A Letter to my 20-Something Self

Dear 20-Something Christi:

Put down your frosted lip gloss, stop back-combing your jet black/platinum blonde hair and toss that Ed Hardy shirt aside because WE NEED TO TALK. This is your 30 Something self coming in hot, and you- my grungy babe with the heavy black winged eyeliner, are in for a comeback hotter than a scrunchy tied to a crop top. Future you is coming up on the ripe old age of 32 and I need to talk to you about your 20-something life. But please don’t throw your VonDutch trucker hat at me in anger, because shit is about to go down.

In your world it is 2009. You’re 21 going on 22 and you’re almost ready to graduate from college with your Bachelor’s Degree. You have grand plans to become the most incredible Business Woman with your Business Degree and your fancy pant suit you borrowed from Tina down the hall. Plus, you’ve seen Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion like 50 times so you’ve pretty much got this whole Business Woman thing (and post-it note thing) in the bag. You’ve got your new job all lined up and you don’t even have to start making payments on your student loans for like 3 months! Ahhhh freedom is a mere iPod Shuffle skip away and you can hear the independence of adulthood ringing louder than a Nextel Chirp. You’re stoked to finally become a TRUE adult and have all of your childish problems go away so you can have steady, grown up ones instead.

Before you stop by the bar for your last Thirsty Thursday $1 Draft PBR and get home from smuggling a crunch wrap supreme smooshed onto shots of whiskey into the movie theater, you start thinking about your bright future and swear a NEW YOU is in the making. You start writing out your expenses and realize you’re pretty much a millionaire once you hear your starting pay will be around $30,000 a year. You start day dreaming about how awesome this new life you were always promised is going to be. With all the hard work you just put in these past 21 years of your life, you revel in the smoothly paved, straight-as-an-arrow path of adulthood up to success mountain that you were always promised once you graduated from college. With all of the bullshit you are dealing with now (inside and out), this new you and future extravagant life will be so perfect once you get your big girl job. Toss a dog, husband, kids, big house and your white picket fence in the mix and life sounds as electrifying as Michael Scott on Award Night at the Dundee’s. Of course, all of these problems and issues with self confidence and self care will also disappear once things start calming down in the real world. But seriously, how could life possibly get any busier and chaotic than it is right now? There is so much pressure from parents, school, and comparison through friends that you honestly don’t know what all these 30 somethings are complaining about when they literally have it ALL!!!

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20-something Christi, I need a fucking ladle to scoop these eyeballs out from the back of my head. Can you pick up the sarcasm I’m laying down? It’s as thick as that avalanche of Aqua Net that’s taking over that Snooky poof in your hair. I know you think you’re struggling now, and you are in your own way; but there is something you need to know. You think that struggle will disappear ONCE you get that job, ONCE you get that house, ONCE you find that perfect guy, ONCE you have mini you’s running around. But the struggle will NEVER EVER EVER STOP. This is when the naive impression of adulthood gets over-shadowed by real life and when you start falling down a deep, dark hole of never being or having enough because you are chasing this non-existent, perfectly happy mirage of adult life.

“We are the daughters you told ‘you can be anything’ and we heard ‘you have to be everything’,” From the book – Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters by Courtney E. Martin.

This is also when I need to pull up a chair, sit in it backwards, put my hat on sideways, and give you the “I’m the cool mom” talk.

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Because of that skewed perception of adulthood, past mistakes and pain from your past, you turned into this amorphic people-pleasing creature, stripped of all self confidence, infused with admonishing insecurities, and a head that can only nod in a “yes” motion. Somewhere down this discouraging and impossible road of perfection and having to do it all, you kept beating yourself up because you couldn’t keep up with your flawlessly impaired vision of the future. You started telling yourself that you weren’t good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough. And you believed it

This lead you down a daunting path of self destruction. If somebody got offended by your goals, you backed off of them. If somebody didn’t like the way you acted, you became a chameleon and changed your personality to fit who they think you should be. If you didn’t feel like drinking one night but all your friends told you that you were being a weenie, you drank anyway because you didn’t want to be different and feel left out.

“You were being governed by the habits, fears and opinions of others.” -Les Brown.

You were so scared of not becoming everybody’s favorite person that you lost yourself for the fear of not being loved. And when you do try and find yourself in your late 20’s and early 30’s, you will have the hardest time trying to dig through all the facades while figuring out which one is truly yours.

You let your fears become wild and untamed. You beat yourself up for not being perfect but then judged others for what you perceived as perfect. The metaphorical black eyes were cathartic and legitimized because you thought you deserved them. It almost felt like a badge of honor when you could validate your short comings with the imperfections of others. You were a masochist that egged on your verbally abusive inner critic and searched for pain to try and punish yourself for not being perfect.

DUDE… START RESPECTING YOURSELF.

Because that person that you’re waiting on to do it for you will never come. IT HAS TO BE YOU. Stop waiting for someone to laugh at your jokes, stop looking at yourself in disgust as you get out of the shower, stop buying the size 8 jeans when you know you’re a 10 just so you can tell all your friends you had to go a size down. Stop looking at your friends when the waiter comes by and asks if you want dessert hoping they get that “let’s be bad together” look you’re trying to ESP their way. Stop trying to talk about football with your guy friends when you know you only have that 5 minutes of sports talk radio that you heard on the way to the grocery store under your belt. Stop hoping the pretty girl doesn’t show up to the pool party so you won’t get shown up in your tank-ini while she rocks her barely-there bikini in her perfect bod.

WHO IN THE HELL ARE YOU TRYING TO IMPRESS?! And do they even matter? Because that guy you were trying to throw googly eyes to at the bar is now living in his Mom’s basement, has 5 cats, and “works for the state” while he volunteers his time picking up trash on the side of the road in an orange jump suit. Do you realize that your insecurities blare the brightest when you’re trying to hide them? Seriously, it’s like a teenage boy trying to hide his boner after watching the Christina Aguilera ‘Dirty’ video.

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You think you’re in this unique box that has been viciously cast aside. When in reality, you were tossed right by another unique box and another one and another one. We are all unique boxes that feel cast aside. But here’s the kick in the bedazzled jean butt… WE ARE ALL MISFITS AND WE ARE ALL INSECURE. That girl that you think has the perfect life and the one you’re currently trying to compete with is feeling the EXACT same way you do. She is scared, feels unprepared, and is just as terrified about her life as you are.

You are at your best when you are not feeling judged or criticized. So forgive yourself for the abuse, forgive yourself for the past, forgive yourself for hurting others and forgive those who have hurt you.

Now, are you ready for the tough love part tougher than knowing that Blink 182 will one day become Classic Rock and played on the easy listening station?

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Speaking as your future (badass) self, it took me forever to finally realize that when we are unhappy it’s because we are not progressing anymore. Think about it: we graduated from college, got a job, got a husband, got a house, a dog, had kids… soooo now what? We have no more goals to achieve by societies standards. So we wear ourselves to the bone trying to search for some meaning in our life. We work a job we hate, go home to a house that reminds us of all the projects it needs done, work out because we have to and not because we want to, and stay up until midnight to make those Pinterest cookies for daycare because we don’t want to be the mom that brings the store-bought ones to the party. (PS you will end up being that Mom that brings in the store-bought cookies.) #dealwithit

Just getting by is killing us, Christi! What happened to your dreams as a kid of becoming the big director for the next Mary Kate & Ashley movie, the cat veterinarian for homeless Kitty Kitty Kittens, or the next Business Woman of America (I totally made that up #shutup). I cry just thinking about the bright, energetic and creative little girl you once were because you shoved her down into a hopeless pit of despair and forgot about her. You grew into an uninspired people-pleaser who has no self confidence, no inner courage and no sense of self worth. You do not understand the potential that is curled up in a ball inside of you. BE THE PERSON YOU NEEDED WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER!

You are worth so much more than what your inner critic is telling you. You are valuable and you matter.  Keep progressing and don’t try and tiptoe around the struggles because you will get beat down in your life and after a big-bad (and very scary one, I might add) you will finally find the strength to make it build you. You start this process in your late 20’s and slowly start to listen to your issues instead of shoving them down a muddy butt crack of shame. You bring up the hard things and start investigating them. You start journaling and reading books… well, more like listening to them on Audiobook because you’re a Mom of two now and you’ve got about as much free time as Tiger Woods on a Waffle House Tinder App (you’ll get this reference in about 10 years). You start to listen for hurtful cues towards yourself and examine why that self talk is surrounding you. Plot twist: 99% of the time it stems from a subconscious insecurity, not because Amanda actually  has a better rack than you. For God sake, woman…

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You are worth so much more than what TV tells you, than what Facebook tells you, than what your friends tell you. My dear sweet girl, who are you? You are a body living in other peoples lives and you have no clue about your own. Spend some time with yourself. I know you can’t even stand being alone in a room without the TV, music or something on to distract you from talking to yourself; but get to know who you really are because she is FUCKING RAD. Have the courage to rustle up the past and bring that pain to life. See it for what it is and learn from it. Talk about who you want to be and who you are un-becoming.

Darling, you need to love yourself first and you need to stop trying to control your external environment. The environment inside is the only one that needs to change and from there, you can change the world by changing yourself. You were born to BUILD and you were put here on this earth to help others. I wish I could tell you that you won’t experience another episode of getting knocked down by life’s viscous baseball bat, but it’s coming. However, don’t change that for the world. Don’t wish against it, don’t try and tiptoe around it, go in with guns blazing and FIGHT. Because you are worth fighting for. That’s right, you actually turn out to be pretty cool. You eventually give up on perfection and start working towards progress. THAT’S when you become unstoppable.

So I guess I will just save this letter and not send it to 365 Time Hop Lane. Because you need to go through the struggles because they are what make you.

My dear, you are now 32 years old and I cannot wait to write to you again in 10 years. You are meant for greatness. Buckle up, because shit is about to get LIT!

 

 

Love,

Your Hero (that’s you in 10 years ; )

P.S. Invest your entire life savings on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat. Oh, and burn all of your R. Kelly CD’s. He’s a monster.

I Hope You Fail

 

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YOU: “What did she just say?”

ME: “Hear me out, because it all stems from a place of concern and love for you, your emotional and giddy New Year’s Resolutional state, and your Pinterest board labeled -Baby Got Back-2019 Fitspiration.”

As the New Year approaches and resolutions are flying through your head like your toddler flying through the house after hearing the chip bag being opened, you’re wondering what your NEW ME will look like this year. Which goal are you going to conquer as the NEW YOU juts out your Wonder Woman bosom with a diaper in one hand and a barbell in the other and scream “DIE, BABY SHARK!!” You’re scavenging your mind in hopes to find the perfect plan of action for a more self confident, patient, organized and stronger version of yo-bad-self.

My biggest hope in all of this life changing glory my friend, is that you fail.

I’m talkin’ face in the dirt, cry your heart out, throat punched by a kangaroo, titty twister until your nipple falls off… FAIL!

So let’s get started, shall we?

There’s something about a New Calendar Year that makes everyone want to get a fresh start. It’s the equivalent to starting a diet on a Monday morning instead of a Thursday at 5pm. Regardless, it’s a chance for us all to reflect on our past year and create improvements to make us happier, more fulfilled, and better versions of our previous selves. HOPE is the drug of choice right now. But let’s get real, we are all a bit older and as the thought of losing 20 pounds creeps through our minds, our main goal is to really start making this health and fitness thing a lifestyle. However, our I-want-it-now Millennial Mom brains just have this knack to want to put the proverbial minivan before the horse.

Does this sound familiar? You start a super restrictive and strict diet around 1,200 calories a day and start working out 6 days a week when you were previously only working out 0-1 days a week. You think to yourself, “Yeah, let’s jump start this bad bitch to achieve maximum results in a short period of time. Then after I’m skinny, I will slowly start to incorporate normal life back in. I know I’ve tried this before, but this time it will work!!” You swear off anything with carbs, sugar or taste in it and unknowingly create a slow and progressive happiness deficit that soon comes to bite you in the cauliflower crusted ass. It all goes pretty well for a couple weeks until you have a random work party to go to on a Friday night and all hell breaks loose. That diet that just lost you 7 counterfeit pounds in the first week came at the cost of dietary restriction that deceivingly made you crave those things even more. The more you put boundaries on food, the more you thought about it. Even when you weren’t truly craving it.

QUICK! Don’t think about the color yellow! Now, what color is a banana? That kind of thing.

Yeah, that party just turned into an all you can eat buffet for one and you just morphed into a ravenous beast hovering over the food table shoveling brownie bites and fried chicken in your pie-hole (which coincidentally already had pie in it) while washing it down with a vat of liquid cheese straight from the crock-pot. It’s okay Karen, it’s just 3rd degree burns on my tongue, it will heal with ice cream and tears from my dead and shamless soul.

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A vicious thundercloud of guilt storms over your bed as you lay there at night wondering in bewilderment how your beast got out of its supposedly ironclad, upgraded and fully loaded version 2.019 cage. You wake up with a Kentucky Fried Hangover and pray to the porcelain Gods that you don’t throw up when you bend over to dig out your sweatpants of the storage bin labeled -Maternity Clothes.-

Well, my dear, you failed. Yes, you fucking failed because as predicted, life happened and you followed the same patterns and mindsets as you did last year. So you say “screw it!” It’s now Saturday Morning and I might as well just eat like shit the rest of the week because I have that Birthday Party to go to tonight so I’ll just start again fresh on Monday. So Monday rolls around and you ended up catching that awesome Daycare bug that your son brought home, so you decide to say ‘fuck it’ again and start again next week. This vicious cycle goes on and on until a month has passed and you are now a part of the 80% who have already ditched their New Year’s resolution before February 1st.

GUILT sets in and you say to yourself, “Seriously, I did this AGAIN? What is wrong with me? Why can’t I have will power like that fit chick on Instagram? Why can’t I just get it done? I’ve lost weight before and I know it works, so why can’t I repeat that?”

So you fucked up again and in your mind, you failed. GOOD. Now get up and fail again.

Greg Plitt put it this way: Failures are like report cards. They give you marks on what you did well and on where you need to improve. What you don’t realize is that you’ve already taken this class that you’ve failed at. Failing is equal to learning so by failing you just learned a different way not to do that again. So you are already one step ahead of the game because now you can go into that class again knowing how to fail, understanding those patterns, then changing them to create a more successful plan of action. Failures are a part of the recipe for success. Not butter, Paula Dean.

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Get out your Bill Nye thinking caps on and start investigating what went wrong?

Was it your lack of willpower? Could it possibly be an error filled plan of action that took you off course? Were you too restrictive to the point to where you were destined to fail? Why is it that some days it’s easier to control and other days when Mom pulls out her homemade peanut brittle, you fold faster than T-Rex in a camping chair. Maybe the problem wasn’t in the lack of dedication, maybe it was the mindset you had about it. Did you ever stop to think restricting carbs and sugar shouldn’t be a long term goal if you wanted balance? Did you ever stop to think that if you wanted balance, maybe starting off like Usain Bolt outta the gates wasn’t such a great idea? “But my friend Kelly did it and she looks amazing!” Take off your Nikes, Bolt. You’re not your friend Kelly and you do not have the same metabolic system she has, you have your own. You do not have her same schedule, family life, work life, home life, etc. Stop looking at other people’s goals and start focusing on your own.

Mastin Kipp describes this so beautifully in his book , Claim Your Power. -The problem isn’t your discipline or you’re will power. You genuinely want to better your life but you don’t have an adequate map of how to get there. The truth is, you’re stuck in the same mindset, environmental patterns, and beliefs systems of your peers. You’re going up against a lifetime of behavior, emotional stories and beliefs. We create a never ending cycle of guilt shame and regret while never understanding why we are stuck. Challenge your survival patterns…. You need to get uncomfortable, you need to fail, you need to fall, you need to swallow that belly full of white dog shit, turn to the person next to you, give them a poopy smile and say ‘All right let’s do it all over again’. OK, that last part was me, but you get it.

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When I failed, I used to take it as a lay down and die moment. Being a former eating disordered person, I can tell you that I have failed many times before in the fitness game. I’ve failed so much that I started to notice patterns in my disordered eating habits. For example: I would overeat when I felt scared, sad, depressed, overwhelmed, or unloved. I would also overeat under peer pressure, working too much, when the boys started acting up or living under a restricted meal plan for too long. Food was my tiny reward that made me feel good… for a moment. When that moment wore off, I wanted to re-live it. Food needed me when I felt like no one else did. I felt safe around it. I felt like I deserved to eat shitty foods because I was a shitty person and I deserved to feel like shit. This vicious cycle went on and on until I finally changed my patterns. It sucked, it was uncomfortable and none of my other friends were going through this so I had no one to talk to. But I learned from every mistake until I finally recovered. These triggers still tug at my emotional cords, but I am better equipped at creating new patterns to manage them now because I learned how.

This is why it’s so hard to change because our patterns become us. Our brains have not evolutionarily changed in the past 2 million years so they’re designed to constantly seek comfort and safety. This means that anytime you do something different or step out of your box, your brain signals a red flag and tells you to back off, it’s not safe, you could fail, get hurt, get eaten by a flying-dinosaur-bird-thing, or you will get judged and people won’t accept you. Your brain will always ALWAYS try to nudge you to safety. So fight it! You’re not broken, it’s just a different pattern that’s running you right now.

As Tony Robbins says, (and yes I quote him in EVERY single blog I write because he’s a genius, God’s gift to the human race, and a Golden Demigod of all that is right in this world.)

-“Our biggest problem is that we think we shouldn’t have them.”

We will always have problems and we will always have failures, yet we try so hard to tip toe around them. BUT WHYYYYYYYYYY? If we live so cautiously to try and not get hurt, try to please others, or hope we don’t offend anyone with our gifts, is that really living? We ever-so-cautiously dip our toe into the pool of risk, then realize it’s too cold, run back to our lounge chair and order another comforting daiquiri. “UMMM I ASKED FOR A SLICE OF STRAWBERRY IN THIS!!! Ughhh… why does nothing ever go right for me?!”  When instead, what we really need to do is WOMAN THE FUCK up and jump in knowing that we will get cold and wet, drown for a bit, and possibly encounter a pool shark. Anyone else have that irrational fear as a kid?

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Our brain goes back to the caveman days and thinks that it’s being chased by a prehistoric land lizard and the stress tells your brain that you’re in trouble. Except your not being chased by Zilla the O.G. Instead, your fear comes from Millennial Mom problems. Like, when you’re desperately trying to clean up the projectile vomit your son just missiled across the floor before your dog starts eating it, then your baby starts crying because he ran out of cheerios in his high chair and what’s that burnt smell? OH MY GOD THE TURKEY BURGERS ARE BURNING!! Buzzzzzzzzz, laundry is done! Pop quiz hot-shot Mom, WHAT DO YOU DO? Your patterns tell you to destroy an entire sleeve of Graham Crackers smothered in peanut butter topped with chocolate chips and whipped cream while you crack open a bucket of cookie dough you got from the Little Caesars Fundraising Kit your neighbor’s daughter was selling, microwave that bad boy for a couple minutes and go to town. #coping

You don’t get to know yourself without struggle. If it weren’t for my disordered eating days of bingeing, purging, laxative abuse and obsessing over every inch of my body; I wouldn’t be writing this extremely humbling and hopefully helpful blog today. Who I have become stems from how I dealt with my struggles.

Through my journey, I’ve learned that pressure can create diamonds or it can bust pipes. Don’t forget that YOU get to choose which one you become. I can specifically recall two horrific events in my life that brought me to my knees. I let the first incident destroy me and forced the second one to build me. It all started when I stopped playing the victim and started taking control of what was mine.

“Once you control the man inside of you, the man outside doesn’t matter.” – Tony Romo

So when you think about your New Year’s Resolutions and how you want to change or how you want to be a better person, don’t go into the New Year with the same mind and patterns from last year. The thing that needs to change is YOU. You need to tell your mind to take off the helmet, mouth-guard, life jacket, safety bubble and jump the fuck in. Seriously, you look like Uncle Eddie’s stunt double from Christmas Vacation. You need to know that you’re going to fail, you’re going to fail often, and you need to know that you will fail early in this voyage. HARD TRUTH? You’re going to fail anyway. Even at the little things. So why not fail going balls to the wall? Don’t wait until Monday to start again, start the next day, start the next hour, start the next meal.

Have you heard about about Depression Panda? Mark Manson describes this character in his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, as a blunt, say it like it is, Sombrero wearing Panda with a fruity drink in his hand. He comes into your life when you say, “I don’t have time to workout. I work full time and take care of my kids. How can I meal prep when healthy food is so expensive. I just don’t have the energy because I’m so busy. No one is as busy as me. Plus, I’ve got a family and I’ll just be robbing them of my time.” Mr. Depression Panda struts in with his colorful hat, unapologetic eyes, takes a sip of his cocktail and blatantly says, “I CALL BULLSHIT. You’re just scared and that’s why you’re not going through with it. You’re afraid that you’ll get made fun of if you start something new like Crossfit or Bodybuilding because you’ve never done it before. You’re scared that going into a gym already fat will mean that you just went a thousand steps backwards because you used to be an athlete in High School and picking up a 5 lb kettlebell is just demeaning. You don’t feel like you have the perfect plan yet so you’re waiting until you find the PERFECT one when in reality, there is no perfect plan. You just need to START! But what if you do succeed? Then you have an irrational fear to keep up this lean appearance and workout every single day for the rest of your life and that is daunting to you. And don’t crap on my heart by saying you won’t have time for your family. That time you spend shoving an iPad in your kids face at night while you start your next Netflix Marathon could be used to Meal Prep and Pinterest a new workout plan.”

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What it all comes down to, what your Depression Panda is really trying to tell you is that fear is ruling your life. You’re telling yourself a story that hasn’t happened yet and you’re believing it. Change that pattern and thought process and you will change your life.

What is really holding you back? It’s you. Change will be hard and it will be painful, but expect that. Expect the bruised knees, the hurtful comments, and the dirt thrown in your face. Expect it and accept it. THAT is courage. Courage is knowing you are going to fail but doing it anyway.

JOURNAL THIS SHIT OUT: Some questions to ask yourself… (Don’t forget about Depression Panda. He should be making his grand entrance right about now.)

  1. What changes have you made to upgrade your mental state for this coming year?
  2. What will it take to make you proud of yourself?
  3. What are you doing to move towards failure and away from certainty?
  4. What permission are you waiting for to become the person you were meant to be?
  5. Suffering is a lack of connection. Where are you feeling disconnected?

I will leave you with this quote from -T.D. Jakes

“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t you. So you can be who you were meant to.”

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Written with love, hope and shark-less pools, by Christi Brown

Mean Girls- We know them, We are them

Mean Girls.

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Hilarious movie, but not so fetch in real life.

We’ve all been victimized by them, but we’ve also been one at some point in our lives. We hate being the source of their hella-viscous attacks, yet ironically join in for the kill when the queen drags in a bleeding carcass. I can speak from both ends of my mouth about this because I am a recovering mean girl. I wanted to get off my terrifyingly rocky and gossip filled tug boat to board that stable badass-babe-tribe cruise line full of support and love instead.

Our favorite female catalysts flood our social feeds with inspiring and uplifting stories about women conquering the world together. We give an overwhelming HELL YEAH and pump our fist to the sky and swear off all negativity from here on out. But when it comes down to the real-life, nitty gritty, in the moment, ride or die confrontation; that’s when our claws come out.

No … scratch that. that’s when our INSECURITIES come out.

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Life can seem so beautiful and humble until a harmless trip to the grocery store grants you a run-in from some unfriendly Mean Girls who put a little salt on your insecurity stick.

It goes a little something like this:

Mean Girls (in not so quiet voices):

“Um did you see that lady? Her baby is throwing snacks EVERYWHERE. She clearly has no clue what she’s doing and needs to control her toddler AND that grocery cart. She almost just took out that old lady! I would NEVER let my kid have my phone just to shut him up. That’s just bad parenting. I mean, how am I supposed to shop for my whole wheat, low fat, raspberry mustard whip while her crazy kid is dancing to that baby shark do do do do song in the middle of the aisle?

Me:

OK. You DID NOT just tell me to control my kid when I am clearly balls deep in a puffs explosion from my 8 month old while trying to corral my 2 year old back into the impossible-to-steer blue toy car cart. Meanwhile, I accidentally bumped into the marshmallow display; which, in turn tripped the old lady picking up her fiber supplement and face cream. So sorry about that jet puffed shit-storm, Ethel.

So how about you help me out next time instead of watching me drown in the viciously fickle sea of Motherhood. You remind me of those people who stand in front of the door waiting for you to get out of the store while you use your butt as a door stop, push the stroller with one hand and pull your toddler by the hood with the other. No that’s ok, I’ll get the door for YOU. I swear there’s a special place in hell for those terd rockets.

This little rant was sponsored by the insecurity of not being a good Mother. Yep, what it all boils down to is the fear of everyone seeing you at your worst and that you’re doing everything wrong. You fear those girls telling all their friends, family and co-workers about the terrible Mother they saw in the Grocery store. You think, “Oh my God, this is going viral and I look like the Wicked Witch of the West trying to run a daycare.”

This uneasy feeling starts to spiral when another Mean Girl puts a sarcastic comment on your social media because heaven-forbid your son still uses a pacifier at the age of two. Oh and don’t even think about bringing up your new fitness initiative if someone else isn’t on the same health train as you. Then a co-worker or friend starts the who-has -it-worse game and you have to try and play to catch up to her bad day. “Oh my god, you’re never going to believe what happened to me at the grocery store today …”

There is your uninspired recipe for a bad day.

It’s those quick hits of pain that somehow make us feel like the only way we can connect with people is through our sharing of needless suffering. That’s when we start entering the ring of hate and put up our fisticuffs, ready for a meaningless fight.

It’s those small defeats, those subtle hints of sarcasm and that one person that can make us feel insecure and fearful. It gives us the illusion that we are not good moms, that we are wasting our time to better ourselves, or that everything we do is wrong and nothing is right. Every time we get angry, our fight or flight response comes on and we throw on our extra gear and start to play defense.

When someone belittles you for something, whether it be about Motherhood, your goals in life, or just about you in general; it’s actually a strong signal coming from the other person that they are fearful of you overshadowing them in some way. When someone talks about you behind your back and starts taking you down to China town, they want other people to see your faults and short comings and bring you down to THEIR expectations. They’re trying to take you down to a level that makes them look better than you and their level is pretty low, so it’s not that hard.

If you are a part of a tribe that talks about other people and constantly puts others down, go Dances with Wolves on their asses and get a new tribe.

The 3 types of Mean Girls & how to lead them to their spirit walk:

      1. WRETCHED REGINA

She is the ring leader. This is her circus and you are her flying monkeys. She will be the one to bring up the feast of choice and she will be the one to end it with one last painful bite of her fangs.

In Lori Harder’s book, A Tribe Called Bliss (oh my God, get this book!), she explains the Regina’s of the world as the equivalent to fast food meals. They keep coming back for more because it’s quick, it’s cheap and it’s junk. That quick hit only lasts for so long until they start to feel their crown of crispy burnt French Fries start to slip and have to start holding Ronald’s clown shoes for ransom until they can get their next fix.

GUILTY. Although I can only count a few occasions when I have been the Regina, I still plead among the condemned. And it made me feel like the shittiest person alive. It just didn’t feel right. I mean, don’t get me wrong, AT THE TIME, it felt good to connect with someone who you have been trying to get close with for so long. You start to agree with them because you now have a commonality that makes you feel closer to that person. That vapid connection wares off quicker than dollar store lipstick and leaves you with a stain of regret and a cheap smear of remorse on your face.

Just know that if she talks about others to you, then you will eventually be on the menu for an upcoming feast.

How to lead Regina to her Spirit Walk:

Deep down inside, Regina is extremely hurt. Whether it was from how she was raised, a catastrophic event that happened in her life, or maybe it’s a pain you have no clue that she is journeying through. Regardless, she is battered and bruised on the inside and hides it under layers of sarcasm, regret, and a painful past. Have you ever heard the saying that hurt people hurt people?

Regina needs love above all. She is scared of not being the best and not becoming the highlight of everyone’s day. She needs to dig deep and uncover the gleaming possibilities and securities in her insecure world. She thinks her competition is everyone else when in fact, she should be focusing on becoming better than the person she was yesterday.

You’ve got this, girl. Shine bright and become the hero to your own self. Forgive and start conquering your world with love.

      2. VALERIE THE VICTIM:

She’s the one that never does anything wrong and it’s always someone or something else’s fault. The world is out to get her and she can’t do anything about it. I HATE this girl the most because I was her. I exaggerated stories and put down others just because it validated my actions/excuses. If one of my friends had a success that I was after but failing at, I secretly resented them and would be the one to say, “That’s so awesome! (with the clenched teeth smile) I can’t believe you lost 20 pounds! But now you can’t drink anymore right? That sucks. I love drinking too much to get skinny so cheers to your water!”

Guess who is the water girl now.

embarrassed shame GIF by Originals

The truth: Other people’s success made me feel inadequate with whatever my current endeavors were at the time.

How to Lead Valerie to her Spirit Walk:

Once she can unleash her inner badass biotch to give her fragile, victimized little self a kick in the padded bra; she realizes that SHE is the owner of her life. Not you, not her family, not her “friends”, SHE needs to start steering this ship! Once she understands that no one else is going to support her dreams except herself, then she will become unstoppable. She is so enamored with deflating other people’s balloons that she doesn’t have time to fill up her own. Once she reveals the power within herself to unleash helium hell on her dreams, is when Mr. Fredrickson will be calling her to hitch a ride the next time he decides to go on a crusade to Paradise Falls. She needs to find her calling in life and attack it relentlessly. That’s when she can earn her gold star and ticket out of the mean girls tribe.

Onward, sister. The world needs more passionate people like you.

3) SIDE CAR SALLY

She is just along for the ride. She rolls up on a Wednesday in her pink hoodie, drinking a Double tall non fat mocha skinny vanilla latte, and nervous laughs at every joke to let people know she’s a part of the tribe. She’s like a strategically placed ornament that is just there for show. She doesn’t have a mind of her own so she plays along hoping to fit in just so she can have a crew to call her own. I’ve been there, too. Sally has a fear of not being loved, a fear of not fitting in, and a strong fear of being rejected.

How to Lead Sally to her Spirit Walk:

The thing is, this chick has some serious talents and a uniqueness about her that no one else has. But because she’s so different, she feels like she doesn’t fit in, so she hides her true self to fit into the mold society told her she needs to be. Her talents and characteristics are so unique and so enthralling! Yet, she is scared other people won’t accept her if those talents are too off key or not exactly what the masses wanted. She quits when things get tough and doesn’t understand just how much she is worth. The Regina’s beat her down into her little side cart of pity and Sally allows it. She needs to secure her insecurities with boundaries so people don’t walk all over her anymore. When she can understand her self worth and importance, she will realize that she is worth more than all the double-mocha-whatever-the-hells in the world! Once she can find her purpose, she will have accomplished life.

She did it! She hit level 100! She saved the princess.

SHE WON!

oscars win GIF by ZDI talents

I have been all of these mean girls and I have been/currently am being preyed on by all of them. But the truth is, most of us have been in all of these places and on both ends of the broomstick. My hope is that you can read this with your hopeful eyes relating to one of them and wanting to board this badass boss babe cruise line yourself. Or maybe you’re trying so hard to read this with a critical eye while you sway savagely on your rocky tug boat. AYE AYE CAP’N! You do you girl, but just know that there is a change sweeping the nation of positive and supportive chicks. It’s no longer fetch to be a mean girl. There is too much insecurity, negativity, and self hate on social media and in the mirror. We don’t need it with our loved ones and co-workers, too.

So where do we go from here?

We start to listen. We start noticing when these conversations are coming up in our circles and when we’re being sucked in like a pair of Spanx that we borrowed from our skinny friend. Start to notice when this cheap talk arises in your tribe. Take notice as to who is leading them and either: step away, say something, or simply start with being conscious of how these gossip sessions make you feel during and after the slaughter. If you are the fire starter in this gossipy hell, then take notice of that and look deep down inside to see what insecurity you’re trying to hide by burning that “witch” at the stake.

I once witnessed a dear friend of mine stand up for a person being verba-lisciously beaten down. She stepped in to say, “please stop talking about her.” I will never forget that moment because someone finally stood up to Mama Bear. BOOM! Conversation ended, awkwardly, but efficiently. Everyone nervously took a drink and we started on a new and more positive path. Later on when we were alone, I told my friend how much I admired her because (back then) I would have just agreed with Regina and laughed at the malicious joke even when I felt uncomfortable about the conversation. At that time I didn’t want to seem like the outcast. My friend replied with these beautiful words,”It’s not fair because that person wasn’t  there to defend herself. She doesn’t deserve that, no one does.”

The magical part about this friend…

Even when I start going on my rampages about someone (because my insecurities are blaring bright red for all the town-folk to see), she has never said one bad thing about the person I am trying to roast. She helps me to release my fangs and see things from my victim’s point of view.

proud julie logan GIF by Women's History Month

You go, Glen Coco!

So start by listening and reassessing. This shit is hard. No, I mean like REALLY HARD. Especially when your natural tendency is to complain about EVERYONE or to not say anything just to fit in. This is something that will always be a work in progress for me and something that will eventually get better as the cheerleader inside my head starts chanting Tony Robbins quotes and back-flipping buckets of grateful affirmations to extinguish my fiery soul.

The refreshing part about this journey is that once you start to recognize these situations, you can start to take the power away from them.

Lori Harder explains this so well in her book, A Tribe Called Bliss, (for the love of God GET THIS BOOK!)

-If you’re feeling judged and criticized it’s because you’re doing this to yourself, others or both. How we view others is how we view ourselves. The more critical you are of others, the more you think people are criticizing you. The more you judge others, the more evidence gathered that people are judging you. The more you compare yourself, the more you fall short and feel compared. Replace the judgments and comparison with compassion.

Instead of “she’s only doing that to show off” replace it with, “good for her for trying to better herself. What am I doing to better MYSELF?” See the differences in others and be grateful for those differences.

-Change and give up your comforts. In order to live in your authentic truth, you must be able to: walk alone, be courageous, be disruptive and disliked, be vulnerable, take responsibility, stop judging, stop complaining and stop blaming. Consult your inner guide before every decision, have daily rituals that keep you connected to your truth, adopt your own definition of authenticity and run with it. -Lori Harder.

Remember:

Talking bad about someone else is the equivalent to squeezing your butt cheeks in white yoga pants. It exposes the insecurities that you’re trying to hide. -Me

Written with love, hope and badass babe tribes, by Christi Brown

“I’m Failing as a Mom”

“I’m Failing as a Mom.”

Does this thought run through your head more often than you toddler wants to run through the house naked?

I hear you, Mama. It is a constant deliberation on repeat in my head, too. I get it. You’re struggling HARD and you feel like you’re doing it all wrong. Nothing seems to be going right and you feel like you’re drowning in 2 feet of water at all times.

Let me guess, this is probably how your day started:

 dancing mom mom dance overexcited GIF

You woke up late this morning because you couldn’t fall asleep last night. Your mind was racing 10,000 miles an hour thinking about all of the things that you have to do tomorrow, all the things you didn’t get done today, and now you’re adding all of the unfinished tasks up in your head and wondering how in the ever-loving Kingdom of Unicorn Farts you’re going to fit all of that into your day. Once you finally fall asleep…

The baby woke up for a middle-of-the-night feeding and/or your toddler who always sleeps through the night woke up with a night terror because his night light was casting monstrous shadows again. I mean, you can’t really be mad at them because they needed you; and those baby snuggles paired with that intense cuteness are the only things that don’t make you want to bash your head against a brick wall repeatedly until you pass out (that’s sleep, right?).

Nevertheless, you are dog-ass tired and the alarm you hope you never have to hit just went off. Yep, that one. The “oh shit, get up NOW because you’re already late!!!” alarm. The backup ringtone that makes you do the panic dance from hell is now playing and you’ve got more moves than Michael Jackson in a thriller video getting out of bed.

You’re running around like a Bat out of Batman Hell and can’t even take a shower because you know that blow drying your hair and straightening it will only create a larger time deficit. So you slap on some war paint, toss a can and a half of dry shampoo in your hair and use baby wipes to give yourself a quick bath. You’re welcome co-workers – I hope you don’t mind the Medicated Clean/Jr. Whopper scent me and my personal brand of chemicals just cooked up.

austin powers smell GIF

Now that you’ve finally got yourself in the yellow, you remember that it’s your day to get the kids ready- SOMEONE HOLD MY BEER WHILE I TRY NOT TO PUNCH THIS DAY IN THE FACE (God, I wish I had a beer right now). You now have to bust some serious mom-ass to get the kids ready. Of course, due to the dynamic Mom-Laws-of Physics you ran out of diapers in your diaper caddy and JACKPOT the wipes need a refill, too. So you savagely rip open a new package and leave it laying on the floor because now you have to get the toddler ready. You then pull up your already high-waisted pants (because that’s your ENTIRE wardrobe now), take a deep breath and prepare for battle as you walk into the toddler jungle like Steve Irwin tackling a ferocious Crocodile. As you wrestle with the beast trying not to get scratched and bit, you realize that in your haste of being so busy last night; you forgot to get the clothes out of the dryer which coincidentally contained your toddler‘s only pair of clean pants. So you frantically run downstairs to the dryer and get them out and trip over a lego or two while doing your morning cardio (I’d still rather step on Lego’s than do actual cardio). You finally get the kids together, head downstairs and toss a half-thawed-in-the-microwave Eggo Waffle at your toddler so he can eat breakfast in the car.

Finally, you’re at work and you’re only 5 minutes late! Work is an oddly welcoming break from family life but starts morphing into a different kind of stress. You go balls deep into your computer and … Sweet mother of pearl, how is it already 2pm?! A co-worker says she’s running to Taco Bell and you take her up on her delivery offer because you just remembered you haven’t eaten anything all day. You know you won’t have time to leave the office with all of the work shenanigans going on, so you end up eating your cheap and quick meal because you know you need some kind of nourishment. Hey, tacos are a food group, right? As that beautifully engineered octagon shaped burrito gets more action than you’ve had in weeks, it starts to sit heavy in your stomach and you get serious nutritional remorse while you do an imaginary walk of shame by the made up produce section at the grocery store in your head with a piece of cheese stuck to your lip. Look away!

Finally, GO HOME TIME! As you drive home to pick up the kids from daycare/school your husband texts you a funny meme, but you can’t focus on that right now because you totally spaced on dinner tonight and forgot to take meat out of the freezer. So you text your husband back immediately to see if he can pick up a roasted chicken. You get to daycare and it just so happens to be one of those days where your kids don’t want to leave. You pull them out by their flailing limbs kicking and screaming while side eyeing the other parents with the gaze of horror on your face and give them the oh-my-god-i-swear-this-never-happens face explanation.

Pure exhaustion is now your main power source as you strap the ever-so-sudden wooden plank toddler into their car seat. Oh hey Pinocchio, when did you get here? You start turning out of the parking lot and they magically start giggling and babbling adorable nonsense in the car. THANK YOU for putting on the most believable I-have-the-worst-mother-in-the-world act in front of ALL the daycare parents. What kind of bi-polar witch sorcery are you playing at?!

bette midler witch GIF

Since your husband never texted back and apparently threw his phone into a shark infested abyss right after he texted that meme to you, you decide to heat up the oven and toss a frozen pizza in for dinner. Now it’s time to feed the baby as you dodge your toddler’s attempt at trying to eat 47 snacks before dinner. Your husband finally gets home and a sigh of relief comes barreling out of your chest because you finally have some help! He comes in with a big smile on his face and asks how your day went. Well Andy, I would rather be naked on a yacht somewhere eating a peanut butter filled brownie wrapped in a cookie, but that’s neither here nor there.

Time to divide and conquer.

Now it’s bath time and for the love of everything alcoholic, ALMOST BEDTIME. You give the kids a bath, get them ready for bed and they instantaneously melt your heart with their smiles, warmth and complete innocence as you read them “I Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. You finally feel your heart start to soften again and realize that as much as you wanted to sell them on the black market this morning, they’re totally worth keeping.

THE KIDS ARE IN BED.

You start getting the cold and wrinkled clothes out of the dryer and fold them in your quiet state of mom-numbness. You take out that last wipe that got dried out from the package that got fiercely ripped open in a haste of fury this morning. You refill the diapers and wipes, clean up the mess from the bath, do the dishes from dinner, pick up the minefield of Lego’s, try to make a healthy lunch for tomorrow, feed the dog (sorry, almost forgot about you, Reba!), let the dog out and tell your husband you love him because that’s the only intimacy you’ve both shared with each other all day. (That burrito incident was just between you and me.) It’s now midnight and you finally crawl into bed knowing you have to do it all over again tomorrow. You think about that book you read to your kids and start crying while feeling like a complete failure of a Mother because you barely made it out alive today.

So yes Mama, I can see how you feel like a failure. I can see how you feel so exhausted because a day like today is too much for anyone to handle. But you are not a failure. You fed your kids, clothed them, bathed them, went to work to support them and even cried over them thinking you didn’t do enough for them today. The truth is, you did everything right. I know you see those moms on social media that look like they have it all together. You know the ones that brought the homemade, sugar free, wheat free, dairy free, gmo free, bpa free, rbst free, chocolate free, chocolate chip cookies shaped like each kids favorite dinosaur with a frosting neck tie. Meanwhile, you’re over here like, yeah I had to stop by the gas station to get gas and these were on sale because of the damaged packaging. But the truth is, even those Mom’s struggle at something that you absolutely ROCK at. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and I know it can be so overwhelming when it feels like your weaknesses are taking over.

My Mom always told me that one day I will look back on all of this and ask myself “How in the hell did I do all of that?!” Even she can’t answer me when I ask her how she did it all, and without iPads! She told me that you just keep going and you keep pushing because you just have to in order to survive.

But what if I did a complete 180 on this seemingly daunting and what feels like it will never end scenario? What if I told you that you are actually doing everything right? What if I told you that all of this stress, pain and exhaustion is actually creating fulfillment and purpose in your life?

STFU, Christi. I’m going to stab you.

No seriously, do you want to know the reason why you feel so fulfilled yet so incredibly run down?

Put on your positivity Pants (still high waisted) and take quick stroll down the Tony Robbins high five lane with me while we explain…

The Tony Robbins 6 Core Human Needs:

(Mom-remix)

#6 Contribution:

Life is about creating meaning. Ultimately, the more you help someone else, the more happy you become. Do I even need to say it? Selflessness is a key trait of Motherhood.

#5 Growth:

If you’re not growing, you’re not experiencing real fulfillment. As Moms, I feel like growth is one of our strong suits. Our patience, our love and our commitment to our families have grown leaps and bounds from where they used to be. Remember in college when we debated buying our girlfriend at the bar the next round of shots because she still owed you that $4.35 from that Starbucks run 3 weeks ago. #growth

#4 Love and Connection:

As Moms, we should be given the Golden Wine Trough award on a daily basis for this one. We seem to carry an empathy and sentimental connection for our kids that is unlike any other. We have the ability to calm any situation when our kids are upset or sad and feel like we could flip over a car to save them in the face of danger.

#3 Significance:

We all need to feel special, important and needed. OH BOY do kids make you feel needed. I feel like we’ve got this one in the bag, Mamas. Think I’m kidding? When’s the last time you peed alone without a knock at the door or fingers wiggling through the threshold? Also, according to every mom on the internet “I’m doing it wrong” and in my book, that makes me pretty damn special.

#2 Uncertainty/Variety:

We’ve got uncertainty on fleek! Our whole life is uncertain and there isn’t a day that goes by that you wonder what kind of moods your kids are going to bring to the table when they wake up. Let’s get real, we love surprises… on our Birthday, but not when it’s the unexpected and uncontrollable kind. Those are called problems. However, Tony explains this unwanted phenomenon as growth because much like a muscle, it’s only during times of strain and pressure that we grow. #guru

#1 Certainty/Comfort:

This one might be our kryptonite. Nothing is certain in the Mom world so we often feel like failures just because we fear the unknown. “Is our kid going to behave for 5 minutes when we run into the store to grab milk or will he have another 2 year old breakdown in front of the cashier because I wouldn’t let him get the green spatula?” All the way to – “What kind of person is my son going to be when he grows up? Am I teaching him the right things for him to become a kind and genuine person?” Unfortunately, Mama, this is the one we struggle with the most. Uncertainty is a real bitch.


So when people ask you how Motherhood is going and you re-actively say, “I feel like I’m drowning 99% of the time but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!” Huh? What just came out of my mouth? I think I blacked out.

What I’m trying to lay out for you here is that as Moms, we pretty much have 5 out of the 6 Core Human Needs under wraps. So yes, according to life, you’re killin’ it, Mama. You’re getting an A++++++ on Motherhood. Just look at what you do every day. You do enough, you are enough, you have enough. In fact, you have it all!

You are so badass and you don’t even know it. What superhero do you know that quits when it gets hard? Not you, that’s for damn sure. You may cry in the shower and drink one more glass of wine than what your Mother In Law deems “appropriate” but the struggle is what makes this journey of Motherhood so F’n rewarding!

This shit is not for the lighthearted. You literally created a human being from scratch, cooked that precious babe for 9 (let’s be real, 10 months), then painfully and LOVINGLY tore your body apart to get them out. That’s some serious Martha Stewart/David Blaine bad-assery going on there.

The reason you feel like you’re failing is because you are! But you get back up every single time you get knocked down because you know that’s what you have to do. The best part is, you do it all for those little beating hearts that know you as the safest place God ever created. So keep failing and keep doing the little things because it’s the little things that add up to the big things in life.

Written with Love, Hope and Sexy Burritos

by Christi Brown

Confessions from a Millennial Mom

Why yes, I do have my phone out and no, I will not put it down to “enjoy the moment.”

HOLY CONTROVERSY CITY OVER HERE!

Whoa whoa whoa, pump the brakes my friend and let me explain this thought process to you.

It was Labor Day weekend in Boyne, Michigan and my Husband and I were on a weekend get-a-way to celebrate a wedding and play golf. As we were waiting to head up the mountain to tee off, the starter at the golf course looked at me while I was on my phone and said “You kids always have your phones on you and you can never really enjoy the moment, can you?”

I’m sorry, what in the beloved mother of ducks did you just say to me, sir? My head was spinning and I was down about two Bailey’s and Coffee at this time and was ready to hurl a waterfall of insults back in this Baby Boomer’s left ear-hole.

However, being the kindhearted Millennial I am, I just gave him the stank eye instead and decided to listen to his reasoning.

He started with his “Well back in my day…” dramatization and took me on a stroll down memory lane. I took a deep retrospective breath and politely smiled at him as I prepared the Oscar-winning intellectual argument of the century in my head.

After hearing his side, I took it upon myself try to understand where he was coming from and hope that he could do the same for me. I wanted to try and learn something from this man and take away a piece of knowledge that I could use in the future. Millennials are cool like that; even the older ones like me. In turn, I realized that I had learned something from Vocal Victor after all, and it was something quite unexpected.

I learned that I need to stop apologizing for being a Millennial and living in my time.

You see, the truth is, he didn’t know that I was a Mom checking in on my kids. He didn’t know that I was texting my Mom to see if we could FaceTime with the boys because we had a few minutes to spare. All he knew, was that I wasn’t paying attention to anything but my phone.

Fair enough my good sir, but can I interest you in this cutting-edge perspective?

Life has changed tremendously since you were a wee lad watching your stories on your new rabbit ears set. I swear, I’m not making fun of you because I am literally the oldest 31 year old soul you’ll ever meet. You can find me in my house on a Friday night with the temp set at a comfortable 78 degrees, cross-stitching on the couch watching the Golden Girls Marathon on the Hallmark Channel in my $3 slippers that I got on special while waiting for my hot rollers to cool in my hair so I can get my fiber filled oatmeal off the stove and eat supper at a reasonable 4:30pm. I’m learning most Mom’s and #eldermillenial (thanks Iliza Schlesinger) people my age prefer this Friday night over a night out at the club. #adulting

Even though I am an old soul I do believe technology has its place in this ever-changing world and contrary to popular Baby Boomer opinion, it is not pure evil and the death of all good things. Our phones are now attached to our bodies and have become a new appendage for us to wardrobe. Our lives are on these devices and there is nothing we can do to change that. So if we can’t change it, then let’s change the way we think about it. Instead of confining technology into a hateful box containing the root of all evil and a gateway to Satan’s Butthole, let’s use it to our advantage and start thinking of it as a helpful hand in an album of digital memories.

I love my phone because I have two small boys. My boys, like most kids these days, are used to having a phone in there face and are instinctively known to snap 24 shots of a blank wall at any given moment. We also use these shots to capture that first smile or that snot bubble they just blew out of their nose, HELLO SNAPCHAT!

This means that instead of documenting our lives from memory, we are now capable of documenting it through videos and pictures! I mean, how cool would it be to be able to see all of the highlights from your Grandmother’s life? How amazing would it be to see what life was like back in the 1930’s when she was born after the biggest stock market crash in U.S. History? How incredible would it be to not only hear the war stories from Grandpa but to actually see Grandpa being a total badass and saving lives in battle? What would you do if you saw your Grandpa work his first job as a grocery-bagger at the local grocery store making 40 cents an hour? Are you getting the point? Our children’s children will have this marvelous gift of documented memories handed to them because of us!

The day I no longer felt guilty for having my phone in my children’s faces was the day my son took his first steps. He was at daycare and I wasn’t there to witness it because I was at work. I bawled for DAYS. I called my mom crying with uncontrollable alligator tears barreling down my cheeks asking her how I can quit my job so I don’t miss these important moments anymore. She calming empathized with me as I sent her the video that our wonderful daycare had caught while he took his first steps.

She told me this…

“Christi, I know you are upset because you weren’t there, but more importantly, you got it on video! You can watch that over and over again which is something I will never get to do because we didn’t have cell phones back then to catch these kind of spontaneous moments.” I was still in a devalued and disheartened state of Motherhood when I hung up the phone with her. As I tossed and turned that night, I watched that video over and over again. I re-lived that moment as if I were there and I memorized each and every wobble and wiggle as he drunkenly stumbled across the floor on his own two feet for the very first time.

My Mother was right. I get to re-live that video every single day, anytime I want, whenever I want because I have it captured on this so-called demonic device.

So when you see me with my phone out videoing my kids or taking pictures, remember that I saw something beautiful. Sure, I will enjoy the moment without technology for a bit, but then I will take out my phone and capture something so innocent, funny or sweet that was worth documenting. I saw something that I didn’t want to trust my memory to, but rather a moment that I wanted to put on re-play forever. I saw something that I will share with my boys at their Graduation Party, on their Wedding Day and even to their kids when they become parents. A pure feeling of Joy and Oxytocin swept through my body and I saw a moment that I never wanted to forget.

My small DISCLAIMER is that being pro-phone does not give me the right to search on Pinterest or scroll through Instagram while my kids are begging to play with me. I hate it when people are on their phones at the dinner table and I am not one to check my phone first thing in the morning. There are obviously exceptions to this opinion and this doesn’t mean that we should be LIVING on our phones 24/7. Instead, it means that we have the ability to recognize a pivotal memory in life, capture that genuine moment at the touch of our fingertips, then put our phones away. Technology is neither Black nor White; it is a constantly gray area.

If you are a part of the Baby Boomer generation that took technology in like a hungry dog off the street, then you are probably on your phones just as much as we are, utilizing and taking advantage of the incredible commodities your cellular device offers. If you are a Baby Boomer who is technology adverse, then that’s fine as well. You do you. But hold off on the Millennial criticism because the ones who complain about us are also the ones who raised us.

#micdrop

As Jim Halpert from The Office said on the last episode of the last season, “Imagine going back and watching a tape of your life. You could see yourself change and make mistakes and grow up. You could watch yourself fall in love, watch yourself become a husband, become a father. You guys gave that to me, and that’s an amazing gift.”

Written with love, hope and Millennial Hashtags by Christi Brown