Posted in 3rdMomof3, Third Family

Anxiety as a Mom & Wife

Do you ever feel like you are in a fog? Like an all day fog?

Do you ever feel like no matter what you do you can’t get ahead? Do you ever have days where every little thing makes you cringe or every small noise makes your skin crawl?

Anxiety is a REAL thing! It is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. It is also one of the things that society views as a weakness. There are so many bloggers and vloggers and social media influencers that are trying to break that view. But, still we look at moms and think… “It is her job to have it all together!”

“You have an amazing life, there is no way you suffer from anxiety!” YES! I have actually been told this! Yes, I do have an amazing life! However, anxiety does not discriminate. I have 3 kids, that means 3 different schedules, 3 different personalities, 3 kids needing my attention at the same time. I also have to make sure that I make time for my husband.

There are mornings I wake up ready to start the day… then there are mornings that I wake up and hope that it’s 2 am so I can go back to sleep. I use to be the person that has to set 15 alarms and even have my husband wake me up. Now most mornings I am the first person awake (before my alarm goes off). I attribute this to my anxiety. My brain’s need for control. My body has adjusted to this need and automatically wakes itself up fearful that I have overslept and then my entire day is off track!

Over the years my anxiety has gone from mild to where I suffer daily. There are many things that are considered triggers for me, as well as ways that my anxiety manifests itself. One of those ways, unfortunately is anger. I try my best to control it, but I am far from perfect. I wish I didn’t have to apologize for being angry and ask forgiveness from the people who mean the most to me. I wish I could control it 100% of the time. I am learning to cope with my anxiety but it is an ongoing journey.

One is of my triggers is my kids. I absolutely LOVE my kids! They are my greatest accomplishments. However, they each have their own ways of triggering my anxiety. There are things that a ‘normal’ mom wouldn’t be so concerned with but I fret over daily. It could be something as small as a wet towel in their bedroom floor. Growing up I had a rough childhood that left me feeling on edge and uneasy. I never want my kids to feel that way and it pains me when I let them down. When I see my kids looking at me, almost pleading for me not to fly off the handle when they make a little mistake, it’s incredibly heartbreaking.

I also have a hard time when others (especially my husband) are critical of our kids. I take it personally and it makes me feel like a failure as a mom. I love my husband and I wake up everyday with the intention of being a perfect wife. Like I said, I am far from perfect but when I don’t reach the level of expectation I put on myself, it triggers my anxiety. The one thing that I would like for my husband to understand (well actually anyone that is involved with someone who suffers from anxiety) is when we are in the middle of an anxiety/panic attack if feels impossible to control. One of the worst things that you can say to someone having an anxiety attack is ‘calm down’… They will not ‘calm down’ they will begin to feel even worse because you’ve now made it known that there is a ‘problem’. This will just be one more thing for us to be anxious about.

Another major trigger for me is clutter. I walk into a room and I say “Ugh the house is a disaster!” My husband’s response is “The house looks great babe!” In his defense my house is very clean. However, when I see dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor, pictures out of place, etc I feel very uneasy. In the 2 years that we have lived in our current house this trigger has gotten worse. I find it hard to get to sleep unless the house is almost immaculate. This goes back to my childhood, our house had to be pristine. Even the carpet had to have vacuum lines going a certain way. I was responsible for 90% of the chores/housework and the feeling of dread (now I know this as anxiety) when my parents came home from work and things were out of place it was all on me. As a mom and wife I have continued to be the one that takes care of 90% of the housework/chores and I still get that same anxious feeling when something is out of place. It is not because of what my husband and kids expect of me, it is what I expect of myself and I feel as though I am letting my family down.

I hope that my family knows how much I love them. I hope they know that when I’m acting like a complete lunatic, it’s not because I’m mad at them. In fact, most of the time what I need in those moments of anger; is compassion, a hug, some alone time or just some kind words.

I said all of that to say this, anxiety is a real thing and it is different for everyone! If you suffer from anxiety please know that you are not alone. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. If you have a loved one that suffers from anxiety, be a sounding board for them, hug them if they need a hug, take over household duties for the day, take the kids to the park or something and give your partner some alone time.

Lastly, we all need to go easier on each other. We never know exactly what someone has going on in their brain!

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Emma, Madisyn, Third Family

Madisyn & Emma’s Bedroom Makeovers!

We have been in our house for 2 years and we had not painted a single wall. Well that changed this past week!

Madisyn – Before

Let’s start with Madisyn’s room. I began by removing her bed and going through all of the extra ‘stuff’. Her closet was just packed full of clothes she never wears and clothes she isn’t going to grow into for a few years, so needless to say, we downsized. I ended up getting rid of quite a bit of things she just didn’t use. Because let’s face it her 3 favorite things to do in her room are:

  1. Playing school games on her iPad with her friends.
  2. Making and playing with slime.
  3. Playing with Rylee, her guinea pig.

She has been begging for a new bed for a few years now. So we finally decided to take her to Rooms To Go. She chose this one in white, and I absolutely LOVE it! Her need for order and open space was what she put first when searching for the perfect bed, she is definitely her mommy’s daughter! The steps have drawers so she no longer needs a dresser AND it has a built in desk, awesome, right?!?!

Emma – Before

Emma’s room was even more cluttered and messy! Typical teenager’s room *insert eye roll*. She had a whole mish-mosh of decor, stuff she’s collected and just randomness. It took a little longer to de-clutter since she’s more of, what my grandmother would call a ‘pack rat’. Like me she gets bored with the same decor and set up in her room, but we both agreed minimizing the ‘stuff’ and maximizing the ‘space’ would make her feel more grounded. Those that know Emma, know she needs minimal distractions and structure to help with her anxiety.

Madisyn’s room was a bright pink color on EVERY wall, which may work for some people and I love pink, but only as an accent color. Emma’s walls were 2 different colors – 2 walls were baby blue and 2 were a pale yellow. Neither girls were happy with their current colors and I thought about giving them a choice for the walls, but honestly I prefer letting them pick a ‘theme’ for decor on one wall. When we were getting our Palm Bay house ready to sell, I really enjoyed the Greige color that Behr offers at Home Depot. It goes with everything and just looks so clean and sleek! And it is a color that will work in any room.

Normally I really try to get any project I start finished in one day. I get really anxious knowing that there are things out of place. But I am proud to say that we began the process on Saturday after a long morning at volleyball and ended the process last night. So all in all it took us 5 days to complete 2 bedroom renovations. I also added the kids bathroom and then the Master Water Closet (check out my 3rdMomof3 Facebook page to see those transformations) in those days because, well I’m crazy, so my hubby says! It kept me occupied while I waited for the girls beds to be delivered. The girls helped dad and I paint their respective rooms. We only had one mishap, when Madisyn (accidentally) decided to paint an outlet (her roller slipped) and caused the power to go out in her room. Thankfully daddy came to the rescue and changed the outlet!

Madisyn’s bed was delivered on Tuesday so we were able to complete her room first. Originally both beds were supposed to arrive the same day. But I am kind of glad Emma’s was delayed by a day. For Madisyn’s ‘themed’ wall she chose, you guessed it, Volleyball! We call it her VolleyWall! We originally weren’t going to purchase a new bed for Emma, because she has gotten a ‘new to her’ bed since we moved. However, I had a plan in my head to give her more space and also give her sort of a ‘quiet haven’. I decided to get her an inexpensive loft bed. We didn’t want to make a major purchase, because since she’s growing like her brother she will grow out of a twin bed in a few years. She was super excited to pick her themed wall. My Hero Academia and other Anime shows are her passion right now! So, obviously, this was her theme. It’s so awesome that she has her own little space, under her bed where she can cuddle with her dog and read all of her books. We will add her Magic Curtain posters from all of her plays once I get all matching frames, but she really didn’t want a whole lot on her walls.

Overall, I am so pleased with how their rooms turned out! I’m going to add more photos to my Facebook Page. These are just the before and after of the whole room! Let me know what you think!!!

More renovations to come in the near future!

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Third Family

Just Say NO!

*Ring Ring*

“Hello?”

“Hey! Uhm, can you do me a favor?”

Does this sound familiar? If you are anything like me you hear this often… Why is that? Probably because you just can’t say no!

I am a ‘YES’ person. A ‘yes’ friend, a ‘yes’ mom, a ‘yes’ daughter/sister/in-law, etc. I always put myself and my needs last. Last year was a really emotional and mentally exhausting year for me. I found myself more anxious than ever, I was pulled in so many different directions. The one thing I can say when I look back on 2019 is that I did not make myself a priority. Not only did my health suffer (I had a major epileptic seizure), but my relationships suffered.

I started feeling resentful and frustrated. I was putting the needs of others before myself and sometimes before my own family. Why? Honestly I have no answer to that! All I can say is January 1, 2020 I woke up feeling different… My mindset was different. My entire outlook on my life and the direction I want it to go was different. How? I made a vow to myself that I would no longer be a ‘YES’ to everyone else person, but I would be a ‘YES’ to me person.

This includes my own children! I have always been the mom that says yes to everything… “Mom, can you take me to so and so’s house?” “Mom, I forgot my uniform can you bring it to me?” “Mom, I have a project due TOMORROW can you help me?” My answer to all of these and so many more has always been YES! I never want to see my kids disappointed or upset. But in saying yes to everything it has become expected from me and that is just not okay! Especially when there is a lack of gratitude on their part. When they started feeling entitled to hear ‘YES’ from me I decided that I created this monster, so I need to tame it before I send them out into the real ‘NO’ world!

I always say yes to friends and family. I will be the first one to come over if you’re having a bad day. The first one that will drop everything and be there! There have been times where I have been in the middle of a project or doing something with my kids that I have gotten a text, a phone call, a knock at my door, etc and I have dropped everything to be that ‘YES’ person! I love being that friend and confidant. I love being a shoulder for someone to lean on or an ear if you just need to vent. However, I have realized through the awful year we had last year that just because I am a ‘YES’ person doesn’t mean that others are. I have learned who will be in my corner & my family’s corner when we have a need.

If I don’t make myself a priority how can I really expect anyone else to? 2020 is my year to get back to the basics of who I am! I can say no to others and it is up to them to be okay with that. I can put myself first and not feel guilty!

We all have heard the saying “Just Say No (to drugs)”… Well my new slogan is “Just Say No (if it doesn’t make you happy)”!

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Amber, Emma, Madisyn, Third Family, Will

Only Child vs Multiple Children

How many kids should you have?

“You should only have one, kids are expensive.” “You should give your child a sibling, or they will grow up socially awkward.” “You have a boy and a girl? You should stop now.” “You have all girls, are you going to try for a boy?” These are the obnoxious questions/comments that we as parents hear all the time. But does anyone ask the kids how they feel? Well, I decided that I would get their take on living in an only child vs multiple children household.

What is it like being in a household where there are multiple children? I asked my 3 kiddos the same 5 questions and here is the feedback they gave me…

Emma, Madisyn, & Will
  1. Do you like having siblings? Why/Why not? W – “Yeah, I guess. Because it’s not always quiet.” E – “Yes, because I’m never bored.” M – “Sometimes, sometimes they only want to talk to their friends.”
  2. Do you ever wish you were an only child? Why/Why not? W – “Sometimes, (in typical teenage fashion) I don’t know why.” E – “Sometimes, because the arguing and fighting is stressful!” M – “Sometimes, because I would get more time with you and because it would be less expensive…” (my very logical thinker!)
  3. Why do you think your parents had multiple children? W – “I don’t know. That’s weird, I don’t know how to answer that!” lol! E – “So you and daddy would never be alone.” M – “I know this, cause you told me, it’s because you wanted one boy and one girl. And then you wanted 2 girls because you never had a sister and you wanted Emma to have a sister.”
  4. What is the best part about having siblings? W – “There is always someone to do something with if I get bored.” E – “I get to spend time with them whenever I want.” M – “I’m never alone. When we take vacations or if you/daddy or my friends are busy, I have someone there.”
  5. What is the worst part about having siblings? W – “The arguing.” E – “We don’t always agree and we argue.” M – “Sometimes they are annoying (I include myself in this, lol) and they only want to spend time with their friends.”

So as you can see there were multiple times that they gave pretty much the same answers. Even though they argue and fight this shows me that they are all 3 more alike than they care to admit sometimes.

What about the other side? If you have siblings there has probably been a time in your life that you’ve thought about what life would be like in an only child household? I know I have, so I decided to get answers from someone (well, the only person I know) that is an only child. When I asked my niece, Amber if she wanted to be interviewed for a blog post she said “Yes! Of course. I’d love to!”

Amber
  1. Do you like being an only child? Why/Why not? “I do because I have no siblings to argue with. But I like being near you guys cause I can hang out with them and send them home or I get to go home.”
  2. Do you ever wish you had siblings? Why/Why not? “When I was younger I did because I would get bored.”
  3. Do you consider yourself spoiled because you are an only child? “Yeah, especially by my grandma cause the other 2 grandkids are older.”
  4. Why do you think your parents only had one child? “I actually know the answer to this! Because of all of the issues I had when I was born and when I was a baby. They didn’t want to put themselves though that again.”
  5. What is the best part about having siblings? “Well, this is kinda the best and worst part… getting all of the attention from my parents. Best part – They are always there… Worst part – They are always there…” lol
  6. What do people assume about you because you are an only child? “That I am very spoiled.”

So you see, there really are pros and cons to each side of the debate about what is better… Having an only child or having multiple children.

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Third Family

SAHM… Is it a REAL ‘job’?

My journey of being a stay at home mom began 9 years ago. I was working full time, 50-60+ hours a week. My husband worked from home and I was becoming resentful. Resentful because he was watching our kids grow up. Resentful because he was able to be involved at school. Resentful because I didn’t know my kids as well as he did and the only time I really spent with them was bedtime & the weekends.

One night I finally just poured out my heart to my husband. I finally just let him know all the things that I was feeling and do you know what he did?!? He wrapped his arms around me and just said to me ‘Give your notice at work, we will figure it out’! I just broke down… was this going to become a reality? Was I really going to be able to spend all my time with my kiddos?

The next day I went into work and gave my 2-week notice. Even though I was so excited, I was also super nervous! I have been working since I was 15 and I always enjoyed working but ever since my oldest was born I knew my ultimate goal was to one day stay home and spend my days with my kids. I went full force into the stay-at-home-mom role! Throughout the years I have been the room mom, the PTA/PTO mom, the team mom, etc.

So, is being a SAHM a REAL ‘job’? I have been told NO! Since all 3 of my kids are in school all day, I’ve gotta be just sitting home and watching tv all day, right? “You don’t ‘work'”… “It isn’t hard”… “Your kids are older so you don’t have to do anything for them”… “All you do is hang out with your friends during the day and go to Starbucks”… Just to name a few things that I have been told! Yes, people have actually said these and much more to me! Well, in all of the jobs I have ever had, none has a schedule like this one!

My day starts at 6:00 am. I get my oldest up and out the door for school (yes, I wake him up, yes I know he is old enough to get himself up, but I remember how hard it was for me to wake up in the mornings, so I don’t mind). Then my youngest gets up at 7:00-7:30 to get ready for school (she is a morning person most days so this isn’t really a struggle), I take her to school at 8:15. I am back home by 8:30 to shower, get ready, and get my middle schooler up, then we head to her school at 9:00. And once all 3 kids are at school, this is when I make my Starbucks run, the one thing that gets me through my morning is my Starbucks Refresher, so yummy!

Once I get home I begin my cleaning routine. I do, at the minimum, 2 loads of laundry a day, I clean the bathrooms 4-5 times a week (teenage boy, need I say more? lol), the kitchen is the center of our house, so that gets cleaned 3-4 times a day, the hardwood floors get vacuumed daily (we have 3 dogs, that shed… A LOT!), the carpet gets vacuumed at least twice a week, once a week I deep clean the kids bedrooms (they clean them throughout the week, but I like to do a deep clean just for my sanity), all of this takes like 2-3 hours (sometimes more, depending on the day and how my cleaning OCD is that day). Ok, so now my day is done right? Uhm, nope! I get started on organizing our calendar, go through emails (so many emails… school, sports, etc), and now working on my blog.

The momi-van pulls out of the driveway at 2:50 to pick up the youngest kiddo from school. Thankfully the oldest’s school is super close to our house so he usually walks home, unless he has 2 1/2-3 hours of soccer practice, then we will pick him up at 5ish. At 4:00 the middle schooler gets picked up. Dinner gets made by me on nights that we don’t have sports or other activities, the other nights everyone has to make their own dinner. The nights that we do have sports/activities I am back in the car again, to football games, soccer games, etc. On Thursdays I take Madisyn & her friend to volleyball, thank goodness for moms that carpool! Some days there are field trips, class parties, sports games, theater plays, errands that need to be taken care of, on top of the daily to do’s.

I know there are moms that work from home, work outside the home, and still do some of these things that I do daily. But stay-at-home moms (& dads) don’t seem to get the same respect because society doesn’t see it as a REAL ‘job’. Just because you don’t get a paycheck doesn’t mean you don’t work.

So, is being a SAHM a REAL ‘job’? ABSOLUTELY!!! It is the hardest and most rewarding JOB I have ever had!

*Side note – I am very grateful that I have a husband that works from home so I do have help with the kids, if I have to ‘call in sick’ or can’t be in 2 places at once.*

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Third Family

Who Am I?

One of my resolutions for 2019 was to maintain my blog… Well that didn’t happen! Life got busy… Life got harder… Life got more chaotic! I lost myself… So, I am trying again! Trying to blog, trying to maintain my sanity, but most of all… trying to find myself again!

So, who am I? Who is Candace? Not Candace the mom. Not Candace the wife. Not Candace the friend, sister-in-law, daughter/daughter-in-law, etc. But who is Candace the person, the individual?

Just yesterday afternoon I had a talk with Emma about boys (ugh, those stupid teenage hormones!) and why it’s ok to not have a ‘boyfriend’. I explained to her that she needs to focus on becoming who SHE is, without having another label. Now is the time that she needs to learn who she is, separate from everyone else. In having this conversation, I realized… I have no clue who I am, aside from a wife and a mom. This really hit me hard, when did I lose my identity? I have been a wife and a mother for so long that I have no idea what the answer to that question is. So with that in mind, my goal for 2020 is to find out, ‘Who is Candace?’!

As wives and moms we tend to lose our identity. We just take on new identities with the same title, like, Stay at Home MOM, HouseWIFE, Mark’s WIFE, Will, Emma, & Madisyn’s MOM, etc. Society no longer sees us as individuals. This year I will embrace the journey of finding out, who I am, again!

This time I WILL stick to my blog and I WILL take time for myself! Please join me on this journey as I attempt to put more time into who I am and less time spent on who I should be to others. Who knows, along the way you may find out who YOU are!

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Surviving

Leave or Stay?

*Warning, this post contains sensitive material about domestic violence and suicide, reader discretion is advised.*

Have you ever considered leaving your abusive spouse? Have you stayed because of your children? Have you stayed because you are too afraid to leave? Have you stayed because your spouse threatened to harm themselves if you left?

I can answer YES to all 4 of those questions! A lot of people don’t know this about me. I usually don’t speak about my first marriage. It is too painful to talk about and too hard to explain over and over. Only those closest to me know the real story. (I want to begin by saying that this is NOT a story about my current husband or our relationship.)

It all started in 2002, that is when I first met my ex-husband. We began dating and were expecting a child after only a few months. We did the ‘right’ thing and got married. I was six months pregnant and standing in front of a court house doing what I thought I should do. In December I gave birth to my first born, my only son. He was the light of my life! He made the pain of the abuse bearable.

The first major assault occurred after my son was born. I stayed because I though it was the right thing to do. Until one night I made my ex mad. I must have said something wrong, right? I mean he wouldn’t have waited until I put my son to bed to corner me in the kitchen, unless I did something wrong… Right? It’s gotta be my fault that I ended up going to the hospital, right? It’s my fault that my ex decided to shove me so hard and I hit the stove with such force, that my upper arm immediately began to swell. And if that wasn’t enough and my tears & pleading didn’t get to him, he tried to shut me up by punching me in the back of the head multiple times. The last blow to my head caused me to briefly loose consciousness. When I came back to I realized what was going on. It took me a long time to convince him to take me to the ER, as I thought my arm was broken. I packed up my son and we headed to the hospital. I made sure I told my ex that I would just tell the doctor that I fell down the stairs. I must have been very convincing because he left me alone with the nurse in triage, while he went to the bathroom to change my sons diaper. I told her everything! She immediately called the police and had them wait behind the doors so that I could take my son from his arms before they arrested him. I was so scared that he would do something to my son if he saw the police before I took him. I grabbed my son and headed to the triage room again and didn’t look back. I could hear the police tackle him because he was fighting them, I could hear him yelling for me, but I didn’t turn around.

When our case went to court he asked me to drop the charges and say that I made everything up. I stood my ground, testified against him and they ordered anger management, parenting classes, a restraining order for myself and my son, and probation. You would think that would be the end of my story right? Unfortunately it’s not.

Time went by and he did all of the ‘right’ things. He attended his ordered classes, he got a job, he did everything that I had wanted him to do before. I saw him bettering himself… or so I thought. I decided to give it another try, for the sake of my son. He deserved to have 2 parents right? I ended up getting pregnant again, you know the saying that it only takes ONE time? That is very true!!! I was happy and sad at the same time. I was going to be a mom again and it was the one thing in my life that I could do right! But what if he hit me again? What if he broke his promises?

Well, you know what happened??? He did hit me! He broke every single promise that he had made! He told me he would kill me, my kids and himself if I ever left! I was so scared, I thought ‘if I don’t leave my kids and I are going to die, but if I stay we will die’. I knew that I had to make a choice, so I eventually got the courage to kick him out!

Fast forward to 2009. I was remarried and we were so happy. My ex didn’t see the kids and they didn’t remember him. I was so happy that I never heard from my ex and he didn’t ask to see the kids. My husband was their daddy, he took care of them, he took care of me… We were a happy family of 4. One night I got a phone call, a phone call from someone I had never met, someone claiming to be my ex’s cousin. I didn’t believe him when he said that my ex-husband shot himself, that he left a note and I was the only person he mentioned. I told him ‘Good, I’m glad he’s gone’! Again, at this point I didn’t believe him. It wasn’t until I received yet another phone call… This time it was my dad, he told me he was on the computer looking at my ex-husband’s obituary. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… So many emotions filled me… Sadness, Anger, Resentfulness, Hurt, Sympathy for his family, and Relief for myself and my kids! Relief that I would no longer have to look over my shoulder, I wouldn’t have to worry about him ever getting visitations with my kids, I wouldn’t have to fear him any longer! I was finally FREE!

My husband gave my kids his last name, and we have added another child to our family. My kids became OUR kids and they have never known or felt any different. Our son found out about my ex a few years ago and he stated that that did not change anything for him. He doesn’t remember anything about our past life. As a mother and father, my husband and I have chosen not to tell our daughters. Our older daughter was only 6 months old when we met, so my husband is the only father she has ever known. Due to her inability to process information maturely we ask that if you know our family that you DO NOT bring any of the information in this blog up to her. We have made a beautiful life for ourselves and are incredibly blessed and I thank God daily that he brought us out of the trauma we were living in and sent my husband to rescue us! This year marks 10 years since our 2 older kids and I have been free!

If you are in a relationship that is abusive, it doesn’t get better, he won’t change, he will continue the abuse. Just like with me, it is NOT your fault! You didn’t do anything that deserves abuse! It may look like he’s changing but he’s not. He will tell you anything you want to hear so that you will stay. There are other options. There are places you can go, people that can help you leave. We as a society need to come together and put an end to domestic violence. I know it’s not easy to leave, trust me, but I didn’t want to end up another statistic. I knew that my kids and I would end up on the news as another murder/suicide headline. So if you need a friend please reach out, my email address is 3rdMomof3@gmail.com or you can reach out to me on my Facebook Page. It has taken me 10 years to tell my story, but as I see more and more of the same headlines, I just know someone out there needs to hear it. Needs to hear that it’s ok to leave.

If you are in an abusive relationship please contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3224.

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Emma

“Don’t Judge Me”

In a world where everyone has an opinion and judgement about everything, how do you survive as a special needs parent?

“Don’t Judge Me!”

I use this phrase A LOT! Most of the time I just quietly say it to myself… Other times I wait until I am alone and I scream these 3 little words! Why do we judge each other so harshly? I’ve been on the other side, I have caught myself saying ‘why can’t they make that child listen?’ or ‘if my child did that I would do this!’ Why can’t we as a society help each other? Even if it’s just a knowing nod, or a smile saying ‘I get it!’.

My daughter, Emma, has suffered severe trauma at the hands of another child and has encountered many bullies, both children and adults. She has been diagnosed with ADHD, Social Anxiety Disorder, she’s on the verge of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, among other things she has going on. She also has an IEP at school. It’s not as extensive as it used to be, but she will still need some help all throughout school.

(A little bit of a backstory as far as school goes)

At her previous school she did not get the help that she needed, and unfortunately that caused her to fall further behind. However, since she has been at Avalon Elementary she has flourished! Last year, her 4th grade year, she finished with 2 A’s & 2 B’s! This girl had NEVER gotten an A before attending AES! She has had phenomenal teachers and they make sure that she succeeds! This year she has learned so much and is starting to have confidence in herself with her schoolwork. I have cried many many positive tears in the last year & a half because she has grown so much as a student! I never thought that was possible, as we were told that it would be unlikely that she would ever be on grade level. As a mom, that judgement devastated me! I have had some of her teachers and administrators from AES tell me how upset that they have been because the other school(s) held her back from reaching her potential… All because they didn’t want to deal with or didn’t understand her disabilities. Emma has said to me ‘Why do people judge me? Why don’t they understand that everyone isn’t the same?’. I wish I had an answer for her, except ‘people are just mean and opinionated sometimes’

Emma has daily struggles with expressing her emotions. She has the biggest heart of anyone that I know. I love that about her! Even with a big heart she still gets angry, frustrated, flustered, etc. Unfortunately, her most substantial obstacle is, expressing those emotions in an appropriate way. It makes me so sad when I see other parents judging her when she gets upset. All they see is this perfectly ‘normal’ looking 12 year old that towers over others her age showing emotion that most adults have trouble expressing! She gets angry and reacts, this is when I have to remove her from the situation so that she can collect herself and once she has a ‘time out’ she realizes that she should react in an appropriate manner. With Emma’s problem solving skills she operates as a younger child. I will say, though, since we have been living in Avalon her anxiety has gotten so much better.

Is Social Anxiety Disorder real?

Absolutely!!! Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not real. Can you see a migraine? How about PMS? No, a person can tell you their symptoms but you can’t actually walk up to a woman and tell that she has PMS! So as a society we need to STOP judging others! We need to build a support system for each other and allow a safe place for other moms that are at their wits end or that just need to vent can do so! We hold everything in because we are afraid of the judgement! I’m tired of holding it in, sometimes being a mom is hard, sometimes it’s just downright unbearable! Most of the time it’s the most rewarding part of my life but there are times where I just sit in my room and cry.

(This is a time that I am afraid of judgement but I have to be completely transparent and honest with this topic) Sometimes I wish that her disabilities were more noticeable when you look at her. Maybe then other kids and especially adults wouldn’t judge her, or me! It is so hard to be out in public at an event or in a store and she has a ‘meltdown’. Not because I can’t handle the meltdown, because I have gotten better at figuring out what needs to happen, but because of the stares. I know what their thoughts are ‘That child is nothing but a problem”, “That mom has no clue what she’s doing”, “That child is just a brat”, I could keep going! I know these are their thoughts because people have actually said these things to me, or even worse, to Emma! I just look at them and say (the times that I don’t break down in tears) “You don’t know her story!!!” Even people that have known her for years judge me and judge her, those people are not involved in our everyday lives. I have learned to keep my circle small and only include those that I truly trust.

In closing, I want to say to those mommas that can’t see past this tantrum or this meltdown, or this days judgement from others… it gets BETTER! Emma has come so much further along than any of us ever thought possible! We have so many people to thank for her accomplishments and those people chose to help and guide her instead of judge her! The incredible administration at her school helps her find ways to deal with peer situations without judging her! She gets good grades at school, because her teachers believe in her and do not judge her! She has the most amazing Choir Director/Music Teacher that has taken her under her wing and has encouraged her to strive to do her best and does not judge her! Her ESE teacher saw such potential in her and introduced her to Magic Curtain which she loves and didn’t judge her! The director of each play she has done has helped her and been so patient with her and didn’t judge her! There are countless others that have continued to help my little girl see that she is extraordinary!

So see everyone, if we help others and not judge them we can help them reach their potential!

Posted in 3rdMomof3, Emma, Madisyn, Mark, Third Family, Will

Embracing the Chaos

Welcome! My name is Candace. I am a mother and wife. This is our journey… our chaotic and enjoyable odyssey!

Follow along as I begin this adventure in sharing our chaos. Normally I just post random things and small blips on Facebook or Instagram. However, some things need a more elaborate post. I have started and failed at keeping my blogs up to date a few times now. Nonetheless, I am prepared to do at least 3 posts a week. Sometimes I will add more, but I’m striving for at least 3. Three seems to be our magic number: 3 kids, 3 dogs, Third as our last name, etc.

One of the reasons I have struggled with my blogs before is my fear of not having anything to say that will make a difference. Lately, however, I have realized that the everyday chaos in our household (the positive and negative chaos) can be informative and helpful. If nothing else, but to show other moms that you aren’t alone. From struggles with a teenager, a tween-ager, a child with special needs and their daily endeavors, etc, to the unexpected food fights, the kids events, community events. I may even include some reviews here and there of restaurants, events, and many other things. I have a lot to say and can’t wait to share my adventures with you.

I have always had a fear of others reading what I write and judging me. But I have realized that this is me! This is my life and I am here to embrace the chaos!