88 Years of Wisdom With a Dash of 28

Growing up, I think I defied this woman and my mother in every way I knew how. They would tell be “that boy isn’t a good influence on you”, so I would sneak out to go see him. Your typical young adult, trying to figure out life and I’ll be damned if anyone was going to tell me how to make it happen. Little did I know her and my mother were doing their best to shape me into the women I am today. If I grow to be half the women they are, I’ll feel accomplished.

I sat down this morning with this wise woman, after throwing my laundry in the wash, I bet she really wishes I’d invest in my own washer. Anyways, I told her this week has taken its toll on those closest to me, along with myself. Life has consumed us. Social media has seemed to only highlight the negative lately, and it’s put so many of us in the wrong state of mind. So, I asked her if she would mind sitting down with me, and let me pick her brain and soak up her 88 years of wisdom, I asked that she give me her 10 best pieces of advice, from love to motherhood, and she so graciously did so. So here it is….

Love – Don’t be so quick to get mad, try to consider their side too.

I’ll be the first one to raise my hand and say I failed at this miserably in my own marriage. So many times, did my ex husband come home and I was infuriated because how dare he walk in, eat, and just go to bed. I took care of this household all day, I ran the 56 errands you needed done. I slaved over the stove to make sure you had a warm meal when you got home. Never considering the fact that he got up at 3 AM to make sure he could make his hour drive to work and catch the boat on time. Disregarding the fact that he just worked 12 hours, and didn’t get a break because they were short-handed, so eating wasn’t and option. Forgetting he stressed all day about those 56 errands he had me run, because he felt guilty he couldn’t do that himself. Stop and breathe for a minute guys, walk in your partners shoes.

New Moms – Just love them as good as you can, and don’t let everything upset you. They are new to this world and learning just as you are.

Just love them. You aren’t going to be a perfect parent, one doesn’t exist. You aren’t going to feed them fruits and veggies every day. You are going to mess up, it is okay. Just love them. Everything else will fall into place in due time. Remember, they are going to make mistakes, when they are 28 and living on their own in their little apartment, just trying to get by, (isn’t that a Martina McBride song), they are still going to make mistakes. This is their first shot at this life too. Remember that, teach them.

Dealing with Enemies – Pray for them.

I know, better than anyone that this is hard to do sometimes. Most days you wish they would trip over a sidewalk crack and split their pants. I get it, but if we are being real… I take this advice. Lets be honest, my ex husband’s girlfriend is probably one of my least favorite people. I am not a fan. Are my feelings justified? I am sure in my eyes they seem to be, but with that being said…. I still pray for her. Every. Single. Night. Why? Because my kids love her, and I need to make sure she lives her best life and is her best self, for them. So if all I can do is pray from the sidelines, I’ll do so.

Careers – Love what you do, and give it your all.

I just learned this the hard way. I was stuck in a career that everyone else wanted me to pursue. Everyone else thought I needed to be doing, and guess what? I was miserable… I recently took a risk and decided to chase my dreams and pursue a career in photography and blogging, and for the first time in my life, I am giving it my all. I’m here to tell you it was the best decision I ever made. Find what you love, chase it, and give it hell!

Marriage – Know that everything isn’t going to go your way, marriage is not one-sided.

What? You are telling me, little miss independent, that everything is not always going to go my way? Uh, my picture perfect ideal relationship isn’t the same as everyone else? You don’t say. Look y’all, YOU AREN’T ALWAYS GOING TO GET YOUR WAY. Everything is not one-sided, there has to be give and take, stop forcing things, things you want. Consider what they want. There are two people in this relationship, not one. Man I have learned so much. I am gonna make a killer wife…again…one day.

Children – Teach your children right from wrong, you are shaping them as adults. Also let them know, everything isn’t going to be easy.

You can not sugar coat everything, we can’t shelter our children their whole lives. Trust me helicopter mom here, I wish I could. But we are responsible for shaping them into the humans and adults they will become. Lead by example. Life is going to get hard. They are going to struggle, show them how to deal with their struggles.

Addiction – You can’t be their enabler. Even if it’s not intentional.

I know this is a touchy subject, but I had to go their. As I have loved an addict, but that’s another story another time. Let me say this, sometimes, especially us with big hearts, we enable without that being our intention. We make life easy for them. They don’t have to struggle. Sometimes we have to let them hit rock bottom, we have to let them struggle. So they can spark that flame within themselves to make a change. Juggling the Jenkins explains it best, check out this video.

When You Hit Rock Bottom – Someone loves you, let them love you. There is always a way out of any situation. Don’t be afraid to pray for yourself and your own needs.

You are loved. Don’t be afraid to call out for help. I promise you are worth it. I promise this world needs you and your journey is just beginning. You have a purpose.

Just Starting Out in Life – Think before you make your next move. Because your future and those in it depend on it.

Remember, your actions have consequences, and sometimes not only for yourself, but for those who surround you. Your consequences can spill out into the waters of your loved ones and contaminate it. Think not only before you speak, but put thought into each move you make. Don’t gamble with your future. You only get one shot at it.

Life – Don’t take to heart everything people throw at you. You have to think for yourself, don’t let others think for you. Because it’s your journey ultimately and you have to live it.

Finally, this. It’s so easy in the social media world to get caught up in the negativity, and lose ourselves. To stop beating to our own drum and follow suit with the rest of society. Remember, this is your journey and your’s alone. They are not walking in your shoes, they are not living your life, YOU are. Take negativity with a grain of salt. Be your best self. Be kind and love as hard as you can. Tomorrow isn’t promised. Be well everyone.

Thank you for stopping by.

– Jamie Lea

Busted Knuckles and Bills

Over the last 3 years I have learned I can not depend on anyone but myself…

As young girls we are taught how to keep a home, how to cook, how to clean, how to raise children, but no one ever teaches you how to find a place to live after a divorce.  When you have $20 to your name, no job, and very few belongings. No one prepares you for how insanely hard college is going to be with two babies. No one tells you how many hoops you have to jump through to buy your first car on your own. When you have spent your life relying on someone else’s credit. No one warns you about the struggle to survive, pay bills, and keep food on the table when you find your first minimum wage job. No one can put into words how exhausted you will be after working 14 hours, staying up taking care of a sick baby, and then making sure your other baby’s homework is done, they get to sports, and lunches are packed.

Finally, no one teaches you how to pull a freaking wiper motor out of your car and how bad your damn knuckles are gonna hurt after you bust them 52x,  but guess what…

I promise you can make it all happen. It’s not always going to be easy. Some days you will want to throw in the towel, but one day you will wake up and say holy shit, ” look how far I have came “, or ” holy shit I just took my car apart and pulled out a wiper motor all by myself “, either or.

My point is, don’t depend on anyone, make things happen for yourself. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. You got this I promise.

Stay tuned for my next trick. Changing a light bulb in my kitchen.

-Jamie Lea

I’m down to thongs…..

I’d like to tell you I’m that mom that has her shit together. That my house is always tidy, and muffins are in the oven, but I just threw a corn dog in the microwave for 70 seconds, because I’m too tired.  I’m down to thongs and lacy panties that have dust on them because I haven’t done laundry in a week, and I’m pretty sure I forgot to sign somebody’s permission slip.

I think as mom’s we tend to sit back and look at everyone else’s highlight reel, and compare ourselves to social media’s ” mom standard”.  It’s easy to do when, with the click of a button, you can see Tina’s five course meal she whipped up for the first time in months and blasted on Instagram and Facebook. While you stare at the plate of chicken nuggets you just threw in the microwave because there aren’t enough hours in the day.

But I promise…..you are killing it. Even if you did  have to rob your 9 year old’s piggie bank because he pulled his tooth out at 9 o’clock at night. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. Some days I nail this mom gig, and some days it’s a shit show, but it’s my shit show, and I busted my butt to get here.

Four year ago I was a newly single mom sitting on an old leather couch, in my empty apartment I couldn’t afford, wondering how I was going to provide for two tiny humans, and keep food on the table. All the while watching a YouTube video on “how to drive a five speed”. Because I landed a 99 S-10, single cab, manual, sitting on 20’s in divorce court. (Insert giant eye roll), but that is another story, another day.

Now here I sit, owning and operating my own business. Chasing my wildest dreams, with two of the coolest little dudes this side of Indiana, genuinely happy about life. Was it easy? HELL NO! I had more sleepless nights and negative bank accounts then my kid’s had TV dinners, but I made it. I survived. (Breaks into Destiny’s Child- Survivor) I did it because I’m a mom and I have two boys that depend on me. I’m not going to sugar coat my life. I’m going to be real and take you along for the ride. Hopefully inspire you to give yourself a little more credit, or you just take a peek into my world, and think ” damn, I have my shit together” either or.

Listen, some days you are going to microwave some corn dogs, and some days you are going to go ham in the kitchen and put Martha to shame. It’s all about balance. So tonight, when you are laying out your best thong for tomorrow. Because what’s laundry at 11 o’clock at night? Pat yourself on the back for making it thus far, and being the best mom you can be.

Now, excuse me while I go eat my granola bar in the bath tub.

-Jamie Lea