mom of teens

As if learning to not care about what others think about you wasn’t stressful enough, add being a mom to 2 teenagers. I worry about what my kids think of me because I want to be a cool mom! I want to be that companion they can go to whenever and wherever. I want to support and encourage their every endeavor, foster every change. As my children grow, I feel like the timer speeds up on how much longer they have until they’re adults – makes me super emo tbh!

Becoming a mom was not completely new to me. As a parental child, I was taught to mother based on how my own mother parents. I memorized the good things and the good of the bad things, and left what I did not want to even exist in my home. Let’s say, elimination was vast majority, so there I was learning new things. Learning how to parent, have patience, not beat myself up because I fell asleep while feeding, etc. all of this was totally new for me. I went through postpartum depression with both my children. I could not convince myself to believe that I would be a good mom given my upbringing. A mental mind f&*^ as per usual, get out of your thoughts Tiff!

I remember being embarrassed in my marriage because I didn’t know if my husband was going to leave me if:

  • I allowed my mental health to control me instead of taking this opportunity to focus on our new babies
  • Couldn’t cut it without making the same mistakes my parents made
  • Ultimately failing my husband (in this order)

Distorted thinking. Hush, quiet, into the vault you go because none of those thoughts are true, accurate and valid. Speaking of distorted thoughts, for which I still have, I am super grateful for my therapist because she is providing me tools that are working for me, and this is a first (I just entered my late 30s). I never had much luck with therapy, antidepressants, sleep medication, stimulants, even though my doctor’s kept throwing that shit at me like candy because of childhood trauma.

My Family, Fall 2020

What’s beautiful about my boys is how they show me unconditional and love. My younger son has this habit of randomly approaching me and saying, “You know what you need? A good luck hug”. His hugs and that embrace is something that renews my energy – it motivates me. Some days are tough being a mom and his hugs always arrive at just the right moment.

My older son keeps tabs on me. He’s not much of a talker, but he always knows where I am. If he doesn’t, he will find out. He’s an old soul. Eager to learn yet subtle in his approach. He prefers habit, minimal change and staying home playing video gams.

As parents, we beat ourselves up constantly thinking about how we can be the perfect parent. That’s not real life, so please stop doing it if you do. Life is messy, including the good, bad and the ugly. Everyday we wake up is another opportunity for progress not perfection. One thing I promised myself I would never do was give up on my children. I never want them to feel abandoned.

Moms of Teens, Parents of Teens, Dads of Teens, Guardians and Grandparents of Teens, we’re in this together. The teenage phase of Parenting requires the utmost patience. Remember when I spoke about Patience earlier, yeah – I have none. I learned through trial and trial and error and error, lol. Word to the wise, don’t take the things they say and/or do seriously. In 5 minutes, they’ll be looking for you wondering what’s for dinner. I promise. I’m convinced that during the teenage years, their short term memory is almost nonexistent, just kidding. Selective hearing though IS a thing, and it’s super annoying!

Rant over, good night amigos/amigas!

some days…

Some days are meant to be appreciated for the simple fact that we made it through – y estamos vivos ~ we’re alive! Some days are so tough that they require all our energy. Some days are super long and they drag. Today was one of those days. We’re currently caregiving for my husband’s grandparents. One of said grandparents is suffering from the C word, Cancer. It is never easy to hear let alone accept a Cancer diagnosis no matter who it is.

My heart breaks for my husband. The moment he arrived to this country at the ripe age of 13, he immediately began paving his path for success. He had a dream and has accomplished his goals and maintained success. That shouldn’t be taken away from him. It is never easy to be the only one in the family who gives a shit. You set higher standards and you make shit happen – that’s how you avoid the generational curse. Break the cycle, be the difference. I am forever grateful for how much he has taught me.

Homeschooling two teenage boys in middle school comes with plenty of drama. It has been difficult to navigate virtual school due to COVID-19. We hoped it’d be over by now, but so did everyone else in 2020. I feel like I have another full-time job as a homeschool mom, but I’d rather be a homeschool mom than an elderly caregiver (honesty is the best policy)! Managing 6-7 classes per kid makes me feel like I am in high school again, writing notes on the white board for the Teacher so that she didn’t have to even get up from her seat. Dearest Ms. Cunningham, she was one of those teachers who leaves a footprint on your heart. I found out through one of my high school colleagues that she passed away peacefully. I must admit, I was a Teacher’s Pet!

Some days are meant to be ended with a glass of vino.

Stopped writing, walked to fridge, grabbed a glass of Riesling!

Back to regularly scheduled programming… I come on here to vent and express myself in the form that serves me best. I have written since I was a child, literally. Google Tiffany Oklahoma City Bombing and watch the infamous YouTube video if you dare, lol. Not terrible, just never was a fan of my teeth until I got braces!

Point is, many of us struggle with mental illness daily. Many of us also suppress because it’s the only way we have ever known how to mitigate our emotions. Never did I learn how timing is everything and the importance of an outlet. You need to do something, preferably healthy, every single day or as much as you can to release the tension and stress that comes from everyday life. Perseverance and resilience can be achieved by finding this healthy method among other ways. Over time, progress not perfection becomes second nature. Find something you love doing that has positive return on investment, and do that thing as much as you want.

Cheers amigos!

This might get me in trouble…

Sometimes I get fed up. Like 150% ready to walk out type fed up. Marriage is hard. They don’t tell you about the un-death until you part, good, bad, ugly, all that… It’s rough! My patience runs thin. I wonder why things are being done the way they are. My OCD kicks in to overdrive, ugh the questions that develop in my anxiety mind are plenty…

My husband and I are night and day. I’m the social butterfly who wants to party every weekend, hit the beach somewhere in there, and work hard during the week. I want to take adventures with my kids and hubby, explore the world and live it up; lol, while that sounds super fun, I am also super responsible and a classic housewife when it comes to my cleaning and cooking skills.

My husband is an introvert, often times difficult to understand, a strong Cuban man (personality emphasized here) from Miami who believes that he is RIGHT 1143598749857% of the time. Despite popular belief, his ego serves him well. He is a fucking genius. My husband is an Engineer for Microsoft and I love to brag about it. A man who came to the USA from Cuba when he was 12 years old with only the clothes on his back. He knows struggle and sufferance more than anyone I have ever known. He fears nothing due to the hardships both he and his extended family endured living through Cuban exile. He knows what it means to, “start from scratch”. I believe that’s why we have relentlessly persevered through everything we have gone through in our marriage, because he is amazing at bringing me back to my center and reminding me of my value, my worth. He uses his strength from his losses to help others, he is selfless and he is my husband. I have loved this man since 2004 and I continue loving him. I don’t always agree with him, but I know he’s got my back like no one ever has. I am forever grateful for that, but I am also entitled to my tantrums!

Super traditional, I agree things should be shared and compromised to ensure fairness and inclusion within a marriage. My personality has modernized with age though, and I believe in efficiency. It could be something that small, like why I cannot understand why my husband does things a certain way when I know how to do it in a more efficient manner?! You see? My OCD kicking in…

As I approach 36, I learn more and more about the importance of picking your battles. During such an unprecedented time, I know better than to linger in that sorrow of constantly fighting with your spouse just to fight with them. THAT gets old! Marriage can burn you out AND bring out the best in you at the same time. I have seen it do both within the almost 14 years I have been in my marriage.

I love my husband. He is a pain in my butt, but I love him. We bring out the best in each other. We both had a rough upbringing and had to learn a lot at a very young age without the ability to really have a voice until we became adults. We know what it’s like to be put last for everything, carry the load of your family to ensure that your parents are able to work, the works… It has made us into this power couple, we feed off each other’s energies. Now, we work hard to share the life we have always wanted.

But, he just irks me sometimes! RANT OVER… 🙂

Growing up…

I have learned a lot throughout the course of this depression battle for the past few months. I learned more about myself though mostly. One particular harsh reality was how much I am like my parents. The distribution of these qualities during development was unfair for me as the middle child. I got the best qualities, which I love, but I also got the worst qualities, which I hate. Despite the reasons, I think it’s important to take it all and manifest it into what you want – so, that’s what I’ve been doing my entire adult life.

Seriously though, after experiencing 2 cross country moves in less than 6 months, the worst job experience of my career, a business deal gone bad, my children experiencing change and the ultimate pandemic coronavirus situation, and more ever since my years as a Parental child/teenager. Aside from your typical financial impacts as a result and starting from scratch again, it’s a tough pill to swallow. The level of defeat was underestimated. Dramatic rant over.

Now that I’m working again, it’s my 2nd week at my new job (excited), I’m starting to get back into old but good habits. I am using my planner again, setting alarms and getting runs in, making a to-do list and adding chore responsibilities to my boys to balance OUR soon-to-be-school/work/life schedule, the works. Hubby and I make a weekly meal plan of our favorites, and then I try to cook it with the least amount of butter and healthy fats for oils. In our attempt to kind of rebirth our family during this overcoming period, we are also trying to eat healthier.

This is all growth for me. I feel maturity has worked in my advantage during this time and now permanently. I have noticed that things I once worried and overthought about no longer exist. I feel the most empowered to spread my voice and go back to that young writer who aspired to change the world and help as many people as she can.

Even as a working mom and chairwoman for the local school district, I’ve noticed my patience level increase. Any mom or parent alike could agree that for about the first 10 years of your child’s life, your anxiety levels are through the roof – no secrets here! Let alone raising a child during today’s current events, my “hat” goes off to all parents now more than ever. I feel a sense of relief as my boys morph into their own personalities and personas.

We all must grow to see the other side, the side you only hear about on someone’s social media reel, story or LinkedIn featured. I say it because I do it myself. But it can be like that sometimes?! Manifest your own Destiny. No matter how dark the shit is you go through, remember there’s always a blank canvas waiting to be dusted off that resides in each one of us – theoretically speaking. Another chance. A new start. Fresh beginnings. Never give up.

Buenas Noches…