessing me flop my “pool toy” around, you got to hear some news I shared in regards to possibly writing a book.

Since sharing this news, my car has been egged and protestors have been posted up in my yard with signs reading: “F*** your book!” for 2 days straight… (Kidding.)

However, I have received lots of messages from you guys with opinions, advice and words of encouragement.  It has all been positive, no one has been mean or hateful (to my face) about this, so I’m incredibly grateful for all of the love you guys show me on the daily– You’re my peoples, man.

Anyway, I wanted to clear up any confusion, because I was so nervous about all the angry emoji’s I was receiving on my live that I don’t think I properly explained–so I’ll do that now.

  1. It was suggested that I take a break from sharing things pertaining to my specific life story, until I write the book and send it in it’s entirety to a certain agent.  At which point he would like to propose it to his big boss people on the top floor.  So what does this mean? Technically–nothing. Literally.  I have no deal, no one has agreed to sign me, and I have not hired any agents or editors.
  2. I have prayed about this, asked a psychic, flipped a coin and opened 10 fortune cookies in hopes of discovering the “right” path to take. Here is my predicament: A) I stop sharing my weekly blogs with you guys – in essence leaving you hanging– in hopes I’m able to strike a book deal.  Getting a book deal is highly unlikely, but possible. Anything is possible, right?  It would mean not only generating income for my fan-damily, but it will also (hopefully) inspire those who are still struggling; showing them that a purposeful life after addiction is possible. This has been my ultimate goal — hence me being insanely transparent and divulging WAY to much about my personal life to you guys. I want you to know show you that you aren’t alone, because you’re not. Or, B)I continue to share my story here on my blog for you guys — my ride or die, A-1 since day one peeps–and passing up any chance of ever sharing my story in book form.  Spending the rest of my days wondering what kind of opportunities I missed while knitting sweaters for my cats alone in my tiny home.
  3. So, it’s tricky.  I don’t have the right answer, each choice leads to a completely different future and that’s a lot of pressure.
  4. I will tell you this, my friends, and we are gonna speak hypothetically here.  I have begun the editing phase of my book.  Initially, I was going to copy and paste all the blogs I have already posted, then add the rest–the meat of the story–onto the end.  However, when I went back to do that, I realized that when I initially began blogging–I had no clue what the frig I was doing.  Misspellings, incorrect grammar and punctuation galore, it was a nightmare.  So I’m currently in the process of rewording everything.
  5. I am going to post a final chapter tomorrow and then… Take a break to sort things out.  It’s not done forever, I’m just pausing the series for now. (So shitty, I know.)
  6. Here’s what I’m thinking though, Okay?  Let’s say that me publishing a book is part of a “big plan” that the universe, God, Allah,(whatever you believe)-has in store.  Then obviously, all of you (My homies) would have first dibs.
  7. Also, the agent came up with an idea that I personally thought was awesome.  You may not, but we will give it a shot.  If someone were to consider taking my book on, they would first look at my social media accounts (crap) to see what kind of following I have. Soooooo, he suggested that I propose a trade to you guys.
  8. I have never been one to self-promote, it makes me feel weird, and really uncomfortable.  But if it will help me make a future for my family, I will paint my logo all over my van and stand in the middle of the street with a sign saying “like my damn page on Facebook!”. So here’s the deal.  Now I don’t want ya’ll to go around force-adding people to my page, no one likes that. However, if you can give your friends the run down on what I’m all about over here, and they decide they want to get in on the action, I am prepared to make a deal.
  9. If you can convince 5 of your friends to fall madly in love with me — no, wait, if you can convince 5 of your friends that they should like my Facebook page and/ or follow my blog @ http://www.jugglingthejenkins.com–and they do it, you are allowed to ask me ONE question about my story –anything you have been dying to know, and I will answer it…in 10 words or less.  If you can talk 10 friends in to liking my Facebook page – You get to ask me a question and recieve the unpublished Chapter #6 sent to your inbox. Boom. If you can convince more than 10 people–than I am moving you into my spare bedroom and we will live happily ever after.  Just kidding. I don’t have anything cool to offer after 10.  I think there’s a dusty old X-box laying around here somewhere and some leftover Easter candy.  But that’s it.
  10. Lastly, and most importantly, a few of you mentioned in my inbox that you were concerned I would become a “sell-out” and I totally understand why.  These days it’s hard to find people who are genuine, and have their followers, friends, fans, best interest at heart.  It’s really important to me that you understand that this will never be the case. I started blogging for one reason and one reason only–because I was really bored one day.  Just kidding.  I wanted to use my struggles to inspire people like me. People who feel or have felt hopeless, desperate to find the light at the end of the tunnel.  I wanted to show them they aren’t alone, and that we are all a little weird in our own way. That will never change.

I will never lose sight of why I started, no matter what happens.  I will continue to make crazy videos, write articles about motherhood, addiction, marriage and adulting.  And I will still be chatting with you guys everyday.  The only difference will be that there isn’t a super-exciting-edge-of-your-seat series to look forward to each week, no big deal, right? Lol.

Please let me know how you guys feel about this, as well as any suggestions or concerns you have.  Your excitement keeps me excited, so your opinions matter.

I love you guys and look forward to hearing from you!

P.S. Even though my sons preschool teach watched me pull out a sex toy last night on camera, things were totally cool when I dropped him off and picked him up today…So, in case you were wondering.  We’re still cool.  Poor Kaiden.

 

 

 

120 Days In-My Time In Jail. Chapter #21

 

Hey Friend!
There’s good news and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? I’ll give you the bad news, because by now you already kinda know… This blog series is no longer available on this website. I’m sorry! I have always dreamed of writing and publishing a book, ever since my Dad bought me a typewriter on my 6th birthday.
The good news is, It’s finally happening! My book is in review on the Amazon Kindle website, and within the next few days will be available for pre-order! I know you are probably still mad at me, but I hope that you understand that this a huge goal, that I am actually about to freakin’ accomplish, and I want you to be excited with meeee!
I will post a link to the book here as soon as it becomes available, as well as share it on my facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/jugglingthejenkinsblog
Thank you for being interested in my stuff, it really means more than you know. And thank you for being a part of my journey. You may not realize it, but it’s people like you that inspire me to get my lazy ass out of bed each day and create content.
Me love you long time…
Tiffany Jenkins

You Have To Watch This Message On Marriage. (Bayside Community Church)

Hi friends! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend.  Mine was great, thank you for asking. I did a lot of yard work, like, I raked leaves…With a rake, and put them in bags.  Basically this means that if you look up the word “adult” in the dictionary, you’d find a photo of me, smiling holding my rake.

Anyway, I also had the privilege of tuning into Bayside Community Church’s service live on the internet this morning (it still counts).

When I began watching, the Director of Next Generation Ministry, Matt Moore was speaking on marriage.

Realizing I need all the help I can get in that department, my ears perked up. Within moments I found myself laughing out loud.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, Pastor Matt’s delivery of the message was hilarious, inspirational and eye opening.  At times it felt as if I was watching a stand-up comic, and I was genuinely entertained throughout the entire sermon; which is rare for me, because generally I have the attention span of a 2 year old.

I was so moved by some of the points he made, that I decided to hop on here and share a few of my favorite parts.  Things that have not only helped me to see my own marriage in a new light, but things I feel anyone – regardless of their beliefs –  can benefit from.

He compared loving your spouse to caring for a vehicle, and for some reason those analogies made multiple light bulbs go off inside my head.  It was relatable, and allowed me to look at my relationship from a different perspective.

If you would rather watch the video itself, in it’s entirety,(which I’d totally recommend because this guy is awesome) than click https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBaysideCommunity%2Fvideos%2F10154434345387681%2F&show_text=0&width=560“>here . (His message on marriage begins around the 32 minute mark). Otherwise, here are a few things I took from it that I believe will benefit my own marriage positively going forward.

“Marriage isn’t supposed to be a 50-50 thing”. “It isn’t supposed to be two broken people coming together to be whole.  If two broken people come together, you are gonna have a broken marriage.”

“You have to find your completeness and your fulfilment from Christ and Christ alone, then you can go find somebody that you want to do life with. That’s how its supposed to work”.

He referred to the vehicle he currently owns, and mentioned how it has many automatic features, including a back-up camera and alarms that alert him when he gets too close to hitting something.

He had become so reliant on these features, that when he found himself in a rental car with no back-up camera, he had a moment of panic.  It was as if he was driving a car for the first time and had forgotten what to do, he had gotten so used to the cameras and alarms, that he had forgotten how to do the basics- like checking his mirrors.

He said, “I think sometimes this is true in our marriages.  I think sometimes the longer that we are married, the longer we can begin to forget or neglect to keep doing the basics.  It’s like, we get comfortable in our marriage, we get complacent.  We forget to keep doing the things that caused us to fall in love with each other in the first place”.

Pastor Matt Moore then makes reference to the time he sold his brother his car.  He told him that “She runs great, but she needs an oil change. If you do that she will be fine”.

His brother never got the oil change, and the engine blew up.  All he had to do was spend $20, and the car would still be going today.  He then shows the parallels between this specific situation, and neglecting a marriage:

“What are the little things we can do today to fix the marriage, before it blows up?”  “What if we didn’t wait until there was bitterness and hurt and unforgiveness in our relationship? What if we were proactive and we actually took care of our marriage before we HAD to, before things started going wrong?”

Okay, so, here’s where it gets really good.

Pastor Matt refers to men being goal oriented.  How they will pursue a woman in the beginning,  and once they get married its like – “goal accomplished”. Men then begin to focus on other things: Career, achievements, financial future, etc. He says:

“Often, what happens is we stop meeting the emotional needs of our wives”. “Sometimes its easier to survive our marriage, than to continue to make an effort to pursue our wives.  But guys, then we wonder why our sex life isn’t what it used to be. We wonder why our wife doesn’t respect us like she used to, maybe its because we’ve stopped meeting her emotional needs”. 

*Mic drop*

And just as I began slow clapping and violently nodding my head like, “Yes, this guy is goooood”,  he said:

“But I want to tell you, you’re not out of the woods yet ladies…”

Crap.

“In the early years, there was never a moment when your man didn’t see you without makeup.  You were perfectly done up, you had the makeup going- I mean- you used to shave your legs, ABOVE the knee”. 

I laughed and my hand brushed against my leg fur, and all laughing ceased immediately.

 “Its like those days are over – I mean whos got time for that? I’ve got to juggle kids and life and business; and then you wonder why your husband doesn’t just sit and stare at you anymore”.

Well, dang.

“You wonder why he doesn’t snuggle up to you at night – listen- that hair stubble can be painful man, lets be real for a second, right? (Audience erupts in laughter).

“Here’s what happens – guys – if you don’t feel like your physical needs are being met in a relationship, maybe you need to go out of your way to make sure that you’re meeting your wives emotional needs.”

Ayyyyy!!!! That’s what I’m saaaayin Matty, thank youuuuu.

“Ladies you don’t feel like your having your emotional needs met by your husband, maybe you need to go out of your way to make sure you’re meeting his physical needs”.

Oh.

“A lot of times what happens in marriage/relationships is we play this dangerous game with each others needs. It’s childish, its dangerous, and it is not genuine love”.

“We get married and have kids and our lives become completely centered around our kids. What happens is, you wake up one day 18 years later and realize that your spouse is just a room mate”.

(This terrified me, because we are already in the pattern on focusing solely on our children, and the little bit of time we have to ourselves, instead of focusing on one another).

He ended with this, and I loved it…

“You don’t need to be out test driving when you have a perfectly good car at home. The truth is, she might have a few miles on her, it might be a little dinged up, maybe the car’s not as “shiny” as it was when you brought it home. But you know what? It’s yours”.

“If you just make the choice to invest in what you have, instead of going out shopping for something that’s not yours, it will cost you a lot less in the long run”.  Which I interpreted as: “The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it”.

I thoroughly enjoyed this message today and as soon as I finished watching I gave my husband a great big hug and kiss.  It was a nice little reminder, that we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day rituals and routines, that we don’t take a break to nurture the relationship and enjoy the little moments.  Getting regular tune-ups and oil changes on your vehicle is crucial and necessary if you intend on keeping it for a long time.

The same can be said for marriage.  Investing time, energy and love into the marriage today, will keep it from falling apart, and will ensure that it lasts a lifetime…

Did you attend Bayside Community Church’s service today? Did you watch it live? What are your thoughts on the message?

Bayside Community Church Website: https://mybayside.church/

Bayside Community Church’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BaysideCommunity/?pnref=story

 

 

Picking My Battles, Saving My Sanity.

When I was 21, I went to my mothers house because my boyfriend at the time and I were having a fight.  I can’t remember now what it was about, but I can say with complete certainty that he was wrong, I was right, and it was all his fault… And he was a big idiot head.

Anyway, after spending some time yapping her ear off about his wrongdoings, she patted my leg and smiled.  “Something I have learned after many years, and multiple marriages is; you must pick your battles.  Not everything is worth losing your s*** over.  Some things are, but most aren’t.  And you will spend a lot of time being unhappy if you make the conscious decision to go to war over every disagreement or conflict.”

She was an incredibly wise woman.

My mother has given me tons of unwarranted advice, but this bit in particular; always stuck with me.

I have a choice. I can navigate through the day with my hypothetical fists raised, ready to attack any conflict that arises. Upon witnessing someone’s status update that I don’t agree with I can hop into the comment section like Bruce Lee and start kicking people in the face with my own irrelevant opinion. I can choose to take a small incident that I will most likely have zero recollection of 6 years from now, and blow it out of proportion

Or…

I can choose not to.

It sounds weird, but I navigate through the world surrounded and protected by this “happy bubble”, (okay-hear me out),  I really do. When I go to the store, or an event, I go into it with a positive and optimistic attitude, (most of the time).

Every now and then someone comes along and tries to pop my damn bubble.  They poke at it, push it around or toss a couple rude words at it in hopes of getting through it.  “You should really put some socks on that baby, she looks cold”-stranger at grocery store. “We no longer carry Wild Cherry Pepsi”-Taco Bell Employee.  “I can’t find my other shoe”-unnamed child, for the 3rd time this week. 

The thing is, I am in control of what I allow to infiltrate my bubble.  I have the power, and if I give in and allow myself to be tempted by conflict – I give that power away to someone else. This is why it’s so important for me to chose who is worthy of receiving my power, and the list is small.

I can tell you this, it’s not the little old lady who cut me off in the parking lot this morning (and prompted this whole thought process). Sure,  I could have honked, and flicked her off out the window.  But what would I have gained from this other than scared children in the backseat and an elevated heart rate?  I chose to let things like this go.

I’m not saying that I skip around sprinkling fairy dust on everyone while singing “Let It Go” . I’m just saying that not everything is worthy of me defending my position. I do not think it’s a good idea to always avoid conflict,  because sometimes when I do, I end up living in it.  Stewing about it. (See my previous article about the lady from Target).

It’s incredibly easy to get swept away in the currents of drama.  Before you know it you are having an online argument with a stranger in Canada about women you don’t know marching for their rights.

So how does one decide which battles to fight, and which to let go?

There is a wealth of advice that can be found on the internet depending on issues an individual may be struggling with.

WikiHow has a hilariously illustrated article titled “How To Choose Your Battles in Marriage”Office Ninjas has one about conflict in the workplace and QuickandDirtytips.com has an article about choosing your battles with kids.

In my personal opinion however, there’s no perfect answer on any of these websites.  I am my own, unique person and things that make me tick may not bother others.  And since the internet wasn’t readily available when I was 21, I had to figure it out on my own anyway.

What it boils down to is how do I want to spend my day?  Do I want to be happy or angry? Peaceful or agitated? Composed or flustered? Do I want to scream at my son for pressing the “crushed ice” button on the fridge for the 10th time, or hug him and laugh, gazing upon the frosty mess I now have covering the floor?

Do I want to scream at my husband the moment he walks in the door because he forgot to pick up milk like I asked or welcome him home with a big hug and spend the night laughing instead of fighting?

It’s up to me.  I get to pick, and the freedom that comes along with that choice is life altering.  I will always stand up for my morals and values, but I refuse to participate in every fight I’m invited to. I’ve got more important things to deal with.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to clean up a crushed ice blizzard in the kitchen.

“You will never be completely free from life’s little annoyances, but you can become free from feeling annoyed.” – Richard Carlson, author of “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff”.

 

 

 

I Won A Pair Of Leggings. The Rest Is History.

Some of you may recall a post entitled “Fundraisers & Ghost Pants; which I had written in the early days of my blogging. (If you missed it-it’s here).

In that post; I detailed my experience with other moms at my daughter’s school – and their crazy leggings.  One could even say I poked a bit of fun at said legwear.

I have been invited to tons of different groups on Facebook for various products; and I usually roll my eyes and leave them immediately.  No offense intended; it’s just that I have had no interest in purchasing; nor getting involved with selling the stuff.  It feels strange and uncomfortable to me. A lot of this probably has to do with my immense fear of rejection.  Me trying to sell you something would go like this:

“Hi, would you like to buy this cool wrap that you put on your tummy? You will be 46 pounds skinnier by tomorrow morning.”

“No thank you, Tiffany.”

“Oh my God, okay, yes you’re right. I’m an idiot.  Forget I even said anything. I’m so sorry.  Here, let me just buy you 4 wraps and send them to you for free as an apology for disturbing you, actually I’m gonna send you some flowers too. I love you. I’m stupid.”

I never wanted to be in that awkward situation like “Hey girl, I know we haven’t talked since preschool – but have I got a deal for you!”

So it goes without saying; that when I witnessed many of my friends slowly begin to change their wardrobes to Lularoe leggings with wolf faces and popsicles sticks plastered all over them – I raised an eyebrow.  I didn’t understand the hype and I certainly didn’t want to be a part of it.

Until I won a free pair of leggings.

Here’s what happened…One day I met up with my trusted friend Lindsey T. for a playdate.  Whilst our children scurried about the playground together; I couldn’t help but notice the flashy colors and wild patterns on her leggings from the corner of my eye.

“Are those them Lularoe pants thingies everyone’s going crazy about?” I asked.

“They are! They are all I wear now.  They are so friggin comfortable; it’s literally like wearing pajamas out of the house everyday.” She said.

My ears perked up.  Pajamas you say?

“Can I feel them? Is that weird?” I asked, reaching over to feel them anyway; regardless of whether she liked it or not.

They were soft and all; but I still didn’t understand what the big deal was. We continued to watch the kids play – no more Lularoe talk from that point on. I didn’t want to offend her by telling her that I would rather save the money and continue to wear my actual pajamas out of the house.

A few days later I get a message from Lindsay. “I nominated you for a Lularoe contest. You won a pair of leggings. What’s your address” She asked.

Now we are talking.  I damn sure wasn’t gonna fork over any money for these things – however “free” is my middle name, girl, send em on over.

untitled-pnguhoikj2 days later I received a package in the mail.  Now I don’t know about you; but packages are always fun – no matter how old you are.  I snatched it from my mailbox and gleefully skipped up to my front door.  I scurried passed my husband seated on the couch while carefully avoiding eye contact – I didn’t feel like explaining and I was eager to put these damn leggings on and see what all the hype was about.

I locked myself in the bathroom and opened it up.

The first thing I noticed was a small box of “Nerds”. I debated for a moment about whether or not it was a good idea to eat candy before trying to squeeze my fata** into spandex-but gave in and inhaled the entire box in one swig. uh  There was also a hand written thank you card from the consultant – which I thought was super sweet.  She took the time to write me a lil letter. I love that. I crunched my Nerds around in my mouth as I began putting the leggings on.

They were my favorite colors.  Purple and black.  How the hell did this girl know that? What kind of sorcery was this? Was she a spy?  Perhaps she was a witch with special powers. I am still not sure but either way; I was grateful.

I pulled the leggings up around my waist and did a little dance to see how they felt.  I did various yoga poses, some cheerleading moves and finished with the robot.  There was no constriction anywhere; these leggings bent and moved with me.

They were nice; but I still didn’t get what the fuss was about.  I walked into the living room and plopped onto the couch; confused and a little disappointed. It was in that moment that the true magic of these leggings revealed itself to me.  If you are a woman – you will understand what I’m about to say…l

The fabric was so soft; that it didn’t cut into my rolls whatsoeverIn other words– I didn’t have to worry about my intestines being smushed when I sat my fat-a** down.  I have recently put on a few pounds and was always adjusting my shirts while seated because whatever pants I wore cut my stomach in half.  The only way to feel a moment of relief was to unbutton my jeans and release the Kraken. These leggings literally felt like I was naked from the waist down – I sh*t you not.  I felt so free and warm and snuggly and….happy…

I wore these leggings for 31 hours straight.  Did you hear me? I wore these from 3pm on Tuesday, to 10pm on Wednesday. You can judge me if you want – I don’t even care. I would probably still be in them if my daughter didn’t call me out –

“Ew are those the pants from yesterday Mom? Gross”

“Um you know what else is gross? Dipping your lollipops in ketchup- but you don’t hear me hatin’ on you. So zip it”.

She was right though. It was time to take them off. I changed into a pair of jeans and it wasn’t the same. They were heavy and had a zipper and pockets and it was TOO MUCH.

Get this– The very next day; my new best friend Lindsey- entered me in another legging contest and again…I won.  Shut the front door.

Listen; to say I was excited was an understatement. This time I knew what I was winning and I couldn’t wait. If I played my cards right- I could alternate these 2 pairs of leggings and wear them everyday for the rest of my life.

untitled.png6fyuvh.pngThey came 2 days later sent with another sweet letter; this time from Sarah Gaston. I furiously ripped them open and put them on immediately.  The pattern was gorgeous and I closed my eyes and let out a heavy exhale of gratitude as the familiar feeling of angels hugging my legs washed over me.

That night I witnessed my first “Shop the box” on Facebook live with Morgan Heinert.  I’d seen a few before but didn’t pay them much attention.  This time I was laser focused on how this s**t went down – because I wanted more.

It’s much more intense than I initially realized. How it works is: the consultant has a box of inventory; she opens it live in front of a group of ravenous legging/skirt/shirt/dress seeking women on Facebook.  If you see something you want; you must type “sold” in the comments before anyone else. That’s it – the clothing is yours.  It gets intense in there. It’s almost like being at an auction or gambling.  Your palms get sweaty and you are on the edge of your seat waiting for the perfect leggings to flash across the screen.

If you see a pair you love – you have to be quick or they are GONE. “Okay Tiffany; well I’m sure they have another pair available-“ NO! They DON’T! This is the thing! All the outfits are limited editions.  In other words – if you don’t snag something you like; you are s*** out of luck.  You have to pray the consultant receives this item again in the future- or find other consultants and check out their stash. They don’t all carry the same inventory – this is what makes it so exciting.

That night I noticed a pair of leggings I liked-they were the most “toned-down” of all the wild patterns I saw. I needed them. My fingers moved like lightening: Tiffany J sold #87″ – ‘enter‘…

 

What the hell am I doing? Why the hell did I get so serious about those leggings all the sudden – like – I was ready to fight someone about them. I don’t know what happened that night – I bought 2 more things. (Don’t tell my husband)…No seriously.

I never buy new outfits for myself – I’m always so busy being a “mom” that sometimes I forget that I am also a woman; worthy of a treat for myself every now and then.  (I’m probably gonna treat myself next month too – again – don’t tell my husband).

img_20170130_223249

Anyway I want to give a special shoutout to Morgan Heinert & Sarah Gaston for my free leggings. Actually, I’m not sure if I should be thanking you.  You have awakened something inside of me that I never knew was there.  A desire to burn every pair of jeans I own and an incessant need to hunt for cool leggings.

Some will say I’m crazy; that I’ve lost my mind and have been swept up into a fad that will one day fade. But it made me happy to receive gifts in the mail; and as someone who wipes butts and cleans up puke all day – I’d say there’s nothing wrong with doin a lil somethin for myself.

Anyway. That’s what happened. One minute I’m sitting on the couch minding my own business- next thing you know I’m hosting an online party for Lularoe.

This means all my buds can join me for a night of violent bidding and laughs.  I’m not gonna stalk ya’ll about it – (I might) I’ll try not to.  It will be fun and you should watch. (I’m not just saying this because I get cool prizes if you join me). Okay…..Part of me is; but most of me just wants you there for support!

The end.

Morgan’s Page

Sarah’s Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To My Friend With The Broken Heart…

 

Hey beautiful,

I see you standing there; your arms crossed tightly across your chest as the tears stream down your red cheeks. I see you wipe them away and attempt to smile despite the immense amount of emotional pain you are in. You are gazing off into the distance; replaying in your mind memories of the time you and him spent together and shaking your head in disbelief.

Yesterday you two were sitting on the couch together; snuggled under the blankets watching a movie and today – today it’s suddenly and surprisingly…Over.

The future you had envisioned has disappeared right before your eyes; snatched away from your grasp and you are left here questioning everything you’ve ever believed to be true. You are asking me what you did to deserve this. You say you feel broken; and are wondering why you aren’t enough for him. What could you have done differently to make him want to stay. I need you to hear me when I say this; nothing – there is nothing you could have done differently.

Because he was not the one for you…

You are special. You are unique. Your eyes, your nose, your hair, your laugh and your smile – they are all so special. God has created you perfectly. He knew what he was doing when he made you; and he knew that one day; you would be with the one who loved you completely and unconditionally.

You are a treasure worth cherishing and unfortunately for him – he didn’t recognize the gift he had been given in you. His rejection- is God’s protection.

Him letting you go; is Gods way of freeing you up so that his grander plan for you can unfold. This man was a chapter in your life – but this is not how your story will end.

You will need to experience the pain and sadness, as you mourn the memories and comfort that came along with the familiarity of that relationship. It will be hard as hell; and there will be moments of weakness – but I need you to remember that there is a much bigger picture here; one more beautiful than you can begin to imagine. It has been hand painted by the Lord himself to perfection. This pain won’t last forever; and once it is over you will look back and realize that the end of this chapter- was the beginning of the best one yet.

You value is not measured by a mans inability to see it. Your self worth is not defined by whether or not you are someone’s “Woman Crush Wednesday”. It starts from within; and once you recognize your worth-it will make it much more difficult for you to give it away to someone who can’t afford it.

This life is so short my friend; and you should never have to question someone’s love for you on a regular basis. The right man will cherish you. He will spend each day ensuring that you know how special you are to him. You were placed on this earth not to be betrayed and taken advantage of; but to thrive- to love and to be loved. You are strong; you are beautiful; and you are worthy of that love. You deserve that kind of love.

I’m not saying you should move on right away. What I am saying, is that you should envision moving forward. It’s okay to feel numb, sad and weak – but don’t live there. Grieving is a process of healing and coming to terms with the loss of what could have been; while adjusting to how things are now. He was a huge part of your life; and it will take some time to get past this – there are no deadlines here and it’s important that you know that it’s okay to not be okay. As your friend I promise you though; that you are not alone; and I will be here holding your hand every step of the way on your journey to the next chapter.

I love you and I am so sorry that you are hurting. But I know in my heart of hearts that there will come a day when you and I are sitting on the back porch of your beautiful home; looking through the window as the man that God has made for you chases your beautiful children around the house while they laugh hysterically. That day will come and when it does – you will realize that this man letting you go – was the greatest gift he could have given you.

You will get through this; I promise.

Tiffany

P.S. Let me know if you want to go egg his house – I’m totally down….

 

The Incident.

Listen. I know it’s Wednesday. On Wednesdays I usually post about my time behind bars but I have decided to put it off until next week because we don’t have Wifi here so the laptop won’t work. 

But something happened tonight-and I’m about to use up all my damn data to tell you about it. Because I can’t sleep. I’m too scared (and angry); and I’m hoping that if I talk about it, it will help me.

Check it out. It’s my second night in my glorious new house (which I adore). I have had an exhausting day that consisted of opening boxes, folding clothes that had been lazily thrown into garbage bags, and moving furniture. 

I was beyond grateful when my husband turned to me tonight and said “You wanna go to bed early ?”. “Um, hell yes I do you friggin genius. That’s the greatest idea I’ve ever heard” I replied.

I slipped into my comfy jammies, washed my face and brushed my teeth..

(Okay those last two were lies, I just put pajamas on and got in bed; I was too tired to worry about personal hygiene and I knew for a fact that no making out was about to be goin on).

Anyway, there I was, snuggled up next to my boo; my mind running through important things like: Did I turn the stove off? I wonder what college Kaiden will attend. Too bad I didn’t go to college. I wonder if Chloe will go to college. She will probably get a scholarship for basketball cuz she’s so damn tall.. when all the sudden my husband shoots straight up in bed.

“What babe? Are you okay?” I asked checking to see if I pissed my pants because he scare the shi* out of me.

“Yeah, sorry. I thought….Nothing I’m good”. He said, lying back down.

I immediately assumed he had been attacked by an invisible ghost. Or he had a bad dream, or maybe he heard an ax murderer outside the window who was coming to kill us any moment now. 

“You sure you’re good honey?” I asked once more. “Yes. It was just a bad dream, I love you.” He said.

“I love you to booger bear pumpkin patch peanut butter pie pants”, I said, as I rolled back over.

I snuggled back into a comfortable position and felt myself begin to drift off. I was in that weird state between conciousness and sleep.

That’s when it happened…

I felt the hair by my face begin to move on its own. Then I felt something gently tickle my cheek. When my cheek twitched in response, its wings began fluttering right next to my ear. My hand shot up to my ear with lightning speed-just in time to feel the crispy motherf*** palmetto bug as it flew away somewhere near my head into the darkness.

It was in my f***ing hair. I touched it with my f***ing fingers. And now-it was gone. Somewhere. It was alive and well somewhere in my bed.

I let out an animalistic howl and shot out of bed as if it was on fire. I began hyperventilating; frozen in fear.

“What babe?!” My husband jumped up and asked. How dare he ask me what. He knew. He  already knew. He knew because it touched him first; causing him to jump up in bed.

Instead of telling the truth and saving me from this traumatizing event; he played it off as if he had a bad dream. I WILL MURDER HIM.

There was a roach in my effing hair.” I said, still frozen in place. “Durrrr, uhhh, ya I thought I felt it too” he said in a dumb stupid voice.

I walked to the living room and sat on the couch; attempting to hold back my tears…

*Side note: I had an incredibly traumatizing experience as a child involving hundreds of palmetto bugs. Shortly after that I began having night terrors daily; so much so that my father thought I perhaps needed counseling. If someone offered me 1 million dollars to touch a roach- I would have to pass on the money. I am not kidding, it is not a joke. I would chose death over a bathtub of roaches*

Anyway. I was choking back the tears; because my past experiences with bug encounters had proven that if I began crying, I would be unable to stop.

My husband came out to the living room almost immediately after me and began scrolling through his phone.. 

I blinked twice to clear my vision; because I knew his ass was not out on this couch instead of hunting down that bastard and murdering him and everyone he loved.

My eyes were not decieving me. Homeboy was scrollin without a care in the world.

“Um, so, I’m not trying to be an asshole here, but that roach is still in there. So.. why …Why are you out here and not in there looking for it?!” I asked, genuinely baffled.

Any man that has ever known and loved me, knows how deeply rooted this irrational fear of mine truly is. They know that it actually mentally f***s me up if they don’t present the corpse of the bug for me to view prior to flushing it. So why was he acting like he didn’t care?

“What do you want me to go look for it? You probably scared him away.” He said, not glancing up from his phone…

Me: *stares blankly in shock*

Him: scroll, scroll, scroll.

Me: *realizing the more seconds that pass the harder it will be to locate this unwanted guest*

Him: scrolly scroll scrolllll

“Drew….Are you f***ing kidding me. Yes I want you to find him or I will never be able to enter that room again.” I said.

“Jesus Christ” he said, slamming his phone down and heading to our room. 

After 30 seconds had passed; he came back to the living room and began scrolling….

Me: “So, no luck?”

Him: “Yeah, he’s gone” *not looking up from phone*

Me: “Say you swear to God”

Him: “Dude, I’m not playing this game right now.”

Me: ” Say it, say you swear to God”

Him: “I already told you-”

Me: *shouting* “SAY IT!!!!!!!”

Him: “You’re ridiculous…I’m going to bed”.

..And he did….He got up…And went to bed. In the roach room. He didn’t swear to God which means he didn’t kill it. It’s alive…And it’s in there.

I want to go dump water on my husband. I want to stick a mousetrap to his ballsack. I want to shoot him in the ankle with a BB gun. Because he doesn’t love me enough to kill the roach. 

He’s snuggled up all comfy in bed and I’m crinkled up on our leather couch with no pillow or blanket- in fear for my life. 

If he loved me he would still be looking for it. He would look all night until he found and slayed the beast for his lady.

I know I’m being emotional and irrational. But I feel like a man’s duties include: taking out the garbage, lifting heavy things, opening jars and killing bugs. Like, it’s in the job description of a man. If I wash and fold your mother effing underwear- you need to kill roaches for me. Plain and simple.

I can’t sleep in that room ever again and it’s only my second night here .. he thinks I’m joking but I’m literally going to sleep in Aubreys bed with her from now on. Maybe switch it up some nights and sleep in Chloe’s crib with her. I’ll sleep in the f***ing bathtub. But I’m not sleeping in that room until Roger the roach is history.

If you guys are watching the news tomorrow and there’s a report of a woman smothering her husband with a pillow….You never saw this, Kay?

3 Things I Do As A Wife; To Improve The Quality Of My Marriage.

 

*Disclaimer: These are all things I do personally. I am not a psychologist, marriage counselor or guru of any kind. So take my suggestions with a grain of salt. Every couple is different; and different approaches work for different people. These things have worked wonders for me; so I wanted to pass them on*

Happy Monday friends! I would first like to give a shout out to Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. for being so brave; we sure could benefit from his peaceful leadership these days. The difference he made in this world is the only reason I am not annoyed that I have 3 children currently running around my house instead of at school.

img_20160722_185248Anyway, ladies -this post is for you today; annnnnd you’re probably not gonna like it. (I’m sorry in advance.) The reason I feel it might rub you the wrong way is because, some of the things I am about to say; probably go against some of your beliefs – rather; some of your “habits”.

I want to talk about being a good wife. We spend a lot of time focused on what our lazy ass husbands/boyfriends/ baby daddy’s could do to improve; but do we ever take a good, hard, honest look inward to see if there is anything we could be doing to improve the quality of our relationship? I can only speak for myself here-but if you were to ask me “what I would like my husband to work on” I would promptly pull a long scroll out of my back pocket, unroll it, and spend the next 10 minutes listing off various quirks and habits I would erase permanently if given the chance.

Yet; if someone asked me what “Ipersonally’ need to work on”, my answer would probably be; “a tan, that’s about it.”

img_20160722_211147I am not a perfect wife; not even close. I have many character defects that I attempt to rid myself of daily. My husband has tried to give me “constructive criticism” in the past; and my eyes immediately turned black, my claws came out, and vulgarities shot out of my mouth like bullets from a gun. He decided it best that he keeps his opinions about me to himself from then on.

While it does help keep the peace; it robs me of an opportunity to grow toward being a better wife for him. Sometimes I walk around with the idea that “I work so hard around the house and take such care of our children; he should be thankful for me and everything I do.” And while this may be true; I must remember that it wasn’t my ability to wash dishes and change multiple diapers simultaneously that attracted him to me initially.

It was my silly personality, my spontaneity, my smile and my laugh (okay probably not this 13-13one, my laugh sounds like a cow being tickled).  So now; if more often than not, my fun loving personality has been replaced with an anxious, frenzied disposition and my smiling face looks like more like a character in a scene from “Night Of The Living Dead”; I have somewhat cheated him out of the person he fell in love with.

Below are 3 things I do to ensure, that I am being the best partner I can.

 

1) Don’t let yourself ‘go’– Strangely enough; I actually received this advice from my father. His exact words were, “Whatever you do; don’t let yourself go. Make sure you make an effort from time to time to look good for Drew-don’t let having a ring on your finger be an excuse to stop working on yourself physically.”

Okay, so at first I was offended. I was all like “Ummmm, thanks dad; I wasn’t planning on turning into Shrek after we got married, cool advice.” Over time, however, I realized how imperative this advice actually was. Kids, exhaustion, and time constraints all make it pretty difficult to take care of myself. I am too busy giving my all to 4 other people; ensuring their needs are always met. This leaves me with little time to workout and doll myself up regularly. Besides; I rarely leave the house;img_20161219_184754 so what the hell is the point of wearing makeup and brushing my hair?

 

 

20 pounds later I found myself waddling through my hallways with my hair looking like a birds nest while donning sweatpants and my husbands t-shirt.  I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought, “Okay I know love conquers all, but there is no way this look I’m rocking right now is a turn on for my husband.” Most days; I attempt to throw some mascara on, slap on some lipgloss and wear real pants… (most days).

img_20160909_155152
A little bit of effort goes a long way

Not only is my husband all like “Dayum girrrrl!”, but more importantly; I feel better about myself. At least until one of the kids poops on me). In my personal experience; when I push myself to exercise a

little and make better food choices; I am a much happier wife; exuding positive energy instead of nervous, hostile energy.

2) I have mastered the art of biting my tongue – Okay, this one is tough. I regularly feel inclined to follow my husband around the house, lean over his shoulder and critique his every move when I feel he isn’t doing something the way I believe he should. Something my mother once told me that I keep in the back of my mind at all times is to “pick my battles”.  Imagine if your boss followed you around at your job and pointed out everything you were doing wrong; and insisted on showing you the correct way to do it. Now visualize him giving you a progress report of your performance multiple times a day. It would drive you nuts. cam00344

A home should be a man’s sanctuary.  The place he goes to unwind after a long day of work. The last thing he needs is to feel like he is still on the clock; after he comes home.(I know, moms never clock out, that’s what makes us superheroes). I try to take it easy on him. I want him to enjoy being around me, so I generally let the miniscule things that bug me go. He does so many wonderful things; that I find it petty to make a fuss about trivial issues.  Now I’m not saying to internalize your feelings of anger and resentment. What I am saying is; if it’s imperative to the foundation of your relationship – by all means- discuss it, calmly. But if he leaves a dish in the living room for the thousandth time when he knows I hate it; I let it go. That dish is not worth inviting unnecessary turmoil into my life. It’s not as if he is trying to drive me nuts purposefully; (men are just…erm…forgetful.)

I know you are probably saying to yourself “but, but, but; he is so lazy, he could do more, he’s not as involved as he should be; etc.” I get it, I really do. But he already has a mother; he20160125_182044 doesn’t need two. I am his partner, friend and lover. We are a team.

It may feel like by expressing my wants and needs on the spot constantly, I am helping him become my ideal man. In actuality; all I am doing is making him feel like he isn’t good enough, and nothing he does is right. Instead I try building him up; encouraging him, respecting him, complimenting him, and being vocal about my appreciation of him. It is my job to love him; not “fix” him.

3) Have fun – life is not that serious – I am going to wrap it up with this. There was a time; when I became so caught up in schedules, housework, school and raising children; that I actually forgot that life only happens one time. You get one go round – that’s it. You don’t get to hit the reset button and start over whenever you want. When our time on earth is over, it is over. (unless you believe in reincarnation; but we can get into that another time.)

img_20161008_215151When I realized that there is so much more to life than working, paying bills, changing diapers and counting down the days until the kids reach their next milestone; so that they can be more independent and “things will get easier”- everything changed.

It is up to me to find joy and happiness in each moment. It is my choice whether I merely “exist”; just going through the motions of my day to day; or if I grab life by the horns and make it my b****.

I like to mix things up around my house.  I burst out in song while cooking my husband dinner,11178277_10153181972770428_6150296687537354471_n I have an impromptu dance party when a commercial comes on with music. I interrupt my husbands “Facebook scrolling” with an idiotic series of knock-knock jokes and I jump out of hiding spots to scare him when he least expects it.  In return; he squeezes my water bottles when I’m mid-sip; soaking me in water. He locks me out of the car when I return from getting something from the gas station and drives away while the kids laugh hysterically.

I can’t peacefully take a shower, because I have a deep-rooted fear that my husband is going to burst in at any moment and dump ice on my head; because he has done it 7 times and counting. I have gotten him 4 times; unless you count the time I missed and flooded the bathroom; in that case I got 5.

img_20160603_170100My point is, take a second and shake off the mundane routine. Take a moment to remember what it was like in the beginning; before all of the responsibility of marriage and raising kids became a reality. Strive to recreate that time with your significant other. My husband and I belly laugh with each other at least once a day. We create those silly moments for ourselves to enjoy. It is up to us to keep the passion alive –because no one else is going to do it for us.  It takes two of us to make our marriage work; and I try to check myself each day to ensure I am doing everything within my power; to be a kick-ass wife..

ALSO!

If you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman; you absolutely should.  His New York Times best-selling book has transformed millions of relationships. Or- you can take The 5 Love Languages quiz here and  find out yours. (I swear he didn’t pay me to say that; I just really believe in the benefit of his book… However if you see this; Mr. Chapman and wanna toss me a couple bills I won’t be mad.)img_20160722_185248

120 Days In-My Time In Jail. Chapter #7

Brandi was sitting on the edge of her bunk and I noticed her foot was tapping the ground rapidly as she waited for me to begin my story.

“When I was arrested, I was arrested at my home.  I shared that home with my boyfriend, and he is a Deputy for this county.” I said.  I watched as her jaw hung open as she inched closer to the  edge of her bed.  “I had been doing pills, everyday behind his back…..for 2 & 1/2 years.  When it got really ba-” My story was interrupted by a sudden flurry of movement in the corner of my eye. I looked to my left and noticed all of the girls were running full speed back to their cells.

Our bunkies ran into the cell where Brandi and I had been seated and swiftly began making their beds, a look of horror on their faces. “What the hell is going on?” I asked, standing up and glancing down at my bed, wondering if I should fix mine up too for some reason.  Brandi looked out into the day room and I watched as the realization of what was happening washed over her face.

“Um, hello? Can someone please tell me what is happening? Why is everyone freaking out.” I asked straightening the edges of my sheets. Brandi looked up at me from the floor where she was suddenly straightening out the contents of her bin and said only one word…

“Riggins.”

“Huh? Riggins? What the hell is a Riggins?”

“No one told you?!” She said

“No, can you? Please? Is my life in danger? Like, what the f*** is going on?” I asked, simultaneously confused and terrified.

Before she could answer I heard the door of the dayroom slam shut, and our entire pod fell silent. I could hear a set of keys jingling and a pair of sneakers tapping the floor as the person wearing them jogged up the stairs. I sat on the edge of my bed observing my cell mates.  They were frozen in place, a look of terror on their faces – it was as if the president of the United States had just walked in and was hand selecting people to go to war.

“You nasty hoes wash your P***y’s today?!” The guard yelled from the top tier. “I know some ah ya’ll stank bitches is on day 2 of no shower witcho nasty asses.”

Um…..What?

“Ay! Da f*** I tell you about making sure deez beds was made when I came in? Ohhhh ya’ll thought Deputy Flower was on tonight, huh? That’s why you just said f*** it and let ya shit stay messy. Well surprise motha f***ers!”

The guard was making her rounds across the top tier when she suddenly came into view across from our cell.  I expected a man beast of a woman to come bounding around the corner.  This lady was 5 ft 2 in. but something told me her size was irrelevant.

I watched her move quickly past the cells, analyzing the state of each one.  She began jogging down the stairs and heading straight for our cell, a look of determination in her eyes. For some reason, I suddenly felt like I was about to s**t my pants.

She glanced into our cell and continued walking, but then I heard her sneakers ‘squeak’ as she stopped short and backed up.  She looked in our cell again and began laughing as she unhooked her keys from her belt and opened our door.

She was laughing and shaking her head as she entered and then she stopped …and stared into my eyes with a look I can only describe as the look your mother gives you when she’s about to beat your a**.

“Well, well, well….what we got here? You must be new.” She said, talking to me. “Man that’s messed up, ya’ll didn’t give her the heads up? Ya’ll didn’t educate her bout Riggins didja?” She said, looking at my cell mates. “Well I’ll just have to introduce myself then. What’s up crack head, I’m Riggins, and I’m gonna make you wish you never stepped foot in my jail.”

She walked toward me and bumped me as she ripped the entire mat off of my bunk and threw it into the middle of the dayroom.  I could feel everyone’s eyes on me, and my face began burning with embarrassment.  “Ima teach you how to make your bed right. Come on.” She bounded out to the dayroom and stood with her arms crossed, waiting for me to exit my cell.

I walked over to her and stood above my mat, I wasn’t sure what exactly she wanted me to do. “So should I make my-” Before I could finish she leapt over to where I was standing and got about an inch from my face, and began screaming at the top of her lungs while looking me dead in the eyes.

“Did I mother***ing ask you to talk mother***er? No, I don’t think so. Don’t say another mother***ing word unless you want me to throw your nasty ass in lock. Now close your mouth, and make your G**damn bed, hoe.” She said, stepping back to give me room.

I could feel the tears forming in my eyes and tried with everything in me to not let them fall, to no avail.  I began sobbing as I got down on my hands and knees in front of every woman in my pod and began making my bed. It was incredibly demeaning to have to get down on the floor like a child and make my bed in front of my peers. I secretly hoped she would realize that I was new here, and give me a break….. She did the opposite.

“Oh my God. Look at this.  Hey ya’ll, hey! Look down here right quick.  This girl over here cryin’ bout makin her damn bed.” I heard a few snickers from the women and I cringed, thinking about how I was trapped with these people for God knows how long, and now they know what a p***y I am. “This bitch here probably ain’t used to havin’ to do chores.  She been too busy getting high and s***in dick on the streets to worry bout making her damn bed at home.” She leaned down and placed her hands on her knees, getting eye level with me. “Your in my house now, hoe.” She said, sneering at me.

“I would like this whiney little junkie to be an example to all ya’ll.  You bitches wanna act hard out on them streets, but when your in here, you ain’t shit. Right now, I want all ya’ll to take your sheets off your bed and make them damn beds perfectly – you know how I like it- when your done, take the sheets off again and remake them.  You can stop when Inmate Johnson here makes her bed right.  I’ll be back to check on ya’ll in a few, don’t be comin out them cells till your done” she said walking away. I heard the women begin groaning and pulling their sheets off, cursing and talking about how they were going to beat my ass when the doors unlocked.  Deputy Riggins had almost made it out and stopped.  She turned back around and began walking toward me as silence once again fell upon the pod.  I felt myself tense up as she leaned close to me, putting her mouth right next to my ear.

“I know what you did Johnson, Chuck is a good friend of mine.  You shouldn’t have done him like that when he loved you.  Best believe I’m going to make sure that while you are here, you are gonna pay for what you did.” She said, roughly patting me on the back and heading toward the door. “One more thing”- she yelled over her shoulder as she walked out of the pod-“Make sure the minute those cells unlock for you to come out, ya’ll let this girl know how much you appreciate her, for making ya’ll make your beds over and over” She laughed as the door slammed shut behind her……..

 

 

120 Days In – My Time In Jail. Chapter #6

Hey Friend!
There’s good news and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? I’ll give you the bad news, because by now you already kinda know… This blog series is no longer available on this website. I’m sorry! I have always dreamed of writing and publishing a book, ever since my Dad bought me a typewriter on my 6th birthday.
The good news is, It’s finally happening! My book is in review on the Amazon Kindle website, and within the next few days will be available for pre-order! I know you are probably still mad at me, but I hope that you understand that this a huge goal, that I am actually about to freakin’ accomplish.
I will post a link to the book here as soon as it becomes available, as well as share it on my facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/jugglingthejenkinsblog
Thank you for being interested in my stuff, it really means more than you know. And thank you for being a part of my journey. You may not realize it, but it’s people like you that inspire me to get my lazy ass out of bed each day and create content.
Me love you long time…
Tiffany Jenkins

 

So, This Happened.

My Husband is watching basketball, and I am bored – so I’ve decided to take this opportunity to tell you all a quick, very embarrassing story.  The main reason I am writing this, is because if I appear to be busy typing something important, my husband won’t make me watch basketball with him….shhhhh….

Anyway, the year was 2008-ish.  Social media then, was nothing like it is now.  It had only just begun to take off, people still did things and lived their lives around that time.  So, here’s the deal, I had gone to Victoria’s Secret that morning, because I hadn’t updated my underwear style since 7th grade.  I was around 23 and lived with my boyfriend, so I figured it would be nice if he happened to catch glimpses of cute lacey little undies, instead of my regular Ninja Turtle granny panties.

When I got home from the mall, I went into my room to check out my new stuff.  I had been home alone and decided what the hell-let me try some of these bad boys on.  I modeled my new stuff in the mirror, and the idea hit me out of nowhere – I should take cute pics in them and send them to my man.  I never did stuff like that, so I decided I probably should, you know – to keep the spark alive.

Anywho, I put my camera on a self timer and began posing as it snapped the pics,. Like seriously, there was a second there where I thought I was on the Victoria’s Secret Runway, I was not messin around.

Once I was satisfied with the 600 pictures I had taken, I decided to download a picture editing app to make them look fancy by adding filters and what not. Keep in mind this was all new to me, but I was fascinated that the ability to edit pictures myself was a reality.  So I open my Appstore and type in “Picture Editor.” The very top one had an icon of a little camera.  Awesome.  I downloaded it, and accepted all their random terms and conditions quickly so I could get down to business with editing.  I began uploading the photos I liked to alter them into sexy little masterpieces.  I made some black and white, some were sepia and others had a beautiful vignette around the outer edges. I don’t want to bragggg but – they looked awesome.  Once I finished, I changed back into my normal clothes and went outside to smoke a cigarette – (yes I smoked back then, and photoshoots are exhausting, I needed a break.)

I stubbed the cigarette out into the ashtray and went back inside and I immediately noticed my phone was lighting up with a new text.  It was from my sister in New York.  The subject line had a question mark, so I plopped down on the couch to see what it was all about.  I expanded her text – and almost s*** my pants. My jaw hit the floor and I immediately began sweating profusely.

It was a picture…of my ass….that I had just taken 15 minutes before….

What? Huh? How? Kill me.  I called her immediately to ask how she got it.  I asked how the hell she snuck into my damn house without me knowing and how long she had been there. She informed me that her male coworker had brought it to her attention….Whattttttt?

I asked her how the hell he got that photo as I began searching my home for hidden cameras.  Once she explained to me what had happened, I wanted to dig a hole, crawl into it- never to emerge again.

FunFact: Instagram is not a photo editing app.  Another Fun Fact: It is imperative that you read the terms and conditions before accepting them, or you may just end up linking your Facebook to your Instagram.  If you follow this advice, you may just avoid giving your male 10th grade social studies teacher, your boyfriends mom and your grandma a front row seat to your personal peep show.

It took me 45 minutes to figure out how to get the pictures off and delete the app. FML.

The End.

120 Days In-My Time In Jail. Chapter #5

Hey Friend!
There’s good news and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? I’ll give you the bad news, because by now you already kinda know… This blog series is no longer available on this website. I’m sorry! I have always dreamed of writing and publishing a book, ever since my Dad bought me a typewriter on my 6th birthday.
The good news is, It’s finally happening! My book is in review on the Amazon Kindle website, and within the next few days will be available for pre-order! I know you are probably still mad at me, but I hope that you understand that this a huge goal, that I am actually about to freakin’ accomplish.
I will post a link to the book here as soon as it becomes available, as well as share it on my facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/jugglingthejenkinsblog
Thank you for being interested in my stuff, it really means more than you know. And thank you for being a part of my journey. You may not realize it, but it’s people like you that inspire me to get my lazy ass out of bed each day and create content.
Me love you long time…
Tiffany Jenkins

120 Days In-My Time In Jail. Chapter #3

I had only tried meth once in my life.   One little puff – and I hated it.  However, as an addict, if someone offers you drugs, regardless of the brand, you do them. Before I could open my mouth to say “hell yes“, Ol’ pain in the ass (pun intended) Ilene threw a fit.  “These ain’t your drugs to offer to anyone.  I only gave you some because you went in and got em, I don’t have enough to keep sharing- sorry 4 eyes.” To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  There is nothing worse then anticipating being high, then something prohibiting that from happening-especially if you are on day 4 of detoxing.

I was consumed by rage. I contemplated murdering both of them and taking the drugs for myself, but there were no weapons available, luckily for them.  I continued fantasizing about how I could get those drugs, I had devised a few different plans, all equally absurd – one involved repelling down from the ceiling while they napped and grabbing them out of her pocket. However, I was not Tom Cruise and this was not mission impossible so I scrapped that idea. Then a voice over the intercom interrupting my thought process. “Johnson-roll it up, you are going to Gen Pop.”

I glanced over at my cell mates looking perplexed, “So, was that English or ? What the hell did she say”?  Destiny laughed at my apparent ignorance and let me know that woman basically said to gather my belongings, because they are moving me to general population, another word for ‘one big room filled with a shit ton of criminals’.

I tried to act cool, like it was no big deal that I was about to enter a den of ravenous animals in various stages of drug withdraw suffering from undiagnosed mental problems and rage issues, but inside I was freaking out.  I gathered my mat and sheet-which took all of 4 seconds, and stood by the gate, waiting to be let out.  When the guard slid the door open, I turned around and smiled at my room mates. “It was nice meeting you guys”!  I said cheerfully, but they were too busy trying to avoid eye contact with the guard to even look up to bid me farewell.  They should really teach etiquette classes here, I think I’m gonna write someone a letter about that.

Anyway, the guard led me down a long corridor with my hands and ankles shackled.  The metal was digging into my Achilles tendon and it was incredibly painful.  “Um, excuse me, officer…” “Quiet in the hallways.”….”Okay, it’s just th-” ….”NO TALKING IN THE HALLWAYS!” ….”Kay”.  I was immediately brought back to my elementary school days.  Walking quietly in a straight line and following orders. I felt like a f***ing child. Last week I was managing a restaurant, and today I’m getting screamed at for saying words.

Alright, I’m going to undo these shackles and send you in with Miss Flower.” Awww Miss Flower, she sounds nice. He unlocked my chains, and my ankles immediately felt better.  I walked into the dark room and found Miss Flower standing there with her hand on her gun. “Take your clothes off, please.” Miss Flower demanded. “Woah woah woah, we just met, it’s a little soon don-” She interrupted before I could finish my joke. “Jesus Christ, you are literally the millionth person to say that shit to me. Take your g** damn clothes off and put your hands on the wall, now.” I wanted desperately to say another joke at this point, but decided against it.

I felt very uncomfortable showering in front of a complete stranger, so when she asked me to”bend over and spread”, I reached a whole other level of humiliation.  “Put these on”, she said, tossing me a new outfit. She handed me a roll of toilet paper, a toothbrush, then said “We are out of soap, tell the night guards they will bring you one.” “No problem.” I said, not realizing it would be 4 more days until my soap would arrive. Turns out my comfort wasn’t their main priority-I came to learn this and many other fun facts about the guards as time went on.

She led me to a large door and said “Ready “ into her walkie talkie to someone who was in charge of opening the doors remotely.  I wanted to grab her walkie and yell “Wait! I’m not ready. ” into it, but I figured it would probably get me tased.  As the door clicked she pulled it open and said “You’re in 5“, shutting it behind me. The loud roar of wild women suddenly stopped short. There was complete silence as I had hundreds of eyes suddenly pointing in my direction.  I wasn’t sure what to do so I awkwardly smiled.  Some women laughed, some started yelling inappropriate comments, and one person yelled “police ass hoe.” I didn’t know what that meant, but later found out that if you look like you don’t belong in jail, they think you are an undercover cop.  So, that’s good.

I found cell 5 and walked in.  There were 4 mats occupying 6 of the metal bunk beds. I asked a woman with no teeth if it was okay if I put my mattress onto the unoccupied spot under her top bunk.  She said “I don’t give a flying f***”…. so….. I went to the one on the opposite side of the room.

As they day progressed I remained in bed. I was in so much physical pain from drug withdraw that it was hard to breath. I watched through the bars of my cell as women were running around, laughing and having a good time.  How the f*** could they laugh at a time like this? Do they not realize they were in jail? I realized in that moment, that I would never be happy again…

Depression and despair weighed down on me so heavily, that I felt paralyzed. I realized that I was going to spend a very long time in jail, and even when I got out, I was going to spend the rest of my life paying for and replaying what I had done in my head.  I also knew that no one would ever respect me again.  Living with the choices I had made became impossible to imagine. I didn’t have it in me to keep going.  I suddenly wanted out. The anticipation of the unexpected, the waiting and worrying – I just couldn’t,  I needed out. I could not spend one more day living in the broken body with my broken mind. Tonight, after everyone fell asleep….I was going to kill myself-and I was very much looking forward to it….

120 Days In-My Time In Jail Chapter #2

 

Hey Friend!

There’s good news and there’s bad news.  Which do you want first? I’ll give you the bad news, because by now you already kinda know… This blog series is no longer available on this website. I’m sorry! I have always dreamed of writing and publishing a book, ever since my Dad bought me a typewriter on my 6th birthday.

The good news is, It’s finally happening! My book is in review on the Amazon Kindle website, and within the next few days will be available for pre-order!  I know you are probably still mad at me, but I hope that you understand that this a huge goal, that I am actually about to freakin’ accomplish.

I will post a link to the book here as soon as it becomes available, as well as share it on my facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/jugglingthejenkinsblog

Thank you for being interested in my stuff, it really means more than you know.  And thank you for being a part of my journey.  You may not realize it, but it’s people like you that inspire me to get my lazy ass out of bed each day and create content.

Me love you long time…

Tiffany Jenkins

 

This is your brain on drugs…

Mom Blog Monday! Let’s talk about drugs mannnn!

So check it out. Here is something you probably didn’t know.  The human brain doesn’t fully mature biochemically until between the ages of 24 to 26. So basically this means, up until this point, the part of your brain that handles decision making is not fully formed, (which explains many questionable choices I made during my early twenties).  Anyway, while there is no concrete evidence, there is plenty of information provided by individuals and psychologists which support the theory that relationships and personal emotional growth is vastly effected by prolonged drug use.

Why the hell am I getting all “Bill Nye the science guy” on you you ask?

Here’s why. If these theories are correct, people who use drugs for a long time, can stop maturing emotionally.  So if I started heavily using drugs at age 20 (which I certainly did) as a result, my brain would’ve stopped developing the way it’s supposed to right then and there. So while currently I may physically appear to be 31 (which, let’s be honest here, I don’t look a day over 18), mentally, I’m still in my car with the bass pumping  Akon’s “Smack That” while driving home to watch “Twilight.”

As an addict this philosophy make a s*** ton of sense.  My singular focus for many years, was getting high. My first thought upon waking was “How can I get high today?” Immediately followed by an elaborate scheme to beg, borrow and steal to get my drug.  Then came the physical aspect of going about said plan, followed by me attempting to locate a dealer who happened to be holding my desired merchandise.  Upon meeting with said dealer and collecting my drugs, I would then administer them.  By now it is night time and I am ready to lay around and attempt to watch Shark Tank while periodically nodding out, only to be awoken by my forgotten cigarette burning a hole into my thigh.

That is how a typical day in the life of Tiffany would go, for many years.  At no point did I take a break to study how to file my taxes.  I didn’t set up an online account to pay my FPL bill efficiently and on time.  I certainly didn’t take any cooking classes, or study the correct settings on a washing machine to get optimum clean.  My brain consisted of a set of railroad tracks.  Those tracks carried a train that went from stealing, to scoring, and getting high.  The train reset it’s starting position each morning, and rarely steered off course, leaving me completely and utterly clueless on how to do adult things.

What does this have to do with motherhood you may be wondering.  It has literally EVERYTHING to do with motherhood.  I got clean right after I turned 27 upon entering jail, where I spent many months learning how to make “whip-it’s out of jelly packets and coffee.  I also learned how to consume an entire meal in 7 minutes flat and how to play spades for honey buns.  No life skills there.  I then entered rehab, and began learning specifically about my addiction, which was wonderful, but up until this point I still didn’t know that you are not supposed to put butter on your toast before putting it in the toaster.

As soon as I left rehab I went to a halfway house……….2 months later, I was pregnant. There was a real life human baby person growing inside me that I would be in charge of.

I had to go from zero to adult super fast because now, not only was I in charge of learning how to become a productive member of society myself, I was responsible for raising one.  I stopped by the library, but unfortunately they were fresh out of the “How to be a cool person and not f*** up your kid” workbook.

Here’s the thing about being a Mom.  Regardless of whether or not you are able to fold a fitted sheet, balance a check book, or order school pictures on time (FML), it’s already in our DNA to nurture and love our babies.

I had an epiphany the other night while I was playing with my Talk Boy and feeding my Tamagachi.  Back in the day, when people lived in tiki huts in the woods, they were stripped down to bare necessaties. They weren’t checking the Dow Jones industrial average everyday, or shopping for f***ing  life insurance policies.  They were feeding their kids berries off the ground and pooping in bushes. Time and technological advances have now made it possible for us to be better protect and nourish our babies obviously, but the point is, they survived. (Well, most of them, I’m sure they had their fair share of lions and poisonous snakes inhabiting their neighborhoods). You get what I’m sayin.

Now I’m not saying, “Hey, it’s cool if you live under a bridge while shooting dope with your kid’s 3 feet away, as long as their eating something it’s all good.” But what I am saying is, being mentally stuck in the early 2000’s might not necessarily be a bad thing. Take this morning for example, before school I turned the disco ball on and we danced to the classic tune “Milkshake” by Kelis.  Like, they wouldn’t have even known how to avoid a flock of boys arriving to the yard if it wasn’t for me….so….you’re welcome….

It all boils down to this.  There are a few wrong ways to be a parent, but there are a few right ways too. Over the course of my life I’m certain I will experience both.  I try everyday to educate myself on how to be a better person.  Do I occasionally have to google “How long to cook chicken in a skillet”,”Why is there a crayon in my washing maching?” “How long can a car run on empty before it breaks down?””Tips to decompress after a childs temper tantrum”, “How to remove cheerios from a nasal cavity”? Hell yes.   And that’s OK.  Remaining teachable is a crucial part of being a good parent.

I’ve learned a lot about life through the course of my journey, but the most important thing I’ve learned so far is to go easy on yourself and don’t take life too seriously, as it is temporary, and fleeting. Quit focusing on being the perfect parent, stop listening to the advice of random strangers in Facebook Mom groups. Love your kids, do what feels right to you. Raise them to be kind, respectful human beings. Put the phone down and watch them dance. Run outside with them when it starts raining. Wake them up with sprinkle pancakes for no reason at all.  Have fun and cherish every moment. That’s all we are left with in the end, the moments………. Now if you will excuse me, I have a Pog tournament with the neighbor boy and I have a brand new Slammer that needs breakin in.

img_20160829_164540 img_20160607_183257