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New Year's Intentions

“What are your intentions for 2019?”

We’d put the kids to bed, thrown a DiGiorno pizza into the oven, and popped a bottle of champagne at 7:45pm because we knew it was unlikely that I’d make it to midnight to see the ball drop. And so, while sitting at our kitchen counter, with no makeup and some sweats on, I looked across at my husband and asked him this seemingly simple question.

“What are your intentions for 2019?”

He rattled off a few of the regulars: “be a good dad, a good husband, a better friend.”

“But what does that mean?” I asked him, genuinely. “Those are all great goals, but if you don’t put something specific behind it, doesn’t it become so easy to just…let them go? I mean, being a good dad. That’s great, but you’re already a good dad. So what, specifically, do you think you should be doing better or more of that you’re not currently doing?”

And he smiled. Because he knows me. He knows that my brain has been mulling over this very same question for weeks, if not months. He knows that I’m not going to just let this go so he can get away with the vagueness and eat his pizza in peace. That’s not the girl he married. And while his answer to my question later about what I could be doing better as a wife was, “you could roll your eyes less,” I think, overall, he’s grateful for that.

But he was right. This question of intention and getting some skin in the game of that intention had been weighing on me for months and months. You see, I’m a goal-oriented person who also happens to be pretty self-competitive, so when I say it out loud – either to myself or to the world – I better damn well mean it and be able to back it up with something to show.

“What are your intentions for 2019?”

This is the question that has brought us to here, dear readers, at the brand new Uncurated Mama site. A site that has been gestating in my brain for well over a year, though the title and physical presence of the site have only developed recently.

Telling myself that I wanted to write more was fine. But you know what? I didn’t write more. You know why? I wasn’t taking myself seriously and I wasn’t holding myself accountable. Sure, I like to write – people even seem to like some of my writing, as it turns out. But I’m not a writer. I’ve got a pretty busy full-time job, two kids under the age of 4, a happy marriage, and a brand new house that I’m just settling into. So why on earth did I feel the need to write? And why on earth did I feel the need to make it so….official?

Because it’s in me and it’s what I love to do. I like my job, I love my husband and kids, I have incredible friends, a loving and supportive family….and yet….

Four years ago, I was pregnant with my first daughter and I was embarrassingly confident that it wasn’t nearly as hard as everyone made it seem. I mean…how hard could it really be?

Oh, mama.

Cut to: now I’ve blinked and I have a 3.5 and a 2 year old who keep calling me mommy and making me pay for everything. How the hell did this happen? I mean, here I am, this imperfect person raising these imperfect babies to hopefully grow up and be kind and generous imperfect grown-ups. And it was terrifying AF.

However, while I was busy being terrified and doing it anyway, I was also busy inundating myself with social media feeds and blog posts by other moms who seemed to be doing it so much better – sometimes in heels! And make-up! And perfect lighting! And this seemed crazy to me. I mean, am I the only mama who’s been so sweaty and so frazzled at a checkout line with two babies on each hip that the cashier literally let me walk out of the store with a free bottle of water because “you look like you could use it”? Am I the only mama who has been that mom at Target, trying to keep her shit together, over-parenting in front of strangers who are judgingly looking at you while the nice Target employee cleans up the broken eggs on the floor that your preschooler dropped? Am I the only mama who doesn’t want to have to put together a portfolio of my daughter’s life accomplishments for a school application because her greatest life accomplishment thus far is that she’s learned how to wipe her own butt so that it’s not itchy? And only sometimes?

I can’t be. I know I’m not. And you know how I know? Because you sneaky bitches confide in me when we get offline and are drinking coffee or wine over a playdate. And I’ve been paying attention. I’ve been paying attention to the desperation in your eyes when you tell a story and hope I can relate. I’ve been paying attention to the genuine panic or fear in your voice when you aren’t sure if you’ve made the right decision for your kid – was that too much discipline, or not enough? Will my kid ever grow out of this “difficult” stage or is this somehow a reflection on what a terrible mom I’ve become? Should I enroll him in four extracurricular activities to keep up with the other moms in my friend circle so that he’s not left behind?

I’ve got you. And you know why? Because I worry about the exact same things. The fear that you’re not doing it right, when none of us know what the hell we’re doing, should be obliterated from our cluttered brains. Yet….

In the coming weeks I’ll be writing about what I call “The Mommy Boomerang,” where the moment I find myself judging another mama is the exact moment that motherhood punches me in the face with my own missteps or oversights. I’ll be writing about FaceTime wrinkles and the importance of the elusive Date Nights. I’ll share some insights I’ve gained along the way, on this early mama journey of mine, and hopefully you’ll see yourself somewhere in here. Hopefully this will help you know that you’re not alone, even when Instagram makes it feel like you are. And hopefully you’ll be able to happily pin the perfect wall décor for your living room on Pinterest while looking at your actual living room with one eye shut so that you can’t see the Leggos that have multiplied, inexplicably, all over your floor that you just cleaned OH MY GOD.

This is my intention for 2019. One of the many, and one that I’ve said out loud.

Think about yours and then say them out loud, write them down, or, you know, create an entire website around the mere notion of it. Because you know what? It's a new year.

What are your intentions for it?

This is our actual basement wall. My intention was to paint it a beautiul gray. My kids' intentions were....different.


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