We’re Moms, Too; Struggles and Rewards of Being a Stepmom

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This post was submitted anonymously.

It finally happened. The words I’ve dreaded hearing since day one.
I was picking up my 5 year old stepson at school, and bent down to tie his shoe. One of his little friends tried to give him a hug and his teacher asked him to give my stepson some space because his mom was tying his shoes. I said nothing, as I always do when someone mistakes me for his biological mother. But my stepson said, very matter of fact, “She’s not my mom!”

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Be Unapologetically You – Depression and Anxiety as a Stay at Home Mom.

Depression is sneaky. It knows nothing of age, of gender, of social status. It doesn’t care if you’re a stay at home mother, a successful CEO, a grandmother.

This is my confession. My story. I’m a stay at home mom who struggles with anxiety and depression.


It’s hard to describe it. My moods are often like the ocean. Everything is bright, cheerful, serene. I’m happy, on top of everything, optimistic. But sometimes, the winds shift. Things get messy. My mind clutters, thoughts are less cheerful, my chest feels heavy as if it’s been hit by a tumultuous wave.

It’s a repetitive cycle — once you’re in the trenches, swirling through the different emotions, it can be hard to escape. One moment of anxiety can turn into days, weeks and months of struggling.


Mine usually starts over guilt. Guilt that the house isn’t clean, but yet I’m home all day. Guilt that I’m neglecting my older child to care for the infant. When I get easily frustrated with my toddler mainly because the baby is demanding and I haven’t slept properly in months, I feel absolutely terrible. My anxiety escalates. Guilt that I’m staying home with my children as so many mothers desire to, yet aren’t able to, but I’m struggling. Guilt that I can’t just sit here in my home with my windows open, happy. That the beautiful 72 degree breeze flowing through the house, lull of music playing, happy children meandering, dogs playing outside isn’t enough.

Some people may not understand, and that’s okay. It’s hard to understand something you can’t see. It’s especially hard with social media, where people strive to share their best moments.

Are you traveling the same road as me? I wish I had an answer. A cure. It takes a lot of strength, hard work and determination to power through these internal struggles while raising a family. To smile when your chest is tight, to sit down with your kids and play a game when your mind is racing. That takes incredible resilience.


When things are good, they’re good. But when things are difficult, know you aren’t alone. Sharing this with you all is my reminder — Take a deep breath with me, will you? Sit alone in your bathtub. Go for a walk. Do something alone.

Don’t be ashamed of your feelings; it’s okay to feel the guilt. But whatever you do, do not settle. Let’s work together, to better ourselves for ourselves.

I’m going to keep working towards this — will you join me? I’m seeing a therapist intermittently, I’m working towards finding medicine that works for me. I’m starting to exercise, practicing the art of mindfulness. I’m taking more time to enjoy my spouse alone, and get back to being a couple. What things are you doing for yourself?

My chest feels lighter just expressing myself so openly. I sincerely hope you have a good support system to hold your hand during the rough times, laugh with you during the crazy, and hug you through it all.


Revel in the good moments.

Acknowledge the difficult times.

Be unapologetically you.

Bye bye, Facebook.

Hello friends!

Friday night I uploaded a video of my daughter. We were having fun in her room before bedtime, using our phone flashlights to play with shadows. 

It was dark in there. She wasn’t dressed.

Apparently a number of people reported it. And as a result, Facebook has blocked me from doing anything on there.

GASP! Heaven forbid her innconent kid bum pop up once or twice, mostly covered by shadows anyways. Because jesus we haven’t seen worse on Facebook, right?


(Shield your eyes, my friends!!!!!! This totally inappropriate screenshot from the video is what we’re dealing with, here — what blasphemy!!!) 

Hate speech. Ads soliciting sex. Gruesome videos of people shooting each other for fucks sake. People shooting up drugs. 

I’ve seen it all, and I’m sure you have, too.

Sooooooo I guess this is my thank you, to those of you who reported the video. Thanks for kicking me off over a perfectly innocent video! I can’t comment/post/like/share on my personal page, my blog page or my photography page. 

Like I said — to me — it was just a cute innocent little girl having fun playing with shadows, with the occasional bum showing a liiiiiiitle bit once or twice. I guess I’m naive about the different kinds of people in this world. 


Let’s hope I can get unblocked soon, yeah? And back to all of you amazing friends. Back to attempting to support my family financially through my photography, and back to helping support myself and other mothers traveling the same path.

It’s been almost 48 hours of blockage going on here. I read sometimes it can take weeks, or months, or indefinitely. It seems silly to get so annoyed over basically being kicked off Facebook, but at the same time I’ve worked damn hard — on my blog Facebook page, and mine.

Instagram still works, though! LOL. 

A.Plus.K

I miss you guys. I hope they’ll let me back on sooner rather than later. And I hope you’ll stick around and wait for me . . .

An Open Letter to Kids’ Swimsuit Designers

To the designers who make childrens’ swimsuits –

Look. I get it. Your main concern is making cute prints, frilly skirts and adorable suits that change colors when they get wet. And boy do you excel at it. I can’t even walk by the bathing suits at Target without stopping to drool.


But can we just talk about functionality for a second here?

Why are there no buttons on the crotch?! 

As if going to the beach or pool with kids isn’t enough of a hassle, the moment that makes any parents heart sink will inevitably happen – “Mommy! I have to go to the bathroom.” – 😑
Now I’m not above telling my kid to piss in the ocean, but unfortunately that’s frowned upon at the pool or splash pad. Or, you know, if they have to poop. 


Why are there no frickin’ buttons, like on a baby onesie?! Do you think these designers even have kids?

There’s two ways this could go. And there is nothing more annoying than trying to pull a wet, sandy bathing suit down a wiggly, loud kid. Not to mention a lot of bathrooms at the beach are Rent-A-John’s or hot, smelly and small bathrooms. Hell, just thinking about this makes my inner bitch face come out.


Your second option is the pull and pray. Pull that sucker to the side and pray. If you’re lucky, you’ll only get peed on. 😏 If you get pooped on, well, shit happens. Curse the bathing suit Gods and go on your way.

In closing, y’all need to get your act together and add those snaps to bathing suits for kids – oh, let’s say – ages 5 and below.

Please and thank you. 

Do I Like One Child More than the Other?

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This morning was a quiet morning. Which isn’t normally how it goes, is it?

Usually we’re all rushing around making breakfast, getting dressed, and bribing the children to eat. We’re drinking cold coffee in a feeble attempt to not feel like we only got the little sleep that we did the night before. One child on one hip, another one cries because they don’t like the shirt they picked out the night before.

Chaos.

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Teddy

I turned 29 on May 5th! Whoop whoop. And Ken surprised me with an overnight trip to Myrtle Beach sans kids; it was frickin’ glorious. 

We packed up this morning, and I took a basic bitch mirror picture on the way out. 😂


I almost didn’t share it, because it shows Teddy, and I’m 29 with a security object from childhood. But ya know what? I decided to say fuck it and share anyways.

He was there when both my kids were born, on all our trips, on weekend sleepovers with friends, through my awkward middle school years, cruises with my family, during awful hangovers in college.

When did we become so concerned about our kids and them having security objects for too long? Is this a new thing? I mean, I get being worried about pacifier use/bottle use for the teeth reason. But I don’t ever remember my parents saying I needed to give Teddy away, or not letting me take him places (and yes, he’s a he 😜). Or them being concerned I wouldn’t be well adjusted if I relied on an object for security. 

I never intended for it to, but this picture reminds me not to overthink things. To just let my kids be.

New life mantra: Whatever’s Clever. 

Happy Sunday, y’all!

Just Take the Picture


I’m sure you’ve read similar blog posts as this one may or may not end up playing out; about how moms need to move in front of the camera instead of behind it. How you’ll look back and treasure being in the pictures.

That’s the kind of post I intended when I started. But at this point, I’m actually not sure where this is going to go. I’m just writing.

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