A blog full of Meg’s journal entries!

The Last One

The last one. That last one to lose their front tooth, have a Halloween party, kindergarten graduation– or any graduation for that matter– the last one to get their license. The last one that completed your family. When I think about that, it’s so bittersweet. What’s more bitter than watching your last one drive away for her first maiden voyage in your car? Than knowing that there’s no more behind her– that part of your life as a mom is over? Just like when you got pregnant with her and when you gave birth to her, she was the last one. But what’s more sweet than giving up everything for your kids as a mom, and watching that last one get the independence she’s been craving for the first time in her life? Finally, we can breathe. We can still worry, but we can breathe and take a moment to be with ourselves– we finally get that moment.

But here’s the thing: when you give up everything for your kids, and you finally get that moment to breathe, you look around and wonder, “who am I?” And maybe not everyone feels this way; I’m sure there are so many women who are 100% fulfilled simply with being a mom, which I applaud. But when I think about my last one, I think to myself, “thank God I had other interests, and thank God that I did pursue my career and immerse myself in what I love to do,” because if I hadn’t, I would’ve wasted another five years of my life staying married. I would’ve stayed because the only thing that I had were my kids and the fact that I was their mom. What would I do? How could I start back over at 45 years old when I’d given it all up for so long? I could’ve stayed, and then stayed longer, and then eventually just gave up like so many unhappy couples do, but I didn’t. I chose myself and then my children. I chose myself first in order to give them the gift of not having to watch me spend those next five years undeniably miserable– married, but not laughing, not singing and dancing; not happy, just being. I didn’t want my kids to think that was what marriage was supposed to be. I didn’t want my son to think that as a husband, it’s acceptable for the only effort he puts into a marriage to be providing. This is what society has taught us: that men provide and women stay home. Some people choose to emulate this within their own families, and some rebel against it– eventually, I chose the latter.

At first, however, I emulated this lifestyle too. I did hair out of the house while still being a mom who did everything for everyone, but I also completely lost myself. That harsh reality woke me up and now it’s just me and my last one. If I had stayed, I don’t think that I would’ve had the relationships that I do now with all three of my kids; I wouldn’t have been nearly as mentally and physically healthy as I am now, and I would still be unhappy. Now, all my kids see that: if you’re not happy, leaving might hurt; it might suck for a while, but you can’t stay simply because you’re afraid to take that jump. Once you take the first jump, you’ll fly.

So, anyone out there who’s struggling to find their identity: I see you. I was you.I’m going on five years of finally walking away from my marriage, and I can confidently say that this is the first time in 50 years I have ever felt so content just being me, with me. I’ve been by myself, but I haven’t been lonely. This has been five years of hard, hard work– a lot of crying, wine, laughter, mistakes, poor judgement, self-love, and letting go of shame and people that I could not be around regardless of who they are. It’s taken learning to sit still, the universe knocking me down, not listening until I had to, and so many last times. But now, I’m exactly where I need to be: sitting in my backyard with my dogs, listening to the leaves and the birds, and watching my dogs run back and forth in the yard attempting to outrun a baby fox. I am tracking my youngest, not for the last time, ironically, on an app that I didn’t have with my other two. Sometimes it makes me more worried, sometimes less. There’s still a lot more last times and I can’t wait to see the rest of them. It felt like a dark hole for a while, but we all got through it and now they get to see the happiest version of their mom– one that they hadn’t seen in a really, really long time. When they come over for our weekly Monday night family dinner, we play Rummy like my Mam Mom used to do with me. They’re not on their phones, and we laugh and tease each other and enjoy playing games together as a family– something they never really had before. I think they finally see that no matter what, their mom will never, ever give up on them. I would lay my life down for each and every one of them, and I celebrate every moment I get with them. I feel sorry that it took this long for them to see a truly happy me, but I know one thing that is true: they will never see an unhappy me again.

XO Meg

As I was doing my nieces hair today for her dance recital, she asked me “what are those?” as she pointed to the Bobby pins in my hand. I told her what they were and that they helped hold in her bun, to which she replied, “so they are only for girls?” To which my immediate Instinctual answer was yes. Then I paused and said, no wait? They can be for boys, too– if a boy has long hair, he can use Bobby pins as well; Some girls have short hair so they don’t need Bobby pins for a bun. This reminded me of my young son , who had longish hair for a long time. One day, he came home with a Bobby pin in his hair from my mother’s house, because his hair was “too long” and “boys have short hair.” 

Just today I realized how long it takes to break the chains of the belief systems we were taught as we grew up. Her opinions about my son’s hair are ironic to me today, since my mom cut my hair just as short as my brothers because she couldn’t “do long hair.” Yet my sons hair was a constant conversation starter from a lot of the generation of my parents. As a hairstylist I applaud expression through hair! Hey, it can always be cut, grown out, or be changed back! 

That quick instinct answer is not who I am, yet it still pops up occasionally because of how I was taught as a child. So it had me thinking how many other beliefs do we have that are not our own? That is we weren’t taught it would it be a different version? A different thought which brings me to the climate of where we are right now. We are all in the same storm of life right now, yet we aren’t all in the same boat. 

So we may all be in different boats that doesn’t mean we try to sink the boats around us that do not have the belief system we have– if we are inclined, then ask questions; Learn about others in a non judgmental way, and if you don’t want to then that’s more than okay– you don’t have to. That doesn’t mean if you don’t share the same beliefs or care to even try to understand the “why?” then you still have the capacity to be kind and agree to disagree. This world is full of difference, no two humans are alike– even identical twins still have differences in beliefs likes, dislikes, etc. So today remember: buns & Bobby pins can be for boys too and that is okay!

XO, Meg

When I was a little girl, I was grounded a lot, and when I was grounded, I was sent to my bedroom. I used to lay on my bed upside down and look out at the clouds and I would always be able to find all of these amazing shapes and creatures; fish, mammals and flowers and it would really pass the time. Ever since I’ve gotten older, I’ve stopped looking up– I was too busy looking ahead; I was too busy looking down make sure I wasn’t tripping over myself, and I was too busy just living and surviving and being something to everybody else. Then I finally started to reclaim my life and find out who I am on the journey that I began four years ago when I left my marriage because I needed to love myself more. I need to find the peace inside myself that I used to have when I was that little girl in wonder. Slowly, she came creeping back out little by little, but then I would get busy again I would stop doing the work.

I’d hide behind other things; I pressed myself to work harder; I’d have a little more wine than I should’ve and just push it back. I was just stuck– something was still missing. Then, I opened my studio in the middle of a pandemic and just everything about it seemed right for once; I wasn’t afraid, and i knew I was making a decision that would bring me success and that’s all I wanted. But I started to work too much again. I started to hide behind the salon and a few weeks ago I realized that everything was taking a toll and it was time to do the work again. So I started listening to podcasts when I came across Gabby Bernstein, and she is solely helping me save my own life. All of the sudden, I can write again– I can tell stories again, I can dream of things again. I used to write all the time when I was little. I used to write stories, I used to paint, I used to draw, and I haven’t been able to write anything in a good 15 years aside from when I would get a spark every once in a while.  

But recently, ideas have been coming to me; things to talk about have been coming to me, and I’m losing the battle of being afraid. For so long, I was focused on not wanting to embarrass anybody– not wanting to make my kids embarrassed because I’m gonna talk about some really important, but personal things. Then I realized, you know what, it’s time it’s time to start telling my story. It’s time to talk about it. As I lay here listening to Gabby’s book, Happy Days, I look up and in the clouds I see a flying pig. For those of you who know me, the pig is my spirit animal. Look for the moments, look for the signs, and don’t ignore them because they’ll keep knocking. The universe eventually will smack you in the face if it keeps nudging you for too long. There’s a lot of lessons that are going to be coming through here and I hope you stick along and enjoy the ride.

XO, Meg

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich–PBJ.

I cannot remember the last time I made one of these sandwiches, but I know it’s been a really long time. Today, my son is here helping me with the basement, and I asked him if I could make him something for lunch. He asked me, “do you have peanut butter and jelly?” and it just made me remember: I haven’t taken care of him like that in a long time. I’m so proud of the man he’s becoming– the skill that he has and his work ethic. We’ve not seen eye to eye many times in his life, but one thing I know he knows is that I will always have his back no matter what.

So, today, I’m thinking about how bittersweet it is to get a request for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from my boy who’s almost a man. To my mamas of little boys: let them explore, let them cry, show them what empathy is, teach them how to treat girls– and everyone, for that matter. To my mama’s of tween boys: hug yourself; they are pushing you away because they need that psychological distance, and you have made them confident enough to do so! Do not look at it as rejection, rather rejoice in how well you raised him!!!! Don’t worry, his hugs will come back, just never stop trying or asking for one. I used to make it a joke–we’d laugh about how he would endure it, and that was him showing me the little boy I miss.

To mamas of teenagers: they only care about their friends and girls right now. Try to understand how their behavior may be when they are at this age, and understand they cannot completely regulate themselves yet. They are impulsive, reactive, and often rude. Love them unconditionally, but with boundaries; pick your non-negotiables (ie: cursing in the house, curfew, respect, chores, what ever you’re enforcing in your household), and let the other stuff slide. They can only focus on so much at one time, and we as moms are last on their list. Just choose a weekly family dinner night (mine is Mondays ) and/or a mom and son night once a month. Stay patient, it is going to get better– I PROMISE. Just don’t give up on them no matter how much they push you a way; don’t stop saying I love you, even if they don’t say it back (one day they will and your smile will last days!! I PROMISE).

To the mamas of 20 something’s: you will start to see them coming around. You’ll get a glimpse of the funny kid who’s more relaxed–more secure in his on skin. Growing up is hard work and when they fly the coop, give them happy reasons to come home. Keep up the family dinner nights. Invite them and friends over or out to dinner at his favorite place to eat. Text them! Call them! Don’t put it on your boys or any kids to be the one reaching out to you first. They don’t deserve that burden and if they feel that they will call even less– believe me, I was that kid. Build the foundations and try to look at everything from their perspective, remember yourself at that age and how you treated your parents, etc. It is all recycled, so recycle the good. If you are a young mama break the cycle that you lived through, listen to your own gut and instincts– no one else’s. You are the mama, and the mama feels it all, no one knows better about your kids than you.

To my son, thank you for teaching me how to be a boy mom; for showing me the good, bad and ugly of my parenting. I learned so many lessons from you and for that I will be forever grateful. You are an amazing human and I am so lucky to be your mom. Sometimes, life puts you through struggles to find your better self and for you, I believe that with every ounce of my being. Remember, as I have always told you, even when I was my angriest with you, I will always have your back, I will never walk away from you and I will never give up on you, because I’m your mom and that is my job!

XO, Meg