The Exaggerated Life As a Mother

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Life sometimes feels like an exaggeration. When I open my mouth or write about something regarding motherhood, I think and look back on it and wonder if it’s actually believable. Life happens rather dramatically at times, at least in a mother’s eyes. When you feel like you carry somebody else’s world on your shoulders and you’re trying to keep a balance (whatever that means) to shape a wholesome upbringing, your own body can grow stiff and even brittle until you crack.

I’d like to think most days I’m even keeled, and that I have healthy habits like exercise and writing to ease my woes. Yet sometimes the troubles I feel, however seemingly mundane, are also immense. They grow larger until I lose my balance and I tip over, causing bouts of stress to spill outwards in uncharacteristic, maybe even irrational ways.

I have not slept in a week.

This house is always a mess. 

I can never finish the endless loads of laundry.

My kid keeps getting sick.

Exaggerated. So exaggerated.

Yet the weight of it all remains heavy and inescapable, even in the brevity that is childhood. I find myself cracking in places I thought I’ve meticulously caulked in an effort to keep it all together. I begin to question my role as a mother and if the toll it takes on me is typical of motherhood —

Am I the only one who’s ever cried in the shower due to the building tension of motherhood? 

Am I the only one who goes from feelings of “this is awesome” to “what the hell am I doing?” in a matter of seconds? 

Am I the only one who relishes the sound of silence now that it is scarce? 

I just want to feel normal — to feel okay that laundry and sleeplessness has gotten the best of me. To know that shedding tears once in a while — perhaps even daily — during my only alone time in the shower is okay. To admit that the tight ship I try to run sometimes goes astray, and I allow my limp body to flow with the currents as my head barely bobs above the water. To confess that sometimes I need a lifesaver, a moment to circle back, gasp for air and regenerate. To know that it’s okay to feel these things.

I’ve learned that where there is life involved, it is not an exaggeration. Motherhood, fatherhood, child-rearing, none of it is an exaggeration. It is utterly demanding, all-consuming, heart-wrenching and back-breaking. It is a labor of inexhaustible love coming from human beings.

So I’ll say it, from one mama to another: it is okay. When you lose your balance and you need to cry, it’s okay. When your brain is clouded with too many thoughts and you begin to question yourself, it’s okay. When you admit, as difficult as it is, that you simply need a break from the work that is being a mother, it is more than okay.

It’s normal.

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Feature on OSHITBRITT’S “Mother The World” Segment

This week I’m featured on vlogger OSHITBRITT’S 3rd installment of her weekly “Mother the World” segment, watch it below:

I was excited to collaborate with Brittany and be very candid and open about my experience as a young mother and the topic of self worth. She’s not a mom herself, but she’s using her platform to shed light on the stigmas young and/or single moms may face and encourage us be supportive of women who choose to be mothers, especially young moms.

OSHITBRITT writes daily about feminism and life on her website, which you can check out here. She also has a fictional book called Stars Melt to Milk about a young, single mother that’s coming out soon.

Thanks for watching!

If Motherhood Were on My Resume…

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Some prestigious 4-year University that remains irrelevant for the job, 2008-2012 (GPA also irrelevant)


Motherhood, August 2013-present

  • Demonstrate the ability to work under extremely stressful and time sensitive situations  with ease, including emergency diaper explosions and temperamental public outbursts
  • Orchestrate weekly grocery trips, restocking inventory in a timely manner while keeping client in a manageable disposition
  • Outpace erratic client behavior and make well-calculated maneuvers in order to ensure client safety
  • Redesign playroom space on a daily basis to maintain a pleasing aesthetic and enhance optimal performance
  • Supervise client in completing daily tasks, including meal consumption, hygiene maintenance, educational activities, and bedtime routine
  • Diagnose unpredictable illnesses and treat them according to their unique symptoms, successfully dispensing prescribed medications to client despite outright reluctance and frenzied limb jerking
  • Partner with a diverse group of caregivers in a collaborative effort to ensure client growth, execute milestone goals, and accident prevention
  • Resolve unexpected conflicts among other toddlers with minimal to no damage, avoiding toddler inflicted cat scratches due to unwillingness to share toys
  • Sustain an overall positive disposition despite chronic sleep deprivation, unreasonably high-pitched demands, and lack of privacy


Fluent in incomprehensible fragmented babbling; Single handedness (including but not limited to single handed cooking, butt wiping, and carrying up to 7 grocery bags);  Wildly entertaining storytelling ability

What skills would you put on your resume?

Teeth and Mobility

One moment, she’s scootering around with her newfound awareness of upper body strength, and the next, she’s got a hole in her gums where we’re impatiently awaiting the first pearly white to emerge. Keep posted, we’ll post a picture when it finally makes an appearance!

I am FLOORED by how fast things are moving along in the land of the Jojo right now. Keep in mind, development isn’t always this lightning fast – I’ve been muttering mama in her ears since day 1 and she can still only manage to blab dada-dada-dada-da, much to Chris’s delight. 

We’re excited to see what else is in store for us!

As an aside, Chris and I have finally jumped on the VSCO Cam game, he on the iOS and I on the Droid. Don’t mind our beginner mobile photography.

6 Months

Aaaaand…we’re here! Half a year suddenly flashed before our eyes in what felt like a millisecond and an eternity all at the same time.

Josephine Ella, the babe who steals our hearts every single time she smiles, laughs, and even when she passes gas. At 14 lbs, 12 oz and a whopping 25 inches, she’s a petite little thing just like her parents. Still no sign of teeth, but I swear some days she’s got the irritability of a child cutting four teeth at once. Undoubtedly a morning person, she babbles up a storm in utter excitement before the sun even rises. She wants everything in her mouth all at once. Her favorites include cold granite countertops, tissue paper, fingers, yoga mat, and mommy’s blanket. The only thing guaranteed to calm her down on her worst days is being in mommy’s arms. She sleeps soundly at night tucked in between mommy and daddy, and dreads the day when we decide it’s time for her to sleep in her crib. Solid foods and sitting up are the next big steps. She hates putting clothes on, being alone, and long car rides. She loves being outdoors, belly raspberries from daddy, and cuddling to sleep. Sweet and gentle, needy and stubborn. That’s our girl, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

P.S. Chris and I also get an adequate amount of sleep most nights. Progress, hooray! 🙂

A New City To Call Home

I grew up half an hour north of the iconic Golden Gate bridge. I spent my undergraduate years in the urban sprawl of Berkeley, where the dorms and halls are interspersed throughout the city blending campus and city life seamlessly. I worked in San Francisco, commuting via BART and MUNI, which routes I learned like the wrinkles in my palm. Sometimes I would take the ferry from my hometown into the city, and the symbolic Bay Bridge span would peek through a blanket of mist to greet me on the other side. The Bay Area is, and always will be, the place I call home. But as much as my heart resides there, I didn’t expect myself to stay in the Bay Area forever.

On the other hand, I was always bias against our southern counterpart, Los Angeles. When I think of L.A., I think of traffic congestion, smog, terrible parking, and Hollywood types toting around their designer dogs. Granted, I have never extensively spent time in L.A., or Southern California for that matter, but I never had the desire to. Mickey and Minnie Mouse drew our family in once when I was five, but we were deterred from ever going back again because of the heavy crowds.

L.A. is probably one of the last places I thought I’d relocate. Heck, the United States is far down my list of countries to live in my 20’s. Then again, a baby is one of the last things I wanted in my 20’s too. But now I’ve got Jojo, and she makes me ooze of happiness. And while Chris and I still dream of living and working in Istanbul (and we will – just wait!) developing stability in ourselves, enough for Jojo to grow in a healthy and loving environment, is our most important shared responsibility. For us, that means staying put for a couple of years while we not only make strides in our professional paths, but provide Jojo with great care and attention.

So, out of tremendous generosity from our family, circumstance and strategic planning, Chris, Jo and I are calling the city of angels our home for the next 2 years. A new city, a new home, a new family – it is the perfect recipe for adventure. In the few months our family has been down here, we’ve had the privilege of spending quality time with family and taking strolls through notable places like Rodeo Drive and Venice Beach. There are still many more hikes, restaurants, sporting events, concert venues, beaches… the possibilities are almost endless here. The world is very much our oyster. The Bay Area is a short plane ride away, but I’ve come to realize the notion of ‘home’ has kind of transformed itself to wherever my family is near to enjoy life with, and adventure starts with us.